Posts Tagged ‘experience’

The beast bit off my hand

May 21, 2008

If I go back with my memories, tracing back to the morning of the lawn mower accident changed my life upside down, liberally I can state it as such.

On a beautiful Saturday morning, Sept.23.1989, less than month since we moved in to this tiny 3 bed room and a den with huge back yard house near my business, The Beach Store.

The most important thing I am concerned about is not how, when or what had happened, but what kind of things went through my mind, psychological aspects of it. Especially what it did to my whole being, which resulted in transformational experience.

It only took less than a split second, Clearly it was dumbest thing to do put a hand in a running lawn mower, trying to get grass out of it. It was like the beast bit off my hand in a less than a split second. The dark red blood was gushing out as the speed of my heart beat.

Oops, Oh God, Oh shit!. I screamed out silently, there were no one was there to hear me. “I must stop this bleeding, or I will die in 2 minutes if I don’t”

In a split second, I put my right hand over the bleeding hand.” Go get some help, but don’t go in the house “.My kids were eating cereal, my daughter Eunie  6, my son Eugene was 2 years old.

In a split second, I realized, “Oh my God, Oh shit, I am a handicap mother for my kids for rest of their lives”.

“It’s done deal now “.The deepest sense of loss forever will remain. In a split second, most grey and darkest, helpless feeling took over my whole being, body and soul mind. It was sort of pain and severe paralyzing shock though out my body, can’t quite pin point where it was hurting.

In a split second, that was the moment of beginning point of my journey.” Oh my God, what am I supposed to learn from this?” My question never quite answered, and it is still remaining as question not fully answered and I still ask “What is my lesson?” “What am I learn  from this experiences?”

In a split second, I knew what I must do next. I walked calmly to my neighbor’s house cross the Street, asked Donna to call 911 and bring something to tie my wrist with. And continued to give Donna instructions what to do in a such a calm collective way, maybe that’s why she was so shaking instead of me, couldn’t even talk. I had Donna write names and phone numbers. And ask someone to take my kids inside  of the house because I glanced with my side eyes, noticed they were crying and watching me from front of our house. I couldn’t bear to see them traumatized more than they have to.( That’s the reason I did not want them to visit me at the hospital, but let them know that I was fine by talking to them on the phone.) I silently pleaded in my mind “Please forgive me for getting hurt, I am so sorry…..”

I felt like it was almost a split second later after I got through with all the instructions with Donna, the fire truck came and the ambulance followed right after. I didn’t feel any pain at all until I got into the ambulance. What the heck!, I screamed out loud as I can this time, now I’ve got somebody to hear me out loud, demanding and pleading for something for my pain, but they had a good reason they couldn’t give me more. I forgot or I had no memories at all about what they said or maybe I was in no condition to understand anything at all.

In a split second, or was it a longest ride, I found myself in the emergency room at the UC Irvine Hospital. I can’t understand how my girl friend Linda got to me so fast from Los Angeles, 57 miles away, I wondered as I lay there helplessly, Then I heard my dearest girl friend Linda asking the doctor, in a whispering voice from the other side of the curtains.

“Can I give her my thumb? Is it possible?” I could not believe what she was willing to give up, her own thumb for me. “Is she for real?” In a split second, I guess I was in a shock with more shocking split moment. This time it was a different kind of shock. I could not hear what Doctor had told her. In a split second,  “Oh God, I have a friend.” Still this day I sometimes ask myself could I have given my thumb if she was injured, of course answer would be, yes, because I knew she would have done that for me. But what if she got injured first place, would I be willing to give her my thumb….I often wondered what my answer would have been……Still not sure of my answer to that….Could I have if I was a single without my kids? Or is this just an excuse for my answer toward “No”

The time went very slowly when they rolled me in front of the operation room. They left me there for a longest time like 3 to 4 hours, frankly I was in no condition to have sense of time or anything but noticed the hallway was so cold and one time I thought about what if my wounds getting rotten waiting so long…..

Maybe it was drugs that gave me to give plenty of allowance for this unfortunate accident victim to take my turn who needed operation room before me. And it was a bit of comfort to me to know my life was not in immediate danger. In a split second, I felt generous, “Oh, You can take my turn.” I mumbled. In a split second, I was assuring myself, “this is also my lesson, so, learn to give allowances”, As I awoke time to time from my drug state, “It’s O K, everything will be fine”. An assurance of  the still voice came from somewhere every time…

Finally, I awoke up, it was next morning, In a split second, I felt the excruciating pain,  throbbing left hand (in my head, as far as I am concerned my left fingers existed all of them, I felt all the nerves were there), arm and all the way to the shoulder.

