dim sum plum

growing up, i learned that one way to show love is serving others. doing things for others. helping others. making sacrifices for others.

i hope my mom left this world knowing she was loved. i'm sure she did. i think she would have been pleasantly surprised at the turnout to her funeral, actually. she would've had that big buggy wide eyed look accompanying an open mouth smile. wahh, kum daw yun!

excuse my spelling of cantonese words turned english… that translates into something like "whoa, so many people!"

i think she would've been touched to know that she had some sort of impact on all those people's lives… indirectly or directly.. or even that so many people turned out to show support to her widowed husband and her offspring.

i remembered something from a while ago: painting nails!

my mom stopped wearing nail polish at some point in time. i think she used to like to have red nails (red was her favorite color). but i thought it'd be nice to paint her nails when i could.

my old college roommate kelly is responsible for getting me completely hooked on nail polish and have my nails did (thanks kelly!!). 

what better way to bond than to paint nails? well i guess there are more ways to bond, but hey… for someone who isn't very mobile and doesn't have the same appetite she used to, having your daughter paint your nails is great!

dim sum plum by opi. that was her color of choice. i had a decent collection of colors to choose from.

on several occasions (at a nursing home or at home) i painted her nails. removed the polish. painted them other colors. my dad got in on the fun too and let me paint his big toe once. (as a kid, my dad would let me torture him by tying his hair into little pigtails all over his head … so it's not surprising i was able to convince him to let me paint his toenail half red/half green).

a fond memory from the recent but not so recent past. writing to remember is working!

another fond memory that reminds me of her goofiness and quirkiness is attached to the feeling that reinforced the thought of it's happening. the beginning of the end. … the day had finally come (years later) to shave her head. i was taken by surprise and had no idea my brother had planned with her to buzz her head. the fact that she had kept all of her hair and had barely even vomited from treatment was enough to help me [kind of] keep it together all those years. the day was here.

then a mohawk happened. AND some paint was involved. this was our attempt at a green and blue mohawk for my mom. i mean….. why not? kudos to my bro for the cut, btw.

that day, i had actually brought some scarves for my mom. i knew she was already starting to lose some hair because of the new treatment, so i picked out some scarves and brought them to show her how cute it could be to wrap some around her head if her head got cold or whatever.

i've said this before.. the last time we spoke with my mom was thanksgiving morning 2012 when we went into the hospital. earlier that morning, the doc basically recommended we take her off all meds except a morphine drip. keeping her on meds would only extend her life a little bit… and it would basically be in a somewhat comatose state. as a family, we agreed. when we got to the hospital that morning, they took her off all her meds and continued just the morphine. shortly after, she actually was able to talk. the five of us stood there… our last moment of bonding as a family. during that 30-45 min or so… among other things, she told us that God's grace has taught her how to live…and that God's grace has taught her how to die. during the years she was sick and dying, even if she was really down, she was still herself. still goofy. fun spirited. pensive. the nagging and loving mother and wife and grandmother.

oooh we should tie the scarf on now!
see it's cute!
WAIT. you look like a pirate. 
WAIT. you ned an eye patch.

my parents were still able to laugh and be YONG's. the inspiration i take from this, is to spark by irreplaceable spark….

as heartbreaking as the whole thing was and is… we still had our love for each other and our trusty YONG humor. goofy till death. my mom married into the YONG.. but i guess you have to be a little goofy to marry a YONG, don't you? =)


i'd like to go ahead and pat myself on the back here. don't mean to toot my own horn. but.. toot. it's not all sadness. there are fond memories in there. i know i shouldn't be afraid and worried that i'll forget. because there's always a way to remember and remind.

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