I received a phone call from my father a few days ago at 8 in the morning. My parents usually assume I don’t get out of bed until the sun has been blazing for a few hours so my response to that phone call was a simple text “8am?”
Second call a minute later got me out of bed.
Turns out he was at the airport about to hop onto a plane for China. My father’s family was getting ready to say goodbye to my grandfather.
My grandfather’s been in the hospital for awhile now. My grandmother had passed away my freshmen year of college and since then (unrelated?) my grandfather has been doing pretty poorly. He used to be an extremely smart man. He was the one that essentially taught me how to play chess, beating me at every game even after his fingers could no long hold onto the pieces because of his arthritis. He was the one that gave me an endless supply of books to read during my visits. He also loved to just sit and talk. He spoke english very well despite the fact that he basically spent the majority of his life in China. He grow up in the fields, far from the city. He was the family member that I used to write letters to and he’d read it to all my uncles and aunts. He was also a jokester. He laughed a lot and would love to tell silly stories about the family. A typical old man who really loved all the simple things in life.
During my last visit to China, about two years ago, it was a very different man sitting there. Still in the same wicker chair he’s had for decades, he looked a lot smaller, and weaker. We didn’t really speak during that visit. I just sat with him as we watched TV together.
He couldn’t move without help. Couldn’t do the simplest tasks. A lot of times his responses to conversations didn’t really make sense. He also started to see things that weren’t really there. He couldn’t be left alone. I think he knew I was there in the room, he just didn’t react much.
That was two years ago. Since then, he’s been moved to a hospital with an endless amount of doctors. Most of us were a bit surprised that it’s even been this long. My father’s been back to visit a few times, probably knowing that one of those visits would be the last. I don’t know how he does it. I wonder what was going on in his head as he boarded that plane a few days ago. I was afraid to ask but how do you go see someone knowing that that is your last?
My father is an incredibly selfless man who is always thinking about his family and friends. My heart is breaking for him as he has to deal with a death of another family member. Before my grandmother was my father’s sister, and that devastated him. I hope he finds peace back at his home, with the rest of the family.
This post became far longer than I expected. Not even sure why I decided to write about it. Feels good though.
I am currently sitting in the middle of an architecturally stifling (but beautiful) building on a Thursday morning listening to Regina Spektor (On the Radio). I am supposed to be doing some studying but instead I’m on Tumblr (of course). Coffee in hand, a yummy lemon raspberry tart, grey skies…perfect thinking moment.
What’s on my mind today?
It’s amazing the moments that someone chooses to open up about themselves. Maybe not completely but to tell you a small story, and instance that’s been on their mind. It’s a small glimpse of what occupies them, what worries them, what ‘s been on their mind that they want to let go. I forget that everyone is just as vulnerable on the inside, even if they never let it show…often.
I wish I could open up more. It’s been a problem for me…always. I used to think it was a good trait - to be able to hide emotions, to keep my thoughts a secret. That way, I can always control what I say and the situations I’m in. And to be honest, I’m just shit scared of opening up and putting myself out there.
But my inability to speak my feelings have cost me. Distance between me and my parents, lost friendships, lost loves, and self doubt.
I am lucky however, to have people in my life that have known me for a long time. Who have cracked my internal shell and have gotten glimpses of my vulnerability to know they can push me.
Now that I’ve rambled for far too long…funny that it’s even hard for me to click on “post”. It isn’t lost on me that I am putting myself out there now to the vast world of the internet…
“Apologizes are pointless, regrets come too late. What matters is you can move on, you can grow.”—I know there isn’t that one word or one action that can fix it today. But I hope that all together down the road, it will.
It’s been awhile since I did a life update I feel and an urge to do one in the middle of the night seems pretty normal for me.
In a few hours I will be boarding an airplane to fly back to St. Louis to begin a week of sorority recruitment - or rush as most of you may know it. As a senior, this will be my last one. This is a week much like Greek life itself: you don’t understand it until you’re in it and when you are in it, you don’t know how to explain it.
It is impossible to fully understand why one would put so much time and energy on making sure there are enough flowers ordered, that a shirt is the right color, or fussing over the exact time needed to walk from one room to another (yes, this is taken into account). It is hard to explain the excitement, the nervousness, the absolute chaos that ensues once recruitment starts. I mean, hundreds of girls all together is rough to begin with. Add in the pressure of finding that “right” girl or group of girls and it amazes me that it works out in the end. But it does. Somehow it really does. No, not everyone finds a place and yes sometimes it seems like it is a lot of trouble but as a sorority girl myself, I have come to know that it is about the legacy you want to leave behind. It may not really matter how loud we sing or how perfect a centerpiece is. But it is important that we find the girls we want our chapter to be left with when we leave. We want to create an experience for these new girls, the kind of experience that has us working so hard for this ridiculous week.
So despite the fact that I am pulling my hair out worrying over recruitment and frantic in getting everything together, I am really excited to meet the girls that I may be able to call sisters. I won’t be around long enough to really get to know them the way I would like but we work so hard for this one week to get them, so how can I not love them?