belly buttons. mothers. children.

my 6 years old student asked me two weeks ago:

kid: do you have a belly button?
me: everything that has a 'mother' does, so yes. well, marsupials and platypuses dont.
kid: can i see it?
me: no.
kid: then how would i know that youve got one?
me: ask my mom. she gave birth to me.
kid: but i asked nicely!
me: and i said no, nicely!

yesterday, with an excuse of 'mother's day,' the four of us (big bro busy, small bro dead), went to have a lunch. two moms and a dad, and a kid.  she wanted a chunk of cash, so she got that. we all got more than enough food for lunch. yay.

then on way to drop me off at the subway:

mom: am i an organ donor?
me: are you?
mom: you marked on my renewal form that i am,
me: then you are.
mom: is it marked on the card?
me: i dont think so?
*both look at driver's license, but has no clue
me: i think they will look your record up directly.
mom: so if im a donor, what do they take?
me: i dont know, but i doubt they take 'all'
mom: they can take all, i think. after you guys, we dont have any grandchildren, so we dont need to be bured on ground.
dad: yeah, no one'll visit anyway so, look into it.
me: okay.

that hit me like a small pile of bricks. of course, you keep it all in your head. cuz it'll be embarrassing for them to see it.

it is true, they are very unlikely to see any grandchildren- i dont plan to have any, and my brother doesnt seem so either.

i understand their wish to not be 'neglected' once me+bro's also gone.

it did make me think whether they really wanted to have grandchildren, and it just didnt work out to be so.

and if so, i am very sorry that it did not happen.
*regardless of what my brother does

my mom always has doubts and concerns about my decisions. however, as she 'decided' to let me go and do my stuff fairly early on, she just sighs. and nudges. i acknowledge and do whatever i want. cuz ultimately, happiness is about being able to accept the 'unwanted stuff' as well-

and because she 'yields,' i feel sorry often.

all she wanted was a daughter that was easier to understand. however, she does let me be, even with reservations and oppositions- especially with my personal relationships, etc.

it's not easy for either but i guess that's what it means to grow up.

happy mother's day, mom.

i thank you occasionally (in person)
while fully knowing that my life decisions continue to frustrate you.
thanks for tolerating and letting me to be me.
and love me for being what i am,
despite of our differences.


blitz of last 10 days.

found on street.

the last week of april and first week of may has been quite demanding.

there were a few lovely recitals that i was so happy to be part of.
there was an outreach concert to faraway nursing home and my dad did the deed of dad taxi to help me out, which was very touching.
the lovely uber driver returned my black shoes and he was so shy to receive a few bucks and bits of chocolate.
the friend returned pants i left at a show and even bought me an excellent brunch.
the lovely choir peeps are presenting chamber works this sat and theyve been working so hard.
the friend i havent seen in person for two-whole-years, we had chance to drink together in person.
the lovely friend who presented a great program of multi-cellos, i was lucky to write about that.
the beautiful composer who i admired, i met in person and am now an official fan girl.
the gautier capucon show i wanted to go to, a close friend went instead and was ecstatic.
colleague of mine was in a fatal car crash and lost a family member.
had two psych evaluation trans sessions, where peoples' stories broke my heart (and doctor's).
another faraway friend kindly made time to hang and catch (he's popular)
my six year old student A was so tired that i was worried she was going to tear up. she didnt. but it wouldve been okay if she did. i love her anyway. we all do.
i realize it's cinco de mayo tmrw. that sounds crazy.
the call for granny's nursing home bed came- we must visit tmrw and call on monday to accept the offer if we would- and she'll be moving in on tuesday morning.
my mom's sad- she worries if granny'll feel 'dumped.'
the anniversary of brother B's death passed. went to mass.
booked THE summer trip: morroco, 2018!

people. they occupy mind, time, and events.
and love.
they all take love.
it takes love to take them all in.

it's been a busy week.
unusual amount of sadness, but

it also will pass.


whirring into eternal silence

in five min, it'll be a full 8 years since we buried the little one under the ground. it was a rainy day. it didnt pour, but it did spit the whole day. the ground was slightly soggy and i tugged a card into his final outfit- a small box.
when we turned away from the fresh mound of earth, the ground underneath was making that wet, soggy sound.

yesterday, a friend was involved in a car accident with a passenger. we were on way to see him and we took a wrong turn, and saw the street all blocked up with yellow tape.

