Grateful today is Friday. Spent most of the evening spoon-feeding my dad water mixed with a dye so the docs could do a CT scan to get a better picture of his cancer. He doesn’t have to drink thickened liquids anymore but he still can’t drink straight from the cup or through a straw to prevent pneumonia.
Random Dad memories.
7th grade. Leaving school early, going to a doc appointment then stopping at the McDonalds near Navy Exchange to eat Big Macs and fries.
8th grade. For some reason I had friends who lived with little supervision. My bestie Maria and I were hanging out in AMR with some boys we crushed on. I think we went to watch a movie at this kid Casey’s house and all of a sudden it’s after midnight and Casey’s dad has to drive us home. I didn’t call my super-strict Catholic parents to let them know I was safe..when I got back home, I just knocked on the front door, hoping to be let in. I was let in by my pissed off Dad who grabbed my by the shirt collar, lifted me up 3 feet so I was face to face with our grandfather clock in the hallway, all the while screaming “do you know what time it is??!!!”
Driving. My first learning to drive experience was not in a class or by getting behind the wheel, but by observing my dad from the back seat. I would anticipate when he’d change lanes, make turns, speed up or slow down. I was 15 when I got my license.
College graduation. I can’t think of any other moment that I’ve seen him so proud of me. I remember the staging, then the walk to accept my diploma. My dad would find various spots to pop out and take my picture. He was using one of those green, FujiFilm disposable cameras. I graduated 16 years ago and have never seen those pictures! I wonder if my parents forgot to get the filmed developed.
2011. I finally made the trip with my parents to the Philippines as an adult. My dad has 5 sisters and it was nice to see them reunited. After that trip we made plans to return in a couple years. I never expected that to be his last trip home. A few months after we returned to Hawaii, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. My basic understanding of the disease is that it’s a cancer that lives in his blood and is incurable; his treatment just slows the disease. His newest cancer diagnosis, and the reason he’s been in the hospital for a month, is due to another cancer: plasmablastic lymphoma. He lives a healthy lifestyle and has no history of cancer in his family.
The elevator door opened up to the 7th floor. I was about to take a step out when I looked up and saw my co-worker, a guy who sits one cube away from me, who was about to step in. I stepped out and he took a step back. So hey…followed by a brief moment of silence to acknowledge the situation.
“Hey I heard your dad was sick. I didn’t realize he was still sick though. Is he on this side of the floor?” I vaguely point left I don’t know why I did, I have no clue what’s over that way. “Or is he there?” Then I point toward the right — where all the patient rooms are…where there are orange biohazard signs taped to some of the entrances of the rooms, patient precaution signs, nurses in plastic gloves and masks, and patients muffled groans of discomfort. And I get to thinking of my own father’s room where a couple days ago a new sign in bold letters got taped to his wall: “Spoon feed only! Thicken all liquids. Asphixaton precaution.” And that issue happens to be just one of his minor problems.
My co-worker nods. Yup he’s over on the right side too. Right side. The cancer side. Well at least that’s what I think of it. It’s what my co-worker’s dad has, and mine too. It certainly doesn’t feel like anyone’s getting healed quickly on the right side of the 7th floor. I’ve been visiting my dad for the past 7 days – of his overall 20 day stay -and I’ve only seen one other patient in the halls. She’s a firecracker of an old lady who hates going back to her room. Last night as my sister walked by her chair, which hospital staff placed outside of her room so she could watch the floor traffic, she called to my sister: “lady. hey lady! They don’t bring us enough food around here.” She’s certainly a character and hearing my sister tell that story made me giggle. But today I was walking up to her room and noticed she was not on her perch. As I passed, I overheard her asking her nurse why she had to get a shot injected in her belly.
I love writing and I’m always going through phases of trying to practice more, but what usually ends up happening is that I get sucked down the evil rabbit hole that is the Internet.
A few weeks ago I found a 12-day plan of simple writing exercises on Writers Digest. Will it take me a month or more to finish 12 exercises? Probably. But, here I go.
Day 1: write 10 potential book titles of books you’d like to write. (These aren’t titles but ideas. And, some are thoughts that I’d like to happen so I can write about them!)
- How I quit my job to travel the world (and get paid!)
- Cooking and entertaining with my BF
- How yoga changed my life – and helped me lose 40lbs
- My summer in New York City
- My life had I made other choices
- Oahu’s Best Public Restrooms
- How my dad made it to America
- The stories of my family
- Growing up brown in a white world
- Finding happiness. Do you.
