Well, hello there.
This is the longest blog/social media break I’ve ever taken. I honestly wanted to provide updates (see last post if you don’t already know that I flew home on family emergency), but each time I thought about it, the activity of writing seemed like a huge tiresome chore I wasn’t up to tackling. And I deeply apologize for leaving comments unanswered – the first time ever I allowed that to happen! – but I read each one and I cannot express how grateful I am for everyone who prayed and sent positive thoughts our way.
Looks like our prayers have been answered! After three weeks in an induced coma, my sister woke up and I’m happy to report that she is well on her way to recovery! Everyday, we are just amazed at the progress she’s making. She’s now at a rehab center where she’s working on regaining strength. Full recovery will still take a while, but we now see the pot of gold at the end of this scary, treacherous road.
And so, with newly lifted spirits, I, for the first time in weeks, feel the desire to write again. I logged on into WordPress, successfully averted glancing at my stats (which I’m sure are dismal by now), and am finally sitting with my fingers to the keys after weeks. It’s a daunting task to try to explain all the happenings over the past month, so I thought I would make my re-entry into Blogland with A Day in the Life, to give you an idea of what life has been like.
Since my return to SoCal, due to a need to be close to public transportation lines and the fact that my father and I had yet to reconcile, I’ve relied on the generosity of my friends to provide me with temporary homes. Claire’s apartment provided me with a sofa and endless hours of girl-talk, while O & NT’s hillside house was a step-up in the accommodations department with my own room and luxurious air conditioning. I’ve been at WL’s house for the longest, where I get a massage bed in a curtained off area of the living room, but also the company of an adorable corgi and homecooked breakfast every morning by her mom.
With the hot California sun streaming in through the windows, I stir awake on my own. When my eyes flutter open, the first thing I do is reach for my phone. While I’m sleeping, D is halfway around the world exploring Italy, and he usually sends me messages and pictures of what he’s been up to that day. I love waking up to them.
When I’m ready to get out of bed, the first activity is always taking Kobe on a long walk around the neighborhood with WL. (Fun fact: I met WL at my old job, and she too has since quit and now works from home). This is seriously the best way to start a day! The walk takes us through a tranquil nursery.
When we get back home, we find her mom up and preparing breakfast. At WL’s house, we really start the day off right! Usually, breakfast is a bowl of Chinese porridge with some veggie side dishes. Today, her mom and a family friend are making green onion pancakes – my favorite! – from scratch. I watch and learn. It’s a shame that I know so little about making my favorite Chinese dishes.
After breakfast, I usually settle down to do some work. In the past few weeks, in between daily hospital visits, I have felt like I had no energy leftover for activities requiring heavy brainpower (like blogging). But the repetitive motions of work feel like a reprieve from the darkness we’ve been living in.
In the early afternoon, I go to the bus station. The weeks my sister was in the hospital, my parents and I adopted a shift approach. They visited her in the morning and I went in the early afternoon, relieving them of their shift. Now that she’s in rehab, we alternate days as the center is located quite far. Today is my day to visit.
I take three busses to get to the rehab center. It sounds long and tedious, but I actually enjoy my time on the bus (aside from waiting for them). It’s my time to just relax and sit back and let someone else take the wheel (ok bad pun, I know). Usually, I listen to audiobooks on the long ride. I’ve gone through quite a few book already. Currently, I’m really enjoying “Forget me Knot”… super cheesy title but it’s actually a cute cozy mystery (and weirdly, it really makes me want to take up quilting, as in, I’ve actually googled quilting patterns… yes, I’m like 80).
One of the transfer stations is smack in the middle of Old Town Pasadena, an old frequented hang-out spot. The day is blistering hot (I’m sure anyone from SoCal can attest to that!), so I walk over to 21 Choices, a local favorite, to grab a frozen yogurt, but I balk when I see that the price for a small cup is now $6.50! Ridiculous! I walk straight out, empty handed.
Instead, I go to the cheaper Yogurtland to get my frozen treat.
I arrive at the rehab center right when my sister gets out from her last therapy session of the day. Hospital life is depressing and lonely, and getting visitors is the only thing that keeps her positive, so I’m happy to make the journey there to keep her company.
I’m glad I’ve had so much time to re-bond with my sister. When she first woke up, she couldn’t talk due to having had a tracheotomy performed. We spent days communicating by reading lips. Now she can talk again and we spend the hours chatting, painting our nails, reading trashy magazines, and other girliness.
My sister accumulated a lot of gifts during her month+ in the hospital, among which are a couple of coloring books. Often, I sit by her bed and color while we chat. It’s therapeutic. Apparently, I’m like a 6 year old and an 80 year old at the same time.
Later, when I start to get hungry again, I step out to grab some food. I go across the street to… In N Out! I’ve been back in Los Angeles for a month already and I seriously cannot believe that I haven’t visited this greatest hamburger joint in the nation, til this week. Now, I look forward to a burger every time I visit the hospital. Needless to say, I scarf it down!
In the evening, I get on the bus to back to WL’s house. Since it is Los Angeles, sometimes you get some really interesting characters on the bus. Usually, I keep to myself, but today, a guy strikes up a conversation.
“Do you live around here? I’ve never seen you before.”
“Actually I don’t. I’m just visiting for a bit.”
“Where were you coming from on the bus?”
“The Glendale Hospital. I was visiting my sister.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Don’t be. She’s doing really really well,” I can finally say with a smile.