Everly

Loss of a parent - daily thread

2,195 posts in this topic

I'll tell you something... my races mean nothing since my Mom has been gone.  I have been running races for years, riding my bike (pedal bike, not motorcycle) for 100's of miles all over.  My husband and I have done some cross state tours on our bikes.  I also do triathlons and none of them mean anything since my Mom has been gone.  She was my biggest fan.  After every race, I would call her and she said "your legs are going to fall off kid".  I loved to show her my medals and and share my race stories with her. I have a 1/2 marathon on Sunday and I do not want to go.  I realized today that the bloom after my race is gone.  It was almost like at the end of every race was a flower... and that flower was my Mom.  Now there is nothing... just dead space.  I just don't have it in me.  My husband and I are doing a 1/2 Ironman in June, and I don't have it in me. I finished a full Ironman not even a month before my mother had her stroke... that was my last race that she was proud of.

This is only a fraction of how my life has changed since my Mom has been gone, just a fraction :(  I miss her dearly every single day :(

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Dear MissionBlue,

Thank you my friend for your support and kindness.

You are right. My dad was living on borrowed time after his first heart attack 20 years ago. I had worried year after year about him but never wanted to anger him by suggesting he see the doctor. He was a proud man. And one time my sibling tried to hold his arm while he walked into a restaurant and he got angry and pulled his arm away. He wanted to be independent. Life after the stroke was hard. I thought I could make him happy and help him live longer, but it just didn't work out.

MissionBlue! You will not believe it. But my dad also worked night shift! so he could take us kids to school in the morning. My dad would drive us to school every morning even if we said we were sick. Sometimes I cannot get over how much we share in common. And thank you for thinking of my dad. I just went to bring him a cup of McDonald's coffee to his grave site. He always enjoyed a medium coffee with one cream.

Thank you for sharing the Dylan Thomas poem with me. And for your encouragement. I will try to continue to have hope. And you are so right, we cannot give into the darkness. There are still good days ahead but I just have to believe.

Sorry for my short reply. I promise to write more later.

Dear The Girl,

Me, too. I have a few good days and then the next wave of grief hits me hard again. It always feels like I'm taking one step forward and 10 steps back.

Dear Eve,

I'm so sorry. I know you miss your mom a lot. I can identify with what you are writing about. Its so hard to find joy sometimes even in the things we use to love doing. Right now, I find getting out of bed is a struggle. I work and I come home, but that is about all I can handle right now. Odd days I try to do a little more.

Take care my friends. With love and hugs to all.

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Dear Reader:

We've shared so many similar experiences, it's no wonder we understand each other so well!   After my great uncle had his stroke, he also pulled his arm away when my dad tried to help him walk.  And this was in the house where nobody else could see.  He would pay full price on the bus when he was in his 80's.  My uncle worked fulltime until he was 88, so he didn't need the senior citizen discount.  He was a man of integrity and had a great work ethic. 

I think you made your dad as happy as possible, considering his physical condition. Consider how difficult it is for us to be happy, and we aren't even old and sick yet.  When the things you value most in life are taken away from you, whether it's a loved one or your independence, it's damn hard to be happy.   Even if I won the lottery, I wouldn't enjoy it as much as when my dad was alive, but I think I would enjoy making other people happy, if I could.

Speaking of coffee, my great uncle used to drink four cups of coffee a day, even before bedtime.  He died on All Saints' Day, Nov. 1st, which is one of the traditional Days of the Dead in Mexican culture.  On the first anniversary of his death, I set up a little shrine with his photo and a cup of coffee with a chamuco, his favorite pan de dulce (sweet bread).  Incidentally, my paternal grandfather died on Nov 2nd, All Souls' Day,  and so did his eldest son, years later.  Since three of my closest male relatives all died during the Days of the Dead, I used to get worried about my dad every year at this time.  On his last Day of the Dead, some food got stuck in his esophagus.  I thought, "Oh no, it's All Souls' Day!" Luckily, it went down with a couple of tablespoons of grapeseed oil.

