Posts Tagged ‘daughter’

Teresa LeYung-Ryan’s Blog Post 3 of 3

How Dr. Norman Doidge’s Books Help Me and My Chinese Papa Who Has Parkinson’s

 

I am not fluent in Cantonese.

When I was a new immigrant from Hong Kong in the 1960s, San Francisco public schools did not have ESL (English as a Second Language) classes.  Classmate’s snickering compelled me to learn my new language with urgency. By fourth grade, you couldn’t shut me up.  Then our parents (actually, probably just our father) insisted that my siblings and I go to Chinese School (classes in Chinatown everyday after regular school was let out).  One year of misery. Thank goodness our mother spoke up to our father (in Cantonese) – “Let our children succeed in English school first.”

Fast forward to 2017. Parkinson’s Disease has caused what Papa would say with his Cantonese accent “a lot of problem.”

[ According to http://www.parkinson.org/understanding-parkinsons/what-is-parkinsons/ Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people … a person’s brain slowly stops producing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. With less and less dopamine, a person has less and less ability to regulate their movements, body and emotions.]

Papa and Teresa chuckle at the last part of speech exercises taught by Terri Snyder from Self Help for the Elderly - photo by Wen Hsu, translator extraordinaire

While I lack the vocabulary to tell my father that I sympathize, I do know how to encourage and praise with sincerity.  When he frowns at my prompting to do the exercises (taught by the dear professionals from Self Help for the Elderly) or Sit and Be Fit™  (recommended by NP Heloise Lim), or to pick up his feet when those darn rubber mats at grocery stores and restaurants seem to ambush him and his walker… I say to him: “You win! Do NOT let Parkinson’s win. You win!”

**********************************************

Through the engaging stories in this book – The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge, M.D. – I have learned that our wonderful brains are forever changing, growing and healing. That knowledge gives me the vocabulary to ask the right questions as an advocate for my father. Dear friend Wen Hsu ordered the traditional Chinese edition of Dr. Doidge’s book through a bookseller in Taiwan. Papa has the book near his dining table; next to the Chinese edition is the English edition; both books are there for Papa’s helpers and friends to read.

As for my being an advocate/daughter who is not fluent in her parent’s native tongue, I know how to find people who excel in their work. In the past three weeks, Wen Hsu (translator extraordinaire) has translated my multiple letters (written in English) into Chinese for Papa’s Caregivers/Helpers.

I salute Papa’s caregivers/helpers, his caring friends, my caring friends, wise mentors, supportive spouse, dear sister, MaMah, Papa’s spunk, the doctors, nurses, administration staffs, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, interpreters, dear folks at Self Help for the Elderly, South Market Senior Health Clinic, UCSF Movement Disorder and Neuromodulation Center, E.R. staffs, staffs at U.C. Medical Center and St. Mary’s Hospital, SFGH Orthotics and Prosthetic Center, the dear staff members at the building where my papa lives, and Dr. Norman Doidge for writing his book The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity.

Mr. Leung with traditional Chinese edition, Teresa LeYung-Ryan with English edition of the book THE BRAIN'S WAY OF HEALING: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge, M.D. - photo by Wen Hsu, translator extraordinaire

 

Special thanks to the dear folks at Self Help for the Elderly – Nurse Valerie Chan, Nurse Chiu Li, Physical Therapist Jenny Chiu, Occupational Therapist Tom Wong, Speech Therapist Terri Snyder, Translator Albie Wong, and of course the administrative staff, and all the nurses and therapists who have helped my father in the past and shall in the future.

 

Knowledge that leads to health and wellness – this is my wish for everyone.

