Tag Archives: Death

Colleen’s 2019 Weekly Poetry Challenge – Slow & Work

Here is this week’s Colleen’s 2019 Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 121, “Slow & Work,” #SynonymsOnly

January 12 to 20, 2019, a group of family members from West Coast of the U.S.A. traveled to Hong Kong to celebrate my nephew’s wedding, a joyous begging of a new journey. It was a marathon ceremony of playing Chinese traditional games when the groom picked up the bride in the morning. The games were set by the bridesmaids and responded by the groom and best men. Only when all the games were responded, the door was open for the groom to pick up the bride. Then a modern church wedding and garden cake ceremony were held in the afternoon, and a nine-course Chinese banquet was served in the evening when the bride and mother-in-law (my sister) changed their gowns four times.

 

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January 24: Flash Fiction Challenge – She’s Made Whole Again

January 24: Flash Fiction Challenge

It was my nephew Enoch’s wedding on January 19, 2019. Mercy, Will, Autumn, Lynton and I traveled to Hong Kong to share his joyous beginning journey of marriage. We arrived on January 12. Three days later, I got a message from sister #12 Yolanda, the mother-in-law to be, letting me know that sister #8 Canty was in the hospital. Later that day, Canty’s son messaged me that his mom had liver inflammation and hydrocephalus, congestive heart failure.

Sister #13 Queenie was also traveling from Los Angeles to Hong Kong to attend the wedding. I had scheduled the visit of Canty as soon as Queenie arrived.

On the 17th, the third day of being in the hospital, Canty’s condition made a sharp decline at noon. We all rushed to the hospital by taxi. She was unconscious when we were by her bedside. We took turns to massage her head and hands, speaking to her. She seemed to hear us as the muscles of the forehead gradually relaxed.

Queenie arrived in that early evening and made her way to the hospital. By that time, the monitor couldn’t detect the blood pressure. The doctor said she was on 100% oxygen and received mediation to sustain her heart. Her breathing and heartbeat were artificial for some hours.

After Queenie spoke to her, I went close to the bed and saw the blood coming out of her nose. I got the attention of the nurse. The nurse couldn’t stop the bleeding and informed us that, “It’s time.” Before the nurse closed the drape around her bed, I saw the blood gushing out of her nostrils.

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Canty was a Ballroom Dance instructor in her early years. She continued to be active in dancing.  She participated in the Dance Championship on November 4, 2018 and received an award. She posted some photos on social media (She was dressed in purple). I messaged her on January 4, 2019, saying I wanted to see her dancing. She sent me the video clip of her Championship dancing. I said, “See you next week.”

It was saddened to say good-bye to her within two weeks of sharing her thrilling moments. Her birthday is coming up on February 16, and her funeral service will be commenced on that day.

R.I.P. my beautiful sister. We will meet again!

pui yan 11.04.2018a Read more

Blessings #5

blessings-3-3-2Journey of Giving and Receiving Blessings – Childhood

Chinese religion is not Buddhism. Instead, it’s polytheism in that they believe in multiple gods. It’s also a dualism; they believe gods and evil have equal powers. When I was a child, we lived in a flat on the third floor.  There were red wooden plaques with images or writings represented different gods displayed around the flat. A container with ashes was attached to each plaque to hold incense. Two were hung on the side of the top and bottom part of the doorway signified to protect people’s coming and going.  There was one plaque by every window to guard the evil from coming in. One plaque was in the kitchen. The kitchen god listened to people’s gossips. At the end of year, the god would report to heaven. So before Chinese New Year, people made offering to the kitchen god to bribe him. This was my mother’s religion.

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When WWII was over, we went back to Hong Kong from China. My mom gave birth to five younger siblings, and they were about eighteen months apart. My mom’s generation didn’t practice birth control! When the third sister was sick with meningitis, my mom didn’t take her to the doctor.  She went to a temple to make an offering, and asked for healing of my sister.  She also hired a monk coming to our home to chant and burn incense.  He waved the smoke from the burning incense over and around her. It didn’t heal my sister.

Eventually my mom took my sister to the hospital. She died of high fever in her brain. My mom came home crying. When I asked where my sister was, she said the doctor kept her to take care of her. It was the way she dealt with the pain. That event gave me great impressions and cast a doubt in my mind of mom’s religion.

