14. The Ugly Baby Deity Longevity

About a year later after they married,  Yu-Wen happened to be in favor of sour food. She became lazy and easy to get tired when doing her daily housework. The doctor announced that Yu Wen was pregnant!

What a great and joyful news for the Ho family! Dz Yun’s parents were expecting their very first born grandchild! Dz Yun’s father mailed two sets of books to his daughter-in-law:  “Fetation” and ” How to nourishing and bringing up a baby”. These two sets of books not only brought Yu Wen love they also brought new knowledge that all she needed. Without these books, Yu-Wen would never know what should she do to bring up her very first baby.

Before Yu Wen married, her father was teasing her and said:”If you married Dz Yun. you should have many children!”

“Why?” Yu Wen’s father baffled her.

     “My foolish child! Don’t you see, I’m a Mongolian, your mother is a Manchurian and your husband-to-be is a Han. There are five big races in China: Hans, Manchus, Mongolians, Huis, and Tibetans. There will be three races in your family. It was said the second generations of this kind of families, should be very bright!”

Now it’s really going to be happening! Yu-Wen was worried and scared. No adults around her. Nowhere to get Won Ma. Whom should she go for help?  From the books that her father-in-law sent her, Yu-Wen found all her answers.

It could be because this was the first pregnancy for Yu Wen. Without any experience, no advice. She only carried the fetus less than seven months.  The premature baby was thin and tiny! Not ready to be dropped into the world. She had a head as a shrank deity of longevity. But much older!  On her baldhead and over her face there were full of wrinkles.  Her fingers and toes were so skinny and they looked awfully long. Yu-Wen couldn’t be sure whether there were five or fewer fingers or toes on each hand and foot. Many times when nobody was around she would be picked up one tiny hand or foot to count over and over again.

Mrs. Lyan heard that her daughter just had a pregnancy baby.  She rushed to the hospital to see them. When she saw such an ugly old deity of longevity granddaughter, Mrs. Lyan was very disappointed.  She suggested to Yu Wen:

“How about exchange a better-looking one? Today on my way here at the Nursery, I saw an abandoned baby girl as old as this ugly being. The nurse said her mother was a student at Pei-Jing University who ran away a few days later after the baby was born. That baby girl I saw, has beautiful black hair, big eyes, and a small mouth. She’ll become a beauty someday. Anyway, that’s an unwanted child, why don’t you exchange them?” Mrs. Lyan said seriously.

Yu-Wen was so frightened.  No matter how ugly the baby was, that was her very own flesh and blood. That was her daughter!

Ever since that moment she heard what her mother had said, She was so scared!  She would never let the baby out of her sight.  She was afraid that her mother may stealthily exchange her baby.

Dz Yun named their first born girl You Wen to honor his sweetheart. You Wen means Yu Wen Junior!

You Wen, this a premature baby. She was unusually small! At home, everyone called her Syau Wen as a nickname,  which means “Little Tiny Wen”.

Syau Wen was born on a summer day in 1963.  The weather was awfully hot. But Syau Wen’s body temperature was always low. There was no incubator at those days. From ” How to Nourishing and Bringing Up A Baby” Yu Wen learned how to keep her tiny baby warm and safe.

She put lots of unused premature bab on a piece of wood board. Rapped up with a new clean cloth. Before Yu Wen bundled Syau Wen up with a blanket, she placed Syau Wen in between of two layers of unused cotton, then put the bundle on the rapped board.  The bundle was secured on the board,

  • Unused cotton* is warmer than the used one. Besides it’s clean, no harmful germs.

Actually to put Syau Wen on a piece of board was not only could keep her warm, it kept her safe in one piece. Syau Wen was born before she was fully grown. Her bones and skeleton were not well enough connected yet. It seemed if there is just the slightest shake could cause the bones scattered! When she was on the board she will not be shaken at all.

This poor little girl didn’t even know how to suck! Each time when it was time to feed her, Yu-Wen had to put some milk into an eye drop suction tube. Then open her baby’s mouth to drop one drop of milk at a time. Waited until that one drop was completed swallowed. Then drop the next drop. If accidentally dropped two drops into Syau Wen’s mouth, it could chock Syau Wen and she would throw up all the milk she had swallowed. All the hard work was in vain. She had to start from the beginning again.

From no experience at all only based on those two sets of books, Yu-Wen made it. She and Syau Wen went through the hottest days in summer and bed hygienic condition. Even the doctors would not sure that a baby like Syau Wen could be survived. Syau Wen kept on growing safely. It was a miracle to Yu Wen. Her heart was filled with thanksgiving to heaven and the people around her.  On top of all the worried was her baby could be exchanged by her mother. Many timed she woke up at midnight to check and make sure if her “tiny old deity of longevity” was OK!

–to be continued.

  1. Smallpox vaccine and The  Deadly Enteritis–  is on the way
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Mona Lisa

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I had never noticed that my eyebrows are any distinct from other people until one day…………………

That was almost 20 years ago. The Old Navy was newly opened in San Francisco, Ca. Our grandsons, Phil was 6 years old, and the younger one, Gabe  was about  one. We were wandering  around with the crowds in Old Navy. Window shopping! When we came to the third floor, Phil stopped at a  portraitist’s drawing stand. watching the portraitist drawing, he was just about to finished his piece for a lady. I peeked at the finishing picture, it looked very nice, looked just like that lady! I had never had a drew picture. Why not have one today? so I sat in the seat after that lady left.

I couldn’t see what the portraitist was drawing behind his stand, but I could see his arms were moving up and down, from left to right. Looked at me for a second and then went back working again.

After he worked for a few minutes, he stopped again. This time was not just a couple seconds he looked at me. He put his pencil in between his front teeth and stared at me quite puzzled.  Then he took the pencil out of his teeth, gave a strong knock on the drawing stand. With a mischievous smile and go back to work again. A few minutes later, he took the picture down from his drawing stand and handed it to me. It was me! I looked nice in it! I should say that was the best one I never had. I was very pleased with it. But……there was something there. I could not really tell. There was something in it!. As we were walking, Phil said: ” Nanny, let me see it.” I handed it to him. He looked at a picture , his little head slanting from left to right several times. Very displeased  he handed the picture back to me and said: “Granny! It doesn’t look you!” I was surprised to hear it!

“No? But I think it is very nice!” I banded down my back and showed the picture to Phil again.

“No! Granny! Look at here.” Phil’s little pointer pointed at the eyebrows. And said:”Look! It has eyebrows, but you don’t” His litter finger sliding  back and forth on my forehead where the eyebrow should be.

“What? Really?”

I turn to my daughter-in-law and said: “I’m going to use the lady’s room!”

There in the mirror, I saw me! Yes! Now I found that something unknown in that beautiful picture was my eyebrow. I do have some. But they were just too light and too thin! You have to look very close. Otherwise, You can hardly see!

That was why the poor portraitist was hard to decide what should he do about my eyebrows. He was smiling mischievously when he looked at me, it might because he thought “Wow! Here is the another Mona Lisa!”

Here is a copy of Mona Lisa’s picture at top of this page which I found from Google. Have you noticed the Mona Lisa had no eyebrows!

I’m so proud of myself to be another “Mona Lisa”!

This picture of mine was taken this morning.  Won’t agree with me?! Just a bit older!

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