Category Archives: Family Matters

My Father & the Symphony of Life

On death, translated…

A few minutes later, the workers flipped my father’s still limp body to the side, he was like a well-behaved child, asleep, not moving at all.

My father had never allowed anybody to do him like this ever, he’d been a serviceman his whole life, he was the forward when he was younger when he’d played basketball, before he’d retired from the army, he worked as a head of a certain department too, a very respected man by all, I suppose.

After he’d gotten out of the services, he’d started making his own way, volunteered for a Hakka magazine, and, when he was asked along, to perform the traditional Hakka skills, he’d gone, as he pleased, NEVER followed anybody’s requests………

But this time, it was, out of his hands, we saw how our father, whose body was weakened by the cancer cells, got lifted onto a gurney………

Pushed, toward the morgue………

Outside of the ICU, the doctor handed me several forms, said, my father was actually kept alive by the machines, that they’d needed the agreements from the families, in order to pull the plug on him, I, being his eldest son, if I agree, then, I should sign on the forms, later on, the medical staff would unplug him, and, allow his heart to stop on its own.

All of a sudden, I felt this heaviness on the pen that I was holding, it’d become, as heavy as a steel blade………

Like the judges of the ancient times, I’d imagined, that if I’d pushed the pen across the “verdict”, and, immediately, I will hear the sounds of sharpened cries from all around.

Every word I’d spoken to the medical staff was like coughing up blood for me, I’d pleaded to the paramedics: to up the dosage, but don’t do CPR on him, I feared, that his ribs may get broken, and my father who can’t speak anymore would have to weather through even more pains.

That was, passed the autumn season, into the winter of 2013.  The Northern Hemisphere was either covered with yellowed leaves, or covered in the first layers of snow.

On an afternoon in the bottom of November, I’d gotten an emergency call from overseas from my younger sister, said that my father’s heart had stopped in his sleep, and the nurses asked her if she wanted to keep him alive

Considering that she’d wanted me to see my father again, she’d signed the papers to resuscitate, which was very difficult for her to make.

And just like so, my father’s heart resumed beating again……

And, I’d immediately bought a non-transfer flight back to Taipei that very night, with the mindset of how the world is covered with the first layer of snow…

Knowing that that was, the last time I’d touched my father’s body, I’d known, that there was still, an old soul, hanging on, because he’d miss us, and I just wanted to feel the last heat from that soul, to this body, because, the snow had gotten thicker, and heavier!

My father had been troubled by gout for a very long time, from the year before, when he was diagnosed with fourth stage lung cancer, his gout came over, back then, there were stones, growing inside of the joints of both his hands, I’d rushed back to visit with him, other than eating his meals, he’d spent his entire days in bed.

Recalling once, as my father sat up, to change into clean underwear, he couldn’t lift his arms up, so the clothes could fit onto him, he’d sighed, “There’s nothing I can do.”

As I’d helped him, I’d consoled with him, “You’re no longer young anymore, dad!”

Actually, I felt very fake, my father’s getting weakened, was the result of the attacks of his cancer cells and his gout combined!

If taking away the cancer and the gout, my father is pretty healthy, he’s already eighty years old, and was still reporting the news for the Hakka magazines, I saw him several times, with a camera in front of him, with a notebook in hand, riding to the place where he was interviewing someone, looked like he was really enjoying himself, and, his son who works in the reporting industry, I just couldn’t say anything, he’d told me proudly several times, “my reporting abilities don’t pale by comparison to you, younger generations at all.”

I’d smiled and nodded, “You get better with time!”

He’d smiled, and gloated even more, “Must have been all the running on the courts when I was younger!”

At the start of this year, my gout started, the doctor saw how my right elbow swelled up like a volleyball, he’d managed to drain a lot of yellow fluid from my joints, and found that my white blood count was over, worried I might be infected, and didn’t know if I had a bone fracture, so, he’d done a complete CT scan on me.

And, it was, a white elderly person who was in front of me.

Because I only had to get my one arm scanned, it was over very quickly.

