February 28, 2007


A lot of things and people make me happy. But the ultimate prize really goes to my nephew, Justin. I swear that no matter how long and horrible my day's been or how cranky I am, just seeing him makes me SMILE! Even more? He never fails to tell me that he loves me. And when I ask him why he loves me... his response is, "because you're cute!"


Its amazing how there are people who for some reason, think that they are in a higher position than anyone else and have the authority to belittle and ridicule another individual whom happen to be in the same group as them. No matter your position, self proclaimed I might add, please take a good look at yourself before you even consider degrading anyone else in any way. As indirect as you try to be, it doesn't take a Harvard student to realize that you are referring to them. I will not be oblivious to the fact that someone is insulting me... even indirectly.

hum·ble [huhm-buhl, uhm-]
1.not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
2.having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.
3.low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: of humble origin; a humble home.
4.courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you are wrong.
5.low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member of the galaxy.
–verb (used with object)
6.to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.
7.to destroy the independence, power, or will of.
8.to make meek: to humble one's heart.

I came across this word more than I typically do today. It triggered me to look up the actual definition. I always knew what it meant, but I was skeptical of the true meaning after seeing it tossed around like a dead bird. You would think that constantly emphasizing that you are humble is contradicting the meaning of the word, right? If you are so humble, you wouldn't have to write it on your forehead to assure other people that you are just that. People will realize it on their own, take yourself off that pedestal and realize that you are still at the same level as anyone else.

Some may think that the reason for such an entry is jealousy or envy. Anyone who was humble would not have that thought that someone could possibly be jealous of them. The only type of people that I would envy are the people who are content with themselves and their lives, not people who feel that they have a point to prove.

My parents are the two most valuable people to me. They have power over me more than any millions of people combined do. They raised me well and disciplined me to respect others, but at the same time, respect yourself and value your own worth. I am hard headed and strong hearted. If I feel something, I feel it with great passion and will stand my grounds for what I believe in. I will not allow myself to be chewed, insulted, or slapped in the face by anyone... especially someone who means close to nothing to me.

As I might have stated in some of my previous posts, I have crossed paths with a lot of people. Many I have learned to love and gained much respect for... those are the ones that mean something to me. There are a handful who I have bumped heads with and never came in contact with again. I still survived.

Someone once told me that those people are like scabs... they have no reason for being there. If they are there, we just pick on it and pick on it some more in hopes that it would fall off. But if it fell off, it wouldn't hurt us a bit. In some cases, it would be even better.

People come and go in our lives on a daily basis. Some people hold greater value to us, and some are of no significance. I am lucky to have found many that I care for and vice versa. I would be hurt and feel great loss if those people were no longer a part of my life, as they would feel the same I'd like to believe. If there was a chance that I would lose that person, I would grasp them with all my strength and try to hold on for as long as I can. That is what it means to care about someone. You can't possibly claim to care for someone, but then not be a bit bothered by their departure. And in one case in particular, suggest that they leave and say things to steer them away.

Please don't ever pretend that I meant something to you when in all honesty, you really wished I wasn't there.

Oudom Doung Chet Jivit Bong

Oudom doung chet jivit bong
Ow sross noun la'ong
Knong doung chet bong sovmong rol tngai....

Haven't heard this song in so long. As much as I love it, I must admit that I actually forgot that it even existed. What can I say? Out of sight, out of mind. Hearing this song this morning brought a cloud of emotions over me. As sad and depressing as this song is, it makes me happy to know that true and sweet love exists... or it did at some point. I know love now, and I wouldn't trade it in for anything. But songs like this makes me wonder if men, or even women, have the same thoughts that are spoken through these lyrics but don't know how to
express themselves? Or are these lyrics just lyrics put together so that a song is complete and it sounds good? Well, whatever it may be, its nice to believe that there is such love out there... I think I am pretty close. I'm very fortunate and loved indeed, but so can everyone else! It frustrates me knowing that we allow ourselves to be hurt when it comes to someone we love, myself included. I guess thats just the way it is, like everything else in life. Its hard, and it can be even harder... but its up to you to determine if its worth it and if you want to continue. Are you happy? We shouldn't have to allow ourselves to be hurt all the time... can the happiness that we seek and long for make up for all the pain and heartache that we endure on the way?

