Catching Up with MaiMai

A lot has happened within the past two months. My family has moved into a new house, I met a guy, work is still miserable, and I’m just trying to pick and put back the little pieces together. Life is a crisis!

Yes. After two years of searching for a new house, my mom and sister finally found one that is pretty big with four acres of land. Now, I know I mentioned about my father a lot, but as I have new readers coming by every day I just want to mention that when my dad got into his accident, we stopped looking for a house. The pause on house hunting was probably around seven months and we started house hunting again after new years.

The move went quite well, we’re still not done cleaning the old house as there is still the garage and the shed. However, we are, for the most part, done cleaning the old house. It has also been quite emotional as well since we have lived at our old house for twenty-five years. It will always be a place that I hold dear in my heart as it has lots of memories with my dad,  he spent his last few breaths and passed away there. It will always be a special place for my family and me.

Transitioning onto the next topic, amongst all the crazy things going on in my life. I decided to get back on my Tinder. Of course, I had to make a new account, but all that aside I did met a guy. He lives close by and he’s actually a really nice guy. We’ve been on three dates and surprisingly we have a few common friends. However, I also discovered that right now dating is not for me because my life is kind of unbalance. The guy did ask me to start officially dating him, but I did not want to put a label between our relationship. Mainly because I want more time to myself to heal, pick up my life where I left it, and spend time developing myself. I did meet up and talk to him today explaining to him my thoughts and he was very understanding. So I appreciate that and the time he spent with me. This doesn’t mean that we’re not talking or seeing each other, we’re just going to let time does its thing. If we end up being friends, then I will also be happy to gain another good friend.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot and I mean a lot. I’m thinking about going back to school in the spring to pick up where I left off. Meanwhile, I’m also looking into some educational programs to become certified in something, particularly the healthcare area. I have always thought about joining the Peace Corps, and finally, I’m going to put that into action. However, it’s going to be after I get my degree. I do constantly look at the programs that are being offered on Peace Corps because I just want to know what they’re currently offering. I think the Peace Corps will be a good opportunity for me to do some self-development. Additionally, years ago when I mentioned it to my dad, he liked the idea, so why not.

Those are pretty much the most major things that have been going on in my life. Right now, as I mentioned before, my life is pretty much unbalanced. At least, that is how I feel and I need more time to find and bring balance back to my life. My friends and I joked around saying I should do some research to find a temple and do a temple stay.  I know we were joking, but the idea isn’t too bad. Anyway, I hope you all have been doing well, enjoying life to the fullest, and continue to stay safe!

 

Blind Date Gone Horribly Wrong

I did it. I finally went on a blind date by myself. A few days ago a friend of mine set me up on a blind date. I was reluctant and didn’t want to go. Why should I spend one out of my two days off meet with stranger? Really, I got no plans but what is a better day than a lazy day? Somehow, after much convincing and nagging I told her “Fine I’ll go. Text me when and where.” And so she did.

She had claimed the guy to be a gentleman, well educated, and athletic. I’m definitely not that athletic, but I didn’t care. And so came the day of the blind date. We met at a local restaurant that I had to Google map because I never been there and I don’t eat out a lot.

He was all the three things that my friend had mentioned above. We had a conversation while waiting for our food. I’m not much of a talker, but he was really good at asking me questions and making sure the conversation kept going. Then it all went down the drain. Three of his friends show up by coincident and the greeter seated them right beside of us. After he quickly introduce me to his friends and vicer versa, I pretty much just listen to them talk.

Then I heard one of his friends telling him “dude she’s totally not your type. I thought it was going be someone a little different for your blind date.” I saw that he simply have them a smile before saying he really has no preference and a date is a date. He also mentioned that he was enjoying my company.

Their conversation continue and then the same friend look at me one more time, before telling him “bro she’s nice and all, but you can do better.” Hearing that, I glare at him lost at words. The waiter finally showed up with our food. Immediately, I apologized to the waiter, ask him to take my food back to box it for me, and to bring me my check at the register. The waiter looked at me confused, but kindly did what I asked. I look at my date with a sarcastic smile and told him it was nice to meet him.

That night he texted me, apologizing for his friend’s actions. He even said he wanted to meet up again, but this time I can choose when and where. I replied that I was good and did not want to go on a second date. A few days later he texted me again, and I just deleted his message.

