The Lunches My Father Made for Me

Savoring the memories, unforgettable taste of the foods prepared with her father’s love, translated…

In the era where there was NO nutritious meals provided by schools, my lunches were usually made by the cook, dad. He’d often spent Sundays, making the stewed foods, and told me, “the foods that were stewed aren’t afraid of getting steamed again, so long as the sauce is great, the more you’d steamed it, the better it smelled.”

My father was quite generous as he packed the meals for me, a huge piece of meat, the stewed egg with the sauces already marinated in, with the fluffy, soft kelp, the soft tofu, filling up the packed lunch box, opening it up, the aroma spread out! The way I pay my father back was eating until there’s NOTHING left in the lunches he’d packed for me.

查看來源圖片the homemade meals, with an added serving of love…not my photo…

The lunches with the stewed items helped me pass through my middle school and high school years, over two thousand lunches. Even as I’d started working, I’d had that craving of stewed items when I ate out, I’d especially enjoyed watching the owner of the shop, fishing out the items from the large pot, that reminded me of my dad, who’d hummed the Chinese opera tunes as he busied himself about the kitchen when I was younger, although he wasn’t so delicate with handling the foods, but, there’s, a lot of warmth, a lot of love that’s packed in what he’d prepared for us.

Many years later, my father died, and on the day he left us, don’t know who it was that handed me this lunch with stewed items told me, “Finish it all, your father will be happy.” At that very moment, I saw my father, working in the kitchens, it’s just, that I can’t see him clearly, through my tears then.查看來源圖片making his son’s school lunch…photo from online…

After my kids started school, the school provided the lunches, and, “looking up at the blackboard, lowering my head toward my packed lunches” became a private memory. From time to time, I’d stewed up a pot of foods, with the rice, to make that packed up stewed lunch come back through time to me again.

And so, you’d, loved how much heart went into your father’s packing your lunches, and, the food tasted so amazing, because of the amount of love that goes into preparing the lunches, that, is what made you savor those memories so very much, it’s not the foods that made you nostalgic, it’s the feelings of love, feeling of how you were, cared for by your father that’s made the foods unforgettable.

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A Ten-Day Trip Around the Island with Mom

The thoughts that goes into this trip around the island, her kids’ thoughtfulness of keeping her body as fit as it can become, translated…

My friend Yun started having changes in her body awhile ago, her left side started becoming lethargic and weak, and after she’d gone through the health exams, it was Parkinson’s in the starting stages, this made all of her three teenagers in puberty become adults overnight.

The youngest son started hanging out the clothes before he goes off to school in the morn, the youngest daughter started cleaning up the kitchens, and the eldest just entered into college, he’d used his summers to find outings to take her traveling around the island. I hadn’t seen Yun in over a year now, she’d shared with me everything she’d felt in their journeys together, I was in awe at how much love they had for one another, facing the trials of their lives, and, her happiness was, redefined by her illness too.

查看來源圖片one way to do it…by bicycle…not my photo…

Yun told me, she’d dreamed about traveling around the island for long. She’d originally wanted to bicycle around the island, but her illness caused her to lose her agility, the doctor recommended that she could walk more to help build up her muscle strengths, and after her eldest son learned this, he’d taken her around the island by foot, and insisted that they walk twenty kilometers a day.

“The first day, I’d never walked as much, by the time I got to the hotel at night, I’d fallen limp, the very next day my son asked if I was all right? That if I could walk some more, I’d told him I can, but my body told me otherwise, then, I’d walked for about an hour, and, collapsed, and so, my son took me by a cab to the hotel we were supposed to stay in on the second day. He’d told me, with his eye all red, “Never lie to me again, don’t make me worry, we must, face this bravely, okay?”, and that, was the moment I knew, that my son, is a man.

As they walked to Sanyi, Yun’s husband dropped off some stewed beef to them. The eldest son still adjusted the distance they’re to walk based off of Yun’s physical wellbeing, he’d even done Yun’s laundry too!

or by foot, not my photo…徒步環島 的圖片結果

Trekking the island for ten days was not just for Yun’s overall health, but it was an opportunity for Yun and her son to establish their connection. She’d smiled, with tears circling in her eyes, “Don’t know how long my life will be? Or how I will deteriorate? I’d not worried about that just yet, I can only take advantage of the present, especially, with the love of my husband and kids, they’re what keeps me moving, I’m truly grateful, and fulfilled!”

