A story on marriage, translated…
My mother grew up away from the island, she was beautiful, passionate and gentle when she was young, with a TON of suitors, but she’d carried her hopes and dreams, came to Taiwan, and gotten into the police academy. After she graduated, she’d volunteered to head back to her hometown to work, she was once, the only female police officer on the entire island, as she walked in her uniform, tall and proud, she’d attracted a TON of others’ attentions. She was once interviewed on a newspaper special, and, on those yellowed old newspaper clippings, it should her glory career.
In order to help out with her household economics, she’d married my father who was stationed there at age twenty-eight, and, with my father’s promotion to an army officer, she’d become a “ma’am” too, but she still kept her values of simplicity, and kept her personality from the small countryside town. Every day, she rode the bus to and from work, and she’d brought our favorite treats as she’d come home from work, and, would sit beside us after supper, help us study, took the responsibilities for caring for her husband and educating her kids, our family lived in harmony.
After more than three decades, I too, am married, with three kids. In the process of marriage and education of my children, I, who had gone through higher education, however, never quite measured up to my mother. Sometimes, I’d gotten angry with my husband and ran home, and my mother would often cook my favorite meal, then, hear me out, showed compassion, sympathy, and empathy, then, talked sense into me, wanted me to understand the stress that my husband was under, to help him lessen the strains. And, if after a few days I still showed NO signs of wanting to head back to my own house, she’d hinted me, that I was already married, that her place is not a place for me to stay long term, that my home is where my husband is.
When my husband decided to immigrate on a whim, even though my parents were shocked and didn’t want to let me go, but they’d still given us their full blessings, without the least bit of interfering, completely respected my husband and his family’s opinions. My mother would often showed her care and concerns toward my husband’s work, my health, and the kids’ growth.
And now, my parents are retired, other than the few times they’d visited me when we first immigrated, they do not travel around a lot like the regular retired people, to enjoy their retirement. My mother often reminded me, that I must take care of the nutrition of my family’s diets, to buy items to go visit my in-laws, and to help my husband out, to take the kids out to see the world too.
I’d often felt that my mother made higher demands of me, and when I’d poured my heart out to her, she’d taken my husband and my kids’ sides, spoke on their behalf. And still, she’d made a secret deal with my dad, to give me a lump sum to me, to allow me, a housewife, to have free cash to spend at my will, to do what I want to, to not add to the burdens that my husband has.
Sometimes as I’d heard about other people’s problems in their marriages, I felt that my mother’s love is filled with wisdom. She not only just loved me, she loved my husband, and his entire family too. And, she would NOT be on my side, and added to my stubbornness, and destroy the harmony in my household. Her love for me is hidden in all of her teachings, her demands of me, along with her selfless giving to me.
And so, this, is what a good mother looks like, and, the woman was right in how her mother had helped better her marriage, because the mother did NOT take the daughter’s side, instead, she’d just listened to her daughter vent, and sometimes, that, is all we need, someone to allow us to V-E-N-T, and, after we’d vented, we’d be fine, and this mother knew that too.