As I came out, I saw the white elderly man lying in the bed, waiting for the staff to finish filling out his forms, then push him back to his room.  I’d needed to wait for my results from the CT scan, and so, I sat down next to him, and struck up a conversation with him.

I’d asked him, what he had?

“Cancer of the larynx!”, he’d replied in a light voice

“Oh!”, I’d become stumped, didn’t DARE ask him for the stage.

Then, I’d asked him, “How old are you?”

“Eighty-one.”

“Are you scared?”, I thought, at his age, he’s probably not afraid of dying.

“Yes!”, his voice was shaking, which shocked me, “I love life very much, I fear leaving those I love behind.  If cancer is only painful to me, and I won’t die from it, then, I’m more than willing to put up with it, because, I love this world way too much, I can’t let go of my loved ones, those whom I love and love me.”

A very good friend of mine, fell ill, and started going in and out of the hospitals a lot.

The very first night he was admitted, his heartrate and pulse had stopped, for over twenty minutes, and was found by the orderly who was checking the rooms, they’d performed emergency resuscitation on him, and he didn’t die.

That day, I’d gone to the hospital to visit with him, and we’d held a very lighthearted conversation.

I was very curious of the time his heart had stopped for around half an hour, I’d asked him, if he’d had the near-death experiences like in the movies, seeing how his life flashed before his eyes, how his deceased loved ones smiled at him, and a lighted path………

He shook his head, smiled and told me, “It was like I was in a deep sleep, no feelings at all.  When I woke up, I saw the doctors and my wife by my side.”

“So, that was, a sort of an outer body experience?”

He’d nodded:

I know, that if I’d died, I will bring so much pains to my loved ones.  But, in that condition, it’s just, no joy, no sorrow, no ecstasies, no worries……then………life, had finished, one more cycle.

My father’s body and his coffin were, pushed in, and we stood outside the walls, hearing the fires roar, like hearing the fourth movement of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, silently, stared at the black smoke outside the chimney, coming out, rushing, toward the skies.

I saw, my father, smiling at us, through the rising of the smokes, it though……

And, it was like, I didn’t, see anything, at all!

And so, this, is someone’s final passage of life, to the moment that he’d died, and, the families are still the ones, left with the pieces to pick up.

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Filed under Awareness, Family Matters, Life, Loss, On Death & Dying, Perspectives, Properties of Life

The Dry-Erase Board Used for Reminders, on How We Interact with One Another

Translated…

A very long time ago, my friend dropped a white board off at my place, I’d hung it on the walls of my living room, can’t think of a use for it right away though.

Back then, my five-year-old son was very intrigued with the cartoon, “The Sea Thief King”, and, I’d often busied myself about the house that I’d forget to remind him to watch it.  Later on, I’d drawn a picture of a clock on the dry-erase board, with the minute-hand on the time when the cartoon starts, told my son, whenever he sees the time on the dry-erase board corresponds with the time on the clock on the wall, then, it’s time for his cartoon.  With the reminder of the white board, he’d never missed an episode again.

Back then, I’d thumbed across an issue that the whole family shouldn’t miss, but, there was no way to get everybody here at the same time to tell my family members, and fearing that I may have missed someone, I’d taped the newspaper to the dry-erase board, and wrote the words of warnings.  For instance, a while ago, the drinks were placed in bad plastic cups, I’d put down, “For the sakes of your own health, don’t drink the drinks anymore.”, with the newspaper clipping as the evidence, it’d become more persuasive, my children and my husband rarely buys those drinks now.

A while ago, my son was prepping for his examinations, I didn’t want to nag him to spend less time on Facebook, I’d written down on the dry-erase board, “My dear son, you must put everything into your examinations, and just focus, I hope you will perform well on it!”, not long thereafter, he saw the words on the board, he’d erased it, and I knew, that he’d received my care and concerns.

One evening, my husband placed a paper box in the kitchen, told me, “this box is for you to place the items that don’t need to be refrigerated and the larger fruits.” I told him, “I don’t want too much clutter on the floors, it’s hard, to wipe the floors clean.”  After he’d heard, he’d told me angrily, “I can’t do anything that fits you, can I?” I was stunned, quickly ran to the front of the white board, wrote the words, “the smaller matters the wife decide, the bigger issues, the husband’s calls”.  A little while later, my husband passed by the dry-erase board, I’d called out to him, “Honey, did you see what I wrote?”, he’d started laughing, “Yes, my beauty, I saw it!”