The Girl:  I don't know what I would have done without the Internet to distract me during those early months of grieving.  I still use the Internet, mostly Amazon and YouTube, to self-medicate more than I should.  However, I consider this grief forum a good form of therapy.

Thank goodness grief comes in waves, because I couldn't handle it all at once.  I was numb for the first few weeks which was like the ocean receding before a Tsunami.  I couldn't sleep and I couldn't cry hard enough to feel better.  Now I struggle to stay awake sometimes and can be hard to waken once I'm asleep -- what a difference!   Now I cry less often but more deeply.

Eve:  It is so hard to carry on without our biggest fans.  We were blessed to have their love and support which helped make us who we are.  Parents are often the driving force behind an athlete’s success.  You are still a gifted athlete so you can still dedicate your victories to your mom.  I admire your discipline and will power!  You still have your husband to cheer you on in person.  Maybe you could run in races that raise money for a good cause.   Many charities now use bike races to raise funds and awareness, while also helping riders with training.  I used to have a lot of hobbies, but I still haven't been able to resume any of them since my dad died over two years ago.  I just do the things I have to do, and sometimes not even that, but I hope things will change after I move.

Love and hugs to everyone!

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Dear MissionBlue,

Your great uncle sounds like an amazing man. It seems so rare these day to have integrity and a good work ethic. That was my dad too. He could drink coffee and still fall asleep. I'm quite the opposite. A can of Coke and my eye is twitching.:-)

Thank you again for supporting me. In my mind, I thought I was making my dad happy, but in reality I really don't know. My dad was always so frugal and simple. He believed in saving money and doing things yourself. He worried about my siblings and I frittering away our money. But as he got into his 60s, 70s, I really wanted my dad to have something! He wouldn't even buy a car magazine and read it at the store. As he started to spend more time at home, I would buy those magazines for him. I wanted so much for him. To enjoy his retirement. To take the burden off of him. I still thought we had more time.

I'm with you my friend. I too use Amazon and YouTube to distract myself. Everyone told me after my dad's death I would have good days and bad days. But right now it feels like the bad days will never end. I think I will go and see him again on Sunday. Bring him a coffee and some flowers. Luckily the weather is warming up.

Me, too. I just do what I have to do and not much more. But MissionBlue I can't wait for you to move into your new house and start this next phase of your life. Your writing has given me so much hope and encouragement. I'm not sure if you have ever considered writing a book or even and advice column. You have been very kind to me. And more helpful than my counsellor. After reading your posts I always feel better and I can't say that's what I feel after talking to my counsellor.

I hope you have a good weekend! And thank you again for taking the time to reply and support everyone here.

Sending everyone love and hugs.

 

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On 5/28/2015 at 11:13 PM, Everly said:

Hi, I thought it might be nice to have a thread that is pinned to top of the Loss of Parent forum where we can chat daily and share things daily without having to start a new thread every time.  There is a post at the top of the Loss of Adult Child forum and it works well for them, they chat daily to each other and it's a good way to write and share your feeling daily where everything is in one thread where everyone can read and reply in once place.  

 

What do you think?  The moderator will pin this to the top if we think it's a good idea.

 

Thoughts?

 

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i lost my mom last year to lung cancer. she never smoked or was around smokers, she was as healty as can be. we later found out that it was genetic and lots of her family had it, im scared i will get it or my kid will, she told me in 4th grade that she was diagnosed but of course i was so young i couldnt understand, she went through so many surgies and rounds of chemo and radiation i dont know how she did it.  the doctors told her she had two years left but she lived for six.  she would always help out and go out of her way to make someone elses life easier. besides for the bald head you would never had known she was sick, she was always so positive. november of last year is when it started getting worse. she was in the hospital for about 2 weeks, i spent the night at severaly friends' houses and visited when i could, she came home and was hooked up to oxygen. she could barely talk and she could eat or drink without coughing. i remember how thin she was getting. the day that she passed i went in to say goodbye as i was leaving for school and i kissed her forhead and she was so cold and didnt respond. i came home from school that day and my father told me that she had passes shortly after i had left. he told me that she said she loved me, i wish i wouldve stayed home that day to be with him. i screamed and cried, we recieved countless letters amd texts and phone calls from all over, ive tried to move on but seeing my friemds with their moms kills me insode because i am jealous because i can never have that again, i cry a lot but ive learned that that is okay. to anyone else dealing with the loss of a family member by cancer i am here for you if you need me, thank you for reading my story.

