Posts Tagged loyalty
I hate the way hospitals smell. The energy that comes from everyone inside them permeates through every pore of my body. From the moment you enter your own personal space shrinks as the everyone else’s struggles to make room for theirs. I think it’s the intensity of all that emotion under one consolidated space. I think it’s what my own personal torture chamber would be like.
The elevator was way to small, and it smelt like stale air. It seem to be creeping towards the third floor almost as though it felt my dread. When the doors finally opened the strange nurse breathed a sigh of relief. We had managed to ride up three floors without even making eye contact. She almost trampled another nurse as she made her escape. Never realizing that her energy had been swallowed by mine.
I had prepared myself on the car ride over. There would be no sadness, no negativity, I would not make this beautiful 33 year old woman hold the weight of my sorrow with her cancer ridden body. She has carried far too much for far too long. My mother had warned me of how frail she has become. Her already slender Asian frame had been beaten down by both her disease, and her treatment. She has not been able to withstand food, or liquids for almost two weeks now. Blood flows from her abdomen like water from a slow streaming faucet.
Our mother’s are like sister’s. Alove built from the kind of friendship few others ever experience. We regard each other as chosen family, and even when there is nothing we can do for one another we stay together. We are like the support beam that keeps your home from collapsing. She smiles as I enter her room forging through her pain to make a fuss over the flowers I have for her. Her grace only makes me love her more. I hide my emotions for her as well I regard this visit as if it’s a temporary problem that simply requires some time.
This is strength beyond all boundaries, and respect without limits. We talked about our families. She is in agony, but never says that she is. Instead she says that she’s tired, and relays to me that she is getting the best care. Then in a brief moment of fear she tells me that she is dying. I know in this moment she is grasping for my strength. It was a moment I knew would come. It was my dread that filled the elevator, and permeated through the nurse causing her to run away when the doors opened.
So I took her tiny hand, looked deeply into her fearful eyes, and said” I work with the dying everyday. You know this, and you are not dying now.” I could feel her energy change immediately. Her body had swallowed mine. She smiled, and said “okay I will fight.” I smiled back staring deeply into her eyes. Then her mother entered the room, and saw her daughter smiling. I told her I was leaving, and that I would be back soon. Her mother reached for me, holding me as only a mother can hold you. The energy in that moment kept us all from collapsing.
Apparently having an affair with someone who is twenty plus years your senior can elude you into believing that you are mentally in the same age group. Our friend’s twenty-four year old lover decided it would be a good idea to invite his children over for a little Christmas dinner. Now keep in mind our friend’s children are all older than his mistress. Not to mention that he just left his wife right before Thanksgiving of this year, but she felt that inviting the kids over would somehow be okay.
As you might have guessed this was a colossal misjudgement on her part. Why our friend did not give his young mistress a heads up on how this was such a bad idea I will never know. The young mistress actually called the oldest daughter to extend the invitation. The oldest daughter laughed, and asked her if this was some kind of a bad joke.The young mistress said no she thought this would give all the kids a chance to celebrate Christmas with their Dad, and give them a chance to get to know each other.
To which the oldest daughter replied “No, not today, not ever!” So the young mistress says well that may be how you feel, but I’m still going to invite your sister & brother. The oldest daughter laughed again, and told her to knock herself out. So the mistress calls his son, who wouldn’t even answer her calls period, and then she called the youngest daughter who is the baby of this family. She also happens to be two years older than her dad’s mistress. The baby of the family is known for her short temper, and her inability to mince words.
The baby expecting the call after speaking with her older siblings, so she had a little time to think about what she was going to say. She asked the mistress if she was high, or something? Then she proceeded to tell her that no one in her family had any intention of spending any time with the hoe who knowingly cheated with another woman’s husband, aka our dad! Then she told her that she was pissed at the way she took advantage of her mother’s friendship, and her generosity while she was busy fucking her husband, aka our dad! Then she finished her conversation by saying that the only time she would ever even think of her this Christmas was when she saw a male senior citizen sitting in a chair with an under aged child on his lap, and heard him calling her name aka hoe, hoe, hoe!
I have always loved this kid! I do have to say that everytime I’m in the mall, or somewhere else where the jolly old guy is hanging out, my smile is a little wider when I hear him say ho, ho, ho! 😉
He use to always be so comfortable around me. Then one day all the comfort disappeared, it was replaced with an uncomfortable nervousness. I could see in his eyes that he still loved me, but now there was no eye contact, it had been replaced by a look of shame.
He use to love to come to our home, but now he stays away. He had the look of someone filled with guilt. I probably would have never known why if we both hadn’t of run into each other at the long-term facility so often. He is my loved ones brother.
The male in-laws in our family are not as caddy as the women. Kinder, more willing to give getting to know you a chance. The women are more clanish, passive aggressive. My sister-in-law is the worst. A funny thing happens whenever she has spent time with someone in the family who likes me. They suddenly have a change of heart.
