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  1. Nuvar, Kateu has made some excellent points: if you are absolutely committed to that lawsuit and you know you can do it without further financial stress, then perhaps you should pursue it. But if you don't, you may find yourself in a deeper financial abyss. Would your mom want that? Would you be able to deal with the expenses, particularly since you say you are already having difficulties? You've mentioned that doctors usually win: that's much the same in the US too. Over here, you'd have to be really wealthy or well-connected to win. Be prepared for a very long battle too. I know I thought about it very briefly. As I may have mentioned, I had thought about taking action since my mom's primary doc did not choose the most suitable oncologist for her even though the latter had superb academic credentials. But then I realized that I myself should have been more proactive about finding other oncologists--and tat none of the ones at that hospital had credentials as good as the one assigned. I had thought of bringing her to the other hospital. But what if she had the same bad luck? In fact, one of my parents' Taiwanese friends was there for his cancer treatment and he didn't last much longer than my mom. He was 20 years younger too. Do you have other friends nearby that you trust? What do they say? What about friends or acquaintances who are doctors? I'm wishing you more happiness. Believe me, I know how it feels--and it's been more than 4 years already. This Oct. 4th will be the fifth. Yet sometimes the sadness feels just as raw. I know if my mom were alive today, I wouldn't have some of these absolutely miserable days.
  2. Hi Nuvar, This is how I see it: you did the best for your mom in the circumstances. I think it will be very difficult to sue the hospital if only because no one knows what the exact outcome would be if you didn't do the surgery--she may still have died. I think the doctors themselves don't even know. Even if the chances of her dying with the surgery were more around 25% rather than 10%, it's still hard to predict. For instance, I could have gone without giving my mom chemotherapy because some folks actually did very well without it. But who's to say that if she didn't get it, she would still be alive? These things are all hard to predict.' I might then be beating myself up for not giving her chemo. Please know you did the best under your circumstances. You were willing to try anything--and that in itself is a sign of love. Your relatives sound like assholes, however. My mom's side is probably better than my dad's, but I just had an idiot cousin refuse to believe that I was abused by my dad. She even unfriended me on FAcebook. Then later on, she sent me an Xmas gift and tried to friend me on Facebook. I refused. I'm very busy and don't have time to waste with morons. I also get how frustrated you feel with your dad. Mine is the same way--he keeps talking about food; it makes me so sick! You would think my dad was exceptionally uneducated because that's al he ever talks about! Then to top it off, he babbles in Japanese so I have NO IDEA what he's talking about--and he's extremely stubborn too. He keeps asking me for gigner ale even though I've told him 10 times we have NONE. Then he goes on about how he already bought it and it's downstairs. The sooner he dies, the better! The best I can suggest to you is to keep writing here. That's what I did for almost an entire year. I always felt better after I posted--even if no one responded.
  3. Well, too late, Nuvar--I called them right after posting this last night and I never felt so good! I don't resent them because they're happy and successful: if anything, the relatives on my mom's side are even more successful. But they have been much more supportive--that is, emotionally speaking. I don't expect anyone to contribute to us financially. However, I do resent my dad's brother because he took over the entire family property--and had the gall last year to tell us that Dad never contributed to his parents when he did. That jackass sent $200-300 EVERY MONTH FOR AT ;LEAST 20 YEARS to them. If his brother were poor, I would understand. But he's not--he already makes lots of money and took EVERYTHING,. I called because I know they're very superstitious. I personally don't give a rat's ass what they think of me. If they cared, they wouldn't have done what they did. They never even called or wrote anything to us when my mom died. And btw, hiring a full time nurse is out of the question because I don't make enough. As it is, I can barely pay them part-time. Now, I won't say that I would necessarily be much better off had my father allowed me to study what I wanted. But I do believe that he delayed my career considerably: this is dangerous in a society that only values youth. In other words, my father not only wreaked psychological abuse on me but helped wreck my career. None of my friends or most of my cousins had to go through with what I did. (Interestingly, one cousin on my dad's side got it worse than me--but he is no longer on speaking terms with his dad.) The authorities won't help because my dad makes too much to qualify: and unfortunately, his pension only barely covers our mortgage, food, and daily living expenses. And to top all this off, he is so stubborn that even the aides who come in to help have to call me every 10 minutes to calm him down. HOW CAN I WORK LIKE THAT? He is so obsessed with food and only wants to eat his favorites which are WAY too salty and unhealthy for him;. I have to alternate between begging and threatening him--before bribing him with ice cream. At the same time, he keeps insisting his relatives or the restaurant are bringing food to him. I say, dad, you don't even have a phone in your room. How can you order? How can you know if anyone is coming? Then he starts talking to an imaginary person. For instance, the other day, he kept insisting there was ginger ale downstairs. The aide and I told him, no there is no ginger ale. He kept insisting that one of his cousins brought it. And on and on. Half an hour later, the aide is trying to help him change his clothes. He refuses. It takes 20 minutes.... Now, her's always been dumb--but now he's even dumber. Every day, I waste so much time with him that I feel too exhausted to work. Honestly, if he hadn't been sent to the hospital and rehab I would never have finished my book. This is why a 3 year project took 5! Btw, don't beat yourself up for feeling frustrated with your dad. It's only human when everything feels like it's falling apart and your one source of comfort--your mom--is gone.