So, this woman’s sons were very kind and understand, and they did all they could, to help their mother maintain her physical ability, and, her illness became a blessing in disguise, because it brought her and her loved ones closer together.

The Two Ends of the Roads

Filling up your time after you retired, translated…

There’s this saying, “Study, or working out, either the body or the soul needed to head out on the roads.” I’d loved to read, walking even more. I live on Yenping N. Road Sec. 6, walking forward from my house for twenty minutes was the public library, back, was the riverside park and the weekend floral markets. And I’d gone on both ways on the weekends and the holidays too.

I’d slung that backpack around me, with my water bottle, headed out toward the library, without any hurry, the shops, the cafés, the beauty salons on the way………not long ago, a traditional style cake shop opened, the scent of the cake baking floated out of the shop into the streets. There was a hotpot shop that had a post, that if a child in the customer’s house had three-times made the perfect grades, with the exams provided, the family can receive a serving of hotpot for free, the owner’s heart was commendable, but not long thereafter, the shop closed down, and became a couture shop. Walking down this long sidewalk, looking all around at the shops, the sights, every walk of life presented itself to me, and, I’d, wandered to the front of the library. I’d gotten used to climbing six floors to the reading room, and not taken the elevators, it’s another view here. I’d found a window seat, with a book, a bottle of water, spent my afternoon in peace here, and this, is my secret spot for escaping the noises of day-to-day life.

I loved how open the library is, the serene atmosphere, so peaceful and quiet. As I got bored reading, I’d walked over to the windows, and looked down at the river under the bridge, and shifted my gaze toward the distant connected skies, to the mountains far off. And when I got tired, I’d, put my head down on the desks and napped, and when I felt like it, I’d started, secretly, observing the people in the library too. There was an elderly man who’s really focused, I would see him every time I’d come here, I’m guessing, that he’d reported to the library every single day; there was a pair of young children, who were really focused on doing their review worksheets, without being distracted by everything else around them; there was also that older man who’d fallen asleep, and started snoring too…………… as I became really into observing the goings on around me, I’d felt, relaxed more.

On the weekends, I walked toward the both ends of the streets, to go read or to see the flowers or to exercise, life became more fulfilled because of this habit, like how the roads had, extended into the distances from both ends too.

So, this, is one way to spend your free time after the retirement, you’d gotten enough exercise by walking to all these places, and, you also have the opportunity to observe the goings-on around you, becoming even more aware of yourself, and your interactions with the external environments you are in too.

Optics, a Poem

Having someone ELSE there, AT the center of YOUR universe, this, is not going to end well at A-L-L! Translated…

We’d Polished Those Lens

Calculated the Curves of Language

Waited, for a Specific & Destined Time

That Light that Traveled Here from Afar

At that Specific Right Angle

like this, and, you WILL get B-U-R-N-E-D!  Photo from online…

Passed Through Those Layered, Transparent Hearts

Burning Me, in that Void, Suspended

That Combustible Focal Point

So, this, is what it feels like, with someone at the center of universe, because you were, lured in love, and yet, after the love is gone, what will you be LEFT with? Oh yeah, I forgot, UTTER DARKNESS, and you’d become, a sure part, of that darkness, because you’d lived your life around that other individual, and, it’s NEVER good, with someone ELSE at the focal points of your own lives…

My Eldest Child

He was born, with that rebelliousness about him, and the parents were patient enough, and waited him out, and finally, this young man became settled, after he’d, tested his own limits, translated…

This was the first time that someone made a complaint!

The elderly neighbor said that my son kicked her grandson, ever since, I was very careful, feared, that I might get “pulled over” by another neighbor when I left my house.

In his first-grade year, the teacher called, my son had, “threatened” someone, told a classmate, that he will NOT see the sunrise tomorrow! And so, as you can imagine, making apologies on my son’s behalf became, normal.

What karma did I have, to have this naughty child as a son? As I was pregnant with him, so many things weren’t right, I’d had to take leaves of absence to stay at home; as I had him, I’d pushed so very hard, and he had, refused to come out, and so, the gynecologist “clamped” him out. Whoa, the long and large face and head, looking so odd, well, that’s my son.

A total killer my son had been, after I had him, I was so weakened I’d gone to see him in the nursery on a wheelchair, and yet, the doctor did the neonatal checks, said that there were noises in his heart, that his head was too big, that they’d suspected that his brain was swollen, skin troubles, and his lips don’t look right when he started crying…………holy! This was only my firstborn, you can torture me all you want to, but, do give my baby a break! My husband, I, and the nanny, took him to the major hospitals many times, and as we waited, we’d become panicky and even, started crying, waiting for the test results, and thankfully, there’s never been anything major.

