Category Archives: MEDICAL – FAMILY


I used to think I had to direct my kids in their every step.  That’s how I was raised.  I used to think I knew better than them, because I was the adult, right?  Your elders know, from experience, more than you can.  You can never catch up to them.  The devil doesn’t know so much because he is evil, or powerful, but simply because he is so dang old, as the saying goes.  Respect your elders!  And do as you are told, even if you think differently.  They know better, even about your life.

Anyway, my teenage son suddenly started telling me he wanted to go live with his father back home. Nothing wrong with his father, as a father.  He was a crappy husband, but that doesn’t make him too unique.  Sadly!  So I started off kind of like, what about your school, what about your sports, and friends?  And then I got suspicious, like, hmm, what is it?  Fess up!  You want to get away with stuff?  You want no supervision?  Oh no.  Oh no, son.  Not gonna happen.  You need your mamma!  You need mamma’s rules!

But my kid, he was like, no Mom, I just feel so strongly that I need to go live there, just for a year.  One school year.  Please, Mom.

Well, I prayed about it, because you know the other four kids get to live with their father all the time, right?  And the answer I received is, trust your son.  Trust his gut.  Trust in his destiny.  Let him go.  He will come back.

He did go, and he lived with his Dad and his Dad’s girlfriend-of-the-week club member, and of course she was mean to him.  She was horrible.  But as for my son, he really got to know his Dad.  They did a lot of stuff.  His Dad wasn’t all tired out like I am, from actually working full-time and taking care of five kids, right?  So he was just Mister Relaxed and Fun Guy.  And since he never paid the child support he owes me, of course they could do more fun things.   But my son called every weekend and he kept his nose clean.

A week after my son moved back, the last Girlfriend Club Member calls him on his cell phone – not me – and says, “Hey, your Dad just died of a heart attack.”  How is that for a nice way to tell a child he just lost his Dad?  But it was for real.  He just suddenly dropped dead.  He died.  He really died.  Just like that.

Of course it was a shock for my son.  Of course it was.  But he was like, Mom, thank God you let me go get to know him.  Thank God, Mom.

So I keep wondering, how did my son know?  How did he know?  What is inside of him that let him know to go get to know his Dad, that it was his last chance?  Intuition?  Whatever it is, it is lovely.

So anyway, about older people.  I am starting to think, yes we need to guide the little ones.  And the teens, especially, the poor things, as they are getting their feathers.  But it starts to look like we all have a piece of the truth.  We all have inner knowing.  Call it wisdom or intuition, but there it is. It’s not just from experience.  We are born knowing.

I don’t know what you think of my story, but for me, it makes me feel safer, like I don’t have to guide everything, like I can trust my kids.  I like that feeling.  Honestly, it was exhausting to try to guide their every step.  Now I am more like clapping from the sidelines.   I can finally see that each of my kids has their own race to run.  Actually, lots of them.  And I will not always be beside them, but their inner knowing will.  How lovely.


Yay!  Hurray!  See, Dad, I knew it!  I told you!  I knew it was going to be a baby sister!  Haha.  Didn’t I, Mom?  I told you both.  And she is whole.  She is complete.  The lady doing the test says she has all her parts.  Not like me.  Oh, thank God, Mommy!

Remember when you were talking to Auntie, and you didn’t know I could hear you?  You told her that every time they did this  same ultrasound on me, when I was the baby in your tummy, you found out about one more thing wrong with me.  My kidneys.  My heart.  My back.  Even my stomach.  And then when I was born you found out that I didn’t even have an anus so I couldn’t poop.  I had to have surgery right away.  And you said you were scared to go to the doctor, because it was all just bad news, about me.  It was so sad.  I am so sorry for you.

But now you get a girl, you see, Mommy.  And she has all her parts, they just said so.  Her heart is good.  Her kidneys are the same size.  Her back is straight.  She won’t need all those surgeries.  She won’t make you sad.  And you know what, Mommy?  I think my baby sister is gonna love me.  I think she’s gonna love me a lot.

I think she won’t be sad about me being sick.  I think she won’t cry about it like you did.  Because she will meet me just like I am.  She won’t be disappointed.  And then we can all be happy.  Because she will be used to me, just like I am.  You see?  Because she won’t have expected me to be different.  I know, I know you love me.  You and Daddy both love me.  But still.  My sister, she will just meet me as I am.  She won’t care about me being different.

That’s why I want to name her Beauty.  Because she will be so perfect and so beautiful.  Her hands won’t curl up like mine.  And she will be so lovely.  And you and Daddy will be so glad to have a normal child, a baby who doesn’t have to be at the hospital and worry you so much.  Won’t you?  I can’t wait for my baby sister to be born, Mommy.  I am going to love her so much.  And I feel sure, I feel sure, that Beauty will love me, too.  And we will be so happy!


My new man, he is a treasure.  A lot of men wouldn’t want someone with my history.  With such a weight of sadness.  Because I have a lot of bad memories, you see.  My ex, he used to beat me up.  Many times.  Not just once.  Many times.  You see my missing teeth?

My ex knocked them out, yeah, he did.  Because he started punching me in the face, at the end.  He choked me until I passed out.  He kicked me in the stomach.  That’s when I lost the baby.  That’s when I finally left, even though he said it would be the last thing I ever did.  I got to the point where I thought, okay, go ahead and kill me then.  This is hell already.  What could be worse?  I have nothing to live for.  I am done here.

But God had a plan for me to stay alive.  He guided me to this state, far from my ex.  He put it into my cousin’s heart to let me stay with her while I found a job in housekeeping.  And guess who He placed as our next-door-neighbor in our apartment?  My new man.  Yes, him.  God is great.  It took a long time, but what is time to God?  It is a split second for Him, ten years of my life.

