Tuesday, June 3, 2008

For Ada

Some choices will chose you, how you face these choices,
these turns in the road, with what kind of attitude more than
the choices themselves, is what will define the context of your life
Dana Reeve

I have saved this quote since I first read it. At the time I was thinking of my sons and the choices that they would be making concerning their futures. When I ran across it the other day I realized that my life... all fifty-six years of it still had a lot of choices left to make and that being a part of your recovery and having your mother's friendship is a choice and a road I am honored to be traveling on.

In a few hours your mother will be arriving home. Selfishly, I can't wait to see her and in the coming days hear all about this very special journey she has taken. I'm sure tears will come when I see her with you. Ada, you have waited very patiently for her return and while I know you missed her, I also know that you wanted her to go. You were willing to put up with your "blonde mom" until she returned to shower you with hugs and kisses from all her friends and your family in Thailand. She is your strength and grace. Yes, grace because even in your most quietest of ways you bring out the best in people. I think most people know that you and your mother are very close but I wonder if even she realizes how much of a reflection you really are of her. A few days ago I got an e-mail from an old family friend. I would like to pass along this description...a petite girl who stood out, striking with her sheer beauty and brightest sweetest smiles. She wore her hair long and straight. As a friend she was warm and caring, as a student she was intelligent and hard working, there was much determination in her face. Ada, do you recognize yourself...Ting was describing your mother... her friend of thirty-three years.

These days being with you have passed quickly... most people would think it's very hard to be living in a nursing home but they haven't had the privilege like I have to take care of you. In the first few days I felt a little like an intruder in your mother's chair. I missed seeing her making jewelry, sleeping, and taking care of you. I know you missed her too...but after a few days we both settled into a routine. Little did we know so many of our days would be in surgery rooms (three of them), hospitals and doctor offices...but out of all that you made progress on your muscles and bones and showed people not to give up on you. Friends worried about me but it's you who had all the hard stuff done to them...I was just along for the ride.

Things that I will treasure the most...watching your favorite childhood movie Alice In Wonderland though when I look over at you I think of Sleeping Beauty. The Ipod given to you as a gift that plays beautiful Thai and classical music...the sounds bring such peace to your room. The bargain we made to each other that only moms and daughters would understand...I kept my end of the bargain I'll be waiting for you to keep your part of it. Both of us being awakened by thunderstorms and saying goodnight to you with a kiss from your mom. You, finally turning your head to the center instead of the right. Becoming friends with your friends some of them seeing me as a "mom". Getting to know your brothers a little better and seeing how happy your Dad is when he brings a new bouquet of roses to his little girl.

Ada, how do I begin to express what all of this means to me...when I first came to the hospital and gave your Mom a hug, I told her there were no words that I could say to her that would give any comfort except that I was here to do whatever she needed. In a way it is the same now... what I feel for you cannot be put into words just know that I am here.
I knew the first time I met you that you were special and that you might become a very important part of our lives...karma has a way of bringing lives together when they least expect it... doesn't it.

Ada this part is for your Mom...Ponsawan I know this has been a wonderful journey to your homeland. It has given you a chance to relax, laugh, eat good food and be with the people who know you best. Every time I heard your voice I could "hear" the smiles on your face. To leave Ada took such an act of bravery and faith. It is the faith you had in me that humbles me ...I'm someone who up until twelve weeks ago you hardly knew and here you were leaving me to care for your daughter and essentially be a part of your family's life. I am humbled by the experience. Thank you for giving me this trust and having faith in me. I hope in the future when you need to get away you will know I am here ...we are a family in every sense of the word.

I have stopped asking in my prayers...why, because there is no answer or reason for this to have happened. But I do believe I was brought to the hospital to be a part of your life and the friendship your mother and I formed. A friendship that I get more out of than I give. I will continue with you on this road for as long as it takes. You have my heart.

Love and Hugs,
Ardis

3 comments:

A long family friend said...

The fact that you have come to be a crucial part of Ada's recovery, her family and now my life, is not accidental. I believe you have been chosen. That life of everyone who's involved has been changed is not a chance. I believe it has been mapped. All this is for the better in each of us.

I feel your sadness as you are handing back your duty of care to Ponsawan, leaving the role that you have given your whole heart to. But the fact is, Ada and Ponsawan always need you. So do I and your new extended family.

I hope you enjoy a break you well deserve, and please stay with us when you return.

With love and gratitude

Nesiejean said...

Ardis,

Express your thoughts and feelings so beautifully! What a treasure these blog posts will be for Ada to keep and hold dear.

Have you ever considered writing a book ... or have you already?

Ada and her family are very fortunate to have you and your family for support.

Nesie

CU 1835024 said...

Ardis,

I love your every word, every thought and your strong faith in God and his love.

It was an awkward goodbye hug Ponsawan and I shared at the JFK AirTran station Thursday 6/5 at 1pm. Ponsawan seemed preoccupied since we left Hong Kong; I realized she has returned to Ada's room completely in her mind then.

The return trip was much harder on Ponsawan. The plane was very bumpy and she had little sleep despite her attempt to relax. I felt bad knowing that she still had another 6 hours to travel by the time I was back home in Raleigh at 6 pm. She is such a fighter; never a complaint from her lips and never a "poor-me" attitude.

Thank you Ardis and Ada for bringing smiles to her face during Ponsawan's everyday ritual call home. I often wonder what is it like to have a daughter; through you I have experienced the most beautiful mother-dauhter relationship anyone can have.

Thanks Ting for always being by our side. Physical distance is a non-issue when comes to Tings' love. All the phone calls she made, the immediate supporting posts, and the promises she always keep.

You all have made this world a better place for us. I adore you completely.

Love,
Yui