Category Archives: Family Dynamics

The Wowrkings of a Family

Di Who’d Been a Wonderful, Helper in Caring for My Mother-in-Law

The gratitude the families have, for these, migrant workers, for taking care of the elders in the, families in this country expressed, translated…

Di who’d come to us, to help us care for my mother-in-law since, over two years ago now, as we first met up, being strangers to one another, not knowing if the relationship is going last, how will our interactions change through, time, it’d, made us all, expectant, and, a bit, scared.

Di is agile and quite intelligent, everything we’d asked her to complete, she’d done then, close to, perfection, and she’d known to trace her steps too, and made everything run smoothly.  Sometimes, my mother-in-law would get into a bad mood, and, she’d always been able to sort through the muffed air, and, if she can’t express through verbal communications clearly, then, she’d, used gestures to help her convey, and, if she still can’t make things better for my mother-in-law, then, she’d, come to me to ask for help; several times I’d, helped her sorted through the matters of how things had happened, and, thanks to Google Translate, it’d, helped us communicate better, and I was able to, pick up on some commonly used Indonesian words and phrases with it too.

To quickly get Di and my mother-in-law on the same pages of communication, I carried on in conversation with Di using ALL Taiwanese, and after awhile, she’d become, articulate, more or less.

When the holidays came, we suddenly had a ton of people at home, and, naturally came, the increased amount of housework.  To help us out, we’d taught Di to make some traditional Taiwanese dishes for these occasions, and gave her the information on the meanings of these, special, occasions; toward all of the cultural differences, she would always be agile, in her inquiries, asking “what’s this”, and, “why”.

There would be the various family members from all around the country visiting my mother-in-law by the week, and they’d taught Di how to make what my mother-in-law loved to eat, and, she’d cooked the items like the family members had, demonstrated for her to for my mother-in-law.  Because of her religion, Di doesn’t consume pork, and so, we’d stopped buying the pork, sometimes, when my mother-in-law told her that she wanted the pork, Di would still head to the marketplaces, to purchase the pork, to make it for my mother-in-law.

Later, we’d found, that she would use the tools to keep her from being in direct contact with the pork, and so, after we’d found this, when there’s the pork needed to be prepared, I’d, taken over.  In the many interactions we’d had, the relationship we’d, established, other than employee/employers, we’d become more like, friends, or, even more so like, families, and everybody who knew us told us we were, blessed, to have Di come to work for us, and, other than pure luck, I believe, that it’s how we all worked, to make the amicable interactions that’s, made this relationship run so smoothly.

Recalled back to that very first day as Di arrived, my daughter and I took her around the house to show her everything.  And because making the meals for my mother-in-law is our sole purpose of hiring her, we’d, introduced her to the contents of the fridge, the functions of the various layers, the stove, and how to use the assortments of cookware; then, showed her where my mother-in-law sat and lay every day, and how these places needed to be sanitary, completely clean all the time.

Making sure, that we’d covered all the, major basis first, then, we would, start adjusting to the details of things, to even now, we’re still, adapting to each other, learning from, each other.

I’m too grateful that this kind hearted foreign nurse’s aide had been sent to us, with Di, I’m more than certain, that in the days to come, she will, do her best, in helping us take care of my mother-in-law.  And, we will, also, work hard, to carry the responsibilities for caring for our elders, while Di became the “heaven sent helper” to our, family.

And so, this is on being blessed, with a wonderful nurse’s aide that you were hiring, and, some families are quite lucky, to find the right people to care for their loved ones, and, in these cases, it’s mostly due to how the families are kind to the hired help, and, the hired help naturally, reciprocated the kindness shown to them, in doing their best to care for who they were hired to look after.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Awareness, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Kindness Shown, Life, Observations, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

The Drawers with All the Different Brands of Cigarettes

How these memories of what’s lost, keeps on, taking over, our, lives…can’t find that familiar taste of cigarette, no matter how hard she’d, tried…on estrangement…translated…

Her first cigarette, was from her, father, he’d taught her to, smoke.

On an ordinary afternoon, she’d gone out with her father, on his deliveries.  She was out of school that afternoon because she’d sustained an injury from the fall off the steps, bumped her head, got sent to the hospital for it.  The school contacted her father, to have him pick her up from the hospital.  He was working, and all the deliveries he was making were all, urgent, he couldn’t, drop her off at home first.

