In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Only an Expression

A woman, that lives next to my mother's house, rang the doorbell, while I was there. She explained her mother died, she had many visitors, and she wondered if I'd mind if they parked on the driveway.

I gave my permission, and asked if she was leaving for a few days. Her remark was "I can't ever go back."

She's Vietnamese; first generation after the refugees made it to the United States. When I asked, "not going back" never crossed my mind. I felt a little foolish, but I think she understood my ignorance.

Looking at her, I asked if she was alright. She turned to me, with the expression I knew too well; the expression that describes the loss, confusion, sadness, and profound unwillingness to release those you know are gone. I'd seen it in the mirror.

She answered: "I have to be."

I could only say: "Yeah, but it still hurts."

She paused for a moment, put her hand on my arm and walked away.

I could only think of my mother, who I was blessed to help through her final years. It was an experience that taught me more about myself than few other experiences in my life. I was blessed and the neighbor never had the opportunity.

There's a lesson to be taught from this short moment in time. It teaches we're all the same and the politics of the world don't bring comfort, unless liberty is the final goal.


  1. Sure seems like you eased her pain a bit. That was a good thing.

  2. Just being there, here, anywhere you're appreciated, is what helps. Anything more is not possible. Sad to say. But you're a good man and someone I respect.

  3. I'm a bumbling idiot when it comes to grieving. No matter what, I feel like I'm intruding.

    I'm guessing some people like being surrounded by hordes of people, but I don't feel comfort in people; I feel comfort in solitude. With the swirling emotions and thoughts that occupy so much of my mind, any quiet is welcome - and needed.

  4. The Vietnamese people are a strong and proud race that stand on old traditions. Though they have assimilated here they still cling to their ways despite our culture. Opening up your driveway to accommodate your neighbor in itself helped the family in their time of need. In a way, most Americans neighbors would not have opened their door in the first place and would have cowered behind a peephole to decline their request. You did this in spite of your "comfort in solitude". I think that you are not a "bumbling idiot" as you handled this woman's grief with kindness, compassion and aplomb.