C-5 Marriage-Important event in Yu Wen’s life: –The last part–

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Then they will go to the second step – Exchange the “Big Dragon and Phoenix Cards” along with engage rings. These Cards were really big! They were about one foot long and three feet wide solid red silk cloth. The card from the boy’s side give to the girl’s parents, printed with two phoenixes, one on the right and one on the left. The card from the girl’s side for the boy’s parents was printed with two dragons. The cards carried with both boy and girl’s names, date of birth and eight characters of a horoscopes.

Until both cards were accepted, marriage ceremony is awaiting! If any of the two partied refused accept the big red card, the engagement is cancelled.

Now the whole Lyan’s residence was decorated and full with joy. Everyone was excited about this coming up wedding for the only daughter of the Lyan’s.

But Yu Wen was suffering with cognitive dissonance, she was very sick. Her head was stuffed with cotton, and dreaming day and night. In her vision everything was a shadow. Indistinctly her father touched her forehead, she saw Dz Yun’s face was flashed with excitement. Wong Ma’s worried face……..

Seemingly Yu Wen was watching a show. The actors were running on and off the stage. In a instant she was on the stage. The tailor came to measure her for her wedding gown. She wasn’t sure whether everything was truly happened or not.

When the time for Yu Wen to say farewell to her parents, she kneeled down on her kneels. She saw her father’s red eyes. Her mother’s long face still looked the same.

Dimly Yu Wen was embraced and sent into the wedding car. Everything she was familiar with began to withdraw. The gate of her home closed behind her car and disappeared. Tears running down her cheeks.

“Wong Ma!”she called out half dreamingly.”Where is Wong Ma?” Yu Wen was looking for the one who loved her so dearly.

Someone said in her ears: “My lady, Madam Lyan sent Wong Ma to work in the kitchen from now on. Actually Madam Lyan was going to dismiss Wong Ma. She said since you are married, Wong Ma is no longer needed in this household. But Master Lyan remember all the good care that Wong Ma have had with you. He kept her working in the kitchen.” Speechlessly with a broken heart, Yu Wen fell back into the set. Her vision got more blurred.

The time was frozen and went backwards in the car.

Dimly Yu Wen saw herself was playing in the court yard with Wong Ma, but the every thing she saw seemed so far away. Then the vision changed, she saw people in and out of her room, all of a suddenly she heard some uproar laughter and people fell down on the floor. These people were trying to pick up a big trunk from the floor. They all knew that Yu Wen was the only daughter of the Lyan’s. Her dowries must be rich and valuable. This trunk should be very heave and filled-up with jewelers, antiques and thousands pieces of silver coins. They picked up the trunk with all their strength. Up the trunk flew into the air! They couldn’t keep their balance and fell down to the floor. First was shocked with surprise. Then they laughed. They would never believe that there were only some clothes that Yu Wen’s wears every day and a cloth brush.

Then the time flew back to the night before the wedding:

The night was so quiet. Yu Wen was sitting next to the table absent-mindedly. She could hear her own heavy breathings and her coughs. This was the last night at home for Yu Wen. When will she be back? ………………….

Wong Ma stood next to her, patting on her back. Trying to ease off her lady’s coughs. Wong Ma’s tears were flowing in her eyes. This lady is with her ever since she was a baby. She breastfeeding her until she was almost two years old. She taught her to say “Ma” , “pa” . She watched Yu Wen from crawling to stepped out her first baby step. She comforted Yu Wen when she had some hard times. She even dressed Yu Wen every morning until now. But after tomorrow, the girl she took as her very own daughter will be departed from her forever………………

Suddenly the door opened. In came Mrs. Lyan assisting with her maid. Yu Wen stood up right away. Walking wabblingly towards her mother. Yu Wen poured some tea into a cup and handed it to her mother with both hands. She was so touched that her mother could come in to see her the night before she leave home. Her mother forgave her!

Mrs. Lyan accepted the tea from Yu Wen’s hands and sipped a little, She said in a clam voice:”En! The tea is cold!’ Then she said:”Last night I was playing mahjong with some friends. Unfortunately I lost all my money. I don’t want to upset your father. Could I borrow some of your dowries to pay off the debts? I know that your father gave you lots of expensive jewelers and thousands pieces of silver coins. May be from your dowries I can get some good lucks from the happiness of your wedding, so that I may win back what I’ve lost. I’ll pay you back later.”

Mrs. Lyan didn’t wait for any answer, she told her maid to open that big trunk and took all the jewelers, antiques and the money.

