Category Archives: the Finality of Life

The Three-Year-Old Child was Abused to Death by Her Boyfriend, the Mother Called it in as the Child Having a Stomach Ache

The mother was, neglectful, to say the least, but she had an “alibi”, she’d not found her kid until she came home from work!  One more kid that dropped dead here!!!  Off of the Front Page Sections, translated…

The Clinic the Child was Taken to Told the Families that the Child Needed to Go to a Major Hospital, the Suspect Didn’t, after the Mother Came Home from Work Several Hours Later, Did She Finally Call for Help, Her Boyfriend Taken into Custody

Two days ago in the afternoon, Chen went to the fire department asked for help, claimed that her three-year-old son was having a “stomach ache”, by the time the ambulance arrived in the hospital, the boy was, not showing any vital signs, after the emergency resuscitation measures were performed, he was pronounced dead, the hospital reported the case as suspected abuse; the police and district attorneys found that it was the cohabiting boyfriend, Yang who abused the child physically, denied the abuse, the district attorneys after the interrogations asked the courts to have Yang into custody, and the courts allowed it, while Chen was listed as a witness, and sent home, an autopsy is scheduled today, to clarify the cause of death for the young boy.

The investigations found, that the twenty-two year-old Chen is divorced from her ex, they each took custody of a son, her ex took their eldest, moved back south, while Chen and her three-year-old youngest son lived in Longjing District, Taichung; Chen works in a betel nut stand, was all right economically, after the divorce, she’d started cohabiting with the thirty-one year-old man, Yang, and there wasn’t any records of domestic violence on file for the family.

At around three o’clock in the afternoon two days ago, Chen called emergency, stating that her three-year-old son is having a stomach ache and needed to get to the hospital, the fire department sent out the ambulance, before they arrived in the hospital, the child was already dead, the hospital unsuccessfully resuscitated him.  The hospital found there were new and old bruises on the young boy’s abdomen and back, seemingly from external forces, and, notified the social services’ violence prevention center, and the police too.

The police investigated, that two mornings ago, Yang took the boy to a local clinic, the physician at the clinic found the boy serious injured, wrote a transfer slip, told Yang to take the boy to a major hospital, but Yang didn’t, he’d taken the boy home; in the afternoon, as Chen came home from the betel nut stand where she worked, she’d found her son, she’d immediately notified the local firehouse for help, but she was, three, to four hours too late, the child was already, in a comatose.

In the interrogations, both Chen and Yang claimed, that they would discipline the boy normally, but denied the allegations of abuse, as they were sent to the D.A.’s office, Chen told the officials, that her boyfriend had beaten her son up, but Yang denied it, and, evaded the D.A.’s questions; the district attorneys believed that Yang was involved in manslaughter, with the flight risks, and the corroborating of his statements, destroying the evidences, asked the courts to have him into custody, which the courts signed off on.

The police and D.A. went to check the body of the young boy, found there were the old and new large areas of bruising on the child’s back and abdomen, but couldn’t determine what the cause of death was, the district attorneys ordered an autopsy to clarify the cause of death.

The birthfather of the young boy expressed his anger on Facebook, “how can you be so cruel in the treatment of a child?”, and grieved for his own young, “you’re no longer in pain now, do grow up happy in another world, daddy will, always, love you”, it’d made all who’d read felt very sorrowful.

And so, the mother, although she wasn’t present when her own son was brutally murdered by her boyfriend, she’s still, at fault, for enabling his abuse, she’d FAILED to protect her own son from the abuse of her boyfriend, and yet, the police only zoomed in on the perpetrator, the boyfriend who was the one who’d, actually, physically, beaten this young boy to death, why is that?  Oh yeah, because the mother wasn’t present, and she couldn’t do anything to save her son, was that it?

