I never intended the blog to be a personal one. I figured I'd concentrate mainly on food. But as more and more of my family started reading it, the blog served to document, well, my family -- weddings, births, and milestones -- all through the lens of food. And yet, there were some posts that I couldn't write. Not then.
Two years ago, my oldest uncle was in the hospital for more than two months. He's been battling an autoimmune disease for more than two decades and his cancer had been in remission for a decade when it returned that spring.
It was a pretty scary time. There was no way I could have written anything then. Heck, I couldn't even blog my strawberry Coca Cola ribs recipe because the story was attached to my oldest uncle.
Several years ago, during one Christmas, he told me he liked my blog. What? How did he know? Who told? Did one of my cousins accidentally leave the page open?
Oldest uncle said he liked that I wrote about my ba noi (Vietnamese paternal grandmother). How come my parents didn't know about it? Umm. That's because I didn't tell any of the adults? From then on, he would occasionally ask about the blog or send me links to articles about Vietnamese food.
During one of my visits that spring, he suggested I go down to the cafeteria with my cousins. I could blog about the food, he said.
My cousins ordered chicken sandwiches.
While I got chicken fried steak with cream gravy and collard greens.
And we gazed at the view. Afraid to speak of our greatest fear.
Thankfully, my uncle pulled through.
I was reminded of when my ba noi (Vietnamese paternal grandmother) was in the hospital. She had gathered albums and albums of photographs through the years. Some of them were entirely devoted to horizontal pictures of her. Another album with vertical pictures. Albums for traveling. Albums for all of us.
As she lay in her hospital bed, we took some of the last pictures we ever would with her.
I'm not sure what I'm trying to say, that tacit understanding that this is part of life, so we try to go about it as normally as we can, regardless of the circumstances.
My uncle went in for surgery again. And I didn't even know until my dad called me asking if I'd heard any word of how it went.
Thankfully, oldest uncle is now at home and resting.
And this post could finally move off my queue, those particular fears, allayed for now.
And if you ever do come to Huntington Memorial Hospital, hopefully in happier circumstances, the cafeteria has a great view and the food isn't half bad. Hospital room menus even include rice porridge for breakfast.
Huntington Memorial Hospital
100 W. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105
1 year ago today, Bun Thit Nai Nuong Xa (Vietnamese Noodles with Grilled Lemongrass Venison).
2 years ago today, part five of my "How to Start a Food Blog" series -- Posting: Frequency, Topics, and Accuracy.
3 years ago today, Squash Blossom Omelet.