My friend heard what happened and talked to me about it. As it turns out, he talked to her and wanted her to talk to me. I told her I wasn’t interested anymore and to tell him there are better girls out there for him. As for me I’ll find someone better.

My Friend Stole My Identity for Dating Apps

I wish I can say I am one of those few millenials that don’t use a dating app, but I have a Tinder account. And it’s just there on my phone just so I can do some major left swiping when in bored. A few days ago, I was with my friend, whom I’m going identity her as Cat. While I was with her, I learned that she stole some of my photos off of Facebook and Instagram to create online dating profiles.

Cat and I have been friends for seven years, we mwere both shy and socially awkward people. That’s how we became friends and I also became friends with some of Cat’s close cousins. We met up yesterday at her place to cook and watch a movie. While she left to go use the bathroom, her phone got a notification and I saw the screen. It said something along the lines of “Hey Mai check out your Bumble que” and “check out these new bagels.” Seeing my name, well part of my name, on her phone got me curious.

So, I unlock her phone and decided to check it out. And yes I know her security code, because she often makes me check her text or send text messages on her behalf if she’s driving. Much to my surprise I saw that she was imposing as me!

When she came out I confronted her. I asked her why, her response “I wasn’t confident in my looks and personality. I tried using my pictures and putting my information in but I wasn’t getting matched with anyone.” I was beyond furious to hear her excuse as to why she decided to impose as me.

Then she told me about how she had tried to talk to some guys, but no one responded. And of course, one of the guys decided to unmatch her! I was so upset that I just deactivated all the accounts she created using my information before giving her phone back. The sites or apps she used were: Bumble, Wooplus, and Coffee Meets Bagel.

To top it off, she never once apologized to me. I even told her “Cat you didn’t need to pretend to be me. You’re way more beautiful than me you just needed time and patience for these online dating. And why of all people would you go after me? I’m ugly, fat, and overweight. I’m not even half as attractive as you are.”

Her response to me “well, because I know you’d never use those apps.” I look at her straight in the eyes and told her I was leaving. We’re done being friends. The lunch and the movie never happened. Extremely upset and frustrated, I ordered two cheeseburgers from McDonald’s, sat in my car to eat it and bawled my eyes out.

The whole entire time while I was driving back home, I kept thinking to myself “oh my gosh what if some of these guys actually live only a few miles away?” Maybe he’s even in the next city over towards the west or east? What if I see them at work?!

Out of everything that has been said and done that day between Cat and I, there was something I regretted saying. Depreciating my body, appearance, and my character in front of her was the lowest act I ever did. Never once in my life have I ever compared myself to any of my friends. That is because I know that I have friends who are way more attractive than me. Friends who are very outgoing, cute, and bubbly. However, I know that my friends also have their own insecurities so body shaming is just a big no.

Additionally, to learned that Cat’s other friends and a few cousins actually encouraged her upsets me even more. Then to have them stand up for Cat, telling me I was too harsh and I should cool down to think things thoroughly is a big red flag.

Then I had this sudden thought, what if one day I do want to try online dating. What now? What Then? I’m just hoping and crossing my fingers that these people don’t even bother to look closely while swiping left and right.

I still feel very frustrated about this whole situation because there is just a lot going on in my life and family right now. I need friends to support me, not be against me. Clearly, people like this are not worthy to be call my friends and be part of my life or in anybody else’s life.

Love…

Love.

What is it?

Have you ever been in love?

Seen love?

Touch love?

Feel love?

Lost love?

Love.

That one word that we all yearn to hear, feel, and touch. One word that makes us all happy, sad, jealous, and angry. It comes in all shapes and forms, sometimes it is near us but we don’t see it because we take advantage of it. Just like how we don’t see our parents’ efforts, how we don’t feel what they feel when they scold us for our wrongdoings.

There are moments when we measure love by putting it on a price scale. Why does receiving an expensive gift makes one so happy? Does it ensure you, me, us that that person will stay with us until old and gray? Of course, to receive an expensive gift is not wrong, but the desire to always expect or ask for a luxurious gift does not equal love or make love any greater.

Love is powerful, but it can bring so much pain. To hear someone, say “…but I love you,” is the most beautiful thing because it makes us feel accepted despite our flaws and mistakes, but to hear them say “I love you, but…” is the most painful. Hearing those words, we know the ending is near and then we tried to fix our mistakes and flaws. Bargaining and making compromises, but there’s no stopping. When it ends, it ends because sometimes love is not meant to stay.

