My Life Story
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.”
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My friends often ask me how I pray. I don’t remember where I got the idea or how I started my technique, but I use nine bells on a wooden tray I found in my house and a candle with the flame inside the glass. Before I pray, I bow to heaven and earth, and then the sun and moon, and then to my parents. After I bow, I sit there and close my eyes. Before I pray, I ask for peace and blessings. I ask God to help the problems we encounter. As time goes on, I feel the divinity knows what we want and what we need. We do not need to ask for our sake. Gradually, I pray for the goodness of the people in this world.
Recently, I have been quiet. I have enjoyed that peace and quietness. Every time I have this communion with God, the birds always sing. After the prayer, I always ring the bells. At first, I could not understand why someone suggested using bells. The divinity did not need us to awaken it. But I thought it might awaken the people of the world. The people reside in the north, the south, the east, and the west. Yes, the people from all four corners of the world. And then, one day, the Voice told me, “The bells awaken the souls of the people. The human beings in the flesh separate themselves by race, religion, gender, country and every other kind of boundary. But their souls do not discriminate. That’s why you only need to pray for their souls.”
I heard this a few months ago, and it still rings true. More violence has happened in this world because of these distinctions by color, race, religion, country, etc. With this all happening now, I do my part in praying for everyone. In ringing the bell, maybe, just perhaps, the soul of the people will be awakened, and we will no longer have all this separation. We can live in harmony in this precious world.