Monthly Archives: February 2009

My little secret

It’s been a while since updating this. I guess there’s nothing new to report in regards to my dad’s condition. It’s so-so, and the medical dr’s say they really can’t treat him anymore. No more surgeries, so it’s just waiting and seeing. I just got out from the hospital again, feeling a bit tired and hoping I’m not coming down with a cold. Then I can’t really visit him as much. I was very contemplative today. As my car is falling a part, my house has some plumbing leaks that require immediate attention, as all these things just parade one after another, I pretty much shrug it off. I guess at this point, the only thing that is of concern to me is my father. And despite little sleep, and putting my life on hold, I think of the numerous sacrifices he and my mom had to endure to get me to where I am, and I laugh…Thinking this is pittance. A mere fraction and if it were me lying in that hospital you could be damn sure it would be him that’s standing or sitting next to me keeping watch.

Speaking of car troubles, I was sad the other day. My car has a plethora of problems that recently cropped up virtually overnight. Clutch is slipping, the car has a hard time starting. And I was sitting in the garage last night opening up the hood pretending I had a modicum of insight. And I thought if my dad were here now, he’d know what to do. But he wasn’t. He was within reach though, for that much I’m grateful for. But for how long? So that night when I did visit him (used my wife’s car, after sitting there in the garage trying to start my own car for 15 minutes), I ran through some ideas with him. He wasn’t really in any position to consider the options, but the fact that I ran them through him, eliminating possible points of failure and him actually agreeing with my assessment was very very assuring. Just like Linus, (from Charlie Brown), He’s like my little blanket that I would always fall back on.

Today was a particularly good day. When I arrived to visit him, he had this great huge smile when he knew I was there. Not the fake smile, or the Asian smile that are dads have because we all know older Asian men somehow are highly incapable of expression any major emotions…but a genuine, warm, tickling sensation in your tummy, type of smile that just melted me. Mind you my dad was always stern growing up, so seeing this wonderful expression, I just had a myriad of emotions pummel me.

My ‘depressed Eeyor(from Winnie the Pooh) side’ told me…wow, I wonder how many of these will I ever see again? one? maybe two?

My ‘logical’ side: told me, when he doesn’t have his dentures on, he looks a bit funny. But in a cute kind of way. I wonder when he will get his dentures back in?

My ‘artistic side: wished I had a camera right then and there to take a picture of that smile and tuck it away so I can remember it always.

My ‘imaginative side: raced and thought how cool would it be to have cameras in my eyes so I can take this picture?

And I guess finally my contemplative, instinctive side as I walked towards the car just remembered it fondly. Thinking maybe it was best I didn’t have any camera there. That it somehow would be forever etched into my memory, as my dad’s smile that he gave to just me, and only me. His youngest son. And it will be my little secret that I will someday hope to bring up and remember, when I’m in my hospital bed, or during some difficult time of hardship that no doubt we all must face. The ways his eyes lit up, like dull, old Christmas lights, twinkling in the corner. Nothing fancy or new, but just enough sprinkles of color and happiness to brighten up the room. I’m getting teary eyed thinking about it now so I guess I’ll be tucking it away to be used some day.

And who knows, if I’m lucky enough, I will be blessed with a few more mental images. My mom, giving me the same proud, happy smile, or Chrissie. My future kid’s first words. I think we all have our mental photos stashed away somewhere in our minds. Some guarded or hidden too far from your own view, but I bet if you just sit there, alone in a room, with nothing but your thoughts. I’m sure you’ll be able to pull some out, and smile. Because we all have little secrets. Good, or bad…but always, our own to keep.


I’ll take Two! please….

So my mom and I had a little private chat at the hospital today, discussing the future…We’d like to try to get my dad home if he recovers…they want to transfer him to another hospital, and a longer term care facility, but we think home + nurses may be the way to go for all our sanity sake. However the problem is he continues to bleed and lose blood, and the Dr’s won’t go in again for surgery because this time they really think his body won’t take it. Last time, they had no choice. But now that he’s somewhat better, they do have a choice, and their choice is there’s nothing medically they can do further..just give him antibiotics, hope he heals, and as they put it. He’s in the ‘waiting’ period….and well, we all know what he’s waiting for…however, today he’s in good spirits…he’s feisty and asked about a few things…and he even asked me to lean in closer so that he can give me a kiss. Well, I was pretty stoked that he even has enough energy for that, so I asked for seconds!

