Today is the day to say goodbye to Meilin. I would like to say thank you to all our relatives and friends for taking the time to come and gather together to say farewell to her. I thought in the past few days I prepared myself to be mentally stronger, but I just discovered that having to say goodbye to her is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.
Meilin and I have known each other for forty-three years. In the autumn of 1980, because my father was hospitalized in the Taipei Veteran General Hospital, I interrupted my studies in the United States and rushed back to Taiwan. She happened to be serving as a RN in that ward, so I got to know her. After my fathers condition improved, I mustered up the courage to pursue her. Fortunately, she favored my proposal and agreed to marry me. Thereafter, she followed me to return to the US to continue my studies, then started a job, and moved from coast to coast until we settled in Los Angeles. Not only did she help her husband and raise two children, but she also fulfilled her dream which is working as a registered nurse during her stay in the US.
Meilins family was not well-off since she was a child, and she developed a habit of hard work. As a girl, she was not spoiled. On the contrary, because her mother was in poor health, she had to share the main housework since she became sensible. After graduating from junior high school, she could have attended Tainan Provincial Girls High School. In order to reduce the burden on her family, she chose the publicly funded Tainan Provincial Nursing School to learn a skill so that she could become a nurse as soon as possible to help the family. Just as the saying goes, "The children of the poor become independnt early" is the best portrayal of Meilin.
She is a true professional, never idle for a moment, and lives a solid life every day. However, she suffered a lot after marrying me. But she always regards hardship as nourishment and enjoys it as sweet snacks. When she first arrived at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, it was the middle of winter with heavy snowfall. It was a big challenge for her, who had grown up in subtropical Taiwan. But without saying a word or waiting for the jetlag to adjust, she repaired my broken bicycle the next day and then rode it to find a job. After I got home in the evening, she calmly said to me: "I found a job in a nursing home, and I will start working tomorrow." Her courage like a newborn calf was so commendable, it really shocked me. Later, she kept working hard and found a daytime job as a nanny. At that time, my scholarship was only US$500 per month, but the rent alone already cost US$210. I was always struggling to catch up for living. With her as a new force to help me, I have no worries and can go all out for my studies. Her hard work and dedication allowed me to complete my studies as scheduled and take my first step in the workplace smoothly, which is indeed a great contribution.
What touches me most is that she often protects me regardless of her own safety. The winter she arrived in the United States, Illinois had the heaviest snow ever. One weekend, I was doing experiments on the school campus until dawn. Unexpectedly, a blizzard fell overnight, burying the entire campus including my car, leaving me unable to move. Meilin was very anxious when she found out, and she didnt care that there was still strong wind and snow on the road. She quickly prepared lunch and dinner, put on her raincoat and rain boots, stepped on the knee-deep snow step by step, and delivered food to me. Because the wind and snow were so strong that it stung her face very much, and she had to protect the lunch in her arms, she walked backward most of the time. It usually takes half an hour to travel, but she walked for two hours in the wind and snow. When she arrived, her whole body was stiff and her hands and feet no longer belonged to her, but she weakly said it was okay. While I was massaging her to warm her body, I couldnt help but burst into tears. For the sake of her husband, she would not hesitate. Even if it was freezing cold, she would still go. The persistence of a wife is so heartbreaking and hard to let go.
Although I worked in Washington after graduation, she was unable to apply for a license in the state. She could only take care of her newly born eldest daughter Xiaohui at home, leaving her with no place to use her talents. You can imagine how depressed she felt. I saw that she was frustrated and depressed all day long, so I decided to change careers and moved my family to Los Angeles. So I went to Santa Monica to work, and she could apply for a California license. From then on, she was like a fish back in water, and she came back to life. Just as we welcomed our son, Shijie, she became licensed and began her long career as a nurse in West Los Angeles. When my career was going well, the two of us worked together to increase revenue and reduce expenditure. When my career was at a low point, she remained immovable and supported me, even took on several agencies until I made a comeback, then she could be relieved. I have worked in different industries, and she has always stuck to her position and supported me silently. She has never complained. Her hard work and frugal savings have maintained the normal operation of the family and promoted the development of the family. She has been consistent along the way.
