Sad News

Jet called this morning and let me know that her grandmother had just passed away.  This was not unexpected as her grandmother had been bedridden, couldn’t move and talk for the past two years after experiencing a severe stroke.  Over the past few months, there were times when Jet’s grandmother refused to eat and drink – likely to hasten her remaining time here.  Her grandmother’s condition over the past years is certainly something that has affected Jet and her family.  Jet has told me numerous times that she would never like to live like that, which is something that always pains me to hear. 

I am glad that Jet was in Thailand when her grandmother passed, which is something that her poor condition always concerned us when we were over in the US.  It was always difficult for me to see Jet’s grandmother these past few months as it always reminded me of my own grandmother’s final days.  I hardly had the chance to know Jet’s grandmother, after all, how much can you “know” someone that doesn’t speak the same language and lives halfway across the world.  The only time I really had to spend with Jet’s grandma before her stroke was six years ago when Jet and I got married.  In fact, my interaction with her provided me some of the moments I remember most about getting married in Thailand.  During the morning Thai “traditional” ceremony, there was a point when Jet and I were kneeling together while the Thai monks gave us blessings.  Everything was said in Thai and it became apparent to me during the ceremony that everyone in the packed audience who were kneeling all around us understood exactly what was going on, what to say, and when to bow to the monks.  Well, everyone except my Dad and I.  During this part of the ceremony, when I needed to bow, I always got a nudge on my back that really helped out, but it was only after I watched the video of our wedding that I found out that it was Jet’s grandma that did the nudging.  On a terribly hectic day, sorely jet-lagged (I arrived in Thailand for the first time only the day before) when I tried my best to remember things I needed to doand things I was not supposed to do, that bowing was likely the only part of the day that I probably got right.  Thanks grandma.  I will travel back to Phitsanulok after my class on Wednesday for the funeral.

I went for a walk around the area nearby my condo yesterday just to get out and about.  I needed to get my stitches out yesterday afternoon as well, so this gave me a reason to spend some extra time outside, which is something I have not done much of in the month I have been here.  It is actually pretty strange to me this year in Thailand compared to last year in Thailand.  Last year I really felt as if I was in another part of the world and I became very immersed in the culture.  This year, it almost feels like I haven’t left the US.  Talk about a strange feeling.  Sure, everyone speaks Thai and walking around for any amount of time is about as different as it can get from about anything in the US.  Perhaps I came to Thailand this time knowing what to expect that has made a difference.  Maybe it is because I have not been to Phitsanulok as much as I had been last year – all of those miles on buses add up.  Probably the biggest factor, though, is how pampered I have been this year compared to last year; my laundry is done for me instead of me walking to a coin-operated washer out in the middle of the street somewhere, I eat much more often in my room because I have a large grocery store next door to me (I don’t have to rely on just the street vendors), the room I have is 1000% nicer than the dorm room I had last year, and finally, I get tons of English-speaking TV channels that I can watch at night where I can keep up with all of the latest news happening in the US as if I never left home.  Speaking of TV, there is an “Australia Channel” that I get that plays Aussie Rules football games live on Friday and Saturday nights, which is just wonderful.  I have played Aussie Rules for almost eight years now and this is the first time that I have ever been able to watch a full AFL (Australian Football League) game in my life, other than in just some 2 or 3 minute highlight film.  Imagine playing American Football for eight years and never having watched a football game (NFL, college, etc.) before.  Ridiculous, right? 

So I did get my stitches taken out yesterday.  The dentist took literally 30 seconds to take them out, remarking when he was doing it that I had “eaten” half of the stitches that he put in last week.  How does that happen?  The one thing to note about brief visit to the hospital was that the dentist first asked me if I experienced much swelling, bleeding, or pain in the past week.  Well, not much at all I responded.  The dentist gave me a few pain pills to take with me last week which I never had to take – just some Tylenol here and there is all I needed.  After I told the dentist this, he seemed unusually surprised, almost shocked.  I suppose I was lucky.  It’s good to catch a break every now and then.

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4 Responses to “Sad News”

  1. Janette Says:

    Hi guys! I hope you are all doing well. Tell Jet we’re very sorry for her loss. Is it fate that you were all there already? I don’t know but at least you aren’t making a hasty trip out to Thailand where you would be jet lagged and hurried. You’ll have to fill us in on how Thai customs are with funerals out there, are they as elaborate as the weddings?
    Things are going well here. I’ve been quite busy trying to do too much in too little time. Jeremy is on vacation this week but is having our sitter watch the girls Tuesday so he can go golfing with friends. He’s got a million things on his “to do” list that hopefully some of which will get accomplished this week as well. We’ll see how well he can juggle the kids and get stuff done!
    The kids are doing well. Abby seems to be settling down a little, although she is now entering the phase of I love my Daddy. Jeremy’s always enjoyed picking on the child so it’s quite interesting to see this change. She is forever asking where daddy is, when’s daddy coming home, I miss my daddy, I love my daddy. My favorite is when she’s in trouble and crys that she want’s daddy, not sure how she thinks that’s going to help her cause. I think the whole thing has softened Jeremy up a bit. After all, it’s hard to pick on someone who so obviously adores you.
    Kaitlyn is one month from hitting the one year mark. Those first six months last an eternity, but the second half of the year you spend looking for the brakes to try to slow it down! She is still crawling everywhere. She does everything but walk on her own otherwise such as standing, walking along furniture, pushing things along the floor for support to walk, loves to have you hold her hand to walk, BUT won’t just do it on her own. She’ll totter a little and then just plop down on her butt and go. Her two front top teeth have finally broken thru.
    Good to hear Ben is settling down out there. I don’t know that he won’t be afraid of cats in the future. Ok, I had my wisdom teeth all pulled about 4 years ago, two impacted/two not, and I don’t think I paid more than $300 for the whole lot. Although the two impacted could be charged as medical and not dental–better coverage then, I still don’t get how you would be paying $1000. Don’t they care about their teeth down South? I was under sedation for the whole thing so I don’t have any bad memories of drills or teeth being pulled apart. Yikes!!!!
    Well, hope all goes well and tell Jet I said Hi! and see you all soon!
    Take care,
    Janette

  2. Sandy Says:

    Sorry to hear about Jet’s grandma. At least she is there instead of over here. To be around friends and family and be able to attend the funeral. Everything is gong well here. Think of me on Wednesday when I go for my interview at Froedert!

  3. Kristin Says:

    Tell Jet we are sorry to hear about her grandmother. I’m sure she found peace in being able to see jet and Ben again. I do remember the story about Jet’s mother helping you during the ceremony. We are looking forward to you guys being back. It seems like such a long time away but I know that it will go quickly. Talk to you soon.

  4. Linda and Donald Says:

    Please let Jet know how sorry we are to hear about her Grandmother. I’m so glad that it worked out for you all to be there at this time. I remember seeing the video of Jet showing off Ben to her when he was just a baby. She seemed very happy to touch him. I know that was important to Jet and her Mom.

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