Monday, July 27, 2015

Countdown on the Calendar.

Hi kids! So, its July, and she has nearly come to the end. I've noticed that lately, I'm tending to personify everything as Female. I'm not quite sure why suddenly, everything has a "gender". I was perfectly comfortable with the neutral "it", and no pronouns, but maybe my constant "feminizing" of all things gender-less, is some not-so-subtle psychological wish to bring the "feminine" back. As in, my beloved Mom. I guess we tend to anthropomorphize our dogs, our companion animals, and I know I do that: endowing our sweet German Shepherds with all kinds of human traits like kindness, generosity, empathy(I suspect the last quality named, is the only absolute in evidentiary terms). Perhaps I am "mom-izing" all things important to me. The calendar, for example. I am headed towards two dates that are so painful to anticipate, that I won't even LOOK at a calendar. Which of course, makes her (the calendar) even more urgently important to me. September 14th of last year, we lost kind, old "Appa K."--Mr. Ho Chang "Big Henry" (he was about 5'3")Kwon, to prostate and bladder cancer. Sort of. He actually perished as a result of pneumonia. And then, exactly four Sundays later, we lost my beloved Mom to (Never-Smoker)Stage 4 Non-Small-Cell-Lung-to-Brain Cancer. So we are inching towards autumn, and all that we lost. All that we still miss. The doors in my house are left slightly open these days, and these solid "girls"- with their white paint, squeaky-hinged, aching for visitors, are waiting for someone to push them back, enter their terrace-level rooms with remnants of Appa K.--his tweed suits, and on the third floor, bits of my Mom--her ankle-weights that were never used, except to steady the walker she so needed, for so many months. Until near the end, when even standing was something she could not do; even sitting up, impossible. And holding her head up? Eventually, that was a faraway dream. Holding one's head up, even as these doors to bedrooms, hold themselves open, revealing only a glimpse of what our loved ones left behind, and reminding us, like women with whispered secrets, that they can be fully opened, or closed, but left ajar, they conjure shadows for me. I'm imagining Mom in the next room, watching the daytime tv she was reduced to enjoying, a quiet request for melon, or ice cream, "Lisa, is there ice cream?" and I picture "Appa K." milling about, asking for a ride to the doctor, and then complaining that the doctors don't know anything. I hear him tell me a thousand times "Thank you; you are a good daughter. I am proud of you." And I carry the ice cream upstairs to Mom, and Hansoo carries his Dad to the doctors, and then I open the door more fully, just now, and no one is there, except Mom's pretty sweaters, fluffy and vanilla colored, they are pretty girls, curled up, as bereft as I am. If they could pray for a wearer, they would. Perhaps they feel as useless as I do. Peace, kids.

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