48的秘密 / The secret of 48

4天前我安靜但愉悅的和老公一起渡過4月8日的生日。

Four days ago, on 04/08, I had a quiet and delightful birthday with my husband.

生日清晨, 栀子花開。morning of birthday, a blossom from my gardenia.

就像大部份的人一樣, 生日組成的數字對我來說是特別的。48對我來說一直是一個幸運的數字, 也是我和家人的牽絆。小我7歲的妹妹是8月4日出生的, 她的生日數字和我正好相反, 她不但和我長的如雙胞胎的相似, 在看著她成長的過程中, 我也常為她與我個性的類似感到莫名。原來在我小學二年級曾粗心的事, 還有另一個小版的我在同一個年紀會犯相同的錯誤。我記得她剛出生時, 為了不想忘記她的生日我曾經連自己的生日都糊塗的寫成8月4日。我常常在心中感謝父母在七年後又生下了這個與我如此契合的妹妹, 我一直把她當作我人生中的禮物。

Just like most people, the number from my birthdate is special to me. 48 has always been my lucky number, it has also been the tie to my family. My younger sister was born on 08/04 when I was 7, her birthdate was exactly the opposite of mine. Not only did she look almost like my twin, I was always surprised at how similar we were in personalities as well as I watched her grow up. I didn't know the mistakes I made in second grade could possibly be repeated in almost the same fashion by a smaller version of me. I remember when she was born, I tried so hard to remember her birthdate that I confused it with my own that not once did I mistakenly wrote my own birthdate as 08/04. I've often thanked my parents in my heart for having another kid 7 years after having me, for us to get along so well, she was the gift of my life.

Summer time

我的妹妹四年前過世了。當時未滿30的我覺得世界變了樣, 所有我曾經知道認可且不曾懷疑的人事物, 一夕之間完全變調。當時我剛找到新的工作, 正開始與現在的老公交往, 本來是一個全新的開始, 但突然一切變的豪無意義。我不懂上天和我們一家人開的玩笑, 這個女孩才剛大學畢業啊, 為什麼? 當時的我完全無法接受。從小我們就心有靈犀, 我習慣打心底依賴著她。但從那一刻起, 我突然變得空洞; 沒有了她, 我的靈魂似乎死了一半。這個感受, 我到現在還是無法完全的傳達出來。而最接近真實情況的比喻就是我的人生原本是看似一副拼湊完整的拼圖, 但它被殘暴的打碎在地, 而我拖著疲憊的身心想辦法把碎片一一撿起。四年過了, 在這一段時間裡, 我學會面對所有事物的真實面, 而我也深信, 妹妹留給我一個很大的禮物, 那就是勇氣。

My younger sister passed away 4 years ago, I was not 30 then and my world came tumbling down. Everything I used to know, believe and trust all changed. At the time, I had just found a new job, I had just started dating my now husband, it was a brand new beginning, but all of a sudden, everything became meaningless. I didn't understand this joke life played on my family. She had just graduated from college, why? I really couldn't accept it at that time. We've always been able to understand each other without talking since we were kids, I was so used to relying on her for every thought, but at that moment, I felt hollow. Without her, my soul was half dead. Until today, I still can't really quite describe the feeling I had at the time. But the closest metaphor to my life at that time would be a nicely finished puzzle being violently thrown on the ground and I was trying to pick up the pieces one by one with extremely limited energy. It's been 4 years, during this time, I've learned to look at everything for what they really are, and I also deeply believe that my sister left me a tremendous gift, which was courage.

倆, us.

妹妹剛走的時候, 我和現在的老公剛開始交往。我其實從沒想過會和外國人交往, 但一切都很自然的發生。這件事對我的家人也產生很大的影響。好多年前我出國唸書後, 我的父母一直認為我有一天會回到台灣, 也會嫁給台灣人。6年前的我有著同樣的想法, 但我與老公的相遇是完全的不經意也是我始料未及的。在失去妹妹後, 我很認真的看待每一個身旁的人, 當生命中發生重大事件後, 你會更能確切的感受出所謂真正的關懷。當時我的壓力很大, 我的新工作在知名的大公司, 我非常想好好的表現, 但我的心並沒有痊愈。而如果當時我放棄這個工作, 對於將來的設計人旅程會有很大的影響, 我也會失去工作簽證而必須搬離美國。在這段時間內, 我不只一次的崩潰大哭, 一個星期一次的發洩非常平凡。心中對沒有陪伴在父母身邊替他們療傷的愧疚, 自己清楚對人生方向的堅持還有那補不滿的靈魂空洞, 我的腦子永遠處於輪轉狀態, 睡不著也睡不好。而當時只是我男友的老公, 不論發生什麼事, 總是不離不棄, 不管我怎麼把氣出在他身上, 他還是細心照料。當時家人對我選擇回到美國的不諒解及對外國人的成見讓我總是處於壓力鍋要崩炸之前的狀態, 工作上也不允許我的軟弱及不穩定, 我不再是當初他遇見的那個天真的我。現實讓我從自小就被保護過渡的泡泡中走出來, 而所有的新事物, 老公總是有辦法讓我瞭解, 陪我一起成長。同時, 妹妹的笑容也總是浮現在我的眼前, 讓我能拿出勇氣繼續向前走, 我告訴自己我可以渡過這一關。

