Friday, January 22, 2010

Hurting Your Parents

You never want to see your kids hurt, you know? I had surgery once and I mean, I was at least 20, but I could NOT handle the IDEA of an I.V., let alone putting one in my arm. Now that I've donated blood, you could stick a needle in and I wouldn't notice, but at that time, I was almost screaming in the hospital. My mother was with me before they took me and right when they were putting the needle in my arm. She's trying to hold me still so they can put it in and I'm having a nervous breakdown. I remember her tears too that day. I don't remember much after that because of the ridiculous amount of drugs, but she told me silly stories about myself. But she cried first.

Please ignore that ridiculous look on my face. That's my mom and me this past Christmas.

My husband's father had a heart attack and I was left alone in New York City while he flew back to Ohio. Not a big deal, right? I dropped my keys on the tracks and, as I was going to donate platelets (my favorite Sunday activity, after church, at that time), I passed out on the 6 train platform. A train attendant had to help me and call and ambulance. I called my mother in the emergency room waiting area and she got upset and said, 'What do you want me to do about it?'

My parents live in Hong Kong. That's 13 hours away and it takes me at least 15 numbers for me to dial their phone number. I didn't want her to do anything. I didn't want to come up later and she be like, what?!?! She told me later that she was upset because there was nothing she could do.

I'm old enough to make my own decisions now, of course, along with my husband. And I feel that I'm being called.

But how do you tell your parents that you're giving up a kidney? And I'm not just giving up my's to a woman at church, not a family member.

I like my mom's approach that she's using with her parents. My mom, dad, and brother all live in Hong Kong (my brother is young enough to still be in school) and they were supposed to be moving back to the US this June. They've signed on to stay in Hong Kong for 3 more years so that my brother can graduate from high school. mom doesn't want to tell my grandparents. Because they talk ALL the time about my parents moving back to the United States. She just wants them to find out when my parents don't move back in June.

I'm kind of feeling that approach.

When I was a teenager, I suffered from depression and self-harming. Long story short, I (kind of) told my parents. My mom didn't talk to me for weeks. She was upset; she thought she was a bad parent. That was a long time ago, but I still get nervous: what is she going to say when I tell them?

In the end, it doesn't matter. But I still get this pit in my stomach whenever I think about it.

My mother has told my brother that he can do MMA fighting and that he can play rugby. She will sit on the sidelines and she'll support him, but she may close her eyes and I know that she sits at his rugby games and cries. She doesn't get up to help him because she knows he can make it on his own.

This is my 14-year-old brother. Covered in mud and his own blood after being kicked in the head during a rugby game.

I'm kind of hoping that's how she'll feel with me.


For those of you in the US (or even those outside), tonight is the Hope For Haiti Now Telethon. MTV is hosting it so that means I'm working! But I think you should watch it. WHAT?! YOU DON'T WATCH MTV!!?? (That's okay, neither do I) But that's okay! Because the Hope For Haiti Now telethon will be on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, Facebook, Myspace,,, get the picture.

If you are outside of the United States, Hope For Haiti Now will be streaming on MTV International in 21 different languages. Just visit

And thanks for listening to me. :) I really appreciate it!


  1. My mom always said it was like a mother bear instinct.

    I think if you calmly tell your mom that you've thought through all the pros and cons of it before making your decision, that's all you can really do. And if she doesn't automatically (or eventually - I can imagine this news coming out of nowhere would probably shock her a bit) feel proud to have such a generous daughter, then I just don't know! Good luck!

  2. You know, I've felt that approach more than once with my parents. I didn't want to hurt them, I didn't want them to be upset. So I just didn't tell them. Or I told them last minute. So I can definitely empathize. I think what you're doing is amazing, though.

    Stopped by from SITS and I'm so glad I did!

  3. did i tell you yet today that i love you? well my friend i do, and i am proud to call you my friend.

  4. I have a little brother too (well, 17 years old). And I absolutely protect my parents from the bad news. I hate to worry them... they have enough on their plates and I'm a big girl. But sometimes I just need to hear my mom's voice and everything is okay.

  5. That is amazing. I also think you're mom will be proud of you for giving up a part of yourself (literally) to help another. She may not say she's proud, she will say she's worried and may try to talk you out of it, but any mother would be proud of having such a caring daughter. Thanks for stopping by my place.

  6. What a wonderful thing you're doing!

    Moms and daughters are complicated, aren't they? (I have four sons, so I missed out on that...)

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    You are doing a wonderful, selfless thing for a person. As a mom myself, I would be scared and concerned for my child, but most of all, I would be proud.

    There's no easy way to share the news, but as someone else suggested, do your homework and be prepared to support your case.

  8. Hmm, relationships are complex. I always look at it from both sides. If you were a mother would you like to be told? And if yes, how would you like to contribute to the person who is telling your news? Would you like to know what they actually want you to do, like your mother aksed you? Do you dare to ask and would you dare to tell your mother how she could contribute? What role do you want to play, victim or someone who knows what she is doing, confidently and get that message across?
    No situation is the same but what do YOU desire to happen and then what needs to be in place to have that happen would be questions I now ask.
    Best wishes, Wilma