It’s interesting how life turns out sometimes doesn’t it?

Prior to my mom’s stroke, my dad and I have never had a serious conversation just because. Our talks usually involved having him give me a sermon while I turn a deaf ear to his voice. I’m a “Daddy’s Girl” (he was very lenient with me, sometimes even spoiling me as my mom used to put it), but it was my mom I went to for matters about life in general. My dad and I… Well, let’s just say that we’d both just rather confide things with my mom.

Things have changed since my mom had her stroke. From a viewpoint, it seemed that Dad and I had no choice but to turn to each other. With my mom’s stroke coupled with my sister’s schizophrenia, it was as if God made it so that both us team up and shoulder heavier responsibilities.

Life’s wheel has turned, and it was no longer up to my mom to decide things for us. My dad discussed this before with me, and he said that he really felt that it was God’s wish for my mom to “shut up” and have my dad shoulder more responsibilities.

Next week would mark the first year my mom had her first minor stroke, the minor stroke she ignored and continued with her smoking cigarettes, which resulted in a much more complicated stroke the following February 14th. I cannot help but notice how things have greatly changed here in our household. With my dad “in command,” we get to eat healthier and “just enough” foods unlike before, when my mom would cook way too many servings of very oily dishes that sometimes just get wasted for being stored in the fridge for too long. I love my mom and all, but now I can see how a few of the decisions she made weren’t exactly what you would call appropriate (ie. continuing to smoke even after a stroke). With Dad in charge, my mom has no choice but to follow the “healthy foods” diet and quit smoking.

One of the major things that have changed since that fateful day was that my dad is now more “accessible” for me and my sister. He spends more time with my sister (such as encouraging her to do some gardening with him so she’ll have something to do), and spends more talking time with me. There are things my dad really can’t discuss with my mom, especially when she’s having one of those unreasonable temper tantrums. He would talk about those things with me. He’s also now the one who reminds me to take my vitamins daily, to insist that I take a rest from work, and stick notices on my corkboard so I will remember to pay the bills. My dad is now shouldering the responsibilities of both father and mother, and I think he’s doing a great job.

Sometimes I really can’t help but wonder when we’ll ever rise from these difficult times. But when I really sat down and think about it, it occurs to me that other people are worse off: we’re still lucky. We’re still together, and that’s what really matters.

Life just has a sadistic way of turning its wheels for the better, and most often than not, resulting to the most unexpected.