I took a picture of my parents in front of these cable cars. We had a picture taken at the exact spot when we first came to the US many, many years ago.

   18. Being grateful for the gift of my parents

My parents’ visit: October 11-14, 2014

What a blessing to be able to enjoy my parents in their old age. The huge age difference between my mom and dad makes me cherish each moment spent with both of them, especially my dad.  Since moving and living in the to the US  since I was a young adult, being able to really spend time with them is rare.

For the second time this year, I invited my parents to stay at my house for three days. I really appreciate my guy for giving me the space once again to really just devote my time to my parents. He stayed with family for 3 days. And for three days, I could not get enough of watching and hanging out my parents. I really tried to spoil them  as much as I could and make their stay comfortable.

Sunday, October 12 :

  • I picked my parents up from my sister’s place in San Jose. San Jose was really hot! My poor dad was so drained after an hour’s drive. Luckily, my house is much cooler. He did not want to go out for dinner so I picked up jook, rice rolls and veggies from Chinatown – my mom’s favorite dishes whenever they visit.
  • A nice dinner in my dining room. This is a precious memory to be able to sit around the dining table at my house and share a meal together.
  • I stayed up with my dad  until almost midnight watching the documentary on Hitler. My dad loves history. My mom fell asleep on the couch. I haven’t done this with them since I was a kid.

Monday, October 13:

  • Made my dad breakfast of egg and toasts. (I have never cooked breakfast for my parents – ever. This was a first.)
  • Took BART to San Francisco. My parents enjoyed the BART (train) ride. I took my parents shopping. My mom bought purses while my dad bought a pair of leather shoes. My mom and I also bought some pumpkin-spice scented stuff from Bath and Body Works.
  • They did not like their lunch at the SF Shopping food court but really enjoyed the beef stew, mashed potatoes, pasta and matzo ball soup from Bristol Farms which we took home and ate at home. It was fun to see my parents enjoy their meals (my inherited my foodie-ness from them.)
  • We watched a little bit of “Mysteries of the Museum” before going to bed.

Tuesday, October 14:

  • My dad did not want to go to the beach at Crissy Field which was my original plan but just wanted to hangout at home. After breakfast, he discovered the show “Gold Rush” on the Travel Channel and parked himself in front of TV.
  • My mom decided to do gardening. It was so heart-warming to see my mom enjoy work on my garden. I joined her and we quietly worked side by side. It was actually so relaxing. By the time my mom was finished, my rustic (unruly) garden was so clean and became a place of respite!
  • At this point, my cat started to come out of hiding and decided that my parents are his friends, too. 🙂
  • Lunch at Rikyu, a very nice neighborhood Japanese restaurant. I had a scare because my dad’s blood sugar dropped down and he began shaking. He is fine after his first bite. Sashimi, tempura and bento boxes were enjoyed.
  • Beat the traffic and arrived at my sister’s house at 4 pm. Had delish Filipino food dinner of igado, afritada and chicharon with my sister, brother-in-law and nephew. Heart attack city! Watched Filipino news and shows with the family while I was waiting for rush hour to end. I do not have Filipino channel at home and honestly do not know who’s who in the Pinoy showbiz. They had to fill me in on the latest tsismis (gossip).
  • Home by 8:30 pm, called BF to say “good night” and passed out my couch while my cat passed out on his little bed.

A delicious three days with my parents. I am happy and sad at the same time. My heart is giving the  Lord my utmost thanks for the gift of my parents who are still strong. However, it is hard to ignore that my dad who was once so full of energy is already slowing down. When we first came to the US his sense of adventure took us to exploring all over the San Francisco Bay Area and Reno within a month!. There were times when we got so lost but it was part of the fun.  Now my dad has to take many breaks in between. He is still the most patient man ever. He let my mom and I roam around and shop till we dropped while he waited patiently for us.

And finally, what a blessing to be able to thank my parents by welcoming them into my home that they really gave to me as a present. Through their generosity, they made my dream of owning a house happen. They always encouraged me to be independent and responsible. And many years later, I feel so honored to have them over.

My dad and I were talking. He was looking  around my house while we were hanging out in the living room.  We started reminiscing about our early days in the US when my siblings and I were merely  kids. He told us how much he and my mom worked so hard  and sacrificed so much so my siblings and I could have  good education and be well-provided for. It was so affirming to hear my dad say – “Looking at you now. It is all worth it. ”

Ever so grateful to the Lord for the blessings of very loving parents and continuing to give them life each day.

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