Category Archives: Friendships

A Memory-Filled Garden

Translated…

On the lanai, the mother-of-pearl plant grew to the size of large emeralds, started, glowing.  The devil’s ivy, climbed all over the racks, as they pleased, and, no matter how I’d trimmed them down, they’d still, grew tall.  All of these plants were from my friends, seeing that they’re blossoming, and I’d recalled how my friend had passed; the grasses and the flowers would eventually, wither away, life is too brief.

A decade ago, I’d almost died too.  Back then, a car that came out of nowhere from my alley, it’d hit a student without a motorist’s license, his motorcycle flipped upwards from the ground, and, hit me hard, that I’d become unconscious, as I was about to head off to work.  I’d waken up in the emergency room, the young man told me, “had it not been that the motorcycle had released most of its power, skidding around on the ground, you couldn’t be as you are right now.”  But, I’m still covered with injuries, with the signs of a concussion too.

I’d limped, to my place which I’d rented for just one month, back then I’d thought, if I’d died, my belongings would naturally get spread to others.  Reexamining my own life, I’d have a clean conscience, no bad memories, just that I’d been living for just myself, left NO moving moments for others to savor, and so, my life wasn’t fulfilled, it could even be called impoverished.

And so, I’d started showing cares and concerns toward elderly whose limbs became stiff because of stroke, I’d flipped through the books for them, filled out the forms, and showed cares and concerns for their mental wellbeing.  Since then, I’d kept countless small pieces of potted plants, including the mother-of-pearl plant.  A friend had even invited me to her place, took me to her backyard, said to me proudly, “Take a stem of whatever you want, and plant it at your place!” her husband came out, and helped me picked, he’d pointed to the plant that was right before me, said, “This one, see how fat it is.”  We’d become like children, running to and fro, and, zoomed in on the easier to care plants, at age eighty, they were very energetic, their eyes glowed, and they filled up the garden with laughter.

And now, their house had already been remodeled, and the male head of the house had passed away for many years.  The crape myrtle, camellia, osmanthus, and Jamaican sunset, are all gone now, only the devil’s ivy, still showed a strong life force.

The friend who’d given me the Indian sedum had passed two years ago, looking at all my potted plants, the fun moments we’d had back then came flooding back.  I’d wanted to give him this beautiful garden view, but, instead, they’d helped me create this wonderful memory instead, only beauty surrounded their death, and no sorrows or sadness.

And so, there’s NO sadness, no sorrows, for the friend’s passing, there’s only the good memories that all of you had shared, what better way, to remember the love you’d felt for someone…

 and no, this was still not taken by me!!!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Connections, Friendships, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Loss, Perspectives, Socialization

Walking Out of the Darkness After Losing My Marriage

The growth of a woman, translated…

My close friend, Hsin-Yi and two girlfriends’ floral shop opened, a few of us, their close friends, made the time, to give them the congratulations.

We saw how in the small space of the shop, there were so many colorful bouquets, potted flowers, and fashionable pots, plus the professional floral arrangements too, with the explanations of the concepts, it’d made us all happy for her, that she could, get from underneath the dark clouds of the loss of her marriage, and find her strength again.

Three years ago, after Hsin-Yi’s husband had an affair, she was in pain, but, for the sake, of giving her daughter a complete home, she’d decided, to put up with her husband’s bad behaviors, but in the end, she couldn’t save, this already shattered marriage of hers, and ended up divorcing her husband.

After her divorce, she took her five-year-old daughter, moved back in with her parents, other than helping with caring for her daughter, the family members would give her encouragements often.  Plus, her two girlfriends from college would often come by to say hi, have heart-to-hearts with her, hoped, that she could, get out, from under the failed marriage, to not get trapped by the depressive moods, and encouraged her, to make plans for herself, and her daughter’s sake as well.

Later on, Hsin-Yi and her two girlfriends decided to go into business together, the three of them decided to open up a floral shop.  Because Hsin-Yi had the working experiences as a wrapper at a floral shop from before, she’d naturally took up the work of packaging, selection of the flowers, as well as the designs for the pots, and the two of them were in charge of the finances and sales.

