“Please Ba.. if you can hear me…”

“Please Ba.. if you can hear me…”

Life Record

Please Ba.. if you can hear me… I know I only speak to you on Sunday nights now. Right before bed. I come to the altar, light an incense, and in my own strange mind, feel that we’re connected again, and you can hear me. …Just like you always told me, that I can always come talk to you if ever I needed to.

And I do. I do Ba. I miss you so much.

You left us back in March. I know you had to go. I wasn’t ready yet, but I don’t know if I ever would have been. I just didn’t realize you would have to go so quickly.

This year, 2020, such a remarkable year as on the calendar. But it has been so different, so difficult for many, for me too. The world is upside down and nothing seems to be going right. The pandemic thing – its so hard on everyone and the toughest part is not being able to see Ma and Sister — this disease, the hardest part is the loneliness.

I miss you and love you so very much Ba. Please, if you can hear me… your son.

Oct 12, 2020 No Comments
Red Eggs and Ginger for Keira

Red Eggs and Ginger for Keira

Life Record

We arrived a little late — not purposely though as it took a few moments to gear up. Remembered the diapers, pacifiers, extra set of clothes.. stuff like that.  A roomful of attendees had already arrived before us as we entered the venue and so eager to meet her.  To meet Keira.  To say hello.  To say welcome to the world.  It seemed so ordinary — so Wonderfully and Gratefully ordinary.

This past weekend, we held a gathering to celebrate Keira’s first 100 days.  It was called a “Red Egg and Ginger” party.  And, it was kind of a big deal.  Yep, it was.

Let me start by saying that we have the most supportive and best friends in the world. We feel truly cared for and loved.  Being somewhat new to the San Francisco Bay Area, it was a reinvention of our environment and surroundings, and we’ve reached a point where we’ve been blessed by and surrounded with a truly caring network of friends.  When good things happen, they’re here to celebrate with us.  When things don’t go as expected, they’re here to hold us up until we’re able to stand again.  Truly blessed.

Planning for the event was challenging.   We teetered back and forth for a few weeks regarding the venue.  My preference was for a formal banquet where people suited up sitting at big round tables in some fancy restaurant while being fed luscious amounts of food.  And Elizabeth, well, she wanted a mind-blowing karaoke party to let off some steam.  And… we sort of met in the middle somewhere.  Alike crafting a sleek sculpture, whittling away at a piece of wood, we planned and prepared with the purpose to make the venue appear simple.  Symbolic in a way.  This is how we wanted it — just simple.  Create a scene where people can freely chat.  That’s it.  We wanted to spend some quality time with friends – and friends with each other. 

For our friends, it would be the first time they were to meet Keira.  And we were so grateful.  Friends whom came knew there wouldn’t be too much excitement — it wasn’t going to be a club scene or anything, and they were coming to the event for us, for our family.  You see, many of them knew what we have been through the past few months.  And they stood by us.  Kept us in their prayers, their thoughts, in their well wishes.  They wanted to be here for us and to finally meet Keira.  They got to hold her.  To take pictures with her.  To say hello and welcome her to the world.  

I mentioned the term symbolic previously.  It really was.  You see, our experiences in the past few months haven’t exactly been easy.  Things just haven’t really been normal.  It was difficult living in a hospital.  It was difficult worrying if our newborn will be strong.  And to an extreme, it was exhausting at times worrying if our family were to lose a member, or two, and trying to prepare accordingly.  This “Red Egg and Ginger” party, symbolically marked that this day moving forward where the stopwatch now resets — things will be Wonderfully and Gratefully ordinary.

We felt so truly blessed that Keira’s birth, and first 100 days went well.  And so truly blessed that we have truly caring friends.  Here’s to being ordinary! Onward! Cheers đź™‚


Pictures are in random order (every time the page is refreshed)

PS – on a lighter note, we were planning to make a small speech during the event, but the time slipped by so fast.  Elizabeth said she prepared something, and I’m hoping to hear it, cause I know its something she probably rehearsed over and over again.  But she thinks I prepared something too.  Well, I did.. well sorta..  I am the master of “winging it”, but I do work with some structure — an outline.  Here, check it out:

  1. tell funny joke
  2. tell funny story
  3. tell another funny joke

Yep. That’s about it. 🙂

May 13, 2017 No Comments
Our Month in the NICU

Our Month in the NICU

Life Record

The last couple of months have been bit of a blur — an emotional rollercoaster. Visiting the hospital multiple times per day, the journey seemed endless, and truly tested our endurance of hope, of our love, and our family.

It was a blessing that after 32 weeks of pregnancy, Elizabeth gave birth to our new little one — Keira. And as great fortune has it, Keira, although born premature, was healthy, moreso than we had expected. And we were, of course, thankful. Keira couldn’t come home with us immediately after birth however. She needed to stay in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit; the NICU, they called it for short. She had to learn and grow what she would’ve done if she was still in utero. And she was quite sensitive to the elements, and required constant monitoring, just in case something may happen, like forgetting to breathe — I know. It sounds scary. And believe me, it was.

Nurses and doctors cared for her around the clock constantly. We would visit the NICU multiple times daily. Every few days, the doctor would call and provide status — and our hearts paused every time the phone rang as we saw the NICU on the caller id.  As we visited Keira, we learned how to care for her. The nurses trained us how to monitor her vitals, how to perform specialized feedings, and just simply to hold her. The minutes, they turned to hours.  The hours turned to days. The days, they turned to weeks.