To lose a loved one forever is the most painful experience. It makes you upset, mad, and frustrated because you think of all these other possibilities but fails to see one other possibility. You pray and pray, tell yourself you’ll do better if the one person you love open his/her eyes only to witness his/her last breath. Then you scold yourself for ignoring death, being foolish to think it will never happen. Upset for putting your hopes up so high just at the sight of the tiniest improvement.

Love.

It is phenomenal.

We have all been in love at least once.

Seen love.

Touch love.

Feel love.

And lost love.

Love is endless.

Expensive Makeup: Is it Worth It?

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After years of buying and wearing drug store makeup, I finally decided to actually purchase a few products from Sephora. Every time I go to Sephora it was with my sisters and I just look around at the products. I, for one, didn’t understand the craze of buying high-end products because I can get more for less at CVS, Walmart, Target, and Walgreens. The main reason why I decided to make my first purchase from Sephora was because of YouTuber Tina Yong. I watched one of her videos where she demonstrated one of her everyday makeup looks using the Huda Beauty Rosegold Remastered palette. From there, I realized that the purchase was definitely worth it. Therefore, I made two more separate purchases from Sephora.

The sad part to my purchases is that I don’t have the time to get up and do my make up every day, therefore, they’re just sitting in my makeup caddy. And I don’t really have that many special occasions to attend to that I feel the need to put it on my face. Did I just waste my money on buying them?

Yes and no. I can definitely say that I already had too many makeups that are still good and didn’t need to buy any more. All my drugstore makeup are the newer versions, for example, the Maybelline Super-stay liquid lipstick and those city mini palettes. Additionally, I barely wear my drugstore makeup nowadays. However, buying those expensive makeup makes me feel good about myself. I work hard to earn my money and after dealing with rude customers for weeks, I should treat myself to something nice besides eating out. Moreover, it’s not like I don’t use my expensive makeup. I do use them, for example, I wear them a few weeks ago when I went out on my friend’s 27th birthday. And on my days off, sometimes I feel like wearing makeup because I just want to pamper myself since I always look so haggard at work. Plus, wearing makeup to work is something I just don’t do. The only thing I wear to work is a moisturizer and tinted face cream.

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So, is it worth it to buy expensive makeup?

Definitely. However, I have to say that if you’re not a makeup artist, intending to become a beauty guru YouTuber, or Instagram famous then you should buy it as a reward for your hard work. Maybe not three times in a row, like me but definitely once in a while. The quality of expensive makeup is so worth the money. I wouldn’t advise you to buy something from Sephora/Ulta for a friend, but a gift card of $25 shall do because they only have to worry about paying for a part of the price.

On the downside, I don’t suggest buying a new makeup line just because it’s created from your favorite YouTuber or celebrity. It can be all the craze around the makeup community, but if you’re buying it just because everyone else has it then that’s just a waste of money especially when you know for sure that it’s just going to sit in your makeup collection. For example, when Fenty first came out a lot my friends went to go get it. Out of my handful of friends, only two of them ended up using their Fenty products while the rest sort of forgot about it or just left it laying in their collection.

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Owning expensive makeup won’t make you feel more expensive or become prettier. It’s just another item to add to your collection saying you own something of high quality and it’s expensive. Definitely, not something to brag about to your friends or siblings. It is a nice reward to get for yourself as a birthday present, passing a hard test, getting good grades for the semester or after earning that degree. At the end of the day, you buy what you want to buy.

The Perks of Being Single

Often, I get asked by my relatives about when I’m going to find a boyfriend and when they are going to hear wedding bells. I always awkwardly smile and respond that I’ll find one when it’s the right time only to be reminded that I’m getting older, not younger. Not to mention, very few of my friends and older cousins liked to set me up on blind dates. Yeah, I’ve had a few of those went wrong, especially when the guy turns out to be a chauvinistic, conservative, and very traditional.

There are times when I do feel insecure about my future. Once, my coworker asked me if I have ever thought of marriage and having kids. I told her that never crossed my mind. So, I begin to ask myself what if I never get married? Additionally, there are times when I get jealous my friends that are in a relationship. Seeing them happy and lovey-dovey can sometimes make me feel insecure about myself because then I question about what I lack and if I’m attractive enough.

