The Fine Example (Taiwan)

An afternoon in the garden.

People think when you reach the age of 30, you should have built up your own business, in order to have a position in society, to have the response from others you want. But the age of 40 can be the best age in life. Sometimes having high pay, even though you are losing control of health, is all for the family, for the daughter and son – for others’ futures.

My mom, Monica, spent so much time working for the company, her pay was even higher than her husband. She also cares about her children, and the books like “How to have Conversation with Teenagers” line up on the book shelf. The decision of coming to America changed her life, as it has for so many other immigrants.

Taiwan, her birth place, with lots of her childhood memories, had most of her family members and friends. Who don’t like their hometown, especially when we immigrated to other country. However, the reasons she and her husband decided to leave, were based on the life in Taiwan. Long school time, as finals coming you had to spend extra time after school with lots of tests and quizzes. So does work time. We weren’t spending much time with family; all we bring back to home was tired. Hoping for change that makes our lives special, that helps us get out from the place blocking the future.

Before we actually immigrated to the United States, we had once visited here as tourists. Monica took us, traveled to places that are so beautiful, that thought grew in our minds: everything will be fine. But fact is that, things are not always lucky as you thought. The flight was before Lunar New Year, we did not have a great meal with our family. She brought us through the customs, met her husband in the lobby. When we arrived at “home,” with new air that smelled different, new bedroom, new neighbor and new back and front yard that we did not have before. Last but it is not least, the new predicaments we were going to face.

You might think having no job is good, so that you can enjoy fun and someone will make money for you. Or you are forced to take care of children because your family think that is a woman’s job. One year of blank, my mom, she couldn’t work. Couldn’t make friends with people who are in the same company, couldn’t earn money to increase the deposits. This was because we did not have a green card to let her go to work. She went to college to study while waiting, started building up some other interests, picking up children after school ended. It might sound like how other moms would do, but it is not how her life was like. Her kind and care took away things she was used to, the change destroyed the things she built from time. It were like a bird without its wings, without freedom and left everything behind. And no one understood her pain; we were all in our own hell.

She is never a person willing to wait; she finds her own opportunities, finds her own treasures in life. While waiting for the pass that would let her go to work, she started looking for jobs. Because the traditional mother is never her style, she could not just do housework for her entire life. She wanted to improve. Of course she reached it, my mom is great example of that: you can do anything, be anything, reach your goal only depending on how hard you try.

Monica, she let go of the things that used to distracted her. She went through the windy time in her life. Now she has a job that is not as good as the one she had, but gives her more time to connect with family. She might miss parts of her children’s lives, but that’s not too late to fix. Change might steal things from you, but chances are owned by you.

The story of Chen Yung (Monica) was written and recorded by her daughter, YuHua Chiu.

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