Monday, October 15, 2012

Taiwan Travelogue: Day 4 - Reflections

When I was a toddler, I figured out how to slide down the stairs on my stomach. One time I was doing this, I took hold of the end of a toilet paper roll and went down the stairs with it in my hand.

My aunt laughed as she told my mom and my wife this story as we sat in a Starbucks in a food court. My wife shared some similar stories with my aunt and mom like the time one of her younger brothers sprayed baby powder all over the room explaining, “I didn’t know I wasn’t suppose to do that.”

Our last full day in Taiwan was spent with family . . . shopping.  My mom took my wife and I, first thing the morning, to a gold smith shop where my aunt met up with us and then we went to a mall. We bought some baby clothes for my niece and I found a nice sports coat.  Through it all, we shared some great stories.

That afternoon my wife and I met up with my cousins and we explored the shopping area at the bottom of the Taipei 101 Tower and later went up to the top of that building. While the view was nice, going up the world’s fastest elevator really isn’t that much fun.

Hanging out with my cousins was a lot of fun. Diana and I had met up with each of those cousins in the past couple years but this was the first time we all got to hang out as a group. We had a great time, mostly being silly and pointing out odd things that we saw in stores and randomly sharing a box of macaroons.

When I think about the past four days, I feel admiration for my family.

You look at people outside your family for inspiration and you wish you could emulate them. But when you see your family being strong in difficult situations, you come to believe that you share these same qualities. 

The good in my family is the good within myself.

The death of my grandmother is not an ending for my family. Through the lives that we lead, new unions of marriage, and new generations being born, the story of my family continues.

I’m not saying that the last four days changed my life, but they meant more to me than I can express. It may be a while before I can fully understand all that I’ve experienced, but I know it all felt right.

When I hugged my mom goodbye before leaving for the airport, that simple gesture that once felt so ordinary, felt special.  It was like the spirits of my grandparents and my ancestors came together and surrounded us with love.

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