Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A young family sailed away

Dan and Elizabeth now have moved to Michigan.  As an older relative of theirs, I wish them all the peace, joy and blessings from life.  When I see them again, I wonder if Joshua would remember me.  Perhaps if I talk to them on Skype frequently?

It was good to see James looked happy, and put on a few pounds, healthyly.

We were talking to uncle Tom and aunt Janice on Skype.

Monday, July 30, 2012

One Saturday in St. Michael's, Eastern Shore

Eileen landed on a new job, and Joan needs a break from her job stress.  So I proposed that we head out to St. Michael's.  It was a pretty dandy day.  we each bought something in a jewelry shop.  We did the boating, lunch at downtown St. Michael's, home made ice cream, afternoon tea at Perry Hall, and dinner at Annapolis. 

We drove to the tip of the Tilghman Island, where we can see huge bodies of the water in Chesapeake Bay.  Eileen was really delighted by it.  There was a family wading in the water to pick up soft shell crabs.  They had pretty good catches.

The gentle kindness across generations

I joined the Fernald reunion at Cape Cod at the end of June.  It was an opportunity for me to get to know Janice's relatives a bit more.  When I was looking at the albums put together by Sharri, Doug pointed out a picture of Tom (he looked very young!) holding a little boy on his lap.  Doug said " That was me." , with sparkles in his eyes.  I looked at him and said "No! Get out of here.  Really?"  Doug smiled, and said "Yes, yes.  That was me." He then looked at Tom, who heard us and started walking toward us.  Suddenly I felt a sense of tenderness in Doug's glance toward Tom.  That old picture must reflect a special bond, a sense of warmth and affection.  Later Doug and Alison took Tom and me  to the sand dune to see grey seals; and the following day they took Tom and me to the break wall for a walk, and to Province town for a drive around.   I especially appreciated their generosity, and know that a seed of love was probably planted by my brother years ago,  when he was a young man, and when Doug was a little boy!

Matthew really likes his cousin, the little Annie, and would ask for her the minute he got in the door in the morning. They played well together.  When it was time to say good-bye, Annie was visibly very sad.  Steven picked her up and held her gently.  I took a picture of them as the scene reminded me of the picture of Tom and Doug.  Matthew also hugged Annie very gently.

Tom said that the Cape Cod has given children much, much fond memories.  I am glad that I was there to witness the nice tradition.

Janice took a picture of me in front of  the light house.  She said that I was there the first time I visited Cape Cod (when Steven was 2).  I hardly remember much about that first trip except that I was sick.  I was, after all, a different person back then.  I just came to US and knew rather little about myself, others, and the world.  I later grew up in US.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Life is to be celebrated

Back in June when the weather was not yet scorchingly' hot, I drove to Huilang's place for a visit.  It turned out that Apple planned to visit their daughter too.  So Huilang decided that we would just catch a ride with Apple.  I wanted to have an opportunity to visit a bit with Apple too, as we anticipate that he may only have months to live.  All three of us crammed into Isa's new home in Boston.  Apple stayed in the bedroom close to the bathroom.  Huilang slept on the sofa in the living room, and I slept on the air mattress in the front room. 

I am glad that I was able to share a couple of meals together with Apple, and the two people very important in his life.  I am glad that we had the opportunity to share some family pictures on the computer.  His father was a law professor at the TaiDa.  Apple certainly has come to terms with his situation and is quite calm about the inevitable end.  Huilang mentioned that he has made all the necessary arrangements.  When she visited his home, she found the rooms very neat, and flowers set in a vase on the table.  Apple has always loved beauty!  For all the love, distress, forgiveness, struggles, and understanding in their lives, I respect them and feel for them!  I hope that Apple was able to take away the sense of goodwill from me to him.

When we went for a walk in the local park, Apple found a piece of grass an sat there by himself.  I took a picture of him from the distance, and would always remember this day. 

A friend, a life story

The weekend before Sylvia's fourth round of chemo treatment, I went to visit her in her home in Virginia.  KC has already arrived from Indiana.  I am glad that Sylvia seemed to enjoyed the steamed blue crabs I brought over.  Although we had to cancel the original plan to Cape May and Atlantic City, we did have a few laughs over the crabs, especially the bib ingeniously designed by KC.  We also did a wonderful walk in the Mall in the afternoon. Sylvia walked the fastest , and KC and I had to hustle to keep up with her.  Sylvia knew that she will become weak once the treatment starts the following week.

The fourth round of chemo just began.....when the hope is thin and pain is severe, Sylvia decided that she no longer wishes to continue with the treatment.  What words can I say? What  comfort can I offer?  For someone who knows her days are numbered, I feel that I can only render my respect for her decision, and whatever support that she may be willing to receive from me. 

The loneliness of life is just no laughing matter.