Sunday, December 8, 2013


For many people who immigrate to this country, Thanksgiving is a lonely holiday. We are not alone, but we are lonely. No matter how successful our career is, how many new friends we made, how big the dinner is, how thankful we are living our big dream, we are lonely. I am lonely when I see my American friends keep posting photos of family get-together on facebook; I am lonely when I see people hugging families at the airport; I am lonely when the roasted turkey reminds me of my mom's cooking...

This year's Thanksgiving is extremely hard for us. The day before Thanksgiving, we flew back from Cincinnati with the heartbroken news of his tumors growing. Although Joey is not fighting alone and the community has been so kind, we are combating the loneliness of a rare cancer, only 64 cases in 6 years in America. This loneliness, fear, anxiety, uncertainty of future deprive me of a heart of appreciation on Thanksgiving. I'm more depressed and miserable than being thankful. 

I called my mom in China. She is the only one in my family who knew the situation. My father doesn't know. I told her the bad news. "Calm down. Continue your life." She said. "Do what you can and take care of him. Leave other things to the doctor. Fear doesn't help you or Joey." I cried hard and said I want to go back to China with Joey in summer. "Don't plan. Live one day at a time." Mom is not a christian, but she said, "Pray everyday with Joey. Pray hard. Reflect on what you said and did." Mom is a positive, determined and wise woman. I never see her panic in any circumstances, even when Joey got diagnosed. 

We didn't eat a big Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, we ate the leftover from lunch. No strength, feel empty in heart. Someone in facebook posted a video of Autor Anne Lamott's talk with Oprah. Anne says it's easy to thank God when life is going well. However, when times get tough, feelings of anger or complete silence can also act as prayer - as long as you're trying to tell the truth of your heart. Interesting. I never saw prayer in such a different form.

I remember dad said this before, "Life is a beautiful struggle." I pray some day I can really understand the beauty of this hardship. When time is rough, I lost my identity in Christ. We are from you. Joey comes from you and is a spark of your glory. We are your children. We are blessed in many ways, but I get lost. I know some day when I look back on this, I would see life at a different perspective and this journey a blessing. Pray for the day I could turn tears into smile and live a truly graceful life.