Peter's Eulogy to Mom at her Memorial Service (12-31-2005)

Due to time limitations, the following sections were not read.

Mom at Aegis Gardens

Mom stayed at Aegis Gardens in Fremont, a Chinese Senior Retirement Center, for the last two-and-half years of her life. Mom was getting forgetful, so Margaret and I were concerned when the director gave Mom an entrance exam. They asked her to count backwards from 100, which Mom had difficulty doing. They pointed to three objects in the room to identify. Mom said "Table, Lamp, Chair." Fifteen minutes later, after quizzing Mom on dates and names, they asked "What were the three items we asked you to identify earlier in the proper order?" Margaret and I said "Oh Uh!", but Mom responded "Table, Lamp, Chair." Margaret and I jumped up and did a high-five "Mom passed the test!"

My Last Week with Mom

When I brought Mom to Kaiser Hospital on Monday, Dec. 19th because she appeared listless, Dr. Baker ordered a battery of tests in the Emergency Room. Mom was dehydrated with pneumonia and bladder infection. Her cat-scan was fine with no signs of stroke, but the X-rays showed some fluids in her right lung. After putting Mom on IV, Mom became alert and started talking. I had been with Mom from 3 to midnight, and Mom was concerned that I wouldn't get home because I had missed my last bus across the Dumbarton Bridge. I told Mom that I'll stay all night with her and sleep on the chair. I dozed off only for an hour, keeping vigil that Mom had her oxygen supply to her nostrils. On Thursday, it took me two hours feeding Mom vegetable soup. On Friday, Mom was so slow eating her pureed beef, mashed potatoes and yam. It took her two hours to drink half a cup of celery soup. The nurses said Mom wouldn't open her mouth when they tried to feed her. I told Mom that once I leave, nobody will feed her so she could be strong again. Mom cooperated even though she appeared extremely weak. I stayed till 6:30 to catch my last DB bus at 6:50 home across the Bay. It was the last time I saw Mom alive.

Five Inner Values: Forgiveness

Another instance of Mom's forgiveness was when she and Dad decided to punish me, Jimmy, and Margaret when we were 11, 9, and 6 years old respectively in our Glen Oaks apartment. We had been playing with fire in the kitchen sink. We would light some matches, throw it in the sink, and use our water pistols to put out the fire. Mom detected the ashes we left behind and punished us by forbiding us to go to school for a day. She knew how we all loved school as we had a perfect attendance record. She also locked up the refrigerator, tying the handle bars with knots. We were to starve for the day and not to eat until she gets home from work. I was to assign homework for Jimmy and Margaret to be completed when she and Dad returns. After 5 pm, when Mom was waiting for the Long Island Railway to ride back home, she phoned me. She would not get home till after 6:30. She had seen a mother and child eating at a sidewalk cafe and thought how hungry we must have been starving all day. She was in tears, saying "Peter, you may open the frig, feed yourself, Jimmy, and Margaret, if you have all finished your homework. Mom will cook a big dinner when I come home."

— Peter Y. Chou, 12-31-2005

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: peter(at) (12-31-2005)