The three of them worked with the plans of opening up shop, their days were fulfilled, and, it’d ignited that sense of hope, in Hsin-Yi’s life again.

For the sake of gaining a wide variety of customers, as well as upping her own professionalism, six months before they’d opened for business, Hsin-Yi especially took lessons in how to make corsages and bouquets for the brides, hoped, that she could add to her own professionalism, to offer her customers more choices, and to give her daughter a bit more material wealth as well.

Hsin-Yi told me, that getting divorced is not scary, what’s scary was getting sucked, into the glooms of the divorce.  She’s grateful to her own family’s support, as well as her girlfriends’, giving her a lift in time, so she could get stronger, and, start again.

So, this, is with the support from her friend, that this divorcee had found herself again, and, having a social support system like this one is especially important, when you’re going through a major change in your life such as a divorce.

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Cause & Effect, Choices, Cost of Living, Friendships, Life, Observations, Values, Women's Issues, Work Ethics

Besties

Translated…

His life can be stated, with the poem of the poet, Su from the Song Dynasty, it’d told of the ups and downs, the hardships he’d weathered through his whole life, or maybe, it’s a kind of an unreachable realm for him, but, gladly, in my life, I’d still had a couple of good friends who’d accompanied through the hardships.

Back in high school, we were, pounded, by the pressures of entrance exams, we’d had all our hair trimmed to two centimeters above our ears, put on the khaki shirts, the indigo skirts or trousers; back then, the biggest luxury of our lives, in going to the movie theaters on Saturdays, to see a few movies, then, rode out, on our bicycles fast, to Lily’s Ice Shop, and had a plate of shaved ice, with tomatoes.  Undoubtedly, this, is the best kind of relief we’d got, from working hard for the entire week.  Whether it was the worries of the teenage years, or the stale tastes of our youths, the unclear interactions with our peers, or the members of the opposite sex, or maybe, we’re all, troubled by which majors to pick up, and the plans of our futures, gladly, I’d had great friends who’d accompanied me, and just, lent me a helping ear.

All of these, long, forgotten pasts, as I’d watched the movie, “Besties”, they all came flooding back to my mind, although we’d lacked the characters’ fashionable and flashy lives, but, how we’d gotten each other’s backs is exactly the same as the characters in the movie.  In the laughter and the tears, not only was I able, to reminisce the purest kind of friendship between my besties and I, what’s more important was, right after the movie was over, I’d dialed up my besties, and, sent her the truest kind of care and concerns, and wished her well.

And so, you don’t know when you’ll be reminded of someone you lost touch with so very long ago, but, at the moment that you get reminded of that person, all the memories will come flooding back, and, you will call that best friend of yours up, and, you will, get reconnected, because, no matter how much time has passed, best friends will always have one another on their minds.

Leave a comment

Filed under Connections, Expectations, Friendships, Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Story-Telling

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!

Leave a comment

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

We’ve Never Met

On modern-day interactions, translated…

Some people whom I’d never met, and, don’t know if they have the chances of meeting one another in life, but had become, this light scent of nostalgia to me.

For instance, T, one of my friends on Facebook, a man with a warm smile, and deep eyes, the articles he’d posted are very well-written, and he’d lightly disclosed, how three years ago, he was diagnosed with a rare illness, that it’d turned his views of life upside down, and, since, his writings showed this brand new understanding, this new kind of clarity about life.

One day, I’d recalled how it’s been a very long time, since I saw anything from him, and I’d gone of Facebook, to check out his page, then, I’d gotten to know, through someone else’s posting, that he was currently engaged in a tug-of-war with death in the I.C.U.  Since then, I’d gone on his Facebook page to check on him, hoped to get the message, that he’d made a full recovery.  And I’d often prayed to God, to look out for T, he once had such passions for life!