Keira learned how to survive without additional medications being pumped in by I.V.’s. She learned how to cope outside an incubator and survive in room temperature.  Her heartrate steadied to a normal pace and didn’t seemed so rushed anymore.  And finally, she had to learn how to be fed by mouth – without a feeding tube and continue to gain weight steadily. All along we would carry her, and talk to her. She would always look to us, quieting down, as though she tried to listen and understand.

“Keira,” we would say, “There’s a whole world outside of here. It’s beautiful. We can’t wait for you to see it. There’s this bright light in the sky, and there are green fields and mountains. I think you’ll love it. But I think you’ll need to learn how to drink from a bottle first okay? It’ll feed your tummy the same way. You’ll see. I think you can do it. You’re going to love it outside. You’ll see. You got this one baby girl… you got this…”

The next day – the nurses told us she was able to feed from the bottle consistently and pulled out her feeding tube all by herself. Two days after – Keira was discharged and now home with us. 🙂


(A special thank you to the friends and family that stuck by us — observed our need for privacy and reached out to us every now and then.  This was a truly difficult and trying series of events in such a wonderful time as the birth of a newborn.  We withdrew from functions, gatherings, work, social media as well as most outward communication.  But it was so wonderful to hear from others every now and then.  It may not seem so much, but it made a whole world of difference.  We do feel cared for and so truly blessed.  And from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you).

Welcome home Keira!! 🙂

Mar 20, 2017 No Comments
Her, her, or her, but not her

Her, her, or her, but not her

Life Record

“Her, her, or her, but you definitely cannot marry her.” she softly spoke.

“Either him or him,” I replied with a smile, “But none of your ex-boyfriends, especially that one.”

Laying next to Elizabeth in her hospital bed, we talked about our past, and our dreams of things to come. And every now and then, we have the same conversation — about whom we would deem okay to remarry if something were to happen to one of us. But unlike other times, her voice was a bit more soft. A bit more sincere. A bit more real. I didn’t want to face this. Not now.  Not even as a slight possibility. “No one,” I said, “I don’t want anyone else. It’ll just be me and the kids.”

“Good, cause I forbid you to be with anyone else,” she joked. “Not even dating.”

Its been a difficult week with Elizabeth being in the hospital. Having an IV inserted into her arm administering medication and being constantly squeezed with the blood pressure monitor every fifteen minutes. Doctors and nurses entering her room on the hour, every hour, takes its toll on a person. And not having her home with us, just felt incomplete.

Actually, things felt incomplete all day. Shoulders heavy — taking care of the kids in the morning, then to work, to the hospital for lunch, back to work, then picking the kids up and providing dinner — then its back to the hospital for the evening, and late night back home with the kids. Rinse, repeat.

While visiting Elizabeth at the hospital, curling up in bed with her, chatting about the hopeful optimistic future, I feel complete. At rest.

Feb 6, 2017 No Comments
I Wouldn’t Know What to Do If…

I Wouldn’t Know What to Do If…

Life Record

Walking into the darkened room full of dim flickering monitors connecting her from the bed while illuminating her vitals in a low buzzing hum. She slept soundly, almost too peacefully. Resting my hand on her, she softly woke and mumbled my name. All I did – all I could do was sit next to her, hug her, and maybe tell her a little story every now and then. We must’ve been there like this for a couple of hours at least, I’m thinking.

Elizabeth hasn’t felt well lately. She was admitted to the hospital two nights ago.

Part of me tries to prepare for the upcoming new addition to the family (the baby). But the other part of me is not prepared to lose someone — I don’t think things are that extreme, but of course, its difficult not letting my mind wander down that path.

Elizabeth, she and I, we don’t always get along like milk and cereal. We’re more like grits and oatmeal – not the perfect match, but on a cold wintery day, along with a mug full of hot chocolate, can feel just like heaven. Alike belonging together, but sometimes, we just feel otherwise. But the lonely dark, half hour drive back from the hospital can be tear filled afraid of losing my friend. Afraid of missing her too much. When good things happen, I turn to laugh with her. When bad things happen, I turn to be comforted by her. So much of me is made from her — I wouldn’t know what to do if…

Jan 31, 2017 No Comments
I Deactivated my Facebook Account

I Deactivated my Facebook Account

Life Record

Today, I deactivated my personal Facebook account. And for the first time, I’m not sure if I’ll be back on there. Don’t get me wrong — I love technology. I love reconnecting with old friends. I love staying in touch with current friends. The Facebook platform makes it very convenient. But honestly, the last several months of glancing on there, I’ve been walking away slowly anyway. The reason is that its been so full of negativity – everywhere people are reeling from Trump being elected. I’m not stating I’m happy for it – far from it, but I just can’t stand the negativity. And people are posting about wars around the world. And the truth of the matter is that current friends get down on me for not appearing angry, or active about situations, or how I should get involved. All I really want to say is just “hold off” for there’s too much going on in my head right now. Everyone has a story. And so do I. I have things I need to sort out, big time. Things are not always pretty and rosy, but things are real, and I need to know this.

I’m going to trade some of my Facebook time for some blogging time. Some songwriting time — where I have writer’s block right now. Great. Argh!

Jan 24, 2017 1 Comment

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