Monday, August 3, 2015

Now I am 80, Thanks be to God!

Today on the 18th day of 6th lunar month of 2015, I am officially reached my 80th birthday. It was on this same date in 1935, exactly 80 years ago that I was born in the city of Chefoo (Yen-Tai) of Shangtung Province. Somehow, all my life I never thought of asking my Mom where was I born, in a hospital or at home. I am guessing it was probably at home, because my maternal grandmother was there with Mom. Anyway, I was born, having a journey of 80 years now since then, and I am still reasonably healthy and strong! Thanks be to God!

Along with the uncertainty between home or hospital where I was born, there was one thing quite certain -- I was not a pretty baby! I was born with two unequal sized eyes as the left eye is clearly larger than the right eye. Well, the fact that I am not good looking never bothered me, or my parents as far as I can surmise. Only when I rolled out my newborn daughter's stroller and enjoyed receiving all the praises and admirations for the pretty baby from passer-bys, do I realized that must be something my Mom never experienced. Of course I don't think that kind of thinking had ever crossed my Mom's mind. I am very certain  Mom, now in Heaven, will be very happy that her baby 80 years ago is still alive and active!

I am not one that pays much attention on birthdays. Over the years, there were about only two birthdays that stand out in my memories. One is this day in 1955, when I reached 20 and as a Junior at TaiDa, Mom and Dad decided to expand the celebration that year and told me to invited a few of my CE Department classmates to our house by the Da-twin Mountain in Peitou. I even drank some of the Taiwan's sweet Dark Plum wine. That was the one and only time in my life that I got drunk. I remember we managed went back to my Dorm I slept all day all night.

The other memorable date was this day in 1985. It was totally not pre-planned, but somehow as I was going to attend a conference in Sendai, Japan and visited my parents in Taiwan beforehand and happened to be at home on this date in 1985, my 50th birthday. Mom cooked her traditional birthday noodle soup and I enjoyed the customary first bowl being served. After the noodle lunch, Mom got out a small cake, lighted up one big red candle, with Dad sat there in our living room, Mom sang the "Happy Birthday to my son" by herself. I can still hear her singing in my mind's ear.  That was the one and only memorable day engraved in my mind forever!

Now 30 years have gone by since that day, 1995, 2005 both came and gone uneventfully like today, just like any other ordinary day, life continues, thanks be to God! Looking forward to this date in 2025 and 2035 and beyond, God willing. So again, thanks be to God!

Friday, June 19, 2015

A wonderful day for me

A wonderful day for me!

I am officially made it in the 80-something age group now! I don't think there's any significance about it, most of my family members I know are all lived far beyond that. But as the upper life span for American men was once set at somewhere around 78, I am still happy that I made it beyond it and more.

Yesterday, my official birthday, was a memorable one since Tina posted a picture of Anna and I on Facebook that garnered a number of well wishing messages from other family and friends. That was rather unusual for me as I don't generally celebrate my birthdays. But I do remember some past birthdays in my life.

I am particularly remembering 30 years ago I was in Taipei visiting my parent when I was on my way to attend a conference in Japan. It wasn't planned but one of the days happened to be my 50th birthday on the lunar calendar. My Mom brought back a small cake, lighted a small candle, with my Dad seated there, Mom sang "Happy Birthday to my son!" and I blew out the candle. It was all unplanned, may be planned by God, that was so memorable and that was only once in my life time, but an important mile stone marked the occasion of my reaching the half centenarian mark. I can still recall all the details that day!

Thirty years before that, I had the only planned birthday celebration of my life. That was when I was reaching the two decade mark in life, still a junior in TaiDa. I don't remember who started the idea of doing a celebration. But Mom did all the cooking, I invited a few of my best friends in college, we had a great banquet at our house. Mom even bought a life chicken, Dad did the butchery, something we usually only do during the lunar new year time. Memories fading, other than the late David Yen, my best friend, I no longer remember who else were there now.

Other than these two memorable occasions, I really don't remember much about how any of the other birthdays were transpired. Many times that was just another working day! Well, what's birthday? just another day!