Every month, PEERS publishes short stories written by Chinese American Action Team member Jean Lee and translated into English by PEERS Staff Veronica Liu.

The views expressed in this story are not necessarily shared or endorsed by PEERS or PEERS staff.

Trigger warning: material in this story may be re-traumatizing to some readers.

Click here for Chinese language version 點擊此處可見中文


Back in Time                                                                                                      July 2018


One day, an elder lady came into the shop to place two orders of flowers to bring to the cemetery.  She asked me what the cost is. I told her it is $10 each, and, while I was wrapping up the flowers, I chatted with her.


“Are the flowers for a friend that just passed away?”


“No, it is for my son and daughter-in-law.  They were in a plane crash and both were killed.”


“I am so sorry.  Did they leave behind any children?”


“Yes, they left behind three children, ages 2, 5 and 11.  The youngest one would call any woman momma and any man papa.  It is not an easy task at my age to take care of three young children.  After many rounds of paperwork, I was finally able to adopt the 2 year old, and now she has grown up to be a beautiful and sweet young lady.”


On Saturday, July 19th, while I was making my favorite breakfast, the phone rang.  It was my husband. He sounded worried. “I’ve been trying to get a hold of you, why didn’t you pick up the phone?”


“I couldn’t hear the phone, it was under the covers.  What’s wrong?”


“John came over and knocked on the door, but you didn’t answer.  Our daughter, Fay, is having some kind of an episode.”


John has never done that.  It made me nervous and worried.


“John said Fay was talking nonsense, unlike her usual self.”


I immediately contacted John, told him that I would be over in 10 minutes.


John is Fay’s live-in boyfriend for the past four years.  She tried to leave him twice over time, but eventually she went back to him. Thinking back, last May, around Mother’s Day, Fay had talked to me about her desire to move out after her birthday, she had asked, “Where should I go?”


I reminded her that it would be difficult since she has a dog.  Right away, she said, “How about if I move into your rental apartment building?”


“Honey, that’s part of my monthly income, and if the dog barks, it will disturb my renters and if they move out, I would lose the monies.  I am sorry but it won’t do.”


After careful consideration, she unwillingly agreed to move home. She emphasized that it is only “temporary”.  


I told her to let me know ahead of time when she is moving back, so I can clean up the room and get it ready for her.


In July, Fay celebrated her birthday with over twenty of her friends in a restaurant.  

The next day, I called and asked about the party.  She avoided my question but told me that she is in the midst of packing her stuff so she can move them into my garage.  


“Today is Friday, a very busy day for me.  I can’t help you, try to find someone to help.”  (I didn’t say that she didn’t let me know in advance)


“I can do it myself.”


After 15 minutes, she called.  “My boss said I need to work today and I am late.  I cannot move my things over.”


My hunch right away is that she is having an episode and had forgotten that she has to go to work.  


I went over to hers and John’s apartment.  


“John, I am here now, can you open the door?”


“I will be right there, I am in the garage.”


Oh no, is John trying to hide from my daughter?  Is her illness so severe? Maybe she is being overly aggressive?


“She doesn’t look good and is being very unreasonable,” John murmured.


I climbed up the stairs quickly into the house and saw that my daughter is talking to someone on the phone.  “Honey, are you ok?” She smiled but did not reply.


I continued, “How many hours of sleep did you get last night?”


“Two”  Then she spoke into the phone, “mom is here, can you hold on?”


“John bought me some tofu and I got a sore throat afterwards.  He is trying to poison me.”


Uh-oh, not a good sign, I thought.  “Ok, honey. I won’t bother you anymore, go back to your phone call.”


My mind went back to last Christmas, she had the same symptoms and reactions.  She refused to go to the doctor and did not contact me. This lasted for two months.  This time I am not going to let this continue, I have to make her go see the doctor at once so she can get well.


I called the police right away, and asked to be transferred to a MC Team.  I can’t even remember if the MC team works on weekends or not.


“Do you think she has suicidal thoughts?”

“I don’t know, but there is a big swimming pool downstairs.”

“We’ll be right there.”


I told John to open the door for the police.  Four of them arrived, three took Fay into her room to talk.  The other one stayed behind to talk to John and me. I can hear my daughter crying and saying that her parents bought her brother a new car, and he is being unreasonable…..It’s always the same story, she had forgotten that we had also bought her a new car, and it was totaled in an accident.  