  4. Today is Chinese New Year's Eve--February 4, 2019. I HOPE MY DAD DIES THIS YEAR!! I'm calling his younger brother--THE ONE WHO RIPPED OFF MY FATHER TO HIS SHARE OF THE ESTATE--tonight to curse them. I WISH DISEASE, FAILURE, AND DEATH ON HIS ENTIRE FAMILY--HIS WIVES (yes, plural!), CHILDREN, AND GRANDCHILDREN.
  5. Marbeth, thanks for asking--the answer is unfortunately not. I don't know if you've read some of my earlier posts or a post I wrote on Nuvar's thread, but basically my dad destroyed my career--in addition to being personally abusive. It is because of that that I am living with him. I barely make enough for myself, let alone to cover his expenses. Maybe if I had a decent salary like other full professors, I could do so. You know, full professors who were able to get there because they didn't have their hopes and dreams squashed by a deadbeat dad. The only way I could put the ASSwipe in ASS-isted living is if we sold the house, which we simply cannot do. I would give ANYTHING for this deadbeat, dimwit, dingbat, dipshit, doofus, douchebag, dumbass Dad to die. He's home and making trouble already. He is babbling in Japanese to his imaginary friends, imagining that he's going to marry the princess of Japan. I try my best to disabuse him--I ask him which princess would want to marry an ugly peasant like him with his bald pate, fat, flat nose, blubber lips, and 1" prick to go with his shrimpy 5'3" stature. What princess would want a troll doll? He phucking needs to live under a bridge! His slow wit, slow pace, lack of manners and decorum make me SICK--what a contrast to Mom! He had the gall to yell at me--and quite honestly, if the personal aide were not there, I would hurl a bucket of water at him or squirt him with vinegar. He really bugs the CRAP out of me. In fact, I don't know if I will be able to sleep at all tonight. Each and every day when he was here or I was visiting him, I would take care to remind him that he killed mom and destroyed my life--and that if I were him, I would commit suicide. Right now, he's obsessed with his "imaginary" friends and relatives--especially the disgusting male relatives in his extended family--and he's always saying they're going to bring him money or food. I answer, "who the hell wants to be a friend with a short, ugly loser like you? Your own brother doesn't even want you. All your friends have written several books. They teach at great schools. All you could do is teach at a 3rd rate state university and 2ndrate Taiwanese university that no one has ever heard of. All while phucking your ugly cousin. Why would anyone want to be with you? Give it up. Kill yourself." That usually gets him to sober up and shut up for about 10 minutes before he starts his verbal diarrhea all over again. It makes me SICK to look at this ugly dumbass who was spoiled by his mother and my mom, yet NEVER achieved anything great. All he has ever written is one stupid, self-published book because no decent publisher wanted to deal with him since his English is so poor despite having lived here in the US for over 50 years. I can laugh at him because at ;least my book proposal got accepted by a respectable publisher and I was able to write it these last 5 years even with the grief and time wasted with His Royal Asshole. I have half a mind to write to Donald Trump. "Dear Donald, please deport my dimwit, dipshit dad. Thank you." [How's that for alliteration?] But for now, all I can say is this: he's made my youth and adulthood entirely miserable. AND I INTEND TO PAY IT BACK WITH INTEREST! NO REGRETS! To Mom: you loved this jackass. You thought you could never live without him and married him against your mother's wishes. And stuck with him despite the fact that he made a fool out of you by cheating on you so publicly in front of his students and colleagues. If you love him so much, PLEASE TAKE HIM TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW! HE NEEDS TO DIE! PLEASE, GOD, FINISH HIM OFF!
