To Whom Did He Sing Those Love Songs to?

An elderly man’s finding closure to his own past through telling the tales of his own younger years, translated…

Some of the elderly had gone through the wars when they were young, and they’d stated often, “We’d gone through the bloodbaths of war, what else had we not seen yet?”, and, there was an elderly man with gastric cancer on the hospital beds, he was one of those who fought in the war and retreated to Taiwan (he didn’t say it was “retreat” though), carrying on in his soldier mannerisms, after he’d learned that he was in the terminal stage of his gastric cancer, he’d refused to eat. And so, the hospitals called on the social workers to help get him to eat something.

The Stories that Even His Wife Didn’t Know

“Hi, grandpa, is there something that’s bugging you that’s made you not want to eat?”, the social worker asked.

He’d ignored, and the very first time they’d met, it’d ended, quickly. The second time the social worker visited, the elderly man still refused to disclose, and the social worker couldn’t get anything else out of him either.

By the third time, the social worker didn’t know how to break the ice, and so, she’d told the elderly, “There’s a wish fulfillment activity I’d just hosted in another ward, I’d helped a patient to fulfill his last wishes.”

“What about the last wishes?”, the elderly man finally, asked.

“It was an ailing young man, without much time left, but he’d, loved this song, and we’d, used the song, to set up an activity for him.”

圖/蔡雅芬illustration from the papers online…

The social worker quickly told the ins and outs of the activities, as he finished the elderly woman close by said, “Grandpa loved to sing too, although he’d originated from China, but he’d loved singing those Taiwanese tunes such as ‘The Connections Between Needle & Thread’, ‘Pillow for Two’, etc., etc., etc., he’s really good at singing these songs.” the elderly woman stayed by the elderly man, and she looked and seemed kind.

“Grandpa, would you like to sing it now?”, the social worker prodded.

“I want to sing another Chinese oldies by Lei Hsieh, ‘Sending the Words Through the Clouds’…”

He’d scratched his head, cleared his throat, then started singing, “Even if it was the past, every now and then, you would get reminded, of something worthwhile, during those days we were very close to each other………”

“Grandpa, you have an amazing voice”, the social worker applauded.

“I want to tell you a story, a story that even my wife doesn’t know.” having opened up, the elderly man pretended to make his voice less than audible.

“Being Listened to” is a Very Important Thing

Back then, he’d, enlisted into the national government’s army, and after the war, the tensions were building up, and the army wanted them to transfer to Taiwan, and he’d used what time he had to go see his fiancée, told her, “Come, come, the army is leaving, let’s go together!”

After all they were both, too young, and the girl just cried unstop, and so, the elderly man can only tell her, “It’s late, I’ll go now then”, and since, he’d been, separated from his own fiancée from across the straits, and he’d, started a new family here in Taiwan.

“Although my children aren’t especially outstanding, but they’d followed the laws, it’s just, that I couldn’t quite, let go of my fiancée back in China, and so, as I’d sung ‘Sending the Words Through the Clouds’, I’d gotten, reminded of her.”, the elderly stated passionately, and, his eyes grew, misty.

At this time, the elderly man is already in his seventies, and he couldn’t let go of the girl he was in love with from across the strait, and, it’s clear, that he’d, needed to resolve this unresolved issue at this final stage of his life.

After the elderly told his tale, he’d finally, felt better, it was, the secret he’d, buried, too deeply, inside of himself.

As the social worker heard, he’d, immediately asked the elderly woman close by, “After you’d heard this experience from your husband, will you………”

The elderly woman smiled, and said, that although it was the very first time she’d heard him told of this, “But it’s, all in the past, I’m grateful toward grandpa, for looking after me and my family after we married.”

The stories when we were young, it may have been, tragic, caused by the ears in time, and yet, having the stories told aloud again to be listened to, is something quite important, this being listened to meant validifying the values of one’s life, and verification of one’s own existence, and even if the events of life didn’t, quite work out, at least, you’d had the chance, to tell it out, and slowly, you will be able to, let go of the regrets connected with the events.

And so, this, is on how important it is, to have someone to listen to you, to not pass any judgment on what you’re telling, because we ALL have secrets, ghosts in our pasts that haunted us, and, we all need an outlet, for everything that’s happened to us, up to this current moment in our lives.