After a short time, one of the police came out of the room and told me that he can take my daughter to the hospital so she can get treatment.  I thought to myself, is it that serious this time? I was just hoping that the police can convince her to get treatment instead of admitting her.  .


I asked, “Is she willing to go to the hospital?”

“Well, yes and no.  She said if Teresa goes, then she will. (Teresa is her case manager at the hospital.)  In other words, she is willing to go to the hospital.”

“Which hospital?”


“But she lives in Richmond.”

“It’s up to the ambulance.”


Ok, I stopped asking.


At this moment, my daughter came out of the room all smiles, with her little black dog trailing behind her.  “Can I bring my dog?”


Police, ““No, you can’t”


I said to her, “We will take good care of him.”  This is weird, it is not the first time that she is going in the hospital.  She knows that dogs are not allowed. Why ask?


I reminded her about her meds.  Police interjected and said that the hospital will provide meds.

John and I walked behind a police and Fay.  The other police told us to stop following her.  He thinks it will upset her because we are letting her be taken to the hospital.  He is right. We stopped and just watched them go down the stairs.


John asked if I wanted to go in the house and sit down for a bit.  I told him no and that I have to go to work. My daughter is leaving him, what’s the point of me going in and chat with him.   


I felt relieved, like a rock has been lifted off my chest.  I drove back to work. After everything is settled, I decided to call and find out what hospital my daughter is staying.


First, I called Oakland, then Richmond.  She was not at either hospital. Following a doctor’s instructions, I called one hospital after another in the area, but none of them has my daughter registered.


May be something happened to the ambulance on the way to the hospital?  Looking at the clock, it is already noon time, she had left at 8:45 am. I was really worried.


The phone rang at this moment, it was my husband.  


“Where is our daughter?” he asked.  

“How did you know?”

“Yonnie (her friend) called and told me that our daughter told her she is going to a hospital.”   


Well, I am not her biological mother, that’s why she rather let Yonnie know instead of me.  My heart felt a little twinge of pain because I really care about Fay. Finally, I was able to get ahold of her. I told her that I would like to go visit her, but she said no.  I didn’t want to force the issue, so I told her to take care of herself. It works out too because in the afternoon I had to go to Walnut Creek for my mom’s 93rd birthday banquet celebration.


I decided I should speak to John again, so I called and arranged to see him the next day at 6 pm.  I told my husband my plan, and he thought that it was a good idea.


On Sunday, both of us went to this cafe to meet John, he was half an hour late.  He insisted on treating us because I had brought him some food from mom’s banquet.  


I started, “John, this time my daughter left you, please don’t encourage her to come back.  She is already at rock bottom. There’s doctors, nurses who will take care of her in the hospital, let her start her life over.”


“No, I love her.  I want her to be part of my life.”

“John, you can’t give her what she needs.  Keeping her around is selfish, not love.” I tried to be honest with him.. “There is such a big difference in your age, it is not going to work.”


“Age doesn’t matter, as long as we love each other,” he insisted.


I don’t know if he really doesn’t understand or he is pretending.  I asked him how my daughter behaved at her birthday party. He told me she was nervous and sweated a lot.  But according to my daughter, she was very happy that night.


“Did you have a fight with her that night?”

“I only expressed my jealousy.”

“Because of your jealous nature, she already lost two of her male friends.”


Changing the subject, he said, “the hospital where she is now is not a good hospital.”

“Well, I will talk to the doctor before making any decision.  Do you know if she stopped taking her meds before she got sick?”  “I am not sure, I think Betsey told me that she did. (Betsy is another one of my daughter’s case manager (my daughter has Bipolar disorder.)  


I decided to contact Betsy immediately whom I had met her once before.

“Fay is applying for Medicare.  She just left Kaiser because they do not accept Medicare.  The hospital is not good, but we don’t have a choice. I can’t believe that Fay is having an episode at this time.  


(**Note: To apply for Medicare, you have to be without any medical insurance for two months prior.  Fay just got off Kaiser, that means she would have to wait 2 months before she can apply. And unfortunately, she is sick now.)


Monday is usually the busiest day of the week for me. I took a break to call Fay.  A nurse picked up the phone.


“I am Fay’s mother.  How is she?”

“She refused to take the medicine.”

“May I speak to her doctor?”

(Waited a long time before the doctor came on line)


I prescribed Advil for her yesterday.  She still doesn’t have a hospital bed.”

I got really anxious at this point.

“So where is she staying?”

“Well, we have a lot of patients here and not enough beds.  She sleeps on the sofa, but it is only temporary.” (The doctor sounded very impatient)

If she refused her meds, what’s the next step?”