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Dear Eli,

I'm so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your cherished mother. Everything you are saying and thinking is natural and normal. I know the pain and sorrow is unbearable. Your mom went through so much. Life is so hard. I know you miss your mom a lot.

Please know you are not alone. We are all here to listen and support you in anyway we can.  Sending you all my thoughts and prayers.

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Dear Eli, it is extremely hard to lose a mother, under any circumstances, but cancer is especially difficult. I grew up without my mother, even though she was alive and well, so I know how it feels to see other kids with their mothers.  I hope that your father has been kind to you and that together you can come to terms with your loss.  It is very good of you to offer your support to others.  I wish you the best.

There are things that all of us can do to reduce our risk of lung cancer.  The following articles list some of these things:
https://www.verywell.com/causes-of-lung-cancer-in-non-smokers-2248878
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nalini-chilkov/cancer-genetics_b_3242208.html

Dear Reader,
Thank you for always being so kind to me!  We have so much in common!  My eye also twitches when I drink too much caffeine.  :blink:    It makes me happy to know that you find my posts helpful.   Your messages are very helpful to me, too.  It's rare that I meet someone who was raised by their father like I was.   I felt abnormal when I was going to school, because I didn't know anyone who didn't have their mother living with them.  I knew kids who had absent fathers, but everybody seemed to have a mother, except me.  I didn't obsess about it, because I had such a nice dad and grandmother, but I do think my mother's absence affected me subconsciously.  I have always felt somewhat like an outsider.  Because of this feeling, I was always happiest at home with my dad.  He was the one and only person I could trust not to abandon me and not to make me feel bad about myself.

All of the older relatives I grew up with, my dad, my grandmother and my great uncle, were frugal and simple people.  However, my dad liked to collect vintage things, such as stamps, postcards, old photos and scrapbooks which he used to find at a used bookstore called The Albatross.    He used to go there during his lunch break from work. There were a lot of nice things he couldn't afford to buy, and he would tell me about them when he got home.  Over the years he gathered quite an interesting collection.   When I could finally afford to buy him some of the more expensive things he used to like, he was no longer very interested in collecting anymore, on account of his illness.  Instead, he turned a lot of his attention to playing the lottery, trying to figure out a system.  Eventually that interest petered out, too, and all that was left were movies.   Up to his last day at home, we watched movies together.  It makes me very sad that I couldn't spoil him with nice presents until later in life and then it was too late.  Sometimes instead of my gifts making him happy, he would scold me for spending too much money.  Of course, I was always there for him at home, but I wish we could have explored more antique shops, estate sales and bookstores together.   Unfortunately, because I was a caregiver for many years, I couldn't get out very much as an adult.  I was happiest when I was a child and had the time to go fun places with my dad, except we didn't have much money to spend.  We used to wait all year for my dad's tax refund to come and then we felt rich!

I'm sorry I am not feeling as upbeat today.  Sorting through my father's things has made me sad again.  I had to throw away reams of papers with his lottery calculations on them.  I felt bad, because sometimes I wasn't patient when he wanted to explain his latest system to me.  He used to want me to help him find a pattern.  I used to say if great mathematicians can't figure it out what hope have we?  And yet, his diagrams are so neatly drawn, with his beautiful penmanship, even colored ink to indicate certain things.  It seems a shame to throw them away.  Anything he wrote seems like a holy relic, even shopping lists.  Maybe I should burn them like other holy things, but you can't burn much here in SF.  My nasty neighbor would probably call the fire inspector again like she did when Ernesto was barbecuing.   I still have those last notes my dad wrote when he was on the ventilaor.  I don't like to look at them, but the one I'll always treasure is the one where he wrote, "I love you".  

