On Thursday afternoon, I saw that I had two missed calls: one from my mother, and one from my father. Both within a few minutes of each other.
I had a feeling of foreboding, and my suspicions were confirmed when my father told me that my mother was in the hospital. She had been diagnosed with appendicitis, and was scheduled for surgery.
Having been through an “appy” myself (when I was six months pregnant…fun!), I knew that I shouldn’t worry too much. But how can I not, when it’s my own mother?
Thankfully the surgery went smoothly and my mother was discharged the very next day. She is to take it easy for the next week and get as much rest as possible.
Both my mother and father tell me that they don’t need my help, but I know that their friends work long hours too, and that my mother will most likely have to fend for herself for the majority of each day since my father will have to keep going back to the stores. (One of them is open 365 days a year, so someone needs to stop by every day. This is why my parents take separate vacations.)
I also don’t want my dad to overwork himself and/or get too stressed. His condition — he suffers from chronic hepatitis B — has stabilized within the past couple of years, but he is still fragile.
So on Thursday evening, J came come early from work so that I can go to the hospital and be there for my mom when she woke up from surgery. (I also helped talk to the doctors since my parents’ English is limited.) And yesterday, J took another day off from work so that I could go over to the parents’ and help out with my mother’s first day post-surgery. I cleaned the house and cooked some jook (Korean medicinal rice porridge) for my mother in addition to a few dishes for my father, since his cooking repertoire consists of instant noodles. I wanted to stay longer, but my mother insisted I go back home and relieve my husband from baby (well, preschooler and toddler in our case) duty. So I did.
It would be a lot easier if we lived closer, but the 45 mins – 1 hr drive each way can get tiring.
I’m freakin’ exhausted.
I’m not complaining here — I am so grateful and thankful that my mother seems to be doing well, given her condition. I’m just feeling overly emotional and overwhelmed. And feeling guilty that I can’t do more. I also know that I’ll be constantly worried about her for the next week or so, since I won’t be able to be there for her every day (I can’t bring the girls because they won’t let her rest…and as much as it pained my mother to say this, she agreed with me).
Then there’s Aerin…
(To be continued in Act Two)