No big troubles, then, my love for him made its appearance. He hated feeding, and in twenty, thirty minutes’ time, he’d only managed to drink a couple of milliliters, and would start panting as he suckled, and I was so fearful, that he couldn’t catch his breath while I fed him, that he may, stop drinking for once, and for all.

Finally, he’s fed, let’s rest. I’d put him down, he didn’t feel like sleeping; lying down, he’d become, completely awakened; he’d cried as I held him in my arms, and, screamed as I carried him on my back too; rocked him, he hated it; cooed with him, he’d not cared for me; paced indoors with him in my arms, he’d cried, took him outside, cried even louder………how many centuries of war had passed, and finally, the universe quieted, I’d tiptoed in and put him down in his crib, we’d become balloons, with the air let out, as we were about to lay down to rest with half of our spirts, came “Wahhhhhhhhh!!!”, then, we’d, both bounced right back up again, not again! Son, do give your parents a break, we won’t do it again, we swear.

If there’s something worth something, it would be how smart he is, as he started learning to talk, we’d recited the poetry to him, and soon enough, he’d, recited it bac, and as grandma taught him the Japanese nursery rhymes, he’d picked it up quickly. But he’d refused to sit still and write and study, he would tilt his body this way and then, and, wrote the character that even GHOST would shriek to see. And other than an A in physical education in his elementary years, getting a ZERO in his other classes became normal for him. Was I, not teaching him enough? Was I not a good example for him? Heaven only knows, but, I am an excellent teacher in school too!

He’d told me once seriously, “Mom, I wasn’t born to study.” And, he’d used the money I gave him for tutoring in the fifth grade and spent it in the net cafés, after I sent him to private middle school, his performances was, less than lacking, the assignment books were filled with the grievances from the instructors: he’d forgotten this and that, didn’t commit something to memory, not worked hard enough during the cleaning period, late to class, argumentative with the instructors………and, in this chaotic learning process, he can be at the top of the class, dropping down, to the lowest scorers, how he does in class, entirely dependent on his moods, as his mother, one will be going crazy, if not becoming a fool.

And afterwards, he’d almost gotten into his first-choice school on his calculus grades, he’s scored almost perfectly in every subject, only that on the last final test of social studies, his besties turned in the tests early, and he followed their leads, and, ran off. Ever since, he’d started commuting to Taipei for high school, and, everything is far away, what can the teachers do to him, and thus, he’d, become lost, in the kingdom of the dragons.

And now, he’d grown, because he’d wasted his time from before, he now realized the importance of working hard, I’d often asked him what he did during those days he’d fooled around? He’d told me that I might get shocked to death if he’d told me, then, let’s look forward, he’d planned to put his career first, his relationships second, and live a colorful life for himself.

My eldest, thankfully, you’re only in your twenties, and not in your thirties or forties. Knowing that you’re lost, you’d, found your way back, your dad and I will always hold our arms open, giving you that warmth of our hugs, so you know, how much we truly, really, love you.

So, this, is the coming of age of a young man, he’d had his crazy times in the past, and now, he’d become settled, because he’d tried everything (short of drugs, sex, and some illegal stuff I’m thinking), point is, these parents allowed their son to do whatever he wanted to, because they knew, that by telling him no, it would only drive him farther away, and so, they’d just, waited, for him, to settle himself back down, and to come back, from those wilder days of his younger years.

A Nosy Paramedic

Reasons why these nurses butted in are still NOT just because it’s their professional courtesy, but because they genuinely cared about the wellbeing of their patients! Translated…

“You know why I was willing to get the shots?” my thirty-year old patient with hypertension, diabetes, and sleep apnea, with a suspected cell melanoma asked me. “??”

“As I was admitted, didn’t the hospital tried to get me to get a shot and I’d refused?” “Yeah!”

making teh rouands, checking on the patient…photo form online still

“That day, I’d gone to the basement of the hospital, and bumped into the doctor in the metabolism health department.” “Dr. Jiang.”

“Yeah, that’s her, she’d called me to a halt, took me to her room.” “??”, I was very shocked.

