Category Archives: Aging Gracefully

Growing Old with You

As the signs of the years, started, showing up in her mother, translated…

I’d walked to the first floor from the second with my mother at that wholesales place, she had one hand on the escalator, the other hand on my shoulder, although she’d just, placed her hand light on my shoulder, it’d, sent ripples through me.

My mother is gentle on the outside, tough on the in, her life is defined by that toughness about her.  After my father passed, she’d, refused to move from the home she’d lived in, with us, at age eighty-six, she’d done the exercises, watched the news daily, to know what’s going on in the world; cook every single day, to give herself, a balanced, diet, and when from time to time the health issues came, she’d taken herself to the physician’s office to get herself treated, she’d often told us, “I will take care of myself well, and you guys do the same too.”

From before when I tried to help her as we crossed the streets, she’d always stated, “walking is no big deal to me.” Once I’d gone shopping with her at the marketplaces, bought two whole chickens, as I tried to take the bagged fowl from the vendor, she’d, blocked my reception, and tossed out the words, “do you think you are stronger than me?”, last year, she’d made the sticky rice item, the solid rice milk needed to get kneaded repeatedly, took a lot of strengths, I’d wanted to help her out, she’d told me, “Didn’t you pull a muscle in your arms?  Go rest up, I’ll do it myself!”

But she’s, with the years on her, as she’d, put her hand on my shoulders, it’d given the message of “I need help with my body” to me, as her daughter, I’d felt helpless over her getting weaker, but I’d wanted her to know: mom, now or future, do lean on me, don’t worry that you may add to my burden, and try to do everything on your own.  You’d given me the light, the wind, and the moon too, do allow me to give the blue skies, the clouds, and the scented flowers in return, isn’t this, a perfect kind of passing the torch?

Remember, it gives me pride to “hold my child’s hand, and grow old with you”.

This is on noting how her mother is aging, growing older, that she needed her help to get around, but because her mother is used to being tough, did everything on her own, living independently, she may not know how to ask for help from the person, and the writer wanted her mother to know, that she will be there for her mother, as she age by the day.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Awareness, Family Matters, Life, Old Age, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

Do I, Have, Alzheimer’s Disease?

A bit, scatterbrained, as we age, is it, Alzheimer’s???  On the awareness of the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia…translated…

My son came home from work, changed into his loungewear, got into the bathrooms to wash up.  I’d inquired, “had you had supper yet?”

He’d not immediately responded back, wiped his hands, turned around, told me, “Mom, when I got in, you’d asked me already.  You’d been asking the same questions repeatedly lately!”

Suddenly came, that tiny voice, “Do I have, Alzheimer’s?”

Before the pandemic started, my retirement was very fulfilling, and I had a ton of activities to do.  Yoga, learning to play a musical instrument, sudoku, and the frequent gatherings with friends, the trips away from home.  But with the pandemic, a ton of my classes, and  activities, got halted, the tempos of life changed, and, I had reduced my socializing too.  There’s only families, and the stand owners of the marketplace I interacted with regularly now.

Recently, I’d found, that I can’t find my words to express myself well enough, becoming, forgetful, and, spent a ton of time, to find things I’d, misplaced, to make up for the minor disasters that occurred due to my, forgetfulness.  Sometimes, it makes me, anxious, me being, scatterbrained now, do I have, dementia?

While in the conversations of the aging social circles, the topics of dementia/Alzheimer’s, never grows, cold.  As every smiled and shared their own experiences of being, forgetful, there’s the worries, the fears, hidden behind, those, smiles on the surfaces.  Would the forgetfulness of today, get turned into Alzheimer’s in the futures for us?  Are there, the tips and the ways, to keep us, from alighting the trains of, dementia?

Based off of the experts, the biggest difference between Alzheimer’s, dementia, and forgetfulness, is the, awareness of illness.  In the latter, the individual may realize, that s/he may have forgotten something, and as someone reminded them, s/he may be able to recall it, but the former, the individual’s mind would go blank, can’t even remember, that s/he had, forgotten.  Whether it be dementia, or becoming forgetful, these are both the results of the deteriorated mind.  The experts encourage us, to use the non-medication methods and means to slow down the process of deterioration, including, maintaining a daily workout routine, exercise the brains, set up a good social network, and healthy habits of living from day to day.