Thanks for the PR dry-erase board at my house, helping us all with communications, without the fuses, adding more fun!

And so, this, would be a great way to interact with your families, after all, you all don’t share the exact same schedules, and, writing it on a board once, beats having to repeat to your families over, over, over, AND over again, plus, NO one likes a N-A-G!

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Filed under Communications, Expectations, Family Matters, Parent-Child Interactions

The Parents Took Care of Earning the Incomes During the Summers, Leaving the Kids Without Smiles During Their Summer Vacations

Summers are hitting the children, especially hard here!!!  From the Front Page Sections, translated…

The Child Welfare League conducted a research on the cases that social workers followed up on since last December from January 6 to February 27, toward the families whom the social workers had followed for three months.  The findings showed, that as the summer vacation started, without the nutritious meals provided by the schools, nearly forty-percent of school age kids didn’t get their lunches every day, and, even if they had lunches daily, thirty-seven percent of the kids didn’t have enough nutrition, twelve percent of the children are eating leftovers every single day.

On top of that, nearly sixty percent of the children needed to help out around the house, thirty-one percent had to work as nannies, to help babysit the younger siblings, twenty-two percent needed to work outside the home, to help make money for the household, to to get one’s own tuition for next semester.  Fifty-seven percent of the children don’t have adult supervision at home this summer, twelve percent of the kids didn’t see their parents as they headed off to bed, nearly thirty percent of these children only saw their parents once per week.

“Happy” who is in the fourth grade lost his mother when he was real young, his father was diagnosed with stomach cancer six years ago, the family economics are hounding down on him, every single summer, he’d gone to the fields to work in the scorching sun, and, his tiny arms are filled with wounds from the cuts from the grass, but, to help lessen the load on his cancer-prone father, he’d never made a single complaint; recently, his grandmother had a stroke, toward the summer that’s coming, Happy told, that he just wanted to work harder in the fields, so he could help make more money for his family.

“Sunny”, who’s also in the fourth grade, lived in the distant regions, there are four members of his family, and because there were no pipes in his house, he and his family had to use the underground water for cleaning and drinking, and, if the weather got cold, the family would burn wood, to heat up the water for use.  Sunny’s father is ill, the family lived off of the migrated mother’s less than $20,000N.T. pay from the factory, in order to take care of his mildly retarded younger brother, he’d bathed him, fed him, took care of his own younger brother’s daily living, without a word of complaint.  When the reporters asked him about his wish for the summer, Sunny said, “It would be wonderful, if my family and I can travel some place for a day!”

These wishes, seemed so simple to us all, but, they are all, distant and hard-to-reach dreams for these kids, because they were born, into difficult situations, and yet, they still all faced the challenges in their separate lives, with a positive attitude, and that, is something we can all take from.

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Filed under Awareness, Childhood, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Family Matters, Growing Up Too Fast, Life, Maturation, Observations, Properties of Life, Social Issues, Values, White Picket Fence

We Thought She Had Died Already…a Mother Who’s Left Home for Thirty-Eight Years Showed Back Up, the Six Children Felt a Mixture of Emotions

So, now you show up, after disappearing OFF of your kids’ radars for so long, I wonder WHY that is…from the Front Page Sections, translated…

A grandmother aged woman, Yun almost eighty, thirty-eight years ago, had enough with her husband’s bad temper, so she left home, found her home in Tainan, where she worked as a nurse’s aide, the family looked for her for a decade’s time without any success, asked the courts to issue a certificate of confirmed death.  At the start of this year, as she’d filed for the low income elderly sustenance from the government, she’d learned that she’d been “deceased” for twenty-six years.

The Bei-Men District’s Family Welfare Service Center received a call from members of the public said that an elderly woman wanted to apply for elderly low household income help, but because she’d been “declared dead”, she couldn’t file the papers.  As the social worker went to get her story, she’d learned of the twists and turns of “Yun’s” past.