That final place where her father took her to deliver the items was, a famed restaurant, located adjacent to the River of Love.  They were, clearly, late, and, everybody was busying in the supper rush hours, nobody came to sign off on the deliveries.  And so her father parked his truck by the side of the road, stood on the sidewalks with her, with the boxes of refrigerated orders taller than she was between them.

illustration from

Waited for too long, her father asked her, can I smoke?  She’d nodded.  He’d lit one up, walked, to the, side.

He normally wouldn’t mind these sorts of small things, but every month, her father would take her to her maternal grandmother’s home, and that was the only chance she got to visit with her mother after they split up.  Every time when the weekends came around, her father would fall, silent, lost in his thought, and would ask more than usual questions of her.  Like, if she’d minded that he’d, smoked in front of her or not.

As he smoked, he’d found her, squatted down, holding her head down, like she’d fallen, ill.  He looked at her, then, pushed out a cigarette, offered it to her.

He’d taught her which end to smoke on, which end to lit the fire to, then, told her to get close to the lighter, to take the inhales, slowly.

Her father believed back then, that smoking could ease her headache a bit, it was so stupid.

In actuality, it wasn’t that she’d felt ill, that she’d held her head, just felt, that it was weird and new, feeling the sutures on her head, the bumps, she’d patted her scars light.

It was quite on the ride that day, all the way until the employees at the restaurant came out, there was only a garbage truck that’s passed them by, and, it wasn’t on duty, because “The Maiden’s Prayer” wasn’t playing.

Late one night after she turned adult, as she was having instant noodle at a 7-Eleven afterwork, there was someone that looked like her father.  The two of them had become estranged, stopped contacting one another, and suddenly, she’d wondered, which brand of cigarette her father had, smoked.  She’d worked hard, to try and remember, but nothing about what the box looked, like.  And so, she’d asked the clerk for one of every available, smoked one from the various packs a day, but hadn’t found one that’s tasted exactly like the one she’d remembered, and the packs got, stashed in the drawer below that drawer of change.

On her thirty-third birthday, that man who she’d met for the very first time opened up her drawer, asked, that she’d smoked that much.  And, the moment she saw that drawer and its, contents, she’d lost it, chased that man out, and, used the entire evening, to smoke every cigarette out of every box again.  But until light the following morn, in the tears, she still, couldn’t, find that scent that she was, familiar with when she was a young child.  She ended up, holding her head, bent over, sat on her, floors.

So, this is how this woman is, searching for her father’s taste and scent, but that taste, that scent had already, been lost through time, and can’t ever, get found back again, but she’d, missed that particular moment of intimacy, of getting close to her own father, as that, was a once-in-a-lifetime encounter, and she’d, longed to, get that taste, that scent of her father’s, cigarette back, so she could, hold on to him, but she can’t find that back, because all’s been, lost, through, time already!

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Filed under Abandonment of Children, Cost of Living, Family Dynamics, Life, Loss, Memories Shared, Parent-Child Interactions, Perspectives, Properties of Life, STUCK in a Cookie Jar

The Son Spent All of His Mother’s Retirement Funds, and the Mother Still, Blamed Herself for Dragging Him Down with Her

The circumstance was what trapped this family, and, the parent became aware of the leeching that the son was doing, and asked for help from without to get the resources the family needed, to snap out of this, vicious cycle, off of the Front Page Sections, translated…

Felt Bad for Him as a Manual Laborer in the Fields, the Unemployed Son Became Verbally Abusive, and as He’d Found a Stable Job, He’d Finally, Became Steadier Emotionally

Would you worry about how you may not have enough elderly assistance, retirement pensions, to give to your own children who can’t provide for themselves?  Actually, the troubles aren’t just in the parents’ generations, but the middle-age children’s who are supposed to be the primary sources of labor in the society, becoming leeches, are caused by circumstances.

Chih, who works as a manager in business in China got laid off several years ago, as he’d returned back to Taiwan, he couldn’t find a job that’s fitting to him, he’d returned home to look after his aging mother who lives alone, and has diabetes.  Chih is the most achieved of all three sons of the family, with a master’s degree, and in a management position at his work.

In the past four years, his mother’s elderly assistance was given to Chih to use for his living expenses, while his mother used the earnings she’d made from the vegetables she’d planted to live off of.