about an hour later, we were down at the hospital.
we learned that the passenger died at the scene.
friend'll be in hospital for a bit.

there is so much more story to this situation. but it's not my own family, so i leave it be for now.  it's their privacy and there's a time for sharing grief and then there's time to wait and listen.

but it was such a beautiful day.
the air that makes people giddy.
5% less care, as it goes in the wind.
though we dont know what happened yet.

i called up a few people at the emerge, as ive done just eight years ago.
connecting the dots. the law side. hospital side. people. family side.

as the day was warm and sun was out, there were many more giddy people out, in their fast moving machinery, driving high on spring air. revving their engines. driving a bit faster, bit closer. motorcycles cutting cars out.

and just like fly buzz, the buzz hovered over the city all day.

and that buzz, like a wasp in the ear, really angered me.


so many lives lost, because of a slight wish for speed, panache, and god knows what.
carving that suburban road corner. just making it in by the flick of the light change. last minute lane change, because well, one may thought that was skilful.

it's also a full moon (well, was, last night). and around every full moon, the city buzzes with whirring of engines. i hear them throughout the night, being in downtown, 32nd floor. and so does the sirens. they ring throughout the evening.

fleeting time and fragile lives.
never i thought i would remember 29 april as a special day.
it just became one.


thats a wrap for juries!

today was the last day of the instrumental jury accomp.

thanks to everyone who has kindly invited me to be part of their prep and presentation. i honestly did enjoy every bit of playing we did together, with every ONE of you and i really am happy to learn more about each persons-

and special thanks to the first year students:

thanks for trusting me with a 'new step.' there are many able and great pianists in this big city, so to be asked to be the 'wingman' is a great honour. and i hope you felt supported, cared and respected, as a colleague.  yes, colleague, as equals.

have a great summer, most of you (expt you poor buggers who has chamber exam on the END OF THE MONTH HAHAHA), and looking forward to next phase of recitals as well!

imma lucky kid.


granny you so old you are young again

haha, hard to tell whether it's for a child or a senior.

today, dad,mom,granny were at home, meeting up with the social worker, i was phoning in. the request for this meeting came quite suddenly, as there's a possibility that a bed may be free for granny at a local nursing home.
*yeah this is the shouty lady.

granny's 94, turning 95.

she's been living a long time, long enough that she is now shrinking.

i remember that day i realized that i was taller than her. woot. now she's at least head shorter than i am.

her rings are so big now that she has put yarns around the ring to pad them up. hehe.

she sometimes forgets stuff now, and though she is quite lucid, sometimes she says unrelated things, like a little kid.

when i hold her hands, it's quite tiny. and i have small hands.

mom's in late 60s and while dad's seeking freedom (?) at work, she takes care of granny at home. sometimes she's about to lose her mind, but i guess we all do feel like losing shits at some point, lol.

her nursing-home-to-be is near christie station. makes me a bit happy, as it's not too far from me. my choir has been there, singing, a few times. and i think as they do have a sizeable korean clients, at least she wont be stuck eating cold sandwiches and tuna casserols- this is a hugh plus.

granny knows that she's been on the list for awhile. it's been a long wait. though i dont know how much she understood today.

anyway. so there i was, on the school hallway, asking the social worker to stop shouting into the phone (HAHA OUCH). and momdad carefully answering stuff.

mom later texted to say that they went out for a din.
and that she still has a good appetite.

and it made me tear up.

granny's a little kid.

she held me, im sure, when i wasnt even walking. there are pictures...! she fed me. cleaned after me. yelled at me for being a lazy bum. and we even shared bed till i left home at age 17.

she took care of the house while momdad were busy at the cleaner. once again, we grew with granny.

dang, she took care of a son that was born after her husband was taken away and killed in the war. she fed her son and her sister-in-law's kids. she literally persevered. she was strong. she was a mother, and she was a protector. she fed her life to her son, and us, the rest of the family.

years later, now, the baby's gone first, and here we are, two grandkids who are out of the house, son and daughter in law, who are seniors themselves.  momdad's heading out to s.korea to pick up their dual citizenship for the summer, so it's a great timing- as finding temp location/help seems a bit more complicated than anticipated.

when i go visit, which i havent been able to, for a long while, she always asks me to stay over. i havent, for years, as i really am busy most of the time. but also because somehow, i think if i stay over once, may be she would want it more-

i have her personal history written down a few years ago. when gabe died, momdad asked me if i be down to get granny's eulogy down. so i have that written down. somewhere on my bookcase. i know where it is, but i dont look at/for it.

