June 13, 2015

Passing away

A few days ago, my grandmother passed away.

For the past few years, her health has been a challenge for her to keep stable. With diabetes, kidney failure, heart failure and everything else she had going on, everyday she had to take a lot of medication just to function.

The past few months though have been the worst. With her most recent trip to the hospital, my family knew her time was close. I tried to spend as much time with her as possible, since I've been back. I visited her almost every day at the nursing home, and made an effort to visit her everyday at the hospital.

And then it happened. A  few days ago, the nurse called us and said her heart rate was dropping significantly. We rushed to the hospital and waited. It wasn't long until her heart rate dropped to 30. "Do you want me to turn off the machine? Because it's going to keep going down.. I would say she only has 5 minutes left." The nurse, informed us of our options and the reality of the situation.

My mom is fumbling around with her phone, calling her brother and other relatives to let them know of my grandmother's current state. I'm just standing there, in disbelief, "There's no way she's going to pass away now. She's strong. She's a survivor. She's my grandmother." These thoughts were running through my mind so fast. I was kind of in a panic.

Let's rewind back to last year.

Last year, I had 2 deaths in my family with people I was  really close to. Actually, scratch that, last year was a sad year.. a lot of people died. I keep forgetting that it was not just my uncle and grandfather that passed. My uncle's 2nd wife also passed away from cancer. My dad's friend, who I was really close with, also passed away due to cancer. So 4 people passed away in a span of 1 year. I have been to 2 funerals, and one more is right around the corner.

How do I feel about death?

I feel death is a necessary part of life. There is life and there is death. Depending on the person's situation and how they pass, sometimes it makes me sad.. sometimes I'm a little nonchalant about it.

When my uncle passed away last year, unexpectedly, I was upset. I cried almost everyday leading up to his funeral.. and it was like, on and off crying. I'm a terrible person for saying this but, for the last few years before he passed away we did not have a good relationship. I always thought my uncle was a very selfish and thoughtless person. He never cared about his parents or family, he only cared about himself. My family and I cut off our ties with him, a few months before he passed away. And even though he was not the best uncle in the world, at the end of the day he was still my uncle. My blood. So when I found out he had passed away, I was devastated. This is when I truly learned and understood why people always told me to not hold grudges. They are a waste of time and energy and ultimately pointless. I cried every single day leading up to his funeral, because I had this guilt inside of me. I had cut off all ties from him for months, and he lived alone.. he must have been going through a depressing time in his life.. he must have been lonely. We were his only true family in Texas. His passing taught me a lesson.

A few weeks after my uncle passed away, my grandfather also passed. This was a bittersweet passing because my grandfather had suffered dementia. He had become violent towards the family, had terrible hallucinations.. and a lot of the times was a danger towards others. My grandfather lived a long and happy life. He had children with my grandmother and even grandchildren. He lived a comfortable life before escaping communism, and was still comfortable after coming to America. My grandfather was one of my most favorite people growing up because he always showed me around LA/China Town whenever I came to visit. And he always treated me well. In return, I helped him quit smoking and always kept in touch with him. Him and my grandmother moved to Dallas so we could help take care of them, when I got into high school. I had to return my grandfather's good deed of taking good care of me younger, and I took care of him when I learned how to drive and throughout college. When he passed away, I was sad yet relieved. He was going to be able to live a painlessly without hallucinations in heaven. I did not cry when I found out, but I cried when I saw him get cremated.

My grandfather's death taught me that, sometimes it's better to have a someone pass on if they're suffering.

Now, my grandmother's death.. I feel okay about sometimes. Sometimes I feel as though as I am on the brink of tears, but nothing comes out. A friend told me it might be because I'm in shock. Hopefully that is the case. My grandmother was in a lot of pain, the last week of her life. She had been sedated and hooked up to a breathing machine for a few days. The doctor took her off of the breathing machine and sedation.. but she was in so much pain she screamed. I remember the last day that I came to visit her with my mom, we walked into the room to say hi.. but didn't want to wake her up. Every time we had woken up my grandmother, she complained and cried about the ivs and restraints. :( Then, that same day we came rushing back because her heart rate went down.. and she passed. Right after the nurse had said my grandmother only had 5 minutes left, she passed away. I barely had time to gather my thoughts and prepare for it. I guess I should have prepared days, weeks, even months before.

