Friday, August 10, 2012

Humble and Hopeful: Hope 2012: A Blog Relay

This past week my son was in the hospital and although it was a scary as shit situation (asthma attacking lead to my panic attacking) I got a heavy dose of humble along the way.
In fact, when Klonnie at The Klonopin Chronicles asked me if I could write a little somethin somethin about hope, I already knew exactly what to write about because the experience I had this past week was so transformative and powerful that it begs to be shared. I actually wasn't sure how I would go about sharing this on my blog, but now I know. In her words this is definitely a hand to God moment.

On the morning of Jedi's release I went outside to relax and drink some coffee while he was asleep, if you have ever had the misfortune of having a child in the hospital, you know these little breaks are what is keeping you from losing your shit, and before I sat on the only bench that had a decent amount of shade, I saw a man already sitting there, talking on the phone. I was hesitant to sit down, because I didn't want him to feel like I was eavesdropping but before I could even turn around he put his hand over the speaker and said, "Hello and good morning! Please sit here..." and switched to the sunnier side of the bench, allowing me to sit in the shade.

When he got off the phone, he immediately asked how I was doing, talked about the heat, where he lives, and general small talk. He seemed so upbeat, he listened intently as I responded, and I got the feeling that he just really loved talking to people. I assumed because of his age (I guessed 60's) that he was here visiting a grandchild. He asked me if I had a child here, and I told him a little about my son, his asthma attack and how I might even be going home that day. There was a silence, so I asked him if he had been here long, and he said his daughter had just been admitted last night. He explained that she had cystic fibrosis, she is 15, and she looks nothing like him because they are not actually related. He joked, "Can you imagine me, a 75 year old Asian man raising a 15 year old blonde hair, blue eyed girl? Oh the stares we get!"

My heart jumped in my chest.
This 75 year old man is raising a child....and she is sick?! Am I in that show Touched by an Angel? Are cameras going to come out and people start asking me to sign papers to release this footage? Not that there would be much footage...from then on in the conversation I was stunned silent and continued to listen to his story...

Her parents were drug addicts and couldn't take care of her. No foster parents would handle the hard work that comes with taking care of a baby with Cystic Fibrosis, and he heard about her from his daughter, who worked in social services and had been heartbroken about not being able to find a home for the baby before she was released from the hospital. He said he would take her. He took parenting classes, went through many background checks, and when she was about 6 months old, she became his daughter.

"But, when I met her," he said, "I already knew she was mine"

Cue every single natural wonder I have never even seen with my own eyes.
The Aurora Borealis looks like some crappy special effects compared to the magnitude of what I was being told.

He said he didn't care that she would always be sick, and that he would do whatever it took, to give her a life well lived. I told him the only English I could remember at this point, that she was so incredibly blessed to have him in her life.

He immediately started laughing, and said "Yep, some people say that, and I laugh, little do they know, she saved me. And you want to know a secret?....I don't mind doing all this for her, you know...the expensive birthday parties, the constant hospital trips, being a parent when I am already an old man....but her days are numbered.. I only hope that she knows how much I love her. And then you will be okay for us both to leave this world"

This is not what I expected when I came and sat on this bench. In fact, my plan was to sit and maybe feel sorry for myself for a bit.

And then he did, what a man in his position could only do if he were indeed the most loving and kind human on the planet, he comforted me. He said he was very sorry my baby had been suffering, and that he hoped I was finding the strength I needed to deal with the situation. It was very hard for me to choke back some tears and tell him that yes, I indeed had found my strength.

Now, according to the sweet lady at Abandoning Pretense, I'm supposed to tag other blogs to challenge them to write a blog post about hope and then tag other bloggers to do the same. I'm reluctant to do this because most of the bloggers I know are already challenged enough. Here are the instructions, which I hate, because I love instructions, but no one else ever follows them and it pisses me off.

Step 1: Write a blog post about hope & publish it on your blog.
Step 2: Invite one (or more!) bloggers to do the same.
Step 3: Link to the person who recruited you (me, in this case) at the top of the post, and the people you're recruiting at the bottom of the post.
Melanie Crutchfield will be holding "Closing Ceremonies" around August 10 and will gather up little snippets from people that wrote about hope, so make sure you link back to her as the originator of the relay

Now I call on:
What I Had REALLY Meant to Say

The Mother Freakin' Princess

andRunning From Hell With El


  1. Anonymous8/10/2012

    Whoa. Just…whoa. What an amazing story. Stories like this definitely inspire hope for our societies and our communities. Just when it seemed like everything had gone to hell…

    Thank you so much for participating in HOPE 2012!

  2. This made me cry. What an incredible story, what an incredible man. Hope your son is feeling better!

  3. Tears and hope sometimes go hand in hand. This is one of those times. Some angels are down here on Earth walking among us. It's a truly special day when you encounter one who can affect you the way yours did.

  4. This is so good I cannot even think about reading another blog in your challenge. That's not very hopeful of me, but this had me crying at a very inconvenient time and yet unable to stop reading. I can't risk that happening again, and if it doesn't, I'll be disappointed. You remind me of Stephen King. A consummate storyteller.

  5. Anonymous8/12/2012

    This is gorgeous! Sorry I am just getting around to reading and commenting (I had a crazy busy weekend). I was trying to think about something to say but I keep getting stuck. But shoot, even if I don't get it done until tomorrow, it's never a bad time to write about hope, is it?

    I'm so sorry about your son's hospital visit for asthma. We've had a few of those but it is getting better as the children age.

    And the story of this man-angel is just . . . wow. Just beautiful. Thank you so much for thinking of me, and thank you for telling such a beautiful story.

    ~Running from Hell with El

  6. no other words except I am blown away by the selflessness of this man. It's people like him that make me want to be a better person. Thank you for the words, Humble. This piece really spoke to me.

  7. Love you foreva Humble..perspective truly is everything!

  8. Humble, this made me cry. Isn't it amazing how scenes like this slap us in the face to remind us that there is still good shit happening out there in the world?

    Glad your little one is doing better. :)

  9. Oh bitch. You made me cry.