  6. Marbeth, I only just saw your post even though I've read your other ones.Let me just say that everything you've said about your feelings resonate. Tomorrow, my dad returns home from rehab. I can't help but wish it were mom instead. I felt a real pang when I looked out the window and saw a car that was the exact color and make as my mom's. It even looked like it was about to turn into our driveway. But, of course, it wasn't my mom's, especially as it drove right past our house. And now, as I clean up for my dad's return, I also can't help but think of all those occasions when I cleaned up for my mom's return from Taiwan. What cheerful occasions they were, even if my mom grumbled that the place was still not clean enough for her! Just as for you, my mom was my everything. Yes, we had our fights and over some of the dumbest things no less. But we got along for the most part as we enjoyed watching the same movies, political topics, gossip, and fashion.l It took at least a few years for me not to feel heartbreak when I watched the Ralph Lauren fashion show by myself. Or to shop online and ready to pop something she'd like into my virtual cart--only to remember a split second later that there was no need. This past week, I happened to stumble on youtube videos of cross-country train rides. Wouldn't it be great if mom and I could travel all the way to CA, sharing a roomette on the train? How much fun it would be to sup together in the dining car with some of the most awesome scenery. Or sit in one of the cars with full scale windows--before turning in for the evening in a cozy cabin where we could watch a movie together or we would read to ourselves. And now, here I am stuck with this POS of a father who has dementia, no bladder control,. and is stupid and gauche to boot. My sleep habits will be wrecked all over again. This was the man who cheated on my mother and made my youth a living hell. And now I have to take care of this dimwit, doofus, douchebag, dogshit, dumbass dad: a man who has an Ivy Ph.D. but frequently thinks and acts like someone with little more than a 5th grade education. No wonder he got along so well with his whore of an uneducated cousin! Why, oh, why, did mom not divorce him for cheating on him? She could have lived a lot longer had she gotten alimony without having to take care of her weakling wimpy wuss of a husband. Maybe she wouldn't have died from cancer which is exacerbated by stress. No one knows how much I longed for him to die so mom and I could enjoy a decent life without his endless puerile complaints and needs. WHY, OH GOD, DID YOU NOT JUST HAVE MOM MISCARRY ME??? WHY COULDN'T YOU KILL OFF THIS POS OF A FATHER? SOMEONE THAT DUMB DOES NOT NEED TO BE 89!
  7. Thanks for getting it, Tessa--and I'm sorry you've had to deal with a POS too. I can never understand women who stick to their abusive husbands. It's like they've bought into the myth that a woman is no one unless she is married or in a relationship. And unfortunately, there are even many educated, professional women who feel the same way. Shame on them.
  8. Sorry for the delay in my posting, nuvar. I have had a really bad cold and am just getting over it. I can relate very well--as I'm in much the same position you're in. Btw, thank you for understanding my positionwith my father: while many do"get it," there have been some here who have not. I agree with Tessa, providing you don't have other issues with your dad, that you're probably going to have to accept things as is,even though that sounds tough. I understand your frustration because my dad is also hallucinating, babbling in Japanese, refusing to listen (well, he's always had this problem). Once the nurses at the hospital explained to me that he had serious dementia, I became somewhat less irritated--realizing that much of this was out of his control. All of a sudden, I began to understand his issues over the last 2 years. It sounds like your dad was OK to you. Try and think about all the good times you've had with him or the times he's supported you. As for your continuing regrets about your care for your mom, let me state that we are always going to have regrets because hidnsight is always easier than foresight. I know I had many doubts--but when I thought it all over carefully, I realized I did my best in the circumstances back then with the knowledge and biases I had. For instance, my parents had long brainwashed me into believing that Ivy-educated and trained doctors are the smartest people. It was as such that I stuck with the hematologist that my mom's primary doctor had assigned even though she should have had a gastro-intestinal oncologist. I recall being ripping mad when I discovered that there GI oncologists: why didn't the doctor assign them instead? But since none of them attended famous universities, I doubt I would I have swapped my mom"s oncologist for them anyway. Yes, I am a snob: but that's how my parents trained me--unfortunately. I also thought to myself,why didn't I research the hospitals better? I should indeed have done that. But previously, my parents had had no problems. Not only that, but one of our Taiwanese friends went to another hospital for his cancer and still died within 6 months. Not least, I've also read articles written by doctors themselves who question the decisions they made when their parents died. They too wonder if they made the right decisions. I guess my point is this: none of us really have the answers--not even the docs themselves. We just try to do what we think is optimal for that situation based on what we know and sense. You obviously wanted your mom to thrive and you were willing to do anything--including that surgery that turned out to be fatal. The fact is that you could have been a doctor yourself and still have made that decision. So don't beat yourself up. Perhaps my mom would have lived longer had she not gotten chemo. But I thought it best because my cousin's mother had chemo and she wound up living far longer. The fact is this: many times, we just don't know.