Well, there must’ve been previous encounters of the boyfriend’s, abusing her own son, so, why did she do nothing?  And yet, only the man who’d, brutally MURDERED her own young son was, arrested…

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Filed under Abuse, Abuser/Enabler Interaction Style, Children Murdered, Death by Negligence, Knowing the Law and Breaking It, Murder, Murdered by the Dates of Parents, Negligence, Negligence Homicide, On the Wrong Side of the Law, Right to Life, the Finality of Life, White Picket Fence, Wrongful Deaths

Holding on, to a Life that’s, Already, Gone…

Funny (not to mention WEIRD!), how those, souls go, holding on, to a life that’s, already, gone, allowing, those memories of their pasts, to haunt us.

Holding on, to a life that’s, already, gone, that, is how the DEAD, won’t let go of the living, the DEAD, hangs on tightly, like that bite of that pit bull with a DEAD WISH, never, letting go!  Holding on, to a life that’s, already, gone, why?  Why can’t they dead, just, DIE, when the bodies stopped, their, biological, functions, huh?  Why do those memories of those whom we cared too much of, still hang around?

these, earthbound, spirits, like this???

查看來源圖片
not yet, completely, detached, from her, body there…photo from online

Holding on, to a life that’s, already, gone, why?  I mean, why can’t you, just, move on?  ‘Cuz of, all those regrets that surfaced up to your mind right before you died?  Was that it?  Well, it’s too late, you’re, already D-E-A-D, like it or don’t, your life, it no longer, wanted you, NO (and your point being???) more!

And as you lay dying…well, it’s, over, ‘cuz in, three-two-one you’re, D-E-A-D!

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Filed under Life, On Death & Dying, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

Taking the Risk with the Flight, the Terminally Ill Cancer Patients Fought Hard to Survive

Due to the lack of availabilities of vaccines here in this “free” country where I’m currently living, this is what’s, currently, happening, everybody tries, to GET out of the country, to get the medical help (i.e. vaccines, and other sorts of treatment measure provisions!) they’re in need of, because the government here, “malfunctioned”…off of the Front Page Sections, translated…

The media press reported, how the Taoyuan International Airport is, jam packed with those heading over to the U.S., a lot had come to Taiwan, to escape the outbreaks, and now, people are, heading back to the States, to get the vaccines, and of them, the cancer patients, fighting for, their, lives too, this is, what my families are, faced with, the struggles.

The oncologist told, that the cancer network of U.S. set up its newest recommendations in March this year, strongly recommending cancer patients should be prioritized in receiving the MERS-CoV vaccines.  Because once the cancer patient contracted the virus, all the cancer treatment measures will be halted, and at the same time, the patients would be in quarantine; and if the infections turned into pneumonia, not only would there be needs to administer the cancer treatment drugs, but also, the drugs for pneumonia too, making the level of difficulty in treatment increasing, and this also increase the rates of, fatality.

But, the cancer patients aren’t a group of priority injection recipients.  In mid-April, a younger family member was, diagnosed with cancer, he has elderly parents, and children in the elementary school years, the burdens on him, he couldn’t, let go of.  He’d gone to N.T.U. to treat his cancer actively, taking the target medications, about to get radiation, to shrink the cancer cells, using that optimism, to fight, but, the outbreak occurred, and, messed up all of his, plans.

Life and death is already, set, we all know that.  But, if the government stalled us, nobody, I believe, can accept it.  People have the rights to life, no matter the ways, government, PLEASE, give the cancer patients, a chance, to live!

And, this is just, how bad it’s, currently, getting, in this country, where once, medical care provisions are, looked upon as, one of the BEST in the world, and yet, this round (not with Jose Cuervo, I’m afraid!) with MERS-CoV, it’d, totally, busted the medical systems, and this still just showed, how ill-prepared this country truly is, and we (collectively speaking, that is!), pride ourselves (see the previous parenthesis) on having the BEST forms of free medical healthcare program in the world?  Yeah, see how this “tiny bug” called, MERS-CoV is, kicking this country, as well as the systems’ A-S-S here!

