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A Gift of Life and Love (05/10/2011)

posted Jan 24, 2012, 2:27 PM by Trudy Hu   [ updated Jan 26, 2015, 12:08 PM ]
A Gift of Life and Love
In Loving Memory of My Mother--Fundraising for Japanese Tsunami Victims
--Written by Trudy Hu,作者: 胡慧菁, 心理醫生,05/07-05/10/2011

I understand the pain of birth and creation now,
but thou have long gone.

I understand the wisdom of resiliency now,
but thou are nowhere to be found.

Now I understand the transformation of devastation that you had undertaken,
like the excruciating process of generating a breathtaking pearl.

You dedicated your life as a trailblazer to enlighten the darkness.

Your strength and character have been burnished and crystallized
like the gem stones in the humble womb of Mother Nature.

Your virtue and intelligence, as a foundation stone, shines dashingly
like a diamond embraced by a purified heart of gold.

It is hard to let you go but I can see you and feel you
in the forces of life, in the cycle of life, and in the heavenly water from the Cascade.

Your ultimate beauty of sacrifice and everlasting love is manifested
through budding leaves in the Spring,
fragrant blooms in the Summer,
withering colors and sighing in the Fall,
and the vibrant evergreens in the barren Winter.

Hereby, I bid you a final goodbye.
Your passing is still a mystery.
But surely you left me a gift of life and love.
Your Grace, Mercy, and Legacy will guide me through the lonely wilderness.

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The Long Version: 
You were born into a fisherman's family.
You grew up in a small island west of Taiwan,
as a Japanese colony in 1930s.
You were expected to do more laborious hard work than your 3 elder brothers,
and raised your younger sister and brother at the age of 9.
But I was too young to understand the hardship that you endured.

As a young girl in that era, the opportunity of
education and career was denied.
You used to say to me that you would have several doctoral degrees,
if you were given the chance.
But I was too young to understand the denial that you endured.

You met Father at 21, who was a Navy officer post Chinese Civil War
and followed the withdrawn military from China to Taiwan.
You were banished and disowned by your own father because
it was unacceptable for a native Taiwanese girl to marry a soldier from China.
But I was too young to understand the abandonment that you endured.

As a military wife with 3 young children living in a shack, you struggled
to make the ends meet, while father was sent out for missions.
When people asked you to go to church, you secretly prayed that
"I do not know who you are, God, but if you give me a house, I will believe you."
A few weeks later, the little shack was burn down and
you were assigned a military housing in a Navy base.
You were humbled by the almighty and omniscient God.
Later, you started to work as a seamstress after you were rejected
to get a loan for your sick children to see a doctor.
But I was too young to understand the helplessness and the grief that you endured.

Your sewing business was expanded to edging, tailoring to embroidery.
You purchased 3 machines from Japan.
You worked from 6am to 1am everyday while Father was still at sea
and returned home once every 1-2 years.
You worried about his safety during the unpredictable typhoon seasons
with all sorts of shipwreck news.
You also tolerated some rude customers' complaints and insults.
You still had to cook, clean, educate and discipline the
rebellious and insolent behaviors of your children.
But I was too young to understand the agony that you endured.

When your customers suffered physical and mental pain,
you always offered a helping hand.
When your friends were in sadness, you closed the shop,
visited and comforted them.
When you reached out to your neighbors whose souls and spirits were disturbed,
they yelled out, "Don't enter her house. Her house is protected by the Holy Spirit."
You were amazed by others' invisible vision.
But I was too young to understand the awe and disguised blessings that you received.

Before the college entrance exam, I asked you if I should put down National Taiwan
University (NTU) as an option because I only considered Teacher Colleges which were tuition & fee free.
You said to me, "Why don't you put down the top choices of the top university (NTU)?"
While my high school teachers said to me, "It doesn't matter if you put down NTU as a
choice or not because you will never enter the top school anyway."
However, I entered the #1 department in the #1 university which was
the only one option that I put down among all other teacher colleges.
But I was too young to understand my self-worth and potential that you had nurtured inside me.

You opened a jewelry box and asked me to take some jewelries before my departure to USA.
I chose a silver cross necklace and you asked me,
"Why don't you take the gold rings, bracelets or necklaces?"
But I was too young to understand your sorrow about my upcoming overseas journey and
long-term separation between us by the Pacific Ocean.

Years later, I returned home temporally as a young bride.
During the noisy wedding banquet, my mother-in-law dressed like a bride
but I was forbidden to wear the dresses and jewelries I purchased myself.
Silently, you gave me a diamond ring on a gold band which was the only ring that I cherished.
But I was too young to understand that you saw all the humiliation under layers of the
hypocrisy with your piercing senses.

When your grandchildren were sick in Taiwan,
you and Father took turn to take care of them in their homes or in hospitals.
When my first daughter, Grace, was born in California, you and Father helped me out
for 6 months while I was completing the internship alone with a newborn baby.
You made all her baby clothes day and night.
Every stitch of her clothes bears the witness of your maternal love.
You even flew to Singapore to help your eldest daughter, wealthy son-in-law
and their 3 teenagers, even though you suffered from a severe medical condition.
You told me that you worried about your aging husband who might get sick
by working too hard to support your eldest daughter's family in Singapore.
You tolerated your son-in-law's comments to his 3 teen girls in a luxurious
spacious apartment (paid by his affluent company) in Singapore; "Go to study now. It is
not your job to do kitchen works. Let your grandparents do the cooking and cleaning jobs."
After you had some cold symptoms, you were sent back from Singapore to Taiwan alone,
because they still needed Father's domestic help in Singapore.
When the plane arrived, you were too ill to walk out of the airplane by yourself.
My younger brother burst into tears when he saw you being carried out by a group
of kind-hearted strangers from the plane to the gate of the terminal.
A few days later, you were diagnosed with a lung cancer in a final stage.
I was full of rage and anger but you still tamed my temper in the hospital.
You said to me on your deathbed that you did that out of parental love.
But I was too young to understand the unbearable anguish and heartaches that your own
children imposed upon you and the unconditional love you gave us until your last breath.

I understand the pain of birth and creation now,
but you have long gone.

I understand the wisdom of resiliency now,
but you are nowhere to be found.

Now I understand the transformation of devastation that you had undertaken,
like the excruciating process of generating a breathtaking pearl.

You dedicated your life as a trailblazer to enlighten the darkness.

Your strength and character have been burnished and crystallized
like the gem stones in the humble womb of Mother Nature.

Your virtue and intelligence, as a foundation stone, shines dashingly
like a diamond embraced by a purified heart of gold.

It is hard to let you go but I can see you and feel you
in the forces of life, in the cycle of life, and in the heavenly water from the Cascade.

Your ultimate beauty of sacrifice and everlasting love is manifested
through budding leaves in the Spring,
fragrant blooms in the Summer,
withering colors and sighing in the Fall,
and the vibrant evergreens in the barren Winter.

Hereby, I bid you a final goodbye.
Your passing is still a mystery.
But surely you left me a gift of life and love.
Your grace, mercy, and legacy will guide me through the lonely wilderness.

Love,

My Mother's daughter
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