I started going to school when I was six and a half years old. Both of my parents worked, so I had to take care of my younger siblings during the day. I went to night school until 4th grade. I walked 500 meters or one-third of a mile to school by myself for first grade. The following year my sister reached school age, we walked to school together. I enjoyed going to school. The best thing was that when I was in first grade, my teacher said I was bright. The teachers liked me and I liked the teachers. I even had a crush on my fourth grade teacher Mr. Wu.

All the subjects were taught in Chinese. My dad wanted me to learn English, so he sent me to English tutoring when I was in fourth grade. By this time, my mom stopped working so that she could take care of four little ones. Since my mom was home, my dad decided to send me to day school. It was in Wan Chai, half an hour tram ride from home. We had school five and a half days a week. I made friend with teacher’s daughter, Shirley. We became lifelong friends.

“The first grade teacher said I was bright, and that made a big impact on my life.”

The first grade teacher said I was bright, and that made a big impact on my lif. I did well at school throughout elementary school years. Each class had about forty students. At the end of school year, the report card showed our performance in terms of their places among the forty students. Throughout elementary school years, I didn’t get the first place. I was in second to ninth places. That means, I was at the top twenty-three percentile of grade points. It broke my heart when I got the ninth place that year! I gave credit to my dad for my good grades. He checked my homework every night and quizzed me every week. It was a blessing to have a dad who cared so much about my education.

Courtesy of https://mygulitypleasures.wordpress.com for the street sign Pok Fu Lam Road.

 

R.I.P.

Randy’s anniversary of his home going is coming up in ten day. How time flies. I still remember January 3, 2016. Randy joined us to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We went to see Star Wars at Irvine Spectrum, and had lunch together. It was on Saturday.

The following Sunday, eight days later, his relative came over to tell us that Randy had a mountain bike accident. He and a gym buddy went on a mountain bike ride. The bike hit a big gap and made a somersault flip. He got thrown off the bike, head and face fell forward and hit the ground. Apparently his face was smashed badly. He was rushed to the emergency room close by; but pronounced dead as soon as the ambulance reached the hospital.

Randy was our neighbor who lived two doors down the street. He was my husband’s best friend for twelve years ever since he came back to live with his parents. They went to the gym work out together. They had Friday Movie and Pizza day for a while. After my husband got a mountain bike, he also got one. They started riding on the trails in the city and beyond. On special occasions, we had barbecue together. He came over to our house for game nights. For more than a year before his passing, they switched to another restaurant on Fridays to hangout, and I became their designated driver!

Randy was a lighthearted guy. He was recognized by his laughter. He had tons of friends and some were high school friends. He had one friend since they were three years old.

What impressed me the most was the way he took care of people. He took care of his ex-mother-in-law every weekend for years, driving an hour each way. When she was not able to take care of herself, he helped her to move into a convalescent home close to him. On holidays, he would bring her home to spend time together. He did that until she passed away.

The last person he took care of was his mom. His dad passed away years ago. His mom was diagnosed with ALS. He took care of her to the point when she could only communicate with her eye movements.

After his mom passed away, he had an estate sale to clean up the house. He had the house painted inside and out, and got new furniture. It seemed like he finally could relax and take care of himself. We were so happy for him and teased him that he could settle down for life.

Who would have thought that God would take him home right there and then so he would have his eternal rest? We miss you, Randy! Whatever questions you might have in life, you are sitting down with Jesus, face to face, and got your answers now!

Forest Fire

California Agriculture journal, January - March 2015, Volume 69 number 1. Outlook: Californians must learn from the past and work together to meet the forest and fire challenges of the next century

Forest fire is a problem in California, especially when the weather temperature gets up to three digits. Signs of “No Camp Fire” are displayed in National Parks. A little spark could ignite and causes a major forest fire.

The forest fire and smoke reminds me of the animation movie “Bambi” that I watched with my daughter. she was little. It was the first movie she saw about death, when Bambi’s mother was burned by the forest fire. My daughter was saddened by the story.

Forest fire is devastating to the nature, the animals, and human being.

Daily Prompt:Smoke