In a split second, “O K, is this how it’s going to be?” “O K, is this what I am going to get?” “O K, then, I will take it!” I will take it all what’s coming to me” “I will embrace whatever coming my way, I will take it all.” “I will not turn away, refuse or try to avoid what’s coming to me.” It only took a split second to decide, I grunted my teeth, said to myself silently, and “This is it!”

The nurse came in with the needle in her hand heading to the Ivy stand, “What is it?” ” It’s for pain , Demerol ” In a split second, I said to her clearly,  “No, I don’t want it” The shock on her face, she could not believe what she thought what I really said, and said with almost a pity like  ( you don’t know what you are saying..) ” Oh, honey you going to need it. You will soon see, you will ask for more, everyone does, you don’t need to suffer you know.” It only took a split second to say one more time “No, I don’t want it.” She said  “O K, honey, let me know if you change your mind any time O K ?”

Later that morning, Doctor’s morning rounds team came in, The Doctor who was glancing at my chart, asked nurse, “What happen here?” Pointing the chart, she shook her head ”NO, She didn’t want it.” By this time all of them looking to see what they were talking about, and they all turn to look at me. I seriously forgot what kind of look that was. (“Are you crazy, stupid, or gutsy, or all three?”) I had no expressions on my face when I was watching them, like retarded little person lying in bed helplessly don’t even know what is going on.

In a split, I was already ready to take upon rain or shine, any more pains or sufferings. I was willing to extend my arms and embrace whatever it is. But “Wow here!!!” ” B… shit!,  Embrace your pain? Who said that so easily” “How do you embrace your pain?” In a split second, ” Attentively Feel the pain, all of it, be that pain, every bit of it, recognize degree of that pain, notice how much it hurts ” ” don’t try not to feel the pain, don’t ignore it, be that pain that is inside of you, an observer is observed !”

In a split second, when you become that pain, the fear of pain subside, there isn’t any more pain, because you are that pain. My son Eugene told me when he was 4th grader, “Mom, no fear, no hurts”

In a split second, I realized the degree of my throbbing pain will be lessened for sure as each day passes, In 6 or more weeks will be all over, my reward will be no more pain for sure.

The first day out after the accident to visit the U C Irvine clinic for my injury’s after care. As soon as I got out of my car as I walk toward the clinic, in a split second, I noticed that I was walking tall, head up, the shoulders open, like I own the side-walk. In a split second, I realized, I had a vision when I was in the hospital. I saw myself walking tall, not caring about being handicap (my new me ). Same clothing, my bandaged up left hand in a sling, wearing white mid length boots. In a split second, I said to myself,” This is how it’s going to be!” Autumn sun felt so warm on my skin. In a split second, “Oh God, Thank you, help me to be strong, I can never fall, who will take care of my beautiful daughter, Eunie and my precious son, Eugene. I can never fall apart for them. I have to be the rock for them. I must be strong. I have to show them how to find the light from the darkest hole ” From that moment on, my journey begun. It only took a split second.

One Sunday, about 3 weeks after the accident, my friend Tina convinced me to go to her church she attends came to pick me up. After the service was over, the Pastor Kim invited us to his office, literally preached to us for 2 hours, mainly it was all for me. In a split second, during that private talk, my deep soul mind grabbed one simple message.” When you are physically challenged, you must put your whole being in to the spiritual realm. You can not make it if you stay in physical world.”

In a split second, “This is it, I will make it, I have an answer.” In a split second again, “How do I put myself in the spiritual realm?”

I don’t remember when this AHA! Understanding came through as almost in one sentence. “Start negating what’s not spiritual!”

In a split second, the other answer followed. “Start negating things that you don’t need, materially, physically, and psychologically.”

The superficial things that were important before, no longer mattered anymore, everyday was a new challenge to reshaping new ideas, forming new attitudes. Putting  the intention in action, and staying with it. To be attentive to what I need be doing took lot of me all together, It was no room to slack off. “Be awake always” This is what it means that I have to be alert to notice every move I make, or feel the every bit of emotions that I go through each moment. I already anticipated it would be a one long journey or few.

The need base, this taught all of us be practical, frugal and less vein in my house hold from then on. “Do I need it?” ” Do I really need it ?” “Can you do without it?”

The important base, “What is most important thing for me to do today?” This question to myself every morning and throughout the day. This gave me the chance to tackle things diligently with assurance of that I am doing what’s most important to me at that time, and I am doing my very best.

No more guilt I had when I couldn’t finish, because I have done my best with what I have going with the time available to me. I noticed, when I knew when I do my very best, in a split second, I learned that made me happy, and it was my reward knowing I did my best, so there was no guilt anymore hovering over my head endlessly.