The Social Welfare Department stated, that the elderly woman who’s registry was in Taipei, back in 1977, could no longer put up with her husband’s temperament, so she’d left home, went to Tainan to work as a nurse’s aide, and lost contact with her families completely since.  The family searched for her for over a decade, and couldn’t find her anywhere, so, in 1989, they’d filed for the notice of her death with the courts.

The social worker stated, that Yun’s pays from her nursing job was cash, and so, she’d not paid the taxes, and, when she fell ill, she’d buy the over-the-counter medications, didn’t apply for a national health insurance card either, she had NO idea, that she’d been declared deceased by the court.  And now, she’s elderly and couldn’t work anymore, she’d spent up her savings, and, through the help of her friends, she’d inquired the social services department, that, was how she’d found out, that her family had filed for the death certificate for her.

The Family Welfare Center asked the land registry offices, to help search, found her six children, and the six of them heard that their mother is still living, they were all, very surprised.  In the assistance of the Legal Counsel Services Foundation, after Yun submitted her DNA, she’d finally, “come back to life again”.

At the opening of her court appeal, Yun saw her youngest daughter, whom she hadn’t seen in forty years, tears filled up her eyes, but, she didn’t dare hug her.  The youngest daughter told the press, that when her mother left, she was only one year old, and didn’t have any memories of her, “We’d met under these circumstances, and, there’s this mixture of emotions inside of me right now!”

Her other kids told, that they’re happy to see, that their mother is still living, but, because their mother had been missing from their lives for so long, they didn’t know how to interact with her for the time being.

Yun said, that she wouldn’t feel right, for her kids to care for her, and besides, she’d already established a social circle in Tainan, she wanted to keep staying there.  The Social Services Department had told, that they’d already filed for emergency assistance and meals-on-wheel on her behalf, and scheduled for the social workers to visit her regularly, hoped, to slowly, help Yun patch up the lost relationships she has with her children.

And so, this, is somewhat of a happy ending for the case, after all, the mother had gone missing from the children’s lives, and, so, naturally, they ARE, estranged from her, but, I’m sure, that with the social workers, stepping in, the relationship CAN be patched up, because this woman was trying to escape from her mistreatment by her husband.

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Filed under Abandonment of Children, Cost of Living, Family Matters, Loss, News Stories, Observations, Social Awareness, Social Issues

The Love that’s Not Taken Away by Dementia

From the mind of a caretaker, translated…

“Child, let me tell you, that last night, my bedroom was cramped with a ton of people.  And, nobody wanted to believe what I was telling them…”, every time I’d gone to see my father, he’d always pulled me, mysteriously, to the corners of his ward, and told me, he’d looked everywhere, and, there’s this fear, this sense of panic, in his gaze; although, I felt uneasy at the moment, I’d still worked hard, to calm him back down, back then, I had yet to understand what dementia was, and didn’t know, that hallucinations were a symptom of dementia.

What caused me to blame myself for so long was, before my father died, he’d forgotten everybody else but me, but, because I was too young, other than watching him suffer, I didn’t do a thing for him.

Many years later, my father-in-law who’d retired from a teaching post, was originally supposed to be enjoying his retirement, playing with the kids, but, dementia had, crept up on him.  At first, he’d become forgetful, lost his balance, tripped and fell a lot, then, he had difficulties swallowing, to the very end, he’d needed people to help him, with his daily living routines, this, was defeating, for a man who once had the world at his feet, as he stood on the podium, lecturing away; he’d become a balloon, with the air let out, he wasn’t talkative from before, he’d become even more silent now.  My father-in-law also started forgetting his family members one by one, but, he’d always remembered me, his daughter-in-law, and it’d reminded me of my own father, who was tortured by dementia before he died; the difference was, that this time, I’d used my words and actions, to show and tell my father-in-law, “Don’t be afraid, we will keep by your side.”

Dementia is torture for the elder, and, for the caretaker, it’s this sense of helplessness.  Seeing how the ones we loved, with the memories, getting away from them by the day, their souls seemed to have been, locked up, in the depth of the oceans, it’s truly, trying, for both the patients and the families.

