Tag Archives: Kindness Passed Along

The Gift Left Behind by My Paternal Grandfather

Things left behind, translated…

During the period of mourning over my paternal grandfather’s death, there would be a man, who wore a dark gray suit, with a head of gray-and-white hair, who’d shown up in the early morns, offer the incense, sat in silence in front of my grandfather’s shrine for a short while, then gets UP to leave.

The first time he’d shown up was the third day after my grandfather’s passing.

That, was a foggy morning, at first, he’d paced outside the shrine, looking at the names, and, it seemed that after he was certain of the man who’d died, he’d came into the shrine.  The moment he’d caught my grandfather’s photograph on the shrine, he got down on his knees, and started wailing.

My father bowed deeply toward the man who kneeled in front of my grandfather’s shrine, went up, to help him back to his feet again.  My father who’s been in mourning a long time, his beard had grown longer now, the two middle aged men held each other’s hands, and, were moved beyond speech.

He’d asked with this muffle in his voice, “Can I go and look at my uncle?”

My father lifted up the yellow towel on the electric freezer bin, the man saw the body through a small pane of glass, he’d lost it, “Uncle!  Thank you so much!”

With the cries, dissipating slowly in the chants, he sat on the stool in front of the shrine for a very long time, waited until his emotions were calmed down, cleared his throat, looked at my grandfather’s photo, and started telling of that distant old memory…

Back then, I must’ve been about six, my father went to Tokyo alone to study, there was just my young mother, and a couple of my younger brothers and sisters.  Back then, we lived in the Japanese style flat, my mother, my siblings and I were cramped up in one small bedroom.  The period that my father had gone to Japan, every night, there would be bad gangbangers, who’d hid underneath the high floorboards, hitting the floorboards to freak us out, to threaten us.  My mother would often hold on to us tightly, with fear in her mind, tearing up.  I will NEVER forget how scary those nights were.

Later, my mother told me, that uncle was also a young man who’d just gotten married, back then, none of us is rich, but he knew that my mother didn’t earn enough as a seamstress, so, he’d asked everybody to put some rice and vegetables on our doorsteps.  And my mother would often tell me when she was still living, to remember that we were raised by our neighbors’ kindness.

After my father returned home, our household economics got better, we’d left our original beaten down shack.  And the house we once lived in had become a western mansion, and, every time I’d passed by there, I’d always recalled those days when my father wasn’t around, along with the help from all the neighbors.

I’d kept uncle’s kindness in my mind, but, I’d never had the chance to tell him thank you, until I saw the obituaries in the papers yesterday………

Speaking up to here, the elderly man was in tears.

As the early morning fog dissipated away, the sun made the shrine extremely bright, the enlarged photograph was place in the center of the shrine, and that, was my grandfather, at his best, still healthy and strong.

In the aromatic scent from the incense, I’d thought about that distant time, when people still trusted one another, still helped each other out without questions asked, a simpler, and a more beautiful time.

My grandfather, from that time, seemed to be smiling at me then.  In the sadness, and the loss, the sun came in.  My dearest grandfather, thank you, for leaving me a most precious, most valuable kind of inheritance.

And so, what is left behind, was the passing on of kindness, and, the man who was helped recalled the kindness, and, he’d come, to pay HIS final respect to the man who’d offered help, and hope, to his family when they were down.

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Paying Someone Back for the Kindness of Letting Him Borrow a Bicycle, He’d Searched for the Man for Thirty Years, and Finally Found Him

Keeping someone’s kindness toward you in mind, and, finally, paying the person back, from the Newspapers, translated…

An elementary school instructor in Pingdong, Huang, thirty years ago, felt bad for his student, Wu, that he was from a poverty stricken background, and couldn’t afford to buy a bicycle, he’d taken money out of his own pockets and bought one for him.  After Wu graduated from elementary school, he’d left Pingdong, and Huang, his teacher also went to teach at another school, the two of them lost contact, until last year in September, they’d got reconnected on Facebook, in order to pay back his instructor’s kindness, Wu had found resources, and managed to help kids from poverty stricken backgrounds.

Huang, who was from a farming family, had taught for thirty years to date, Kenting Elementary School was the very first school he’d taught at, back then, he saw that Wu and his younger sister wanted a bicycle so badly, and back then, his paycheck was only $16,000N.T. per month, and he’d bought a bicycle worth eight to nine thousand dollars for Wu, he said, “I just simply wanted him to have a happy childhood!”

After graduating out of elementary school, Wu took the bicycle from his teacher and left Pingdong, and Huang also went to another school to teach, Wu had kept Huang, who’s like a big brother to him in the back of his mind, and wanted to find him again, but he didn’t know where to look.  Until last year in September, Wu saw that someone posted Huang’s pictures on Facebook with the captions, “Happy Teacher’s Day”.  He’d finally found out where Huang is, he is now, working in Hsing-Feng Elementary School.  They’d met through the “air” and decided to meet back up during the New Year’s Holidays.

Wu said, in order to repay his instructor’s kindness, after he’d become an owner of a company, he too, had helped out the less fortunate, and gotten resources into the distant regions, to give the children who were born into poverty stricken backgrounds a pull, that he had the intentions of passing the legacy of kindness from his teacher on.

Huang had taught for thirty years, and had made up a TON of methods to teach the kids effectively, toward students who were troubles and couldn’t sit still, he’d “steamed tea” for them, to help the kids relax, to tell him what was going on in their lives to him.  He had set up multiple teaching plans for various students, a student who didn’t like going to school ended up becoming the “little helper in the creeks”, responsible for fishing the fish and the turtles out of the small creek that the school’s close to out, to help the plants in the water regenerate, not only were the students more willing to come to school, they’d behaved themselves more and more too.

Huang said, if he taught, to get the students up to speed, then, there would be eighty percent of class that will be “given up on”.  He kept true to his teaching beliefs of “leaving NO student behind” that he had at the very beginning, “If the child was given up in his elementary school years, then, could s/he be able to find her/himself again?  They’d more than likely to become someone who will drain the resources of the society later on in life!”

And so, this instructor had the heart of kindness, and he really cared about his students, and, he managed to help a LOT of his students, by showing them care and concerns, to help steer them into the right directions.

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