Some suggested to her, to leave the manual labor of the fields to Chih, his mother told, Chih is a white-collar worker, not fitted for the manual laboring, that he will soon find a good job.  She’d also said, that she didn’t want her other sons to know that Chih didn’t look after her, and took her pension, she didn’t want her three sons to get upset over this.

The story came out, when the elderly woman’s diabetes caused her to need an amputation, after the clinic reported it, the social workers visited, and found that the residence was too unkept to be fitting for any human inhabitants, Chih not only didn’t take care of his own mother, he’d become verbally abusive toward her, when his life didn’t go his way.

The Elderly Welfare Protection Foundation’s C.E.O., Lin observed, that a lot of the families with the children leeching are made of an elderly and a child living together, becoming an enclosed system.  If there are other children, or there are two elders, there would be less prevalence of tragedies.

Another trend is, there’s the special sort of attachment between children and parents, like Chih’s mother believed that her son became unemployed to take care of her because she’s ill, and felt that she’d imposed too much on him; Lin also sorted through cases where the elderly woman felt that her son’s divorce was because she was too awful to her daughter-in-law, that it’s her fault that her son’s life was, a mess.

There are the various storylines of how one becomes a leech, but how to face it, would be the primary determinant of if leeching on the elders is only a transitional phase or if it is, for long-term.

Chih’s family had an intervention, the three sons shouldered the responsibilities for caring for the elderly together.  Chih found a job, although his job didn’t pay that much, but he’d become regular in the schedules of work, with forming of new interpersonal relations, he’d felt that he was stabler emotionally.

Lin believed, that this family, the  problems got found because the elder was abused, ill, neglected, abandoned, or leeched on, but, only way to resolve these matters is getting the unemployed middle age offspring to return back to the workforce, the norms of the tracks of, society.

And so, this is still an abuser/enabler interactions, but it’s made by circumstances, because for whatever reasons there may be, the offspring can’t or won’t find work, and the parents started providing the money needed, and the offspring started taking that for granted, and think, oh, I will be provided for no matter what, so there’s no need for me to work, and thankfully, this particular case ended well, as everybody snapped out of that vicious cycle.


Filed under Abuser/Enabler Interaction Style, Awareness, Cause & Effect, Family Dynamics, Issues of the Society, Social Awareness, Vicious Cycle, Wake Up Calls

The Incentives from My Father

The meaning of why his father had, offered his class the rewards, finally became, clear as he’d, aged in the years, finally…translated…

My father was out of a job a year after he married my mother, and he’d had to move to Fengyuan from Taichung, opened up a wooden slipper shop next to his father-in-law’s home.  But, making the wooden slippers for others, it’d, damaged his, ego, soon enough, he’d closed that shop, and started operating a stationery shop.

The location of his shop was about two hundred meters from the local elementary school, with the customers being the school children.  It was 1958, I was entering the elementary years.  The night before school started, my father had sharpened three pencils, put them in a wooden pencil box for me, and the eraser, the rulers, etc., etc., etc., the following morn, bright and early, he’d taken me to school.

My father was educated using the Japanese military ways, he had an awful temper after he’d lost his job, and had often, beaten me.  As he saw my instructor, he’d told her to discipline me more, and mentioned that he’d owned a school supplies store, that she could get the students to shop there more.  And, he was willing to provide the rewards for the students who’d done well too, a pencil for a perfect score on the monthly scheduled exams.

Back then we had three subjects, Chinese, arithmetic, and general sciences, we got tested every single month.  There were many classmates who’d scored three hundred, and every one of them got three free pencils, and there were also the two subjects with the perfect scores and the one; and it’d cost my father too many, pencils, and after a few months, he’d started, feeling the strains, and so, he’d negotiated with my teacher, that if the students scored perfect score in all the three subjects, then he would give out a pencil, and an eraser each.

And certainly, there weren’t that many who did, not even, me, and my father was, disappointed.  Back then, there’d only been six, to seven classmates with the perfect scores.  And my father discussed it with my instructor, again, that the top ten high test scores get the prizes for the monthly exams.

illustration from

Unfortunately, either it’s fate playing tricks on me, or that I’d, been too unstudious, to the point of subconsciously, not wanted those rewards, I’d fallen out of the top ten places.  And then, my father changed to the top fifteen, with the bigger prizes for those who’d made the higher in placements.

And, there was still, rarely any, chances of me, getting the rewards from him, let alone, getting the, highest, grade in class.