So many memories.  It seems like it was another world back then when my dad and I were going to silent film screenings together.  I saw the old programs from the 1970's.  We'd walk home on warm summer nights with the scent of night-blooming jasmine in the air.  Even the jasmine has died.

I hope that in time the good days will come to you.  My Saint Patrick's Day was ok.  I went with a friend to a restaurant.  We enjoyed our favorite cocktails.  Sadly, the Irish bar where we used to go for trivia night has closed down permanently.  There was a fire in a neighboring business last June and the bar sustained extensive smoke and water damage.   The property owner would not renew the lease.  The Irish family had been in business for over 60 years.  The world keeps changing..... Not that I am into bars that much, but I have to do what other people like to do, or just stay home forever.

Thank you for not minding that I ramble on.....  Take care, my friend.  Sending you and everyone here love and hugs......

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Dear MissionBlue, 

Please, you never have to be sorry for how you feel.  I hear you. Its not easy to go through our dad's belongings. I became tearful reading about your dad's "I love you" note. Often I read about how people didn't have good relationships with their fathers. Or their fathers were monsters. But we were the lucky ones. We had a decent, caring and loving father. My dad wasn't perfect, he would scold me too about spending too much money. But like you said, we could trust our dads not to abandon us. I know we both put so much into caring for our dads. I was reading another article and this man said "My dad was in the process of dying, but I never thought he would actually die." And this was similar to what you said about your dad always making a recovery. I too had thought the same thing about my dad.  Today I am obsessing about this point again about "why did my dad have to die?"

With Easter approaching I'm already upset about all the things he has missed so far. I know its not healthy but I keep thinking about how much my routine has changed. How much my life has changed. Every day it upsets me because I'm thinking "where is dad?" I should be buying dad a coffee. I should be checking on him. I never regretted spending all my time with him even though there was resentment and anger with the siblings. I just thought we would carry on for a bit longer. I hate what the stroke did to him. Hate how I just couldn't turn things around for him.

MissionBlue thank you for sharing your memories with all of us. I love how you and your dad enjoyed the movies together.

You are so right my friend. The world does keep changing. I am the one that can't seem to accept it. I always call myself a dinosaur. I keep trying to hold on and hold on till what ever it is I like becomes extinct. I wish I could embrace life more, but lately I just can't seem to do it. Nothing really brings me joy or least not for long.

Glad you went out for St. Patrick's Day. Sorry to hear the old Irish bar burned down.

I'm like you my friend and I normally like to do what others want. So many friends and family members want me to join the living as it were. Here I am always a hermit at heart. I want to save myself from rejection, pain, conflict...so much fear. My greatest fear was my dad's death, so now I don't know what else there is for me.  I know I cannot stay home forever. It will be baby steps for while.

Mission, I love all your posts. Sorry I can't get the bold off again. I hope we all have a good week! Sending everyone love and hugs.

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MissionBlue I'm reading your last post and found it funny that you mentioned that any writing left behind by your father is like a holy relic. I took a picture of a small note that my mother had wrote with someone's phone number on it. I have it saved under all of my treasured family pictures. I want to remember everything about my mother. Whenever I go to my parent's house, I find myself looking for anything and everything that reminds me of my mother. Seeing notes around the house that she wrote are some of my favorite memories of her. 

 

I hope everyone had a good weekend. I had a pretty good weekend. I took my mother some pretty sunflowers to her grave today. I wish I could have stayed a while to talk to her but the cemetery was pretty busy and there was a family celebrating their loved one's birthday a few feet away from my mother. It's not until I got home that I realized my mother has been gone exactly 3 months today. I feel so bipolar these days. Just a few days ago I was very sad/depressed and felt as if I had just lost her. This weekend was good and it felt like she's been gone much longer. 

 

Hope everyone has a good week.

 

 

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ELiz, I'm glad that you had a good weekend.  Photographing your mom's notes is a good idea.  Maybe I'll do that with some of my dad's notes just to back them up.