When our two children were still waiting to be raised, Meilin opened a family nursery in her home in order to take care of them and help out family income simultaneously. She worked with bottles and diapers every day. Not only did she gain a reputation, she also made many good and life-long friends. I still remember that one day when I came home early, I saw a warm picture: all the children were lying neatly in a row on the carpet, changing diapers and sucking bottles, waiting for their parents to pick them up. They were very clean, lively and energetic. Its really unforgettable. Parents came to pick them up one by one in the evening. She also reported what happened today in an orderly manner, and then handed the child over to them. Such a harmonious atmosphere makes parents feel relieved and worry-free when they return home. At this time, even the childrens cries sound like beautiful notes.
The boys in the family are always more active, and accidents often occur as they grow up. However, due to Meilins professional training and her extraordinary courage, she is able to turn danger into safety every time. When my son was 4 years old, he was already jumping around. One Saturday night, while he was jumping up and down on the couch, he accidentally lost his footing and bumped into the coffee table. His mouth just landed on the edge of the table, knocking his two front teeth loose and perpendicular to his gums. There was a lot of blood on the spot, and his front teeth were still wobbly. Of course, my son was crying profusely, and the carpet was stained with blood, which was very horrifying. Meilin heard the sound of landing and the boys crying in the kitchen, and rushed to the living room to take a look. She was calm and decisive in the face of danger. She first asked my son not to cry, not to move, and to open his mouth. I saw her holding the two front teeth tightly with her thumb and index finger, quickly straightening them downwards, and then pushing them upwards and pushing them in. At this time, a click was heard and the front teeth suddenly resumed their original position. After a while, she let go. The two front teeth were intact, but there were still blood stains remained on gums. At this time, my son stopped crying and stared at his mother, as if he had just watched a magic show. The tears in his eyes were still shining under the lamp. The next day the dentist praised her treatment on the phone. Although the tooth was not permanent, it was worth keeping. In addition to this incident, here are countless other examples. My children grow up safely and smoothly because Meilin is their guardian angel, which is absolutely indispensable.
After our children went to school, Meilin began to focus on her career as a home visiting nurse. Because she liked the flexible working hours of this industry, which allowed her to take care of two children, she chose it, and she has done a great job and enjoyed it for more than 30 years. She sometimes takes her children to patients homes to give them opportunities for education. Looking at the consequences of drug abusers is the best example and warning for children.
When she returns home after seeing patients for a full day, she cant be idle. She has to prepare dinner for the family and lunch for tomorrow, and she also has to take time to make appointments for tomorrows patients. After dinner, she had to sort out the days work reports and input them into the computer, and prepare materials and supplies for tomorrow. She was busy until late at night. Although her daily schedule is full like this, she never feels tired and is full of energy. She is the same on weekdays and weekends, dedicating herself to her family and patients around the clock. She is not only the mainstay of her family, but also brings kindness and warmth to her patients. Her family physician, Dr. Charles, estimated in her recent letter of thanks to her that Meilin had taken care of at least 10,000 patients in her lifetime. Among these patients who benefited, I have read countless letters they wrote to her department and she received countless praises from the company for this. From their sincere descriptions, it can be seen that Meilin cares for her patients as if they were her own family. She often gave them injections and dressings while patiently listening to their complaints. Regardless of race, age or status, she treats everyone equally and takes care of them. She is unanimously praised by her peers and sincerely loved by her patients. She is truly a living Bodhisattva who saves suffering in the world.
She often takes the on-call turn after getting off work. Sometimes there is a problem at the patients home at night and no nurse can be found to deal with it, so she has to take action herself. Many times we have to go to areas with poor security, and I have to drive to escort her there. In the middle of the night, I was waiting in the car and watched her enter the patients home. She was very calm, but I was uneasy and broke into a cold sweat for her. I thought this industry was really tiring and asked her not to go out in the middle of the night again, but she said the patients and their families were very nice to her and told me not to worry. She is such a person, always thinking about others, but forgetting her own safety and hardship.
Meilin has to go to work and take care of her children at the same time. It can be said that this candle is burning at both ends. For others it would be too busy to handle, but she arranges everything in a seamless manner. From the birth, raising, transportation, further education, employment, marriage, buying a house, to the birth of a grandson, she took everything on her shoulders and became the biggest supporter of the family. I still remember that our daughter and granddaughter were very difficult to take care of during the first full month after they were born. They would often cry all night, disturbing the neighbors. Forty years ago, while she was carrying and coaxing her daughter, she helped me type my graduation thesis. The sound of babys wails and the sound of the keyboard composed an unforgettable piece of music. Many years later, the two of us went to help our daughter during the first month after our granddaughter was born. To let our daughter, who was breastfeeding after giving birth, get enough rest, Meilin worked the night shift and held our whimpering granddaughter in her arms all night, fearing to wake her up, for a full month. People say maternal love is great, but I think grandmothers love is even more touching, not to mention that Meilin possesses both.