  9. My book is on poli sci/history textbook on the history of rights in the 18th century, particularly the ideas of Thomas Paine. It's not that my dad didn't work, but he wasted a lot of time and made plenty of poor decisions. .He basically did not think of himself as a husband,father, and provider. He just pursued what interested him with no regard as to how it would inevitably affect the family. That wouldn't be entirely bad in itself--if he hadn't pressured me from the age of 10, when he turned into the biggest asshole father ever. He NEVER cared about my interests: he was obsessed on my becoming a doctor, or at worst an engineer. He wanted me to attend the best universities. As such, he put enormous pressure on me. Our entire conversations revolved around how I did on my science and math tests. Now, my best subjects were history and English, but he didn't care. He didn't care that I was a top student in both subjects or that I consistently got the best marks in the entire class. He didn't care that I won prizes for writing. If I did poorly or mediocre, there was hell to pay. He would blame not only me, but my mom as well. That hurt me even more. Every day, I heard, "what did you get on that quiz?" "So and so is going to Harvard." "So and so is going to Yale." Oh, and so and so's daughter just got into med school. You get the picture. My dad NEVER bothered to consider that the Ivies prefer students from the East coast--at least at that time. And many of the kids he was talking about either had a father teaching at an Ivy or attended a prep school with a direct route to the Ivies. In other words, their parents knew how to prepare their kids to gain acceptance into the Ivies--unlike my idiot father who actually gave up a chance to teach at Columbia because he thought NYC was "too competitive." How interesting that he made me compete--but wouldn't compete himself! I also hated that decision since I loved NYC, having grown up there. And just recently, I read an article stating that kids who grow up in large cities like NYC, San Fran, and LA tend to become more successful because larger cities offer more challenges. It's no coincidence, btw, that many of the full-time faculty members who teach at my university were born and raised completely in NYC. Incidentally, my cousins were pressured too--but not to the same extent. Their fathers only wanted their kids to do well: they did not push them to become X or Y or attend an Ivy. That's why so many do not understand my plight. My dad began sleeping with his kunt cousin when I was a junior in high school: this is when he was pressuring me the most. I recall hating my science courses so much and pretending to read my chem and physics textbooks when I was actually reading my novels, LOL! He insulted my mother and blamed her for my poor performance in my science classes, telling her she was a stupid, uneducated saleswoman and that he feared I was following her path. In the meantime, his kunt cousin whom he started sleeping with was even less educated than mom: whereas mom at least had some college, this woman didn't even attend junior high. In retrospect, I find it interesting how my dad, a;ways bragging about his Princeton Ph.D. , could sleep with such an ignorant whore. This only shows how uneducated my father truly is. At least, other professors I know who cheated on their wives usually found a more educated woman. It's worth pointing out too that whereas most professors use their sabbatical to write a book, my dad spent it banging this kunt. (One reason I was especially determined to finish my book was to tell my dad, haha, I have a book published by a reputable publisher. YOU HAVE NONE!!!) I still remember that Xmas day in my junior year. Dad had not called at all and mom was real worried. He finally called the next day and said that he was staying at a soldier's house so he wasn't allowed to make calls. At this time, neither of us knew he was cheating on mom. It wasn't until the following summer when we were visiting Taiwan that the beans were spilled by both my mom's and dad's relatives. I felt so sorry for my mom when she found a love letter that he wrote to his cousin. My dad promised he would quit, but he never did. When I was entering college, dad was supposed to return and bring all my belongings up to MA. Well, he missed his flight because he was fooling around with his kunt! Fast forward to 25 years later, when he finally returned to the US with my mom. When he suffered a heart attack in 2004, my mom nursed him back to health. They both went back to Taiwan for visits in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013: all this time, my dad continued to have affairs. I'm not sure if it was still with that kunt the entire time, but he was told by her neighbor that she died. This meant either that he went to visit her or that neighbor went all the way to visit my dad in order to tell him that. Finally, when my mom died, my dad did not even bother to write an obituary for her in Taiwan as he promised. His student wrote one for him but he somehow misplaced it and said he could therefore not make any revisions. I have a feeling my dad did not write in order not to upset whatever mistress he had at that time. Now, throughout my teens and twenties, my dad and I had continual conflicts over my studies. My dad refused to speak to me when I said I wanted to major in English. When I won the election as arts editor at my college newspaper--it was very competitive with over 17 people applying for the position--he wanted me to quit! As it turned out, I didn't and got the highest grades I ever got in college. He also didn't want me to