Of Christmas trees and flickering lights 

  For the first time in forever,
there was no sadness nor loneliness.
None of the melancholy I feel
every Christmas time.

The tree is up,
the lights are on
and I am so glad to be home.


A Mother’s Concerns

I worry about him constantly, endlessly

Is he eating okay?

When he’s driving in the rain, does he turn his lights on?

When he comes home late, is it safe for him to walk to his apartment?

Is he working too much? Taking on extra shifts?

Does he get along well with his roommates? 

Do they all chip in and doesn’t let him cook all the time?

Does he miss us as much as we miss him?

Will he ever come back home? 

Does this get any easier? 
© Greymom 

Live and Let Go 

I stare at him across the table. He looks tired but still manages to tell us about his day – how this is one of the busiest time at his workplace and how he was running around like a chicken with his head cut off. We listen to him, his brother looks on, hanging on his every word. His Dad nods as they sit side by side. 

He said he is working more hours, one of his co-workers he really likes is moving away and so is his manager. He is sad, he says but is okay. He is growing up, my son. 

He moved away, after all, to be independent. And so far he seems to be doing fine. 

I, however, am not.  

I still feel sad whenever he leaves, I miss him a lot. I can’t help but get all choked up whenever I pass by his room. His door that creaks whenever he opens it is now eerily silent.

 I keep his bed clean with crisp sheets, his favorite comforter and his fleece blanket in the hopes that he will once again lay there. 

Each time he comes to visit, I drop everything and make sure I give him my full attention. I over feed him and make him take more food – from the fridge, the pantry, the table. 

It doesn’t get easier. Each time he leaves, he takes a piece of my heart. I hug him and tell him I love him, be careful driving. He assures me he will and that he loves me too. 

He leaves and I stay standing at the door until his car is no longer visible. I go back to whatever I was doing, trying hard to make it as I die a thousand times deep inside. 



Published in: on November 22, 2015 at 12:17 am  Comments (2)  

Don’t Worry, Be Happy 


My older son recently moved out. He has been out of our home for a little over a month now and I can finally talk about it without my eyes glossing over. 

It was bittersweet when he asked our permission that he was moving out. We were happy that he is spreading his wings and broadening his horizons. That he will finally learn to be independent. After all, one of my daily sermons was: “your Dad and I will not be here forever so try to learn how to fend for yourself”. But suddenly when you are in that moment, no matter how much you prepare, it is still a sad event. 

The first 3 days went on, my husband broke down on the 3rd day. He was bawling like I’ve never seen him since his Dad’s death 20 years ago. I comforted him and he was impressed that I was taking it much better than he is. 

Until the 7th day. 

It hit me at the cleaning aisle of the Home Depot, which, thank God, ws empty. Turns out mine was a delayed reaction. 

Fast forward and today marks the 38th day and my younger son’s bday. We all met at the restaurant. He came in hurriedly from work. “Sorry”, he says “I hope you all didn’t have to wait long”. He looked happy as he animatedly recounted his kitchen adventures and how he is teaching his 2 roommates how to cook as well. How he started his work-out regime and his “portion-control-and-not-a-lot-of-carbs/rice” diet. He looked good, healthy and happy. 

And just like that – everything is alright with my world again.


Published in: on November 8, 2015 at 9:38 pm  Comments (2)  
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Spring Projects Galore

It has been a whirlwind of activity once again as we welcomed Spring. This is the time where people suddenly come out of hibernation, soak in the sun and do crazy things like jogging, take a sudden interest in gardening, and pretty much whacking every weed, bush and greenery they see in their yard. TheFisherman is no exception. He’s an avid gardener but Spring especially brings out the Outdoorsy type in him. He treks to the Home Depot and takes on projects quicker than you can say I-have-to-do-everything-this-Spring. The sunporch/sunroom roof has been fixed by the contractors, who after tasting our home cooked meal, suddenly didn’t want to leave. The 1 1/2 day project stretched out to 3 days and I scrambled to prepare their coffee, snacks, lunch and dinner. It was tiring but fun at the same time. For someone to appreciate my cooking was the best compliment. They particularly liked the biko -sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and sugar. I made some for them to take home and they said they ate it with ice cream. After they have left, TheFisherman decided we needed to give the ceiling and floor a fresh coat of paint. Which we did one weekend.
It doesn’t stop there.
TheFisherman also plans to make a paved patio, flagstone the stoop, change all the bathroom fixtures and God knows what else. Oh and yes, he also just recently re-seeded the whole front yard. He bought a whole dump truck load of top soil which they dumped in the middle of the driveway and which we shoveled and wheelbarrowed for 3 days. My biceps and shoulder muscles were screaming! The neighbors were all slowing down as they passed by and saw this huge pile of dirt. The perplexing looks on their faces saying “what the?” One neighbor finally came up to me and asked: “what’s going on, Mary?” I managed to respond between shovelling : “we can’t afford a gym membership”. To which she laughed and left me grunting and sweating. I secretly wished this whole thing is going to be worth it. The image of me sipping iced tea in the front yard admiring my green green grass kept me going.
Right now the huge pile has been reduced to a field of dirt scattered with grass seeds and fertilizer which TheFisherman dutifuly waters every day.
Yesterday, he looked at me while watering the lawn and said: “so we’ll get the flagstone this weekend?”