She’d asked me, “Are you a V.I.P.?”, and I’d replied, “of course not.” She’d asked me again, “Are you more of a V.I.P. than the former president Lee?” “Of course not!” “Even as the former president had his insulin shots for years on end, what techniques are you using, without the shots, to keep your glucose under control?” I’d, stuttered, and thought about what she’d said, and it was reasonable, and, as I returned to the ward, I’d told you, that I was willing to get the insulin shots.

Nosy, was one of the most favorite characteristic I have for the medical professions, they’re working as they are working, NOT for the money, but for the sake of helping others, like the elderly hospital manager of Chih-Hong Hospital stated, “Money is only a complication in the realm of medicine.”

That also explained why Dr. Jiang had offered me the extra services as I gone to see him, had the professors to come to look at me, asked the radiology department to check me……a little more here, a little more there, making me feel, that we’d done all we possibly can, not for the sake of making more money, but for the sake of making the patients feel, that the doctors had done all they possibly can, to help us.

The cardiologist, Dr. Liu was also like that, I have a patient who was suspected of having lung embolisms who’d asked him to do an ultrasound of the heart, most of the doctors had just done the ultrasound, then, typed up the reports, but he’d read the man’s entire medical history records, and checked with me, “you know, the patient told me that she flew business from the U.S. back, not economy class.” He’d even reviewed over ALL of her past scans, and gotten to know her condition like the back of his own hands.

All the nursing staff I’d met, are also just like that too.

As I saw a patient’s chest x-ray had a huge white are, I’d enjoyed asking the nurses, “What do you think this is?”

And the primary nurse would tell me what she thought. When the phlegm was pink and with foams, it looked like lung emphysema; if it’s bright red, then, it’s a hemorrhage in the lungs; if it’s yellow, then, it would be an infection from pneumonia. Sometimes, with the senior nursing staff members like Mei-Huei and Hsin-Ran, they’d told me, that the lungs were probably infected with bacteria, because she’d smelled the special scent that the bacterial gave off.

with the dedications and hard work of people like these, that is what makes our recoveries possible…photo from online…

The nurse from the Guo-Yuan Nursing School found slight things that we shrugged off as a patient was walking, and helped make the correct diagnosis. Huei-Jen in ward 9A told me of a unique way that the patient interacted with the family, which helped us arranged an individualized method of treatment.

Nosy, that, is the characteristics I’d loved about the nurses. Nurse Peggy in 6B, as the patient didn’t come back, she’d phoned the station to ask where the patient went; Shu-Pen was only passing through the roads of Yangming Mountain, and she’d stopped, to perform CPR on a car accident victim; the nurse from MICU, Jia-Yi at the MRT Yuanshan Station, rushed out of the trains, and performed CPR on a visitor who’d passed out………there are, an assortment of stories of compassion, told how the blood of nursing flows through the women I worked with.

Wei-Ting, as a clinical pharmacist, at the start of when everything getting written online, she’d actively asked for the patient’s national health insurance card, and solved the mystery of his kidney failure (the patient denied having been put on any medication, but his medical records showed different).

Medicine, is a special profession, it’s not the normal 9 to 5, but based off of the interpersonal interactions, connections we’d established with one another. The nosiness of the nursing staff, sometimes it’s annoying, but you need to know, that what it showed, is that unspoken, “I care about you”

The medics may not be capable of expressing their cares and concerns toward the patients verbally, but so long as they still cared, this huge system of healthcare won’t collapse.

So, this showed, that although the nurses’ behaviors may be construed as nosy, or butting into the patients’ lives, and sometimes even, invading the privacies, but, they do it out of their care and concerns toward their patients, and we should give them a break, and stop giving them a hard time, as they’re the people on the frontlines, saving lives here.

Before We Said Our Goodbye…

Before we said our goodbyes, so many things happened, leading up to this farewell, and now, looking back, I see, that everything happened, in progression…

Before we said our goodbyes, things are, uncertain, we’d, lived, side-by-side for god knows how long, and, I guess, that passion that should still be there, just DIED!

like this???  Maybe…not my photograph…

Before we said our goodbyes, so many things had happened between you and I, misunderstandings, hurtful words were, blurted out, and, hearts were, shattered. Before we said our goodbyes, everything flew, out of control, and, the fight we’d had, that, was just, the final straw, wasn’t it???

Before we said our goodbyes, I keep on, returning to that moment, when you gave me that perfunctory kiss on the forehead, and turned and walked away, leaving me, standing, all alone, under that dimming lamplight, and, I felt………absolutely……NOTHING!