100 Days

Tomorrow is the 100-day marker of the world without mom.  And so far, it has been full of surprises.

Before I hit the road to go to the temple, I stopped by Starbucks for my breakfast latte.  This guy in scrubs looked up from his paper and called my name.

Wouldn’t you know it?  It was Doc Trojan, my ophthalmologist!  (And yes, he reads my blog…so hello there, Doc!)  He had a few minutes before going in to do surgery at the medical center by my house.  So we visited for a little bit.  You know, talking about Trojan football.  What else!

When I told Brandon about this later, he asked if I told Doc that I want to get Lasik done next year.  Haha.  But seriously, he’s the only person I would trust regarding my eyeballs.  Or anyone else he’d refer me to I’d totally trust him on that too.

Anyways.  I said bye to Doc and headed up the 605 to the temple.  I got there just after the monks did their round of “tak batr” (food alms), but the head monk told me to follow the monks with rice anyway.  I brought over some cheesecakes for the monks, one of Mommy’s favorite desserts.  Once again, the only “western” dish in the menu.

If I could have my way, I would make fresh crepe suzettes right there at the temple, withholding the Grand Marnier and brandy, of course, and topped with homemade vanilla beans ice cream.  THAT is my mom’s favorite dessert. Ever.  But I don’t know if they’d let me do a table-side service for the monks.

After praying, I did “tawai sangkataan” (giving the monks provisions).  Traditionally, people would bring this bucket full of supplies like soap, toothpastes, and medicines to the monks.  Nowadays, the temple provided pre-packaged supplies for sangkataan that they reuse.  So you make a donation to the temple for those supplies which you symbolically give to the monks according to traditions.  But what you are actually giving is money to the temple to use for buying the real supplies or whatever the temple needs.

At first, my feelings on this was a bit of bad taste in my mouth. What is this, a money making business?  But when you really look at it, monetary donation does make sense.  I mean, I’m sure temples get flooded with supplies they can’t use fast enough.  All are just going to waste.  But if they do this donation deal, and use the prepackaged items as props for the traditions, then there is nothing to go to waste.  And if you still insist in bringing your own sangkatann bucket, I’m sure you can.  And they won’t turn you down.

After the temple, I tracked back from La Puente to Stanton to join up with Brandon, his boss and her friends for lunch at our favorite Thai restaurant.  God bless the Sargeant!  She loves “naem sod kao todd”…even after she finds out what “naem” actually is.  Well, that’s a fermented pork sausage.  Brandon wouldn’t touch that stuff.

And finally, I got myself an hour massage both for my birthday and in honor of my mom.

Mommy used to get massages at our house either once a month or twice a month at one point.  At that time, both of my brothers had left to study abroad and I was sleeping in my parents’ room.  So my room was turned into the massage room.  I would hang out in my brothers’ room, doing homework, watching TV or whatever while mom got her massage  in my room next door since both rooms share the A/C.

I think even with the sheets, the massage oils and creams got into the mattress.  Since then, my room always has a hint of that smell.

So, the massage today was in part my treat and in part one of those things Mommy did that will always remind me of her.

Oh, and Aurora wants to go to dinner.  And Justin is spending the night with us after his interview in Torrance.  So we might all go get food together somewhere.

Needless to say, I’m in a happy place at the moment.

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