Another friend, C, one day, he’d also vanished, and, he canceled his Facebook account too.  What happened?  Why did he close his account?  In reality, C and I had NO shared friends, and so, I couldn’t find out how he was, even if I wanted to.  C is one of those lowkey people, who used a piece of photography as his display picture, and, the name he used was his initials, I have NO idea what was going on with him in real life.  And still, in the psychological sense, he’s such an interesting person, would use his humorous, and unique way, to reply to all of my postings, and it’d become nostalgic to me.  Having lost a Face friend such as he, I felt very awful.

And, don’t remember how long ago afterwards it was, I’d picked up a book I’d ordered online from a bookstore, as I’d told the cashier my name, after I’d gotten the book, was about to walk out, a man called out to me.  He looked very handsome, with this clean aura about him, but, I was certain, we’d never met.  He said, he was, once my friend, on Facebook.

Once?  I’d inquired.  He said, yes, he’d not logged on Facebook anymore, because someone made an anonymous complain about his account, his account was canceled, and so, he’d stopped using Facebook altogether.  “Actually, it’s a good thing, it’d given me more time, to do other things, it’s just that I regretted saying goodbye to some of the friends I’d shared deep conversations with is all.”  And so, as he’d heard me say my name to the cashier, he was so happy, that he could tell all of this to me to my face.

And, all of a sudden, I’d said his initials which had been erased completely from my mind previously.  And, his smiles became more radiant, “You still remembered me?”

I smiled too, “Of course!  I’m really glad, that I ran into you.”  Thanks to this chance meeting, it’d resolved ALL the questions I have about his disappearing on Facebook.

Back then, we’d started chatting, carried on like we were old friends, recalled some of the interactions we’d shared on Facebook.  Then, without leaving ANY ways of getting into contact with one another, we’d parted ways again.  I still don’t know his real name, or anything else about him, but that was unimportant.  Being able to meet back up with him, was more than enough for me.

Facebook had gotten those who originally had nothing in common together, like how a cloud, bumped into another cloud, or how a duckweed, swam into another duckweed.  In the world online, we’re close, and we’re far apart, maybe we would get forgotten by the world, and, we may become one another’s questioning thoughts.  Turns out, that in our not being aware of it, some of the interactions already had feelings infiltrated into them, and when we don’t see one another, we’d start to care and concern, and also, miss, each other.

This, is how friendships continued AFTER you’d logged off, and that still just shows, how even though you are making a ton of friends online, you should still WORK on the interpersonal relationships you have offline, because you don’t want to have a ZILLION friends on your social networking sites, but, ZERO friends in reality, do you?  I wouldn’t think so.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cause & Effect, Connections, Facebook, Friendships, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Observations, Online Relationships, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Socialization, Translated Work, Trends

Don’t Be Afraid of Making New Friends as One Ages

On making friends, connecting with each other, translated…

Sometimes, I’d wondered, if as we grow older, it’d become, more difficult, to treat others with that honesty and heart?  As I’d gone out, and, there were members of the younger generations conducting surveys, I’d waved my hands toward them no, fearing, that my personal information might be leaked out; when I got a phone call from someone I don’t know, I’d said, “You got the wrong number!”, and, when someone asked me how to get to a certain road, even IF that road is right up front, I’d started questioning, if the person who was asking for directions has an alternative motive.  My children also warned me, to be careful for those who are strangers, and who seemed false………as I grew older, my defenses are slowly, building up, it’d become this impenetrable wall now, and, my feet didn’t dare, step outside of this wall, and, on meeting someone new, I’d become expectant, and fearing getting hurt at the same time.

I’d once taken a stroll, saw a ton of elderly grandparents taking their grandchildren out for walk, and, very shortly after the children walked a bit, their chubby little legs refused to move forward again.  But, if there were kids their age, then, they’d run towards them, and started carrying on in conversation, using their limited vocabulary, then, they’d hold hands, and keep moving onward.  And, if there’s a fork in the road, and they must separate from one another, some would even throw a temper tantrum, and, disregarded how they were basically strangers, just ten minutes ago.  Children, children, although they’re quite young, they’d poured their hearts AND souls into socializing with one another.

The friendships and connection of the migrant workers are just as honest and down-to-earth too, they so far from home, worked hard away, and, when they’d bumped into each other on the streets, they’d stop and chat—don’t say you didn’t notice, how the caretakers of elderly at the parks, would gather together, to chit chat.

