Category Archives: Perspectives

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

Because of Your Not Ready to Let Me Go, I Had to, Suffer, Longer than I Had to…

tattooed, around the area where the tube is, supposed to, go in…photo from online

I’d been found, in the TERMINAL stage of cancer, it’d, progressed too advance, metastasized, took over, my other organs as well, but because of your not ready to let me go, I had to, suffer, longer than I had to.

I get, that you love me, and couldn’t see me die, but heck, EVERYBODY dies, I’d, already, come to understand that, through the course, of this, illness, and, as my cancer had, progressed, little, by little each and every day, I’d, become, less than all I once was, I’d lost, ALL my dignities, I’d started, wearing DIAPERS for crying on loud, and needed people, to carry me up and down, and I can’t even, sit STRAIGHT, in my god damn, WHEELCHAIR either!

Despite everything that’s been done, my cancer is still “on”, in fact, it’s, MORE than on, and, this last round of chemo, it’d, left me, so FUCKING weak, I can’t even see anything in front of my eyes now.

查看來源圖片the forms…photo from online

Is this the way, I want to live? HELL no! And yet, you’re, still, keeping me here, but W-H-Y, huh? Why do you, HATE me so, that you feel compelled, to DRAG me through this SHIT in these dying days of mine? And, why can’t I, just, have some peace, and just, live from breath to breath?

I’m NOT afraid to D-I-E, by any measures, in fact, I wish I were DEAD now, and yet, look at, these tubes that are, attached to my body, there’s one, to drain out the excess fluids, one that’s, in my arms, to draw the blood out for testing’s sake, and oh, do you not see, this tube that’s, stuck down MY fucking throat here? And, don’t EVEN, get ME started, on what feeding time is like every single time here???

Now, ask yourselves this: would THIS be the way, you all want to, live out the rest of your lives? And, if you could have a choice, wouldn’t you, just, want someone, to PULL the P-L-U-G-S?

So, why are you, still, keeping your own loved ones, connected to that monitor, beeping, beeping, beeping, beeping, beeping, and beeping away, huh?

This is, completely, I-N-H-U-M-A-N-E, and NOBODY deserves to, LIVE like this, especially, NOT during those, final days, years, months of her/his, life………

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Filed under Awareness, Basic Human Rights, Because of Love, Cost of Living, Do-Not-Resuscitate, Euthanasia, Expectations, Issues of Morality, Letting Go, Life, Mercy Killings, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Right to Die, The Right to Choose How One Will Die, Values

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

What if, the Legalities of Your Marriages, Rests on Someone Like Me?

Uh, this is, what’s, up for “grabs” in the election coming up this weekend!

What if, the legalities of your marriages, rests on someone like me, and I just happen, to be a HOMOPHOBE (not that I am or anything like that!!!), and, what IF, the rest of the majority of the population in this country, ARE just like me, haters of homosexuals?  Then, you, who’s a homosexual, would be, totally, SCREWED!!!

What if, the legalities of your marriages, rests on someone else, other than the two of you, huh?  If you were, born a certain way, you should NOT be made, to PAY for it, that is, how you were born, it wasn’t, your fault, and yet, this voting session is, penalizing those who are, DIFFERENT, with an alternative, SEXUAL orientation, so, how’s that fair, huh?

I mean, I would HATE it, if someone tells ME who I can, or can not love, or marry!  After all, it’s, MY life, my choice, and NOBODY ELSE should have a say in it.

What if, the legalities of your marriages, rests on someone else?  Is that even fair?  And no, I’m still, NOT begging all of you, to vote for or against GAY rights, I’m merely, presenting a “case” here, think about it, if it were you, how would you feel, if someone tells you, who you can or can not fall in love with, huh???

But, I’m still, voting this Saturday, and guess which way I’m voting?  FOR HUMAN rights!  That’s, how I shall, always BE voting!!!

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Filed under Awareness, Basic Human Rights, Choices, Cost of Living, Gay Rights, Lessons, Life, Moral Responsibilities, My Thoughts on Various Issues, Nonconformity, Observations, Perspectives, Soup of the Day

The Succulents

Lessons of life, these small plants have to, offer to us, and, it’s, an important one too!  Translated…

Don’t know when, raising the succulent plants became, a trend.

One afternoon, I was strolling down the underground shopping strip, and, stopped in front of a small plant, and, I’d, suddenly understood, where that sense of healing that people talked about came from.  Those chubby leaves, resembled the paws of the bear, with the lighting, the soft and thin fuzz, made me feel, extremely, calm and collected.

On the succulent plants, as I thought, the images of those potted cute things came.  The healing sensation culture, made the succulent potted plants became a total trend, turning it, into a brand new sort of merchandise, they’d gotten, posted on the websites.  These plants are regulars at the cafés all around, an assortments of handicraft designs of them too, the potteries.  Real and fake, the fake looked, so very, real, and, how easily, human were, saved, in this mixture of what’s real and what’s fake, and, doesn’t this symbolize how we’re, squeezed too hard daily, that we needed to, look toward this small plant, to find our renewed energies?