“After three days of refusal, she will have to go to court.”

“Can I speak to Fay?”


I got transferred to Fay.  

“Honey, how are you?”

“I am ok.”

“Why won’t you take the meds?”

“I don’t need it.  You know, momma, my brother is here too.” (She is not clear headed at all, her brother is abroad.)

Did you say hello to your brother?”

“I gave him two cookies.  He didn’t take them, turned around and left.”

“Honey, do you want me to come by to see you after work?”

“Yes, can you also bring me some underwear and pants?”  After a few minutes, “I want to go home.”


I left work early and along with my husband, went to the hospital.  We had to go through security before we can get into the hospital and found where Fay was staying.  Through the glass door, we can see Fay and a group of other patients sitting on the sofa. It seems to be a group meeting going on because we can see someone leading what looks like, a discussion.


Fay looks pretty good and when she saw us, she started coming towards us.  I said to my husband that group therapy is very important, we shouldn’t stay too long.  I hugged Fay and told her to listen to the doctor and take her meds. She said she doesn’t want any.  I told her to go back to her group and I will come see her tomorrow.


So we left.  Everything seems smooth.  After we got home, I called Yuri (Fay’s best friend) hoping she can convince Fay to take her meds.  Yuri refused to get involved, so we just left it. alone.


Tuesday rolls around, I am off in the morning.  I thought I would go in early so I can get some work done and then I can leave early to visit Fay.  As soon as I walked into the store, the phone rang. It was Fay.


“Momma, I need some clothes.”

“Ok, Fay.  When I get off work, I will bring them to you.”

“I want to leave here.”  (one minute she wants her clothing and one minute she wants to go home.)

“If the doctor said it is ok for you to leave, then you can leave.”

“I am engaged.”

“Who are you engaged to?”  (I started to laugh)

“Why are you laughing?” (Fay sounded mad)

“I am sorry, honey.  Congratulations.”

“I am going to run away with Louie to a very far away place.  He works at the hospital, he is sitting right over there at the nurses station.  He is protecting me.”


I felt a cold chill in my heart.  Really? Can Louie take care of my Fay?  Does it mean I will never see her again. Does it mean our mother-daughter relationship will end?


Fay has a big crush on Louie and she wants to leave the hospital so she can continue to see him. I know Louie, he is a nice guy, but older.  I asked Fay if I can speak to the nurse.


The nurse got on the phone, I commented that Fay doesn’t seem to be doing well.  The nurse said that’s because she is still refusing her meds and last night she tried to escape from the hospital.  I have never heard of anyone running away from the hospital. It scared me. I can’t wait till I get off work to go see her.


When I got to the hospital, I’ve made up my mind to see how she is before I make any decision. I want to check with the nurse to hear about her escapade.  


A black male nurse opened the door and before I asked him anything, he told us to get in quickly because he has to lock the door.  He sounded very anxious.


A nurse came over to us and whispered, “Remember, you need to let us know when you are leaving.  We are afraid that your daughter will escape again. We need to lock the door.”


Oh my God.  When we saw Fay, we can see that her eyes were red and swollen, like she had been crying.  .

“What’s wrong, honey?”

I want to leave here.”  Then she followed with, “They put me in a room with no water.  I had to drink my own urine.”

“That is not true.” said that black male nurse impatiently.


Fay grabbed my hand, her hands are warm.

“Momma, tell them you are going to take me away.”  She pulled me towards the nurse.  

I hesitated.  

“Are you not my momma?” (Oh My God, I was shocked by the question.  I’ve never told her that she was adopted.)

“Yes, of course I am.”

“Do you love me?”

“Of course I do.”

“Then take me away.”  


She went into her room, took out a bag, half filled.  “These are all my stuff. Let’s go. This is a brothel, a very dangerous place.  Everyday something bad happens.”


I looked at the nurse imploringly, then I told Fay, “If you take the medicine and can sleep 8 hours for 2 days, then you can come home.”  She didn’t reply. Honey, why don’t you take the meds?”I “If I take the meds, I will sleep too soundly. They might assault me.”  (So that’s her reasoning behind.)


I found Fay’s nurse and told her what Fay had told me.  She said, “Fay, we can leave your door open and protect you.”  Fay did not hear a word, “Momma, take me away.” “But the nurse would not allow us to do that.” Fay started to cry. One female patient walked over and the two of them walked back to Fay’s room.  I felt a little relieved, seeing that she made a friend there.