Aunty Who Loves to Paint

How this woman was, able to overcome the trials of her life by taking up a hobby, the features of a woman, translated…

As the children became independent, the aunty who’s already past fifty thought that she could, finally, graduate from her roles of a “good mother” and a “good wife”, but, my uncle fell ill suddenly, it’d, messed everything up. For the futures they’re to have after retirement, my aunt knew she couldn’t leave the workforce yet, but this didn’t stop her from mapping out her dreams.

She’d loved dancing and singing, and has a talent in art too. I’d seen her, so focused as she sketched things onto the papers, and her work consisted of classics and modern, she’d even had an exhibit with her friends who shared the same love for art. Seeing how my aunt stood in front of her canvas, in smiles, I’d felt, she looked, so radiant.

Is it because she’s not willing to lose the passions she has for her life? I’m truly in awe, of her energies, every time I’d visited or called her, I couldn’t help but ask her, when she will be showing her new work, or at least, to post them on FB so her friends and families can look at the works. And, perhaps the road to help my uncle recover is long, but I give my best wishes to my aunt, hoping, that as she gets older, her life will, be colorful as ever.

This is very important, as this article had shown, to have something you’re, really into doing, like for this woman, she has her art, and, if she didn’t have it, she will become resentful toward the things that’s happened in her life, and she’s going to have a very difficult time as she gets older, but gladly, she has a hobby, to keep her going.

The Heart of a Man

This has nothing to do with NATURE, it’s all, nurture, or, socialization, if you want to see it as that, translated…

“It’s not that Men Don’t Cry/It’s that We Hid Ourselves Away When We Cried/We’d Rather Stand on Bended Knees Than to Smile and Kneel/Men are Also Like Flowers/ Feared the Raging Wind & Rain/Who Can See the Scars Behind Our Forced Strengths………”, a short while ago, this song played on the radio, and it’d, moved me, the singer had a raspy, low voice, but, he’d sung out the hearts of men.

illustration from the papers online…圖/Swawa

A lot of men since they were growing up were taught “Boys don’t Cry”, which caused them to NOT relieve themselves through their tears when they’re in pain. Like that time I’d watched my husband as he worked hard, held back his tears, how I’d, wanted to tell him, “Hon, just cry it out!”

Recalling how when I just had my son, how he’d cried so very hard, the nurse smiled and told me, “hmmmmmmmmmmmm, such a healthy boy!”, I cried out of joy in the bed. My son’s tears were, the show of the strength of life, and my tears were from being touched as a witness to how strong life can be.

During the time when he was still quite young, not knowing how to speak, he’d cried the various cries to let me know if he’d needed to be fed, if he was wet, or if he just, wanted to cuddle. Once he had a fever, he’d not gotten fussy, just fell silent, and I’d worried through the night. As he got older, he’d learned to walk and run, and tripped and hurt himself, when he’d felt defeated in school or at work, I’d used my warm smile, to wipe away this boy’s tears.

Darwin said once, that crying is a special form of expressions that humans have. That tears are a natural born emotional expression for us humans, that it’s not a specialty for women, nor should it be interpreted as a man being weak.

It’s just, that we’re all, bound by the traditional belief, as boys became men, they’d swallowed everything hard in life down, not used to talking about their problems, didn’t know how to find an outlet, and, as the trials of life and the pressures accumulated, they’d not just put themselves in trial, also their families too.

As a mother, it was, easy for me to know what my little man was feeling; as a wife, it’d become, quite difficult, for me to help get inside of the man I loved, as he was experiencing his emotions.

He’s just like that book by the Japanese M.D.’s character, Mr. B, never shared anything that’s going on in his life or work with his own wife, and had often, sat dumbfounded in front of the television. As his wife inquired, he’d blurted, “It’s not like you can understand”, which severed off ALL forms of communication between him and his own wife.

I’d once openly spoken of my displease or worries over my husband, he’d worked hard, to tell me what he was going through too, and yet, it’s like, there’s, still this, huge MOUNTAIN that blocked us, or perhaps, it wasn’t in his nature to rant, and in the end, he’d, stared at the television in the late night hours on his own. Because the thoughts of wanting to exchange with him how I felt kept echoing, but he just, shuts down completely. If he’s willing to open up, I’ll, lend a helping ear; and if he doesn’t, I’ll just, quietly, accompany him.

People often say, that “women are like flowers, needed the love and care”, but aren’t men so too? A different species of flower, with a varied growth environment, with their different needs, we’d just need to, follow the nature way of things, and, eventually, all things wither away, there’s no need to force anything.