Wong Ma couldn’t keep quite any longer. She kneeled down on her knees and knocked on the ground. Cried out:”Please! madam, please! Leave some for your daughter, please. You took everything away from my poor lady, what would it be for her future.” Yu Wen stood there without saying any word, not any tears.

Thus how Yu Wen stepped into her married life with some used cloths and the brush. A brand new life awaits for her.

Mrs. Lyan had never ever mentioned about anything that she had said that night. Yu Wen never mentioned to her father about what had happened the night before her wedding. There was never had anything special happened that night.

That brush was a very good one. It had traveled with Yu Wen so many years from places to places. Even till forty years later. Only the wood handle that holds the hair looking old and lost it’s brilliance. But it didn’t lose any of it’s hair

— “C-6  First Time Being A Mother” is on it’s way–

C-5 Marriage-Important event in Yu Wen’s life: –Part six–

–Everlasting Blossoms —

Mrs. Lyan lost a lot of weight even under the good care of the doctor. Her health condition made Mr. Lyan’s heart ache. But a promise is a promise! It can’t be changed! Mrs. Lyan had just let it be.

Upon this Marriage Revolution, the relationship between Yu Wen and her mother dropped down under to 0 degree. Right after Yu Wen heard that her mother regained consciousness, she ran to her mother’s bed side. But as soon as her mother saw Yu Wen, she closed her eyes and turned her head away from her. Ever since that each morning and evening when Yu Wen went to her parent’s bedroom with her best regards as she usually do, Mrs. Lyan would not say a word and even not looking at her unless her father was around. Yu Wen always stood in front of her mother until Wong Ma pulling her sleeve to imply her it’s time to leave. Her mother treated her as a stranger. At Yu Wen’s childhood, only when she was learning the Princesses Etiquette, her mother was very strict on correcting her postures, but their relationship was never being as bed as strangers.

Yu Wen understood that her mother loved her, Her mother wish to see her only daughter marry to a matched marriage to have a good life. But she herself knew that she would never wanted to become a daughter-in-law of Mrs. Dzo, and ended up the same way as her high school classmate. Yu Wen aspired to a blissful marriage. Nevertheless, she couldn’t drop her mother’s love as well.

Her mother could only see that Dz Yun was a impoverished student. But she never learn the Dz Yun was born in a scholarly family for generations. Some of Dz Yun’s ancestry were officers at the imperial court. The Ho’s family was one of the most famous celebrities in HeNan. But to Mrs. Lyan scholarly family for generation would never be compared to a blue blood family.

Struggling between the love of her mother and a blissful marriage, tolerated with her mother’s coldness every day, Yu Wen couldn’t take any more. She was devastated and her heath collapsed. Every day after 12 noon, Yu Wen began to have some fever not too high but coughed a lot. Traditional Chinese Doctor diagnosed Yu Wen of Non-communicable TB.

Dz Yun did as Mr. Lyan told him. He asked uncle Bu to go to Lyan’s residence to proposed the engagement for him. Uncle Bu was a close friend to Mr. Lyan. He visited Mr. Lyan residence frequently. Uncle Bu have met with Dz Yun quite often, was of the opinion that Dz Yun was a honest and gentle boy. He understood Dz Yun and Yu Wen loved each other. He was willing to be the matchmaker. Matchmaker was a very important character in those days. Without a matchmaker there would no marriage.

At that time, the engagement was very different from nowadays. There were two steps:

Step one: For the boy’s side — You should have a matchmaker who should knows both persons who involved with this engagement. The matchmaker should bring a piece of red paper with the boy’s date of birth and eight characters of a horoscope to the girl’s parents. The girl’s parent will check with a fortuneteller to see if this boy matches with their daughter’s date of birth and eight characters of a horoscope. If there is no problem and they think this boy may be an ideal son-in-law to be, they would accept the red paper and give their daughter’s birth date and eight characters of a horoscope to the matchmaker to bring to the boy’s parents. After everything was OKed, the matchmaker would exchange the *”Small Dragon and Phoenix Card* for the two parties. One addressed to the girl’s father, one to the boy’s father. If both side accepted which means the engagement is half way to success. If any of the two parties refused to take the Card, There will be no more engagement.

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*”Small Dragon and Phoenix * – Two pieces of red paper(as the picture showed) carried both boy and girl’s date of birth and eight characters of a horoscope. One addressed to the girl’s father, the other addressed to the boy’s father. These cards should be written by the matchmaker with his name and seal on them.

The picture above was from my grandfather to my maternal-grandfather , asking for permission the engagement.

—To  be continued —