Category Archives: Lessons

Seeing You Off

The final passage, remembering the woman whom you’d come to know, as your, mother-in-law, from your father-in-law’s second marriage, translated…

Sitting silent, in the back of the church, on the wooden bench, stared at the white coffin, paved with flowers in the shrine, hearing the pastor slowly, told of your, eighty-two years of colorful life; as the pastor described you as being straightforward, generous, it’d, made me cry, and I’d, lifted up my head and smiled, started recalling the thirteen years of friendships we’d, come to share in life.

It was a snowy day in April in Norway, my husband who’d, planned to be single for the res of his life, drove me in his car, and, came to your door, my father-in-law, and his second wife, you, immediately led us in, and, in a panic, started, preparing the snacks, the coffees to serve to me, an unwelcomed guest.  Back then I wasn’t, fluent in Norwegian, I’d spoken in fluent German with my father-in-law, and, it’d, made you, who lived in the U.S. for over a decade object, that you had difficulties understanding us, and, we’d, realized that we had, excluded you, and immediately, we’d, both started switching to talking in English then.

On Christmas Eve that first year of our marriage, you’d, burst the hopes of your three daughters, sons-in-law, and nine grandchildren’s dreams of family union, you’d come to our home, and, baked for us, the traditional Norwegian pork ribs, meat balls, and sausages, and prepared seven types of pastries.  And, as lucky as I in the first time, I’d, scooped up, the only almond, hidden inside the rice pudding, and received, that special award for piggy almond candy.  Underneath the Christmas tree with the Norwegian flag, were the gifts, stacked up, you, my father-in-law, my husband and I, the four of us, sat around the tree, and started, tearing open the presents, the excitement, the joys, it’d, filled up the house.

The summer that my mother, second aunt, and nephew visited Norway, you’d not just, invited them, you’d also, found your youngest who’s my age, along with your young granddaughter, who’s around the same age as my nephew as company, you’d, set up a wooden board in your yard, with the balloons, and started, shooting the darts.  And even though, it’d rained that day, we’d, still, had a ton of fun; to this very day, my mother still talked of the cherries, the raspberries, and currants you grew in your own yard.

On your seventy-fifth, because your body was, ailing, you’d, delayed your birthday celebration in May, but you’d, not told us flat out, only asked, if we’re available to show up in June.  And, as my husband and I arrived, I’d found, that it was, a family birthday celebration your daughter, son-in-law, and grandson had set up for you; we’d, not brought anything, and we were, embarrassed, but you’d laughed and told, that it was because you didn’t want any presents, that was why, you’d, not told us it was to celebrate your birthday.

illustration from UDN.com圖/錢錢

2017 was, especially cruel to you.  First, your best friend who lived in the U.S. died in the spring at the age of over ninety, several months later, it was, my father-in-law, the second love of your life, passed away, in the autumn.  On the evening my father-in-law passed, you, me, and my husband, the three of us, stayed close by his side, until he’d, swallowed his, last breath.  You’d, dragged your, deteriorated health, your, slow steps home; the following day, we took you to the funeral home, to set up my father-in-law’s final affairs, you’d spoken of how you’d, not slept through the night, that you’d, paced around in the living room; even as your kids and grandkids were there, to accompany you, it still, didn’t, take away from your losing your husband.

Within two years after my father-in-law’s funeral, I sat here, in this, same church, heard the same pastor, hosting your funeral.  This pastor was the one who’d, conducted the wedding ceremony of you and my father-in-law thirty years back, he’d retired since, but, two years ago, he’d, made an exception for my father-in-law, spoken on his funeral, and this time, for you too.  You marrying my father-in-law, had once cast a huge shadow for my husband’s not introducing me to his own mother, but, for the eighteen years, the three of you had, died, and all the displeases of the past are now, gone, with the wind.  I’d heard of the news of your death as I’d returned from Egypt, I’d, come, to see you off, I’m so grateful for your kindness toward me, even more grateful, that you were, a “stand-in mother-in-law” to me, giving my families and I, such, wonderful, memories.

