Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Our sons, my step-sons actually, visited us at Thanksgiving, Ted Chiang from California and Phil Chiang by a much shorter trip from New York City. We had a happy dinner, with others of our family present, and with Tina briefly out of bed after we all had eaten. Tina is my beloved wife, quadriplegic, ventilator-dependent, fed only through a gastric tube, and we do not eat in her presence, so she joined us afterward. She has been quadriplegic the last eight years of our twenty-eight-year marriage.

The visits are bittersweet, as our sons feel deeply their mother’s loss of ability to move, sometimes of ability to converse. Their visits are welcome by both Tina and me, looked forward to, enjoyed in retrospect.

Ted, in particular, was most hurt by the break-up of his mom’s first marriage and her subsequent marriage to me, her former college sweetheart. In time, he has reconciled with both of us.

Ted’s latest visit lasted almost a week, and he was the perfect guest/family member: helpful, generous, thoughtful, warm. His birthday was a couple of weeks away, and I knew we would send a card and a check, but I wanted to express our love and appreciation more appropriately.

“Ted, if there is something I can do for you that would make your life better, please tell me.”

“You are already doing it…taking such good care of my mother.”

When I told her about it, Tina was touched…as I had been.






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