My son’s reminder, it’d made me more aware of the changes in my body and my mind in recently times, and I’d, gained a different perspective, for the limitations of the activities I’m involved in during the times of the, pandemic.  Toward the pressing of the years, anxiousness, and retreating won’t slow down the process of aging, but, being active, more optimistic in our lives, that will, reduce the burdens of our own, old age a bit.  I’d, opened up my calendar pages, started, planning the activities for a brand new year—reserving the new books, going to a circus, the meal gatherings, the workouts, oh, and writing too.

This is how I boost myself in the time being, and I hope, that a decade, two decades from now, I am still a healthy, and able-bodied version of my own, self.

And so, this is on the sense of awareness, but hey, becoming forgetful, that’s only natural, after all, you can’t keep remembering every single detail of everything you’d, encountered in your life, and having the alertness, the awareness of the disease, although this is absolutely necessary, but, generally, becoming a bit forgetful, that’s only a process of normal aging, it’s when forgetfulness, coupled with other symptoms of Alzheimer’s that are popping up in your daily lives, then, you can, start to think about how you should, get yourselves, diagnosed formally, and then, treated by medications or activities that can, keep your brains from, deteriorating, away.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Awareness, Cost of Living, Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Life, Old Age, Properties of Life, Values

A Family of, Four

A family of, unrelated by blood, “strangers” who help one another live their lives together, translated…

The woman, Chu who lives at the entrance of the street in her eighties, had been widowed for many a year, her children don’t live close by, she’d felt the troubles of living alone, and decided to find herself some, roommates, and she’d sent out the memo at the reading club, volunteer group, as well as the dance partners in the early mornings, hoping, to find some friends with whom she could connect with for the rest of, her, life.

After the little over three months’ search, communication, three other “sisters” moved in, they all had their own special talents, and were all, without their, significant, others.  The three paid a total of $15,000N.T. as the cost of utilities, and food, the four split up into partners, with each pair in charge of grocery shopping, cooking, every other week, with the extra amounts left, then, the money went into the slush fund for their, traveling plans.

like this, roommates who kept each other, company…

photo from online

And, just like that, these four elderly woman who aren’t related by blood, sharing same interests, lived their lives together fulfilled, the classes, the exhibitions, lectures, or workouts, and travels, they’d all gone to the functions, together, they’d gotten along extremely well for more than, three years since they’d moved in together.  Or maybe, they’d found their places of belonging in this, third life of theirs, they’d, lived in the understanding of what to expect from one another, with ease, each and every one of them looked, spirited, full of, energy, they all looked, younger, than their, physical, ages.

Every time someone inquired Chu how they got along so very well, more than the sisters?  She’d smiled and responded, that because everybody wanted to share a life together, so, they’d, let go of what they expected, with that mind of, tolerance, and helping each other grow older, that way, their can live well together, sharing the long life.

Her few words, reiterated the importance of learning to get along well with each other, something I’m, taking, from.

And so, these four, not-related by blood strangers, they’d eventually, become, families to, one another, and, they shared the commonality of losing their husbands, and they don’t calculate who spent how much on what, they do NOT nickel and dime what’s been put into their interactions, and what they got out of the interactions, they became, roommates, who are, actually, best of friends, companions, for life!

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Family Dynamics, Interpersonal Relations, Old Age, Perspectives, Socialization

What We Need, in Order to, Age Gracefully

How this elderly man, INSISTED on staying independent, troubling his younger generations, as little as possible, and that, is how he chooses, to live out the rest of his old age!  Translated…

“I’d never seen an elderly, who’s so strong, and independent”, the caretaker said, in a heartfelt manner.  The elderly person she spoke of is ninety-three years old, originally physically healthy, but as he contracted MERS-CoV in June, he’d started, deteriorating; his wife died a long time ago, all of his children are in Taipei, but his son died a little over a decade ago.  Back then, his two grandchildren were still very young, his daughter-in-law, diagnosed with cancer, no time to grieve, he’d left the property in Taipei to his daughter-in-law and grandchildren, went home to Chiayi to live alone, and found work in a local temple, rode up north every month, to bring the $5,000N.T. he’d saved as he worked, and saved up on what he needed to give to his grandchildren, and he’d done that, for decades.

