Losing You to Dementia

I’m still fighting this W-A-R that I will NEVER have the chance of winning, NOT when the “enemy” is so horrific like dementia.  During the earlier stages, the medications, the classes I took you to seem to slow down the progression of the illness, but, since you’d become severely demented, NOTHING seemed to work, NO magical pill to make the symptoms of forgetting go away, you just can’t remember anything anymore.

Losing you to dementia, it hurts, real bad, just by thinking about it, that one day, you will forget about me completely, and yet, I’m burdened with the memories of you, that, is just UNFAIR, and I tried hard, real hard, separating myself from that, but I couldn’t, how can I just sever the ties?  You ARE my mother!

Losing you to dementia, there’s NO way out, as we’re BOTH trapped, inside this hard-to-manage labyrinth, and, you are sitting still, while I keep on bumping into those HARD walls, getting so many bruises, trying to get you back again…

The battles’ been fought, and WON, by D-E-M-E-N-T-I-A, and, dementia WILL have Y-O-U one day, and the war’s been lost, by ME, in my attempts, to try to get you back, and, I’d just felt more and more frustrated by the day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You Used to Know Me, But, NO More

You used to know me, but, NO more, this deteriorating disease had taken away ALL of your memories.  You were my mother, but now, I’m yours…

You used to know me, but, no more, you now refer to me as “that nice lady that would bring me fresh flowers every time she visits here!”, that, was how I’d become known to you, and you’d showed me off to the others in the room, when you’re lucid enough to know who I am, but those moments had become extremely rare now.

You used to know me, but, no more, and I reckon, that one day, you will completely forget about me, but I will still carry the memories of you and I, as mother and daughter with me, for the rest of my life, until, one day, I become like you too (god I hope not!!!).

You used to know me, but, no more, and, how could that be?  I was your child once, and now, I feel like your parent, I really want my mother back, but, where IS she?  When I look into your blank staring eyes, I know, that she’s gone!

You used to know me, but, NO more, and that, is the consequence I must live with, being your child…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Call Me “Old Hag”

Translated…

My colleague, May’s mother-in-law, even though she’s already eighty-five years old, however, because she’d kept up with her appearances regularly, she’d looked a whole lot younger.  We’d heard, that her mother-in-law would go to the parks in the morning, and copying the Buddhist verses, reading the newspapers are part of her daily routines, and she’d have five-grain diets, and, for her vegetables, she’d cooked with less oil and less salt.  Any information on how to keep the body health, she’d kept.

May said, that one day, her mother-in-law was wearing shades, wearing shorts and a short t-shirt, lying in the yard, getting sunbathed.  Turns out, that her mother-in-law read, that getting more sun can prevent osteoporosis, she’d asked her why she wore sunglasses, the mother-in-law replied, “that way, I won’t have cataracts”.

With an energetic and healthy mother-in-law, I told May, “You’re so very blessed!”

“Yeah, even though, my mother-in-law is already elderly, but she doesn’t see herself as an elderly person!”, May continued, “My mother-in-law would go to the hair salons once a week to get her hair done, once, as her mother-in-law saw her hair ungroomed, she’d talked to herself, ‘not fixing up my hair makes me look like an elderly woman.’”  May was close by and started giggling when she heard, turns out, her eighty-five year-old mother-in-law didn’t like being perceived as an elderly after all.

It’s actually, shameful, that as we are all in our midlife years, we’d often sighed, “We’re half way into the graves!”  “we can’t catch up to the times”, or that we’re chased by conditions of farsightedness, menopause, it’d somehow, took away the passions we had for our lives.  But, if we compared ourselves to May’s mother-in-law in her eighties, our lives are, just the beginning!

And so, the lesson to be learned here, is that the mindset is MORE important, after all, if you keep your minds young and healthy, then, you will NEVER feel old, even IF you get to that age when your hairs had all turned white, and a TON of wrinkles crawled all over your faces, so, keep your minds sharp, that way, you will always and forever BE young at heart!