I am smart enough to know this, but I refuse to chase after someone who believes what someone else says about another person without asking them their side of things. Also if someone can change someone else’s opinion of you with such ease, then there’s really no point to trying to reverse their opinion. People believe what they want to believe.
Then one day as we stood face to face at the sign out desk of the long-term facility. I was leaving, as he was coming. I hugged him, and we joked about my MIL being annoyed with me again. Then his whole facial expression changed, he looked down at his feet then back up to my eyes.
With the saddest look he said “You really can’t catch a break can you.” It was a knowing statement, not a question. I searched his eyes. I could see he felt badly for knowing about all the negative crap his nieces, and sisters say about me.
Maybe he felt guilty for listening, or even worse not standing up for me. So I replied “Don’t worry I know, but please keep in mind that while they are all trashing me I am here everyday by their father, and your brother’s side.” 😉
She was the first in every way, from the moment they laid her warm 8 pound 6 ounce body onto my chest. Heart to heart, my world would never be the same. She didn’t even cry. She held up her little head looking around the room as if she were surveying it’s worth. The doctor, and everyone else in the room shared the same look of awe at her incredible strength. I am to this day amazed that she only scored a 9 instead of a 10 on her APGAR rating, because she did not enter the world screaming like a banshee. If I think about it, she entered the world pretty much the same way she enters a room now. She silently walks in with her head held high, and her beautiful chocolate-colored eyes surveying everything around her.
She is petite in stature, but large in her presence. Her “Helen of Troy” beauty lures you in, but her total command of the room makes you want to stay. She’s engaging, smart, direct, and her sense of humor is fueled by her unyielding desire to see your ability to withstand her way of magnifying your most hidden human characteristics. She can be extremely driven, and has very little tolerance for those who disregard her need for personal space, for uncleanliness, and disorder. She has zero tolerance for disloyalty, and I think this stems from the fact that she is quite possibly one of the most loyal people on the planet.
She sees the world from a more grown up point of view than I do. Even though she is to grown now to lay across my heart she is forever entwined in it’s every beat. We can talk for hours about everything, and nothing at all. I can count on her to tell me the truth when none else can. She sees me in a way that no one else can see me. Her very existence makes my life better. That’s the thing about daughters… 😉
Families all have their strange little rituals that bond them in their own unique way, and ours is no exception. Today would have been our Dad’s 78th birthday. Even though Dad died in 2008 we still continue to celebrate his birthday with him. I realize that a lot of people celebrate loved ones who have passed, but our celebration is a little on the different side.
My second Mom is Asian so they have a completely different view on how to honor those who have passed. My sister, and I are not completely certain if all other Asians share this practice. We are sure that some of our ritual probably is, and we are even more certain that Mom puts her own special spin on the rest. So in about an hour we will take an hour and a half drive north to the Veteran’s Cemetery where we had Dad buried. There is actually one right in the town where we live only twenty minutes away, but at the time of Dad’s death they only had plots available for those who chose to be cremated. Something Dad had very strong opinions about (another story I will right about some day), but this is enough strangeness for one morning.
I know it’s not unusual for people to visit a loved ones grave, and show up with their favorite flowers, red roses in Dad’s case he was a traditionalist in this respect.What makes our little ritual so strange is that we will sit on his grave, and have lunch with him. This lunch will consist of several of his favorite things- a Big Mac, french fries, strong black coffee, and cheesecake. The really strange thing here will be the fact that our mother will insist on setting a place for Dad including his own food, and drink. I can tell you from past experiences this is something that does not escape the attention of other visitors. Once a caretaker actually asked us why we set a place for Dad. I was amused by his curiosity, my sister who is slightly less tolerant of the curiosity of strangers replied “Because it’s rude to eat all of his favorites without including him!”
Mom smiled nodding in agreement, not picking up on my sister’s sarcasm, and I rolled with laughter. This is a classic example of our family dynamic. Truth be told my Dad probably would have found Mom’s ritual to be nothing short of strange. It would have embarrassed him in much the same way it does my sister. We love our Mom so we do whatever she asks us to do. She does not ask for much. I have to tell you that I always get the strange feeling that Dad is there with us, and that he can’t help, but be amused by the whole ritual. I also think he is as touched by our Mom’s immense love for him as we are. 😉
I stand by your bed side, and every single day I hope that you will be your old self again. Only hope could bring me to a place where each day holds an unimaginable level of misery to the depths of my soul.
For three years, and five months I have watched your essence slip gradually away. Just like the visitors who use to come. They say that they can’t continue to come, and to see you wither away. I have the opposite fear. Every single day I fear the day will come when I will not see you again.
Your will to live frightens them. They see a weakened old man. I see a great warrior who refuses to be beaten. You are so much stronger than we will ever be. I will stay by your side for as long as you fight. I will be your eyes, your ears, and your voice every single day.
My misery is not caused by your existence. It comes from my inability to bring you back to the place I know you long to go every single day…