Published in: on April 23, 2008 at 10:33 am  Comments (17)  
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The New Year


 I am finally feeling better now. Gone are the sniffling, hacking, blown-up-head-like-a-balloon feeling. I can finally say that I am better. Two weeks was such a long time to suffer but at last I am well. And great timing too! Our social calendar is filling up again after about a month’s lull. The kids are happy again to go to the parties and get-together where they get their fill of sodas and sugary concoctions they sneak out when all the adults are busy. The Fisherman is happy to meet up with his buddies and share fish stories, if you know what I mean. And I will once again bask in the glorious companionship of women like me – sharing stories about love, life, motherhood, religion, politics and celebrities. We will all have a great time and it is once again a chance for me to try out new recipes for the pot luck dinners. I have gained quite a reputation as a good cook and baker and I will take whatever small achievements I can.

The weather’s nicer now. It has been unseasonably warm for a February even though Punxsutawney  Phil saw his shadow signalling 6 more weeks of winter. The Fisherman told me yesterday that he is still hoping for one snow day to which the kids agreed. I, on the other hand, am just lucky the sun has made an appearance delivering me from yet more bleak, dark and lonely days. The sun is finally shining and I am glad. I even brought up the topic of camping with friends and we will be discussing it on the next get-together. I’m making plans, a good sign, I guess.

I decided to re-name/christen my family. As you probably noticed, FishermanHubs is now The Fisherman. And since I was getting tired of calling my kids alphabets by their first initials, I finally settled on Tween1 and Tween2. The resemblance and similarity is uncanny with Dr. Seuss’ characters, I tell you. As for me, I did undergo one change and that has something to do (again) with my hair. I’m wearing it shorter now and it is straight once again. I will decide one day, probably in the spring, whether to get another perm or color it. For now it is stick straight and black. Just the way I want it. For now.  

I feel like New year is just starting for me. I felt like December and January was such a blur that it is only now that I feel the new year. Well, today is after all the Chinese New Year and I am part Chinese on my Mom’s side so my calendar is not off.

I am optimistic about this year. I decided to be pro-active and take charge of my life. Not that I haven’t been but I’d be more pro-active. It is such a wonderful coincidence then that I chanced upon Oprah the other day and watched Dr. Oz’s Anti-Aging Secrets  The tips were very informative that I sent an email to everyone I know.

I also decided my sedentary lifestyle is not going to cut it. I have been exercising daily now (at home) and have even ordered a new exercise DVD. My gym buddy and former co-worker called me the other day asking when I’m coming back and I told her we’ll talk about it over lunch next week. A lunch date with my girlfriends is way overdue and I always have a great time with Dee and Chris.

As for my diet, I am trying my best to eat less which is really hard because The Fisherman has suddenly gotten into Chef mode. He plays with my new toy too and as a result we have been eating crepes for breakfast every. single. weekend. I am grateful for his help around the house and all but there are times when I wish he’d lay off the kitchen. But hey, I still am lucky and I reminded my kids how lucky they are that both of their parents cook. They agree and Tween2even said: “Did you know everyone gets jealous of me? It’s because I always bring good lunch. Everyone wishes you’re their Mom”. Aaawww!

So I’m good. The sun is shining, the weather’s nicer, I’m all better now and life goes on.

Happy New Year!