For me, my father’s dementia had kept me in regret for a very long time, and so, when I took care of my father-in-law, I’d given the efforts, so I won’t have any regrets again.  In facing dementia, I’d learned to love, to accompany, and to show care and concerns, to keep us all, connected well together, even IF the world changes.  Because of love, we will, NEVER forget.

And so, this woman regretted not being understanding enough toward her own father, and so, she was able to gain that understanding, when her father-in-law became diagnosed too, and, this sort of understanding can only come with experience and aging.

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Filed under Cost of Living, Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Family Matters, Lessons, Properties of Life, Values

The Love Notes from My Daughter, on Supporting One Another in the Family

Translated…

Many years ago, my husband was diagnosed with depression, and, all of a sudden, the originally harmonious household, got turned, upside down; my husband started wearing a frown constantly, became timid, depressed, and had thoughts of suicide, even.  During that time, the entire family is on high alert at all times, every time when I’d heard my cell go off at work, I’d get all tensed up, ready, to drive fast, back home.

Back then, my eldest daughter was in the ninth grade, she’d felt, that something wasn’t quite right with dad too, but, to not affect her test preparations, I could only console her, to not worry, but, depression don’t get better without work, in waiting for my husband to make his full recovery, I’d gotten strained completely.  And, out of expectations, my husband started becoming forgetful too.  Several times, I’d found, that as my husband left the house, he’d left the keys in the door, thankfully, our apartment had surveillance install, that nobody dared do anything bad.  And from time to time, he’d just, taken his meds, and, very shortly thereafter, he’d picked up another packet again, and, reminding him wouldn’t usually work either; or that, he’d placed something in the microwave, and, forgot that he had something in the microwave oven as he’d turned to get something else.

During the daytime, I had to work, the kids, to school, and, we can only, leave him, who’d on a leave of absence from work at home alone, but, I’d worried like crazy.  My youngest who’s in the seventh grade thought of a way, she’d started posting notes of encouragements, of reminders, all over the walls of our house, “You’re amazing today!” “Don’t forget your cell phone when you go out, don’t forget to lock the door, and take the keys.”  “We won’t be long, remember, to behave yourself!”, every word is filled with love, and, since, my husband forgot less and less too.

Because my husband had our accompaniment, our care, love and concerns for him constantly, he was able to return to work six months later, and never had a relapse again, for seven whole years, but, these love notes of my daughter is still, in every corner of our house.  And now, my kids are all away from home, as we’d entered into empty nest, seeing all these words of concern from my child, we’d still feel that we were, very, blessed.

And so, it doesn’t matter what had caused this man’s condition, the important thing is that he’d made a full recovery, with the love and support of his family, that just shows, how families need to STICK together, in times of trouble, to help each other through, like how this man had the support of his children and his wife, that, was how he was able to make a full recovery.

The Face I Will NEVER See Again, on Losing Someone You Loved

Translated…

That Friday, I knew, I will never, see that face again.

I was raised, by my maternal grandmother, when my younger brother was born, my mother dropped me off at my grandma’s, recalling how steep the stairs to the second floor was, how my grandmother would carry me on her back up and down, and I’d never forgotten how warm, her back felt, against my chest, and, maybe, it’s because of this, I’d felt this especially close attachment to my maternal grandmother, every single thing that troubled me, I’d tell her about it.

My grandmother was slimly built, her skin had lost its elasticity, but, her eyes still shone brightly, it’s, as if, a young girl lives inside of her, ready to come out, at any moment, filled her with energy.  Every time I’d told her about my troubles, she would, slap my hands, told me, “Everything is bound to work out.”, this line, and her eyes, had given me the courage I’d needed in times.

With that sort of bright eyes, I thought, that my grandmother could live to a hundred, but, I was, wrong.

What crushed grandma was a serious illness, it came too fast, too hard.

As everybody was gathering in the hospital ward, discussing the treatment options, my grandmother who lay there, on the bed became especially thin and frail, with that emptiness in her eyes; I’d gone up to her, held on to her, and cried, but, my grandmother blinked, and, it’s, as if, that young adolescent girl started, dancing once more, in her eyes, and her face became filled with life once more.