take a certain music class. Well, I took it and wound up winning a prize for the best essay in music. To make a long story short, he finally let me pursue graduate study in English. I think he did so in order to have bragging rights that he had a daughter at Oxford. I started at the age of 31. By the time, I finished, I was 37: that is already very old for someone finishing a Ph.D. Most universities prefer to hire younger people. And when race is figured into the equation, hiring becomes even more difficult. In contrast, the vast majority of people I know who succeeded had supportive parents: their parents let them study what they wanted. If anything, they were encouraged. These were not the only problems. While most fathers move to bigger and better houses, my dad did not. It was like he had no pride in his family. He also drove the smallest, ugliest car ever: I believe he did this in order to have me and my mom killed so he could marry his cousin. And unlike other fathers, he never gave us gifts, and never had any family pictures taken. Meanwhile, he wasted a lot of money, always sending $200-300 every month to his asshole father and stepmother even though they had a HUGE house and nice car: it's not like they were starving! In fact, I was unable to attend one prestigious university I'd gotten into as an undergrad because we didn't have enough money according to my dad. Note that his jackass parents are so different from American grandparents who usually have trust funds for their grandchildren and/or prepare for their grandchildren's college expenses. This is why I hate my dad and his entire PHUCKING family. I hate his dumb mother for spoiling him. What a prostitute! This is why he is such a gutless wimp. I hate his father and stepmother for being greedy pigs. I hate his younger brother for getting the latter to make the entire estate to him. One day when my dad was irritating the crap out of me, I took a large picture of his dad and ripped it right in front of his face. He tried to stop me but I shoved him away. I was going to pee on the picture too but didn't want to waste time mopping up the floor because I had already done it the previous day. I'm trying to find a picture of his mom so I can rip it in front of his face too--but he seems to have hidden it away, LOL! When I tell my dad what a horrible father and husband he was, he said "What's past is past and I can't take it back." It's like he has no sense of remorse. I guess this is the problem: had my dad not pressured me, I might be more forgiving of him otherwise. But because he screwed over my life while cheating on my mom in front of his colleagues and students in both the US and Taiwan, I hate his guts. He totally humiliated us IN EVERY WAY.
  10. Nuvar, I just wanted to let you know that I've been reading your posts over the past month or so--along with other people's posts. I have wanted to respond to you for sometime, but couldn't because I've been so busy working on my book, searching for a job, and cleaning up. But perhaps more to the point, I also did not know how to respond to you either because so much of my life is also up in the air. The reason why I am replying is because your situation is so eerily similar to mine--even though you are probably much younger: like you, I am also of Chinese origins. Like you, I also had a great mother and a lousy father. Like your family, my mom was the one who held it all together. She took care of all the finances, housework, and helped move us across the country several times. On the other hand, my father was a complete POS (aka Piece of S**t): he not only made my life a complete misery by unnecessarily pressuring me, wrecking my career in the process (long story, so read some of my earlier posts), but he also broke my mother's heart many a time by cheating with his cousin. He could have been much more successful, but instead of working on his OWN career (rather than just pressuring ME), he wasted a lot of time by sleeping and traveling with his cousin. In fact, he and mom wound up moving to Taiwan so that he could take a position at a much less prestigious university there more or less IN ORDER TO CHEAT WITH HIS COUSIN. And if that weren't enough, he has also ruined us financially by allowing his greedy parents and younger brother to steal all of our resources. And now, my POS dad has dementia--just like yours. I now have to find a full-time nurse for him because he is crazier and dumber than ever, but I also have no full-time job: thanks to my dad's destruction of my career from an early age. The only reason I was able to finish my textbook last month was because my dad had to be hospitalized and sent to rehab. Otherwise, it would remain undone! Not one day goes without my wishing that he were dead; my prayers that he would die before his 88th birthday--just 3 days ago--have obviously not been answered. (DEAR GOD, WHY DIDN'T YOU KILL THIS POS INSTEAD OF MY BEAUTIFUL MOTHER????) To add to all of these woes, my roof is on the verge of collapsing and I need to find a few extra thousands to get it repaired before it sinks on us. Talk about a perfect metaphor! As such, I don't know what to tell you. I have called the suicide hotline more times than I care to admit because I didn't want to bore my friends and relatives. I've contemplated it and admittedly, am only refraining from offing myself because I still have two cats I love and cherish. Who would take care of them? Certainly not my jackass dad. If I were to die, they would be yet two more victims of my dad. I can't let him kill so many in our family. God knows, he's already killed mom by taking her to Taiwan which is