Since the front door has been locked, the nurse took me to a side door so I can leave.  I asked her several times to make sure to watch Fay so she can’t run away.


Wednesday, I told my husband that after work I would like to go to the hospital to check on Fay. The last time when she ran away, she could have gone over to the highway.  That would be too dangerous. With all these worries on my mind, I was only able to sleep for an hour. Yesterday while I was visiting her, all I thought of was how much I love and care about her, and had forgotten about safety issues.


In the afternoon when the sun had set, I arrived at the hospital.  My husband and I looked around and thought that even if Fay could escape from her room, she still will not be able to escape from the hospital.  There are high barb wire surrounding the whole place and there is quite a distance from the net to the highway. I felt better, but still can’t shake the image (from movies) of a young girl poorly dressed, waiting on the highway seeking help. I told my husband that I wanted to go in and check on Fay and then we can leave.  He said that’s fine, he will just wait outside.


Through the glass window, I saw Fay, her roommate, and two Asian men sitting inside.  One of the men looks to be middle-aged. They were sitting around a table chatting. I am glad she made friends.  I walked inside and Fay saw me.


“Momma, I want to leave.  Can you take my roommate home too?”

“Did the doctor said it is ok for her to leave?”

(No response from either one of them.)

“Please help me!!”  (this roommate is thin and small, not even 5’ tall.  She was begging me and I wanted so much to adopt her and take her away, but can I take care of two patients?  No….. I can’t.)

At this moment, an Asian man walked by.  Fay exclaimed, “This is my brother.”

“Yes, it looks like your brother.”  (I don’t want to object and upset her.)

“Take me home, NOW!”

“Let me go check with the nurse.”

The nurse arrived, “No, the doctor did not say it is ok for you to leave.”    


Fay kept insisting that I take her home.  

Fay, if you keep this up, I am going to leave right now.”  (I was getting a little upset now.)


“I am leaving NOW!!!”  

I turned around and left the room, a man opened the door for me.


Thursday morning, I called the hospital to talk to the nurse.

“Is Fay taking her medicine now?”

“No, she still refuses.”

“Can we switch to another doctor?”

“It’s better that you call the doctor yourself.”


I left a voicemail for the doctor to call me.  Then I emailed our family doctor and told him what’s happening.  I asked if it is better to bring her home or leave her where she is.  I can’t stand seeing her crying and begging.


After awhile, Fay’s doctor from the hospital called me back.

“Fay will be going to the courts tomorrow – Friday.”

“Where is the court? Can I go?”

“No, it is not necessary for you to come.  The court is inside the hospital.”

“What will happen at the court?”

“The judge will decide if she should take or not take her meds.”

“If Fay still refuses to take her meds…..?”

“Then we will inject meds into her.  Usually when there is a choice of injection or taking meds, most people choose to take meds.”


I told myself to be patient, only one more day, I can wait.  I went to the bathroom, noticed that my urine is a dark yellow.  The last few days, I’ve only been eating one meal and drinking one cup of water per day.  Maybe that’s the result of it. I should be more mindful and take better care of myself.


Finally, our family doctor’s email came.  He said I should take better care of myself, and mindful of my relationship with my husband during this difficult time.  If I bring Fay home, she might run away. She can harm herself and other people, unless I’ve have made all the necessary precautions and plans.  He also suggested that I call the hospital and check in with Fay’s doctor everyday to see how Fay is progressing, and visit her daily, unless she refuses my visits.  Only when Fay takes her meds and her condition is stable can she come home. The meds will calm her as well as cure her. Thank God for this wonderful doctor. In my most desperate time, he showed me a path to move forward.  


I got busy this morning and didn’t get a chance to talk to Fay, so I took a deep breath and decided to give her a call.  A male voice answered the phone. “How is Fay today?” He said she is fine, and her brother is here also. (Wow! That’s not right!)  I asked who he is. He said he is Fay’s godfather and Fay is his godmother. He spoke in a singsong voice. I said, “Get out of here.”  Oh, well…I gave up and laughed. This is the first time in days that I laughed. It felt good. I called my husband and told him what happened.  He laughed too, we were able to find some joy in this bad situation.


The phone rang as soon as I hung up with my husband.  “I am sorry to bother you, but I cannot get a hold of Fay on her cell phone.  I am a little worried about her. This is Jewel.” (Jewel is Fay’s best friend.)  I told her that Fay is in the hospital and I am not sure if she wants her to know about it.  I said I could contact her and then let her know. Jewel said she knows that Fay had been hospitalized before, and if she can tell Helena (her other friend) because Helena misses Fay too.  