After elementary school, I’d gone to Taichung for middle school, my father no longer physically punished me, and the rewards, ended as well.

After dozens of years in the testing, scored the higher marks for the national’s government post exams, I’d become, a public servant, and stayed in the same unit for more than thirty years until I retired.  Although, I’d gained the accolades, but there wasn’t anything worth noting, and those rewards became, like the prizes in my elementary school career: unappeasing to me.

My father’s shop closed back in my university years, and he’d been gone for more than two decades now.  But every time I passed a stationery shop, I’d gotten reminded of how my father had, given the simple rewards to the students who’d done well academically.

And, many more years later, I’d, finally understood, reason why he, who’d always been strict, rarely smiled, providing the rewards to the class, was his only way of, encouraging me, of showing that he cared, it’s just, that I couldn’t understand it, he must’ve been, quite, disappointed in me when I was younger then?

Some things, it takes our lifetime, to finally understand, like this man’s story, he’d not realized the purpose of his father’s providing the gifts for the class, was to encourage him to do better in school, and he’d not wanted the items his father had in his shop anyway, so.

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Filed under Awareness, Family Dynamics, Life, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life


This is the FATES, of traditional Asian women, despite how the times had, already, advanced into, the modern day, where the emphasis is more on gender equality, but a lot of us women, are still, bound by these, traditional, gender stereotypes of how the female roles should be played out, and we get, trapped by it!  Translated…

After I’d started living on my own, the most annoying thing in my life is, the, leftovers.  This, seemingly nitty-gritty item, but needed to sort through by the meals “business”, often taxed up my mind, although, this is no huge thing like the philosophers are contemplating on, just the traces that remained of my three square meals per day, but it’d, gotten really deep inside, and annoyed, the hell out of, me.  The timelines of life, there must be, close to half of the total time, spending, on how to resolve the matters of, the, leftovers, do we, reheat them up for the meals later, do we, “mask” them up as the lunches of love packed by us to serve to our significant, others?  Or do we, bring them to the office, to SHOW off how we are, cared for?  Or, should we just, toss them away?  Reminding ourselves, to separate the leftovers, to take them out by the curbside on trash collection day, to NOT allow it to start stanching up our, ordinary, days.

Leftover, the remains of our, lives, but it’d, deeply, affected the aesthetic of our lives.

When I was young, I’d not needed to worry about this problem.  Served onto the tables, were all the items that gave us that incredible appetite, the heated up food.  There were, too many choices, given to our chopsticks, raising up in midair, and, in time, we are, still, considering what we wanted to eat, the difficulties on our tongues, that was, patented to our, childhood, years.

During the time, I’d not remember the exact time when my mother served us our, meals, for the kids who’d, stolen out after they were fed to play, they’d not even, considered what the leftovers, looked, like?  Could the “leftovers” became a pronoun for our, mothers?  My oldest cousin said he’d hated the stir-fried cabbages, too simple; my youngest female cousin hated the seaweed soup, that it was too tasteless.  And so, what was favored by all, the more popular dishes, the pork, the chicken, the shrimps, the steamed eggs, were cleaned off the plates in a jiffy, as for those unfavored steamed, less flavored items, had become, frozen, into, a sort of, an animosity, while my mother became the sin bearer of these, and as everybody goes off, she’d, sat, under the dimmed lights, and, started, eating, those, leftovers.

illustration from

I’d gotten a call from my mother at night, toward the adult children, there are, always, the silence that got lost in time in these calls, on the other end of the world, came the asking of how the weather was, and I’d always, slurred to answer her.  After a while, I’d remembered, finally, that my aging mother, toward the cold sounds of the echoes of my responses, must be like, how she used to, eat those, leftovers that we didn’t, finish in our, younger, years too?

On the other end of the world, she’d reminded me, “just toss out the leftover, and don’t eat it, it’s not good to eat them reheated up over, over, and over again.”

But, how much left do we, thrown out?  And, it’d become, hard for me, to weigh and measure this.