“Don’t cry, you’re a boy, or, grandma will laugh at you, grandma’s just a bit tired is all.”, she’d slapped my hand, smiled, told me, “Everything will work out.”, the next day when I woke up, I went to go wake grandma up, and those eyes, they, never, opened back up again.

I didn’t ring for the doctor or the nurses, just, stared, at that face, with the jumpiness of a teenage girl, and then, there were, a few drops of water on her face; as I’d reached my hand to wipe it away, I’d realized, that the water, it came, from my own eyes, drip, drip, drip, the tears started falling down like rain, I couldn’t stop it, I didn’t want it to stop either.

“Everything will work itself out,” my grandma’s voice, seemed to ring in my ears, but, she’s a LIAR, I’d started crying, too hard that I couldn’t stand back up again.  There will, NEVER, be a way again.

And so, this, is how a boy, grieved for the loss of his own grandmother, and, because he was, raised by her, that, was why her death hit him, especially hard.

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Filed under Cause & Effect, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Expectations, Family Matters, Life, Socialization

The Face I Will NEVER See Again, on Losing Someone You Loved

Translated…

That Friday, I knew, I will never, see that face again.

I was raised, by my maternal grandmother, when my younger brother was born, my mother dropped me off at my grandma’s, recalling how steep the stairs to the second floor was, how my grandmother would carry me on her back up and down, and I’d never forgotten how warm, her back felt, against my chest, and, maybe, it’s because of this, I’d felt this especially close attachment to my maternal grandmother, every single thing that troubled me, I’d tell her about it.

My grandmother was slimly built, her skin had lost its elasticity, but, her eyes still shone brightly, it’s, as if, a young girl lives inside of her, ready to come out, at any moment, filled her with energy.  Every time I’d told her about my troubles, she would, slap my hands, told me, “Everything is bound to work out.”, this line, and her eyes, had given me the courage I’d needed in times.

With that sort of bright eyes, I thought, that my grandmother could live to a hundred, but, I was, wrong.

What crushed grandma was a serious illness, it came too fast, too hard.

As everybody was gathering in the hospital ward, discussing the treatment options, my grandmother who lay there, on the bed became especially thin and frail, with that emptiness in her eyes; I’d gone up to her, held on to her, and cried, but, my grandmother blinked, and, it’s, as if, that young adolescent girl started, dancing once more, in her eyes, and her face became filled with life once more.

“Don’t cry, you’re a boy, or, grandma will laugh at you, grandma’s just a bit tired is all.”, she’d slapped my hand, smiled, told me, “Everything will work out.”, the next day when I woke up, I went to go wake grandma up, and those eyes, they, never, opened back up again.

I didn’t ring for the doctor or the nurses, just, stared, at that face, with the jumpiness of a teenage girl, and then, there were, a few drops of water on her face; as I’d reached my hand to wipe it away, I’d realized, that the water, it came, from my own eyes, drip, drip, drip, the tears started falling down like rain, I couldn’t stop it, I didn’t want it to stop either.

“Everything will work itself out,” my grandma’s voice, seemed to ring in my ears, but, she’s a LIAR, I’d started crying, too hard that I couldn’t stand back up again.  There will, NEVER, be a way again.

And so, this, is how a boy, grieved for the loss of his own grandmother, and, because he was, raised by her, that, was why her death hit him, especially hard.

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Filed under Despair, Family Matters, Lessons, Life, Loss, On Death & Dying, Socialization

Giving Mom the Applause

Translated…

Since my mother was growing up, her family had been poor, after she’d graduated from middle school, she’d started working in the factory, to help support her family’s income, and, not being educated enough had become, the regret she’d carried.  No matter the issues, she’d always, consulted others, and, she’d turned other people’s assistance down often, and, in her words, there were often, signs of how inadequate she felt about herself.

