Category Archives: the Finality of Life

Leaving One Last Play Behind

An example of how to set up, one’s own, final assets, regarding the divisions of inheritances, and one’s own, final care too!  Translated…

In the past, we were, coworkers, AND rivals too.  I’d, hated how she’d, talked trash about me in her conversations, but I couldn’t, help but feel in awe at how swiftly she’d, handled the matters at work, or how she was able to, realize something way before the rest of us had.  I’ll admit, I’m, a bit jealous of her.  After I’d, left my former place of work, I’d heard, that she’d, switched to working in another company too, and had even, gotten promoted to a manager.  Thanks to the internet, it’d, connected us again, and we’d, started, talking sporadically, about the things that are of, no important, matters.

Not long ago, she’d asked me out for coffee, out of curiosity, I’d, agreed.  The day we met up, she’d, lost a ton of weight, and, her eyes were, a whole lot, softer too.  She’d told me she was now, retired, I’d, prodded, “Would your boss let you go?  Wasn’t he the least bit afraid, that nobody will, fill your shoes?”, she’d smiled and told me, “he had to, because, which business owner wanted, to keep a cancer patient on the payroll?”, I felt that shock inside.  Turned out, she’s been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the third stage.  She’d told her oncologist, that she won’t be going through the extensive treatment measures, only keeping her pain controlled, during this time period, she’d first shown gratitude toward her older brother and sister-in-law, to tell her only daughter that she loves her, that on the road of single parenthood, her daughter, was her one and only, biggest console; and lastly, she thought, of me, wanted to apologize to me, that from when we’d worked together, she’d always, talked trash because she’d, envied how perfect my family is, and how everybody in the office got along with me so well………..

I didn’t know what to say to her, and, all the encouragements, and words of console seemed, excess and unnecessary.  So I’d asked her, if she’d, set up her final affairs?  For instance, the most practical, transferring her assets, the properties and the cash too, I was so certain, that it was to dodge the inheritance taxes, she’d, totally have, already, transferred the money to her daughter’s accounts, but that was, not what, she’d done.  Other than giving partial of her assets to her daughter, she’d, donated some to charitable causes, and, saved some for herself, including the property she now, lives in.  I was so curious, as to why she’d, saved some for herself?  She’d told me she wasn’t, a stingy person, although she’s, dying, but how much longer will she be, around?  The doctor’s verdicts may not be, absolute, she’d hoped, that she could, walk her final mile in someplace familiar, her own, home, and, during this time, she would, need to, spend the money to care for her self, she’d, needed, to hire a nurse to take care of her, that she’d, needed, to take good care of herself in illness.  If she didn’t die, she’d not wanted to, rely on her daughter to help her live, although, the money her daughter has, were once, from her too, but she’d, transferred the money to her daughter’s name, and, it’s, no longer, owned by her.  She’d also told me, “I’d given my child so much, what’s a little inheritance tax on her part?”, it’d, made my heart shocked, such a different sort of parent, this was, the way, for a win-win.

As the shop was, about to close, we’d, asked the waiter to take a photo of us together, we’d said goodbye.  She’d told me, to not ask around about her then, she wouldn’t have any final rites, that tonight, was the last time we’ll, ever meet up.  She’d told me, “I want you, to remember me as right now!”

On the MRT, I’d, looked, at that photo of us, I’d, thought about what she’d said about her “saving a part of her own assets for herself”, I’d felt, that she was, a role model, for how all parents should, set up the inheritances to give to their young, she’d been, an, amazing competitor, whom I’d, learned, a whole lot from that’s for sure!

And so, this, was how well-thought-out this woman was, of planning her own final affairs, she’d, made sure that her daughter will be, taken care of, and, used the amount after she’d set aside for her own daughter’s sake, to donate to charity, and, saved another portion for herself for her own, final care, that way, she wouldn’t become a burden to her own young, and she’d, still, managed, to leave her daughter with something, as well as, help those in need too.

