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.


  1. I have always said that yelling is a form of prayer. And I read a quote recently by Gandhi-"In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart" . God understands exactly where you are Kathy. He understands your silence and your confusion, your heart that feels like it is broken into a million pieces. He understands your fear. I am sorry you are so far from your immediate family during a time when you need them the most. I am so grateful that you have your mother to lean on, even from this distance, and that her words of wisdom reach you.

    Despite my own crisis of faith, there is one thing I know- and have not forgotten- Jesus too cried out asking why God had forsaken him. And before that, in the garden, he asked God to take the cup from him- he wanted nothing to do with God's plan. He was not thankful for his path, because part of him is/was human. He too "yelled" at God. And so did Moses before him in the desert.

    God does not want a robot. God asks for our hearts, and every last remnant of what is in our hearts. He can take it- your silence, your anger, your "lack" of thankfulness. He gathers all of it to himself. Anne Lamont is wise. Prayer is not reciting memorized words- it is who we are and what is inside of us... there is no script for it. And all of it, every last bit of it, is valid and right.

    So- my advice is to shake your fist at God- cry, scream, turn your back, weep. And lean on those that are here, waiting to catch you.

    You and your family are loved beyond measure, my dear friend.

  2. kathy, sorry to hear about the bad news! sorry to hear that you felt lonely this thanks giving!
    i do not know how much this virtual hug can give to you, but we are here and wish/pray some miracles happen for Joey! just hang in there!


  3. don't know how to comfort you. I don't believe God, but now I wish I did,and he can provide the ultimate comfort to all of those who is struggling such kind unbearable pain in life. Just take a one breathe at a time, you have a wise mom, I am glad to hear she is supporting you so much. My mom is the opposite.
    Big hug. I wish there is a miracle, one day when we wake up, all of these were just a bad dream.

  4. I feel your pain. I am thinking about you and Joey on a daily basis. Life happens in a flash, we all have a brief moment. Your mom is right, live one day at a time.


  5. Let the sadness be just a moment. And allow your sadness to be one hour per day maybe. All the remaining of the day, remember we need to fight, fight, fight against that horrible disease. We'll be successful! Remember months ago you were also feeling at the lowest point, then got the good news? You'll get good news maybe months later again. But the most important thing is we'll never give up!!! Keep on smiling to Joey, Keep on exercise, Keep on healthy food. There will be miracle!

  6. Sorry to hear that. This winter is so cold, but I hope you can feel warm and Joey too. Don't think more, do what you should do now. We are here with you and Joey always. Be strong and give Joey a happy holiday!
    - Qingcha

  7. So sad for the bad news. I know no word that can comfort you.
    Life is a journey, and Joey is always your sweet boy.


  8. 不知道为什么上次留言不见了。看了这篇好难过,希望土土跟你一起继续坚强,在病魔面前不要退缩,希望奇迹可以出现。为土土跟全家祈祷。Meggie

  9. 为土土祈福!
    亲爱的,你能做的只有坚强,我能做的只是告诉你You are not alone.

  10. LIUFEN,我在这里,我们在这里,当妈妈的都在这里,为你和孩子祷告。

  11. I was as lonely as you. I was on the flight to China on Thanksgiving day, since my father got cancer and was dying in the hospital. Eventually, I was 6 hours late, so I didn't see my father's last minute.

  12. Dear Kathy,

    You, Joey, and your family have been in our thoughts and prayer. Sorry to hear the bad news, and feel your pain. 当黑云压境风暴来袭的时候 ,真的让人难以想起乌云上面的太阳,难以相信奇迹, 可是我们的神真是一位又真又活说有就有命立就立的神。今天看飞扬杂志刚好看到一个神迹,而心里也有极大的催逼来Joey的博客看看有没有更新,焉知这不是神的安排? 这是文章链接:


  13. 希望只是暂时的困难。照顾好Joey的同时也一定要注意自己的身体,妈妈不能倒下的。加油!