I got a hold of Fay and told her that her friends (Jewel and Helena both missed her and if it is ok for me to give out the location and phone number of the hospital.  Fay ignored me and changed the subject telling me that she is coming back, Louie is going to pick her up. I asked again, can Jewel and Helena go visit her? She said, “Ok, but I want to go to Megan’s house (another of her good friends). At that moment, I know that it would be good for Fay to see Jewel and Helena, so I made up my mind to let her two friends know about her hospital stay.


After a few hours, Jewel called me.  

“Fay wants to leave here.  I spoke to the doctor, he said no.  But the doctor yesterday said Fay can leave.”  (Wow!  Jewel got to the hospital so quickly.)

“Jewel, Fay refused to take her meds.  Tomorrow she has to go to court. If she leaves now, it is not safe for her.”

“This is not right place for Fay, she is like a different person.  I am very sad, and so is Helena. She is crying now.”

“How long have you been there?”

“About an hour.”

“You should leave. The longer you stayed, she will continue to beg you to take her away.  That would make it difficult for both of you. Go home, I will go visit her later.”



At this time, our family doctor sent me another email.  He suggested that while Fay is in the hospital, we should have a family group meeting, to discuss what’s best for Fay.  So when Fay is discharged, she can go for counseling as soon as possible, within a day or two. Don’t let the week passed by.  Again, his suggestions made me feel relieved.


I called Fay again and asked if it is OK for me to visit her today. Again, she repeated that she wants to leave and go to Megan’s house.  Megan lives far, the drive is about an hour. I asked her if Megan said if it is alright for her to visit. (I thought to myself – Megan lives so far, it would be difficult for me to drive over to see Fay, besides, Megan has a little baby too.)  Fay remained silent.


My husband and I drove to the hospital.  He said, “I am not going in, it’s so sad to see Fay like this.  I will wait in the car for you.”


When I walk in, Jewel and Helena were still sitting in the waiting room.  Such precious friendship! They were surprised that my husband didn’t come with me.  I told them what he had said. We chatted a little, then I told them I am going to go see Fay.   They said they wanted to go in and say goodbye. I told them that it is not necessary, they should just go home.  If Fay see them again, she might beg them to take her away.


Honey, how did you get from there to here?”

“Louie is here, he is a nurse.  I went from here to there.”  (Fay thought that Louie is there to protect her.)  I noticed that her roommate is standing by her side.  Fay asked me to go pick up some coffee for them to share.  The way she asked me was like a little girl. I thought it is kind of late in the day for coffee and told her so.  


At this moment, we can hear people yelling, “Excuse us, excuse us!”  We saw two African American male nurses holding a patient on each side (she was dressed in the blue garb from the hospital and was making some strange sounds).  Both Fay and I teared up. They took the woman into a small dark room. I don’t have the stomach or strength to find out what’s going on. I just felt sad – is there no value in a human being’s life anymore, being dragged like that.  Don’t they have a gourney or a bed to transport her? When Fay ran away from the hospital, did they take her back like this, dragging her in? I dare not ask Fay, I don’t want her to remember, and I also do not want to know. Sometimes it is better not to know too much.


On the way home, I was quiet.  Thinking back about Fay asking for a cup of coffee earlier, her soft voice and the image of her pierced into the core of my heart.  I cannot understand, it’s only a cup of coffee, why does it strike a nerve in me?


For days I thought about it over and over again, then, finally I came up with an answer.  It’s because it is like time going backwards, remembering her when she was a little girl. Whenever she asked for anything, that’s how she looked and that’s the way she sounded.  “Momma, can you give me this, or Momma, can I have that?”


Another email came in from our family doctor.  He advised me to ask Fay honestly what I can do to help her.  The important thing is not what you can do, it is to make sure she recognizes who you are.  This is really deep, I did not understand until now.


Friday, a call came in from Fay’s doctor at the hospital.  He informed me that Fay lost “her case”, so she has started taking her meds.  Good news! I said thank you.


My husband and I decided to go visit Fay in the evening. When we got there, she looked calmer, and I felt relieved.  


Turning towards my husband, she asked, “Are you my father?”  


“Then you have to protect me and take me away from here.”  

“Honey, did you go to court today?”

“I think it happened.” (a moment’s hesitation)

“Is the judge a man or a woman?”

