Remembering and Hoping


Today would’ve been my mom’s 82nd birthday. 

And today I heard something that made me sad. I know I’m a grown woman who already has a child of her own, but at times like these, I just wish I could just pick up the phone and call her and cry my heart out. 

A few weeks before she passed, my mom saw me crying. She knew I had a lot on my plate — her health, my son’s health and keeping my family together in one country. She looked at me and confidently said, “Everything will be alright.” Like she knew for certain. 

I hope she’s right, and that everything will  truly be alright. One day. Soon. 

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Empty

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I dreamt of this time for years now.
Being alone.
Not rushing.
A whole day
To think,
To write.

And now I have this much time
But somehow I can’t think
And the words won’t come out.
I can only feel
Your absence
As I walk alone
Leisurely.

What do I do with this much time
In my hands?

It’s only been three days
But it feels like ages
Since I kissed your soft, little cheek
And inhaled the baby scent from your hair
As you peacefully lay asleep
Unaware that when you woke
Mommy would have been gone.

But I will see you again
I promise.

Because I can’t go on for long
Feeling the emptiness
In that corner of my heart
That only you can fill.

 

 

Rain must fall…

It rained the other day, and I unhappily walked to work. The sky was gray, the roads were wet, and it was a little chilly. Then I saw the plants and how green they seemed in the rain, and I stopped to look at one tiny plant with droplets of rain on its leaves. It was beautiful. I took a picture of it, and later showed it to a friend who reminded me that without water there’d be no life or growth.

rain

Though I agree with it, I still find walking in the rain in the morning depressing. Somehow it’s different from walking in the rain at night when you don’t really see anything but just hear the sound of the rain on your umbrella, and the smell of dry earth as the rain touches it. And that’s nice.

Looking at the picture of that tiny plant I saw yesterday, these lines came to mind:

“Into each life some rain must fall,/ Some days must be dark and dreary.”

Must. 

Who wants sadness? “Normal” people will say nobody. But some people actually like sadness as it brings them closer to themselves, makes them see the world and its people from a different perspective, and consequently helps them gain confidence in themselves.

The Chinese often wish their friends “happy everyday”. I would like to be happy everyday, but I am all too aware that it is impossible; so, my awareness of its impossibility makes me savor every second of that moment of happiness when it comes.  Its ephemerality is what actually makes it worth experiencing.

Imagine if you were happy everyday: you do whatever you like, and nobody makes you feel guilty for doing so;  no one that you dislike bothers you; no one upsets you (especially your boss or spouse  or boss/spouse); everyday you have only happiness. I’m almost certain you will get bored with happiness, and you will say to yourself, “There must be more to this life than just being happy.”

We appreciate the sunshine more after the rain. And we appreciate the rain after the drought.

When I look back at my life, I find that all those times I suffered, wept, and felt like it was better to put an end to my life were the times I came to know myself better and to love myself a little more, and it gave me the confidence that I could survive whatever came my way.

Without water there would be no growth. Without rain in our lives, without sad and dreary days, we would never grow stronger, never learn to cherish the little happiness we experience every now and then.

Thank God for the rain (but not for the typhoon!)