There were many times, I felt so helpless and sad when I wanted brush my little girl’s beautiful long hair, and when I couldn’t help my son put on his pants or the socks and tie his shoe laces. But in a split second, it was comfort to me to know they will grow up to be an independent people in the society. Let them grow up on their own, let this be the blessing in disguise.

When you lose something, we are in need of replacement. When I lost my fingers, I just had to get something for them. I cannot let part of my body wasted. In a split second, I just knew I needed to replace it with transformed self, that was my pure determination. It might have been my ego that wanting to replace my lost long gone fingers with something much more worthwhile (but it seems does not matter now)

I put on full gears on. Be awake! Be alert. Be attentive! Be open-minded!. And work hard.

If I express my commitment to myself, and to my kids was that I will try my best to be a full parent for them. Now without their choice they ended up having only half parent. I had no doubt that I can be a 1/2 parent, but I was willing to try to be a 3/4 of parent for them at least. In a split second, It was a choice-less choice.

The lesson is to fulfilling God-given responsibilities as possibly as I can without any sort of hesitations, like an auto pilot, never a burden, not a conditioned effort, always no motives I do it because I love them unconditionally. This was the part of my lesson too recognizing and expressing the love, in a split second, my heart is warm and full of joyous tears running down on my cheeks.

I strongly believe my other lesson that I recognized was the patience. In a split second, when I couldn’t pull my blue jeans up like I used to or zip it up, It was automatic recognition, and automatic discipline on my part. It was like choice less choice. The first time I realized real meaning of “The ch0ice less choice. It seemed like everything I did needed my patience even with simplest daily routines. I come to realize it was so many things we do, we do it with both hands. Every time first attempt failed, in a split second, I repeated to myself, ,”O K, Patience, let’s start over, and this time take your time, take deep breath, one small movement at a time. “Once you decided take your time, and it’s O K, to take time, suddenly you gain tremendous energy and creativity. You gain tolerance for the frustrations for not being able to carry out for the first time, and much more endurance and allowance were given to me. This is when I actually learned that I can cultivate patience by practicing? As I said it was a choice less choice to realize the moment.

My long time girl friend who was a nurse, is my kid’s God mother Jo, wrapped her left hand in a fist to see what I would go through every day for 24 hours. She said with teary eyes “It was really hard, I could not believe almost everything we do every day needed 2 hands.” In a split second I sad “Oh my, I have a friend.” I knew even after that day she continued to carry on to experiencing my ordeal and difficulties  in daily life.

My lesson which was cultivating patience.

 “Please God grant me the patience, but please hurry!” Ha! Ha!

 This really fits a description of me totally.

 This is under construction…..still

How I got to Hot Springs, Arkansas!!!

May 15, 2008

OH my !,….. As I looked back , I really don’t know how I got through  the training periods of my life’s lessons. Every time when things got harder I repeatedly tell myself “This is my lessons, mine only!”

After my son Eugene’s freak accident  which the park  metal light pole fell on Eugene’s head while running cross-country race meet when he was 16 years old.The first surgery was  to put in the Titanium rods in his back along with 9 screws big as. He  had to put on thick plastic turtle shell brace on to learn to sit, stand and walk all over again, very extensive rehab and physical therapy along with 6 sets of doctors.At the same time he struggled still trying to get his credits in school in order for him to stay in school.

This same set of ordeal repeated after the second surgery, which took place in senior year, 13 months later from the date of the first accident,to take out his rods and screws from his back because of pain its causing his back, This time the school required him to go to adults school to get credits he needed,as he pursued his duties as a high school student, his whole body and mind was overloaded with his responsibilities we diligently put it on him. He never got over with his sleep disorder nor the trauma syndrome. I want to cry out for him every time when I remember what we (teachers, principal, school district administrator, school psychologist, school district counsellor and the school counsellor) all decided whats best for him and almost drill him down every day. I terribly regret why I never thought about just let him take the GED, and just let him attend the school with rest of his friends with out all that credit nonsense and the pressures we put him through. I take my hats off to him for his endurance, integrity, and for his self-respect. Many times I wanted to say “Son I am so sorry for what I have done not knowing whats best for you then”

By the time my son graduated from High School I already acquired Real Estate licence (one more time around which I had and gave up in 1980 for the high interest hike like 20%) to prepare to teach Eugene there is somethings he can do if he does not find what he likes to do . After he went to local  community college , dropped out after 2 months, I was so fearful that he might really get lost and give up on himself. I could not bear to see him depressed and locked himself in the room all day and sleep. So, one day I asked him if he like to go along road trip to the east coast and back. Yes! He said so gladly . So we packed up with our new addition of our family Poncho (tea-cup chuwawa). I wanted paint some sort of pictures on the blank wall he was looking at ever since the accident. The pictures, all the plans of colleges, what he wanted do for his future got wiped out clean left blank wall  (West Point, Navy Seal CIA jr. college program was his aim. since he had the black belt in Karate at age 11, certified diver age 16) I just wanted to give him the ideas maybe some day he could do this when he is ready. I was so worried he might mold himself to lazy life style.