grossly unhygienic and unsanitary and he's already on the verge of killing ME by making me feel suicidal. I can only give you the advice that others have given me: hang in there. You never know what may happen--for better or for worse. I know that there have been times when I expected the worst or felt that nothing I was doing was paying off: and yet a miracle would take place every once in a while. I also try to remember what my mom would have wanted for me. Because she knew that she was my sole source of comfort and that she did so much for our family, she was afraid I wouldn't be able to manage our family. Every day, I try to live up to my mom's standards--it's a way for me to keep faith: PAYING MY BILLS, HOUSE BILLS, AND MY DAD'S BILLS, TRADING STOCKS, MAKING SURE THE HOUSE IS FUNCTIONING PROPERLY ETC. (sorry for caps) That;s why I forced myself to finish my textbook even though it probably won't make any difference in my career; I wanted to be able to dedicate it to her because it was she and only she who helped me get a doctorate in literature at Oxford, teach, and become a writer even if I am still a "loser" in many people's eyes because I only teach part-time. (Thank you, JACKASS , FUCKFACE DAD!) That's why I still try to see my idiot, good-for-nothing father when I can. I know she loved him--god only knows why--but I'm trying to do my best not to disappoint her if she can indeed see me from where she is. Btw, I just read your other post on your blog. I think you should post it here not only because it is so poignant (it brought back my own memories), but it might just help others who are feeling the same way.
  11. Good to see you too,Reader--this almost feels like a family reunion. I still remember the times we used to post regularly!
  12. Neer,I think we all do what we think we have to do during an emergency...it's not until,all has passed that we begin to wonder if we could have done things differently. I know I felt guilty for the longest time....until I read two articles by doctors who had to tend to their dying parents. They too were confused and were never sure if they had made the right decisions.. Soif medical professionals can feel just as conflicted and guilty too, we realize that no one has the perfect answer. Like you, I wish I had brought my mom to a different hospital. Yet,we had always gone to that particular one and both my parents seemed to do well there.After all,my mom appeared to have recovered very quickly after her stroke. My dad had done well too--so it didn't occur to me to search for another hospital. It wasn't until she began to deteriorate rapidly before our eyes that we had our doubts. At the end of the day. the only thing we can do is to try not to repeat the same mistakes. That's why I brought my dad to a different hospital. Eve, it's good to see you again!! I'm sorry I didn't reply to your last pm; as I looked at the date, I realize that the was the week I had serious problems with my dad. It was on te 17th that I had to bring him to the hospital. He is still in rehab. I'll respond to you tomorrow; I have to get up early for the roofing guy. I would like to add that I got my bag back! As it turned out,the hospital staff wrapped it with my dad's belongings.But the nurse at rehab did not see the bag as dad put it in his drawer.Thank god because i was feeling so depressed about the loss of the bag. (Some of you here--Eve--might remember me discussing it in a very early post.)
  13. Good to see you again, Missionblue and Tessa! Missionblue, thanks for the good wishes. There were days when I doubted if I would ever finish it. I honestly wonder what the editors thought when I keot saying just "two more months" finally turned into "next month," then "next week," and finally a "few more days." LOL. And each excuse was repeated several times. But of course, they didn't know about the times I had to stay up all night because my dad was having a fit. The day I spent 6 hours trying to pull him up off the floor. The other times I had to chase him back into the house. THe days I called the suicide hotline. Having virtually NO ONE--except for an aunt who had a terrible marriage and got divorced--understand my situation. I've had relatives add insult to injury by defending my dad: one actually unfriended me on Facebook, so I blocked her on Messenger and on my phone. She sent a gift just a few days ago via Amazon: unfortunately, there was no indication as to the sender or I would have returned it.) Life is too short to deal with jackasses: if you've never been abused, don't you DARE try to downplay someone's experience with emotional abuse. No one I know has had their lives completely wrecked by one parent or both. Anyway...I finally managed to complete the book at the beginning of December, a week or so after Thanksgiving. Another writer asked me if I cried as I worked on the last paragraph. I said I was just too tired to cry....having cried way too many times while writing this book. Meanwhile, it's good to know you are still with Ernesto, as unfulfilling as you might present it. I think he loves you in his own way. The fact that his kids take good care of you shows that they know and appreciate your role in his life. I get the feeling that you will both grow into one another even if you don't feel he's 100% compatible. Your comments on church remind me painfully of the first Xmas without my mom when members of the Taiwanese ASS-ocation brought us to a concert. The church was beautifully decorated and the singers simply wonderful. It was such an experience that mom would have loved--and as such so bittersweet. It reminded me of the times I attended church