Hardest Loss

I miss everything creative.

Writing, the piano, and art. And cooking and making crafts. These are things I have longed for during childhood and fit in very sparingly whenever I had free time.

And now I have to accept that I can’t do these at all anymore, ever.

What a cruel fate for the musician that wakes up with deaf ears, the dancer with one less foot, or in this case, the writer with no hands?

Or rather, touch.

I can type and that is a blessing, but it’s just so overwhelming… Even stranger, I find it hard to write about my chronic illness. You would think for a writer, it would be effortless, but the words are simply too painful to write.

Why? It’s not only a long and painful story, but one that has no ending. That’s what disturbs me the most.

It all has to end someday, right? I repeat that question to myself everyday.

At least, that’s how it goes in a story. How can I write about mine when it’s not finished yet?

I’m extremely surprised at myself. Looking back on my life, I can truly say that material possessions and money meant nothing to me. I made the right choices, and I can smile weakly at them, even though they led me down this path.

I used to think that creating was the very essence of me, and that losing it would be absolutely impossible. To some extent that is true, but I miss something else the most of all.

I miss the ability to just call someone up and have free time. I miss the ability to give someone a hug. I miss sitting next to someone on the couch. I miss, oddly enough, taking care of people.

It was rooted in my creativity, and I guess that’s why I misunderstood myself. I liked to cook, because I could cook for people and take care of them when they were sick. I loved entertaining people with the stories I created on a whim and hear them laugh with excitement. I liked decorating because it gave others security and a homey atmosphere of warmth. Even though in the past I could barely do these things because of the circumstances, I was happy to do them a little bit, rather then nothing at all.

What I miss most of all… is love.

Dear Mama,

How is it after all these years you are still the person I can come to when I’m feeling disappointed by the world?

How is it that, even though you’ve been through so many hardships, you still keep that positive warmth around you?

How is it that even after everything is taken away from you, you humbly walk to church every Thursday and pray for everyone out of the goodness in your heart, and thank God for what you have left?

I’m really lucky to have you.

Someday…

I’ve surprised even myself that I still have hope for this.  But someday, I hope that I will have a home. A real home.

When I was in high school, my English teacher asked each student in the class a simple question:

“What’s your life’s dream?”

There were the typical responses. To be a doctor! To be a lawyer! To be rich!

When it came to my turn, there was only short deliberation, after which I finally said, “To own my own house.  That’s all.”

Odd stares from my the class as I curiously peered out.

I was always labeled as the “brightest” in the class, but yet, I had the lowest aspiration of all.  Perhaps most confusing to me was the look of sheer shock on my teacher’s face. I really couldn’t understand why it was such an odd thing to say.

The truth is, having a good place to live was something I never had growing up. I remember doing my homework in cars. I remember reading Harry Potter, and not quite understanding why he disliked his cupboard under the stairs. To have any space of my own would have been beyond my wildest dreams. I would have taken Harry’s cupboard any day.

Dear God,

After everything is said and done, I still believe in you, God, and trust in your plan for us.

Last year was the most difficult year in my entire life. My family and loved ones went through many tragedies, including several deaths and illnesses. I was kicked down by people I thought I trusted. That was a really dark time. I remember that I absolutely hated you. I felt like you abandoned me and my family, or even the entire world for that matter. There were times where I did not even believe in you at all anymore.

Looking back, I feel so ashamed. I now realize our world is the way it is not because of you, God, but because of the evil of people in the world. I understand you better than I ever have in my life now, God. You are powerful enough to take everything from us. You are great enough to take our sorrows, our anger, and our pain. And even though I sinned against you, I know that you forgive me. You understand that I am only a mere human. You love us despite all our faults, despite all of our sins, and you can heal all.

I used to ask you, why? Why do you let horrible things happen to good people? Honestly, it seems to me that nothing bad happens to the evil people in the world. But after everything happened the way it did, I now understand and have hope that you sent us Jesus to save us from this world.

Jesus suffered just as we did, and he was blameless. Somehow that comforted me. And to this day, I know in my heart that Jesus is the one who saved me. His love was in every person and friend who reached out to me and comforted me. I never realized how lucky I was.

To have a loved one reach out to you just because they love you and be there for you at your lowest–the everlasting impression of that goodwill can never be gained from anything material.

Thank you, God, for this lesson.

I built my own desk.

At one particularly low point in my life, I could not help but feel my life had developed into a running parody of the guy who breaks his glasses at the end of that Twilight Zone episode.

A desk is something so simple, yet personal for a writer. Yet, this simple luxury was something that I would be unable to have for at least 26 years, as unbelievable as that might sound. This series of unfortunate events, as my friend Lemony Snicket would say, is a story for another day.

I was flat broke, and sitting on the carpet in an empty apartment. If anything, I had negative amount of dollars in my bank account, and even a lesser amount of value in my heart and spirit. I never asked for much, if at all, ever in my life, and yet here I was, so much farther from my dream of a place to call my own than I could have ever imagined.

All I ever wanted was a desk to write on, and I could not even have that. I closed my eyes and let the tears roll down my face. I laid down on the carpet and let its heaviness comfort me.

Suddenly, it struck me. I said to myself, if I cannot afford a desk, I’ll build one! This was done not out of any actual bravado, but rather, desperation. I drove off, determined, and picked up two heavy pieces of wood from the local hardware store. Hardy, unfinished, but most importantly of all, cheap.

Building the desk proved to be harder than first estimated. But slowly, with layers of wood paint of polish, it came to life. And once it was built, so did I.

Writing Desk

If you’d like to build your own desk, the original article which contained instructions that helped me build it can be found here:  Original Article 

Kudos to the author for the clever and hilarious instructable.