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Filed under Life, Observations, On Death & Dying, Properties of Life, Right to Life, the Finality of Life

As Death, Approached…

He’d started, noticing death, wandering around and about, outside of, his doors, at first, he wasn’t, alerted one bit, he’s still, quite young, death couldn’t, come for him, not yet anyways!

As death, approached, he’d, shockingly realized, that it’s, coming, for me!!!  And he’d, flown, into, that frenzy, started off in panic mode: how can this be?  I’d been, very careful of my own health, no, that’s not it, it can’t be here, for me, I must be, mistaken…

hear his footsteps, getting closer, and closer, and closer yet…

查看來源圖片
photo from online

As death, approached, he’d grown, weaker, as death became, stronger by the day, lurking over his head, and now, he lay, in that, white-washed walled, hospital room, with every cell in his body, tuned in to, the fears that death made him feel.

As death, approached, he knew that there’s, NO escaping it, for, NOBODY lives, forever, and, he’d, started, slowly, accepting, that this could be, his own, end.  As death, approached, it’d, grazed him, left but, a scorch mark on his soul, but he’s still, breathing, so that’s, a sort of a blessing, isn’t it???

As death, approached, all of us, held our breaths in, hoping, praying, with our fingers crossed, that it wasn’t, here, for us, not just yet, but, death comes, to EVERY life, there’s, NO way of, escaping it!

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Filed under Expectations, Loss, On Death & Dying, Perspectives, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

A Beautiful , Yet Sad Story, Love in the Schooling Years

The love that didn’t get spoken in time, the love that passed on, with the death of that someone you liked in your, schooling years, and what his death had, taught you, translated…

One Day, I’d, Opened up My Closet, and No Matter How Hard I’d, Looked, I Just, Couldn’t, Find Those, Two Shirts, and because They’re of My Personal Collections, I’d, Not Dared Made it Open, Nor Asked Anyone, I can Only, Pull Out All the Clothes, and Prodded with My Hands, Inside that, Emptied, Drawer………………

I Just Want to Grab onto Something, a Strand of What was Left Was, Fine

My first love came to a halt, in an accident, that boy I liked in my second year of middle school, before we had the chance to exchange a single word with one another, vanished, without, a single, trace.

I was only fourteen, had absolutely NO clue of how the universe worked, I looked all around me, and saw, nothing, but the fogs, and so, I’d felt, that strong sense of helplessness, over this world which I’d originally, had a firm grasp over, I’d, wanted to, extend my hand outward, and fish around, for something, anything!

I was, close to the boy’s younger sister, she’d, worked her best, to sort through everything that her older brother had, left behind, in the countryside of Kaohsiung, everybody was living in poverty stricken means, they seem to be worse off than we were, and, what she could give me were, a couple of blurry photographs, two of her older brother’s shirts, and, the textbook that seemed to have never been, flipped through by him.

I’d carried these things as if they were, something, precious, with tentativeness and care, I’d, stashed the photo inside my diary, and, folded his clothes up to tiny, placed them to the depth of my own closet, and, I’d, read through all the pages of his textbooks thoroughly.  Back then, I’d already, read a ton of, novels, and among these, were the romances, and I’d, stubbornly held on to the beliefs of: he liked me, although just like me, he’d, never said aloud, btu he must’ve, stashed that feeling inside his heart, and, written some lines about it.

I can’t know his heart anymore, but, who knows, if he’d, only, written something inside the texts, as he’d drifted into space in class?

The summers in Kaohsiung, those, never ending, summer days, came together in a bundle, in front of the window, in the sunlight, I’d, flipped through the volumes page by page, Chinese, history, math, geography……………the class of loose students, there was only the difference of the colors of the pages being pure white, and yellow.  The schemata which were, activated in my mind, and for every horizontal stroke of pen, I’d, immediately believed that it was the first stroke of my own last name; and yet, the young boy didn’t even leave a dot of his ballpoint pen.