concerts in Europe with her. The fact that my dad is so slow, stupid and bumbling--the complete opposite of my mom--made it even worse. And, of course, seeing all of those families so perfectly put together made me feel so out of it. I felt doubly displaced--no family of my own and no mom either. Meanwhile, the women looked so terrific with their perfect husbands, children, and parents. I guess I will always be the perpetual outsider. There is always going to be perpetual outsider to make others feel good. That quotation from Tessa's friend sums it up perfectly well. It's true: the happy ones are happier on the holidays. And the lonely ones even lonelier. **** YOU, GOD! Tessa, I'm probably still as angry as ever. I'm a little less so only because my dad is in rehab. But I know he will be back home and I worry about that because it means I will need to find a full-time nurse for my dad. And as such, I need to find a full-time job. In some ways, I'm probably even worse than before: I honestly have no idea what will happen to me. I may even have to move, depending on the level of care my dad needs. But I'm too tired and my osteoarthritis--thank god it's not cancer--is quite severe. I have no idea how I will possibly pack and move. I really don't want to move to a smaller place with my dad as I can't stand him at all. At leatr in a larger house he's not constantly in my face. Right now, I feel even worse because I lost my favorite cat bag--the one I bought for myself but gave to my mom (she wanted it because the cat looked like our kitties)--and which I started using after she passed. Sounds dumb, but this little PVC bag makes me feel close to my mom and cats. I am almost 100% positive I left it in my dad's hospital room where I brushed my teeth after eating. I forgot to put the bag back into my purse, probably leaving it on the windowsill where I sat...but didn't discover the loss until yesterday when I went to visit my dad in rehab for the Xmas lunch. (I didn't go anywhere on Sunday or Monday.) I brushed it aside, figuring that the bag would be returned to me since it wasn't a status item and had a fair amount of stuff--mostly used lipglosses, toothpaste, and brush. Who the hell would steal that--or dump it since it was in very good shape and obviously being used?? It's not like it was a ratty bag with nothing inside; that would have been more easily disposed of. After all, my dad was only discharged on Monday night; it's not like an entire week elapsed. Well, no one has picked it up or turned it in to the lost and found. Hope the ahole who either stole or dumped it suffers a horrific accident in 2019!
  14. It's been four years, two months, and 21 days since my mom passed away from bile duct cancer--and what a wild ride it has been. I'm happy to report to those of you who remember me that I finally completed the book I was working on: one that took some 5 years in the making. Grief, depression, and constant struggles with a nutjob father did not kill me after all. There's no doubt that the first year was by far my most difficult: as someone who has a habit of reminiscing over the past, I couldn't help but remember everything that was happening in 2014 on a daily basis. Not to mention that there would be new triggers every day. Some days would remind me of days I had gone to visit mom in the hospital. Looking at a lipstick or a sweater would sometimes remind me of a particular visit.Shoveling snow would remind me of the days I had shoveled snow before her stroke in April of that year....I can still remember the cloudy day I shoveled snow, crying as I did so because I knew when I returned, there would be no mom to fix a hot chocolate for me or chat. Sometimes a visit from one of my dad's friends would remind me of the days before she passed when he was picking us up from the hospital. Even as I worked on my book and various writing projects,I could not get away completely from my grief. Working on the introduction brought back memories of the fall and winter before her stroke;sometimes, I would think of those weeks which she and my dad spent in Taiwan--and which strangely enough made me depressed for two weeks, as if I knew that something horrible would happen.(It turned out that her cancer probably started at that time, according to the docs.) At other times, I would think of the day I had submitted that chapter to the editors in early March, and feeling relieved. But at all times, I could almost remember the places where I had done my readings....a certain passage would bring me back to my mother's side at the hospital right after she was diagnosed with cancer. Another would bring me back to the day we brought mom home--when we still had hope that she would recover. I can still remember how I dreaded the anniversary of her passing when late September rolled around--and how I recorded right here the two weeks preceding her death, from what was to be her final departure from our house to the hospital to her second, fatal stroke, and finally her death on October 4. Sunday, Oct. 4 2015 was very different from Saturday, Oct. 14, 2014: Sunday was a clear, beautiful day. I actually thought I was doing well until the late afternoon when I was cleaning the cat box. And all of a sudden, I was hit with memories of other bright sunny Sundays, when mom was still around...and I lost it. Never again would I enjoy a day out with mom at the local Walgreens or the grocery. Never again would we return home for pizza from the mall. And as I looked at the couch where I gave her her evening shots, I couldn't help but think that I would never hear her thank me. By the time I was putting the chicken in the rice