I was always impressed by the cultural value xiao sun fumu (in its more benign form). Has that cultural value rubbed off on any of you, or did you already have it? Would you leave Taiwan to take care of a lonely, elderly parent? A sickly parent? Who will take care of your parents when they need it?
That’s the problem. We’re going to put an addition on the family house, and when the time comes I will come back and live in the US. Apart from that, I would probably just stay on in Taiwan barring any political catastrophes. I hope to get through the MA program I’ll be starting this Fall before it’s necessary to come back full time.
I think that having Dad take care of many affairs here in the States on my behalf keeps him young, however. I don’t know if he would agree or not…
I dunno if it was always there, doubtful, but I would definitely leave my beloved Taiwan for one of my parents… They are not together and not at all easy to deal with (even in good health), but should, nay, when the time comes, I will return to Oz and be there for them. Man, I should be a script writer for Neighbours
My gut reaction is I’d probably go back as well. But I wouldn’t say that it’s something that’s rubbed off from living here. Americans have so-called ‘family values’ too, you know.
I’ve two friends in the US who’ve done it. One, took care of his sick father for quite a few years until he was put into a home and finally died. Now it’s his mom’s turn.
My other friend has taken care of her one-legged invalid mom for over a decade now, out on a farm in North Carolina.
My parents (dad 75, mom 72) are extremely independent and still travel around the world, so I don’t think they’d really expect their kids to take them in any time soon. My mom certainly wouldn’t want this to ever happen, but my dad might be more prone to it if my mom passed away first because she’s always taken care of him so well.
My control freak sister in San Francisco would likely jump on the chance to take over either of their lives if it came down to senility or something like that. Which is probably the only way I could deal with my mom on a regular basis, if she became senile…
I mean, she’s sharp as a tack and pisses me off royally after one day of being around her.
My dad is easier to deal with now than when he was younger because he’s not nearly as threatening anymore, but his revolting offhand racist comments are infuriating on a regular basis…
Now that I’ve thought about it, I think I’d rather give control freak sister a go, but not because I’m unfilial, just because I value my sanity.
I guess I would go back, I am the only child so there would be no one else to do it.
Nothing to do with Asian (family) values which are IMHO much stronger but we (I) do have some, too.
This is not really a question of leaving the country or not, it is a question of, “Are you capable of doing this?”
My grandfather had a stroke early this year and can only walk a few dozen feet with a walker. He has no use of his right hand and must be helped to the toilet and with his clothing.
I went back for a while and, while he lives in a 24-hour care facility (which he likes), I took care of him, i.e. took him out to do things every day – like ride in the golf cart while I played (he was a big golfer with 7 holes-in-one to his name), and I have to say that as much as I love him, it would be beyond my abilities to take care of him. It is nice to say that you would sacrifice your current way of life to help an ailing relative, but I can tell you that it is no easy job, both physically and mentally.
I have a very great respect for the caregivers that work here.
I feel that the difference btwn the Chinese way and the American way is that for the Chinese, you are supposed to sacrifice whether you like it or not; in their ideal, you have no choice. For me, I will take care of my mother. She is already building an addition onto our house, which is wheel chair accessible (she doesn’t need a wheel chair yet, but stroke runs in the family). I don’t feel like it is a sacrifice because I value her presence/advice etc and feel so much gratitude for all she has done and continues to do for me. But as for my father, I will share the financial burden of putting him in a nursing home and would visit him, but because of the way he treated me and my mother, I wouldn’t do more than that. So I don’t ascribe to xiaosun fumu 100%.