“I don’t know.”  (mind is fogged up)


Saturday, It’s been a whole week since Fay was hospitalized.  During this duration, John never called to ask about Fay.  Is he the one that gave her up or did he not care about her one bit?


I found out from the nurse that Fay has been taking her meds faithfully, last night and also this morning.  She is also sleeping better.


I got a phone call from Plum (Fay’s best friend from Kindergarten).

“Mrs. Lee, Fay asked me to pick her up.   I can’t go because my baby is ill and my husband is out of town.”

“Plum, thank you so much for letting me know.  Fay is improving, but still not ready to be discharged.”

I thought to myself, Fay kept in touch with so many of her childhood friends. Am I supposed to call each and everyone to tell them not to pick her up?  Well, there’s more important things to worry about, this is nothing.


I decided to call Fay’s doctor.  She’s been seeing him for the past three years.

What’s the trigger for this episode?”

“Probably something to do with her romantic relationship.”   (the doctor sighed softly. Perhaps she has gone through the same thing.)

“I am guessing maybe it is because she stopped taking her meds.  Do you think she should be given stronger meds? That’s our experience from the past.”

“You can talk to the doctor at the hospital.”

“Can you please talk to him?”

“Why don’t you discuss your concerns with him directly?”

“I am just her mother, not a professional.  They are not going to listen to me. “

“Alright!  Give me the phone number of the hospital, I will see what I can do.”


We talked a bit more about Fay and her escapade.  She didn’t say anything, just listened quietly. It gave me comfort that she is listening intensely, unlike other doctors, rushed you in and then rushed you out.  It seems like time is a stand still for us. I really appreciate and thankful to have this doctor for Fay.


In the evening, we went to see Fay.  She is a lot calmer, but still insisted on leaving the hospital.

I tried to comfort her by saying, “Honey, just stay here and rest for a couple more days.  Think about what you can do, may be writing, or may be painting.” Her roommate is standing side-by-side with her.  I really like this girl.


Out of the blue, Fay started remembering things:

Did you or John put me in the hospital?”

“No, neither of us.  It is the police.”

“I was happy and I didn’t have any suicidal thoughts and did not want to harm anyone.  You all took my happiness away and put me in here. Why did you do that?” (She was quite upset.)

“Honey, why don’t we tell the doctor how you feel?”

“This whole time, I could have been happy hanging out with my other friends, or out with Louie.  You wasted all my precious time.”


I wanted to argue but decided not to because I am not sure what I had done was a 100% right.  


“Did John say that I have suicidal thoughts?”

“No, John didn’t say that.”

“So what did John say to you?”

“All he said was you are not yourself, talking rubbish.”


I finally calmed her down, then I left the hospital.  On the way home, I told my husband our conversation and asked him what his thoughts are.  “Did I spoil her? Is that’s how I lost my ability to make sound judgment? My husband suggested that I check in with our family doctor.  


Sunday, my usual day of preparing for Monday’s work.  


A phone call came from Fay:

“Momma, I am checking out today.  Tell Louie not to come pick me up.  It is not safe here.”

“Who’s going to pick you up? Louie?  (no one is supposed to go get Fay)

“I am going to carpool with a bunch of people who are going home today.  You don’t need to come either.”

“Honey, listen carefully.  I will come pick you up, wait for me”  (I made myself very clear)

“What time are you coming?”

“Around 12 noon or so.  I will get dad to come with me.  Let me talk to the doctor first.”


“To learn how to take care of you.”



As soon as we hung up the phone, I can’t wait to contact Fay’s doctor.  


“Fay told me she is being discharged today.  Is that true?”


“Is she stabilized?”

“We can’t keep her here too long.”

“Can you please make sure that I get there first before releasing her? I don’t want her to leave with a bunch of other patients.  That way it will be hard for me to find her. You and the hospital will be responsible.”

“What time are you coming?
“In the next 2-3 hours.  I am closing my shop now.  I also want to meet with you, Fay’s nurse and the social worker.”

“I don’t know what you are saying.”

“This was our family doctor’s suggestion. We need to meet and come up with a safety plan for  Fay.” (I didn’t want to drag our family doctor into this, but I don’t have a choice.)

“You come as soon as possible.  We don’t have much time.”

“Will do.”


I immediately cleared up everything and closed the shop. The people from the cafe across the street delivered two cups of hot tea.  I started to cry, because they are always so nice to me, and these two cups of tea became my lunch.

(To be continued…)