And so, I can only, return all his textbooks, to the past.

And so, what remained, of my first love, were the two shirts, three photos, a newspaper clipping of how two middle school boys drowned by the oceans, along with that locked diary, crawling with my handwriting ink.

No Blackhole, Nor Boy in Hiding

One day, I’d opened up my closet, and can’t find those two shirts no matter how hard I’d tried, and because they’re, my private stash, I’d not dared, asked anybody, and can only, pull all the clothes out, and, prodded into the drawers now emptied, with my own hands, that maybe, there was, a blackhole inside, that swallowed everything that didn’t belong; or maybe, there’s, that secret tunnel in the back of my wardrobe, that the boy didn’t die, he’s, just, hiding, and, came in the middle of the nights, to pull his own shirt away, wanting to tell the girl: hey, I’m still here, in some corner of this world.

Then, the diary I’d kept at the bottom of my desk drawer, seemed to have moved around, I’d taken it out to look, the locks were cut off, and the photo, the newspaper clippings, all gone, and the smeared pages I’d written down as I cried, were all, torn off, perfectly.

Okay, okay, there was, NO blackhole, no mystery, no boy hidden, the one who’d, wiped it all away was, my mother.

My homeroom instructor must’ve called my parents about this, and in the heat of anger, my mother swept up my room, got rid of everything that she deemed as obstacles in my life, everything I’d, hold too dearly to my mind.

illustration from UDN.com

圖/Emily Chan

For the first few years, the boy was buried in that tiny cemetery in the bamboo forest, in the middle of the fields, then after the bones were collected, the headstone removed, then, the fields, the bamboo forest got turned into a huge, construction site, then, the concrete jungle came atop, there’s no place for me, to remember him then.

Then, what I wrote, it will do, right.  I’d written everything into a novel on BBS, and everybody liked it, it’d reminded the readers of everything in their own, younger, years, I’d even, published it, sold many copies too, but a few years, the book became, out-of-print, and, forgotten, by the, world then.

So, everything with a set form, disappear eventually, no matter how hard you’d tried to hold on, that handful of sand still, slips out.  I’d prodded these past two years, even the parents of the boy had both, passed on, and, those who’d remembered the guy’s smile, got reduced by two more people, will we all, not leave, anything behind, one day, just spreading out palms out?

No, maybe, there’s, something that’s, evolved, and now, I’d not rummaged through my daughter’s closets, drawers, or read her diaries anymore, to not throw away anything she’d, stashed away in secret.

To protect someone’s complete forms of her/his youth, that was, what that boy who’d died too young had, given to me, a life-long, gift.

And so, this lesson from this boy you liked who’d died, taught you a lesson with his death, that love is precious, that you must, take a hold of the love you want to hold onto in the now, otherwise, it will, slip away too quickly, and, you’d also, learned to, NOT read your own teenage daughter’s diary, to let her have her private things, that only she is aware of, because your mother didn’t respect your things!

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Filed under Because of Love, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Loss, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life, The Teenage Years

I See, a Poem

As we’re, about to, die…translated…

Death, Should be a Healthy & Joyous, Journey Away,

Without the Physical Forms, Playing on Time Lightly.  But, Would You be, Willing to, Go?

The Soul Arrives First at a Place Called Dreaming

Waiting

The Body Walked Closer, on that Forked Road

Hesitant.  Whatever Came to Mind, Appeared; Whatever was Call Aloud Echoed Back

As You Wake, You Found Yourself, Still, Lying on the Hospital Bed

Sunken, in Your Own, Illnesses, Hearing the Conversation of Blood & Resting, in Peace

查看來源圖片
shadowing, over our lives…sketch from online

The Sudden Cough Blocked Out the Phlegm, I Saw

The Bones, Broken by the Coughs, Piercing Through the Flesh

The Voice that Signified Anger Toward the Pains Came Out

Slowly, Vanishing in-Between What You Can’t Lost

There’s a Smear of Blood in the Lighting of the Hallways of the Hospital

A Thin, Naked Man, Held Himself Tightly, as He is, Wheeled, Out of the Treatment Room

