“Grown Ups Don’t Cry…”

Life can change in the blink of an eye: our Ma had a stroke on Friday.

Yesterday, Friday morning, was a normal one. By the evening, I was in the Emergency ward receiving quite the unexpected news.

Thankfully, she is awake and seems to understand what’s going on. But her speech is slurred and mobility impacted.

My sister and I are taking turns watching her as we want her to be with family 24/7 during this critical period. Due to COVID, only one guest can be with a patient at a time.

We’re thankful we have such a supportive family. This morning, my mom’s siblings and our cousins around the world joined together for a short Facebook video chat. It made my mom happy and we were relieved she recognized everyone and knew it was Christmas time by greeting them.

I was delirious by the time I went to bed at 11 this morning and I feel more human after sleeping now that I’m back for my second evening shift.

Ma is now sleeping so I’m filling the time as I always do by trying to keep busy.

When I’m stressed out, I try to maintain calm and order by planning.

At 11 last night, I emailed colleagues instructions to look after in my absence.

At 4 this morning, I emailed the hubby to ask him to set me up – clothes, bottled water, etc – in our guest room and to move T’s stuff out of his bathroom into ours and mine into his. I want to semi quarantine myself into that corner of the house as I will be spending lots of time at the hospital over the coming weeks.

I am doing all of this – including writing this post – because I’m trying to distract myself and not to think about more serious matters.

T could sense that something is different. The hubby and I told him that “Ama” is sick and is in the hospital. That’s why I have to be out of the house to take care of her.

He was very calm and compliant today because he is likely picking up on the somber mood.

He left me alone while I slept most of the day but did open the door to see how I was doing at around 5pm.

I started to tell him that Ama was sick and then I started crying. I couldn’t help it.

“Why are you crying?” He asked.

“Because I’m sad and scared,” I said.

“Grown ups don’t cry,” he said adamantly.

I kind of chuckled when he said that.

When we were getting ready to drive to the hospital to drop me off tonight, I didn’t need to ask T 10 times to put his shoes on. He just did it at the first ask.

He also did a short “Feel better, Ama” video that I shared with Ma this evening.

After Ma saw the video, she told me, in a still slurred way, “I want to stick around to see T and the little kids (in our family) graduate.”

I just lost it. I tried so hard not to cry but couldn’t hold the tears back.

Then she said, “I will be fine. Because I am the survivor type.”

We’re not out of the woods and the next few days will be scary. But it is reassuring that she still has her melodramatic flair.

14 thoughts on ““Grown Ups Don’t Cry…”

  1. Throughout these hard times, he’s learning that it’s normal to cry and to work extra hard to help someone who’s ill. It’s probably not much consolation, but your son will probably become a better person from watching how you handle this.

    1. Thank you Diane. It’s been very difficult but I have faith we will somehow get through this. I’ve seen firsthand how amazing hospitals and staff have been so kudos to your daughter too!

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that your Ma had a stroke. It’s too bad that they only allow one visitor at a time due to COVID-19, but it’s understandable given where we’re at right now in terms of lockdown. It’s such an unfortunate time to get sick or injured. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  3. I am so sorry about your Ma. I hope the healing continues and she leaves the hospital soon bringing you peace of heart and mind for the holiday season. Thinking of you!

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