Tears in the Garden

Another beautiful flower has blossomed for eternity in the Garden of Heaven.

My husband’s mother passed away at the beginning of this week.  She lived in Hong Kong, and my heart broke watching my husband’s anguish over not being able to get there in time to say his last good-bye in person.  This is the saddest part of living so far from home, and though we both know that things like this happen, it didn’t make it any easier. 

My Mother-in-law didn’t speak English, and I can barely speak Cantonese, yet when we were in each others company I felt that we could communicate.  I know that it amused her when I did things like drop food all over the table when getting to grips with chop sticks, and it delighted her when I used my smattering of Cantonese to try to converse with her – especially on those occasions when it all came out wrong and the  family rolled with mirth.

How was I supposed to know that complementing her wonderful fish dish, literally translated from English (“Good fish!”) was tantamount to calling her a dummy?  Thankfully, she saw the funny side and knew what I was really trying to say!

Above all, I’m heart-fully grateful to this amazing lady for producing the wonderful son who became my husband and my life.  I hope she knows now how much I admire her and acknowledge how hard she worked to give him the best opportunities in life that she could.

多謝  奶奶  Thank you, Lai Lai

She would have been 90 years old next Monday, yet looked like she was in her sixties.  She lived independently up until a year ago and fought off pneumonia at least twice.  She had a strong and brave heart.  We will miss her.

I’d really like to thank Obsessive Neurotic Gardener for mentioning me as one of his favorite blogs during the week.   It really cheered me up right when I needed a lift.
I went out one morning to see our little baby mocking bird that I wrote about in last weeks post, concerned that I couldn’t hear it squawking.  The nest was empty except for a plum from the tree.  It seems that the fruit had fallen into the nest and pushed the bird aside.  I found its little body, cold stiff and covered with ants under the tree.  I cried.

Later that afternoon as I sat at my computer writing, I noticed a dove flying to and from the same branch on the Douglas Fir in the front yard.  There was another nest.  In fact there are two in this tree and in the back yard we can hear the familiar squawk of another chick.  Life goes on.  That’s what it does best.

Byddi Lee

21 replies to Tears in the Garden

  1. Byddi

    So sorry to read about the loss of your dear mother in law Lai Lai. I can't imagine how difficult the past few days have been for your husband not being there at the end.

    An event like yours is something I dread Bydii especially like you living away from family.

    My prayers are with you and your husband. Rosie

  2. There is an old adage that says something like when one life ends another begins. I am so sorry to hear of your Mother in Laws passing. Happy Gardening.

  3. That's a nice thought! Thank you.

  4. So sad sweetie, but also you both need to celebrate her life ( later…time to grieve now ). My mom died suddenly at 65 years old, so I am very envious when I hear someone had their mom for that long in this world. I know you were blessed by her, and I know she was with you and her son. take care ! Gina

  5. Great to find you on Blotanical,

    Greetings from the North Bay … to the South Bay;-)
    aka Bay Area Tendrils… and now at:
    Alice's Garden Travel Buzz

  6. So sorry to read the sad news of your mother-in-law passing. I likewise lost mine not too long ago.
    My husband was at work, when suddenly he felt extremely queasy in his stomach-so much so, that he looked at the clock to see how long until the end of the day, he didn't think he would be able to make it. He could barely stand. Then it went away as suddenly as it came.
    When he returned from work he found out that his mother had passed, at just the same time he was looking at the clock.
    He was not able to be with her, but she certainly was with him.
    Hope that helps a little.

  7. I am sorry to hear of your mother in law's passing. It must be so hard for your husband to be so far away.
    I hope you baby birds make it this time. Nature is rough. I recall the crows attacking the robins nest in one of our trees. They kept at it for hours finally knocking the baby out of the nest. I tried to rescue it but I couldn't reach to put it back in the nest so I put it in a shoe box in the tree. I don't know what happened to it though so I tell myself it made it.

  8. Thank you all for all your messages of sympathy and condolences.

  9. Gina – I know what you mean about losing your mum when she was 65 – My Dad was 68 when he passed away – he was far too young to go.

  10. Byddi, Please accept my condolences on the loss of your mother-in-law; this is a beautiful tribute.

    I wanted to let you know that I'm featuring your blog (along with two others) this month on my blog, Jean's Garden. A post reviewing the blogs will appear today, and they will be highlighted on my sidebar all month. -Jean

  11. Oh my goodness! Thank you, Jean. I read your post – I love it.

  12. I came here because of Jean. She's so sweet to feature you. You deserve it. Your blog is fun to read.

  13. Thanks for dropping by Rosey. Glad you enjoyed the blog. Jean is a star!

  14. Oh my dear, thinking of you at this time…

  15. So, Good Fish is equivalent to calling someone a dummy? Trust me, that's getting off lightly. As a frequent visitor to SE Asia, I have lost count of the cultural cock-ups I have made. Still, one nice thing aout the people out there is they do seem to take it good heart.

    They also have a culture of celebrating life when it ends; something the Western world could certainly learn from!

    Enjoy your memories!

  16. Thanks for all the messages. It is great to have your support.

  17. Byddi, I'm so sorry for your family's loss. It is especially difficult when so far from home. As a transplant myself I understand the challenges of great distance between families. Your post is a wonderful tribute to your Mother-in-Law, and I hope your fond memories of her give you comfort in the days to come.

  18. Sorry for you loss. This is such a nice way to remember her though in your post.

  19. Hi Byddi, I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear mother in law. This is such a bitter-sweet post. Your description of the little mockingbird's fate brought tears to my eyes, too. Take care;-)

  20. I know, Jan. It was poignant, and my tears were for more than the poor bird

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