And yet, the elderly man’s daughter felt that he shouldn’t just give to his daughter-in-law and grandsons, thought he’d played, favorites, and only visited back home on the New Year’s and the holidays.  And, even as he didn’t have anybody to look after him, he’d not blamed anybody for it.  Several months back, he’d accidentally tripped and fallen, his daughter filed for the long-term care help, and the caretaker visited him twice a week to help with cleaning the home, and bathing him, but, as he was able, he’d, not wanted to impose, and, sometimes, when the caretaker came, she’d found that he was already, cleaned off, and took care of himself.

Not long ago, he’d contracted acute pneumonia, collected his own overnight pack, checked himself into the hospital, not told his daughter, or daughter-in-law, it wasn’t until the hospital notified the family, did his daughter learn, that he’d been, hospitalized.  And yet, because of work, and school, nobody went home to visit him, and he’d still, smiled on about it, he’d stayed for half a month that time, and was able to, go home.

Or maybe, in other people’s beliefs, this elderly man does NOT have a good old age, but he’d never felt any self-pity, and continued to live his days, as he is, supposed to, and, coped with whatever life, and fate throws at him.  In this aging world, with the populations of elderly living alone on the rise, illness, changes, loneliness, death…………can’t be, avoided.  I’d once read the article of the Taiwan Real Estate Company’s C.E.O. said: from settling into the elderly years, to aging happy, one needs three things: “The self, a means of make a living, and money saved”.  I think, the means to make a living including being independent, this is, the BEST state of mind, entering into our elderly years, that way we will, age healthy, happy, and, go on living, with dignity.

And so, you can see, how this elderly man, hated imposing, and that’s why, he’d done, everything by himself, and this can be hard on some, if they see that everybody her/his age is with the company of their younger generations, but this elderly man carried the attitude of staying independent, and it is his attitude, I think, that’s made him, so well-adapted to living on his own in his own, elderly, years.


Filed under Aging Gracefully, Interactions Shared with the World, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

My Elderly Roommate

An elderly woman who’d, moved in, into the opposite room of the writer’s, and, their, exchanges of day-to-day life, sharing that same space of living, translated…

Last week, there’s a new roommate who’d moved in opposite of my room.

It was an elderly woman in her eighties, as she’d gone from the homes of her three daughters, she’d finally decided, to move in with her favorite son up north.  My father matted up the floor, he’d told me, that the elderly would sleepwalk.

Before bedtime at night, I was called by my roommate to help her set her air-conditioning.

“Which button shall I press?”

The soft southern accent was like that tiger that’s climbed usually, from decades ago, to recently, continued to grow, with the gaps of the generations growing larger, larger, and larger.  I’d recalled how the elderly got the bruises on both her knees, and asked what she’d dreamed about.  She became embarrassed, told me, “I’d dreamed that I was in a fight with someone, I wanted to kick the person, but couldn’t, get to him.”  I’d wanted to laugh, but felt it was, improper, and asked her, did she have a dream last night.  “I’d dreamed about the president, taking my hand, telling me things, he was, very nice, and there were, many other people next to us.”

And I couldn’t, hold it back any longer, started, laughing.

Although my roommate is elderly, but she’s still, very, agile.  Can still ride her electric scooter to the marketplace to shop for her own groceries, used her wrinkled hands, to select the youngest, the most youthful bamboo shoots; she can also, take a few rounds of circling around locally, and, rushed home before sundown, just in time, for, supper; and she can, also, used her voice which time had, tracked across, to get her granddaughter to turn the channel to her favorite T.V. station, channel 29.

“This soap opera ran for so very long, Fei-Fei is, really, awful”.

Good on that, golden afternoon, as the years, slowly, passed by.

And so, this, is the leisurely life that this elderly woman was allowed, and, she must’ve done something really good as she was younger, to be, granted the blessings of her good health, her agility, for she’s still, able, to run around to the markets to buy the groceries she needed.


Filed under Aging Gracefully, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Observations, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization

Dying without Illness

A wish, so simple, and yet, not always, a given, the wish of aging, dying without, any troubles here, translated…

As we age, we’d bumped into those whom we hadn’t seen in a long while in the waiting rooms of the hospitals, and after the hellos, and greetings, “I’m here for my cataracts”, “here for my teeth implants”, then, waving to one another, one going the left, the other, turned right, no need for the chit chats, besides, we may meet back up on another occasion soon.

