25.9.06

inheritance

brokenhome (中斷)
images by J/TOHA - click for flickr view

I was looking at mom, while she was lying listlessly on the hospital bed. Her eyes were closed, but I was not sure if she was really asleep. Dentures laid quietly in a cup beside her. These days, she likes to pretend to sleep when she does't feel like talking to someone. Anyway, she does't really talk much after her stroke 6 months ago. Frankly, I was shocked that I could hardly recognise her face. In the past 6 months, about half of her was lost - weight lost. - J/TOHA
A rather nasty infection sent Ma J back to the hospital again some 6 months after her stroke. This time she did not panic and break down. She did not complain about sleepless nights and ghostly shapes - not even when the old lady in the bed across from her died after the first night. Her eyes did not grow red. She did not ask to go home. There is a fine line between stoicism and hopelessness. I'm not so sure that she's on the side of the former.

Several hours after the old lady in the same room died, they finally moved her body to the morgue. The sheets were quickly removed. The nurses moved in with the disinfectant and did the routine clean up. In a while, the empty bed was restored. Then a nurse removed the information chart on the wall above the bed. And because all the information was written with a marker on the chart's clear plastic covering, the nurse could easily wipe away the marks - the patient's name, her condition, the languages she spoke, her diet and other special instructions on her care. An empty chart was put back on the wall. Supposedly the hospital's not a place you leave anything behind in.

breakingdown (烂)

I wonder if we do inherit from our parents something that determines who we are or are these just some phantoms we think are haunting the mirror. My brother's 6 month old son is his hairless miniature. But what I mean is beyond the physical of course. J likes to observe how, like his mother, he and his 6 sublings all have a pessimistic streak, one which is further charged with a tendency to sink into helpless despondency. Yes, a taste for drama of the gloomy sort. And I, like my mom (perhaps following her mother) would rather that the dramas of life defer to dramas of the onstage and fictional kind.

But these are ultimately inheritages we choose for and from ourselves. We dredge them up as excuses for bad behavior or vanity songs for small victories. And like most narratives we write for ourselves, they quietly lay traps to enslave.

2 comments:

said...

"I wonder if we do inherit from our parents something that determines who we are or are these just some phantoms we think are haunting the mirror."

- sometimes there are things we want to inherit from them. (remember my cool grandmother?) ;-)

ampulets said...

that's another way of looking at it!

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