When she had just passed, I've only started dating my now husband. To be honest, I've never thought about dating a foreigner, but everything just happened naturally. Our relationship caused a big stir to my family. I left home many years ago for school in the US, but my parents believed one day I would return to Taiwan and I would probably end up marrying a Taiwanese man. If you asked me 6 years ago what my thought was about that, I would probably tell you I agreed with my parents. But meeting my husband and dating him was not planned, life came knocking. After I lost my younger sister, I started to treat all of my friendships seriously. When something this huge happens in life, you could really feel the sincere concerns and care from people around you. I was under a lot of stress at that time, I had just entered a well-known company, I wanted to do well, but my heart was still hurting. If I abandoned the job at that time, my design career would be extremely different down the road, and I would've lost my working visa and be forced to move outside of the US. During that time, I broke down and cried my eyes out often, once a week was quite normal. I felt guilty for not being in Taiwan to help mend my parents' wounds, I felt torn with my determination at the job, I felt despair for not being able to fill the hole in my soul and my head was constantly spinning. I couldn't fall asleep or sleep well at all. And my husband (then boyfriend) was just always there for me, no matter what happened, ups and downs, emotional drama and abuse, somehow he just stayed and took care of me. The pressure coming from my family about my "odd choice" of staying in the US and their prejudice against dating a foreigner made me into a timed-bomb, ready to go off any second. But at the same time, my job doesn't allow any instability or weakness. I really wasn't that innocent person he met at the beginning any more. The reality forced me to burst that well-protected bubble I grew up with and faced things for what they really are. My husband was always there to help walk me through these changes and he grew with me. At the same time, whenever I was in trouble, I could always see my sister smiling at me in my head. It gave me tremendous courage to continue to strive forward.

I guess Chris has always been looking for 48

在這段時間, 老公也告訴了我一個秘密, 他從小就非常喜愛48這個數字。至今他也不知原因, 但他在學校的比賽運動衫上總是很自然的選擇48號。所以當他和我認識時發現我對48的喜愛覺得有點不可思議。當時他還把「4x12」當作他的網路名稱。但真實生活中, 我被種種現實的考量壓得喘不過氣。我覺得和他在一起人生有各種可能性, 但一想到家人我便憂心忡忡。每年他陪著我回台參加妹妹的紀念法會, 對於一個完全不懂台灣文化的外國人, 為了我, 他願意陪我從早到晚在廟裡誦經, 跪拜。我常常不解他的毅力, 但他只跟我說, "我一旦決定了你就是我的伴, 我就什麼都做得到。“ 也許一路走來, 真正懂得堅持的是他, 這點我真的無盡感謝。

During this time, my husband told me a little secret. He had also always like the number 48, he still has no idea why, but he was just very attracted to this particular number. All the team sport jerseys he had in school had 48 on it. Instinctively, he always picked 48 to be his number. So when we met, we were really both pleasantly surprised by our bias towards that number, he even had an online identity of "4x12." In real life, I was bombarded with many other things. Even though he made me see all kinds of possibilities that could happen, together we could do so much, but when I think of my family, I just felt sad. Every year, he would visit Taiwan with me for my sisters memorial. For a foreigner who had no idea about the traditional religious culture in Taiwan, he was always willing to stay in the temple with me from morning to night, following along with the buddhist chant and kneeling with prayers. I was often shocked by his persistence, but he always just said, "once I've decided we were gonna be together, I would do anything." Perhaps throughout our entire journey, he was always the one who understood persistence, for this, I am truly thankful.

Double Happiness Cookiecutter

不只上百次的答應家人他會照顧我, 原本擔心不已的父母看到了他的真心。兩年前, 他們答應我們結為連理。當時我們必須要安排兩家人的第一次會面, 還要搞清楚法院公證的細節, 緊張的到最後我們都沒有發現, 原來爸爸替我們挑選的好日子是4月12日。當我們仔細看到日期, 兩人不禁一笑, 這不就是「4x12」嗎? 知道我倆48的秘密的朋友還問我們是不是故意選擇這一天, 沒有人相信這是完全的巧合。

After promising my parents at least 100 times that he would always take care of me, he somehow soothed my parents' concerns. Two years ago, they gave us permission to be married. Once that was settled, we were both busy arranging the first meeting of the two families and getting down the details to register at city hall. We were both so nervous that we almost didn't realize that the "good day" my dad picked our from the Chinese calendar was 04/12. When we saw the date, it put a smile on our face, wasn't this "4x12?" A friend who knew about our secret of 48 even asked if we planned the date to be 04/12, somehow telling him it was a pure coincidence really didn't work.

Bunny love

今天是我們的兩週年, 一路走來, 我好感謝找到一個無限支持我的伴侶。他在我最醜陋最糟糕的時候帶我渡過困境, 每一天都讓我珍惜且懂得愛。不論我有多少的夢想他都只是希望我能堅信自己並勇敢達到目標, 從不讓我幻滅。我能持續的在部落格中和你們分享也是因為老公的支持及督促。48或4x12是我心中的秘密數字, 它緊密鏈接著我這輩子都不會忘記永遠珍藏在心底的手足, 它也連結著我人生的伴侶。也許將來有一天, 它會成為我們的品牌。在那之前, 我感謝48, 你帶來了我生命中太多的美好。

It's our second anniversary today, throughout this time, I'm really grateful for a partner who gives me unlimited support. He pulled me through the time when I was the ugliest and crazed and showed me love and cherished me every single day. No matter what my crazy dreams are, he just wants me to believe in myself and charge forward, never putting the flame out of my hearts. His support made it possible for me to keep this blog running and continue to share with you guys. 48 or 4x12 are my secret numbers, it links me to my sister that I will treasure and remember with my whole heart for the rest of my life, it links me to my life partner. Maybe one day, it will become our own brand. But before that happens, I thank you, 48, you've brought nothing but wonderful delights to my life.