So I moved out of state to my cousin’s and I started working right away.  And when I would come home and take my cousin’s kids out to play, he would be at the playground with his nephews.  Because even though he was over 40, he had never married, and never had kids.  Once I got to know him, he told me that he came here to work and help his siblings and parents, and by the time he was done with that, he thought he was too old to start his own family.  You see, he is the oldest, and they say the first-born is the third parent.  He figured God just wanted him to be a good brother, son and uncle, but never a father.  He had given up on having his own family to love.

But now he says God put me in his path, and I feel the same way.  Now I am giving him his first baby, and he is making me smile for the first time in years.  He told me, I love to see you smile.  And I told him, I don’t like to smile because I am ashamed of my missing teeth.  And he said, please, don’t feel that way.  You could not be more beautiful to me if you had huge white teeth, bigger than a beaver’s.  Because you smile with your eyes, and your heart.   Who knew that a man could say such kind things?

But, he told me, you know I work in construction, and I get decent pay.  So I am going to save up and buy you front teeth.  We can afford it.  You will never be more beautiful to me, he said.  But I don’t want you to have that reminder.  I want you to be able to smile freely.  So I am going to hand you some money every two weeks, and you put it aside, and we are going to buy you some teeth.  Because you deserve it, he said.

Do you see?  Do you see why I love him?  God put him in my path.  We have eight hundred dollars saved up so far.  I told him, we don’t have to spend it on my teeth.  Let’s use it for the baby.  I can just smile with my mouth closed.  I am used to it now.  But he said no, I want to see you grinning like a beaver with a mouth full of teeth.  Because you are going to have a lot to smile about.  You see?


Some people would say I am ignorant, because I come from the country, but one thing we did learn is to listen to our elders.  I spent my whole childhood with my grandpa, and he taught me a lot of things.  He taught me about women.  He said, look at your mother, how she struggles.  Look at your sisters and how sensitive they are, how kind.  How easily you can hurt their feelings with a word of discouragement.

He was always advising me.  I asked him once when were were out laying a fence, why did God create work?  And he told me idle hands are the devil’s workshop.  God gave us work so we wouldn’t sit around thinking about bad things to do, and making mischief.  Human are weak and we can easily end up with bad lives, be unhappy and hurt others.  Look at the rich, he told me.  They don’t have enough work, and you can see how they turn out.  You work honorably, he told me.  You go to bed tired.  You sleep well.  And this is a gift from God.

So I worked.  I knew how to work honorably.  But I didn’t dare to look for a sweetheart.  I worried a lot about it.  What if through my words and deeds I led a woman to believe that I would walk beside her all my days?  And then what if I let her down and hurt her, like my Dad left my Mom?  It was too much pressure for me.  I couldn’t be sure of having strong enough feelings, of not misleading someone.  Would the feelings endure?  How could I be sure?

So instead of marrying someone in my village, like the others did, I came to the US to work.  I lived with a bunch of other guys and sent money home to my sisters and brothers.  And of course to my Mom and grandpa.  And the years went by and soon I had more people to help, nieces and nephews.  And I just kept working.  I decided not to have my own family.   I would never get married.  Never have kids.

Then God put this woman in my path, and my heart went out to her.  Only He knows why.  And somehow after all that doubt, I just knew.  I felt the power and strength of my protective love for her, stronger than the muscles on my back, and more enduring.  And with God’s help, I can take care of her like she deserves.  I know I will do my very best to deserve her, and deserve this happiness.

And now we are having a baby, years after I last even dreamed of such a thing.  But as my grandpa used to say, “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”  I hope He is laughing now.  I like to think of God being joyful, like He has made me.  And if my grandpa is watching us from heaven, I think he is happy, too.  I finally have a family of my own to love and to work for.  I am so blessed.



A Dad’s always a Dad.  You know what I mean?  He is always putting us first.  Always thinking of us and worrying about if we are okay.

True story:

Dad had to have open heart surgery.  It was going to take seven hours.  We were all sitting around with him waiting for the point where they take him in to surgery and they don’t let us come with.  And we kept having to take turns, two at a time, and we were all praying and some of us were crying.  It was really scary.  I mean, a seven hour, open heart surgery.  Sorry I am choking up.  Dad calls me Crybaby.  Don’t you, Dad?  So, let me finish.

So Dad just keeps comforting us, when he is the one going under the knife.  Dad just keeps comforting us.  He’s like, hey, did you find parking okay?  Who’s taking your dog for a walk?  Did your boss say it was okay to just sit around here?  Shouldn’t you go to work?  Why don’t you go eat anything?  You don’t need to be fasting just because I am fasting – you’re not having surgery!  Leave me here and why don’t you all go get something to eat?  Don’t go hungry!  Food is a blessing!  And on and on.

So finally they get him back to do the surgery and we are all just sick with worry.  Just sick!  We can’t do anything without Dad – ever since Mom has gone.  He has been mother and father for years now.  The surgery day lasts a lifetime and we remember every good time and every bad time and every tough time and every fun time we ever had.  And we laugh and I cry and my siblings laugh more and call me Crybaby.

Then they finally let us take turns going back to Intensive Care and we flip a coin for which two of us get to go first.  And the nurses cannot wake Dad up.  They are calling to him, calling his name, and shaking him a little.  We are standing to the side, watching this, wondering if our Dad isn’t going to make it after all.  It is the worst moment of our lives since we lost our Mom.  And we call his name, and finally, he half-opens one eye, and he sees two of his kids, and he is alive!  And he is going to live!  And of course I am crying.

And he says, “So, did you guys get something to eat?”

That’s what I mean.  A Dad’s a Dad.  They’re just always a Dad.