A Few Male Nurses Hovered All that’s Remained, the Clothes,

And I See

The Moaning of Time Following Outside, with Tears Streaming Down its, Face

And so, this, is what old age, the ill, the hospital, the terminal wards looked like, there’s always the shadows of death, lurking around, each and every hospital room, and staying in the hospital is that feel of unease, because we don’t know, when death is, coming to, claim us…

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Filed under Life, On Death & Dying, Philosophies of Life, Poetry, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

Farewell

The thoughtfulness of your mother, for setting UP her own, final affairs, as she knew you would have, more than enough on your plates, when she passes away, translated…

I want the Chinese traditional dress from Longdee!  Don’t forget it”.  My mother told me, with careful thought.  I’d watched T.V., with no mind on her, ranting.  I’d come home once in a long, long, long while, and you feared that I might forget, and so, you’d, reminded me, again, and again, of the after-death, how you wanted the white flowers at your funeral, the photo, the one of you as the head chair of the society, to select the traditional Chinese dress at the mall counters, let alone, you’d already, bought a slot for your urn already.  I’d always thought you worried too much, you’d only begun to use insulin to keep your diabetes under control.

Then, the wound from the skin peel off of your toes, left you scared for more than a year, you’d no longer dared to walk, not to mention, head outside.

“I’d not accounted for the cost of the hired nurse yet,” you’d sighed.

“We’ll pay for it, then, sell off that smallest house, you already own so many properties already!”

“No, that one’s for you!”

I can’t understand you.

“You’re already, immobilized, make yourself more comfortable, that’s, the task now!  Take a cab when you go out, don’t save up on this, go visit with your girlfriends, it’s way better than staying cramped up at home!”

Your health deteriorates by the day.  The first time you got lifted to the E.R., you’d ushered my younger brother to send out your DNR.  Your dialysis left the accumulation of fluids in your systems, you’d insisted not going to the hospital, said that in a few days, you will be like the elderly woman next door, die on her own, at home, I’d begged you, who was clearly, in a whole lot of pain, gotten down on my knees, then you’d, finally allowed the paramedics to move you, onto the ambulance.  As you went in, the doctor said you’re about to go into shock, wanted me to sign you treatment slip, I’d told, that you want the do-not-resuscitate orders, the physician got angered, and asked, “then why did you come to the hospital?”  Tears came running, and I was left, without, any, replies.

illustration from UDN.com

圖/豆寶

Several months later, you’d left, without, disturbing anyone.  An elder had already been told, that we were to get reminded to find that handwritten last will of yours in your room.  You’d written out how the assets would be split up, and how you were, more than grateful for my younger brother’s taking care of you, worried that our older brother has the pressures of mortgage, that was why you’d left him the shopfront, and insisted that your daughters who were married all have a share of your assets.  And we also found the four extra developed copies of the family photo, with the names of the three of us, sons and daughter and our father on it, for us to keep.

I’d prepared your favorite foods and drinks on the forty-nineth day after you died, and you were happy, and allowed us to know how pleased you were.  On the way home, I’d asked my two kids what I liked to eat, and they couldn’t tell.  And it’d, suddenly dawned on me, because you knew we didn’t know you that well, that’s why you’d, made the specifications; to not get us off our guards, you’d needed to, set everything up beforehand; worried that those of us who are still here might be distraught, you’d, found ways, to offer us the solace.

Your love, my mother, still never let go, until, your, final, moment in life!

And so, this, is the considerations of your elders, because losing your mother would hit hard, and she knew it, and so, your mother had, set everything up, and all you and your siblings, your loved ones had to do, is to, just follow her instructions, that, is the thoughtfulness of your elders, toward you.

