Friday, June 20, 2008

Some day you will find, the Rainbow Connection

Yesterday, Mr. Ed Staubach, Ada' favorite Music teacher from Pike High School, brought a group of kids from New Augusta Public Academy to play some music for Ada and the residents of American Village. Ada enjoyed the music very much. She used to play violin and piano. The last song that they played was "Rainbow Connection", it was also the last song that Ada played with him in High School. It is also our favorite song that we used to sing along with Kermit, the frog. The song brought tears to my eyes and still does.
For all Ada's friends, I think it is time you guys come back to Ada's life. Please come back and make the connections, help her make the rainbow connection back to world, our world, her world. She is very alert and be able to recognize familiar faces and voices. A short visit will be fine, 5-10 min. for the most. You can come visit her, introduce yourself and tell her some fun things that you and Ada used to do together in the old day. Bring some old pictures with you and Ada.
Weekend is less busy for her. She will be on the chair from 10 to 12, then again from 2-4. We usually take her outside on the nice sunny day. We will stay inside at the sunroom on the groomy day.
Please come by, I also miss all of you. You guys are a big part of Ada's life before and will be in the future. Call me if you have any questions. (317)640-7096

Monday, June 16, 2008

Picking up the pieces

I used to spend hours on the beach, looking for the shells. Most of them are broken but, once in a while, I get a perfect shell to add to my collection. Our lives had been shattered into pieces 15 weeks ago, but, like all those broken shells that had been washed ashore, we get a second chance to put our lives back together, and, I am beginning to pick up all those pieces. Just like to jig-saw puzzle with missing pieces,our lives will be never the same but we cannot just give up.
Sure, we want Ada to learn all the skill needed to put her in rehab, so she can learn how to use her body, her arms and legs. May be she can walk, talk and eat, etc. and perform a normal function. We can teach a robot to do that. As a mother, if she can't walk, I'll pick her up, or if she cannot put food in her mouth, I'll feed her.
What about her soul, her spirit, her mind? Will she learn to love again? Will she be able to live outside this 4 wall that we put her in. Everyday, we put her in the chair so she can learn to sit up straight, but, for me, it is a chance for her to get out of her room and meet other people. Sitting in the sunroom, she is practicing her social skill. Many peole stop by and say hello to her. On the sunny day, I get her outside so she can breath fresh air, feel the warm of the sun, feel the wind blowing through her face, touching the leaves from the tree, smell the flowers and the fresh cut grass. Forgive me if it seems like I haven't been working hard enough with her so she can follow the command.
Before I enter her room, I stop for a few second, leaving my worries and my sadness at the door. I want her to feel my happiness, my love. She can feel it and hopefully, she will learn to love again.
Thanks all my friends and family who, along the way, help me pick up all the pieces. Someday, all the pieces will come together. It will be a long journey, but the one I dare to dream.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Learning to let go

This past week, we had been working hard with Ada. Not only she is now able to grab the object that we put in front of her, but she also learn to let it go. And it is because she has to reach her hand out 2-3 times for the object before she can grab it, we think she might have problem with her vision, may be she is seeing double. I have a bucket full of things like my thread spool, the yellow rubber duckie, etc. , things in different shapes and texture. Last Saturday she was sitting outside with daddy. He clean her face and put the pink towel on her lap. She looked at it for a while and then grab and lift it up in the air. She looks happy. Since then she is able to focus on the task and really work on this new thing she can do. We call it "play time"
In order for her to qualify for the Rehabilitation center, she has to be able to take some command. We have a lady from RHI stopped by to see Ada. She gave us a guideline of how we can help Ada to regain her cognitive function. Very interesting and this is the first time we get a specific information of how we can help her.
This week is the Ambulance free week. Ada looks more peaceful and happy. I took the bumper out from the side of the bed and curl up beside her, gave her a hug and kiss her, just like I used to do.
I know I will not be able to have my "Old Ada" back, but I still have my daughter with me. No matter who she would become, I will love her as much as I love "Old Ada". I am no longer angry for what had happened, instead, I am trying to focus on how lucky I am that she is still here with me. No matter how much I want to strangle Dr. Jude for not looking at her c-scan 3 weeks after it was taken and Dr. Weber who has mess up her broken ankle that she is, still, wearing cast on her foot 15 weeks after the accident, I will forgive them.
I am learning to let go.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Ponsawan

Tuesday, June 10th. is Ponsawans' birthday. I won't tell you how old she will be because as most of you know already she is very young at heart. I have a couple of plans worked out for her to celebrate her day one involves being outside...if the weather doesn't cooperate we will go to plan B. and still get to plan A another day. I hope all who reads this will leave birthday messages for her... she enjoys reading all your comments. If you have a favorite memory pass it will keep that "old" brain of hers active remembering right along with you.