In the physical therapy unit, right on time, those who knew one another sat next to each other, no surprises, a gentle and light, “hey, you’re here too!”  You have the bone spurs on the cervical spinal column, I had a slipped disc on my lumbar vertebrates, we’re, on the same boat here.  This sort of a serendipitous meeting, we must be connected, from over five hundred years ago I suppose.

Someone once set up the needs of the various ages in simple words: in the teens, we take in the intelligence, by the twenties, we look at the degrees, thirties, the abilities, forties, experiences, fifties, finance, sixties, agility, seventies, your medical records, eighties, the lunar calendars……………it’s easy for modern day people to live into the super elderly years, and by age eighty we still don’t need to read the lunar calendars yet, and yet, there were those who had yet to become elderly, but with the medical records stacked to sky high, and can collect all the records, into a volume of master thesis or doctoral dissertations, and, there wouldn’t be the doubts of plagiarism.

illustration from

I’d gathered with my coworkers who’d been retired, because we’d not seen each other, it’d felt like a lifetime ago, I’d wanted to tell them of my troubles of my nerve endings feeling suppressed, Trees who sat opposite couldn’t wait to show me that scar on his scalp.  He’d been going in and out of the hospitals for dialysis for sixteen years to date, the hospitals became a home away from home for him, yet, the bacteria got inside his brains, and he’d had an open skull surgery as an emergency operations, lay in the hospitals for a very long time, he’d, written ten, twenty articles on FB then, showed that the brains were opened up, then, sewn back together, to prove that he could still, think well.

Before I could feel surprised, Shih-Yi close by lifted up his shirt, showed us the scar on his belly.  Told us, that one day as he was walking on the streets, he’d felt the sharp pains of daggers in his heart, then felt that something wasn’t right, immediately called up an ambulance, “I had the aortic dissection, the most dangerous kind”, the cardiologist told, that had I been a split second coming in, I would’ve been a goner for sure.  They’d started describing what they’d gone through, of how they’d, almost, died, and it’d, shocked and thrilled us all, comparing, my problem turned out to be, no-big-deal.

One day, my friend came to visit me, she’d looked, lost, “he’d been bedridden for many a year, is gone now, and I’m, all alone.”, she’d sighed sorrowfully toward the air in the room.  She’d taken care of her husband wholeheartedly, and now, she’d fulfilled her duties, and should be relieved, but instead, she’d, felt, loss.  “the first to leave wins, I took care of him until he’d died, and who’s going to look after me when I fall ill?”, both her parents passed from cancer, she was high-risk for it too, and that’s why she’d felt, uneasy.

The machine’s been used for decades on end, even if we go for our regular tune-ups, there’s still no way of keeping it perfect, besides, it’s the flesh and bones we’re, talking about.  Nobody can escape death, and death is like lights getting turned off, but, everybody seemed to be fearful of illness when they are to die, my friend’s seeing her husband being bedridden for long, and felt even deeper over this, growing older, falling ill, and then, dying, if we can skip past the ill part, then, wouldn’t that be, great.  Looking back: in my twenties, I wanted to look pretty, by thirty, I’d felt, young, by forty, good if I am working in a government office, by fifty, money is good, sixty, leisure’s nice, by seventy, no illnesses, amazing!  By eighty, it’s great to be alive……………this is, right ON!  In the hundred years we would be given, it’s a dream, the wealth, the statuses, became, nothing meaningful, if we don’t get overcome with illness, if we don’t have any worries on the mind and the heart, that’s the life, of Gods.

And so, this is the understanding you’d come to, now that, you’re, elderly, you’re realized, that all that you’d been pursuing, isn’t as important as being health, and this is only a simple wish, and yet, not many of us get to have it, because we did NOT take care of our bodies when we were younger, thinking that, oh, I will age gracefully just the same, but we won’t, the taking care of our systems, needs to start when we were, young.