Ba ngoai, I hope you passed on peacefully. You were the best grandmother I ever knew, and I love you with all of my heart. I will never forget the stories you told me and all of the selfless things you did for me and Jennifer.

The lesson I learned from all of these experiences is, life is short. As cliche and repetitive as it sounds, we need to appreciate what we have and learn how to forgive.

April 14, 2015

I'm back!

It's been 4 months, since I've posted something.

But let's be real, it's been awhile since something inspirational hit me.

Inspiration visited yesterday.

I'm a huge advocate for, surround yourself around positive people.

Positive people and their positive ways really help uplift your mood, attitude, and overall self. Why would you not want that?

Unless you are an anti social, anti lover, anti .. I don't know.. just anti anything, I feel like everyone yearns to be around more positivity. (according to spell check, positivity is not a word.)

So the past few months, I've been in a slump.

  • My move to California was very stressful because it was at a time when my uncle and grandfather passed away 
  • The work situation was not as picture perfect as I had hoped it would be 
  • Relationship with Tiger was not moving as picture perfect as I had hoped 
Basically, a lot of things came crashing down and I was very unhappy. I should reiterate, this all happened in the span of .. a year. So scratch "the past few months" it was more like, "the first few months moving to California." 

Did you know, it has almost been a full year since I've moved here?! It's crazy how time flies by so quickly.

My line of work is pretty difficult. And now I know some people would scoff and say, "Yeah right! How difficult can it be to go out and talk to people? Anyone can do that!"

True, anyone can do my job. Honestly, anyone can do anyone's job if they put their minds to it. A cashier can do what I do. But a cashier can also become a doctor.. they have the opportunity to run for president if they want. Anyone can do whatever they want, so why don't they?

Work. Persistence. Dedication.

These 3 things really define how successful anyone will be at any job. And let's be honest, not everyone has that drive and motivation.

Honestly, I thought I had what it took at first and went into this job head on. Like, "Hey guys this is what I do. I am so proud! Let me work with you." I was so young, naive and immature.

After 3 months, I hit my first roadblock. My roadblock was myself questioning my abilities and how strong of a person I was. Sure I can find an easier job, sitting in front of a computer at a desk, doing the same things every single day. But what fun is that? What impact would I have in other people's lives? And what satisfaction would I feel at the end of the day? Honestly? None.

I may be a rookie at my line of work but when I have clients telling me how much more they're at ease after talking and doing work with me, I feel so good inside. Don't get me wrong, this job is not exactly a selfless job. I do it in order to feel a sense of gratitude and satisfaction. But I also do it because when my uncle passed away I saw how much my parents struggled to get his things in order. My uncle did not have anything in place for his passing, and most people in America don't.

Most people don't want to think about the day they pass. They don't want to think about how their families will be affected if anything were to happen to them. That's the norm. "Tomorrow, we'll do something. Let's just live today to the fullest."

How can you live today to the fullest when you have nothing planned out? Tomorrow? There's always going to be a tomorrow. But today, if something were to happen today because you decided to live to the fullest... what would happen to your family?

People don't think about it until something happens to them in their own lives.. like a close friend passes away or they have a close call to death.. or they get diagnosed with some sort of terminal illness. Most of the times, it's too late then. But people don't think about that. They're too busy thinking about the now.

My ramblings lol

Anyways 6 months in, I hit another roadblock: the lack of support from my family in Dallas.

My parents have always wanted me to become a business owner of some sort preferably in the medical field. That obviously entails becoming a doctor of some sort. All of my cousins are doctors or pharmacists.. or.. doctors. We have 1 lawyer in the family, but he's not even pursuing that. So.

I tell my parents over and over again, "This career will open many doors and possibilities for me. Yes, it's hard now but the hard work will pay off. I will be happy in the long run."

Now we're here. It's still taking a long time. But I still stand by what I said, "it's hard now.. but I will be happy in the long run."

But I'm excited because I now have better resources, a stronger leader, and my outlook on this is much more positive. :)

So I'm back! I feel like I've risen from the grave.. haha a whole new energy is filling my veins.

Hope everyone is well. :) Doubt anyone really reads this anymore. haha

Love,
Stephanie