Till next time…
what are a few things you accomplished today?
i walked to work – but mostly because I ran out to catch my bus and it flew past me, just as I was about to cross the street. (Even though The Bus has GPS, Da Bus app sucks for arrival accuracy.) However, i voluntarily walked home after work today. the late afternoon weather was great – the sun was still out and a breeze was blowing. and, after recently watching the Stones Throw documentary, I’ve been catching up on artists on the label. been listening to a lot of Quasimoto these last couple days and it was super great to turn up my headphones and zone out while walking.
i was focused at work. and the time flew by! one day closer to the weekend…
i ate a salad for dinner.
now….dreaming of this coco-choco ice cream cone I got at Wing a couple weeks ago.
freedom. youth. weightlessness. what does that feel like to you?
i remember being 18 and in the backseat of a Volkswagon Rabbit with my best friend, my high school boyfriend and his friend, who was graciously allowing the 3 of us to sleep on the floor of her apartment while we figured out our shit. we’d just arrived from hawaii and she was showing us around costa mesa, CA. i remember it was evening and not many cars were on the freeway. a goofy smile on my face and wide-eyed glee, i took in the billboards and the bright lights. the car windows were rolled all the way down and the heater was all the way up on high. the cold wind stung my cheeks but the heat cut through to create perfectly warm air. i was 2,500 miles away from home, with a security blanket of friends, and didn’t have a care in the world. it was exhilarating.
the other week, i was walking back to the office from lunch and i made eye contact with someone from a previous life – a girl that i’d hung out with in college and we somehow fell out of touch. we made plans to re-connect over lunch and it was like no time had passed. we remembered we were in an english or writing class together. as we ate lunch, she asked…do you still write? my answer: sadly, no.
why is it that something i love to do, i rarely make the time to do it?? i blame allowing myself too many online distractions. (BTW, newest Netflix obsession is Damages – if you want to get sucked into a show i highly recommend this.)
i’ve started going back to hot yoga. i’m paying monthly for an unlimited membership because i think it’ll help me be more diligent about my practice. this is my 5th consecutive week, and i plan to be committed. i’m also lucky to have a BF that motivates me to go after work, when I’m most lazy, and who will fix dinner so it’s ready when i get home after class.
tomorrow is monday. see you again soon, weekend.
i know i just came back from vacation a mere 14 days ago but i’m really looking forward to the long weekend. on my to-do list:
- suns out buns out!
- read (i’m currently trying to get through Cooked by Michael Pollan. I’m on page 50 of 416 pages)
- meal prep for the short work week
sometimes, I like to think of stuff I want to have available when I’m flithy rich. my list is pretty simple:
- a Range Rover. or a Toyota Tacoma. I’d just like to drive a truck or SUV. and maybe also a Mini for those days when I know I’ll have to street park.
- a Hot Tub. Gonna need something to relax in after a hard day’s work stacking paper.
- a Bidet toliet. I lived in an apartment for a year and my toliet had a bidet. I look back on those days and regret not using the various functions everytime i went to the bathroom.
One of my goals this year is to travel by airplane at least twice. I’m working on making that happen…even if it just means flying to a neighbor island and spending a couple days there.
Here’s another San Francisco photo from my recent vacation. Next time, I think I’ll walk over the bridge.
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything that’s not been related to work! So hello…I’m so glad to be here!
Just came back from an awesome vacation to San Francisco. I’m ready to go back! Or maybe I’m just ready to be on vacation again. Either way, I thought I’d note my most memorable toliet experience of the trip.
We drove up to Twin Peaks to take-in the view and it’s where I also had the chance to try out the city’s fantastic self-cleaning toliet program which is free for public use. It’s pretty great. The person ahead of you exits; the door auto closes and for like 5 minutes, the bathroom “cleans” itself. You watch the digital screen and when the cleaning process is complete, the screen displays a message that the bathroom is ready for use. Next, push a button and the door auto opens. You get a max of 20 minutes…i’m not sure what happens if the person before you takes longer than that though – the door opens up on your weirdest fantasy I guess.
Once I walked in the first thing I notice is that everything – toliet seat and floor – is damp. I deduce that the cleaning process is to dump a load of water over the entire toliet, washing away any fluids, streaks or other nastiness from the previous user. Then, a strong fan blows to somewhat dry the facility. What I notice next, as I’m grabbing toliet paper to place on the seat, is that there is no seat – just the rim of the toliet. Not a big deal since I’ve been practicing my squats but what about the elderly? Are they also able to just hover over the rim while doing their business??
Overall I was very pleased at how clean the toliets where in the many, many bars and restaurants I visited all throughout San Francisco (and parts of Oakland too!).
Here’s the one photo I took of Twin Peaks.