My Life Story
July 1st should be a special day for me. But for the last 21 years, I’ve never really paid particular attention to this day. Today marks the 21st year since the death of my husband. And today, I had an urge to visit his grave.
When I mentioned it to my daughter, she insisted on coming with me. She also suggested for me to go to church with her at Fellowship Monrovia, where she’s been going for the past couple months. She told me that the pastor was an excellent speaker and that every time she went, she felt lifted up. She felt very confident and energetic after service. Afterward, we would go to my husband’s grave. Usually, I would have refused. I haven’t stepped into a church for about 20 years. It didn’t mean that I didn’t have faith, as I still had my fellowship with God because I continuously pray and have the conversations with him.
But this time, I was moved to go with her. I was so glad and thankful that I went. The speaker today was a visiting pastor, and he did such a good job. He put bible verses into a real-life context and made it easy to grasp the meanings. I was so moved, and before I left, I went to hug him and the head pastor.
We went to my husband’s grave afterward. While there, we usually try to clean the headstone. It wasn’t difficult, as I had cleaned it the last time I had been there with my son and granddaughter, but we still needed to trim the grass around the stone. As I sat there, I realized that I could count on my fingers how many times I’ve been at his grave over the past 20 years. I felt ashamed that I didn’t go more often. The things my husband has done for me is more than I can imagine. Even just before he passed away, he gave me a gift. He tried to tell me something. I mistook what he said until a year later when I realized he was trying to tell me that he loved me. A few years later, I decided to write an article about how I fought for him to keep getting a blood transfusion from the hospital for three days so that he would stay alive, but he passed away only several hours after they agreed to keep giving him blood.
All that time, I thought that I had tried so hard to keep him alive. I wanted him to live so much, but he passed away anyway. When I finished writing, I realized that he had wanted me to keeping living. By fighting, he knew that I would gain the strength and energy to live on and move on without him.
But there was one more surprise he had given me that I did not realize. About a week ago, when I was praying with my son, I realized something about his death.
My husband had had surgery on his lymph nodes because they were enlarged. The operation, coupled with the radiation he was receiving, made his body very weak and the wound from the surgery never healed and sealed, so the blood kept coming out from the opening of the wound.
One time, when our church members came to visit, I had to pull up the sheet to cover his neck so they wouldn’t see the blood on him. A week before his passing, he asked me suddenly if I had been standing next to him. I told him I hadn’t, and I had been sitting on the sofa resting. He told me that he had seen Jesus then. I asked him what He looked like. He said that he couldn’t see Him clearly, but he knew He had had a warm and smiling face. Also, a couple of days before he left, two doves kept walking back and forth on the window outside of his room.
After my husband passed, I couldn’t understand why he had to bleed to death too. Hadn’t Jesus’s blood brought salvation and saved the people already? Why my husband? This question has lingered and never answered until recently.
I realized that this coincides with the topic of the last chapter of the book I’m writing: Who Am I? God’s message was that “I am God.” We all also have the heavenly character of God. He is our father, and we are his children, so we are God too. Even though I’ve finished writing my book, I still can’t accurately display what God is through it. Who am I to become him? How can I become him? After the realization I had last week, I finally got it.
What my husband did wasn’t a coincidence. He gave me the last gift, a lesson on how to become godly. He reminded me that Jesus bled too. He was doing what Jesus did. He taught me how to follow God’s footsteps. It doesn’t mean that I have to bleed to death, but I have to follow God’s steps to have His love and His wisdom. To gain our rightful ownership and to manifest His power. This way, we can live in glory as He did. I’m still learning, but I’m so thankful, after 21 years, that I finally got my answer. What a gift.
The week of Chinese New Year, my younger daughter and her family drove us up to Pismo Beach to meet my older daughter and her family and celebrate together. It was so much fun to enjoy the beach, and the kids and I had fun riding dune buggies. As a Chinese New Year tradition, I also gave each of my grandkids one red envelope with money inside.
A few days after we came back, my older daughter called me to check whether my granddaughter had left her envelope in my bag. When she asked me, I happened to be with my younger daughter. I told my younger daughter that I didn’t think I had it because I had already given it to the kids and each one had one. My younger daughter told me that it would be nice to say that I found it and just to give her another red envelope instead.
When I came home, I emailed my older daughter and told her that I had found the envelope and that I would mail it to her. She replied that I could just give it to her the next time we met. That night, my son came back late, but I was so happy as I told him the whole situation. It was a good feeling to do something like this, even though I hadn’t found the envelope. I liked being able to say that I had found it so my granddaughter wouldn’t be sad about losing it since I told her mom to take them out to use the money to buy whatever they wanted.
As it turns out, the next morning when I was cleaning the table, I came across several red envelopes. For curiosity’s sake I opened one of them, and surprisingly, I found money inside. I realized that it was the lost envelope that had somehow come back to me. I told my son the night before about how good it felt to give someone good memories, but as it turns out, it instead helped me not to fall short of the expectations of my granddaughter. Life is strange.
A lot of times, when we are selfless and think about others, the good deed comes back to us.
One early Sunday morning
I got up and tried to move my car
Because I came home late the night before
After visiting my grandson
Who had just been released from the hospital
After being hit by a car.
Usually, I would have moved the car
So my older son could go exercise
But on this particular day, I asked him
To pray with me before he went
Despite not knowing what’s on my mind
He usually agrees.
So we lit candles and bowed our heads
And we sat down
At the time, my heart was so heavy
The weight was more than my shoulders could carry.
A small thing like the water leaking on my property
And disagreements between the workers and the tenant
Was irrelevant when my mind was on my grandson.
