Valentine’s Day

Feb. 14th, 2014, Joey’s last Valentine’s Day. It was the second day he was back to school after the second surgery. Chemo failed and hair started to grow back. Yet he smiled big. Being back to school brought him so much joy.

Valentine’s day, another vulnerable day. Heart, heart, heart. The heart-shaped candies, classroom party, the Valentines we make…hearts everywhere.

However, on the hearts, I see
a crack,
a tear,
a wound,
a hole,
a knife

I see a heart of



Every day driving in and out in a hurry in the neighborhood, I never actually stop and see the colors of falling leaves. I take a walk today, with the leaves crunching under my feet.

I look up and the death is all around.

The dryness, decay, loss, disorder, chaos, faded hope…In every change, in every falling leaf, I see pain. The leaves are souls begging to stop changing colors, begging to take a break, and begging not to fall. A leaf floats gently through the air.



Woke up from the dream, with teary eyes.

I dreamed about Joey, the third time in two years. Only the third times. I don’t understand. How could you think of someone every day, every minute, every second, but he only appears in dream 3 times in the long painful two years? He was so healthy in the dream. There was no needle, no chemo, no pills, no cancer. He was perfect.

But I opened my eyes and he was gone. I panicked and lifted my hand,

Back to school


Last back-to-school photo

I have been enjoying the back to school pictures this year so much. The day when I woke up, I couldn’t wait to check my facebook. I love to see Joey’s friends grow up. Last year this time, my heart was bleeding, missing Joey terribly. I still feel hurt and bitter this time of the year, but I feel different this year. Maybe because I’m nostalgic: I can’t physically see his friends far away.

Then I realized I had been nostalgic, all the time, since he was gone.

Hang in there


Empty. They are all empty now. All the rooms.

I don’t know how I survived packing up his stuff. I have been dreading this date, the date l have to put away his belongings of 10 years, one by one. His glasses, his treasure box, his shoes, his paintings, his trophies, his notes, his toys…How can I emotionally ready for this? Each item l put into the box, l feel like losing him again. So again and again, and again, until I realized he is truly, permanently gone, whether or not I save his shirts or pens,



I have always been drawn to the ocean. All the cities we have lived so far, there is ocean within two hours of drive. It’s endless. It’s calm. It’s relaxing. It’s full. It’s magnificent. It’s wild. It’s shimmering. It’s mysterious. Ocean is beautiful.

Ever since his footprints in the sand are gone, ocean weeps. It’s empty. It’s harsh. It’s moody. It’s frightening. It’s unfaithful. It’s murky. It’s wild. It’s cold. Ocean is heavy.

The ocean, with Joey’s reflection, was colorful. Silver at dawn, green at noon,



A friend came to visit and gave little David a present.
David told her:”Joey is away from home for a long time now.”
Then I realized he meant Joey might want a Christmas present too.
David:” Someday when Joey is home, he would say hey David, you’ve grown so much!” Then he told her, “But he is sick.”

Friend looked at me sadly, “David remembers everything.” Yes, he does. He also helps me pretend.

I pretend. I pretend every day and night.

The trip


Everything here is so beautiful. Physically I enjoy the breathtaking scenery and sense of peace, but mentally don’t. It’s so strange. I feel like watching a movie while watching other people having fun. Their excitement, laughing seem to have nothing to do with me. It still seems to be unreal after a year. The wonder of nature can easily put me into tears – why? Why my child has no chance to experience this? Why he can’t explore the world? Why I have to take a trip without him? How long can I travel alone without him?