 

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To Fight This Ordinary World, I Write Inside My Heart, the Second Part of the Relativity of Literature

Watching the great minds, duking it out here, translated…

Back when I was just seventeen, I’d met this girl who’s very talented in writing, she’d shocked me with her writings.  Once when she was getting published, she proudly announced, “From before I was able to write, I’d already started writing inside my heart”.  There is, a vital difference between a starving artist and an artist indeed.  It’s an amazing feat, to be writing with one’s abilities.  And still, nobody knows, when the heavens will reach down, and take that away from you.  After all, some would work really very hard, “managed only a few sentences over the course of a few years, and, as s/he recited the words, tears fell uncontrollably”, and still wouldn’t climb to the very TOP of the mountains.  Ai-Leen Chang once sighed, that the most talented woman had all of a sudden, gotten married to a man.  And, when those talented writers declared that they’re to stop writing, it’s left me with a TON of regrets.  Write or don’t, live or die, there must be a TON of tangling reasons.  If you’re NOT the person, it would be hard for you to understand the mindsets.

A very long time later, I’d learned that the girl took up a major unrelated to the literary, she’d won a couple of literary awards, then, stopped writing altogether.  I don’t know if she feels that she hadn’t put her talent to good use, but I feel it’s such a shame that she’d stopped writing.  Maybe, it’s just from my part, maybe, not writing would make her life a whole lot easier, a whole lot happier.  When I’m writing, I’d often wondered, that is this the life I want to lead?  Just writing inside my mind, that’s good, isn’t it?  Dong-Puo Su once stated, that “the people’s worries starts when they start to read, and writing the names down will become troubling.”  Living in this sort of a fixated misery, Su had written his whole life too.  The most amazing part of writing lies in how bravely we get to enter an unknown realm, to create and go into adventures in everyday life.

In the graduating class of teaching instructors, there was a student who’d turned in his well-written diaries, and, it didn’t take him long, to use up all the pages of the notebook.  He loved the movies, and every movie he’d viewed, he’d written down things that made him feel.  From his words, it’d led me to believe, that “taking it all in is a kind of creating”.  His analysis, his views, can put those expert movie reviewers to shame.  This made me understand, that having something to say to this world, is the best way of combining passions and creating.

Recalling how I’d started writing, it must’ve been those three years in Shi-Feng Middle School.  My homeroom teacher, Mei-Jiang Chiu would make us write dairy every single day, she’s an English teacher, and made sure that we’re all adept in expressing ourselves in Chinese.  Keeping my diaries became a habit, and I’d kept at it until I went to the doctorate class in Donghua University.  The way that I wrote by hand, I’d still loved it to date.  These couple of years, I’d stopped writing (physical) diary, instead, I’d let people know what and how I’m doing on Facebook, and that’s become a half-private kind of diary.  The connections of writing and life, there’s NOT a more direct way.  Back then, Ms. Chiu had told me more than once, that you will become an author.  Don’t know if it’s her words, that made my destiny as a writer or not.  All I can do right now, is to get along with my destiny.

I’d taught for over a decade in high school, being able to talk about writing with the students is one of the most joyful things in life.  But when I could talk on more depth, something that’s harder to comprehend, and my students can understand, then, the joy is exacerbated even more.  It’s just that in these couple of years, I’d watched a TON of talented kids, put up their pens, and stopped writing altogether, Wei-Ting Chen was one of them.  (I’d secretly hoped, that Chen could continue writing his novels, continue reporting, to use a pen to reply to the goings-on of the world right now).  Some had stopped writing poetry too, and turned themselves into experts in psychology.  And so, I’d consoled myself, that those once writers may have found more meaningful things for them to do in their lives than writing now.