And so, this, is on how strong the connections of strangers who became, families are, and this still just showed, how if you’re kind to your daughters or sons-in-law, they will, reciprocate, and love you like you were, their own, parents too.  This is quite rare, to see a stepmother-in-law and a daughter-in-law get along so very well together.

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Filed under Connections, Expectations, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Friendships, Lessons, Letting Go, Marriages, Memories Shared, Observations, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Story-Telling, the Finality of Life, Values

The Air, My Friend

The column by Jimmi Liao, translated…

The Wind Started Blowing, the Hat Flew Off

The Wind Stopped, the Hat, Dropped into the Water

The Wind Got Angry, Why is Everything Blamed on it?

artwork of Jimmi Liao, off of UDN.com幾米

This is scapegoating, because instead of making sure that that hat is, SECURE on your heads, you’d, blamed it on the wind because it’s, much, much easier than, to take responsibilities for what you failed to do in the first place, this happens, quite a lot, if you can believe it!

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Filed under Being Exposed, Belief in a Just World, Cause & Effect, Children in Mindset, Everyone Else's Fault, Excuses, Lessons, Observations, Scapegoating, Socialization

Passing Through, on a Bamboo Raft, a Poem

On burying one’s own, offspring, translated…

A Bamboo Raft, Like a Red Lotus Passed Through

Vanished, into the Fog

“Affinities of Children, Thin Like the Foams on the Waterfront”

So True These Words

Watching the Sunset Light Withering in the West

Time Has No Place Here

Memories Can’t Hide

The Awareness, Electric Shocked

Who isn’t, Like that Small Raft

Drifting in-Between Life & Death

Listening to the Heaviness of the Repentance of Love & Lust

With the Broken Bridges, Severed Off Streams, the Dying Smokes

And so, this, is finally, coming to one’s senses about the finality of life, because you’d lost the ones you loved when they were too young, and you are, still living, you’d, needed to, cope with losing the ones you cared for, loved, your, own young…

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Filed under Awareness, Because of Love, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Despair, Lessons, Letting Go, Life, Loss, On Death & Dying, Story-Telling, the Finality of Life, Translated Work, Values

A Different Life

With the assistance given to these families by the foundation, these families can finally, have some sense of, normalcy in their, functioning, translated…

In the meetings that day, the senior early childhood intervention educator, Mrs. Shih told everybody, there was a student’s mother whom she’d lost contact with that’s gotten reconnected with her on FB, told her that her twins who were, helped by the center from before, who’d, received the early intervention helps are, in the universities now.

Mrs. Shih said, as the mother told her how her children were doing, it’d, deeply impacted her, because as the twins were sent to the early intervention center, they had troubles, feeding themselves, and yet, Mrs. Shih wasn’t as experienced as she is now, she’d, become, too nervous when looking after the twins, worried, that she may, injure the twin if she weren’t, careful enough; but, over a decade later, the twins had the abilities to take the entrance exams for college, and, they’d, both gotten into the public universities too.

I’d once heard other coworkers, sharing the tales of success.  The person in the story was, Shen, he’d lost his parents, and lacked that secure attachment, he’d, needed to hug everybody he saw, and in the end, he was called, the “sexual predator”; but, as he’d been sent to the foundation for placement, he’d, learned to express his insecurity in an alternative method, and because of the company he had from his teachers, his peers, he’d, changed his manners from being timid as he’d come to the center, to now, being able to, laugh out loud.

There was, also, the younger brother of a guy, that he’d, felt like an older brother to his own older brother, because his older brother needed to get taken care of more.  Thankfully, after the older brother received job trainings, he’d, started working, not only was he making his own way, he’d no longer needed to, be watched over staying at home, and he finally had the time, to do what he wanted to do, and felt the burdens, lifted from his shoulders now.

