Salute to m' Ma


Sometimes my mom’s a wanker. But 99% of the time, she’s the most incredible person i’ve ever known. I don’t know how she has survived our dysfunctional family from beginning to now. In 1996, she went under the knife to remove a benign tumor growing near the ear and her brain stem — somewhere in the back of her head / neck. During the 13 hour ordeal, the surgeon snipped or damaged one or more facial nerves. The right side of her face was paralyzed; she had no control of her eyelid and the parts of her mouth. She never called my father – who had left 4-5 years prior to live in Thailand – or her mother, afraid of what they would say. Before her surgery, my mom worked 12-16 hour days to pay the mortgage, cared for my teenage brother, cooked, cleaned, and all that jazz. Afterwards, she was depressed about being misfigured. She couldn’t work at the hospital again and her fellow co-workers always stuck it to her about it (more indirectly / behind her back). What could she do when all that she wamted to do was taken away? Well, she applied and worked at Marshall Field’s for a minimum wage paycheck. regardless of what people said about her looks and her own self-conciousness; all she knew was she had to pay the damn mortgage and to get me and my brother through college. She eventually returned to the hospital, working part-time and collecting disability. She felt like herself again, making money and proving those disbelievers wrong (I hear that story at least once a month). My brother graduated college and is now in the Navy, studying to be a Nuclear Engineer (think Homer Simpson) and my Ma now lives with me in sunny California. And i guess I turned out alright too. As tough as I think I am (and I’ve done alot of risky things in my life), I could never have gone through what she has. She’s one tough cookie. She’s so punk. =)