Rollo May in “Creating Courage” kept mentioning, to use the courage you took to create, to fight off the void and the anxieties, to create art out of “circumstances”, to make meaning out of schemas.  The situation of the artists is that “they’d knocked on the doors of silences, and gotten the replies in music; they’d talked of the nonexistent existence, until they can force the nonexisting, to come into existence.”  “A true artist must be connected with her/his time, and, once s/he is taken away from the time, s/he becomes useless.  A true painter can show the psychological states that they have with the world physically.”  I believe that so long as we’re truthful with the world we come in contact with, then, we wouldn’t need to worry about missing out on life.  At least, facing this ordinary world, I write internally.

And so, writing became a way of separating the self from the rest of the world, but, writing doesn’t really separate oneself from the world, because in order to write, you MUST put yourselves into the world, otherwise, you won’t be able to come up with the amazing written materials that you had already come up with, would you?  Nope.

 

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When One Day, You Really Start Living, the First Half of the Relativity of Literature

This, is Part One, translated…

 Between 2006 and 2007, the Norwegian writer, Karl Ove Knaugsgaard found that he’d become too tired with novels, “Every time I’d thought about having to create the characters, I’d get sick to my stomach.”  He’s at a crossroad in his life with writing, and could only write essays and diary entries.  “That sort of a writing that comes from a sound, a gaze, your own personality, a life, a face, a form of literature you can relate to more.”  And so, he’d changed his genre, and started writing his own stories, and the result?  A six volume, 3,600 pages worth of autobiography, “My Struggle”.  He’d passionately poured his heart AND soul into it, wrote very quickly, and in 2009, he’d gotten three volumes published, and two more volumes came the following year.  Then, a year later came the very LAST volume.  The moment that the first volume published, it’d become a best seller, and, almost everyone has a copy.  It’d become international, and, experts compared him to Proust, and some had admitted to how they had to read the book from top to bottom without any interruptions.  As the very first English translation was published in America, the book critic, James Wood wrote in the New Yorker, “Even if I’d gotten tired of reading, I’m still captivated.”  As for me, I’m getting tired, but I’m still working hard.

In this autobiography, Knausgaard wrote about his own struggle between the daily hassles, the household chores, and his own desires to keep on writing.  Like a classical kind of artist, he’d despised the ordinary lifestyle, believed that creativity is real life.  What’s ironic was that in his autobiography, he’d written about the inescapable reality.  In these books, he’d made his childhood come back to life, the ins and outs of his marriage, how he took care of his children, and, everything he believed, to be blocking him from making his creations, became his creation.  Meaning that, in the end, life is the most important matter, NOT the creations from life.

The ancients used to say, that you must make a name for yourselves earlier in life.  After he finished the book, “My Struggles”, Knausgaard was not yet forty-five, he’d gotten everything he wanted out of life.  There are numbered writers who’d gained fame and fortune when they were younger, but he’d not become happy over this at all, instead, he’d felt a ton of pains (hurting himself, and others, his wife was diagnosed with severe depression), and that made him wanted to put up his pen forever.

For many years, I’d often wondered the purpose of my writing, and the matters of life, and, as I’d read about the reports on Knausgaard, it’d taken me aback again.

And so, as a writer, you may run into times when you couldn’t even manage to put your pen down to your paper (or your hands to the keyboard), and that merely means, that you needed a temporary break, so, TAKE one, and STOP worry about what IF I don’t ever want to write again, because, you never know what you WILL encounter on your break, something interesting may come up, and you’d have a LOT more to write about in that notebook you carry with you, everywhere you go, and, you DO have that small notebook inside your bags, right???  Uh-huh!!!

 

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A Man Used Porn to Get His Courage Up, to Rape His Seventeen-Year-Old Younger Sister-in-Law

And you still don’t think that watching those VIOLENCE and SEXUAL shits are affecting your minds???  From the Newspapers, translated…

A Man in his twenties had the eyes for his wife’s younger brother’s seventeen-year-old wife, and when he’d gone to visit his brother-in-law’s house, he’d made sure that his wife’s sister-in-law, and her baby were home alone, and he’s watched porn in their living room, to work up his courage, then, waited until the woman’s asleep, then, he raped her, and the D.A. in Hsinbei City prosecuted him based off of forced sexual acts.