As I saw him, frowning, with that lost look on his face, I’d known, that he’s, healing himself up, and I’d not intruded into his personal space, learned to give him the space and quiet he’d needed. That day, I’d not said anything, just, handed him a box of tissues, and a cup of tea, and like I always had, I’d, hugged him, to show, that I’m, there for him.

And so, this, is strictly, DUE to SOCIALIZATION, men and women are socialized to value different things, and that, is what’s caused these macho behaviors in a lot of men, and like the husband of this woman, he just, doesn’t open up, but thankfully, his wife knew him well, and knew, that he just needed the time, to sort things through on his own, so, she just, quietly, accompanies by his side.

Grandma’s Double-Bed

The depth of love shared by these elderly is simply, beyond imagination, translated…

My grandparents had been sleeping in separate rooms since long ago.

Back then, grandma just became, a grandmother, she was staying at home, looking after the grandchildren her children left behind. She’d accompanied the two young grandchildren to sleep on three Japanese wooden flooring, left grandpa to sleep on a double bed all on his own.

illustration from the papers online…圖/無疑亭

The three Japanese style mattresses were big enough for the three, but the double-bed couldn’t squeeze all four of us in, and so, grandpa seemingly became, the extra man, the one who’d been, exiled. And so, he’d slowly, learned, to live life solo, with wide open room; he’d listened to his favorite Japanese music, played his own favorite golf, and, slept on the double-bed, until it became, a single bed, became really comfortable, alone, on his own. As for grandma, she’d held one of our hands, and with one more grandchild on her back, or kept a close eye on the child who’s sleeping in the crib, while watching over the one who’s, running around in the house, she’d become, caged in by the Japanese straw mattress. She’s the grandmother of the house, also, a wife who’d, been, forgotten, and, the double-bed drifted, farther, and farther away from her.

Actually in the past, it would get really warm and cozy, on the double bed which grandma and grandpa had, shared. In the winters, there’d been a soft red fuzzy blanket lain on the bed, and, wrapped around them both, easy to fall asleep in. My mother said, that the blanket was a dowry from my great grandmother to my grandmother. The red large blanket was a symbol of how close my grandparents are, to one another, and, they’d, shared a bed, underneath, that warm blanket year after year, after year. On the blanket, there was, a doe looking back, with that doubt in its eyes. Don’t know, if to grandma, if it’d, meant that the doe was, longing for the past better times, or, was it, waiting, for the present to, get turned, into the past?

But, not long thereafter, the double bed was, replaced with an electric bed, to help grandpa who’d slowly become, immobilized to get out of bed, as for grandma, she’d, returned back, to sleeping on the Japanese style mattress. The two beds were uneven, like how grandma had, always, steadied herself, in squatting position, steadily, supported, grandpa’s gigantic, but shaking body.

And, grandma started, sleeping, next to grandpa, on this, double bed that’s unlike the beds they’d shared in the past.

Every morn, grandma would help grandpa out for a walk from the bed, to the street entrance, and, each and every day, grandpa became, slower, and slower, and slower, and the entrance of the alley became, farther, farther, and farther from where he can get to, don’t know when, grandpa was only able to, walk to the next door neighbor’s home. Grandma had, taken advantage of the time when grandpa napped, to walk a very long way to the marketplaces, to buy fresh beef, to cook for grandpa, and, she’d worried, that the beef sold from the close by marketplaces weren’t fresh enough, so, she’d walked, farther, farther, and farther, to get the beef.

After grandpa passed away, my mother worried that grandma might get lonely, and offered to sleep with her, and grandma would always fall silent at mom’s request. Once, my mother mentioned it again, and, grandma stated abruptly, “Someone told me, that she’d dreamed about her deceased husband, by sleeping in the bed they’d shared. I’d gone, and slept on your father’s bed, but, he’d, never come to me in my dreams.”

Turns out, after grandpa died, grandma went to sleep on his bed, hoping that he could come to her in her dreams. If he’d come back, then, she’d finally, have the bed that they’d once shared back again. The company of her offspring, still paled by comparison, to the companionship of her beloved husband.

查看來源圖片getting used to the sound of one another’s breaths…not my photo…

Grandma wanted to find a reason, “But, maybe it’s because I’d, moved the bed, that is why your father couldn’t return back to me.” She will, keep on waiting, until that bed they’d once shared, is shared by them both again, even if, it was, just for a very short moment in time.

