Forty years ago, my mom had a hysterectomy to remove the tumors from her ovaries and uterus.  It started with an infected tube from an IUD, bacteria and other invading pathogens in our water and exposure to chemicals in the garment factory where she worked. She is also lacking in sleep raising 6 children.

During the last 18 years of her life, she lived in San Jose California. Every Sunday, I would bring a big bag of produce from the farmer’s market.  And we go to the Asian supermarket for her fish, shrimp and beef bones.  I supply her with vitamins and massage oil from whole foods. She adds ginger in her massage oil and boils ginger for her own anti-flu warm drink.  She discovered red wine and been addicted to it and drinks only at night with her boiled eggs or dumplings. She loves dried salted fish.

During the last 2 months, she can feel that the tumor is growing and said goodbye to us and happy knowing that most of her grandchildren completed college because of her financial support.

During the times that she has aches and pain, she would massage herself.  She loves her garden. She loves her friends. She always get sick when she goes home to the Philippines. Four years before she died, she can feel that she is gasping for breath, had lost her appetite and has difficulty swallowing. On 2 occasions, she cannot walk that her knee must be suctioned from the growing pus inside.  Her skin is always itchy and had back pain too.  She cannot see herself retiring that she worked until she was 82 years of age. She is remembered as a generous grandma , loyal to her family and very friendly to all.  She cooked for strangers and has a happy laugh all the time even when she is tired.