However, at the end of the day, it is natural for people to desire what they don’t have. And not everyone who is in a relationship is happy, for example, those in an abusive relationship. But because we desired what we don’t have, we often forget to appreciate the benefits of being single. After doing so much thinking, here are five awesome reasons to what I believe makes being single awesome.

First and foremost, it’s all about the money. I don’t know about other people, but some of my closest friends spend around $300-$500 per year on their girl/boyfriends. I think the amount is ridiculous. Plus, I don’t even spend that much on my siblings per year. There was this one time, when a few friends and I had planned to go on a road trip, a month before the date one the girl backed out because she said that she couldn’t save money. When I asked her why she responded that she spent half of her savings buying a Michael Kors watch for her boyfriend’s birthday. I totally understand the buying a gift for your significant other’s birthday, but I definitely don’t feel comfortable buying high-end products when the next day there might a breakup.

Secondly, you can travel anywhere. Of course, you can travel with your partner, but there are times when you may want to go alone or with your friends and don’t want to feel guilty about not bringing your partner. One thing about me is that I like traveling, even if it’s just a three-hour road trip. Most of the times, I like to go alone and to clear my mind, often other times I go with my friends. There was this one time when I went with two of my friends. One of them was engaged and on the way to Gatlinburg, Tennessee she was arguing on the phone with her boyfriend. He was upset that she went without him and after she tried multiple times to explain to him that it was an all girls’ getaway day trip, he was still mad. Half the trip was spent listening to how worried she was upsetting him and complaining about how he’s not responding to her texts.

Third, you don’t have to worried about the question, “so when are you two going to get married”? Even though, I hate having relatives asking me about when I’m going to find a boyfriend or when they’re going to hear wedding bells. I know that for the most part, it’s all jokes. If I start to date and they asked me “when are you two going to get married,” it’s just going to make things more awkward. I believe that hearing that question causes more pressure because then you get familial pressure that you’re obligated to get married to the man/woman that you brought home a few times for those short family gatherings. Just because you’re dating doesn’t mean that it’ll lead straight to marriage.

Fourth, you don’t need to have checkpoint communications throughout the day. I’ll be honest, having my mom asking my siblings to text me where I’m at or doing sometimes gets on my nerves. When my dad was still alive, he texted me twice a day when I went out for the day. Sometimes, I don’t even hear my phone ring or those text notifications. Luckily, as long as I responded within an hour and a half, my parents don’t get too overwhelmed. I have a friend, that whenever we hang out and if she’s driving, she makes me text her now ex-boyfriend. It was always short messages like, “we’re done for the day heading back to campus,” or “getting lunch with Mai right now.”

Last but not least, you have more than enough time to focus on your ambitions. I have to say that this probably the one reason as to why I’m single. There’s a lot that I want to do and fulfill. I’m a young woman with dreams and goals that I don’t want to be tied down to one place because of a man. If I do end up being with a man that is supportive of my choices and ambitions, then that’s good because then I know that I’m not alone and I have one more person on my side. Being single gives you and myself included, time to build careers and maybe even moving out to a new city or country to pursue better opportunities.

I’m not claiming that being in a relationship suck, but I am saying that if you’re single then there is no need to mope around about your single life. Being single can be fun if you make the most out of it. It also gives you time to re-evaluate about your life and well-being. In all, it’s just the time that is all about you, only you, and you should just enjoy it.

How I’ve Been Feeling

Hello Readers,

I know it has been quite a long time since I’ve been active, but a lot has happened for these past three months and I just needed time to think and recollect my thoughts. Nonetheless, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. For these past three months, I have been doing a lot of thinking and re-evaluating my life because lately, I have been feeling unsatisfied and unhappy. I have been spending my days dreaming about how I so wish for my life to be so more different. There has been so many “what if’s” that I just keep questioning myself which in turn makes me doubt my own capabilities. Life has been hard and I’m trying my best to stay put together, but I’m still a mess. There are days when I get up and I just look at the mirror telling myself “You’re 26 years old and you have no life. No real career. You’re just one hot mess and need to get your shit together.” Yeah, I’ve been hard on myself lately.

