I’m staring at the screen and have no idea how to start this post, except to say that yes, I know that the title is cliche. But, so true.
The last few weeks have been a little rough. I moved to San Francisco after living in Oakland for the last three years, started a new role at work, and have been kept so busy that I haven’t had much time to breathe. Even though things have been borderline chaotic, I’ve been happier than ever. And I feel blessed every day that I get to do what I love and be with the people that I love.
However, my heart has also been heavy because Lynn has been on my mind. Many of you who are supporters of this site and The Actor’s Diet have probably heard by now that Lynn’s dad passed away this Sunday. On my birthday, actually.
Even though I’ve never met Lynn’s dad, I know that he must’ve been a wonderful father just from the way Lynn talks about him. We are merely extensions of our parents and I can’t even imagine what Lynn is going through right now. Back in 2010, my own dad actually had a heart transplant. It was his fourth open heart surgery, and the most dangerous one. I remember the days and nights spent at the ICU, waiting for him to wake up. I took comfort in the beeping noises that surrounded him, and I looked at the numbers on the tiny monitors like a hawk even though I had no idea what they actually meant. As long as he was breathing, that was a good sign.
My dad after his third open heart surgery. What a stud.
Today, my dad is doing well. We celebrated his new heart’s one year anniversary last year by throwing him a huge party equipped with magicians and all. I am thankful, of course, but this doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped fearing. Growing up with a parent who is far from perfect physically is interesting, because I’ve rehearsed the scene many times in my head what it would be like if one day, my dad decided to leave us. Truthfully speaking, I’d probably refuse to get out of bed, for days, or even months. I’d simply stop functioning.
The picture that we drew for my dad in his ICU cube.
So, I’m in awe of how Lynn is able to continue sharing herself with us on her site during this extremely difficult time. It must be painful to keep going, with everything, but these are realities of life that all of us will learn and become stronger as a result. I know that Lynn is setting an example for me for whenever it’s time for me to cross that path.
Here at Thick Dumpling Skin, we’re obviously concerned about body image issues and eating disorders in our community. But you’ll see that many of our posts here are actually about how not to become obsessed with those issues. When all of us are able to take a step back and just think about how fragile life is, and how quickly a loved one can turn into memories, we’ll see that there are many things in life that are more worth our time, like living your life to the fullest and cherishing our loved ones rather than letting negative thoughts weigh us down.
I know that my cofounder, like many readers of this site, is an incredibly strong and generous soul. I know that with our virtual hugs, she will be more than ok.
Also! Lynn’s dad, Fu-Yen Chen, was the founding president of the Kunqu Society, a Chinese opera company, from 1988 to 1996. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation in his name, please send it to the Kunqu Society, c/o Anna Wu, 199-36 24th Avenue, Whitestone, NY 11357.
We appreciate your love and support in the months to come, and thank you, for being there.