Thursday, December 24, 2009

before I go any further

On behalf of our family, I'd like to thank everyone who has helped us during our trial. Whether you've given us money or food or cards or emails or some other form of comfort, we thank you.

Yes, we even thank some of the creepy ajummas who have insisted on ignoring our repeated requests to call 24 hours in advance before visiting us-- some of whom have even tried barging into our house after knocking on our door, too impatient to wait for us to come to the door and answer. While such behavior has added to our stress, not lessened it, we understand that the intentions behind the behavior have been good. [NB: the majority of the ajummas who have visited us have been much more scrupulous, so I hope no one thinks I'm casting aspersions on all ajummas everywhere. In point of fact, most of the ajummas guilty of the behavior I'm talking about don't even bother to read this blog-- and not for lack of English skills.]

We've received a lot of love from all corners, including right here in New York. Our thanks go out to the New Yorkers who have offered us cheap alternatives to staying at our current digs. We haven't taken you up on your offers yet, mainly because we've already extended our stay to Saturday, and because the Helmsley Medical Tower sits right next to New York Presbyterian Hospital. Mom is just a quick walk away, and that fact is precious to us.

I wasn't there for it, but based on what I heard from Dad and my aunt, Mom had a great time at the Washington Korean Women's Society Christmas gala. It lifted her spirits to see so many friends, coming to her in wave after wave of love. Dad is the one who had felt that attending the party would be beneficial to Mom; I had been less optimistic. Hats off to Dad, then, for following his gut and allowing Mom to experience an evening overflowing with joy.

So many people have played a role in Mom's care, each person doing something special. Whether the gestures were gracefully performed or hopelessly gauche, we appreciate the love and concern motivating each and every person who has felt moved to do something for Mom and for the rest of our family.

To all of you I say: Thank You and Merry Christmas. We haven't done any of the things we'd have liked to do this year: set up our tree, decorate our home, prepare gifts and cakes and cookies, mail out a barrage of cards and letters, drive over to nearby friends' houses with gifts. This isn't the Christmas we imagined we'd be having-- even as recently as two weeks ago, we had thought we could manage some sort of quasi-Christmas-ish celebration, with Mom on her way to a temporary recovery thanks to the Avastin that would have been busily shrinking her tumors. But that was not to be. For that reason among others, we rely even more strongly on the kindness and goodwill of our circles of care during this, our sadly silent night.



Elisson said...

A Merry Christmas to you and your family, Kevin, although I know that the circumstances are difficult. Please know that your Mom is in my thoughts, and in my daily prayers as well for a speedy and complete recovery.

Perhaps knowing that there are people all over the planet who, despite having never even met her, are thinking of, and praying for, her is a source of comfort for your Mom. Whether it has any other effect, if it does provide that comfort, then it serves a mighty purpose.

Jelly said...

Merry Christmas. I'm thnking about you and your family all the time these days. I wish that you were all home having some sort of Christmas celebration. It must be so difficult that you're not. I don't know exactly how you feel, Kein, but I feel for you.
I wrote a comment that didn't go through on a post yesterday when I was over at my friend's house using her oven to bake some Christmas stuff. As I was measuring and sifting and all that I was thinking about you, and of how you've stayed back home, planning and preparing meals for your family. It's such a loving and gracious gesture on your part. I'm sure your meals were that much more delicious because of your intention in preparing them. It's sustinence with care.
I was thinking that if I were living nearby in New York I would cook for you guys staying at the hotel, something rib-sticky and comforting - like eggplant parmesean (I can do that one well) and I'd bring it over and hope you enjoyed it. So please imagine I've done that, because really, I don't know what to do. (Or say, really.) I wish there was something I could do to help.
I imagine life must seem somewhat surreal for you these days.
If there is any way I can help, please let me know. In the meantime, you're all in my thoughts over the holidays. This Christmas I wish for peace for you, my friend. xo