congestive heart failure… not much fun

First off, a shout out to all my peeps for your kind words, thoughts and prayers for my mom and me. She is out of the hospital and on the mend. But she is still very weak. I’ve made the calls, so now is the time for friends and family on the mainland to travel here to visit with her.

Her hospital stay went well, she had a very sweet room mate, an older Japanese lady. When her curtain was pulled back, and I happened to look in, she always waved at me. I found out her name was Margaret. She seemed to be doing alright. But when I went to visit my mother on Thursday, I found out that Margaret had died early that morning. When I got there, at noon, Margaret’s body was still in her bed and her family was gathered around. There was a Buddhist priest conducting a ceremony for her.

I sat next to my mom and held her hand, we listened to the ceremony from our side of the curtain. It was very moving, the priest talked about how the Buddhists believe that Margaret’s soul was still in the room, that the family members should feel comfortable speaking in front of her. That she was on her way to a happier place. He chanted words in Japanese and struck a bell several times. It was very moving, and very peaceful.

Of course the nurses were worried, one of them came in and asked, “are you guys okay with all of this going on?” And we were fine. In fact at one point both of my parents had studied Buddhism for a time, so it was very appropriate. My mother and I were lucky enough to have been together with my father when he died, so she has a very realistic sense of what is going on. She’s told me that she isn’t ready to “go just yet.”  So, we will do all we can to make her happy and comfortable as possible.

That’s about all from here. I’m hoping to be back on track with Writing Matters soon. I will keep you posted on mom’s recovery. And again, it has been so heartwarming to hear from all of you. You guys are the best!