I am thinking of you this morning. I wonder whether you are safe and have found your way back home by now. How was your homeless life past two months or so if you were discharged two weeks after me? It is Thanksgiving in two days, and I hope you are with your family. Whenever I see a person asking for help on the street, I often think of you, and I could not just pass. As much as possible and as often I could, I want to see his/her face and give something.
I wish I disagreed with you and you had to go back home instead of living your life like homeless when you told me that you would wander around D.C. You are not a homeless person. You have a home to return to, and your mother is waiting for you. Your father would wait for you even if he might not remember you because of his dementia or other memory issues you mentioned. I wish I have my father waiting for me, regardless of whether he remembers me or not. I wish I know more about your stories that kept you from returning home.
Dear Joe, I want you to know that my fear of death does not mean physical death. I am not afraid of physical death anymore because I truly consider myself physically died several times this summer. I am grateful for my breath this morning when I woke up. I sincerely do alive when I wake up, even though my days could be rough, and my body feels like tons at times. When I mentioned my fear of death is more related to my spiritual life, especially about my trust over people’s goodness at the core of them. Surprisingly, after going through this summer, I still believe in my Good Father who takes care of me. I pray for you and your safety wherever you are. This simple activity of daily talking to my Father is why I still hold onto my hope for people’s goodness at the core of us; otherwise, I do not know how I do my job as a people healer. I know you would not believe me, but I do hear God’s voice every day from everywhere. I need to pay real close attention and to be quiet though. Let me say I hear his echoes everywhere. My sister’s voice is one of those echoes.
My sister’s decision to go on with her life without getting medical treatments and turning to God for her breast cancer treatment brought me tremendous confusion. My sister’s name is KJ. I had a chance to spend her last time when I visited her in July 2018. I wanted to take care of her just like my other sisters who took a turn to stay with KJ, but my other sisters discouraged me to do so. They all told me to visit her as often as I could and enjoy my visit traveling historical places just like I would normally do; otherwise, my sister, KJ would be sad. I did not understand much at that time and one of my sisters told me that they want me to remember my sister the way I knew her in the past. One sister told me that I could not forget once I see my sister’s back that was deteriorated because of infected bedsores. She told me that she could see KJ’s spine. My other sisters did not want me to remember KJ that way. KJ is my supermodel in my memory: a fabulous run-away model. She is still alive in me, especially when I need to wear make-up and dress up for the occasions. She passed away a month after I returned to my home in September 2018.
I never saw a resemblance between me and my sister until recently. I was often jealous of her beauty, height, straight posture, oval face, and fashion sense. She bloomed when she went to college. She was stunning. It was recently when I saw her reflections when I stood in front of the mirror. I saw her sorrow, her pain, and her longing to be loved and remembered for being beautiful AND faithful. I do not know how she endured both her physical and emotional pain from her worsening cancer and her loneliness.
I would like to live my life on behalf of her to continue with her beauty and faithfulness. I was never able to see my beauty in the past. I did not hear that I was beautiful growing up. I heard many times this summer that I was beautiful. I even heard that I was sexy, to my surprise. My sister was sexy for sure. I think I am gorgeous. Please stop laughing, Joe. I can almost hear you laughing and quickly agreeing with me. You have no idea how hard it is for me to say that I am gorgeous inside out. It took me almost fifty years to say that without any sense of embarrassment and not being modesty. It is simply amazing to say what I started to believe. My sister deserves to be remembered and to shine. She was too young to die.
I used to have a high pain tolerance. It is almost like I am becoming superwoman, especially about dealing with pain. My sister’s presence within me gave me the energy and power to become stronger than ever in my life as I am facing 50 years old. My fabulous sister shines through me and echoes in my soul every day. She does not give up on me, just like my God. How am I going to giving up on myself, then?
Joe, I wish you figure out your echoes inside of you while you wander around the streets. I wonder whether I am one of your echoes. I hope my echoes bring you to hope and smile so you do not feel alone. You are becoming another echo in my soul.
Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.
I miss you.