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Filed under Life, On Death & Dying, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

That Day, Unknown

On watching her husband, suffer, with his terminal illness, waiting, for death to come and, claim him, translated…

That day, my husband was, wheeled into the treatment room, had a “smooth ride” of his cancer treatment processes, no loss of hair, no losing all his weight, he’d only, complained of aches and pains more often, and as the primary treating physician visited his ward, he’d only, begged him for more pain meds, but, after the pains subsided, another sort of illness, took him over.

One afternoon, I’d, rushed off to the hospital, it was the call of the caretaker from the bed next to his.  I’d never seen him like this before, lips trembling continually, kept apologizing repeatedly, I’m sorry, I’m, sorry, the group of doctors hovered over his bed, and started discussing, and because my husband was in and out of comas, and started calling aloud things that don’t make sense, fearing that it might affect the other patients who shared the same room as he, they’d decided to wheel him into the treatment room.

查看來源圖片
as he’d, become like this…photo from online

And after that we’d, taken, that downhill slope toward, the bottom, he could laugh and chat at first, but, with his getting diagnosed with acute pneumonia, he had an intubation, and because of how the hospital worried that he might hurt himself, they’d, restrained him with the cloth bands to his bed, and his elbows now, bruised up, with the days that came and went, his skins ulcered.  Every day, he’d slept, waken up, waken up, and slept, and can only, stare at the ceilings, as he’d come home from work from before, he’d, ranted, incessantly on what went on during his work day, he can, no longer speak a single word now, and it must be, too, trying for him.

At first, my husband mapped out his, recovery plan, placed it at the bottom of his, desk drawer, he had a strong will to survive then, was optimistic on this path to, defeat cancer, and yet, months passed by, the life and death that came and went in the hospital wards, the elderly who was still there on the next bed, got wheeled out with a white cloth covering the bed today, my husband also, transferred from the normal wards, into the I.C.U., and connected to the machines to live now.

Once, I’d, gotten closed to his ears, told him, “if you still want to live, nod”.  And it wasn’t, as I’d expected, a nod, he’d shaken his head then, for a very, very, long time, with the tears that stained up a huge chunk of his, pillow.  While I, too selfish, can only, struggle within my own self, after I’d made up my mind, I’d still, tried to keep the moments of visiting him in the hospital afterwork, again, and again, and again, hour by hour, and, begged for that, unknown day, to finally, come.

And so, this, is how difficult it is, to watch someone you love very dearly, get tortured by his, illness, and, at the start he had this strong will to survive, thought he was going to, overcome, but, as time went by, he grew weaker, sicker, and now, he can only, lie in his hospital bed, and wait for death, and there’s, nothing you CAN do for him, save for, sign that DNR on his, behalf now.

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Filed under Awareness, Do-Not-Resuscitate, Life, On Death & Dying, Properties of Life, Right to Die, the Finality of Life, The Right to Choose How One Will Die, Values

The Most, Unforgettable, Words

Because you’d, spent some time with your own mother, you have, NO regrets, after she’d, died, translated…

“The North Wind Blow/the Snow Falls/Underneath that Lonely Light/Only My Mother………” that folk song came, from the radio, and it’d, roused up the feelings of missing my own mom, along with our very last, conversation.  The lucid memories are like the wind, taking me, to that old mansion, so suddenly.

It was February that year, the weather, a bit, colder, my father-in-law was in critical condition, hospitalized, and, I had another worry, my mother, who’s not, doing at all, that well.  I’d called home during that time, my mom who’s, weakened was always, too drowsy, only spoke a few short words, then, passed out.

One day I received a call from the hired caretaker, said that my mother’s oxygen level was low in her blood, my heart tightened, and I took the high-speed rail, southbound immediately.

The afternoon sunshine, slanted in to the vacant living room, passed through that long hallway, I’d arrived at the bedroom on the first floor, where my mother was, fast, asleep.  I walked to the bed, saw her slender face, the room was filled with the sound of the blood-oxygen machine and her heavy breathing.