Don't ever put anyone before you, no matter how much you think you love them. You have to love yourself first in order for anyone else to love you or you can love anyone else. Know your value and your self worth... and you are worth every speck of love and happiness this world has to offer...

February 27, 2007

Oh Procrastination...

I was starting my entry earlier today... but procrastination got the best of me. Told myself I'd finish once I get home... but doesn't look like that's gonna happen! ;)

Many might have gotten offended by my humor and sarcasm. What can I say? Thats just the way I am and I'm just having fun! There's no harm in that, right? I mean... if you start a fire, you can't expect not to get burnt!

And off I go... to continue my usual evening dosage of KC!

** giggles **

February 26, 2007

Better Late than Never... Rest In Peace.

I still remember her smiles to this day. Her eyes would get small and the ends of her lips stretched further to the side and slightly curve when it reached its furthest point. She was almost always smiling, yet she was always so concerned and worried about everything that was going on around her. Thats my Grandmother for you... she was just beautiful.

My Grandmother, my Mother's mother, was the only grandparent of mine that survived the Khmer Rouge and made it to America before I was even born. Needless to say, she was always in my life... and in my heart. We all lived in one house at one point. My memory is dense since I was so young at the time... not even sure if I knew how to talk yet back then. I do remember being in the house with her while everyone else was off at school or doing the usual strenuous work we used to do just to get by. She was so calm and patient with me, even when I was a difficult brat to deal with. She would braid my hair for me because I didn't know how and my mom wasn't at home at the time. She was the one who taught me how to braid. I never got a chance to ask her who she learned it from... but I'm guessing it was her mother, my Great Grandmother. My Grandma loved mangos... and so did I! She always peeled and diced them into perfect cubes so neatly that you thought it was too pretty to eat, but you ate it anyway because you couldn't resist. My parents always sliced their mangos... but not my Granny! She diced hers... and thats still my favorite way to have my mangos! She introduced some of my siblings and my cousins to something that I never would have thought of. Ever tried dipping your French bread into condensed milk? MmMmMm... that was probably one of my favorite snacks growing up. Granny taught me so many things, little things. In this case, little things aren't so little... especially the memories that follow.

My parents usually left the house at dawn, and it was up to my Grandma to watch over me. There were times when it was up to her to get me dressed and ready for school, and sometimes, braid my hair the way that I have always liked it. She made sure that I, and my cousins, had plenty to eat. Porridge with the shredded meat was probably my favorite meal, even when there were more choices. She liked it too! My sister used to always make Shark Fin soup, she knew that my Grandma liked it too and always made sure to bring some over to her whenever she made it. That was when she was healthy and able to do everything on her own.

As the years passed, her health deteriorated and it became difficult for her to do things on her own. She lived with my aunt and her family, which includes my younger cousin who suffered an illness and many seizures at a very young age, which left her disabled. Lyna then became my Grandmother's main concern. Even when my Grandma was incapable of doing everything that she used to at the pace that she did, she always made sure that things were okay in the house, and with Lyna. I observed her whenever I stayed the night, as difficult as it was for her to get around in her walker, she made sure that everything was safe and sound inside and outside the house. She would slowly push her walker around, making sure that things were unplugged, lights were turned off, windows and doors were locked. That's just her, very caring and protective of the people she loved.

