Days Spent with Her

These are the lessons, this mother taught to her daughter, with her, entire life, and the daughter, carried all of the values taught to her by her mother, away, translated…

I Never Dared Made a Complaint about My Mother, Because for a Woman, Her Level of Persistence, of Tolerance, Her Strong Will, Already, Exceeded What Most People Can Take…………

Even Though We were Not Rich, But Our Minds Were, Wealthy

The scenes of my childhood years, they’re, still, lucid in my mind like it was, yesterday, I can’t forget them, even if I wanted to.

Before my middle school exit exams, the children my age had already gone to rest in bed after they bathed, while I, just arrived home, from hauling all the shipments, and I’d started, working the handiworks.  I wanted to make more, but, I had my sectional exam the following day, and I’d felt, ill-at-ease about it, my mother saw my hesitation too, and couldn’t make me stay up to work.  Although, she couldn’t have the heart to make me stay up to work, but, raising six children in the countryside, the economic burdens, surely, crushed down hard.  Finally, I’d, made it to eleven in the evening, my mother announced the end of the “workday” for us, and rushed me upstairs to study.

Every night as the night settled down, I couldn’t help but feel uneven, “Why is it, that we are eating the same foods, but, with such, different fates?”, but I’d never dared, complained about my mother, because, for a woman, her persisting will is, already, way more than the average already; during the daytime when I was out studying in school, my mother with the sun heating down on her, alongside the men, carried the heavy shipments on her shoulders, and at nighttime, she’d, brought home the handiworks, and worked the household chores.  Having a mother who works her hardest, what would I, have to, complain about?  So I’d, prodded open my heavy eyelids, and my fatigued, body, studied until two, three in the mornings, in the countryside at this time, all fell, silent, because everything is, asleep, and yet, I’d heard, that rhythmic, rustling from downstairs, and I was, driven by my curiosity, I’d gone to take a look.  What I saw, made my heart wrenched, and, the scene, etched, deep, into my heart, it was my mother, doing the handiworks without us downstairs.

The days I’d lived with my mother, we were, living in the hard times, but, my heart and soul were, enriched.  My mother worried that we didn’t have enough nutrition, she would pick some wild Burmann sundew, and fried them with the eggs for us.  The smell of the plant is quite strong, and quite rancid too but the nutritional values are high.  From when I was younger, I’d, rammed around out, and I’d needed to get my clothes patched up quite a lot, my mother told me, “there’s no shame in having the patches, but it’s, awful if your clothes are dirty and you still wear it.”, such philosophical words.

illustration from UDN.com

圖/黑耳

What I’d missed about my mother, is also, the tastes of the yogurt drinks too, as I’d run the shipments on the weekends, to help us get rid of the heat, my mother would freeze the plastic bottles of the yogurt drinks; the tiny bottles of Yokult, due to being frozen, tasted, especially good, and every time as we’d, peeled back the plastic bottles, we got to, taste the coolness again, and again, and again, that taste, filled up the simpler, childhood years, how easily we were, all satisfied then.

The Year I’d Entered into College, My Mother Fell Ill

I’d also loved spending the holidays in the countryside with my mother, in the fast changes of what’s traditional and what’s modern, my mother’s simple and gentle heart could, always, settle my too young, too unsettled, mind and heart.  The midnights of before the Chinese New Year’s, she would carry the offerings and the vegetables, the fruits too, and, made the offerings to the God who ruled the heavens.  As midnight came, with the sounds of firecrackers crackling, breaking the silence through the skies, the wish-wells from all around, brought in the brand new year of hope.

Compared to the rowdiness of the New Year’s, Chinese Lover’s Day felt, quieter.  As during that day of every year, there would always be rain, and my mother told us, that it’s related to the local legends, “these were the tears of the lovers who met up in the skies, and the bulbul that brought the wrong messages to them, would keep out of sight during this day of the year too.”  And it’s, quite odd too, I don’t remember seeing any bulbuls at this day.  While, the traditions that intrigued me on this holiday is the water in the basin for the lady lover, after three offerings, the kids would fight to wash their faces in the basins, because my mother told us, “boys who used the water to wash their faces will turn handsome, and girls, become pretty”.

The year I’d entered into college, my mother fell ill, and, it took her away, from her, short and hard life.  On the day she’d died, I was about to take my sectional exams, I’d carried the “Essay Selections”, and had her leaned in on my shoulders to rest————the cancer that’s tried my mother so, caused her to not be able to lie down flat, as she lay herself down, she’d started not getting enough air in, and started breathing, heavily.  But that evening, she’d, fallen asleep, soundly, I’d felt happy at first, not known that it was because she’d fallen, unconscious, that she’d, leaned onto me.

As I’d found that something wasn’t right, I’d, immediately rang the emergency bell, the resident on duty, the nurses rushed over immediately, and yet, as my mother had, fallen limp on me, the paramedics can only, wheel us both into the resuscitation room, and thankfully, after the shots of adrenaline in her heart, the measures, she’d regained, her consciousness, asked me for pen and paper, and, wrote with all her might, “go back to school to take your exam.”

That’s how my mother was, always thought about others, and even as she was being tried, in those, final moments of her painful life, she’d still, not changed her kindness toward me.  I’d thought about what Shih Hu wrote in “The Self at 40”: “if I can forgive others, understand others, it all goes to how well my mother had, taught me.  As for my mother, she’d, made me humbler in the faces of everything else in life, to treat everything around me, with, kindness.

And so, this woman had, given her whole life, to her families, without asking for anything in return, and, it’s her attitude, her kindness, her values that were, passed down to her daughter, that she’s, carried, after the mother passed away.  That, is the strong good influence of a parent, to a child.

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Filed under Lessons, Life, On Death & Dying, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

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