Perhaps, half a bowl, that already, mixed to, nothing but chaos inside that served bowl of, rice?  Or, the too savory, too spicy sauce that still had, a-third portion remaining, with the leftover chopped up stems leafy greens; or, must we, finish the plates up, only left the traces of the, pork flosses?  These three meals a day, before we pour them out, as we’re about to, push them into the refrigerators, I’d always, thought again, and gain, and, my mind goes back and forth, back and forth, trapped in tossing them away, or saving them, don’t know how much that’s leftover, that’s, worthy for the world to, keep?  And, how much of what’s remained, should get tossed out, matter-of-factly?  I’d had to, consider this, many times a day, and, felt confused for my mother, who’d been, trapped inside the, vicious cycle, how did she, get along, well with all the leftovers we’d given to her?  In the long road of life, with nothing but the leftovers, taking up her life, the time for recycling the foods, the reheating up the dishes, constantly, back and forth, thinking about, time, and life rushed by her, side as moments like these came and, went.

Leftover became a sort of a fate, teaching the older generations of women, to wait on, endlessly.  When she was younger, she’d lived for her parents; after she was married, she’d lived for her children.  As she aged to elderly, that richness of her life already, gotten, taken out of hers, she’d become, nothing more, than the leftover of who she had been, that’s, remained, as she’d become, the leftovers of fate, in between heating and throwing out, she’d already, forgotten, her original, flavors already.

and unfortunately, they’re not the least, “neatly plated” like, these…photo from online

And this is actually not about the leftovers the family had for their meals, but the fate of traditional Asian women, and although, the traditions are slowly, less and less imposing on the younger generations but, there are still, the gender expectations that imposes themselves onto us, women, how we should give up everything we want, for the sake of our, families, this is still, the primary values that’s rooted too deep in the Asian cultures, which is why, women in these parts of the world, are fated to take on the, leftovers of everybody else’s, life.

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Filed under Expectations, Family Dynamics, Gender Inequality, Gender Roles, Issues on Gender, Life, Messed Up Values, My Thoughts on Various Issues, Observations, Properties of Life, Social Awareness, Socialization, Wake Up Calls

What My Father Learned that Day on the Beach

How their father had originally, socialized them as the son he never had, but then, changed…translated…

My father was born in a sexist family, although he’d, viewed my aunts in higher regards, the children all shouldered up the household economic burdens, he’d still wanted a son.  And yet, unfortunately, the fates only, endowed him with, three girls, I being, the middle daughter.

Pops believed, that “the attitude changes with times”, and managed to put this into, practice, started raising us, three girls as sons, hiking to catch the insects, going into the oceans, and getting stung by the jellyfishes, it’d, made us walk with the winds among our, peers………..and, the results of this reaping what you sow was, he’d often had to go to the schools and apologize to the instructors, for instance, my eldest sister took a bird’s dead body, and chased a boy out, causing the boy to fall and bleed, and he’d cried that he wanted to transfer out of school, just to get away from her.

And, yet, this sort of a situation changed before we got into high school.  That summer, my father took us to the beach as he’d done all those years before, he’d led us to the red zone where our feet could no longer touched the bottom, to attempt to train us in our swimming skills, and yet, kept turning his head back to the people on the beaches.

It was a group of college age students, a couple of boys, grabbed the limbs of a girl, laughed and played, and tossed her into the water, the girl, she’d screamed loudly, but still, smiled quite, radiantly, the water wasn’t too deep either, she’d gotten herself back up on her feet, slowly, walked back up to the shores, and started, playing with her friends, again.

Pops had something on his mind, and on our way home, he’d asked, what we would do, if the same thing had happened to us?  We’d all felt, that we can’t shame him, certainly, we would, get tossed into the water, calmly, then, calming, get ourselves back up out of the shores, we would NEVER scream out and beg to be, saved.  But pops didn’t believe so, because since that day, he’d changed his attitude in “training” us, and started stressing how it’s sometimes, necessary, that we act like we are in need of, help.

Pop’s means of socializing us, may not fit to the modern day gender equality beliefs, but it was from his own observations of the world, he’d attempted, to give us all, some guidance.  At my eldest sister’s wedding, my brother-in-law spoke on the podium that what had attracted him to his wife, was how she was, able to have the masculinity, and the feminine side both, in her.

And so, this is how this father, realized, that training his girls to be TOUGH, won’t help them out in life, surely, it would prevent the guys from picking on them, but, it would also, cause his daughters to, lose their, feminine side, and he’d been, raising all of his daughters like the son he’d always wanted but could never had, until the time at the beach, then, he’d, started, switching his ways, which is never easy, for someone to realize, hey, what I’m teaching my child isn’t what is going to benefit her/him, and this father had the awareness, the self-knowledge of that.

