Sunday, October 11, 2015

Personal Note: Early Saturday Morning My Mom Passed

My mother had been hospitalized for over five weeks.  A ventilator machine aided her breathing as she laid in a semi-comatose state.  Throughout this time, the doctors used every mean to heal my mom but her health refused to improve.

In her advanced directive (living will), my mother insisted that she not be on long term life support.  So we had no choice, but to honor her wishes.

Thursday afternoon, October 8, 2015, shortly after 2:30, they gave my mom morphine to ease the pain and meds to ease her breathing, then they removed the ventilator. Her body wound down with her hand in mine and hymns playing.

Saturday morning, October 10, 2015, at 4:11am, my mother, Pao Yue Chen, went home to be with the Lord. Although she was still breathing, by Friday afternoon, she was no longer gripping my hand nor responding to my voice. Around midnight, the playlist ended with the Sevenfold Amen, the last song in the album Hymns Triumphant (London Philharmonic Choir & National Philharmonic Orchestra) and I turned off the music to let her mind rest if it wasn't already. At about 4:00am, her vitals on the monitor flat-lined at which point the first doctor came in to verify that there was no sensor error. At 4:11, the second doctor confirmed my mom's passing.

My mother's interment will be next to my dad at Meadowridge Memorial Park.  You are welcome to join us, in our celebration of my mom's life and in our rejoicing of her return home to our Lord Jesus the Christ, our God and Savior.

Visitation & viewing will be

Friday, October 16, 2015 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm and from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Memorial service will be begin

Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 1:00pm

Meadowridge Memorial Park
7250 Washington Blvd
Elkridge, MD 21075

(north of Washington, D.C. and south of Baltimore, Maryland)


If coming down Interstate 95:

1) Take the exit for Maryland Route 100 East.

2) On MD Rt. 100, take the first exit, U.S. Highway 1 / Washington Blvd South.

3) Once on U.S. 1 / Washington Blvd South, you will see Meadowridge Memorial Park on the right (west) side of the road.

If coming down Maryland Route 295 / Baltimore-Washington Parkway:

1) Take the exit for Maryland Route 100 West.

2) On MD Rt. 100, take the exit for U.S. Highway 1 / Washington Blvd.

3) At the end of the exit ramp, turn left (south), on to U.S. Highway 1 / Washington Blvd.

3) Once on U.S. 1 / Washington Blvd South, you will see Meadowridge Memorial Park on the right (west) side of the road.

Enter Meadowridge Memorial Park via the main gate (second driveway, the driveway with brick walls).

Visitation, viewing, and memorial service will be held in the main building at the end of driveway.

Meadowridge Memorial Park

Main Gate

Praying Hands

Geese in Pond

Tree Overlooking Pond


My mom will be laid to rest next to my dad.

My mom and dad's plots is by the statue of Jesus welcoming us home with open arms.

Statue of Jesus welcoming us home with open arms

Sunday, September 20, 2015

One Thing

My mom has been hospitalized for several weeks and I've been spending all my free time at the hospital.  While there, at my mom's bedside, and she was, at the moment, soundly sleeping, I wrote the following poem.

(I don't usually write in the Jack Kerouac "On the Road" "stream of consciousness" "interior monologue" narrative mode form.  However, I wanted to capture my thoughts at that moment.  And with my left hand holding my mom's and only my right hand free to work my phone to dictate my thoughts, using the "interior monologue" narrative mode form seem to be the obvious choice.)

One Thing

Through my mom's
Hospital room window,
The city, the world, everything,
Is small and vain.

In this moment,
With my hand
In the warm grasp of hers,
As she struggles to breath
And her pulse is weak,
There is only one thing.

Unlike the numerous "one things"
That came and went,
In which we really meant
One more thing,
This "one thing",
Pressed and distilled
From and by the very stuff of life
Is life's very essence.
The only metric
By which everything meaningful
Is measured.

In this moment
Of retrospective, introspective,
And prospective clarity,
The "one thing"
That really matters
Is love,
Only love.

In this moment,
I see that "one thing"
In my mom's hands,
A history
Written with the lines of her palms
Of unrequested forgiveness given
Of unnoticed selfless acts
Of an abundance of grace dispensed.

In this moment
I see a woman
Who clearly discerns life's "one thing"
And pursues
To become
A master of that "one thing"...
A master of love.

In this moment
As my gaze returns
From the window
To my mom's hands
I recognize that "one thing"
And it renders 
The city, the world, everything
Small and vain.