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Filed under Cost of Living, Decision-Making, Expectations, Lessons, Letting Go, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life, Values

He Said He Was, Tired, the Dramas of Life

On how a father couldn’t let go, because of how much there is, keeping him in the world, even though his body is, slowly, quitting on him, translated…

The morning sun shone brightly, the green forests of Nantou made oxygen an abundance, we took in the deep inhales, and exhales.  He walked ahead of me, the destination: a nearby elementary school, for a workout, the step counter showed 2,130 steps.  He’d made a pact, that he was, going for 10,000 steps a day.  He’d executed this plan of his alone for months already, and, I can only manage to find the time, on the weekends when I didn’t have to, work.  I’m really, looking forward to the good particles from the sun, to making his body healthier, the serotonin, the dopamine, the adrenaline…………

“If I die, you need to, look after yourself well,” he’d stated to me.  “What happens to the child?  What happens to dad?  No, this is not the discussion I want to have right now…………” this was the conversation that began, many, many, many years ago, with a period of time of him in the hospital, with the medical treatments, to bring his life back to normal, we’d, moved to the mountains in Nantou, hoping, that the clean air can, keep him healthier.  Taking his elderly a hundred-year-old father here to stay was his wish, Nantou’s countryside is a great place, with the conveniences of hospitals, with the Veteran’s Hospitals, the Christian Hospitals, etc., etc., etc.  Although he’d needed the sleep aids to go to bed at night, and yet, being able to have these verbal exchanges with him, to fight over the television for the shows we wanted to see, we had, our, share of, a simpler life together.

Although, having to head back to the hospitals regularly annoyed him, he’d still, followed the doctors’ orders, took his meds regularly, kept a regular schedule of life, but don’t know why, or when it’d, started happening again, he’d, felt ill again.  His heartrate got past 120 per minute, he’d started, losing weight quickly, and needed to return back to the enclosures of the hospital wards.  I’d asked him where he’d hurt?  With his hand of his chest, he’d told me, it wasn’t, hurt, it was, painful for him.

In the lobby of the hospital, he’d, pulled on my hand, looked me into the eyes, said to me, “Honey, I’m tired now, let me go, let go of my hands, it’s really, painful for me to stay, I can’t, take it anymore…………”, I’d, let go of his hand, wrapped my arms around his waist, put my head, on his chest.  How I wish I could, get inside his heart, to find out where he was, hurting, why was it, that his most beloved father, his siblings, and his, dearest daughter, and his wife, couldn’t, make him, stay?

Sometimes, the body’s just, been tried too hard, and it wants, to quit, but the only reason why the individual is still alive, is because s/he didn’t want to, leave her/his families who loved her/him behind, like this is the case here.

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Filed under Family Matters, Letting Go, Life, On Death & Dying, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

Meeting My Daughter Who Ran Away, a Poem

On accepting death, finally, translated…

She is My Daughter

But She, Ran Away

Perhaps, it’s the Wind, the Night Skies

The Stars, the Clouds, the Sunsets Tempting Her on

The River Flowed, the Grasses Grew

I Don’t Know How to, Call Her Back

She was My Daughter of the Past

Born, into the Night, Forgotten, by Sunrise

She was, Never, Returned to My Side

Only Left a Letter, at that High Tower of the Ancient Times

Under the Mulberry Tree, with One Solitary Leaf Fallen Beneath it

Before, the Hooves of, a Fatigued, Steed

Maybe Time had, Never, Left

But, I’d Not Seen Her at Chang-An, Nor Taipei

The Galaxies on the Posters, in the, Nighttime Skies

My Dreams, Premeditated, an Everlasting Dance

My Daughter Who’d, Left, Did She, Venture from the Life Before, to the Next Life Already

What is She Doing Now

As the Rain Falls, the Pond Pretending to be Asleep

That White-Feathered Bird with Its Wings, Damp, Flew Across the Skies

Those Pieces of Driftwood Stood, on the Distant Mountains

Walking Down the, Unknown Paths, Did She, Hear My Calls Out to Her

From Afar

And so, this, is on death, the narrator had lost his child, and, perhaps, she’d died, just a few days after birth, but, no matter how brief the time the man had with her, he’d, already, loved her very much, and, this poem, is his process of, letting her go.