And so, this, is how deep the love is, between these two elderly, they’d lived their whole lives together, and now, the husband had, died, and, the wife couldn’t adapt, and, it’s her way, of grieving for the loss, of her beloved husband, and these things need time to resolve.

He’d Switched Tracks, from the Law Department, He’d Become the Music Major Department’s Dean

Now, they’re, studying for the sake of love, instead of just, getting that degree, from the Newspapers, translated…

Are the music department, saved for those who’d studied music from their high school years? The dean of Pingdong University’s Music Department, Lien WAS a law student from N.T.U., later on he’d switched tracks, and entered onto the road to music; the digital music professor, Hsiao wasn’t a music major either, he’d graduated from the National University of Education’s psychology department, then, turned toward his interests, music, and that just showed, that even IF you didn’t have any prior trainings in the field, you still have a chance, to become a huge success in the field.

from online…

Lien said, he’d grown up around music, he’d taken lessons in violin and piano as a child, but, he’d not taken the music route, and, he’d signed on for the law department of N.T.U. as he’d filled out his major and school selection, he’d graduated from graduate school in law, but he just, couldn’t, be a lawyer. Later he’d gone to France’s Sorbon University to study music for ELEVEN whole years, and majored in composing and musicology.

He’d said, that using his fundamentals of learning music, taking the piano lessons, the violin lessons, there was, NO way he could’ve gotten past the entrance exams, but he’d always wanted to go into depth of the study of music, and so, he’d emphasized in musicology, music analysis.

Hsiao started taking piano lessons at the age of four, he’d gotten into the psychology department at the University of Education, for the sake of being closer to the music department, and all the auditable courses in the music department offered by the school, he’d gone; although he wasn’t a music major, but he was blessed, to be on this road, and now, every minute of his life is involved in music.

查看來源圖片working hard, to compose a piece…photo from online…

And so, this just showed, how if you’re interested in something, no matter if you were in the related majors, you can work hard, and reach your goals just the same.

These Regrets of Mine…

Fate has, this TWISTED (and yeah, it’s S-I-C-K if you ask me!!!) way of teaching US the lessons we need to learn in life…

These regrets of mine, don’t want ‘em, but, they kept comin’ towards me, faster than 50 miles a second, and I’m runnin’, fast as I can, but, they’d all, ganged up on me.

and, here’s, that song that, exemplifies exactly how I feel, from Youtube…

These regrets of mine, they’d, PAVED the path, that I’d, traveled on, since long, long, long, long, long (5 long’s, that should be, long enough???) ago, and I want to be done with all of ‘em, but, it seems, that they ain’t, done with me yet!!!

These regrets of mine, how can I, lay ALL y’all to rest, huh? And, ain’t you tired, of tagging along behind my tail, go find someone ELSE to haunt, why don’t ya?

These regrets of mine, they’re, I guess, my own makin’, I suppose, done a zillion bad things (and still in countin’ too!!!) in this lifetime of mine thus far, and, I just can’t, seem to, turn this life of mine ‘round, even if I wanted to change, I just can’t seemed to find a way to………

These regrets of mine…sigh………

A Heart Luck Kind of Heart…

This, was what you have, I just, thought I could, soften it down, but boy, oh boy, was I, mistaken!!!

I’d had, a hard luck kind of heart, nothing in life was, ever easy for me, sure, I got, loads of Ben Franklin’s, Ulysses S. Grant’s, SHOVED up into my F***ING (maxed out???) ANUS, and yet, that was, NEVER what I’d needed.

A hard luck kind of heart, that, is why I’m, destined to spend this lifetime, solo, and I prefer it that way too, besides, who wants a LOSER in her life? “Not me,” said the Little Red Hen!

A hard luck kind of heart, never had any luck with L-O-V-E ever, don’t need it anyhow! And I will keep on, living, with this hard luck kind of heart, for the rest of this god damn, long, long, long, long, l-o-n-g (5 long’s, that’s, long enough???) lifetime here…

A hard luck kind of heart, heart’s been through the series of storms, and had, almost D-I-E-D, more than once I might add too!!! But, it’s still, beatin’ strong, and with each and every pulse my heart cranks out, I still feel, very much A-L-I-V-E.

And yes, I still love, a lot too!