Filed under Aging Gracefully, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

Contributions to the World, Made by the Elderly Population

Making ourselves feel useful, even as we’d, stopped working in our jobs here, translated…

The Japanese man, Akasegawa mentioned the ideas of “elderly power”.  This is a sort of a reversal thinking, turning forgetfulness, nagging, repeating the behaviors of the elderly years, into the “powers of the elderly”.  “Elderly Ability”, on the inside flip it had, “normally people say that you’re old, that you’re, stupid, or that you can’t sit still, but the reality is: ahhhhhhh, the energies of an old man like me, had always been great, it’s been told like this, then, don’t’ know why, I’d, become, more active in aging, and I’d felt, that it is, a good, thing.”

There are the sightings of elderly energies all over Japan, when I’d traveled to Japan, there was an elderly worker who’d, left that deep impression with me.  It was during a February downpour, we’d arrived to Atami, to go see the camelias in bloom, the cold weather season, plus the downpour, it seemed, that the trip had, gone to, total, waste then.  The counter clerk at the hotel was an elderly woman, dressed in a kimono, she’d kneeled on the floor, squinted her eyes, smiled and told us, “In this cold a weather, I’m very grateful for all of you, our, honored guests to come here, today is, a good day, the plants in the courtyard had been quenched with the water, they’re all in a good mood, and, expecting to see all of you.”  Her words, helped lifted up the gloom of all of our, moods then, and, that trip, we went out in our umbrellas, and, looked at the beautiful camelias, the red ones, the white ones, each one is, quite, beautiful, there’s a species called “the crown”, with the red-bordered white petals around the red stamens of yellow, looked exactly like a crown, very noble-looking.  At supper, we’d met the lady who’d lightened up our moods earlier, she was eighty-three years old already, and told us, she was, glad to, still be, working, that helping the travelers feel happy, it made herself, happier.

There’s a shortage of caddies in the golf course in Chiba long-term, the elderly population who were retired during the time, had suffered cuts of their retirement funds, and are falling ill too.  The golf court started hiring the elderly folks to work as caddies, the eighteen holes of a game, split into nines, with the two elderly caddies servicing the golfers.  The elderly carrying the golf bags around, breathing in the fresh air, conversed with the customers, and making a paycheck too.  I’d gone to the particular golf course, and I became, deeply impressed of how the Japanese enterprises solved the shortages of staff members by hiring the elderly population to work, that it’s a resolve, for the welfare of the society at the same time.

There are, the elderly volunteer tour guides at the sights in Japan, they’d led the tours, told about the histories of the places, and their work ethics, made the visitors, truly loved, their hometowns.  As I’d gone to see the maple leaves, an eighty-year-old tour guide of the location, was showing signs of dementia, being forgetful.  As he’d finished up his tour with the group, he’d realized, that he’d, missed a tiny part, and insisted on leading the group to go on the tour, all over again, and it’d, added more wonderful memories of the trip for us.

There are those elderly populations here who are, giving in silent here in Taiwan.  The seventy-two-year-old Aunty Yang originally sold the fried crisp chicken pieces at the marketplaces, since her retirement, everything Wednesday, she’d prepared the items, and brought the foods to the tribal elementary schools to help with free meal plan for the children.  On the days that Mrs. Yang was in the school, the kitchen smelled aromatic, the teachers and students became more enthusiastic in teaching and learning.  Seeing how the students were enjoying her meals, Mrs. Yang was the happiest of them all.

contributions in the elderly years…

staying healthy through exercise…photo from onlne

The eighty-year-old professor Huang, had depression that he’d almost, committed suicide; and by chance, he’d found that a corner of the Da-An Forest Park in Taipei was filled up with the weeds and the fallen leaves all over that particular patch, and he’d brought along a broom, and the dustpan to clean up that lot, and became, best friends with the squirrels, and the wild birds in the park, and it’d given meaning to his life suddenly.