At this moment, I stood, before the glass window, looking at the bear paw, in the temperature and humidity controlled room, hearing the salesperson tell of how to care for the succulent plants.  Thinking, that, they’re, both succulent plants, and, could it be, that the ghost plant?

wonders of nature here…photo from online…succulent plants 的圖片結果

In my childhood memories, the succulent plants weren’t as precious as these.  It’s a sort of a food, instead of a decorating plant.  This began, with my eldest uncle who’d loved his plants as if, they were, his own children.  Way before the trendy gardening came, my eldest uncle and aunt already, decorated their yard and rooftop, into small gardens.  In my impressions, he was always, living in dirt.  From when I was younger, I’d, watched him digging into the dirt, in the front yard, he’d told me that he was, loosening the soil by the seasons, so the flowers and trees can, grow better.  He’s the kind of man that would, pluck a flower as he trekked up the mountains for you, to taste the nectars.  Once, he’d had me select my favorite flower by his racks of plants, that I can take one with me.  I’d only recalled that I got very excited, and ran toward that patch of flowers, but felt panic all of a sudden.  Having the conditions of selective difficulty, I’d felt, anxious, of the sudden influx of the choices presented to me.  In this heat, I’d, pointed toward that patch of gray off to the corners.  As I walked near, the greenish purple color of the plant, made it look mysterious, the leaves were criss-crossed, like a dream catcher.

My eldest uncle laughed, “You sure do know how to pick them, this is for eating!”, he’d quickly plucked a few leaves off, ran into the house to wash them up, not long thereafter, I’d, stared at the fatty leaf, hesitant, as I, took a bite, that crisp sound, with the sour and stale juice that came onto my tongue, and, as I chewed it more, the taste turned, sweeter, perhaps, it’d, tasted like the unsweetened bell fruit, with that taste of herb to it.  This discord of the appearance and taste, was impacting to me, “It’d, tasted like the bell fruit!”, my uncle’s smile became a squint in his eyes, nodded toward me satisfactorily, “This small leaf, will grow into many flowers, you got the pick!”  He’d placed the leaf into the palm of my hand.  Looking at the fatty leaf, I’d thought, “nice to meet your acquaintance!”, and that was when I recalled, that my very first cultivated plant, was also a succulent.

It’s, quite amazing, the parent plant stayed in a huge garden with the enriched soil, and the high humidity, did it ever imagine, that its leaves were going to, move into the lanai of a building in the city?  But, it’d, lived up to the expectations, the leaves multiplied.  In a couple of years, the small finger-sized leaves, became this, bush of leaves, a small garden.

Weird, how as we aged, we’d gone from a leaf from the ghost flower, into a bear claw crassula?  From when I was younger, I’d believed, that life will be like a ghost plant, with the goal, worked hard, under the sun, and, get enough water, I will be able to, bloom, grow, leaf after leaf, after leaf, and successfully, bloom.  But, the reality was like the wind, slapping you across the face.  And after awhile, we’d, slowly, grown, into a viewing plant that’s, fearful, of getting hurt, used to, hiding ourselves, inside that transparent glass container, trading in our protective colorations, for cuteness, sitting in our, isolated, universes, preserved ourselves.

very different in appearances, but, same in “nature”, with the strong will to survive, in the harshest of all conditions!  Photo found online…

Sometimes, life is like a cruel desert, turning us, into, a cactus.

I’d often forgotten, that beneath that healing image, the cacti, with the needles, are a member of the succulent plants.  From succulent, into prickly, that soft fuzz no longer in existence, replacing them, the prickly needles.  The flesh, through the grinds of the days, became calluses, but, the calluses, the thorns, used their stubbornness, wrapped up your heart that’s, softest and most fragile, most, easily hurt.

Hey, did you ever see a flower of a cactus?  Oh yeah, it blooms too.

I’d once, owned a round and stout, cactus with the shorter thorns.  Days into years, its plain looks made people think it’s, nothing more than a décor. Yet, one spring, it’d, started, budding around, with a small light hidden within.  I will, never forget that morn, as the sunlight shone slanted onto the lanai, and, there appeared, a palm-sized flower out of the cactus.  Bright yellow like a fire burning, but, thin as the wings of a butterfly.  The petals soaked up the sun, golden, in full bloom, shown its deepest, gentleness.

At that very moment, all the memories of pain, walking through all those summers, became, light as a grain of sand.

And so, this, is the lesson that people can learn, from these plants, surely, they’re, not easy to care for, but, if you look after them well, they will, show you a side of life that’s, quite inspiring, and teach you, that weathering through the seasons of life, is something as plain as living from day to day.

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The Air, My Friend

The column by Jimi Liao, translated by me…

The child to the sloth, or, the sloth, to the child…

Let’s take it slow now…………

No matter how quickly the world changes………

Let’s just, take it slow……………

No matter, how worked up others are around us………

We will, continue to, take it slow together………

One day…

Someone will, finally, get us………

Understanding, that slower is faster……

We’re in no rush……………

Slowly, slowly, slower, slower………………

And this, would be how hard you’re all, PUSHING your children, to catch up to your tempos or paces, and by doing that, you’d, deprived your young, of taking their times, to grow UP slow, at their own paces, and, at the same time, you’d, SLAUGHTERED your young children like P-I-G-S, depriving them, of a happy, AND carefree childhood!

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