As I watch my mother fall in-and-out of sleep, I am left reflecting back to the last time I saw a parent of mine on a hospital bed. It’s amazing how it’s already been over ten years since my dad had passed away, and how much of our lives had changed since then.
At just ten-years-old, I was mad at the world. I had developed this sense of self-pity, feeling as if the world had owed me everything for not only taking my dad away, but for having my family go through one crap after another.
But, now as an adult, I look back to realize that I have absolutely nothing to bitch about. Everyone has lost someone, and everyone faces the challenges that follows so I am definitely no different from the rest. I was blessed with such a nurturing mother, who gave me literally everything that I had ever wanted, and, yet, I, out of all of her children, gave her the most heartache. I was blessed with such amazing siblings, who took my abuse and still manage to stand by my side no matter what. I was blessed with opportunities like getting an education and offered potential career paths that I had taken for granted.
When people tell me how “strong” I am, I cringe at the word because I have never known suffering before. My mother, on the other hand, had escaped from Vietnam during the war, assimilated into a new culture, gave up her education to provide for her family and supported her kids as a single-parent.
So, when I arrived at the emergency room, I turned the corner to find my mother with a huge smile on her face. She sat on the wheelchair, conversing with the nurse, giggling like a small school girl. Regardless of what life has put her through, my mother still manages to put-up a smile. To me, that’s real strength.
Now, “don’t freak out” as my sister had used earlier with me, my mother is doing well and is going to be fine. She just had a minor emergency that required her to get a blood transfusion. Heck, she’s back on her feet and is already getting back to work!