Sincerely,

Teresa, advocate/daughter to my Chinese papa

P.S.  I am rereading Dr. Norman Doidge’s books

Teresa LeYung-Ryan, photo by Britt


Teresa LeYung-Ryan is

author of:

  • Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (workbook);
  • Love Made of Heart: a Daughter Finds Herself through Witnessing Her Mother’s Mental Illness (novel used in college classes, recommended by the California School Library Association and the California Reading Association, and archived at the San Francisco History Center);
  • “Talking to My Dead Mom” Monologues (the first monologue received an award from Redwood 10-Minute Play Contest and was staged at the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa, CA);
  • Coach Teresa’s Blog  http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog (which attracts thousands of writers) helps writers build their platforms before and after publication
  • “For Themes’ Sake” and “Heroes, Tricksters and Villains” and “Where Are You On Your Writer’s Journey?” and other workshop material

creator of “Immigrant Experience Writing Contest” and

owner of trademark

 and proponent of public libraries, public schools, and excellent public healthcare for ALL!

The link to this blog post #3 of 3 in this series:

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/teresa-leyung-ryans-blog-post-3-of-3-how-dr-norman-doidges-books-help-me-and-my-chinese-papa-who-has-parkinsons/

Blog post #2 of 3 in this series:

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/teresa-leyung-ryans-blog-post-2-of-3-how-dr-norman-doidges-books-help-me-help-my-papa/

Blog post #1 of 3 in this series:

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/theme-consultant-teresa-leyung-ryans-blog-post-1-of-3-what-i-learned-about-the-brain-from-dr-norman-doidges-2-books/

 

September 27, 2009

Speech for Salinas Libraries Centennial Celebrations and Read-In Reunion

Kathy Richman translates Teresa LeYung Ryan's speech into Spanish

Kathy Richman translates Teresa LeYung Ryan's speech into Spanish

Greetings.  I am Teresa LeYung Ryan, the author of Love Made of Heart.  The title of my book describes the Chinese character for “love.”  Inside the character “love” is the word “heart.”

It is a story about an immigrant-mother’s love and sacrifices; it’s about her daughter who ultimately finds self-forgiveness.

Today I’m here to wish Salinas Public Libraries a happy birthday and another hundred years of “open doors for open minds!”   The California Writers Club is also celebrating their centennial birthday this year!   I give a shout, out to all the branches of CWC!

To honor today’s celebrations, I have written a letter to my mom, who died of metastasized breast cancer in 2000.

Dear MaMa,
Guess where I am today?  In Salinas, California, the birthplace of your mother.

4 years ago, Lyle and I packed our tent and sleeping bags to join library advocates at the 24-Hour Emergency Read-In.

Kathy Richman helped me read a mother-daughter scene from my novel.  The reading was fun, so was camping out, but, we all knew what would happen if our beloved libraries were going to be shut down.

It is 4 years late.  The Salinas libraries are thriving because of community love and support.  Three weeks ago, when I opened Patti Fashing’s email about a re-union, I ran to check my calendar.

So, this time, instead of packing sleeping bags, Lyle packed a canopy.  We carpooled with Patrick Camacho of Save-the-Libraries.

You see, MaMa, public libraries have a special place in my heart.  Remember when I used to tell you?: “I won’t be home after school, I’m going to the library.”

Well, that’s where I really went.  I wrote all my book reports there. Even though I could have brought home the books and read them in our apartment, I chose to read and write in my quiet and safe place. The library was my sanctuary.

All those years, I never thanked you and Father for the great sacrifices you both made—packing up your lives, leaving Hong Kong, so that your 3 children would get an education.

Here in the U.S.A. we the children gained the power of reading and writing while you struggled with a new language in a new world.

I thank you now, for having the wisdom to let me spend many hours at my quiet and safe place. Those days I was a scared little girl and felt that I had nothing to say.  But how I loved writing book reports.

These days I am speaking out for libraries—at city council meetings; through letters to editors; through emails; on my blog and other blogs.

Also, I am using the gift of reading and writing to honor immigrant-stories; to advocate compassion for mental illness; to help survivors of family violence find their own voices; to encourage parents and grown-children to speak from the heart.

Today I celebrate libraries, librarians, patrons, and everyone involved in organizing this lovely party. I celebrate California Writers Club.  I celebrate you, MaMa. You are all love made of heart.


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