Being alone or feeling lonely means lacking that connection with other people, it would make us feel empty inside, that we aren’t needed, that we are, worthless.  Loneliness may increase the risks of many illnesses (including myocardial infarctions), there was the loneliness department set up in Great Britain, and the British government started sending the officials of the courts to work there.  A lot of elderly complained of loneliness, boredom, blamed their young for not staying with them.  Actually, the children had their own lives.  The elderly may be weak, may be forgetful, but, relying on the self is the best means, using one’s abilities as an elderly person to work, to volunteer, not only would you have the company that you needed, you can learn, and feel that sense of achievement.  Improving your own qualities of life, getting your health better, psychologically, and physically too.

and by giving back to the community…

like this…photo from online

And so, the key here is, continue to make your contributions to the world, like the cases the writer gave, the elderly in all of these cases all found their new purpose in life, because after we retired, the time became, free, and, with nothing to do, we can only, watch the days get torn off on that page-a-day, and the days will be slower than usual, because we can’t find a brand new purpose, because we got nothing else we are doing but staying at home.  The key here is to socialize, to get involved with the society all around us when we’re, elderly, to keep our minds, our bodies, healthy, even after the retirement.


Filed under "Professional" Opinions, Aging Gracefully, Life, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Retirement, Self-Images, Values

The Lonely Can’t be Disconnected, the Elderly in Their Empty Nest Need the Long-Term Show of Care & Concerns

The government, in setting up the programs of companionship, offering the assistance in elderly caretaking needs, off of the Front Page Sections, translated…

“Loneliness doesn’t necessarily means the negative”, the secretary of the Elderly Welfare Association, Chang believed, that sometimes, loneliness is, self-selected, but, there should be those who teaches the elderly how to live well on one’s own, to be safe, what worries her was that loneliness became, synonymous with disconnected with the external environment, there are, still a lot of the elderly population who’d been, disconnected who’d needed the attention.  The Eden Welfare Daycare Center’s Care Provision manager, Zhou said, a lot of the elderly in their empty nest stage of life are all, living alone on their own in their own homes, because of their personalities, that this group of elderly needed the community extension care provisions too.

Chang mentioned how the Japanese film, “death by no association”, the three disconnect of the elderly population: disconnection from the families, from the local communities, and from the interpersonal relations of the workforces, some of the elders originally didn’t want to live with their young, chosen actively, to disconnect with their families, she believes, that the elderly population can be independent, but the prerequisite of that is physical health intact, happy and independent living, the safety that comes with living alone, staying connected with the local communities, the government should help in setting up.  Toward those who don’t plan to marry, set for aging alone, these individuals should plan out their elderly years beforehand; and, if the offspring are all far away, the elders need to learn to care for themselves, to utilize the resources well, these are all, considerations for the friendly aging community to consider.

The head of social services, Chou stated, that toward the increasing numbers of empty nesters, the elderly living alone, the city government’s social services set up the network to offers the services to the elderly living along network, to offer the elderly to stay active after retirement, for instance, the courses offered at the elderly activities school that the retired can take up after they retire.

The Hsinbei City’s Golden age volunteer, and the elderly volunteer program, the former is aimed at passing the knowledges that the elderly gained in their lives to the younger generation, the latter, through the companionship of trained professionals, helping the elderly who live alone become more active, to help them exercise more, to shop for their needed groceries, and the accumulated hours of volunteer services is to be exchanged for the services the volunteer may need in the futures to come, and the hours can be donated to nonprofit needs, to help the elderly community help themselves grow older more gracefully.

And so, these are the programs that the government has, to help the aging community age more gracefully, and there’s, that need to continue to connect with our external environments, especially as we grow older, because this world is, getting into the super elderly, the extreme elderly ages, due to the advances in modern day medicine, this is something we all must, prepare ourselves for.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Life, News Stories, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

The Years, Heavy, Like Lead

Facing the inevitable, the unavoidable, process of, where life will, lead: death…translated…

Four years ago, I took my mother’s hand, as we traveled, together.

I took my mother, walked across the wooden ladders of the Kaomei Wetlands as the sun was setting; the early evening breeze, gentle, the ocean, reflective like a mirror, and, the sunset colors, dyed the sights; my mother’s hunched back shadow, dragged out long and far off by the light of the setting sun as well.

With my mother’s hand in mine, I watched her as her white hair got blown in the wind, how focused she was, looking, into, the vastness of the world before her.

At the very moment, I’d, prayed to God, that this moment of bliss we share, can extend, eternally.

Three years ago I’d, taken my mother’s hand, all the way, across the stones, down the steps, and, trekked over that unsteady hang bridge, took us everything we had, and we’d, finally arrived, to the “Waterfalls of the Gods”.

