A lot to be thankful for
Had a very good Thanksgiving this year. Our family went to HealthSouth, the physical rehabilitation hospital he’s been staying at for this past week. We all sat down and enjoyed an Asian Thanksgiving lunch! By Asian, we eschewed the traditional turkey and went for rice cakes, pork, buns, with flan and the round sesame mung balls for dessert! I decided to go ‘old school’ and take my film camera with me, so there aren’t pics to be posted yet until I complete all 24 exposures and get them developed. Something about this Thansgiving made me decided to go with the physical tangible film, instead of digital. I guess I could always print digital copies, but we rarely ever do. They sit in my hard drives forever, and with film. Well, they get developed, and will be there for me to remember them for years to come.
But I did take my dinky little hand held video camera. I’m just really bummed that the sound wasn’t so good, so I didn’t get a chance to record him saying prayer at the table. It’s something I think I will cherish much later on, so I’m going to have to record that when he gets better and goes home.
It’s a bit interesting, I’ve been doing either morning or afternoon shifts hanging out there and feeding him either during breakfast, or dinner time. He looks healthy here in the vid, but Cancer is an interesting disease. You have good days, and you have bad days. Not to say that he’s at that point where he’s in pain during the bad days, but he just looks tired, and you can tell in his eyes. I really just want to say don’t give up hope, fight it. You’ve gone this far, just keep on fighting!
But yeah, I must admit sometimes I’m tired, and I don’t want to do my shifts, but I guess I do it, and trudge on because I do think it is a privilege and an honor to be able to take care of a loved one. Either feeding, or helping him use the restroom, I think it is entirely true. When you’re born, you’re pretty helpless, and towards the end of life, you do revert back to that state. And it is how you lived your life, and how well you teach and raise your kids (if you had any), that will determine whether or not you’re leaving this world lonely. Or among friends and family who will be there to take care of you.
After I feed him, every night, he’d ask to give me a kiss, one on each cheek. (He used to say if he only gave me one I’d be lop-sided, so he’d have to give me two just to balance myself out). I think every time he does this, I pretty much have to man up and be strong, because I almost break every single time. It’s real because I really don’t know how many more times left I’ll get to hear it.
I know I quote this a gazillion times, but it does seem apropos, so I’ll quote it a gazillion and one times!
“Because we don’t know when we will die,
we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well,
yet everything happens only a certain number of times,
and a very small number, really.
How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that.
How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
– Paul Bowles. The Sheltering Sky