A man in his twenties saw that his younger brother-in-law’s seventeen year old wife was sexy, and got horny; at the end of last December, one morning, he’d called her house, to make sure that she was home alone, then, he’d gone to pay her a visit.

When the brother-in-law was taking a nap with the baby, the man watched porn in her living room, to get his courage up, waited until the woman and her baby was sound asleep, then, he’d snuck into the bedroom, took the baby to the side, then, pinned the woman down, the woman fought him off nonstop, but because he was way too strong, he was able to rape her successfully.

Afterwards, the man told him, “It’s just for this once, don’t tell your husband”; the woman felt she was shamed, didn’t know how to tell her family, she’d used a crafts knife and slashed her own arms, and posted the pictures of her bleeding arms onto Facebook, with the captions, “This, is a sort of beauty, a sort of a warning, that not everybody is to be trusted by me.” Her husband noticed this, called the police, and the police caught his brother-in-law.  The D.A. found that the evidences were stacked up against the man, and that he’d raped a woman who was NOT yet eighteen, and asked the courts for a more severe punishment.

And, just because a woman is very hot or sexy, that still does NOT give you the right to fucking rape her, and, on top of that, you’d watched porn, to help boost your courage to rape her, and that merely shows, that pornography have the tendency to cause MORE violence against members of the opposite sex, but it’s still JUST a correlation, NOT a causation…

 

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When He Was Alive, He Was a Man Who Abandoned His Wife and Children, After He Died, His Daughter Refused to Register Him for Death

It’s still K-A-R-M-A, and this father had brought this onto himself, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

Chen, a man who’d died for several years now, had abandoned his wife and children, and because the local offices listed him as a missing persons, the officials from the land registries managed to track down his youngest daughter, and even though, the daughter is already over age seventy, she still recalled how cruel her father was, and swore, that even IF her father’s dead, she will NOT be registering for his death.

The man, Chen, was born in 1908, and his registry was on the east side of Taichung, three years ago, he was listed as a missing persons, the land offices did everything they could to recover him, and believed that he could be dead, but there was NO proof of death, nor were there members of the family that registered him for death either, and so, to date, he’s still listed as a missing person.

The office workers of the land offices finally track down the only surviving member of his family, his youngest daughter, and they’d gone through the hardships of tracking her down, and, they’d heard the seventy-one year old Chen cried to them, complained of how her father had abandoned his wife and children before when he was still alive.

Chen said, that when she was very young, her father abandoned her mother and them for his whore, and her mother took her, her older brother and an older sister, and they’d tramped all the way to Hualien from Taichung, and, they’d often had to skip their meals, and, every day, she’d gone to the wilderness, to pick up the sticks to make the meals, and if she wasn’t lucky and found none, then, the whole family would go hungry for the day.

When there’s a typhoon, the shack that the family stayed in was almost flooded by the rain and blown away by the wind, the three siblings had to move all their belongings to block the doorways, to help keep the house intact; later, the father owed debts, and the collectors chased them down to Hualien, back then, she was only ten, and she saw how scared her mother was, facing those bad looking men who wanted to collect, she’d used all of her power, to move the items they had in the house, to BLOCK the collectors from entering the house, and she’s still having nightmares of those days.

Chen said, she’d sworn that she will NEVER forgive her father, she’d once heard her mother told, that her father’s dead, but even IF that were the truth, she wanted NOTHING to do with him; Chen asked Wang, “Must I give a DAMN about a father like that?”

And so, this, is the story of a DEADBEAT father, and now, he’s dead, there’s NOBODY to bury him, after all, he was NOT a good father, and the daughter HAS every right to REFUSE to bury the sperm donor (as that, was what he was!!!) that “made” her, and this, is still K-A-R-M-A, working ITS magic, and that still just shows you, that IF you’re NOT kind enough to your offspring, then, do NOT expect US (your kids) to be kind to you back!!!

 

 

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