It's amazing how much time my dad and I spent together, and yet I wish we had watched less movies and just talked more.  I feel like his hours figuring the lottery were a waste of quality time and I also wasted hours on my own hobbies.  I should have been documenting more about the past, but sometimes I worried that it might be too painful for him to think of the past so much, now that most of  our closest family members were gone. 

Reader, I thought my dad and I had more time, too.  How I wish I could at least redo the last year of his life, so that I could make the most of every precious minute, but knowing he was going to die soon would have cast a terrible pall on everything for both of us.   I knew that with all his conditions, he could go at any time, but my mind didn't want to admit it.  He didn't like talking about death and I didn't want to depress him.   This is why I wish he could have had a therapist or someone to confide in besides myself, because I know he didn't want to worry me and I didn't want to worry him. There was a nice lady chaplain at the hospital during one of his stays but only that one time.  He didn't open up as much to the others.  He didn't believe in therapy -- he thought it was too expensive, which it often is. 

Well, I have to close because Ernesto wants to watch a movie.  Take care, everyone, and have a nice week.....

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Dear MissionBlue:

I hope you and Ernesto enjoyed the movie.

I hear you my friend. Sometimes life is a no win situation.  No matter what information we were given, in the end we would have always wanted more time with our dads. But their health was catching up with them. They were proud men. And we wanted them to be independent and happy as possible. I want that for myself as well. I too wish for the same thing. I realize how little I talked with my dad. He never asked me too much and I never asked him for fear of upsetting him. I just hope he knew I did love him in my own way. In our culture we show people how much we care by being respectful of your Elders. I tried to show him I cared by managing the household, the finances, the yard, doing what he asked me to do even it was to change a light bulb.

Sorry for my short note my friend. I will write more later tonight.

Thinking of you all. Have a good week! With love and hugs.

 

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Thank you, dear Reader.  I'm sure your dad knew you loved him.  Actions speak louder than words.
 
As much as I am trying to adjust to my new life, it is so hard, even after two years.  I keep feeling sorry for my father.  Because he was such a good, gentle person, I feel he deserved so much more than I could give him.  Not that he asked for more, or expected it, but I felt like I was the parent and he was the child. He could no longer protect me, and it was my turn to protect him. You know the rest. 
 
Today was the first day of spring so I played Grieg's "To Spring" on my cell phone as I watched the rain fall.  My father said that my mother used to play this piece beautifully on the piano.  I never got to hear her play it.  When my father married her, he thought he would enjoy a lifetime of beautiful music with her, but his romantic dream turned into a nightmare.  He didn't know anything about narcissism and mental illness.  She was very functional, so it was hard to tell at first.  I don't blame him for marrying her.  She was everything a man could want, 5 foot two, eyes of blue, educated, beautiful, talented, witty, but she didn't know how to love anyone.  She was constantly jealous, even of me.  I missed out on so much.  For all her faults, I would have loved to be under her tutelage.  She was a music teacher, drama coach and a ballet instructor.  My half brother, thanks to her guidance, became a professional dancer for a time, but their relationship became strained.   
 
Oh, well, we can't change the past, but that doesn't stop us from wanting to.  I hope everyone is dealing with the memories as best you can.   May happiness and peace find us all......

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Hi everyone

I went to the cemetary yesterday. We celebrated Ching Ming which is like the Chinese version of that Day of the Dead. I was okay in the beginning, but when I started to (kowtow) pay respect to mom by bowing three times, i lost it. I just can't believe she's actually gone. I know it's been 2 years and people say that on the second year it's the toughest than the first year. The first year seems so unreal and the second year is when it all sinks in. It's all true at least for me it is. 

I've been rather emotional these days since the last day I posted. I'm going to make this post short. My wrist is still hurting. I've been staying busy pulling weeds. That repetitive pulling doesn't do me any good for my wrist, but does May ever listen??? Noooo!! ;) 

Are you sure that you don't have a long lost sister, Reader and Mission? :) You guys have so much in common. 

