June 1 Eve, 2019

Two years ago today I weeded one of the back flowerbeds in the afternoon. My mother-in-law’s condition had taken a drastic turn for the worse. Her life in the balance–one foot in mortality, and the other beyond–weighed heavily on my mind. I thought of all the things I wanted to say to her. I knew we’d be heading down to visit her at home that evening. Thrusting the shovel into the soil and crying. Pulling weeds and crying. Standing in the middle of the flowerbed, feeling the most profound sadness.

We drove down. Nana lay in bed, writhing from pain. I said some of the things that crossed my mind earlier, not knowing if she was lucid. She seemed to have heard me and calmness swept over her.

We came back home. Got ready for bed.

Reilly got a call around 2am.

We drove back down.

Seven hours later she was gone.

We wouldn’t really sleep again that whole week.

We visited the cemetery last night with Reilly’s family. The entire grounds popped with bouquets on every gravesite. Memorial Day weekend.

As we pulled next to Reilly’s mom’s plot, Z said, “Hi, Nana.”

We all sat by Nana. Papa watered her bouquets, and we told stories. Z sang for us and kept us laughing.

There’s a lot of people to remember this weekend, but we’re always going to remember Nana first.

Thoughts on May’s Final Sunday, 2021

On May 20, President Biden signed a bill aimed to do the following, as reported by NPR:

Make the reporting of hate crimes more accessible at the local and state levels by boosting public outreach and ensuring reporting resources are available online in multiple languages.

It also directs the Department of Justice to designate a point person to expedite the review of hate crimes related to COVID-19 and authorizes grants to state and local governments to conduct crime-reduction programs to prevent and respond to hate crimes.

This is definitely a step forward. Will Asian hate crimes decrease along with falling COVID numbers? Are people going to stop hating others for their race? Probably not. I won’t get my hopes up. That’s not a constructive feeling, I know, but it crops up frequently. I try often to improve my behavior, which often coincides with feeling discouraged.

The end of May leads to the beginning of June. Which is complicated.

Rememorializing

This past week was Fleet Week here in the city. I make jokes about how attractive all the uniforms are, but I really do have a lot of respect for those serving our country.

I mean, I watched a very small parade in my part of town this afternoon. Navy and Army reserves, maybe? Followed by our very own MTA and NYPD playing bagpipes. And a high school marching band. A little one. And then some random citizens or community members waving little American flags. It was a good parade.

Now that the business of my birthday is out of the way, mostly, we can get down to serious matters. Like the National Spelling Bee! I’ve already started reading the bios on the spellers. 293 this year, the most they’ve ever had. Ghana and Germany and China and America Samoa and the trusty Canadian team. The Bee is gonna be(e) great.

So, in between looking for jobs, I’ll be tuning into the preliminary and semifinal rounds during the day Wednesday and Thursday on ESPN. Then Thursday evening = television screen + glue + my eyes.

Remember how I did those squats and lunges on Friday? And then I put 26 miles on my bike on Saturday? And remember how I didn’t mention how painful walking was this entire weekend? And remember how I didn’t describe riding past the aircraft carriers and feeling ever so proud to be an American?

I remember. I’ll always remember. Let’s always remember.