I knew, that my mother was affected by the values of sexism from her family, plus she’d only had limited education, that, was why she’d felt, that she wasn’t as good as someone else; but my mother had given everything to her family her whole life, treated others with kindness, is a good mother without a doubt.  I’d heard, from my daughter’s teacher, that learning new things can increase the level of self-confidence, to help establish one’s own self-worth; I’d wanted to help make up for the regrets of her environments, so, I’d encouraged my mother to get involved, with the new things.  And so, when my mother turned down the SmartPhone I’d bought for her, I’d used my children’s help, had them play coy with her, begged her, to use IM to get connected with them.

My mother couldn’t say no to her cute grandkids, and so, she’d started, learning to use the SmartPhones, and now, she’d LINED my kids daily, and because the expert in SmartPhone usage among her peers, and helped answered the inquiries of the older members of her neighbors.

Awhile ago, it was, my mother’s birthday, I’d given her an iPad as present, and signed her up for related courses on how to use it at the local community college; she’d gone to class regularly, and can already, edit the photos by herself now, and, making her own doctor’s appointments online, or booking her trips online, are no longer troubling to her at all, she’d even buy the gift certificates in bulk, to treat her close relatives, friends out to dine.  Seeing how my mother’s becoming more self-confident, I’m truly happy for her.

And so, this mother had become an avid user of high-tech products, because her daughter wanted to get her to socialize more, and that, was why she’d bought her the high-tech products, and had her children teach their grandmother to use it, and, by learning to use the high-tech items, the elderly woman was able to get active again, and, she was also able to, enlarge her social circle too.

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Filed under Connections, Expectations, Family Matters, Interactions Shared with the World, Interpersonal Relations, Observations, Socialization, Values

The Father Who’d Called Using the Red Public Phone

Translated…

My father walked in the door, with a bad face, he’d kept that same expression, as my mother cussed him out, “We’re already very poor, and you’d squandered ALL your wages away at the whore house, and the bars?”

“Go, go, go, follow that DEADBEAT, no good father of yours out, see what he’d been doing?”  my mother, who’d working hard as a manual laborer, to keep the household of eight, must also track down her lazy husband, there’s NO way she’ll have anything nice to say, at age nine, I’d stealthily followed behind my father, feeling scared, passed through the dark and ghostly and haunted bamboo forests, my father stopped at the phone booth at the entrance of our village, placed a few coins in, and, the smiles started crawling up his face, that, was a kind of bliss I’d never seen at home.

If I could get on a time machine, I’d love to return to that day, get closer to my father, to see who he was talking to?  What are the difficulties in his life?  Because he’d lacked the money, he’d had to carry the bad name my mother gave to him, and, be disrespected by six of his kids, and getting sculpted, into a bad man, by my mother’s words daily.

And so, this, is a memory from the childhood years, the narrator saw how her parents fought like hell, and it surely must’ve affected her, and, she’d become a spy, by her mother’s orders, to keep an eye for her mother, on her father’s whereabouts.

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Filed under Cost of Living, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Life, Parent-Child Interactions, Properties of Life

Dinny Loves to Read, the United Nation of Friends

Translated…

Linking the two terms “happiness” and “hardship” together, Dinny was having troubles, reading aloud, but, it seemed that she loved the sentence so very much, stressed it several times…

Dinny sat, quietly, in a corner in the bookstore, flipping through the volumes of Indonesian books.  I couldn’t help, but called out to her, she lifted her head to look, and I’d took a photo of her, smiling at the camera.

My friends and I opened up a bookstore, with the theme of Southeast Asia called, “Radiant Times”, it had books in languages from Southeast Asia, including Indonesian.  All of these books, are prepared for the sakes of people like Dinny, who are from other countries who loved to read.

Dropped Out of School, Because of the Difficulties from Her Family

Dinny, who was from Cirebon in Java, Indonesia, had been outstanding in school since she was very young, always the top of her class.  But, unfortunately, after she’d graduated high school, something happened in her family, she’d had to give up on furthering her education and started working.

She’d worked in Jakarta for two years, at age twenty, Dinny, and her friends applied to Taiwan.  It’s work all the same, and she’d rather come here, where it’d paid more.  But, over millions of Indonesians came overseas to work, and, compared to areas such as Malaysia, or the Middle East with Islamic beliefs, Taiwan, with only a little over two hundred thousand Indonesian workers, is still the minority.