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May, actually I do have a long lost half sister that my mother gave away for adoption years before I was born.  Reader is my spiritual long lost baby sister. :)

I agree that the second year is harder.  I'm three months into my third year, and I cry less often but harder than the first year.   Not so much at the cemetery but when certain memories of my dad get triggered by movies, music or random thoughts, I still get that ache in my heart. 

I'm sorry your wrist is hurting.  Take care, and I hope you feel better soon....

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Dear May,

I'm sorry to hear your wrists are still hurting. Please take care. You amaze me with how much you do. And for typing all your posts with one hand. And trying to support everyone here.

I thought Ching Ming was in April. Maybe I am getting my Chinese festivals or holidays mixed up. In the Chinese section of the cemetery I often see oranges and bags of rice. I don't know the significance. I normally bring my father a coffee and some flowers.

May, I know how much you loved your mom. Devoted yourself to your mom 24/7. You were extremely dutiful and caring. Its only natural to be emotional. Grief is a long journey. Losing your mom was extremely hard. Hugs to you my friend. Thinking of you.

May, I would love for you and Mission to be my real sisters. It is uncanny how much Mission and I share in common. I am so grateful. I feel less alone in my experiences. The understanding and support I have received from the both of you has been invaluable to me. I don't know where I would be without you two.

Dear MissionBlue,

Thank you as always for your kind words.

I had totally forgotten it was the first day of spring. I also read it was International Happiness Day. But I wasn't feeling too happy today. I reading some articles from the Grief Healing Blog and I started to cry.

Thank you for sharing more of your mom with us. Life is so hard. I'm sorry things did not work out between her and your beloved dad.

Me, too. I felt like the parent in the last few years of my dad's life. I don't think my dad appreciated this at all. He was my dad and I was always going to be his child. I did feel strongly it was my duty to be there for my dad. And this is why I feel like such a failure. I did not find a way to save him. I think I could have, but like you said I cannot change the past no matter what I do. I have to live in the here and now. I just have to get my brain to understand this.

Take care my friends. Thinking of you all. With love and hugs.

 

 

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Thank you, dear Reader, for your comforting messages.  Life is so hard, especially when you are alone or feel alone, because the people you are with aren't as supportive as they could be.  It's sad that all the happiness of the past cannot make up for a miserable present and a dim future.  “The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we'd done were less real and important than they had been hours before.”― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Please pardon my negativity, but even if I moved into the most beautiful house in the world, it's nothing without someone to care about or who cares about me.  It's the way I've been raised -- that love and family are all that really matter in life, but I don't have a family anymore.   I just have cousins by the dozens, but they don't live with me and most of them live too far away.  Some of them won't even talk to me anymore, just because I dare defend myself from their unfair criticism.  It's more obvious as time passes that Ernesto doesn't really care about me, either,  but that is another story.....

Take care, everybody,  I'm off to jury duty tomorrow morning.  They sent me a summons last November and already another one!  It's not fair, because I know people who never get called.

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Reader, thinking you could have saved your dad is irrational guilt.  It's normal but it is unfair to you.  Even if you managed to prolong your dad's life by ten years, his quality of life was not good.  You had to make a tough judgment call -- just imagine some people have to choose to withdraw food and drink from their parent in hospice to shorten their suffering -- at least, your dad got to enjoy his favorite food up to the end.  We like to think we could have saved our dads, but we will never know for sure.  It's not knowing that perpetuates our guilt -- maybe with a different team of doctors and nurses, they might have survived, but that is something beyond our control.  In my dad's case, his diabetes and peripheral arterial disease were getting better, but his kidneys were not.  He needed a heart operation and the chances were not in his favor.  He didn't want to go back on the ventilator and have to go on dialysis at the same time.  The doctors were saying he could end up like a vegetable.  Dialysis is hard on the heart, because of the fluid volume fluctuations.  The doctor at another hospital said my dad didn't have any good grafting spots to do a bypass operation.  I didn't know which doctor to believe.  My dad figured if they botched his toe operation, then he couldn't trust them with his heart.   