It has been hard waking up in the morning because I just don’t want to wake up since I’m so tired. I feel tired all the time. Tired, cold, and hopeless. The things that I used to enjoy doing, I’m slowly starting to lose interest. I’ve been spending my money on useless shit like clothes I don’t really need, and expensive makeup that I don’t even have time to wear. I bought a ukulele when I shouldn’t have, but I bought it in hopes that I’ll pick up a new hobby. I have these fleece fabrics that I still need to put together to make blankets because thank goodness winter is still here. I hate going to work because I’m tired of dealing with customers. I’m tired of the drive, reckless driving, and traffic.  Now, I am not lying when I say my life has sucked lately because it has been.

I work too much, and I have too much time on my hands to be dealing with stupid and rude customers. I’m tired of my mom crying and muttering about how much life has changed since my father passed away. I’m exhausted from all the thinking I have been doing. I just want to run away home. I really want someone to talk to, I want to tell my friends, but I can’t. Always, I thought I was really close to my friends, most of them, but I guess I’m not that close to them. I feel like since I’m someone that comes off as strong, independent, responsible, and someone that they can come too when they need advice or help makes it all the harder for me to approach them to listen to me. Every time I meet up with my friends, it’s hard for me to tell them how I honestly feel because I feel like they expect to hear stupid funny stories from me.

I honestly do not know where or how my life will go from here on out. All I know is that my life right now is bitter, exhausting, and miserable. Despite that, I always pray for a little bit of sunshine each day, just enough to get through.

My Father’s Last Breath

August 12th, 2018 at 10pm my father took his last breath on this Earth. The entire day our house was filled with family friends and relatives. My aunts and uncles were with us the whole entire day from dusk until dawn. It was an exhausting day as everyone had already cried their eyes out and barely slept. While sitting in the living room with my other siblings, I silently re-evaluate my relationship with my father. It was a rocky relationship. My dad’s words have always been the “law of the house” and there were plenty of times when I wished we had a friendlier relationship. Though I was not the best daughter, including my siblings as well, I sat there wishing how I could have been better. I thought of how during and after college, I drifted from my parents. The taste of being away from home and having no restrictions to what I do and when I come back home was addicting.

When he was still at the hospital, the only thing we look forward to was the doctor’s approval of him getting into the rehabilitation center and then coming home. We were hopeful that he would make a steady recovery even though the doctors had warned us of his very limited time on Earth. The one thing we all hope for was to hear his voice, but at last, he didn’t even have the strength to say anything. The first few days when he arrived home, he would say a few words making broken sentences and it took three of us to make out what he was trying to say. Afterward, he didn’t say much because his throat still hurt, and he didn’t have the energy.

There are days and nights when I go for a long drive to get things out of my mind and I think of how I can live up to my father’s name. When he was still alive I wasn’t afraid of faltering because no matter how hard or soft I fail, he was always there to catch me. Now, the only one that had always had my back is gone and I’m afraid. I’m afraid that if I set my goals too high I’ll fall so hard that I won’t be able to get up. I’ve always been a risk taker at everything I do, now I’m starting to think about consequences because the only person that would be able to help me, if I get into any problems that are out of my league, is gone.

From the day he was in the hospital up until his last day, I thought of all the words I wanted to say. Just six simple words, two sentences. I love you. I am sorry. At last, I could never do find the determination to say those words out loud to my father or on his deathbed. Four times I visited his grave, I just stand there and stare where he now lies. The words are still stuck at the back of my throat. There are times when I wished he was still alive, his body fighting against all odds. And when he fully recovers, my family and I can go on a trip. Everyone finally forgives one another, past mistakes, and move on. As I watched my father exhaled his last breath, my first time seeing the process of death, for the first time I wanted to stay home. I didn’t want the world pitying or sympathizing for me and my family.

The Journey through My Father’s Traumatic Brain Injury: The Beginning Part 2

After identifying my dad and letting most of the people who came to see my dad, the neurologist wanted to speak to us. My brother, who had arrived while my mom and I went to see my dad, and I went in with my younger sister and mom following a few minutes later. As soon as we got in the neurologist asked us to speak to my dad to see if he will respond to our voices. I didn’t have the courage, so I told my brother to speak to my dad. My mom came in with my younger sister and she was crying saying that my dad can’t hear us. There was no response. The neurologist then told us he’s going to speak with his head department and will come back later.