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Filed under Cost of Living, Lessons, Letting Go, Life, Loss, On Death & Dying, Parenting/Parenthood, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

The Deceased

Translated…

The Wind and Rain Suddenly Came in the Middle of the Nights

Hacked Hard, at the Boards in the Backyard.  As Dawn Breaks, the Sun, Seeped Through, the Cracks of the Windows

First, it was, Cohen, with His, Lower Voice, Gone, then, Wanda and Her Smiles Too.  I Was, Once Like, Their Child, Growing in Their, Happiness.  They’d, Left Some of Whom They Loved Behind, on the Vinyl Players, Some, Oxidized with the DVDs, Some, Can’t Even Remember Themselves, Slowly, Dissipated, into the Air, Touching Those Strangers they Meet on Occasions.

As My Son Lay on Me Before He Drifts to Sleep, He’d Wanted Me to be a Boat.  To Rock, to Sway Singing on, How Much Longer, Can I, Carry You?  The Small Boat Has its Own Paths, to Sail, to Vanish.  But, I Shall, Return, I Shall, Keep on, Rocking You, Be it Rain or Wind, or that, Soundless, Sunshine Through Your Windows.

And this, is on death, on how we can, keep those we’d lost in our minds, and they’re not, really gone away, after all, NOBODY can, escape, death, because you were, born once!

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Filed under Awareness, Because of Love, Coping Mechanisms, Letting Go, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, the Finality of Life, Values

The Season of the Frost

As death, slowly, takes over, the living, translated…

The afternoon sun came in, from the southwest side, the light that weren’t, blocked out, by the house next door, slanted down, lazily, imprinted itself, onto the patio, reflecting the rhombus pattern of the screen door, her black cat, Charcoal lay, on that patch of sun that’s, on the ground, it seemed, that he was, unwilling, to leave that spot.

As she stared, at this frame, there came, the eyes of that elderly woman, the elderly face was, so thin, with the deepening of the wrinkles on her face, her skin, dark in complexion, very thin in its, layer, with one eye, slanted, and the eye that stared at people, it’d, looked, extremely, delicate, with the corner lifted upward.  Maybe, back when the elderly was a younger woman, she was, beautiful, it’s just, that the year drifted too far away from her now, and, she’s not related to her, and so, she can, only, make her own guesses on her.

what that, looked, like…查看來源圖片photo found online

She’s, a caretaker, taking the shifts from the night previous.  The elderly woman is close to eighty years of age, not even forty kilograms in weight, quite weak in physique, and even so, she’d still, insisted on, taking herself to the bathrooms.  She’d, taken into considerations her stature, and wanted to allow the elderly to have what’s left of her own, dignity, she’d, allowed the elderly, to lean on her, and took her to the bathroom, and, as the night got deeper, she’d, made the trips, many more times.  The elderly always, sat on the toilet a long time, and, as she helped her back into bed, she could hear the elderly pant like a dog.  As the nurse saw, she’d, grilled her, to NOT help her go to the bathrooms again, that she could just, let the elderly go in her diapers.  Later she’d, taken care of the diapers’ worth of brownish, sticky material.  As the families learned of this, they’d told, that in these recent ten days, the woman lacked an appetite, and didn’t eat anything when they took her home, only had the liquid nutritional drinks, how can she expel so much waste.  As she heard, her heart went colder, and reminded the families in a round and about way, that they need to be, prepared.  What she couldn’t tell them was, please, take your mother home with you, so the high tech devices, don’t drag her life out for longer than it should’ve, lasted.