Any way you look at it, you were the dutiful daughter who tried to make your dad happy.  No one can take that away from you.

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Mission: I'm sorry to hear about your long lost half sister. Have you ever tried to find her? My friend's friend was searching for her mother. She was given up for adoption when she was 3 yo. It took years to finally find her mom. She found her mother living just a mile apart from each other. Oh, yes, Reader is probably your long lost sister. You don't have to look further. ;) 

For two years, every time I go to the cemetery, I cry. It doesn't fail. I hear you when certain memories trigger my crying. I heard the song Grease by Frankie Valli the other day. That was one of mom's favorite songs. Mom saw it on TV once and loved it. I think it was the program Solid Gold. She rarely listens to American music, but her eyes and ears were glued to the TV 

Reader: Thank you so much for your sincere kind words. No, you are right that Ching Ming falls in April. What we normally do is pick a day that would be convenient for us. Since my siblings work and this past weekend they don't have to go to work. We always visit the cemetary during the weekends only. We always go before the actual date, never after. Besides, my grandniece birthday falls on April 4. It's bad luck to celebrate Ching Ming and birthday on the same day. 

The significance of oranges/tangerines are considered to be good luck and wealth, but don't quote me on this. There are a lot of things I don't know the meaning of. My mom never told us these things. We just followed as we were told to do. No questions asked. The bags of rice is new to me. I got to ask my sister-in-law. I could ask my brother which he is sitting right behind me, but I know he won't respond. He's just like mom. Don't ask just do as I say. I shall give you an answer, Reader.

I hope everyone here is doing well.

Love and Hugs, May

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Dear May,

Thank you for sharing more about Ching Ming. I appreciate your willingness to find me an answer about the rice, but please no worries. I'm with you. Being at the cemetery is very hard. To think this is the only place I can visit my dad now seems surreal. He is not at home, not in a nursing home, not on vacation but in the ground. Its not something that I can accept easily. I try to talk to him and tell him what is happening but I get chocked up.

I have to agree with you, I really consider Mission a kindred spirit! And you too. :)

Dear MissionBlue,

Please don't think you are being negative. I feel the same way. No matter where I live now, I will always miss my dad. I know I have to care about myself, but I still wish for the days it was just me and my dad. It was a familiar world. Although I was struggling with anger and resentment, I never, ever thought my dad would die.

Thank you so much for always being so kind. And for taking the time to explain all the different medical issues. To me you are better than any doctor or nurse I have ever dealt with. The way you explain things always makes me feel better. Thank you for being the tide that lifts all of us up.

Sorry you have to go to jury duty. If you can believe it my dad got two summons and I have yet to receive one! And he didn't even speak English. I had to always write in for him for that reason.

Love and hugs to all.

 

 

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May, I never tried to look for my long lost half sister, because I don't have much information.  She was given up as an infant in a private adoption. Since the three half brothers I do know have been kind of aloof (one died in an accident), I don't want to look for someone who may not want to be found.  On the other hand, if she ever found me, I'd welcome her with open arms. I hope she is having a good life.

Reader, thank you so much for your sweet compliment.  I also long for the days with my father.  I still can't believe how quickly the years flew by.  To me, heaven would be a place with no past and no future, just a blissful present.  I wish so much he could enjoy my new home with me and the greater security my property sale should bring (knock on wood).  There are many famous people whose parents never got to see their success.    Author JK Rowling has spoken of her sadness that her mother, who died from complications related to multiple sclerosis at the age of 45, never knew about the success of her Harry Potter novels.  That must really hurt, now that she's a billionaire.

My poor grandmother also didn't live to see the success of her grandchildren, and it's tragic, because if anyone deserved to be treated like a queen it was her.

By the way, Ernesto and I have patched things up again.  So many times it seems like we are on the verge of ending our friendship, but then he does damage control. 

Love and hugs to you both and to everyone here.....

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Dear MissionBlue,

You have a beautiful heart. I do hope your half sister decides to find you.