Dinny told me, that Middle East is very scary, there were often, female Indonesia workers who were murdered, and, the Indonesian government had already announced that they were going to stop sending female workers to Middle East in May already.  And, Malaysia, which shared the same culture with Indonesia, pays a lot less, compared to Taiwan, and, they’re not as friendly to the migrant workers either.

Although, Taiwan was often called, “the island of ghosts” by the online community, but, comparing Taiwan on the international front, it surely isn’t.

The Tastes She Kept Commending Nonstop

Suhartini, is Dini’s Indonesian name, as she’d arrived to Taiwan, a Indonesian-Chinese gave her a new name, “Dini”, the name is easy to pronounce, and write, and, everybody in the household that hired her called her that, only the demented elderly grandma called her, “Miss”.

Dini is intelligent and quick to learn, taking care of grandma is no problem for her, the only problem she faces is being too bored.  Normally, it was only Dini and the silent grandma, staring at one another, living on the hillside of Hsintien, and, even though, her boss encouraged Dini to ask her friends over, but, because of how distant the house was, nobody came.  So, for Dini, the best time was on the weekends, on this day, grandma’s ten children and grandchildren all came home, with Dini as the cook.

It’s a banquet!  I’d mumbled to myself, this doesn’t fit the rules.  The caretakers receives $15,840 N.T. a month, and their areas of work is restricted to helping the elderly they’re hired to look after.

“It must be hard, cooking for so many people then?”, I’d asked her.

Before she’d come overseas, Dini had never cooked once.  After she’d come here, every time she’d cooked, it was the third aunt who’d hired Dini, buying the raw produces, and she’d taught Dini how to prepare the items.  And still, nine years had passed, now, Dini can cook foods that impressed the third aunt, can recall what everybody likes to eat, what they don’t enjoy, even IF Dini didn’t eat pork, she’d still followed the steps to cooking, and make the pork dishes that impressed her family in Taiwan.

“Cooking for the family is NOT grueling at all, it’s actually very happy for me”, Dinny opened up her eyes wide, to rebut me.

“Happiness” and “Hardship”, these two words, linked together, Dinny was having difficulties, prouncing, but, apparently, she’d liked this sentence, stressed it to me a couple of times.

Coming to Taiwan as a College Student

The reason why Dinny could read so leisurelyl in the “Radiant Times” was because the ninety-three year-old grandma passed away two months ago.  After grandma passed away, Dinny was ready to head home.  But, her journey to Taiwan isn’t necessarily over.

These years, working in Taiwan, Dinny bought a house, rented out the house, and, gave the money from the rent to her parents who are farm workers. S he’d also saved up some money, to be given to her fifteen year-old younger brother’s education.  And, right after grandma passed away, Dinny also broke up with the childhood sweetheart, after all, going long-distance for nine years had made them understand, that they no longer shared the same views of the world anymore.  Dinny said, “I might have been influenced by you, Taiwanese people.”

Although Dinny is a great cook, took good care of others, but, studying is what she does best.  A few years ago, she’d signed up for the distant education on the university track, she’s still the first in her class.  This time, returning to Indonesia, she’d wanted to use a student visa to come here, as a college student.  As the family who treated Dinny as one of their own heard, they’re all very happy about it.  Yeah sure!  The house we have on the hill will be yours to stay in!

Before Dinny returned back to her home country, I’d invited her to come to my radio show, Dinny’s family in Taiwan: third aunt, second aunt, youngest aunt, all entered the recording studio with this shared happiness.  The youngest aunt who loved to sing changed the lyrics of the late Feng Fei-Fei, “I Wish You Happiness”, dedicating it to Dinny, “Giving you a gift of love, I wish you happiness.  No matter you’re in Taiwan, or in Indonesia, don’t forget about my blessings to you.”

And so, this just shows how connected you can be, with someone you’d hired to help take care of your aging elderly family members, and this woman is studious, and, she’s now, living her own dreams, fulfilling her own dreams, of not being able to go to school when she was younger, and, she’s making it all happen by herself!

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Family Matters, Friendships, Kindness Shown, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Socialization, Story-Telling, Translated Work