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Filed under Awareness, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Lessons, Maturation, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Socialization

Turning Down Her Daughter’s Requests of Her to Put the Money in for Her Business Venture

How this mother handled this matter, quite wisely, to say no, but, not to break up the relationship with her own, daughter, and this takes, wisdom of the years to accomplish!  Translated…

As the children come to us and ask for a huge sum of loan, can the parents tell them, no?  If we don’t allow them to get the loans from us, would they hate us for it?  And if we’d loaned them the amount, is there the guarantee of us, getting the sum back?  Hsiu-Ching was worried about this awhile ago.

At fifty-five, she’d received the retirement pension of a little over $1.7 million N.T.s, as she was calculating how she was going to spend it, so she would have enough saved for her own elderly years; her daughter who’d only worked in the restaurant business just three years told her that she wanted to start a restaurant on her own, said that if she is the boss, then, she couldn’t need to follow anybody else’s orders.  “Mom, can you let me borrow $1.5 million N.T.s?  I will pay you back once I start earning with interests!”

Hsiu-Ching was entangled, her daughter showed a ton of passions for starting her own business, and how can she, as her mother, rain on her, parade?  But, she’s so young and so inexperienced, entrepreneurship is nothing easy, and she can’t throw all her money down the drains.  And in the end, she’d, told her daughter, to give her three days to think on it.  She was troubled, and solicited us, her friends for, advice, and we can’t, reach that, consensus, later, a friend who is also an entrepreneur suggested to her, to have her daughter draft up a business plan and submit it to her.  Hsiu-Ching felt a bit, relieved, she knew, that with her daughter’s quick temperament, she would, NEVER be able to, produce such a business, proposal.

And surely enough, her daughter blamed her for it, knowing that she wasn’t good in writing, and made her write the business proposals, that her mother was, making it too hard for her.  Hsiu-Ching told her daughter calmly, that she would need to conduct a market research first if she were to really open up a restaurant, including the location of the shop, and the number of estimated customers she is to get, the target clients, and had to estimate up the cost of personnel, and the produces and the foods, to control the sources of the raw material, the cooking skills, and the cash flow, along with risk-assessment.  “You were only a waitress, and managed the teams of waitstaff, lacking the experience, and, if you’re the boss, you can’t take time off as you wished, anytime you pleased!”

And that was when Hsiu-Ching’s daughter came to understand, that she’d, underestimated how much she still had to learn about management, heard her mother’s, advice; Hsiu-Ching didn’t just manage to keep her retirement pension, and the relationship with her daughter didn’t go bad, she’d also, given her daughter a lesson too.

And so, this mother found a perfect way, to break it to her daughter, “no, I can’t invest all my retirement pension in your brand new business venture”, and managed to keep her relationship with her daughter still good, and that takes wisdom, and, the children may have the dreams, but, they may also be too idealistic than their, parents, and, if the parents just flat out told the children NO, I won’t give you the cash for whatever it is you wanted to do, then, the relationships of the parents and children may go bad, but this woman found a good way, to break it to her daughter, to help her own young, see and analyze the situation, so she’d not just managed to keep all her retirement pensions from being lost, she was also able to, not break the relationship with her own daughter too.  And that takes, wisdom!


Filed under Communications, Cost of Living, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Observations, The Education of Children, Values

The Hand that Steadied the String of a Kite

How this father’s love finally showed, in the means he took care of his injured daughter, and it’d, touched her heart, translated…

In the minds of grown children, the parents’ cares and concerns might feel, at times, too, excessive.  We’d taken their care and concerns as, bothersome, and so, we’d fought with them, trying, to reason.

Up until a month ago, dislocated my left elbow in a car crash, sustained a fracture, life became, quite hard for me.  My mother came over from the exterior islets to help look after me, then, came my father, to care for me.  In that first meal my father made for me, the foods were, broken down to bits and pieces, to beyond visual recognition!  Turned out, my father thought of how hard it may be for me, using just one hand with a fork to eat, he’d, dismembered my food for me, it was, quite, shocking to see.  It’s just, that in the days that followed, looking at how the sunny side ups, the porkchops, became, completely “dismembered”, I’d slowly, grown, used to them, and, these unsightly, broken down items, tasted, somewhat, sweetened.

