that smile

i was trying to find my way through the restaurant to get to our table, but i guess i was lost, because you were right there waiting for me with that happy smile. you looked like your 90s self – bowl hair cut, large square ranger glasses, dark mustache with your oversized letterman jacket and jeans. you were eating candy. i feel like it was the one you love to have after we get pho in el cerrito. it felt like an asian restaurant too. i think i saw bamboo. no words exchanged, just an embrace and kiss.

thank you Dad for visiting me during my birthday month. your timing is impeccable, only 5 days after the 13th. i haven’t been able to really think about you much because of all that has happened, with me being in the hospital and all. but i guess i kinda did because being in the hospital and staying over night reminded me of you. i personally hate hospitals because of you, and i had so much anxiety about the whole visit. i’ve never been so sick to actually WANT to go to the hospital. craziest chills i’ve ever had, convulsing really. fever. and that’s it! no other damn symptoms to point to the source. it was really scary and thankfully i was with Chad in California, where my insurance works best. i think i better understand how hard it was for you to be in different hospitals and clinics. it’s very depressing and it requires a lot of patience, hope, and trust. you were in the hospital for more than two weeks and staring at those walls and just thinking is exhausting and stressful. as much as i wanted you to defeat your illness, i think you were only being strong for us, and that would be selfish of me to want that for you. it’s still hard to accept, especially around this time, but you were tired and i know you did your best. you did your best all the time, and that’s how i know you lived your life to the fullest.

now that i think of it, the days leading up to my birthday i did think about you a lot. i was anxious. i cried into the night. i was just so emotional. i think it’s because my last birthday with you wasn’t a very happy one. our family was all over the place dealing with your illness and while everyone was trying to make it a special day for me, i also forgot it was a hard day for you and mom as parents and i didn’t realize it at the time. there are so many things i wish i knew then and i know that it’s going to be a battle to stop making myself guilty for all the things i could of done. with all this said, i hope on July 8 this year i can celebrate you more and not dwindle on these thoughts that still remain fresh in my head. i will try to keep my head high as i finish out my ER rotation. i will also try to find some motivation and inspiration to get me back into the swing of things. i pray for my 27th year for positivity, happiness, perseverance, strength, and faith.

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