We went back out to the waiting room where most everyone had left except for our uncle, aunt, and two cousins.  After a few hours, my uncle and aunt gave us some money for gas and food before they left because he had to leave for work the next morning. Moreover, his mother in law was with the rest of the younger kids at home. After they left, we waited some more until the nurse came to get us to talk to the neurologist. Once inside my dad’s room, the neurologist told my mom and I that due to two blood clots there is pressure being forced on my dad’s brain. One blood clot is growing bigger and that it can exert damage on the brain stem. There were two possible solutions, 1) perform a craniotomy and 2) leave it as is. I explained to my mom and after telling her that its best for us to continue with the craniotomy before the pressure can have any effects on the brain stem. Since it was me who spoke to the neurologist and understand what’s going on, I signed the consent form. Of course, my mom also agreed to the procedure.

It was getting late and after discussing we decided to for younger sister A to stay overnight with mom at the hospital. Since it was going to be my first day back at work the following day my mom didn’t want me to be absent. Additionally, hours earlier I have texted my supervisor of the event because I was going to have to go in two hours late since I was the only one available to take my sister to school at 11am.

For the next few days, we needed to figure out things. The two youngest siblings were still in school and would not be done until the end of May. Moreover, younger sister B work part time at Bojangles and does not yet have her drivers license. The good thing about her job is that younger sister A also works at the same Bojangles, so there were nights that they can come home together but cannot go in at the same time. Additionally, we were also deciding on which days who should stay overnight at the hospital with our dad. The first week my older sister did not go to work and stayed overnight at the hospital. My mom also did not go to work for three weeks.

We also received many phone calls from different people in the state and out of state. Very few of them I know quite well and some I don’t even know. There were so many phone calls asking the same questions. Can my dad speak? Does he recognize people? Can he open his eyes? What happened? Can he eat or drink? Where exactly on his brain is injured? All the while trying to remain my cool when answering I was so frustrated. We’re talking about my dad, who is now a patient with a traumatic brain injury and not yet awake, in a coma.  For the first time, I just wanted to unplug the phone. The phone and my dad’s cell phone rang 24/7. I was tired of hearing the same questions and giving the same answers. In fact, I’ve been giving the same answers all over that I no longer knew what I said to each person that called. I’ve become dumbfounded and gave up talking to people who called to ask about my dad’s condition.

For the first whole week, my older sister stayed at the hospital with my dad. I have already told my supervisor, who is probably the nicest boss ever work under, about my work hours and gave him my schedule. For the next two weeks I gave my boss the days I can work so that I can also stayed overnight at the hospital. The four of us, whom are all twenty years old and above and can drive, rotate staying overnight. My mom also stayed overnight. There were a few nights when both my mom and I stayed overnight. She would sleep in my dad’s room, while I camp out in the waiting room. Of course, there were also nights when she stayed overnight with another younger sibling. Thus, begins our long days and nights at the hospital.

The Journey through My Dad’s Traumatic Brain Injury: The Beginning

You’re probably thinking “MaiMai you’re still alive!” yes, I’m alive and barely doing well. A lot has happened in my life recently, as a matter of fact, there has been a dramatic change in my life. Before I was almost always complaining about my life that it was boring, and I needed more excitement. Right now, I cannot even complain about my life if I want to.

On Sunday morning May 13th, 2018 two days after I have come back home I received a phone call from a relative telling me that I needed to get hold of my mom and tell her to call my dad’s cell phone immediately. My mom and younger sister A had taken younger sister B to work and was going to stop by the Hmong store to get ingredients to make Pho. Well, younger sister A had changed her cell phone number without me, being the only one, not knowing. Frustrated, I decided to call my dad’s cell phone. An aunt picked up and I could hear all the noises in the background. She broke the message to me. A tree had fallen and hit my dad. Somehow, I was able to process all the information without going into shock. In fact, as soon as she told me that I asked immediately where my dad was being taken. She replied Charlotte which is an hour drive towards the east. That was not how I wanted to start my summer.

I immediately went after my older sister and younger brother B, who were at the laundry mat, after calling and leaving a message for younger brother A. I told my older sister and she took off to go to the Hmong culture park (more like an empty lot of land where the Hmong new year is held each year). However, she didn’t make it that far as she came back to finish the laundry and told me to go back home and that my mom and younger sister A was going to finish paying at the Hmong store.