My parents’ special treatments of my made my younger sister jealous, “Sis, how come there’s the bones still attached to my porkchop, while your pork’s been, sliced to perfect?  Dad played favorite too much.”, she’d pretended to get angered.  But, that wasn’t all, my father warned her, to only keep the pitcher half-full, to peel up the plastic bottle with the ready-to-drink soymilk, so it won’t be difficult for me………..that little princess, became nothing.

If I was due for physical therapy in the afternoons, my father would always wake himself up from his nap, and tied the iron protective outer gear on my body.  As he’d pulled on the strings to tighten, his shoulder with the problems, his thinly bones from his diabetes, along with his bent fingers, would start trembling because of the improper application of force, and I’d always felt that shock in my heart then, making my nose, sour up.

In the evenings when I arrived home, the door was always, unlocked, with the messages of “waiting for you” in my box.  Then, my father who’s, a bit hard-of-hearing would turn his head to stare, as he’d heard my pushing through the door, then, he’d ended his mission of waiting for me to return, and readied himself to head out to buy the suppers.  From before, he’d been limited in his mobility for his dizziness, he’d only gone to the nearby diners to purchase the meals.  And now, as he took charge of my meal plans, he’d worried I may get tired of eating the same things, he’d gone a bit farther from home, to get the varieties, what was, supporting his, balance in walking, I’d, wondered.

illustration from

As my mother went home, it’d become even harder for me to wash my own hair, and blow-dry afterwards.  “Do I get my father to assist me?”, in my childhood, for the eldest daughter, my father had always been authoritarian, there are almost NO memories of him gentle toward us, but, my dripping hair had led me to him.  Without another word, he’d started, carefully, blow-drying my, hair then.  The wind from the blow dryer came into my ears, started filling up that gap of him who’d been missing in my, childhood memories.

In the evenings, my father’s used to watching T.V., eating his midnight snacks in the living room, in the past, I’d come out of my bedroom, and sat with him to talk with him.  And now, I only had the strength to sit quietly beside him, then, do what the physical therapist told me to, massage my left arm with my right hand, and, it’d become unclear, who was, accompanying, whom then.  May be that the house was too quiet, before long, he’d started, dozing, off.

“My arm is so sore!”, my words awakened my father.  Still sleepy-eyed, he’d, extended his hand to me, took away my massage ball, and started using it on my right arm.  And, the rhythm to which he’d helped massaged my arm was like his dozing off, waking up, starting halting, starting, halting again.  I’d felt comfortable, it wasn’t just the physical sore of arm that’s gotten soothed, it was my heart too.

Looking toward my father, I’d felt, so comforted over this form of connection we were, sharing them.  So I’d told myself, if one day, I get to, soar again, even if the pull on the string was a bit too tightened, to never forget, that it’s those same hands, that helped steadied me in the storms too.

And so, it wasn’t until you got injured, did you feel the love from your own father, and that’s just it, fathers, they rarely express their cares and concerns for their own young, but, they’re always, close by, watching over us, and they will, jump in to help us, when we’re, in trouble, because that’s what daddies, do.

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Filed under Because of Love, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Life, Moods, Emotions, & Feelings, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

I Don’t Need Any Comforting

What we need when we feel upset from our families…sometimes, we just need to be, left, alone, to sort through things on our own, instead of having that knight in shiny armor to get us out of that awful mood!  Translated…

My younger sister is fifteen years junior, due to the age difference, I’d gone on my parents’ behalf, to her parent-teacher conferences, and would get the classmates’ response, “Wow, your dad is so young”, and as she’d set them straight, they’d changed their claims to, “wow, your brother is, so very, old”, the fifteen years between us, doesn’t make me a dad to her, nor would I be, like an, older, brother.

My younger was born when I was in middle school, back then, I’d babysat her for my mother, I could say, that I practically, carried her.  From before, my family was hit hard by the bad times, and I’d tell her words of encouragements, to give her that sense of security.  In her elementary years, I was already working, when she felt upset, I’d, hugged her, felt, that these hugs I’d given to her, can make everything she was going through, okay.  But during that time, I thought, that I was, offering her the strengths she needed.

After we’d lived our separate, lives, now, I’m, living with her, and, the fifteen years’ difference is still there (of course it is!), it’s just, that I’m in my forties, she’s, in her, thirties now.  The issues in living with the families came one by one, the too much concerns versus not enough of it, due to our blood ties, we don’t, impose, and we’re still learning, to get along with one another to this very day.  She’d loved the animals, there was a time, when we had turtles and birds in our home, or maybe, it’s because people think too much, which made it easier to get along with animals better.