My aunt used to ask me to go stay with her and Lyna on some occasions whenever she needed to get out of the house. My other cousin, Leroy was too young to stay with her at the time to take care of both Lyna and Grandma. At that age, I was selfish and naive, more concerned of my wants and needs than anybody else's. My aunt used to have to pay me just to go stay with my very own Grandma. I look back at it now and kick myself because it wasn't really a job, it was more of a priviledge. I took her presence for granted and now I admit to even feeling like she was a burden who prevented me from having a normal life after school and on the weekends. I am ashamed of myself for every having such thoughts. Even when I was getting paid to take care of her, I was negligent to her and her needs. All I would worry about was what was on television and the opportunity to talk on the phone with my friends. I would ignore her calls to me when she needed something and was sometimes irritated with her wishes. At the time I felt fine, but as I look back, I am so embarassed and ashamed of myself. I put her through a lot of stress when I was over there. I would get into fights with my younger cousin to the point where she had to tear us apart from each other. I saw the frustration in her face, but I didn't care because it was all about me and what I wanted. As bizarre as this may be, I have even pulled a knife to my younger cousin... all because we were fighting over the TV remote or something along that line. Stupid, I know... but I didn't know any better at that age. I will never forget the panic she felt and the screams and tears she shed just trying to stop us. I felt awful then, but I feel even worse now.

Just like anybody else, I made mistakes and did things that I regret and only wish I could turn back the hands of time and do differently. We know that its impossible, so I try not to dwell on it so much... learn from my mistakes. But along with the bad memories, there were many, many good memories.

My sisters and I stayed with our Grandma one summer while my parents and relatives, including my aunt whom my Gramdma was living with went to Cambodia. We switched shifts with each other because we still had school and my sisters had work to attend. My brothers would stop by and help take over some shifts whenever they could. We all loved my Grandmother very much... even if we don't show or say how we feel. Our family was never good at showing our affection for one another and our emotions anyhow.

She had such a great sense of humor... so funny without even knowing it! She said the darnest things sometimes and would laugh at little things that weren't meant to be funny or weren't even funny at all. That summer that my siblings and I stayed with her, we were watching a Thai movie on the big screen TV, and there happened to be a scene where the place was on fire. My silly Grandma, she screamed and said that it was hot and told us to put out the fire. When we told her that it was only in the movie, she calmed down and somehow, wasn't hot anymore. Hehe, she's so silly sometimes... I love it. She really loved me. My sister used to think that she favored me, but I knew that she loved all of us equally... she was just more protective of me because I was the youngest. She loved watching Khmer karaoke, and so did I! I am not a good singer. There are times when I try, and other times when I just hold the microphone and lip synch. One time when she was sitting in the living room watching me lip synch, she told me that I sang really well. Enjoying the praise, I thanked her and continued to lip synch while she continued to watch. I accidentally dropped the microphone and the voice kept going. She looked at me, puzzled. I tried to play it off but she figured out what was going on and never complimented my singing ever again! Thats still something that I look back and laugh at... hehe!

Predictably, her health only got worse and worse. She suffered strokes every few months and had to spend so many nights in the emergency rooms and intensive care. I will never forget the first stroke she had. It was Khmer New Year's and everyone was ending the celebration at one of the houses. I was at the temple performing Classical dances. As I was changing out of my costume, my sister came and grabbed me, pulling me towards the car with tears in her eyes. She wouldn't tell me what was going on until we got into her car. She cried and said to me, "Grandma passed away". The tears just kept streaming and it was the first time I felt a knife through my heart and felt as weak as I did. We arrived at the hospital and rushed to see the rest of the family. It was a miracle! She had a stroke and everyone thought that it was the end for her, but a miracle had happened and she pulled through! It was unbelievable, a blessing. That was probably the first time I thought to myself that I should no longer take her for granted because I'll never know when she would have her last breath.

She suffered and survived many more severe strokes after that. We were always even more grateful everytime, but her condition worsened everytime. It eventually got to the point where she was unable to walk and have to be carried everywhere. Her bedroom was only feet away from the bathroom, but she would have to be carried regardless. She lived in her bed, and would only be out of the bed for one or two hours at a time to sit on the couch in the living room or on the chair. She had to be rotated every few hours so that parts of her body wouldn't become numb. It was difficult for her to bathe and my aunt had to do so for her. My aunt is such a strong woman and continued to take care of Grandma to the best of her ability... AND Lyna. Leroy played a big role in this, and that is why I commend him and admire him for being so strong and able to help out. He sacrificed a lot, and as a teenager he was more responsible and caring than anyone else his age. My aunt never complained about her duties, but you can only imagine what it was like for her. She was on duty 24 hours a day, it makes me wonder how she ever had time to breathe and time for herself. Its heartbreaking to even think about what was possibly going through Grandma's mind, feeling like she was a burden on everyone. She wasn't a burden, she was the heart and soul of our family and no one would have ever wanted to trade her in for anything, not even freedom from anything it may be.