Once we all got home we tried to figure out who was going to Charlotte and who was staying home since we all wanted to go. After a few minutes of discussing, my mom, younger sister A, and I left for Charlotte after calling our uncle to let him know. Mind you, that none of us has ever driven to Charlotte except for my dad and younger brother A. Well we made it safely to the hospital and here is where more trouble begins.

At the front desk, I gave the patient representative my dad’s name and he was nowhere to be found. After a few minutes, it was getting busier and the representative asked us to move aside for a moment. By this time my uncle, aunt, and two cousins had also arrived. Now, the address was sent to us by the aunt who picked up my dad’s phone and address was given to her by the EMT’s. So, there was no way we were in the wrong place. I started to call all the hospitals that were within an hour from home. Younger sister A called the aunt back, and the aunt called the hospital. We finally thought we found our dad only to immediately know that the patient was female, and we’re back to square one.

Frustrated and angry, younger sister A and younger cousin A called the president of the organization, we were pushing for them to tell us where exactly our dad is and why no one thought to follow our dad to the hospital. Now, having taken an EMT course I know that the plane cannot carry that much weight or any other additional passengers. However, someone could have driven to Charlotte so that when my family and I got we would not have run into any problems locating my dad. Of course, since my dad was only volunteering not part of the organization and not their relative no followed him to Charlotte.

By this time my older sister has heard of the news that our dad could not be located at the hospital and was calling Catawba EMT. Meanwhile, members of the organization and some other people that were there on Sunday morning volunteering showed up. They went up to the front desk and got visitor passes, my mom told them that it wasn’t the right room, but they insisted. So, they went up only to came back down. Just as I hanged up, my younger sister A came up to me and said, “Hey so that aunt sent us dad’s license so maybe we can just show it to them.” Frustrated I just glanced at her, but then I realized something. If that aunt had my dad’s wallet with her all along there was no way the EMT could have put in his information into the system, he was an unidentified patient.

I told her to get in line with me and the patient representative we talked to earlier, waved at us to go to him. All along I thought they no longer care about, but since we were persistence about staying at the hospital until our dad was found and more people kept showing up it looks like he’s been making phone calls around the hospital. By this time my older sister had called and talked to the Catawba chief paramedic. Once again, the patient representative asked me for all the details and I finally told him that there was no way my dad would be in their system because he has no identification on him and we didn’t know that. One patient that flew in had match my dad’s physical description, the time frame and events led to the injury matched. So, the patient representative and I rushed to identify the patient after my sister showed him the picture of my dad’s driver license that was sent by the aunt, whom I talked to earlier.

Well, we didn’t make it in time to identify the patient since he was already taken to the CT Scan room, but the patient representative got a good glimpse of him. So, he told me that we’re going back to get visitor passes and he’ll take us the STICU (Surgical Trauma Intensive Care) waiting room.

By the time we got back to the lobby, Catawba EMT had called to let the front desk know and most everyone had gotten visitor passes. Everyone that was not family went their own way, but I told my family which also consisted of my uncle, aunt, and two younger cousins that we’re going with the representative. After a long wait, my mom and I were the first two to see my dad. I can still remember his condition. His head was so swollen and they shaved his head. They wrapped up his hands in mitts so that he doesn’t start to pull on any of the tubes and IV fluid lines. I couldn’t even look at my dad for so long because the tears just kept coming. I spent most of my time in the room looking out the window just to wipe away the tears until the ER doctor came in. By this time younger brother A had arrived at the hospital all the way from Boone and was with everyone else in the waiting room.

Of course, we let all the visitors saw my dad so that we can get rid of them and sent them home. I didn’t feel like looking at their faces. I didn’t want to see them. I felt so angry and disgusted because my dad has done a lot for that organization, he has helped most of the people in the organization and within the Hmong community. The least they could have done was sent one person to Charlotte with my dad’s identification so that when we got there we wouldn’t be stuck in the lobby for three hours. When they told us over the phone that EMT has my dad’s information and identification, I couldn’t even think twice about not being able to locate my dad. I was upset, so upset when I learned that EMT didn’t even get hold of my dad’s identification.

From the moment I saw my dad laying in the hospital bed, I knew that I took granted of my life before that event took place. I thought my life before was hard, complicated, and boring now it’s even going to be harder. If anything, I was grateful for the patient representative that helped us.