As the elderly woman was lying there, she’d, used her delicate eyes, asked, “Miss, can you please give me some medications, that I can take, and just, die.”  Then, “I’m going to find my dad now.” And from time to time, she’d, hung her head down low, held tight to her tiny achy frame, mumbled on, “I’m going to die”.

As the day broke, the families came by, the elderly started grilling them, “are you, leaving me here, to die?”, her children were about fifty or sixty years of age, looked honest enough, but without a clue, and, as they’d heard their mother’s questions, they’d, seemed, helpless, rebutted, “We sent you here to get better, how can we leave you here, to die?”  the nurse told the families to go outside, she’d watched the loved ones, nodded away like bobbleheads, they started, writing something down on a sheet of paper that the nurses handed them.

this, is what the end, might, look like…查看來源圖片photo from online

At around noon, the medical staff, suddenly, gathered around in the room.  The families, as well as she, were, ushered outside.  In a panic, the elderly had, multiple tubes going in and out of her body: the trachea, the feeding tubes through the nose, connected to the stomach, the catheter, the drips, with some tranquilizer, the elderly lost consciousness, with the oxygen mask over her face, the assortments of drips on the poles, then, the entire bed, got wheeled off, into the I.C.U.

She received a day’s worth of nurse’s pays, dragged out her luggage, walked, on the golden sun rays of the season of the frost, as the golden sunshine was about, to get off the clock.

As she arrived home, there were the cats, and no humans around, her kids had all grown up and left home, her husband no longer alive.  She’d put a kettle on, gone to pick the two sticks of chamomiles out in her yard, on lemon grass, three leaves of mint, made it, into a cup of, lightly, sweetened, light green solution.  As she’d, found her calm again, she’d recalled, a patient she couldn’t, let go of as she was being trained as a caretaker, it was, also, an elderly of eighty or ninety years of age, she’d helped turned him over in the bed, and, as she’d touched his body, she’d found, that the man was, so stiffened up, that he’d, looked like a curled up shrimp, most of the patients she worked for, as she’d helped them flip over, would sigh, and yelp, but this elderly man, is a dead body, with just, one breath left inside of him, like a cookie, she’d turned him, left, and then, right, no response, there’s, no changes in the lines on his body, or posture, he’d, stuck on the hospital bed, and it’s, actually, abandonment, in the name, of terminal care, how long had it been, since someone, helped moved his muscles?  Otherwise, how could he be, so stiff?  And yet, the people around him, they’re sliding on their cell phones, eating their meals, and just, busying themselves, around, and about.

The sun had, retracted, to a corner on the lanai now, the rhombus shaped pattern now, gone, Charcoal hopped, into her lap.  She’d, patted that body of color, Charcoal started, purring at her.  The elderly with the corners of the eyes lifting upward, your wings of youth had already been, put up, stored away, inside, that long hallway of time, without all those, tubes to keep you alive, hmmmmmmmmm, it’s, hard to, say.————She took a small sip of the light scent, then asked Charcoal who’s in her lap, “the season of the frosts has arrived, do you know that?  And the days, go fast one by one, vanished, do you know, what a, good spot you were lying in awhile ago!”

And so, for this woman, in her line of work, she’d, seen it all, because she took care of the terminal patients, who are, on the verge of dying, and in taking care of these elderly, she’d, seen everything, from how the bodies are, no longer, capable of sustaining life on their own, of how the only thing that’s, keeping these bodies alive, are the machines, and tubes in the arms, connecting to the machines, and how the families refused, to let go of their elderly parents, and just, keep on, making them suffer even longer!

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Filed under "Professional" Opinions, Awareness, Cost of Living, Expectations, Lessons, Letting Go, Life, Observations, Old Age, On Death & Dying, Philosophies of Life, Right to Die, Story-Telling, the Finality of Life, Things Left Behind

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

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