Saturday, October 05, 2013


"Things fall apart, so better things fall into place"

I flew back to Portland, Oregon early September to look after my mother. We found out she has Ovarian cancer.

My own mortality impregnated my consciousness ever since my Aunt's passing. It lingers in the back of my head. I never had to think about it before.
Now, it revisits us. Reminding us, that life is short and it should be spent being around loved ones.
My own mother.
How surreal.
How inconceivable. 
How unbearable.

get your pap smear
get your pelvic examination (Yes, they are two entirely different exams).
Be in tune with your body.
Listen to your intuition.

I flew back just in time to be there for Mum has just left the hospital after her abdominal surgery to remove the mass.
It is early stage 2.

It was hard seeing Mum weak. This was especially true during the first week.
Her surgery resulted in frequent trips to the bathroom and her narcotic pain reliever stuffed up her bowels for a good two weeks.
The first week, she made leap and bounds in terms of recovering and by the second week, she walked freely and the pain was less. Everything returned to its normal state aside from being tired more often.

Being back home was a huge slap to the face, I was surrounded by life. Mum's garden always flourishes. I was surrounded by blooming roses, lush bright green hostas, tomatoes heaving on their vines and grapes turning darker and darker on the deck. I enjoyed Mum's garden very much. 

One thing that ease my worrying was Mum's appetite and positive outlook.
My sister joined us on the second week and it was a pure joy to have the three of us again. Hardly ever, do we get to be together without our partners and now kids.

My entire three weeks in Portland, flew by too quickly.
I took a lot of photos, mostly of Mum's garden and some of us when she was over the hump.

Some of Mum's tomatoes. I made a lovely sauce.

Now, why can't supermarket grapes taste like these?

Mum and my Step dad.
I made meatballs for our spaghetti dinner.

Who knew, it would be a family reunion for Autumns festival this year? We enjoy a hot pot meal.

Mum peeling chestnuts.
Val helping mum harvest the grapes.
For our neighbours.
Alongside the grapes, the figs started ripening.

When Mum was well enough, we ventured out for Japanese.
Of course, there were alot of cooking at home. (Val doesn't like to be disturbed while preparing)

 How it has always been: the three girls cooking and cleaning together.

Then, we ventured and explored NE Portland on Alberta street. Mum had a big breakfast at Pine State Biscuit (total average) but we enjoyed exploring the cute shops on Alberta Street.
I even got to meet up with my friend Ming as I was arriving into Portland and she was departing for Arizona.
Val returning to Texas to her own family.
How is this the only close up of us? We forgot to take more photos of ourselves.
Sister from the same mother.
Before I came back to Australia, Mum treated me to a lovely dinner at Thistle.

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