So here we went 13 states in 21 days, fast track, live Real Estate Investment lessons. I  explained everything I knew as we looked at each subject. I realized all the things that I was able to teach him came from my past experiences from 1980s and investing in 4 units Apt.. We stopped at the  small cities to  the big cities, looked in to apt. buildings, four units, condos, storage buildings, mobile home parks, shopping centers,  single family homes, lake properties, lands.

We took off our trip  down south through Phoenix, Tucson Arizona, then to Odessa/Midland Texas where George bush’s home town. We look at few places as shopping centers, Apt. buildings, houses and condos, Motels too. Then head to San Antonio, Austin, Houston. From there we went on to Barton Rouge,Louisiana, but it was dark and could not get a motel in that city because of the refuges from the Caterina. but after two hours of search we finely got one out skirts town. The next day we had to New Orléans, the 9th Ward. What an experience driving through the streets of that disturbed by the storm. we actually walk down few streets, Eugene was busy taking pictures and we walked in to empty house was horrible sight to even look at. Some folks were still struggling to get back into their houses but most part was un cleaned, still the debris and destructed building parts everywhere piled up. The whole town was no way near the rebuilding mode yet sad to say. The sun was going down soon, so we took off to east but the both sides of the free way was all empty , like ghost town, no lights, no moving things of any kind at all. We were experiencing very emotional shock and could not say any words in the car as we drove out of the New Orléans.

We then speed up to pass through Mobile, Alabama stopping only for gas and foods., and pass through Montgomery to Atlanta, Georgia. There we got connected very nice people and we understood a lot about the growth of the city.

We then were in a hurry to go visit my long time friend and kid’s God-mother in Greenville South Carolina. We had very nice and relaxed visit with Jo and her husband Wayne, then took off to west through Smokey Mountains which I later realized that it was first part of Feb. with lots of snow on the mountains. Why I had no fear of travelling anywhere, I have slightest idea nor did I ever realized it was very dangerous and ignorant in my part. But with God’s grace, we drove through without any problems and saw the beautiful part of the country with rare sight of snow.

We then headed to Nashville, Tennessee. to Memphis, Mississippi. Somehow, it was like automatic driver programmed to drive right into the River Walk to the famous Beal Street. I must say it was extra ordinary delight to listen to jazz music all over the street and the Brick Dancers plus good food to enjoy.

 I almost hated leave the Beal street but we had a prior appointment, so we were on our way to look  at some office buildings in Dallas, Texas, drove on freeway I-30, saw the sign to Hot Springs exit 111, took a sharp right turn and the first place we stopped was at the front of the Trumpets restaurant in the VELDA ROSE RESORT HOTEL & SPA on 217 park ave. Down Town Hot Springs Arkansas. I was told that time by the locals that whole city itself is the national park.

Wow ! we both was so amazed and specially  this was the former President Mr. Bill Clinton’s home town where he grew up. His little white house (his house is really white )  was 6 blocks from the VELDA ROSE HOTEL.And we drove to look at Mr Clinton’s little white house on the little hill. It was ” A wow!!! “moments for both of us about how small and average looking house he lived in and raised as normal average people like every one else, still marched on to his dreams being the President of United States of America, The great nation that I respect more each day I live here for greatest freedom, opportunities, integrity, honor of human rights and the God-loving people country,united as we stand.

So this was our journey Eugene and I took in year 2006 early Feb. on the rainy day found this Hotel VELDA ROSE !!!

YOU CALL ME CRAZY, STUPID OR GUTZY woman, maybe you can call me all three  all ar once. I admit ! This is way out of my league, from small boutique to this giant space-ship, to me it is.

The VELDA ROSE HOTEL operated with absentee owner for years and 2 years before our ownership it ran by the former cocktail waitress/ bartender/ bar manager. It took us 2 years to cleaned up this place and fixing  things from the core of the problems not only bandaged them up like they used to  for selling in mind of owner. We, my brother-in-law Peter and I put our hearts into this projects along with our assistant general manager /Food & beverage manager Derrick Hayes, who we are so thankful.

This is only beginning of my journey with this hotel. I am sure there will be many stories to tell