It’s funny, I did kiss his forehead and took a deep breath, and he had this smell…it’s like that old person’s smell, I can’t describe it, but I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about. It really invoked memories of my grandfather. It was a pleasant smell…funny, I find that smell much better than flowers. The smell of flowers really gets me sad…contradictory, I know… But everytime I smell flowers, I just think of funerals. It’s because I was young and my first wake was when my grandfather passed away (during 6th grade). I was his favorite grandson, so it really impacted me a lot as a kid, so now every time I smell flowers, that thought always crosses my mind.

Also, in other news…I’m published! yaay..well it’s an e-zine, but they do have printed magazines that they do print, and I believe they’re planning to run the story in it, so I’ll be sure to pick up a gazillion copies when it’s done. Sorta like my picture that someone put on their calendar that’s hanging in my cubicle at work. It’s always extra sweet when you’re printed, or your work appears somewhere.
here’s a link to the story:

earthwalkers magazine

And yeah I had an interesting weekend. I really had the chance to talk to my older step brother….for the first time..well, in my life. I actually have 3 stepbrothers, but in an attempt to escape Vietnam awhile back, we lost one of the brothers. And I always heard that we did, but I never quite got the real story behind it. So I asked him and, needless to say, it was a gripping story for another blog day. And he also told me stories about how he escaped this prison, that I swear sounded like it could come from a movie or a novel, but it took place in real life. I took notes and will have to write about his story some day as well. Needless to say, I actually respected the guy afterwards.

Mr. Toads Wild Ride

It has most definitely been an interesting few days. They transferred my dad out of Fountain Valley Hospital to a separate hospital. Now, bless their souls there are some really nice workers there who do care a lot. But the facilities are just run down. You can the air isn’t as fresh, and you can totally tell the equipment is just much older. The gloves, pumps, etc. The first night they put my dad next to a guy that had some major coughing and pain issues so he was moaning all night long, which freaked him out. So I for the past few days, I was spending the night there by his bedside, taking care of him, cleaning/changing him etc. It’s interesting, you know how they say you’re born small and young, then grow up to be an adult, then eventually you’ll revert back to a baby state. That’s totally true, he’s just fragile and now when he smiles, I think it’s what parents feel when their baby first smiles. Just a bundle of warm fuzzy butterflies gushing all over yer tummy. But see, we take smiles for granted. Everyone smiles…but I guess when someone close to you was came back from near death. Every additional smile means soo much more. Though technically, it’s still the same smile as it ever was!
Anyways, long story short, they transferred him back to Fountain Valley Hospital today where they added another bag to his gall bladder to drain it. They thought he wasn’t draining fluids very well in that area and it may lead to some infections. So with that said, he has a G-Tube, jp tube, colostomy bag, and a drain. Talk about the poster boy for getting checked up for colon cancer at the age of 40! But I’m home now, I can sleep well knowing that he’s in good hands in a cleaner facility. Not sure when they’ll transfer him back to the other place, but I’ll be there for him if he does!

What was cool though was this morning after my late night shift, I took a walk to my old neighborhood. Motgomery Wards, the donut shop, all those places that I loved to visit when I was a kid was replaced by Target, a beauty saloon, and a school. But walking through the area did bring back very good memories of me riding my bike around, or looking at the Transformers at those department stores. I encourage everyone to walk through the neighborhood that they grew up in, at least once every 10yrs. It’s refreshing to walk those footsteps again, to experience where you’ve been, where you are now, and hopefully get some insight as to where you’re going to be. I walked past my old house, and I had to do a few double takes, because It’s changed so much, but it’s most definitely my old house. And walking down the street I remember my friend Camarak’s place, and my best friend (in 2nd grade) Jeremy’s place. Is it me, or things seemed soo big and large back in the day. I go back to these houses now and realize they’re tiny. But I guess the world is a huge place when your’ 8yrs old.

Tomorrow I’m going to do something fun! Taking some pictures and doing some harsh light, bright sunlight photography tutoring. I really haven’t taking pics for a long while, and I think I’m very much looking forward to it.