A very different Thai Experince for me

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bumper
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A very different Thai Experince for me

Post by bumper » December 19, 2013, 2:28 pm

Grand Ma at the farm is dying with cancer, she wants me there all the time. Of course I can’t do that. Family members and her have asked me to sleep there. Again something I can’t do.
We go see here twice a day many times no more then just holding her hand. We are told that the only time she talks, ( very painful for her throat cancer) is when we come.

I’m now referred to as being eldest son, she adopted my wife some time back as my wife is an orphan. That is easy to understand, Grand Ma is simply a very loving person.
She has been giving to us from the beginning, within her means.

When I opened our farm us with improved her electricity and for the first time she has city water which we pay for. No more showering from a muddy pond. All that was done three years ago. Never meant to be paid back, it cost me very little.

She would work for us ( just little things) when she felt better and I gave her 2K a month for her help. She only gets 1500 baht a month for her retirement. We just kept giving her the 2K anyway hardly hurts me.
It would be very easy to be cynical about this, there are some out there that I would feel that way about. But, not her nor the majority of the family.

I feel like it is a honor to be accepted like this, I just don’t understand how I earned it. I did no more then treat her the same way she did us.

As to the funeral which will come the wife and I decided long ago what we do.

There really is no reason for her to treat me this way.

I will continue to go see her and hold her hand, give whatever comfort I can.

There are Thai people with her all the time, family and fiends. But, she always wants to know where we are, until we arrive. I'm honored by her actions. But, we are not really family

Has anyone else experienced something like this?



Nick@AUA
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A very different Thai Experince for me

Post by Nick@AUA » December 20, 2013, 8:11 am

That's very touching Ray. You are a good man and she obviously loves you like a son, and you mean a lot to her.

bumper
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Post by bumper » December 20, 2013, 9:56 am

To be honest I never expected anything like this, in my experience here. I never did anymore for her then what I felt she deserved as a hard working woman. who raised a huge family. She has always been honest with me, at times she took on some of her own sons in my behalf, who not a honest as she is. I never asked her to do that she just did.

Sometimes the extra money I gave her she gave to the Wat. If that provided peace of mind for here that was fine by me.

She is 78 now, at 77 she was still doing the garden an amazing a gardener, wish I could have learned from her, still going out to cut rice. I worked beside her to be a good neighbor. But, no way could I keep up with her. She is waisting away now and one knows what is coming. I have to say I will miss her. A truly remarkable person in her own right.
I reserve the right to be wrong, mispell words type badly. leave words out of sentences because my mind works faster then my fingers. To be an OLD GIT I've earned it

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nkstan
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Post by nkstan » December 20, 2013, 10:00 am

I have two Thai ISAN families in Bangkok that I met when I first moved here and lived in their neighborhood 17 years ago.

I was invited to a babies first birthday(their first grandson) and not knowing much about the culture,I didn't know what was expected of me.For the baby,I bought a 1/4 baht gold leg necklace from a local Gold shop.For the last 17 years they have treated me like royalty and whenever I visit,they insist that I stay at their house,they refuse to let me pay for meals etc.

I lived in that neighborhood for about a year,buying locals an occasional beer,if I was drinking,helping the local youngsters with their ABC's and politely refusing all propositions to loan or invest etc.,just being myself treating others the way I liked being treated.

My experience is that these loving , sharing Thai,Falang experiences are very limited in Thailand and I cherish these two!!It is so nice to have and be a part of a nice family without feeling or being a mark!

Usually, behind the smile is an ulterior motive and once they have been convinced that you are not playing along,their true colors shine through!But the exceptions are great!!

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fatbob
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Post by fatbob » December 20, 2013, 10:05 am

nkstan wrote:Usually, behind the smile is an ulterior motive and once they have been convinced that you are not playing along,their true colors shine through!But the exceptions are great!!
How true!

bumper
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Post by bumper » December 20, 2013, 1:23 pm

Trying not to be cynical is difficult. One does get put through the ringer at times. That being said I'm trying to stay positive about this. I won't be seeing this same thing once she passes from family members and I don't expect it. Not all Thai's are jerks.