she's a littliest one now in the family.
she likes to curl up in bed with heating blanket.
she doesnt 'like' walking exercises, and is a big fan of peanut butter sandwiches and chocolate milk.
she grew old that she is now a kid.

i lover her much and i think about the day she will become so small, that she can stay in my heart.
meanwhile, i hope this transition will get her into a nice place.

but the thought of her possibly misunderstanding this 'move' as a 'casting away' made me worry.

may be she'll like it there.
like sending a wee child to childcare for the first time, may be it is hard, but may be it is good. it certainly would be a big plus for everyone for logistics, including HER I HOPE.

my granny became a step younger in my mind today.


doing it right

scene 1:
urgent call req from social worker for granny's nursing home stuff (we are on waitlist),

i keep telling to social worker to speak softer, i cant hear her (old phone, older lady, heavy accent)*holy compression,
so she shouts on the phone.
i ask her to speak softer, slower, while she shouts to me that shes gotta speak up so i can hear her.

effort: 10/10
efficiency: 0/10
scene 2: about 12 hours later,
me wearing my winter coat in the house, sitting by the desk. roomie enters.

roomie: why are you wearing your coat?
me: cold?
roomie: cold?
*goes to check temp/heater
me: no no no, leave it.
roomie: you are cold?
me: no no no, im just eating unhealthy amo of ice cream. it's warmer this way.

congrats to joey, chiara, thomas and chelsea for a lovely sax rep play though!

and i went home and ate ice cream in my coat.
ha ha.


day on fire

sometimes it takes me quite a bit of time to get a day sorted.
for today, i was to cruise through four different locations for four different stuff- and i was so proud when it was all organized....
today turned out to be hilarious instead. so i thought it was worthy of note.

proposed plan was:

before 930am meeting: 5km run@y
930-1030am meeting: psych assessment (client+psychiatrist)@dundas square
-grace through ttc to school (15 min max)
11-12 noon: jury run through for A
12-1: rehearsal for B
1-2: rehearsal for C
-grace through ttc to union station (15 min max)
230-430: translation meeting (client+lawyer)@ front st
-grace through ttc to branksome (20 min)
5-6: teach a lesson for D
-return to school, get brain sorted,
7-9: recital for dearest meredith.

i thought it was a work of art. then the day actually happened like this:

before 930am meeting: rushed 5km run@y,
overslept so had to run faster than i wanted,
930-1030am meeting: client got on bus, then got to the station, to find out subway was out of power, so had to go take uber back home, get the car, and drive down, park and get to appt. 30 min late. so now it's 10-1115am meeting.
11-12 A cannot make it down as car's frozen from the storm over the weekend. briefly contemplated rechecking schedule with B, C but then decided they are super dependable, no need. so got a bagel and got to school with 15 min to practice.
12-1: B thought we were on 1-2. so B literally puts pants on and gets to reh for 1230. i madly text lawyer to see if we can push 230 to 330. 12-1 is now 1230-130.
1-2: is now 130-3, thought it was still gonna be fine, as lawyer wanted to start at 315. thought plenty time.
FUCKING subway fire.
no service from osgoode to king. now i have to leggit from osgoode to 43 front st as fast as i can in slush+grumpy people.
315 start is now 330.
we push right through the meeting, inst. of 230-430, it's now 330-430.
430 bus is late. so i literally chew my fingers out.
455 bus driver goes out of the bus to take a break at bloor. i needed one more stop north of bloor. gets out and leggit once again to branksome.
5-6: teach a lesson for D. she delares that her sister slept over in her bed, didnt get any sleep last night, should just nap at home. i silently muse the option. but we go through some I, IV, V chords for popsong-y stuff.
-return to school, 6-7 reh is running overtime. though the teacher has seen us, she decided to ignore her clock and finish her student's session, 8 min over the hour, which i found somewhat astounding- 730 recital gets 30 min max prep time, so taking 8 min out is huge. it's 27% of final prep time. i wonder if the teacher realizes how she is inconsiderate and disrespectful of other by doing so. prob not.
730 recital.

so sometimes, i just laugh.
you are all-grown up and done! congrats. thanks for inviting me to your last undergrad recital. i was so happy to be part of it. you are LOVELY.

k day, im out. see ya NOT.

i wonder if fate was punishing me for laughing at this last night