Meilin has been unruly throughout her life, but she has plans and steps to do things, and everything is under her control. Before her passing, she told me that she had fulfilled her dream, raised two excellent children, and had a happy family. She was very satisfied with her life and had no regrets when she departed. I remember the scene of the two elders running together to plan the weddings of our two children, as if it was just yesterday. Why did they just take her away without letting her enjoy some happiness? When sorting out her belongings, I found two pairs of very cute and brand-new sneakers. I think they are intended for her to be used during leisurely travels in the future. It makes me cry to see them. My daughter suggested that she should wear them when she was buried, hoping that she could walk freely in the heaven.
As Meilins husband, I have long been deeply aware of her dedication to her career and to her family. But after she started to fall ill at the end of April, and it was my turn to do the housework and take care of her, I was shocked to realize that her contribution was far greater than I imagined. Even if I wanted to copy her approaches, I couldnt keep up with her. It turned out that she had divided all the intricacies of the family affairs into categories and handled them in an orderly manner, and she remembered them all down to the last detail. Even though she was in poor health, her mind was as clear as a mirror and her thoughts did not slow down.
Meilin was always considerate of others before she got sick, and even more so after getting sick. She was afraid of becoming a burden to others, so she mostly endured the pain and tried not to disturb those around her, including hospital nurses, family members and private caregivers. She is such a person who only gives without asking for anything in return and does not bother others, even when she is sick and needs care herself. It was common for her to endure severe pain at night. She would go in the dark to get IV infusion set up, test blood sugar, give injections, take medicines, go to the toilet, and do everything by herself. It made my heart feel like being cut by a knife, and I was so moved that tears bursted out of my eyes. That petite but huge figure in the night , using her own way to educate others on how to fight the disease. She is the mentor of our lives! She has been keeping a low profile all her life, just trying to do what she should do every day well and perfectly. It may seem ordinary, but it is full of greatness. Over the past four months, I have learned a lot of life philosophy from her while taking care of her. She is my hero and my idol. I want to pay tribute to her and say thank you for your hard work!
Meiling fell in love, got married, and had children in the early 1980s. Then she started a family and her career in the new continent. She had already decided that this place was her home. I remember that when she was alive, she liked Luo Dayous "Love Song 1980" very much. I would like to slightly adapt it here and use my broken voice to sing a few lines to express my infinite respect for her and my deep longing for her:
I understand love, but what is it forever?
Dont cry my dear, we are still together
Todays joy will be tomorrows eternal memory
La la la la la la La la la la la la
Todays joy will be tomorrows eternal memory
Everything can be abandoned and nothing can be forgotten
What you say now is just your courage
It’s windy in spring and it’s raining in autumn.
How many spring breezes and autumn rains? The vows of eternal love are gone with the wind
La la la la la la La la la la la la
My dear, I remember you said you and I will never be separated
Rest in peace, Meilin. You saved people in need in this world and completed your mission ahead of schedule. Now the Bodhisattva has another purpose and has called you back to heaven. You are just away from the pain of illness, but you have not left us; your persevering smile is still with us.
Over here your favorite Phalaenopsis was in full bloom, just like your orchid-like face. No matter how reluctant we are today, you are already full of clear mind, free from ties and obstacles, flying up to the Western Sky on the auspicious clouds. As long as our hearts are as strong as gold, we will meet in heaven and on earth. Wait for me, Meilin, as heaven is not far away from me. We will be reunited in the future, just as we did in the past.