If the early interventions didn’t happen, then, the twins may still need someone else to help them at meal time, let alone how they’d, taken the college entrance exams; had the teachers not helped Shen adjust his behavior problems, he would now still be, misunderstood, as a “sex predator”; if the older brother didn’t get the job training he needed, the younger brother would still be, carrying that burden of taking care of him, and NOT had a life of his own, the life that he’d, wanted; and, those families that were, torn apart, because of the children’s conditions, after the children were, placed in the early intervention programs, the atmospheres at home became much better; and, the aging parents, who could, no longer look after their own young, and after they’d asked the First Welfare Foundation for assistance, they’d now, found time to breathe, for themselves…………

Every time I’d heard these stories, it’d, moved me very much, the teachers at the First Welfare Foundation, had originally, just wanted to, help the needed to have a better, a more comfortable life, but, their work had, touched the families as well, helped these families, changed for the better, giving a higher quality of life, of the family members.

Reason why I’d started this column, is because, I want the world to know, how extraordinary these teachers are, how they’re, using their, professionalism, their passions, persistence, and love, to help turn the families they’d helped, around, giving the families, new hope, so they can, keep on, hoping for, a better, a brighter future for themselves.

And so, this, is considered the fishing pole program, because this foundation had helped those who are, mentally decapacitated to have a skill set, to train them to take care of themselves, so, their families no longer need to worry about them all the time, and, this is an amazing program, and we should have more of these, social welfare foundations that are, doing this sort of work in the world.

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Filed under Awareness, Child Development/Education of Children, Childhood, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Cost of Living, Education, Expectations, Kindness Shown, Lessons, Overcoming Obstacles, Social Awareness, Social Issues, Socialization

The Air, My Friend

The column by Jimmi Liao, on what’s instinctive to someone, may not be instinctive to another, and we shouldn’t, judge one another based off of what we know!  Translated…

Can’t believe they’re, learning to swim, what do they learn in learning to swim, isn’t that supposed to be, instinct?

Nope.

the artwork that came with the passage, off of UDN.com

Not at all.

By this “conversation”, we can tell, how we lacked respect for what each other has, that we make judgments of one another based off of our personal experiences, and the thing is, everybody has different experiences in life, just because it’s something you know, that doesn’t mean, that everybody knows it too…

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Filed under Awareness, Cost of Living, Expectations, Lessons, Nature vs. Nurture, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Socialization, The Observer Effect, Values

Regarding the Extracurricular & the Camps

Getting involved, in non-school related activities here, translated…

My youngest was headed out early in the morn, because the camp from her major was starting, as a freshman, she is very enthusiastic of all the activities hosted by her major.  I remembered, that, we’d, headed out before light for her last thing too, in the nearly zero degree icy cold floor of the CKS Memorial Hall, rolled around on the floorboards, it was her salsa club of her high school, she was responsible for coordinating a “recital of her younger schoolmates.”

My youngest started dancing from her kindergarten years to date, dance had become, her favorite.  It’s just, that her school teachers mentioned how if she’d worked too hard on her “hobby”, it may, cause her grades to slip, but she’d, asked us, not to worry, “the extracurriculars are important rites of passage, just let them give it all they got for this!”  but, I’d, found my daughter, with that lack, of enthusiasm, turned out, she had, dropped her activities, because she’s still, trying to figure out what she’s good at academically, she’d told us, “I’m more than certain about dance, and anything else, is not good enough for me.”  Until her final year in high school, she’d, transferred from the sciences, to the social sciences, and now, she’s, in the major she has great interests in, communications, and, she’d, danced every day, and now, she’d, gone out early in the morn, for her summer camp activities.

查看來源圖片the assortments of activities, not related to the academic…photo from online

My eldest and I, were both into the extracurriculars in our high school years, I’d, gotten involved in two groups, one was for vanity, the band, the other, school paper.  Being in band, I’d, played the trumpet, without much talent, just so I can, put on that marching uniform that made me shine on flag day, and, walking across the podium before the President’s Office.  As for the school paper, it was, where my heart lies, I’d, let my own, writing talents, poured out.  I’d recalled, how hard it’d been that I had, worked, on every topic, how I’d, gone to the shopping marts, to find the old photos, to do the interviews, and published my not-mature-enough writings, wanted to pour all of my doubts of the world, my feeling lost for my future, along with my dissatisfaction toward school, all out in the open.