P.S. Ada is having a very restful day!

Friday, June 6, 2008

A trip of a life time

Yui, my college friend, and I took a trip home together. We had planned this since last year. We just want to visit our family and go to the 75th Anniversary Celebration of College of Architecture, Chlalongkorn University. Then Nithi invited us to visit him in Phuket. With Ada's accident, at first I was about to cancel the trip but then my father passed away, so the trip back to the funeral was a must. Without Ardis, I won't be able to make this trip.

I was glad that Yui was with me. She comforted me through the whole trip making sure I was Ok. At Phuket, Nithi had arranged to have 8 more friends joined us at the private resort. We had a great time, eating, sleeping, talking and laughing. As promised, Nithi gave us a front row seat at the beach to watch the sunset. I picked up some pretty shells on the beach, just like I always did when I was a little kid.

Today I received an e-mail from Nithi and his beautiful wife. Another promise that we will bring Ada with us on the next trip to Phuket.

Back in bangkok, I had many more dinner with friends who had heard about Ada and wanted to help in any way they could. I was overwhelmed by all the support and love I got from all my friends who, some of them, I haven't seen for 25 years. Friends are always friends, forever.
The funeral was beautiful. My brother took care of everything. We had a traditional Thai dance performed during the ceremony. It was an honor for my brother and I that the King of Thailand had given a permission to place my dad's body in a special coffin. It was the higest honor any common could have received. He also given us a Royal fire to start the cremation. The next morning , we gathered the ash and took it to the SeChung island where we spread my dad's ash into the sea. The same place we did with my mom's ash. They finally are together again. You can see in the picture, my nephew had become a monk in honor of his grandpa. Tao is getting married on June 21st. I felt bad that he won't have time to grow back his hair, but he looks handsome anyway. His fiance is Japanese. He also starts building a small house behind our old house in Bangkok.

I went shopping, eating and met more friends and had a great time until I realized that I had booked my flight from JFK on the wrong day. And Ardis made me do it (LOL), she changed my flight and I got to spend 3 days in Hong Kong with Yui and her friend. She also wanted to send me to Australia to see Ting, but we will do that next year.

I am leaving you with the amazing view of downtown Hong Kong. I did a little shopping, mostly buying Jade pendants so I can make a beautiful necklaces with them. Yui and I spent most of the time walking and admiring the beautiful buildings designed by the famous Architects like I. M. Pei and Norman Foster. Thanks Mui and James, Yui's friend, an exceptional hosts. They invited us to join their family for a dinner at a restaurant. After dinner,Yui and I swore that we will not eat any more Chinese food after we go back to the State. Why? Because the food was so delicious, we want to remember the taste of real Chinese food until next time.
Well, I am home now and spend the whole day with Ada. She looks happy and healthy. With her hair all clean up, she smells like a baby, like Ada. I am happy to be back, fully charged and happy and ready for anything else that life would throw at me.
"Be a good, a strong woman" I always tell Ada and together we will be.
Phuket 2008'>"Bang Tao Beach, Phuket Island"
Grandpa's funeral'>"Grandpa's funeral"
Hong Kong'>"Hong Kong"

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,

Dear Mom

Care Bear and I wanted to let you know that I got a new cast today. The doctor showed Ardis how straight my ankle and foot are now and in a few weeks I will go back to get a new cast. Ardis told them to make it white so you would have a new "canvas" to paint on.
I think this new doctor is very kind and will do all he can to keep my arms and legs straight.

What I really wanted to tell you is how well I've been doing while you've been gone. I have missed you a lot but it helped when you called and talked to me..I always knew it was you , not Ardis trying to trick me!! She can't speak Thai! I'm so glad you felt comfortable leaving all of us. Ardis is a great substitute mom and she will work out fine when you can't be here but you still know how to take care of girls better...sorry Ardis.
We have kept very busy with doctor appointments, therapies, and visitors. I now sit up in my chair twice a day to help build up my neck and shoulder muscles. I get my hair washed three or four times a week...can't wait for you to help out when they do this. You will see how happy I am. The nurses have been great too they changed my feedings so that you and Ardis can get extra sleep and I won't miss any feedings while I go out for limo rides. Macey has gotten into law school in Bloomington...yeah! Abby has been working hard at her summer job and Cynthia has come by to show me Art books...I liked that. Dad, Archie, and Arthy always come at night and we have good visits. You know Arthy he is always checking out the candy that we give the nursing home staff....Archie makes sure I hear some good music from his Ipod. Dad and I went outside Sunday morning and had a good time watching the geese and the swan named George.

So WELCOME HOME MOM and always remember what you do for yourself helps me and those pesty little brothers of mine.

Ada and Care Bear