Been going through a lot in the personal issues department lately so I decided to put off writing about happy stuff for a while, til I found my momentum and until i established what I really want to be writing about.
A few years ago, my dad retired prematurely by his own choice and left Dubai (his home for more than two decades) to live in the Philippines. I was a bit resentful about the move because I was hoping my kids would grow to an age where they would have memories of their grandparents. I knew though that the distance was not going to make that possible and since we were expats, and expats were (most of the time) paid according to the color of their skin, I was very, very resigned to starting a life away from my parents. We couldn’t afford to be too extravagant with traveling to the Philippines during all the breaks that we have. It would be more practical to send the money that spend it there.
My dad has been diabetic since he turned 40. His health has always been on a very gradual decline because of work related stress, family related stress (induced by 3 stubborn and hard headed kids), and poor eating habits. There are so many unhealthy food within reach in the UAE that it is no wonder that most of the population are overweight and diabetic (including me?!).
Lately, his memory has not been at its peak. He has started forgetting names, and even events in his life. For someone who hasn’t even reached 60, my dad has started being too forgetful.
A few months ago, after his trip to visit us here in Qatar and my older brother’s family in the UAE, his health was in such a state that we couldn’t ignore it anymore. Even he knew he had to get himself checked… When he did, after numerous procedures and tests, they found a completely blocked vein and two partially blocked ones. He was a timebomb waiting to explode.
My dad is still young. I still want him around.
Now I understand why he retired early.
He knew he wasn’t in the best of shape. His memory was failing him constantly. He couldn’t work properly because his mind was always blank or he couldnt remember things he needed to do. He wanted to save face.
I understand now Dad, you went because you had to go.
I hope you take care of yourself Dad. I still want you around. Even if there is the big distance between us, we can still be constantly connected by technology. I still want my kids to have memories with you Dad. The ones where they realize they love you and want you in their life… the way I feel about you.