Best Gift of Books

books

Avid reader, my daughter as a young child

Books and books gabbled down like wild

Nursery Rhymes were memorized by five

Short stories, chapter books into them she dived

Wonderful world she wanted to explore, from

Beautiful images in her mind had stored

“1000 Places to See before You Die”

Takes her eagerly fly into the sky

What treasure you can give to a child

Books that take them into the “Wild”

~

Daily Prompt: Avid

Ceramic Painting

Opaque 1

Opaque 2

Opaque 3

My daughter and I took ceramic painting class when she was ten years old. We both enjoyed this activity.

When choosing a green ware that is a ceramic piece just came out of the first firing from a mode with the clay color. It is still fragile and breakable. We need to clean the rough edges with bladed tools and water. The next step is to paint it with the paint for green ware. After painting, the green ware goes through the second firing. After the second firing, the piece becomes solid. The glaze will be applied and the piece goes through the third firing to have a shiny colored look.

Another way to do it is to purchase the bisque which is cleaned and solid through the second firing. All we have to do is to use a different paint specifically for bisque. We paint the colors, and do the glazing. Then the piece goes through one more firing in the kiln before its completion. The dry brush technique requires different kind of paint, doesn’t need glaze or the third firing.

My daughter and I carry on this hobby separately. I like to paint angels and fairies. When I paint the wings or certain areas in white, I have to be sure to use opaque white that is nontransparent, and covers any unexpected spots of other colors.

Opaque 4

Daily Prompt: Opaque

A Love Letter

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mmlw

Dear Mercy,

I’m so proud to have you as my daughter. You gave meaning to my life! For more than ten years when you were young, I overlooked my disappointments and emotional turmoil. All I could see was your beautiful smile. It gave me strength to move my feet, one step at a time.

You delighted me with your intelligence, and made your learning fun. You were like a sponge, soaked in every new learning as fast as it came. I referred you as book gobbler as you read books after books in no time. You were placed in GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program at third grade. You had so much confidence. When we learned new things together, I said, “I can’t do it!” You said, “Mom, you can’t do it, if you believe you can!” I had to agree with you.

You were so kind and generous with your friends. When you had friends coming for “sleep over,” you sent them off the next day, with a whole bunch of your toys.

I was sad when we were isolated from each other for five long years. I only saw you once. It was during the time you were learning how to drive. I couldn’t call you because all the phone numbers were disconnected. The only contact I had was an email address. You couldn’t feel free to write.

The day we were reunited after you turned eighteen, was the most joyous day in my life. I wanted to be with you so much, even just sitting in the room while you did your college work or did things with your friends. I was just content that we were in each other’s life.

It touched my heart when you were growing into a kind, sensitive, considerate, helpful, tenderhearted, and compassionate young lady.

I enjoyed our hour-long conversation on the phone. I appreciated your trust and shared your feelings, concerns, or everyday life with me. You were not a little girl anymore. I shared my experience, my suggestions, but always encouraged you to make your own choices. My saying was always, “Don’t rush, listen and follow your heart!” In that, I believed that God would speak to your heart and helped you make the right choices.

I had so much fun doing ceramic painting with you just like we did when you were young. You know that I like to play table games with you.

I was thankful for your desire to serve the community and found a job that allowed you to help people in need. You could have worked for big financial firms and made good money. But your heart was, and is, with people. I’m so proud of you.

I’m grateful for God’s guidance in your life and bringing a loving husband to you. You both have a desire to learn and to grow. You both keep a healthy individual life by spending time with the gals and guys respectfully. I’m amazed of the closeness and helpfulness of your group of friends. Most of all, you also learn to be a sensitive spouse to each other and let your love and bonding grow. Your journey may have ups and downs but it is beautiful.

I’m privileged to have both you and Will in our life. I give thanks to God to keep us as a loving family. I always look forward to spending time with you both, either have you come to visit, or going to visit you. We’ll see you very soon, in less than a month.

I love you so very much!

Mom

lovebuary-logo

Gratitude Moments #8

May 17, 2009

After the surgery removing the tumors in the lingual nodes on the left hip area, I rested for six weeks. The third cycle of bio-chemotherapy started on May 6th. I came home on Sunday, May 10th. Twelve pounds of fluid was put on me and I looked like a little red plum. The swelling was almost intolerable. The left leg was a lot bigger than my right leg. The fluid was not circulating to my upper body. At this point, the nurses said due to the removal of the lymph nodes, and the nerve damage from the surgery; the circulation problem could be permanent. I surely prayed that it would not be the case.