Published in: on February 7, 2008 at 10:13 am  Comments (6)  

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

It has been a while and a lot has happened. Sometimes life gets faster than we can write about it and sometimes we get caught up in the moment and in the end we forget about certain things. We try our very best to process every goings on in our lives, not wanting to miss a single moment. Through the tears and laughter, the good and the bad. Here are some I remember so far:

The Bad (and Ugly)

 I’ve been sick for almost 2 weeks. I think this is a curse from the God of exercise. When I cancelled my gym membership and stopped going, baking and cooking and eating too much just added to the problem. Hence I am now overweight, depressed and my fridge is full of baked goodies (if I don’t get to it first). I’ve had the misfortune of experiencing the following signs and symptoms (in no particular order): migraine, sinusitis, diarrhea, cold, cough, chest congestion, middle ear infection and pink eye. I am getting the impression that someone put a horrible spell on me. What next?

The Good

 In every bad news, there has to some good. That’s what I tell my kids – that for something to be good, there has to be some bad. Life’s way of balancing things out. They believe me and I do too. Although I did not get my iPhone (yes I am still sulking about this big time!), I did get an unexpected surprise from The Fisherman – a red, shiny piece of equipment that I have been salivating over in the past few years. And while it makes me such an uncool Mom for coveting this piece of equipment, I do not care. For I can do a lot of cool things with it. I can bake beautiful pastries, bread and cakes and pies. And my handheld mixer will be put to rest. Well, not really, because I am attached to my things. I refuse to give away my handheld mixer. But this big, shiny thing has now a place on my countertop. And so without further ado ——
The Kitchen Aid Professional Mixer

Big, Red and Shiny! Yes, red is a happy color!

All in all, I might be sniffling and my eyes might be red and itchy and my head feels like a giant balloon blown up to the heavens but I am okay. I am happy with my new piece of equipment. And yes, I might be baking more and concocting gooey, sweet stuff but who cares? For now I am happy with my new toy. Consider this my pre-iPhone gift 😉

Published in: on January 29, 2008 at 5:27 pm  Comments (7)  

Back to Life, Back to Reality


So we’re back from an almost a month’s vacation in sunshine state Florida. It was fun-filled and the kids had  a blast, they didn’t want to leave. But some good things must come to an end and so here we are – back home in Virginia. School starts in a week and the kids aren’t happy about that. Especially my 6th grader who already has homework. Can you believe it? While I am all for getting a jumpstart on the schoolyear, it would have been nicer if schoolwork started on the first week of school and not while you are relishing the last few days of summer vacation. But oh well, maybe it’s just me.

We went to almost all the bodies of water in FL – ocean, river, lake, estuary, pool – you name it! We are so dark and I am loving it! For a change we don’t look like anemic humans! I am basking in the glory of having a tan for even though I am Asian I am a little on the fair side. And living in Virginia doesn’t help either. The cold winters and staying indoors doesn’t appeal to me at this point. Being bundled up while it’s freezing outside and suffering all the cold and harsh weather gives my skin a beating. What am I talking about? It’s still summer, or what’s left of it, I should enjoy it!

Anyways, while we were in FL and DH was left in VA, he constantly called me especially when bills came in and when it’s time to eat. “What do I eat? Pls give me an idea.” I fought the urge to laugh maniacally and tried on my best supportive wife voice which could have earned me a Grammy. “What do you have in the fridge?” I hear the fridge door open and an audible sigh “leftovers” he said. “Well if you’re so tired of it, why don’t you just eat out or something? It would make more sense to eat out instead of do all the work for one person”. “You’re right. I guess I’ll just go to KFC”. So it went, KFC one day, Pho the next day, chinese buffet the other, and so on and so forth. Until the day he discovered TV dinners. He called me one day so excited about the newest Stouffers Chicken meal. “It’s really good! We should try this sometime!”. I swear, my husband is so spoiled with home cooked meals that the fact of not cooking it himself and just opening the box and nuking it makes it taste good. In fairness though, those TV dinners ARE good.

I knew that the boys were missing their Dad so much when my 11 yr old said: “I miss Dad so much, I even miss his annoying country music he plays on the radio”. To which my 9 yr old exclaimed : “yeah”. Guess absence does makes the heart grow fonder.

When our FL vacation was coming to an end I couldn’t wait to finally sleep in my own bed, cook in my own kitchen, walk in my own floors, do the laundry in my own washer and water my ever thirsty plants. Opening the door to my own house after a 3 week absence, the familiar scent of my own house was what I was hoping for. But when I opened and inhaled I smelled – polyurethane? I forgot that DH waxed and finished the hardwood floors, a task we’ve been putting off. The floors looked gorgeous which made up for my disappointment of not being able to “smell” home. The house looked nice and neat and I am just so glad to be home.

special thanks to www.Papelmeroti.com  for the image.

Published in: on August 30, 2007 at 10:48 am  Comments (10)