The reason I wished my dad could live longer is because I wanted him to see my nephew grow up a little more. I'm afraid he will have no memory of my father. But then I've only known one grandparent in my lifetime.

This is one of the hardest things for me to accept how quickly time does fly. In my mind I'm an awkward 15 year old person, now I'm an awkward middle aged person.:)

More sad news today about another terror attack in London. I don't know what the world is coming to sometimes.

Take care my friends. Have a good rest of the week! With love and hugs to all.

 

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Thank you again, dear Reader.  I was only close to one grandparent, my paternal grandmother, though I got to meet my maternal grandmother a few times.  I also feel like a teenager in a middle aged body!  So many similarities between us.....

As caregivers for our dads, our identity was wrapped up in caring for their needs.  The routine was both demanding and rewarding.  Now that the struggle is over, we feel empty and lost.   As I told a therapist once, when I was caring for my dad, the payoff was his comforting and jovial presence.  Now I'm in the same house, doing many of the same routine chores, but there's no payoff.  No one to talk with over breakfast.  (Ernesto doesn't always have breakfast with me -- his meal hours are unpredictable.)  Even making a shopping list or taking out the garbage used to be fun with my dad.  Just watching him sleep on the couch was a comfort.  Once in a while toward the end, he would yell out while dreaming at night.  Not in terror but like yelling at someone.  Several times he told me that he was dreaming about running off an intruder.   I think that intruder represented death.

Wishing everyone peace and comfort....

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@MissionBlue I understand what you mean about wishing you spent less time on your own hobbies. I often feel a lot of guilt about this. I feel guilty about all the lazy weekends I spent on the couch wasting away watching tv. She often expressed wanting to go out shopping and wanting my company. However there were some weekends I just simply wanted to rest after a long week at work. Then there were weekends where i just wanted to be with my friends. I am left with feelings of being so selfish. I have to remind myself though that I was my own person with my own life. I struggle with that though due to culture. In my family we are very close to our relatives and it's all about family. As I got older I became more alculturated to a more independent American culture. At times family time didn't seem as important. I know this was hard on my mom. I don't know how to not feel guilty about this despite reminding myself that I had other things in my life besides her and couldn't dedicate all my free time to her. I guess grief wouldn't be grief without a nice dose of guilt about something. 

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Mission: What if your sister was looking for you? I wonder if she ever knew she was given up. How is your moving coming along? I apologize for not remembering. You found a house or you're just packing into boxes? My memory is so bad that it's scary sometimes. I just wonder if it has to do with age or like my doctor says, "Well, you've been trough a lot of trauma." I'm 50, but I sure don't feel like it. I feel like 49. ;) 

Sorry you have jury duty. I was almost picked for a murder trial before my stroke. Have you ever served before? I had a second interview. I remember sitting in the hallway waiting for my name to be called. I walked into a room where they had everyone in the room--lawyers, prosecutors, district attorney and the accused killer. All eyes were on me. I sat on a chair that I had to take a step up. The DA did the questioning. They even asked me where I worked and the department I worked in. I thought, just great, now the killer knows where I work and the department for which I work. He's gonna have his family follow me. They let me go because they asked a question and I said, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."

About a year ago, four of my family members all received jury summons on the same week. It was rather funny. They were saying someone must've played a joke on them.

Reader: I asked my sisters-in-law. I was correct about the oranges and tangerines. It symbolizes good luck and wealth. We always have oranges at the alters at home.   They don't know what rice symbolizes. One of my sister-in-law is from Guangzhou and she has seen rice, but doesn't know the meaning. My other sister-in-law is from the village and never seen it. They said it probably varies from different parts of China.

Have you seen chimes at a cemetary? I've seen three or four of them in the Chinese section of the cemetary. They are the huge ones hung up on the tree. That means calling all spirits to come out. When my oldest brother came down for CA after mom's stroke, he saw we had some little Chinese ornaments that are like bells. He told us not to put it up because of that reason. Well, he didn't have to tell me twice. I got a chime from my friend for Christmas. I was going to put it up, but I guess I won't be putting it up.

Love and Hugs, May

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