The case manager from my primary care hospital referred me to lymphedema therapy to treat the swelling. The therapist measured the circumference of my left leg in 3 inches increment, from the ankle to the upper thigh. Then measured and compared to my right leg. The measurement served as a baseline. Each returned visit, she would measure again to check the progress. She gave me handouts of home exercise with instructions and graphic demonstrations. The instruction was to do the exercise twice a day. The rest of the day, I was supposed to sit in a reclining position with my legs elevated to a position higher than my heart.

Even though I started eating regularly, I felt tired. The blood test showed that I was anemic severely. The doctor prescribed iron 325 mg plus vitamin C 500mg for two month.

June 15, 2009

I checked in to the hospital on Wed. June 3rd for my final cycle of bio-chemotherapy. Strangely I felt okay when I checked in, but a couple hours later, I had a fever of 103 degree.  My doctor put “on hold” of all the chemo medication. Even though the hydration had started, but it was suspended. To cover all the bases, he ordered chest x-ray, ultra sound of my heart, and blood culture, to make sure I didn’t have infection anywhere. If the fever was caused by infection, the chemo medication would further weaken my immune system to fight the infection.

The doctor waited until June 4th afternoon when he got the blood culture result, and then started the chemo medication. After 5 days of chemo, he kept me one more day for observation; that made the 5 days treatment into 7 days. The doctor ordered IV antibiotic for all the days I was in the hospital plus 5 days home health care after I was discharged. At the end of the antibiotic, a blood culture was done again. Eventually I understood the doctor’s caution, because the infection was a dangerous thing when my low immune system couldn’t fight it off.  I was so glad that it was my last cycle of chemo.

A couple side effects were accumulated to the worst point. One was the swelling of my left leg. By the 10th day after I came home; it was still very, very swollen. It felt like it was going to explode. The pressure made my walking or moving was very painful because the fluid was saturated. I finally called the doctor, and he prescribed water pill to make me urinate more often. It helped but worked slowly.  After two weeks, both whole legs were still swollen all the way to the ankles; at least the pain was subsided.

Another side effect was the skin peeling off in big pieces on my feet and hands. After the skin was peeled off, the new skin was tender, sensitive, and painful. How I wished it shed like snake skin and came off nice and neat in one piece. The peeling and recovering of my skin took several months. But again, this was the last cycle; I had all summer to recover.  I told my daughter that at least after all, I got brand new skin. She said she admired my strength and was a good example to her. It touched my heart when she said that. If I could be an example to my daughter of faith and trust in God, it was worth all the physical suffering.

The fluid slowly but surely left my body. I was down to 114 pounds. I started walking back and forth on the street. After a couple weeks, I was able to walk around Laguna Lake with my husband. I even went to the gym swimming and used the machine to work on my legs. I knew people were looking at me because I lost my hair and looked very skinny.

My daughter Mercy who lived and worked in Portland, Oregon said she would come to see me in the summer. By this time, I had lost most of my hair. I was afraid my appearance would shock her. I took pictures and sent them to her intermittently; the side view and back view of my head, so that she was aware of the changes.

My family and friends continued to pray, send cards, emails, and phone calls to provide support. Since my husband was back to school to get the MRI and CT licenses, he was not able to take me to all the appointments. My friends signed up to give me rides to different appointments. One friend was driving me to the doctor’s office. She said she wanted to make sure she had a chance to give me a ride before I didn’t need it anymore. My husband switched his internship schedule as often as he could to care for my needs. I was very weak physically, but my heart hugged all these people whose love for me was incredible.

P.S. I had one more surgery and radiation before the treatment was over.

Tiny Hand Print

Daily Prompt: Tiny

hand-print

Teachers and mothers may remember a hand print on clay project done for the kindergarten kids.

This is the hand print project done by my daughter when she was in kindergarten. I saved a lot of her projects, and this is one of them. It always brings back memory of her childhood, and the things we did together.

Am I the only sentimental mom who has saved my daughter’s projects?