I’d called to her light, “Mom, I’m home!”, she’d opened up her eyes, “Why are you home?  Have you eaten yet?”, then, she told me she wanted to get out of bed, and I’d, helped her onto the wheelchair with the homecare nurse, and took her to the living room.

on her, deathbed…

like this??? Artwork from online

My mother’s weakened body can’t sit up straight, she’d told me weakly, that her mouth tasted, bitter, I told the nurse, to get some plum pieces, that was from two weeks ago when I’d come home, it was my mother’s, favorite.  The nurse broke off a small piece to give to her, she’d looked at the nurse, told, “Give some to second eldest too.”  Her words was this surge of warmth, entered into my body, that was my mother’s love for me, I knew she was sharing it because she loved it so.

Not long thereafter, she’d told us she was short of breath, wanted to return back to bed to lie.  So we’d, wheeled her back to her bedroom, put her to bed, then, she fell into a comatose, slurred her speech, until the end.

As I’d lost my father and my eldest sister, they’d not had the opportunities to have a final word with us, and so, my mother’s, “give a piece to second eldest” became something cherished, it was the love overflowing for me from my mother, and it’s, also, something that was, unforgettable, as I’d, remembered my mother since.

And so, this, is on life and death, of how important it is, to BE with, one’s own parents, of how important those moments that you will NEVER get a chance to live again means, after the loved ones, passed on, to leave, NO words of love unsaid, to have, NO regrets, left behind!

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Filed under Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Life, On Death & Dying, Perspectives, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

The Warmth of that Halo from an Angel

查看來源圖片
volunteer companion for the elderly here, photo from online

Grateful toward the volunteers at the hospital, for helping you with your father’s, final passage of life, and now, you hoped to, pass that same kindness onward too, translated…

He’d Asked Me to Think Hard on the Matter, So I Don’t Have Any Regrets, Those Eyes, Peaceful as the Oceans without the Waves, Reflected the Gentle Light of the Moon, and They’d Understood, All My Worries, My Considerations………..

After reading Mr. Zheng-Hsiung Hsu’s “I Volunteer at the E.R.”, my mind was pulled back to the E.R. of the hospital twelve years ago.  Back then, it was just the beginning of the springtime, the sunshine outside was warming, while my heart, my mind was, experiencing the sleet, the snow, the hail, it’d felt like my world was, crumbling down.

I Am, Making the Right Decisions, aren’t I?

My dear dad was diagnosed with liver cancer, he was eighty-five years old, weakened in his physical health, and mildly, demented too, he’d slept, longer than he was, awake, and it didn’t look good.  As we waited for the hospital room to become available, the doctor asked, “if”, and would I want to resuscitate him?  He’d told me to think on the matter thoroughly, so I won’t have any regrets in the futures, his eyes, peaceful like the oceans without the waves, reflected the gentle rays of the moon, and made me felt that he’d, understood what I was, faced with.

There was the bed that became available in the hospice, I’d taken all our belongings, and an unsettled heart, I’d, wheeled my father, to the place, closest to heaven on earth.  After I’d settled my father in, the nurse, after filling out the forms, left temporarily.  That bed was next to the window, it’d, allowed me to see the blue skies and the moon, to tell if it was night or day; I’d, pull back the curtains, and, this was, the tiny world that belonged to just my father and I.  I’d turned on the T.V., and, switched to Animal Planet, my father’s eyes opened up, and he’d started speaking, “bear!” yes, there was, an American black bear on.

In the sleep and wake of close to twenty days, my father spoke, for the very, first time, I suppose, I’d, made the, right decisions by him then?

The following day after the doctors made the rounds, there was a petit volunteer who’d, led me to familiarize myself with the surrounding environment, but I’d, looked over at my father in the bed, became, hesitant, not wanted to leave his side.  “Don’t worry, your father won’t disappear, it’s a secure place, there are some equipment that you can take him to use, there’s also, an aerial courtyard on the sixth floor, you can wheel your father in the afternoons for some sun.”  She’d patted my shoulders, given me a smile, and I saw two dimples came onto her cheeks.