Unfortunately we sure run across our fair share. As I have mentioned there are two of the sons I don't trust at all. The rest of the family has never asked for a thing from me.Never offered to help either :lol:

So far all she ha asked of me is some time. That I have and don't mind sharing. I have always had a lot of respect for this woman. Nothing has changed in that area. We sit our numbers on funeral expenses for her long before she became ill. Simply because of the years she has treated my wife and I like family.

It was odd when I noticed something different. it was at a Tamboon for the long ago passed Father. I don't usually attend those things. I was the first to get the string from the monk. The she put a string on as well. There was a Thai sitting there and he question why she had done that to a farrang. My Thai isn't great. But, I understood what was happen. She told the guy I was Luk Chai (son) That stopped all the silliness. This lady is powerful in her little area.

She knows me as well as any Thai does, she has nothing to gain or lose, by her actions.

So a very different experience as I said

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Post by nel123 » December 21, 2013, 3:34 am

The good, the bad and the ugly! Which would basically sum up my experience of my other halves family. After a while you get to know the people around you. Even though the language barrier is sometimes difficult, you can always tell that fake smile. It's in those eyes! I would class myself as quite lucky compared to some horror stories, but in my opinion it starts with having a very loving and strong partner. Someone that in general, won't take ---- off of anyone, her immediate family comes first! Her mum, myself, our baby are number one! If anyone ever requires help whether it be back in blighty or in Thailand we will always try and help. That's what families do, right? However you can always tell when that mug off is coming! Luckily things have never got that far and we've nipped it in the bud early! I know who to respect and love in the family, the rest can get on with it! Your story is touching and you should embrace it.

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Post by Alchai » December 21, 2013, 5:15 am

Bumper
Last year my wives father died in COLD. I new the guy for about 15 years and he was always kind to me as I was to him, We have always supported him and my mother in law with reasonable funding. On his death bed witch I could see was painful I had to take the kids to BKK for a few days. The rest of the family were with him but a few times every day he was asking for me. On my return to our house I sat beside him, told him that I was back and that it was time for him to get better! I then said that if he was tired and wanted to sleep, I would take care of everything. He looked at me and said OK. 10 minutes later he passed away. I would say that your grand ma wants you there for security. I guess one does not feel too big and it's probably scarring when you are getting to the end. All I can say is stay with her as much as you can and I hope she does not suffer longer that she wants to.
We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now

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Post by bumper » December 21, 2013, 9:00 am

Thanks guys this is a side of life we don't talk much about and I'm certainly not alone in the experience. I will accept it as it is. I know my life out there will be very different when she passes then it has been thus far. That's OK I like the place for peace and a hobby, I will show up every day, she always has a big smile when she sees my wife and I.

She actually ate a little bit yesterday. But, only if I had something as well. I don't normally eat out there way to spicy for me. So I had a taste of this or that. She ate for the first time in five days.

Security she has a son that is disabeled fore arms gone and one leg left. She has been hand feeding him for years. That might be where that comes in I don't know, she hasn't asked. Sadly he is one of the con artist out there, So that is not on our agenda. There are plenty of other family members to do that. I had helped him in the past and he abused it. So, he has a had his bite of he apple. Not my first day here so there won't be another.

As to being the eldest son that will end with her. To much power within the family comes with that. The remaining family would not give me that much power to me and I really don't want it.

But, no matter what I will have fond memories of her.
I reserve the right to be wrong, mispell words type badly. leave words out of sentences because my mind works faster then my fingers. To be an OLD GIT I've earned it

bumper
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Post by bumper » December 30, 2013, 9:24 am

We have been going to Grand Ma's at the farm every day, usually twice a day. She is laying on a pad on a very cold concrete floor. Sounds rough. But, it is how Thai's live however that cold concrete floor doesn't do a lot of good on my back. It gets down in the 40' now at night So I took a comfortable chair from the farm there for me. On long visits and houses here don't have heaters, that floor holds the cold all day long. I bring a book, since I don't speak her language at all it's called Issan a mixture of Thai and Lao. She can barely speak anyway.

There has been one daughter bearing most of the load and doing it with a smile I have no idea how she does it, But, she does. She is getting very tired you see just see it. So we go though the day gives her a chance to at least get outside for a bit.