My Granny was a survivor. She spent a few years in her worst condition. It was difficult for her to talk, and it seemed like the only thing that she was able to do was moan to let people know that she needed something. She was unable to express what she wanted and needed, but everyone always figured it out because it had become so routined. Despite the physical state that she was in, she was well aware of everything that was going on. The day after I won the beauty pageant, I went over to her house to visit her. There she was, lying in her bed as usual... but this time she gave me a sweet and genuine smile that let me know that she was proud of me. That was the first smile I had witnessed from her in a long time, which brought tears of joy to my eyes. She tried to murmur something to me and it took a long time for my mom, aunt, and I to interpret. She wanted to say that she wanted to be there. I was overwhelmed with emotions and broke down. My Granny used to love watching pageants, and I know that I made her proud. She even tried to give me the last of her money that she had saved up from many years before, but of course, I refused. Thats her, so loving and generous... not an ounce of hatred in her.

About a year later, a little bit past midnight on March 24th 2003, my aunt called and told us that Grandma wasn't breathing and didn't move. We lived only minutes away, and I didn't even have the patience to wait for my mom, I drove there by myself in what seemed to be seconds while everyone else came a few minutes later. I think that everyone was a bit prepared for this time to come, but it was still difficult. I walked into my aunt's house and it was quiet besides the Buddhist chanting that was played on the stereo by her bed. I tried to stay calm as I approached her room to find my cousin and aunt with their arms over her body, crying. She looked so calm, still in her bed. I thought that I was prepared for it, but the tears that streamed made me realize otherwise.

Many of the tears that I cried that night was due to my regrets of my own actions. How could I have been so selfish and careless? I know that my parents taught me better, and so did she. It bothers me to know that there was so much more that I could have done, but I didn't. She only lived a few minutes away and I could have easily paid her more visits than I did. I shouldn't have been asked to go stay with her all those times, I should have been the one asking for the opportunity to do so. I've spent my money carelessly on other things for myself, but I had never gotten the chance to buy my Grandmother anything. She loved fruits, especially mangos and I never even bought her one. Why did I ignore her when she called out for me at times? Because I was lazy or felt that her needs weren't as important as mine? How could I have been so selfish?

I am guilty of many things. I never got the chance to fully tell my Grandmother that I loved her. I never reassured her that she was not a burden to anyone, but was a priceless gem to us. I never got to let her know that I felt so fortunate to have been able to know my Grandma... the best Grandma there was. I always admired her and her generosity towards anyone she came to contact with. I was never good at talking and dealing with death. Hers was my first that I really had to face. I must admit that it was hard for me to look at her picture for a while because it just reminds me that she is no longer here. It also made me feel even more guilty because it reminded me of all the things that I regret and should have done.

Its hard for me to express my feelings in words. I've been hiding behind this monitor at work hoping that no one would notice me crying. I dread the month of March because it always reminds me of the day that she went to a better place, while everyone who loved her lost a piece of themselves. It just hit me because we're down to the last days of February, and I know that the anniversary of her passing is quickly approaching. I really miss her, and I know that everyone else does too. My sister told me that she had been having dreams about our Granny, which made me miss her even more.

My Grandmother was well loved, and she still is. She had many children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that still miss her to this day. She was loved by everyone who ever crossed paths with her, I'm sure of it. Its a loss for anyone who never got a chance to know her and have a piece of memory with her. She was a wonderful person who holds a place in all of our hearts. She's in a better place now and is silently watching over us. I never believed that Angels existed, but I do now. She's my Angel, the sweetest one of all.

