Diary of a Day

Brother borrowed the car yesterday and reversed into a semi-truck. The amount of damage was less than one would expect when considering the foe, but our car clearly lost the bought.

So this morning we took the car to the shop. We got lost along the way. The GPS was uncooperative and kept telling us to turn into a concrete wall. I guess it figured if we were going to have body work done we might as well go all out. I didn’t take the bait though and we eventually found our way. After an hour or so of waiting we learned that there were over a hundred vehicles ahead of us in line and we could expect to pick up our car in about a month or so. We wanted to be upset by this news, but in light of all that is going on we just kinda shrugged and handed over the keys. It is what it is.

We called a Didi (Chinese version of Uber) and headed over to the hospital to see mom. She’d worsened since my last visit. With fever, her eyes appeared glossed over and unseeing…yet when I approached her she still recognized me. I’m one of the few people she still recognizes. She calls her daughter, my wife, “sister”. She calls me “Scotto” – it’s the Japanese pronunciation of my given name. That’s how my wife introduced me to mom over 25 years ago and she’s never forgotten. At least not yet.

Some extended family dropped by the hospital to see mom too. The hospital room was full with family. I felt bad for the woman in the next bed. In all my visits I’d yet to ever see her have a visitor. She had restrictive gloves on her hands to prevent her from pulling out her feeding tube…the same gloves mom was wearing. They could barely move, yet they both exhausted their strength pulling at their literal life-line. I couldn’t help but think that perhaps they had the right idea. But it’s not my decision. It’s not my call.

When I leaned over mom to say hello, she asked me to hold her. So I did. After awhile she closed her eyes. Before leaving the visiting family members slipped red envelopes stuffed with cash under mom’s pillow. Then we all left.

We all went out to lunch. The dishes were piled high. Lobster, crab, fish, pigeon, smelly tofu, winter melon soup and more that I didn’t recognize or can’t remember. There was some drinking and lots of conversation. It was a three hour affair. Exhausting and delicious.

Exhausting and delicious. I think that could be the name of the memoir of my days in Shanghai. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll consider it more after a nap.

Be well,



  1. murisopsis says:

    Your mother in-law is in the hospital with dementia?? And your father in=law just passed away?? This sounds awful! Add the car and I can see that there is a string of bad luck in your life. Sad to hear. I hope your wife is holding up…


    1. Monty Vern says:

      Both my mom and dad-in-laws entered the hospital due to Covid during this big wave when China reopened. Mom already had underlying diabetes and dementia and the Covid has knocked all the strength out of her. Dad was strong and healthy so his passing was real shock. These are certainly challenging times and my wife is feeling it deeply. I pray that I can be enough for her. The house feels so empty — we’d all been living together. We’d been living together almost our entire marriage. I still remember the culture shock when we moved into our first apartment and her parents showed up with all their stuff. As an American I never expected it.


  2. Oh Ugh, Prayers for you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thinking of you all as you navigate these challenging times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      Thank you so much! I need some kind thoughts.


  4. You definitely need a nap after so much food!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s