Friday, February 8, 2013

Radiant FUN FACT #11: Ba

My latest YA novel, Radiant, releases on February 12! Until then, I'm posting one fun fact a day about the book.

Today's fun fact is about Ba, Mary's grandmother.  is "grandmother" in Vietnamese, but her "proper title" would be Bà ngoại, since she's Mary's mother's mother. Bà nội would be what she would call her father's mother if she were Vietnamese. Bà ngoại and Bà nội are what I use to refer to my own grandmothers, though I'm not close to them like Mary is to Ba.

In Radiant, Ba suffers from Alzheimer's Disease. And so does my own bà ngoại. She's nearly 100, and she doesn't really remember anyone except a couple of my aunts. She has to have help bathing, during which she can get violent because she doesn't know what's going on, and she has to wear adult diapers all the time because she doesn't know how to go to the bathroom on her own anymore. And when she talks, you never know what she's going to say. She'll tell someone to hit someone or start cussing people out. She pretty much can't go out in public anymore.

Even though I'm not close to my bà ngoại, it's still hard to see her now. Not just because she's in Houston and I'm in Dallas, but it's hard to see how she is and see the stress my aunts and their families go through while they take turns caring of her. She doesn't know who I am at all. She hasn't known for years. It doesn't get any easier trying to accept that fact.

So, today wasn't really a fun fact. But that's some of the background behind Ba's character.

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