Mom had a mass in her right brain which the doctors surgically removed. We don’t know yet if it’s related to her Lymphoma of the small intestines which we found only 2 months ago. So. My highly intelligent, highly capable mother went from unstoppable to 2 battle-scars on her skull and her belly, bones thin and unable to control/move her left side of the body. She was on a feeding tube for 2 weeks and just passed the swallow/speech test. This means when she begs for water with her deep brown eyes and furrowed brow, I can actually give her some.
When someone tell me their family member is sick and in the hospital, I offer my sympathies and words of encouragement. I never knew what it really meant until I saw my dad in the ICU 2 years ago. It’s.fucking.scary. You have absolutely no control over what’s going on and you hang on to every singe word nurses, aids, therapists, surgeons, doctors say to you. If someone tells you they’re improving, you rejoice with your loved ones. If they tell you they can’t rule out cancer, you worry, your heart hurts. As my dad would sigh and say, “It’s so difficult”.
My mom must be going through a forced, long silent meditation. She can’t communicate to others, is confined to one room, eats a super-restricted diet, and is essentially ALONE. I can’t imagine the sort of shit that comes up from that experience and it fills me with compassion for what she’s going through. No wonder when I look at her, she looks depressed and worried. Sometimes I ask her to smile for me and she obliges but that stems from my own selfish desire of wanting everything to be ok.
Nevertheless we are hopeful. I know she’s a strong woman and we will get through this together. Change is the only constant.
Even as I didn’t speak the language, people were more than willing to communicate. Thailand smiles were for real.
The food was magnificent. I fell hard for the issan cuisine of song tam, fermented sausage, delicate fish preparations. In Bangkok it was seafood egg pancake, crab in curry sauce, and roast pork knuckles over rice and sautéed greens. A coconut everyday didn’t hurt either. My host Mim also got me hooked on Leo beers and yam salads made with mackerel fish.
The kids were spot on with trends; everybody looked like a copy of the IT gals of fashion blogs.. Mile high heels paired with shorty shorts and a polyester flowy tank.
I will never forget the image of clubber teens gnawing on chicken wings in their lipstick and heels outside of the clubs. Or 3 skinny girls sharing a motorbike going to a club, gossiping and laughing as the rider tried to kick the starter again and again…