21 May, 2008

Thoughts about home: if there is one

Reading Ahmad Fadam's blog entry on leaving Baghdad in the New York Times made me pause in the middle of the work day. While I will never know (I hope) the feeling of being forced out of my homeland, I read Fadam's words carefully and contemplated what it means to leave the land where your father and mother are buried. Recently, as my father's condition worsens and I face the reality that he will soon be gone, I am awashed with feelings for this man I never really knew. What would it be like to share those moments of joy with a father who was a father? Dad tried. But the most he did was he showered me with gifts. I suppose that was the only way he knew how to be a father.

But to get back to Fadam's blog, the reason it made me think is because I've been considering how best to take care of dad after his passing. Dad would probably want to remain in Taiwan and rest with grandpa and grandma. But how can I leave dad in a land I will probably never go back to? Thus, the answer is to bring him back to the States even though I am considering leaving the U.S. not to return to live again.

As I prepare to leave for Argentina next January, I know I will return to the States to visit family and friends. But I ask myself repeatedly if I really want to return to live in the U.S. again.? Aside from friends I would trust my life with, joys of lazy summer days watching baseball, being an insomniac in New York City, I don't feel very American. Although I am happy I'm here rather than Taiwan, part of me regret my forced migration to Los Angeles during my youth. Whoever asked me if I wanted to come? Certainly not my parents.

In America, I have so many demons I prefer not to face. Who knows? Maybe being a stranger in a foreign land will change my mind.

13 May, 2008

Bad news

I just got words from mom last night. Dad's brain tumor is growing again. It happened quite suddenly. In the course of last two weeks, the growth is large enough that it is affecting his neurological functions again. I'm in pain but find myself resigned to the eventual outcome.

02 May, 2008

Reconnecting with my sister, road work, and disappointment

My sister and I have never been close. For that matter, for most of my life, I've rather wished that I've no family at all. JYL and I have gone through a couple fairly rocky years. To say that we haven't talked much would be an understatement. However, since I reached out to her after her separation from her boyfriend, she has been calling me to ask for advice and just to talk. I'm not the best listener. But I hope I've been helpful to her through her painful ordeal.

She called me last night from a Feist concert in NYC. She loved the music but expressed to me that she felt very old in a crowd of 20-somethings. Goodness - I feel that way most of the time. I'm a thirty-something who hangs out with my 20-something friends all the time! I'm even keen on one of them. But if I enjoy it, why not go with it.

In preparation for Aconcagua, I've been trying to get into a fitness routine. Since my crossfit workout on Tuesday, I ran for 43 minutes last night.

In researching more about Aconcagua, I've discovered that the expedition may be beyond my financial means. Instead of my initial assumption about the trek's $1,500 - 2,000 price tag, I've learned that it will be closer to $4,000. I'm not sure I can spend that much money on a mountain.

While I'm not abandoning my idea that easily, I've been thinking about an alternative. Perhaps I can bus from Buenos Aires to Cuzco and hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? Maybe stop along the way to sample wine in Salta and revisit San Pedro de Atacama?