About every five days a Dr, comes by and gives her a shot for pain, She has always been a very strong person 78 now last year she was out cutting rice with the best of them, There are hospitals she can go to. But, she doesn't want it somehow I understand that. So she has no IV's she doesn't eat enough to keep a bird alive.

Whatever she eats she throws up. so the darndest thing. They cut wood up in the almost dust and fed her that, she didn't throw up. What benefit she got from that I don't have a clue. She has throat cancer so swallowing is difficult, We went and bought a jar of Gerbers baby food, bannana she ate several bites, But that was it. Bought some tomato soup as that was all we could find. No way on that one.

A big part of it is she really doesn't want to eat. She takes several spoon fulls of water each day and that's it. at night the place comes alive I have seen a much a 20 people there in the evening. The guys primarily sit outside by a fire and the ladies spend time with her. But, she knows she is not alone,
I reserve the right to be wrong, mispell words type badly. leave words out of sentences because my mind works faster then my fingers. To be an OLD GIT I've earned it

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Post by jackspratt » December 30, 2013, 10:09 am

bumper wrote: A big part of it is she really doesn't want to eat. She takes several spoon fulls of water each day and that's it.
From my understanding of watching a few people dieing, and a discussion with a nurse at the nursing home where my mother died (of bowel cancer), this is a classic sign of people in late stages of cancer.

They are literally starving themselves to death, whether consciously or otherwise.

Hopefully she is in no pain.

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Post by ting_tong » December 30, 2013, 12:04 pm

" She is laying on a pad on a very cold concrete floor. Sounds rough. But, it is how Thai's live however "

thats no way to treat your adopted mother in her dying days, cant you spring for a very thick comforter for her? I bet she will use it and appreciate it.

I see Thais put old t-shirts on soi dogs in the cold weather.......

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Post by bumper » December 30, 2013, 12:20 pm

:lol:

I bought her two of them a month ago. Good one's not the cheap stuff the Government is giving out

It's the Thai way, she has a mattress pad under neath her. She not cold throws the blankets off at different times.

Ting Tong you didn't really think I would let lay in the cold did you :lol: :lol:
I reserve the right to be wrong, mispell words type badly. leave words out of sentences because my mind works faster then my fingers. To be an OLD GIT I've earned it

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ting_tong
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Post by ting_tong » December 30, 2013, 12:26 pm

Ok, good on you!

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Post by bumper » January 3, 2014, 4:38 pm

Well Yai ( Grand Mother ) pasted on,. on the first at 0300. That night was really bad for her as to pain.

I have been to Thai funerals never to a wake. I had some surprises, we hit the ATM at 0400 for our part of the monies needed. Predetermined on my part some time back.

The Monks were expected at 1800 Hrs, they moved the time up so we missed that part. There were 100's of people there all being fed by the family. Things that surprised me two games of high low dice going on, one game was still going this morning. A lady selling snacks at a booth.

At one of our funeral's that would be disrespectful. But this is Thai so I'm not going to judge just seemed odd to me.

We have two days of this before the Wat.

I not seen any booze or beer at all yet.

Hopefully we will be in time for the Monks today. The immediate family knows who I am. Other then that I will hear the occasional farrang more curious then anything else. They pretty much leave me alone to my own thoughts and that's OK.

I will miss her. But, I'm very grateful the pain is over. She endured that pain with great dignity

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Post by BobHelm » January 3, 2014, 4:53 pm

Sympathies on your loss Ray, she was, obviously, as special to you as you were to her..

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Post by bigsnake » January 3, 2014, 6:35 pm

RIP! Yai

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Post by banpaeng » January 13, 2014, 9:21 am

HI Ray, sorry for a delay in posting but don't visit the forum but a few time a year. Sorry for the loss of your friend or Yai.
I know she was a true friend as you discussed her the last time I was in Udorn overlooking your pond.

I was blessed to have had several folks in the Thai community who I had that type of relationship. I am lucky and also have that with the wifes family.

Hope to see you one day in Texas.

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Post by bumper » January 13, 2014, 9:54 am

I think my time is the states is over.

Yes she was a very special person and is missed.

I participated in the funeral ceremony from beginning to end, have photos.. But they are not exactly pleasant so I probably not going to post most of them. I have to think that one through before I do anything

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