He was just seven years old
And he loved go-kart racing
He seemed to find himself in it
To have control over something at his young age
And to be able to compete.
My mind went back to yesterday
When my daughter texted me
She asked me to pray for him
Because he was in the ER.
I didn’t know what was going on,
He was a healthy, smart boy
Why would he be in the ER?
The reception was so bad that I couldn’t get an answer
No text messages after that
But I needed to attend class that afternoon
And all I could do was pray
So I would be at peace during my class.
I trusted that everything was under God’s protection
A little bit of anxiety, but no tears.
All of a sudden, a sentence came to me:
“Where are you?”
He was asking me.
What do you mean, where are you?
I thought that was my question to Him.
Many times we ask only for things for ourselves
But if we do not find our prayers answered the way we want
We fail to see the blessings that come down
And we do not get the blessings we think we are asking for
Then we will always ask God, “Where are you?”
But this time he asked me.
Why would He ask me “Where are you?”
I realized why he asked me this question
If it wasn’t for the worry I had for my grandson,
I would be without peace
I felt the urgency to talk and pray for him
If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here, and my son wouldn’t be here.
I may spend ten minutes in prayer
And my son will go as usual to work out
And after, we will take our time to eat
And go to work
After work, I will go dancing or watch TV
Or have dinner with friends
Where am I?
And He asked me again, “Where are you?”
I could only say I was nowhere to be found
So busy being busy
For so long, I did not spend the time to connect with God
Or to quiet myself down to search for truth
Yesterday, with all these things going on while I was in class
The teacher’s assistant noticed and told me before I left
“Imagine you have a cup of muddy water,
Take your time to let it clear by itself.”
I understood exactly what she meant.
If we try to clear a cup of muddy water ourselves,
It will never become clear
The dirt will never settle.
Only then we understand all it needs to clear is to wait
It is time for us to be quiet
And for us to connect with God
Only then will we find peace within ourselves.
After the prayer, I waited
To call my daughter to check on my grandson
He was doing alright
And I knew it was all because He is there.
When he needed protection the most.
He is there to guide him.
And He never fails to be where we need Him to be.
As Thanksgiving Day is approaching, I hope I can be in the right place.
So I can find the time
And the means
To feed the hungry
To give water to the thirsty
To visit the sick
And continuously be where He wants me to be.
The poem was written on November 12, 2017.
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Beautiful roses to all the mothers in the world!
Oh, mom! I love you!
When you burst out crying and used all of your strength to push
That was after
Eighteen hours on an empty stomach
Three hours of continuous effort
And overturning the doctor’s decision to do a Cesarean-section half an hour before
I finally came out to this world
Oh, mom, I admire you!
Even though with your hard and long efforts to push
There was no sign of my coming out with what little strength you had left
You still wanted to try for another half hour
You yourself are such a tiny girl,
but you have a giant heart of giving everything you have
To the unborn child of yours
Oh, mom, I am very sorry ,forgive me not being able to help!
I felt the pain inside of you
I could visualize the flow of your tears
I heard your cries
Yet I sensed the determination and love streaming from you
I knew then that love would prevail
That all the hindrances would melt away by the power of love
Oh, mom, I thank you!
Your effort was not in vain
I finally join you and daddy in your world
I burst out of crying
When the doctor gently opened my mouth with his love and kindness
When the nurse softly cleansed me
I cried feeling the love all around me
Oh, mom, I love you the most!
I wanted to proclaim to the whole world
I might not be born with a golden spoon
But for sure I was born with love
Unconditional love, sacrificial love
The most precious love
The love of my dearest mom
Oh, mom, I really, really love you!!!!!
A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
During Chinese New Year, it is customary to wish for someone’s wishes to come true. In fact, we have a saying: “Whatever your heart desires will come true.” Having said it for so many years and always wishing for other peoples’ dreams to come true, I recently started to question why we continue to say this. As I was meditating one day, it dawned on me that the heart is where divinity is. It is where we are connected to a higher authority or to the gods – whatever you believe in, or the inner self. If you wish for something wholeheartedly and nothing else, that wish will gradually appear before you.
Recently, after coming back from the tai chi practice, I hoped and wished that my effort in training would get me a commercial. After all, it had been three years since I had failed a tai chi audition and started practicing more. I wasn’t a master by any means, but I still knew quite a lot.
Just a week later, I was auditioning for a singing commercial. During the audition, we were asked about our specialties and skills. The first person, an Asian man, replied that he was a master in tai chi. When it was my turn, I decided to tell them that I knew tai chi as well. We were then told to stay behind and show them.
I felt good about the audition and, sure enough, I got the callback the next day. After auditioning, I went to dancing class. I was sweating but still felt cold. The temperature dropped suddenly. I knew that I had caught a cold, and lost my voice as a result. I could hardly speak when my agent called me about the callback. She asked me if she should tell the casting director that I could not make it. I had a strong desire to get this commercial involving tai chi, so I insisted on going, whether or not I had a voice. After entering the audition room, I told them that I lost my voice and couldn’t sing. Then, one of the people in charge said not to worry and just to do my tai chi.
The image is from Sports animations and animated gifs.
I thought I had a slim chance of getting the role in the commercial since I had no voice to sing. Surprisingly, the next day, I got a call from the director telling me that I was picked to be in the commercial. In the end, it turned out that our tai chi overpowered the singing, and we did not end up singing. It was a miracle to be involved in a singing filming without actually singing. I was able to replace my inability to sing with my tai chi.
Indeed, our heart’s desire will come true. I just hope that my readers will have the same experience – whatever your heart (and when I say your heart, I mean wholeheartedly) desires will come true, sooner or later. As in the film Cinderella, “a dream is a wish your heart makes.”