I can no longer recall how the periodical had, turned out, but, my grades, slipped, and, that became, a F-A-C-T.

I’d found a university that I really don’t hate to study in, but the major I was in, it wasn’t anywhere near my interest profile.  And, by then, editing the periodicals, no longer, satisfied my mind, maybe back then, love was, taken up half of my mind.

And yet, because I’d, lost love, I’d, decided, to go for the president of the club, to let myself, embrace this major I’d, found myself to be in, tired, to learn to be a, leader.  And so, the memories of my college years, were revolved around the freshmen orientations, the camps, the seminars, the book fairs, the competitions.  I recalled all the guest lecturers I’d invited, remembered all the shows we’d put on for the freshmen orientations, recalling that freshman ball we hosted, remembered the singing and skit competition I’d, set up, remembering being in the trainees of the officers of the clubs of the school too, along with how I continued being the team counselor as I went into my senior year.

I’d once not wanted to graduate, because I loved being a student too much.  And, the best memories of being a student, are from, the extracurricular activities, as we’d, entered into the groups on our own, there’s, too many connections there.  Like how I watched my eldest get too excited as she’d, started, editing the footage, like how I imagined my youngest happily, leading the freshmen, because she’s, finally, a sophomore.

查看來源圖片volunteer counts too!  Photo from online

Some had found their significant others in the extracurricular groups, like my eldest brother and sister-in-law.  A lot of people found what they truly loved, like my youngest and I.  Recently, I’d, edited a periodical of a bookstore, and, I’d, found my passions there, and that, was when I’d, recalled, this, was what I loved, doing back then.

And so, these extracurricular activities in college, they’d not, only enriched our schooling careers, but it may also, point us, toward the directions of our, future jobs too, and so, don’t be too worried, when your own young got too involved in their extracurricular activities, besides, the university years aren’t about making the grades, it’s about, discovering, who we are!!!

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Filed under Choices, College Life, Connections, Friendships, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Lessons, Life, Memories Shared, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Story-Telling

Raped, by the Silences…

We are raped, by the silences, because, we’re, afraid to tell anybody what had, happened to us, because, if we tell our truths, the outside world will only, ostracize us more, saying, that it’s our fault, that we shouldn’t have, behaved too provocatively in front of that man, that we were, just, asking for it, therefore, we’d, kept our silences.

what we were…picture found online…查看來源圖片

Raped, by the silences, we were, because, we’re, too afraid to talk, too afraid for our lives, as well as the lives of, those we loved and cared about, and, can’t even begin to imagine the shame they will feel, if our stories, busted out into the open!

Raped, by the silences, there’s, no way this will, ever come to an end, because, those predators are still, lurking, waiting, for their chances to, attack, and even though, we only come out, during the daytime, sometimes, it feels, like nights…

Raped, by the silences, we were, we were all, victims before, but, I’d, managed to, turn myself, into a god DAMN survivor here, I will, NEVER be quieted, be silenced again!!! what we are now…

what we have the potentials of becoming…picture found online

Raped, by the silences, there’s, nothing we can do, to change the past, change what’s already been done to us (and no, we NEVER enjoyed it!!!).  Raped, by the silences, no we don’t, keep our lips sealed, because what was shameful, wasn’t US, it was, what was, done to us!

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Filed under Abuse, Abuser/Enabler Interaction Style, Basic Human Rights, Being Exposed, Choices, Coping Mechanisms, From a "Victim" to a "Survivor", Lessons, Life, Overcoming Obstacles, Rapes, Sexual Assaults, Violence Against Members of Opposite Sex, Wake Up Calls, Women's Issues