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The "Wu Word" Blog

October 2019

I Carry You With Me

Every autumn season when the crisp leaves are just on the cusp of changing into their crimson and golden hues, a seminary near where I live has their Fall Festival.  The sisters hold the festival showcasing unique items for purchase that derived from the countries that they do their missionary work in.  I get great joy going to this annual festival.  Not really for the items (though I do love to shop for the unique and different!), but really to see the smiling faces on the sisters and, if I am ever so lucky enough, to hear their stories of their work experiences.  Not to mention, I have purchased really cool and cultural items there.  

I Carry You With Me

Now, this wallet that I fell in love with was nothing fancy.  If anything, probably more people would mistaken this wallet for a “male” wallet over a “female” wallet because there were no frills, no bells and whistles, and nothing ‘girly’ at all.  It was a simple trifold wallet.  Only one clear compartment, three other compartments, and a change purse inside.  It was a dark army and black green with what appeared to be old windows from apartment buildings and Chinese characters on it.  It was originally from China.   I loved it. 

In roughly the ten years or so that I have had it, I lost this wallet once.  I was at a late-night and unplanned Broadway show in New York City with a friend visiting from out of state.  I was half asleep when I returned home.  The next morning, my wallet was gone.  I was just about near tears. Oh, yes, of course, I was upset that I had lost mandatory items of driver’s license, credit cards, and debit card.  However, I was most upset that I had lost pictures of my family and friends and my friend’s beloved birds, a travel safety blessing card that my stepmom had got for me from Taiwan, and just that wallet itself that had held so much of my life and my memories in at least the ten years or so that I had it.  I was so distraught that this wallet was gone that I actually called the theatre to find out if they had somehow found it when cleaning up the theatre.  No such luck at that time, but, believe it or not,  about six months later, my father had received a phone call from a staff member at the Broadway Theatre that my wallet—THIS WALLET that I loved so much—had been found.  Call me crazy, but I somehow saw that this wallet to be blessed from the sisters to have been found months later and back in my hands and my life.

I Carry You With Me

When the wallet was back in my hands, I could not believe that EVERYTHING was intact.  It was like the wallet had never gone missing.  It was like the six months that had gone by without this wallet had never happened.  My heart filled with warmth and gratitude there was still the goodness in people to have reported and returned my wallet back to me without taking anything: Driver’s License with my grinning face and bright red heart on it declaring that I was a registered organ, eye and tissue donor, same credit cards, pictures of my loved ones, travel safety card, debit card, cash, and much, much more that holds memories and moments of my life in a wallet.  When my wallet and I were reunited, I thought about what tangible and materialistic items do we carry with us and why do we carry them with us every single day.  When I see that red heart on my license, I think about how I carry both my organ donors’ kidney beans with me.  When I see my travel card, I think about my stepmom and how she thought of me to try in her own way to keep me safe.  When I see my hip replacement card, I remember the physically pained life I lived before and then life I live now that is so full of activity that I will catch myself wondering why I did not have the hip replacement sooner.  When I see the pictures of my loved ones, I think about how I carry them and our times together that fill me with this wondrous and wonderful truth: I am blessed. 

We all carry materialistic, or tangible, items with us day in and day out that remind or reinforce us of our loved ones and our different dynamics with them as well as the life we have lived and are still living.  I have had many wallets over the years: Hello Kitty and Floral Patterns, but no wallet has nor will ever compare to this wallet from the sisters that has spoken volumes about my life thus far.  What do you carry in your wallet?  Do you think someone is ‘carrying’ you?  Who do you carry with you?  What do you carry with you? 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,

Mary ;-) 

The Handy Guy

“If I can do it on my own, then why can’t you?”  My Stepmom asked me while holding the shiny and beaming canister with the nozzle that was meant for caulking.
It appeared as a question.  But, it was really a statement.  No, it was more than that.  It was a challenge.  And, if there is anything that I love more, it is a challenge that I could meet and succeed in.

From January 2019-July 2019 and especially the peak months between February to May, I felt ready to put my apartment up for sale and ditch it all together AND, even worst, return home to my safe haven and security of my parents’ and the place I grew up in.   In those months, I had experienced three water incidents, electricity issues, jammed windows, peeling paint, screw pops, and fine-lined cracks in ceilings and even walls.   In those months, I had come to depend on two people: a guy buddy of mine AND my long-time and faithful handy guy who came to my rescue more than once to more so calm me down along with reparations of what had broken.   When I first turned to my guy friend for help to find the matching florescent light and install it for me, he said to me: “I will teach you how to do it, so you will know how to do it on your own.” 

I quipped, “Well, why would I have you teach me when you can do it for me?”

He chuckled, but then said seriously, “It’s important to learn how to do it alone in case no one is around.”  

The Handy Guy

As far as my long-time handy guy, he had started out as a colleague to one of my relatives.  Time and time again, he came through for my relatives, my parents, and, eventually, me in just about this decade that I had lived in my apartment.  He had rushed out from his nighttime job when I was literally having an anxiety attack over water spilling over on my kitchen floor from the faucet that broke.  In all these years, he had calmly fixed my kitchen sink at least twice, repaired electrical outlets, checked on my fridge, taught me how to change air conditioner filters, scrubbed down my kitchen floor, and fixed my toilet.  No job was too big or too small for him.  I fully admired him—for his workmanship, but mostly for his patience. 

As the household issues increased, my anxiety and lack of feeling like I was in any kind of control increased.  Soon, I became a downright paranoid pest with harassing my handy guy and my guy buddy to come over for what I was fearful was my apartment falling apart and that it was time for me to say good-bye to this place.  As Papa Wu wisely said, “Mary, these are all cosmetic issues.  The two things you need to worry about when it comes to a place are electricity and plumbing.  Fire and water are the two most powerful substances that are difficult and just impossible to contain when they are out of control. You are getting fixated on fixing up what does not even require immediate or urgent fixing.” 

Eventually, my guy buddy who I had come to depend on stopped responding to my household concerns and to me all together.  Eventually, my handy guy said exasperated: “I do not know what to say to you anymore.”  And, just like that, ‘no one was around’ to help me out.  So, I had to help myself.  All this time, I had been determined to depend on others, leaving me in a weak and vulnerable place of NOT knowing what to do with my place when something went a wee bit off and just letting anxiety and ignorance get the best of me and bringing out the worst in me.  I could not keep running away and running to other people to ‘fix’ my problems when I had to ‘fix’ my own problems.  
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