One day I’d returned home, it was so quiet, unlike how it usually, is, like something was, missing.  I sat in the living room, reading, as my sister got home from work, I’d inquired, how come I didn’t hear the birds sing, she’d strutted upstairs, and left “it’s dead!” behind.  My heart ached as I’d heard, I’d followed her upstairs, tried to hug her, she’d pushed me away, “I don’t want this!”

This time, I flew into a panic, started getting jittery as I went downstairs to sit, texted my friend; the friend had, worked with my sister, an older woman who could, help sort through the messes of life, and tell the wisdoms out loud to me, she also, loved helping people out with the problems of their own lives using the charts.  On the other end of the computer, she’d mapped out both mine and my younger sister’s charts, told me, that she is someone who’s excellent in sorting through the emotional things on her own, while I’m someone who gets affected by someone else’s emotions, so, at this time, I only needed to, settle myself down, to NOT affect her with my own, feelings of, antsy and agitation.

For the days that followed, I’d tried acting that nothing was up when I’d interacted with my younger sister, and because I knew she loved the gourmet dining experiences, that is the only time I went, all out, gotten her to go out with me to eat more often.  In about a week, she’d asked me if I wanted to see the corpse of her bird, turned out, the bird got buried underneath the plants in the garden.  At the moment, I’d blurted aloud, “I do not want to see the corpse!”

This sort of an interactions with the families, no need to hug, that was something I’d learned, in my, forties.  (but I had, gone to, see her bird’s corpse later.)

And so, this is how the families, showed one another, the needed emotional support, sometimes, we don’t need anything done for us, we just want our families to stay by our sides, to let us know, that they’re there, to give us the needed emotional support, but unfortunately, this doesn’t really happen, because, when we get into a bad mood, the first thing our families do, is try to SNAP us out of it, and that usually made us even more, upset, because, why can’t I feel bad???  Because we feel that our feelings aren’t, validated by our loved ones!

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Filed under Family Dynamics, Interactions Shared with the World, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

Visiting My Mother-in-Law’s by Myself

The women burdened by the societal expectations of what it means to be a daughter-in-law, and this is still nowhere NEAR changing, anytime soon!  Translated…

Been married nine years to date, because my husband works out of country, every holidays, every New Year’s, I’m the only one in Taiwan, and I’d gone to my in-laws alone by myself often.

My in-laws told, that they wanted to see me more often, I’d known, that it’s my responsibilities to show more care and concerns for them, but, my husband not being in the country, it’d made me feel, a bit, pressured.  For about four years on New Year’s, I’d gone to my in-laws on my own.  No need to help with the meal preps, no need to even lift a single finger, I was fed well, and lived comfortable in their home, but I’d still wanted to run from this, “seemingly mine, but doesn’t quite feel like mine”, space.  I’d started asking why I’d felt like so.

Thinking on it more closely, maybe, it’s my loneliness working, the double dose of it—on the one hand, it’s the loneliness of separating from my husband, another, the loneliness of facing this expectation, this responsibility I suppose.

My in-laws, who are related to my husband, but, the link between me and my in-laws wasn’t, present at all, and I can’t feel comfortable enough, getting along with my in-laws the way I would with my friends either, even if my in-laws are very kind and gentle toward me, they’re very open too, but, I’m sure, both they, and I still expect me, to act more according to what a daughter-in-law should behave as.

My friend once told me, the long-distance/the dual-life couples are becoming the norm of society now, and there are the doing away with the traditions.  I can understand what her words, meant, and knew, that there may be a lot of others like me, who other than needing to cope with the long-term physical separation from their spouses, and also have to face with being companions with one’s own spouse’s families, and all of these feelings, all of these things aren’t, easily, managed at all.

So, this is how you feel, caught, because you are married into your husband’s family, and around the holidays, he works away, and can’t make it home, and you feel that obligation to stay with your in-laws, and this is still from the expectations of us women, in our roles as daughters-in-law, that’s from tradition, and although the in-laws may be more opened these days, you still can’t help but feel the pressures, because it’s the cultural expectations, of how women should put their own husbands’ families, first, before their own.

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Filed under Awareness, Expectations, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Gender Inequality, Gender Roles, Issues on Gender, Life, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Social Awareness, Social Issues, Values, White Picket Fence