I sat on that rock by my mother’s side, our feet, soaking in the coolness of the creek’s water, we’d started, talking of, everything and, nothing at all.  The waterfalls looked like satin before us, the beads from the splashes flew all over, with the sunlight reflecting out that rainbow; my mother started, smiling brightly in front of the waterfall, and, allowed me to take photos of her as I’d directed to pose for the camera, like a little girl would.

I looked up to the skies, and, prayed with all my might, that this beautiful moment can, extend, eternally.

This year, my mother’s back ached too awfully she couldn’t travel long, her legs had, lost their, stamina too, could no longer, lift her legs up to hike up the steps anymore, to find that beautiful mountain and creek we once found.  But I still took her, found a bridge that’s wide, and in the vastness of nature, took her to gaze on it, so she could, feel at ease, and it’d, brought back that smile that she’d lost from before!

I looked at my mother, growing shorter by the years, becoming older, and weaker, and more easily tired, I’d felt my heart, heavy.

In the rushing away of the times, I’d wanted to, keep some things intact, but, found that I can’t, keep anything; surely, I can, write so carefreely, that “life, aging, ill, death, it’s all part of the natural process of life, don’t matter your status quo, how you’d made your fortunes, in the end, it’s, just, this body that’s to, accompany you, nobody can escape the day; everything that’s gained in life, is a loss, nothing stays constant…………”

I’s just, that these words, served as comfort for others, I can’t, put into practice; my heart felt, heavy like lead, kept, sinking down in the years, to the point of losing control, I can’t, face it.

This is, coming face to face, with the fact, that we are, all going to die, dealing with the, unavoidable loss of death of one’s own loved ones, and, it isn’t easy, to lose someone we love that’s for sure, but it’s something, we all must learn to cope with, because, nothing in this world lasts, forever, save for maybe, plastic!

Lessons of life, in losing everything here…

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Awareness, Life, On Death & Dying, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

Visiting Great Grandma

The perfect example of how to age gracefully, translated…

“Great grandma lives too far away now!”, my son told.  My daughter great grandmother moved in with my aunt in Kaohsiung now, to the adults, it isn’t, that far away, but, to my daughter, who easily gets heat strokes, in a wheelchair, it’s nothing easy, going to Kaohsiung, where the sun shines constantly during the day, the temperatures, too high, and so, the winters became the only season we are able to, travel as a family.

At the start of the year, we’d taken the two kids to Kaohsiung to visit their great grandmother, and for a road trip too.  We’d first arrived at the pineapple factory, where the tour guide explained the process of manufacturing of pineapples, the history of the industry, then, we’d, headed to that old ironclad hang bridge, out of my expectation there were, the people standing on the bridge; standing on that old bridge, we watched the trains speed past, hearing the noises from all around, but, what entered into my ears, were the laughter of my own children.

As their ninety-nine-year-old great grandmother saw the great grandchildren, she’d smiled that long-time-no-see smile of hers, slowly got up, walked slowly next to my daughter’s wheelchair to a stool, sat herself down, and asked, “Wen-Wen, are you tired?”, she was still very gentle and kind as I’d, remembered that she’d been to me, in the past when I’d taken my daughter to physical therapy, great grandma would come out from her house opposite to where we used to live, to hold the umbrella to cover my daughter up, compared to how aloof their grandfather who lives with us had been, my great grandmother’s show of care and concerns to our family, I was, touched by, and, felt, ever the more, grateful for.

As I’d asked about my great grandmother’s life after she’d moved to Kaohsiung with my aunt and uncle, she could still eat her favorite, pork’s feet and the crabapples too, and, she’s, just as agile as the rest of us!  She’s probably, the healthiest, the most special elder I’d known, in her eighties, she would get up in the middle of the nights to watch the American Major Leagues games, in her nineties, she’d, walked herself out to buy the fried chickens she wanted to eat, and told the shop owner to not slice it to pieces, because she’d wanted to experience how the younger generations, grabbed the chickens, and started chewing them down……………

As we carried on in our conversations, the fatigue I’d felt from the trip, disappeared, little by little, as we’d, visited, my grandmother.

And so, this, is how you can, age, gracefully, like how this, elderly woman stayed active, by continue to socialize with her external environment, by having that optimism of life, by enjoying every day she has, like it was her final day on earth.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Family Matters, Life, Old Age, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Self-Images