Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Cleaning Crew


I have a Vietnamese woman who I now consider part of the family, help me clean my house every other week. She works hard for 4-5 hours trying to do what I would wish for her to do without interfering with the order (or disorder, in my case) of my various piles. I am young, and cheap and feel like I can do this simple work myself and save myself some money. I mean, come on, did my Mom ever have anyone to help her around the house? and she had 4 kids! Oh yeah, the kids helped around the house for allowance money. But I justify it since I am working my butt off and don't have the energy to come home and work too. The thing I realize is that clean and organized, systemized and decluttered is cleansing and healing and I need to practice it more often.

Erica, in her senior year of High School, had visited Vietnam. It was a wonderful experience visiting the war memorials of our generation, seeing the beauty of another culture and land, and partying with Vietnamese teenagers and trying their foods and drinks. They left peace offerings and bonded with a world they couldn't communicate with any other way. Listen with the heart...

Communication is difficult when you don't speak the same language. How frustrating it can be when you don't understand someone on the other line of the phone (all those computer tech help calls!), someone mumbles, or you just don't speak the language! Trying to relay what I needed in the cleaning department has been a lesson in patience, but worth the effort. One day a few months ago, I noticed that Hahn was looking very morose and wasting away. She relayed to me that her son had gotten into some trouble and that she was internalizing the pain. How often do we stuff our feelings and think that no one will notice. No wonder we have so many mental health issues, road rage, suicides-who listens? I hugged her closely and told her she needed to take care of herself before she could help her son. Health is our biggest asset. We prayed and talked about the support of a universal presence that was looking out for her. Just after my surgery, Hahn arrived with a bandana on her head and as I revealed my cancer diagnoses, she revealed her recently shaved head she had done in support of her son. We hugged and shared tears. She returned 2 weeks later and I had just gotten my new wig. I got up and made her try on the bleach blonde wig and we hugged and laughed at the cool blonde Vietnamese woman in the mirror. She is bringing our family our favorite spring rolls and soup to aid our healing, and dug the happy buddah that Sean had purchased for me on his visit to China out of the dusty shelves in the living room. "You should be more like him she said". I agreed.

3 comments:

Daniel said...

Welcome to the DAn and Erica Show

Starring the world famous ......married couple

Shmer said...

Oh mom, nice wig! You are so lucky to have all these new hair-dos! Love you lots!

Deb said...

Hey, that picture reminds me of one of you in the Chochin! Feeling Groovy!