When someone makes an impact in our lives and hold a place in our heart, we should never take them for granted because we never know what tomorrow brings... or if tomorrow would even come. I have learned that I need to say the things that I want to say before its too late. I don't want to have any more regrets and live the rest of my life feeling guilty because it could have been different, but I didn't do anything to change that. I never really said everything I felt about Grandma, and it was an emotional thing to do writing this. Yet, its a nice release to speak how I feel without holding back too much. I know that there are others in the family who feel the way I do, but its difficult for us to express it to each other. I would hate to look back a few years from now and be upset at myself for not having done this.

I love you so much, Yeay!

May you rest in peace.

Yours truly,

Jow Thyda

"Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it...It really is worth fighting for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk everything, you risk even more."

February 25, 2007


There are many things and many people in our lives that we take for granted. We look at ourselves and think that we live a tough life in this cold and unjust world. We complain about the little bumps and ditches we have to face on our way to pursue our ideal "happiness". We think to ourselves, "life sucks" and wish that we can get another drawing for our predetermined lives, failing to realize that we could possibly be even more unpleased with that draw. Sometimes I get selfish and think that my fate is unfair. I forget that as bad as I may have it at the moment, there is always someone who has it worse.

Be thankful that by the end of the day, there is still a roof over our heads... a shirt on our backs... and food in our stomachs. We forget that there are hungry people out there who only wish they had the food that we despise and discard. People who would appreciate the sheds in our backyards which we neglect to call their "home". Many times we take these things for granted because we are so accustomed to it and know that its there. And again, we forget that no matter how rough it may seem at the moment, there are many people who have it worse. Be grateful.

Count your blessings.

I count mine. And when I do, I count my loved ones twice. Thats a whole lot of counting, but I'd do it over and over with no complaints. No words in the dictionary can possibly express my gratitude for them. Their guidance and love has helped me grow over the past few years in more ways than one. Their understanding and support is what got me through the rough times that now I see as good times. Good times because its in the past and a time that I have learned a bit of knowledge and experience from, which I carry with me to this day and will continue to do so until the end of this journey that I call life. People come, people go... but there are certain ones that will always stay and hold a place in your heart.

Sometimes I sit there and recollect the times I labeled as "tough times" and remember everyone that was there to knock some sense into me, support me, and made me smile. I remember a handful... and I know that the handful are still here for me today, and tomorrow. Therefore, I am blessed. I am lucky... VERY lucky.

People wonder why I smile so much. If only they knew or had the blessings I do, they wouldn't be able to hold back their smiles either. :)

Today's Horoscope

Sagittarius (Nov. 23 - Dec. 21)
You have more support than you realize. Get out there and talk to people. They want to hear what you have to say. The more they listen, the more you realize that you're saying something worthwhile.

Who wants to hear what I have to say again? :)

February 24, 2007

And here's another one.

Another one to add to my untouched collection of online journals/blogs/profiles that I can't seem to keep up with nor remember passwords to. I have always wanted to have a steady blog to collect all of my random thoughts and entries since I seem to make so many as days pass. I usually keep at it for a while... then get bored of the repetition and fall off the routine. My goal with this one, is to become the habitual blogger I have always dreamt of being.

How I just LOVE how things always work out NEVER in our favor. Okay, maybe not NEVER, but RARELY in our favor. Just like how time seems to drag on the days that we dread... and then seem to fly right by us when we just want to savor and cherish that moment. I guess we can never have things our way, can we?

I think that I am an easy person to befriend and get along with. People seem to have this misconception of me and assume that I would blow them off and not give them the time of day for any reasons it may be. I never fully understood why they would assume so, but I'm starting to guess that it is because I am not afraid to be honest and speak my mind in general discussions with strangers... people whom I've never gotten a chance to get to know or develop an ounce of care for. Why should I have to hold back how I truly feel for their sake? Don't get me wrong, I am a strong practicer of the tried and true, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". I'm not blunt or rude by any means... or so I think. Would they rather me lie to them for their benefit at the moment, only to find themselves to be even more foolish and fooled in the end? Not to sound like such a pessimist, but we should all take the sweet and kind words that seem to always play in our favor with a grain of salt. Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, but I deserve the right to look beyond the surface and remind myself of any possible mishaps that may come. I owe it to myself to put a moat around my feelings and my heart. No one can protect myself, but me.

Still searching for all the possibilities in life...