The women in my life

22 Weeks pregnant now. I really should take some pregnancy pictures to document this.

I went up to Northern California this past week for work, and was able to see some friends and family on the same trip. I stayed one night with my grandma, aunts, and uncle (they all live together in a house up there). My cousins and I call my grandma “A Puo” as a term of endearment. A Puo is 87 – we are 60 years apart. We have a special connection because both of us have the same Chinese zodiac sign – the ox. A Puo is truly the ox to be exemplified – very hard working. I don’t believe any of that zodiac stuff, but when I read the ox description, it does sound like my grandma –

Ox people are hard-working and persistent, they can stick at a task longer and go at it harder than anybody. Ox people are observant, they have remarkable memories and are good at reporting on absolutely everything they observe. Ox people are stubborn and dogmatic, they believe in their decision and will never regret. They are also very close to their families. They are very family-oriented, conservative and faithful.

She came to the States just a couple months before I was born, which is very special to her…and now that I’m getting ready to give birth to a little girl, that story is becoming more special to me as well. This past time visiting with her was very difficult for both of us. She was very emotional. My third aunt’s cancer may be returning, and my youngest aunt has also been having some complications with her anemia. It’s so strange because just a few years ago, we didn’t have any history of cancer or disease in our family. A Puo repeated several times that she witnessed my birth and now I will be having a baby of my own. But she didn’t say it in a happy way – it was more like she was saying, “I don’t know where my life has gone.”

She was worried about so many things. I told her in my limited Chinese that she needs to lay her worries before the Lord and be thankful for the blessings in her life. I really hope she knows Jesus as her Savior…it is hard to tell. When I left, I forgot the bag of persimmons that she had hand-picked for me. When I called her later at the airport, she was so distraught over the persimmons, she was worried about me being tired from travelling, she was worried I would be hungry…basically, she was worried about everything. I spoke to my mom about it later with tears streaming down my face. I don’t know why, but thinking about my little old grandma worrying so much about me makes me tear up even now. My mom reminded me that’s how A Puo has always been – she expresses her care through worry. She reminded me that I need to pray for her.

I think a part of me is so emotional about it because seeing A Puo like that makes me think about my own mom. Okay yes, I’m sure it’s because of pregnancy hormones too. But I do think that if A Puo is like that now, then will that be what my mom will be like when she’s older?

My mom’s zodiac is a dragon, which apparently is very desirable for Chinese people. She is very hard working – she’s not the type to kick back and relax. She is a servant to our family in the truest sense. She is my example of how to serve my family with selflessness, with loves, with diligence. She is the one in my extended family that is able to make executive decisions, and whom the others go to for advice.

I know my mom does worry about me…she wants me to have a good life. Like most immigrant families, her and my dad have worked hard in order to provide us with a better life than they. Because Beland and I are considering and desiring to go overseas for missions, a piece of my heart breaks thinking about how much she will worry about me, returning to the place that she left. Will she be like A Puo – controlled by her worries and fears for me? What if she does not have her health? I feel wretched thinking that I would not be able to take care of her…financially, physically, everything-ly. The night I came back from Northern California, I wept and wept just thinking about all these things. It doesn’t diminish my desire to go to Taiwan with my husband to bring the gospel to the lost. But, I have to admit that the thought of my parents getting older and worrying about me is becoming more painful.

Two days after I returned from Northern California, I saw my mom and that’s when we talked about my trip. I didn’t mention anything to her about my thoughts regarding her becoming old…I don’t think she would have appreciated that! I just told her about what happened with A Puo. She said to me that when you become a mother, you cannot help but worry about your kids, but you have to learn to let them go – to entrust the Lord with their lives. And then, she shocked me – she said that if Beland and I end up in Taiwan, she knows it will be hard for her, but she will have to learn to let me go. If you knew how opposed she was to the idea of me becoming a missionary when Beland and I first started dating, you would be shocked too. I know she can only say that now, not just because she loves me or because she has conceded, but I know it’s because she has learned to love and trust God with both my life and her own.

In a lot of ways, I don’t think I’m there yet. I feel so weak and emotionally affected by all these things. I’m so thankful to God for putting that on my mom’s heart, and I can only pray that he would change my heart to trust in him more.

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