cooker to prepare her favorite chicken soup I was all red and puffy from crying. I dare say that there were so many tears in that soup that I didn't need to add salt. But then came a new stage in my grief--a better one I dare say. For the most part, whenever I had a dream about mom, I would always cry afterwards, knowing it was a dream. But one morning I woke up, almost laughing because I dreamt that I was shopping with mom. I instinctively knew that if I told her, she would laugh, saying that we did way too much shopping. It wa then that I began to feel that I was finally coming to terms with her death. Not that I never felt depressed after the dream. I had and still have days when I miss her terribly: usually when things are going badly--for instance, when my father is more difficult than usual. And believe me, there were--and are--many such days. I still get hit badly on holidays--particularly this Thanksgiving and Xmas. Maybe it's because I had just submitted my book to the editor and no longer had a focus: over the past years, I could easily tell myself, "go work on your book for mom." But with the book gone, I found myself thinking increasingly about her--sometimes contrasting everything now to the time in November and December 2013 when I had just begun work on the book and mom was still around. How long ago it seemed--and yet how fresh and raw too. Then when my father was sent to the wrong hospital--the one where my mom died--I was faced with all the memories of 2014. Going down the hallways made me think back to my mom's last days, particularly since my dad's room was in the same complex but on a different floor. I did all I could to prevent myself from bursting into tears until I reached his room. Weeks later, I had a disturbing dream when I thought I was alone in a public bathroom on a hill. It was pitch black all around and I was frightened. In my dream, I called mom to pick me up because I was alone and scared....and when she arrived to pick me up, I woke up. Where is this place, I wondered? When I returned home that night after viisting my dad, it suddenly hit me that this dark place was none other than my own house which stands on a hill. I guess there is so much uncertainty in my life that I had this quasi nightmare. And now, here I am having had lunch with my dad at his rehab facility. As I listened to the Xmas songs, especially "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," it again took all of my strength not to cry as I saw so many happy families at rehab....everyone had a mother present. I could only think of the mournful original version of the song, as sung in Meet me in St. Louis by Judy Garland: Have yourself a merry little Christmas It may be your last Next year we may all be living in the past Have yourself a merry little Christmas Pop that champagne cork Next year we may all be living in New York No good times like the olden days Happy golden days of yore Faithful friends who were dear to us Will be near to us no more But at least we all will be together If the Lord allows From now on, we'll have to muddle through somehow So have yourself a merry little Christmas now Here I was, stuck with a dad with near-full blown dementia, demanding more food. How much I wished to hear mom's wit and laughter. How I missed hearing her comforting voice. Returning home was no less bittersweet as I rode down the street where my mom and I passed through so many times. So when will it all end? I don't know. Things do get better, but heartbreak is never too far off either. There are days when I feel good, particularly when I am embarking on a new project that I am excited about. And far from feeling unhappy when I dream about her, I feel cheered...it's as if feeling I still have her by my side. Yet, there are days when nostalgia gives me a real beating...sometimes it's when I 'm looking out at the stars and remembering the night when I waited for her to return home from Taiwan. Or when the hazy skies remind me of the time when I wondered to myself if she was ever going to recover. Sometimes I begin to cry upon hearing songs from my childhood. Listening to "Climb Every mountain" or "Edelweiss" can turn me into a blubbering mess just as they did when I was 3: Perhaps it's simply the sheer power of the voices--but perhaps also bittersweet sadness at having lost the happiness I enjoyed as a child when I listened to the Sound of Music every afternoon...now there's no one to comfort me. Sometimes, it's songs I heard I associate with my mom's various hospital and rehab stays--Diana Ross' "Ain't No Mountain High enough" now has a new significance for me after having heard it the day we went to place her in rehab. Yes, memories are hard to escape. I realize none of this is very comforting. Yet, there is one thought that never fails to lift me ever so much. That I had a parent who loved me. Who eased my troubles and encouraged me from beginning to end. It was she who taught me how to persist and go on. And I am grateful for that lesson.
  15. Tessa, work has definitely helped me heal: partly because I know that’s what mom would want me to do. I am so glaD I didn’t quit teaching the term my mom died: I think one of the reasons why I felt worse a few months later is because i didn’t have a course that term. Granted, I had my book to write, but in some ways it was tougher because every time I went over an old chapter, I couldn’t help but remember what was happening when I was researching/writing the previous year. Now, whenever I see Rousseau’s discourse on inequality, I think of March 2014, righ5 before she had her stroke.
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