The date was November 25, 2021, Thanksgiving Day. I was scheduled to work at the hospital. On my way, l was feeling a bit down because I couldn’t spend time with my family. As I entered the hospital and approached the time clock, I heard the patients talking: “Is the hospital staff preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the patients?” I turned around, smiled, wished them a happy Thanksgiving, and kept walking.
I never thought it would be a luxury to take the children to parks, zoos, and museums. But one day it happened. Since the pandemic started, we hadn’t been to any such places. We all longed for the spring of 2019.
I had gotten a bag of rice, a bag of flour, and some bread, but unfortunately, there was no more toilet paper on the shelves. In fact, most of the supermarket shelves were empty. But right after I decided to check out, I glimpsed a pack of toilet paper on the potato shelf. I hurried over, grabbed it, and threw it into my shopping cart as fast as I could.
In 2020, the virus took over the city. Everyone was depressed and scared. Life was dreary. You couldn’t do things. You couldn’t enjoy life. I hated the lockdown.
I got my acupuncturist license in 2001. Twenty years ago. The same year 9/11 happened. This tragedy shocked the world. On the day it happened, I volunteered to join the Pacific Acupuncture College team of the Federal Emergency Rescue after work. I still recall the silence and deep sorrow on every rescuer’s face. Two days after 9/11, there were not enough treatment beds for therapy.
It was my first time coming to America, June of 2015. I wanted to go shopping. My aunt gave me the address for a store. On my way to the store, I couldn’t remember the street. I saw two guys at a Car Mart, so I stopped and asked for directions. One of the guys said, “It’s not good to speak to strangers.” I told him I wasn’t going anywhere with a stranger; I just wanted directions.
I love to go for a walk in Central Park early in the morning. It is a paradise for dogs and dog lovers because from when the park opens at 6 a.m. until 9 a.m., dogs are permitted to go off leash, and they can run around on the grass. The scene looks like real New York, and the dogs look like they are enjoying the real dirt, grass, and huge space as real wild dogs.
When, almost three years ago, I found out that my husband and I had to move to New York, I couldn’t believe it. It seemed like a sign of destiny to us. There is a common thread that ties us to the United States.
The greatest thing that happened to me is I voted for the first time in my life at 75 years old. The first thing I had to do was get registered. I was in my literacy program, and Miss Susan and Mr. Matthew helped me fill the papers out. I think I did it online. I got my voting card in the mail. Now, I was able to vote.
Every night, the moon visits me
At my window, shining like a light bulb in my room.
Before the rain came down, the appearance of a dark cloud changed my entire mood. There was a continuous flash of lightning, thunder, and heavy wind. It was around 6 p.m. when I took my shower. I sat on the veranda, waiting to see what was going to happen.
Falling autumn leaves glide before my eyes
A colorful display of tree garment shedding
Cascading like a waterfall from the mountaintop
Making silent drops as they color empty ground
I am an adorable blossom
I wonder who cultured me
I hear lullabies of leaves
I see fluttering butterflies
I am an adorable blossom
I heard the ocean swelling,
Daring me to cross.
I’m writing to your memory tonight because I miss you so much. I know that no words can bring you back, and no one can replace you. I will never, ever stop loving you.