And, the hired help of my household, loved trash time.  Once, she’d hauled the trash out, and, when she’d come home, she’d had an extra jar of hot sauce plus an apple.  Just so happens, that that, was during the time when food safety was a huge issue, I’d asked her, if she knew what sort of oils were used in making the hot sauce?  She’d frowned, not knowing what I’m inquiring.  I’d asked her, jokingly, “You DARE eat an apple from a stranger?  Aren’t you afraid that it might be poisoned?”, she’d smiled and replied, “Boss’s wife, I’m not Snow White.”, meaning that I’d worried too much.  The newly made friends gave one another their homemade items with the tastes from home, and, in those items, the love from the hearts was found.

As my term in the community college was about to come to an end, my three classmates and I with whom I’d gotten along quite well with went out to dine, and, there’s that nostalgia of “not talking more sooner”.  At first, we were simply acquaintances, we didn’t dare share too much with each other, fearing that one another might find something about us that we didn’t want them to know, but after a few small gatherings, we’d gotten to know one another better, and now, we were inseparable.  But, it’s time, that we all part ways now, and, we’d feel unwilling to let each other go.

In order to keep this affinity intact, we’d decided, to meet up regularly afterwards, so we can continue this belated friendship.  As we’d gotten older, we will have less and less friends, not only should we NOT fear making new friends, we must cherish every single time we meet.

This, is from the interactions of the world, and, it is, not safe, for people to just connect with someone whom one just meet, but hey, we all started as strangers to one another, didn’t we?  And, if we don’t get past that stranger phase of our interactions, we will NEVER advance the relationship into friends.

2 Comments

Filed under Connections, Expectations, Friendships, Interactions Shared with the World, Lessons, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Story-Telling, Translated Work

A Daughter Who Shows Gratitude

The ins & outs of life, translated…

“Mommy, can we give a few bags of meatballs and sausage made by dad to Aunt Wen-Jen this year?”

Hearing these words from my daughter, I couldn’t help, but smile on the inside, fi Wen-Jen had heard these words, she must feel very comforted, that she didn’t love my daughter for nothing.

When my daughter was in her second year of kindergarten, because both my husband and my visa to the U.S. were about to expire (back then, we needed to renew our visas every five years), we’d decided to go to Hawaii one more time.  But, we couldn’t get our daughter’s visa yet, and, getting one would not be matched to our time of departure, plus, the flight was over ten hours, she probably couldn’t withstand it.  When I was worried about it, my coworker, Wen-Jen “jumped out” to help me out.  After I’d taken my daughter to meet her once, my daughter had actually agreed, to go to her place while we went on our second honeymoon.

And now, five years had come to pass, my daughter still remembered the caring ways that Wen-Jen took care of her back then, and, when we’d taken her out to travel, she’d commented from time to time, “Aunt Wen-Jen and Uncle Xiang-Xiang had brought me here before.”

And, she’d told me of how she misses the big brother and big sister at Aunt Wen-Jen’s house, that it was, the best memories of her childhood years.

And now, as my daughter found chances to come to the school I worked, she’d always managed, to find Wen-Jen who’s working in the office, and, Wen-Jen is truly, a “Master of All Children”, she’d taken our child’s heart.  Being very handy, she’d made the purses herself, and, would remember to make one, with my daughter’s favorite cartoon characters.

Seeing how happy they interacted with one another, as a mom, I’m happy as well.  The friendship we shared got to continue on, and, my daughter seemed to have gained another set of parents, and the love of the older brother and sister too, and my daughter learned to be grateful too, that, was not what I’d expected to have happened.

This, would be the interaction, with someone’s child’s best friend, and, the child still recalled how nice the family that babysat for her was when she was younger, and, she’d wanted her mom, to give something back to the family that looked after her, kindness IS reciprocated here.

Leave a comment

Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Because of Love, Child Development/Education of Children, Childhood, Connections, Friendships, Life, Relationship, Socialization, Translated Work