- 16樓. Celine_公私兩忙暫離2023/11/25 16:29
我的碩班同學曾分享，她做好熱騰騰的便當開車送到孩子們的學校；其他女同學都嘖嘖稱奇，自忖做不到。讀您描述尊夫人在風雪中走路兩小時給您送便當，真覺這是世間難見的愛是的。每一思及她對家人無私的愛和對我毫不保留的付出，心中總是一陣絞痛和萬般的不捨。希望她已自由自在、無憂無慮，不必再為世間俗事所羈絆。她的關懷與操心，是我們永恒的回憶。 洛城聞笛 (淡淡三月迎杜鵑) 於 2023/12/03 23:44回覆
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牽手一世情，充滿了愛，很令人動容。作為一世的靈魂伴侣 (soul mate)，在命運之前，也只能低頭。雖然它可以讓人神兩隔，卻不能命思念分手。即使到地老天荒之後，仍是無時不刻，長相左右。 洛城聞笛 (淡淡三月迎杜鵑) 於 2023/11/23 14:10回覆
- 14樓. 亦言亦詩2023/11/19 21:17
以良知，寫文字（Write with conscience）
真善忍，人性之美（Truthfulness, Compassion & Forbearance）謝謝亦言亦詩的美言贊詞。把稀鬆平常的事做得圓滿，就是一個不平凡的行爲；如果世人皆能如此，勿因善小而不為，會將這個亂世變成治世。我把内人的事蹟和大家分享，就是期盼有朝一日，這個世界會因為有更多人的腳踏實地，讓它變得更美麗。 洛城聞笛 (淡淡三月迎杜鵑) 於 2023/11/21 22:17回覆
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謝謝Flying Kite的激勵，感銘在心。我想振作起來，可是生活失去了重心就是一團亂，没有了舵的船就只能在原處打轉！我先一步步的來，先帶著她的照片去旅行，多看看這個世界，也好好想想下一步要怎麽走，等到下一次團圓的日子。 洛城聞笛 (淡淡三月迎杜鵑) 於 2023/11/19 12:36回覆
- 12樓. 愛馬2023/11/12 15:33
愛馬睿智的鼓勵，給美玲不平凡的一生下了最好的評語，謝謝您。洛城聞笛 (淡淡三月迎杜鵑) 於 2023/11/16 15:47回覆
- 11樓. 愛唱 藍喉太陽鳥2023/11/05 16:20
謝謝您！仍然感覺非常的不捨，還有無際無涯的懷念。彷彿她並没有離開我們。 洛城聞笛 (淡淡三月迎杜鵑) 於 2023/11/06 11:48回覆
- 10樓. 人間2023/11/03 17:51
看著.看著.我也哭了.心裡有不捨的人也是幸福的🙏人間的心有戚戚焉。化悲傷成思念，轉失落為堅强，學問大矣哉！我會持續不懈的努力，幫自己克服困難，走出陰影，修好人生這個打擊力道出乎意料之外的功課。有文友們的鼓勵真好！ 洛城聞笛 (淡淡三月迎杜鵑) 於 2023/11/04 06:12回覆
- 9樓. tzi2023/11/03 14:58這兩天看了你的文章
您要為愛妻 和孩子們 孫輩們
寫作 散步 放空自己，
過了許久…還是 感到痛 和不捨，
加油，網上的朋友都會陪著你….🍀感恩tzi發自肺腑的留言，對整理我雜亂無章的思緒很有助益。少年夫妻老來伴，老伴先走怎麼辦？我要多花點時間把自己的日常生活照顧好，保持健康。然後帶著她的照片去旅行，造訪她還没看過的世界，然後把心得記錄下來。未來的日子裡，雖然會很想她，但一定不會讓時間停格。 洛城聞笛 (淡淡三月迎杜鵑) 於 2023/11/04 06:01回覆
- 8樓. 和煦秋陽(贖罪。愛相隨)2023/11/03 00:39
人都有這一天 往前看 找些事做 把剩下的日子好好的過感謝秋陽分享過來人的經驗，誠非當事者不知其痛有多深。以前家裡分工，一向依賴慣了，懶散慣了，今後没有了依怙，當何以自處？我要聽您之勸，將自己的生活重整，一兼二職，保持忙碌的生活，好好地走下去。 洛城聞笛 (淡淡三月迎杜鵑) 於 2023/11/04 05:47回覆
- 7樓. Charles Lin2023/11/02 14:43請節哀順變。謝謝Charles兄的關心和支持。我癡長美玲五歲，怎麽説都是我應先走的，想不到命運如此難測，年輕的先被召回了，才教人萬分的不捨。 洛城聞笛 (淡淡三月迎杜鵑) 於 2023/11/03 23:41回覆