These are, the memories, attached to a simple store-bought bowl of instant noodle, translated…
Inside the super convenience shops of the hospitals, the shoppers came in crowds, and the line for the checkout went from the shop to outside into the hallways, it’d looked, quite majestic. I’m amongst this group, because that bowl of instant noodle with minced pork I’d loved since I was a child, this was the midnight snack for tonight, also the fifth evening of my mother’s hospitalization since her cough started.
something like this, perhaps??? Photo from online…
My mother was diagnosed with dementia three years ago, she’d been hospitalized twice. Still remembered two years ago, the first time I’d had the instant noodles as supper in the hospital, I can’t help but recalled, how I used to love my mother’s instant noodle with an egg; the minced pork mixed with the aromas of the sunny side up, that was, the most fulfilling snack of my late night hours. Many years later, as my mother lay there, frail on the hospital bed. “I’d remembered how she used to be as I saw the bowl of instant noodle”, and I’d felt the sorrows, attacking me, I’d put down my chopsticks and started sobbing.
Suddenly, there came, “There’s too much tears shed here in the hospitals, rather than crying about it often, just face up to it”, don’t know who’d spoken these words, at this instant, it’d, helped me know, and so, after I’d cried from then on, I’d, faced up to the trials that life had to offer me, and I’d waited for the sun through the storms, and, to this particular hospitalization, I could already, cope with it well enough.
After I bought the instant noodles and returned, my mother waited by the door for me, like an excited child, she’d chimed on, that a short while ago, the doctor came, and told her she could be discharged tomorrow, and how he’d commended her on being a good patient, taking her meds, and eating her meals, that she was, a model of all the other patients too. As my mother chimed on, she’d smiled so radiantly, showing those remaining few teeth she had in her mouth.
“just add the water”…photo from online…
In the depth of the night, as I waited for my instant noodles to be ready, I’d recalled how I’d taken care of my mother for over three years now, from the day she was diagnosed with dementia, I’d hired a foreign nursing aide, considered the nursing homes, and hesitated if I should, look after her myself.
People who’d been there once consoled with me, “once you’d become the primary caretaker, your time and movements will be tied up.”, and in the end, I’d still chosen to look after her myself, because my mother is still quite articulate, and mobile, could do a lot on her own. And besides, I wasn’t willing, to let go of her hand that’s, clenched onto me tight, like how when I was younger and scared, how I’d, held on to her hands tightly too. Despite the hardships of this process, I’d still, looked at it in a positive manner, I believe, that everything that’s happened during this period, good OR bad, will become meaningful to the future. I don’t make any predispositions for the futures, in my abilities, if I can take care of her for a day, then I do it a day.
The noodles are ready, that aromatic minced pork entered into the nostrils, and, my mother who was originally sound asleep, opened up her eyes. I’d asked her if she wanted some, she’d smiled toward me, “You can have it, you’d had it hard these couple of days, we are checking out tomorrow, aren’t we? I’d be glad, if my life can return to back it was before this.” I’d nodded, and, gulfed up the noodles, the trying moments during these past few days, all gone, in the instance of the steams from the noodles rising up in the air, and, leaving behind, that taste of fulfillment, of happiness inside my mouth.
So, these are, the smallest things in life that makes us satisfied, being there, with her mother, watching her sleep soundly, without any trouble, with that bowl of instant noodles that reminded her of the wonderful times in the past, that, was more than enough, wasn’t it???