I’d followed close by her side, as she’d, taken me on that walk-through.  Passing the nurse’s stations, she’d pointed to the tea keg, told, “every morning the volunteers would bring in a fresh brew of tea, you can get some here, and you can soak the teas in the sponges and brush your father’s teeth with it too, it’ll make him feel a whole lot better, having fresh breaths, he’ll surely, have an appetite for food then!”  We’d walked past a huge aquarium, cute Nemo swam in-between the sea anemones, “this tank is Gu’s territory, the young girl, Lin in the next room to your father’s, is a huge fan, and she’d come, more than three times a day to look!”  Passed through the laundry room and the fridge, there was, a prayer room, a small Buddhist shrine, “when you can’t handle it anymore, and not wanted to tell anyone, just come in here!”  The Goddess of Mercy, Jesus Christ, do tell the cancer cells in your father’s systems, that we’re not, trying to kill them, but, please, don’t torture dad, and just, coexist in peace with him.

We’d arrived to the lobby then, the black couch separated the space, on the right, there’s the T.V., the shelves for books, newspapers, and magazines, the corner by the window had the foot massage machines, and the exercise bike, the massage chair, on the left, a simple kitchen, and tale, on the kitchen counters, the food processer, and the Datong rice cooker.  “This is Wang’s area, everything you see is donated by the volunteers, you can use it at your will, just clean them up after you used them, and put the items back where you find them”.  I’d decided, to make some juices for dad then.

She’d continued, “if your dad can’t come over here, then, you can borrow the foot massage and take it back to his hospital room to use.  This couch is quite comfortable, when your families come, you can come here for a short nap, or have your meals here, you’ll feel more at home.”  Her explaining everything was warm, and it’d, energized me, and my heart felt, comforted.

illustration from UDN.com

圖/Emily Chan

She’d Given My Father the Courage to Return Home

That aerial courtyard became a small piece of heaven that my father and I shared, we’d gazed up at the blue skies, the white clouds, watching the butterflies danced, the fish in the lotus pond, and, I noted how that flower started, blooming upward, from the corner of, my father’s, lips.  I’d wondered, would I be, asking too much, if the days just go on like this, forever?

In about a month, my father became, stabilized, the feeding tubes, the catheter, and the drips were all, removed.  The nurses asked, “would you like to take your father home?”, of course I do, but, at home, there’s not the medical profession staff members as back up, and I’d, worried that there might be situations that I couldn’t, handle on my own—oh, I’m so very afraid, that my father would, start, coughing up blood again.

And I was, caught, in this battle once more.  The following day, the volunteer took me to the couch for a chit chat, “you’d taken good care of your father these past few weeks, he would wish to return home, where he’d felt, familiar in, with the families around him.  The nurses’ station will offer the 24-hour support calls, the nurses of the hospice program will visit your home by the week, don’t be afraid, you can, check your father back in if something were to, happen.  I’m sure, that your father will help you out, he does, feel for you, he will, find ways, to encourage you.”  She’d, spoken out my fears, and, gave me the courage to, take dad home.

We’d not returned into the hospital again.  On a weekend supper a month later, he’d opened up those bright eyes wide, and, looked at us deeply for one last time, then, headed up to heaven, to accompany our, grandparents.

I want to say thank you to the men and women who volunteered at the hospital, for giving us that light in the darkness we desperately, needed.  And, when the time comes, I too, shall become, a light for those who are, lost in the darkness, thank you.

And so, this is how kindness gets, passed on down, because you’d, received the emotional support you were in need of during your father’s hospitalization, and the words of the volunteer, helped you cope with your father’s conditions, and as you are, finally healed from the loss of your own father, you plan to, give back to the community, just like these hospital volunteers had done too, passing along, that sense of helping others, that kindness along.

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January 17, 2021 · 5:28 am