I am at Changi airport.
This being my flight out to a third country in two weeks doesn’t strike me as fun at all, but it needs to be done, as I need to quickly understand the ground, the IT landscape and existing resources, so that I can quickly put a plan together.
I’ll be in Jakarta for one night plus the entire morning and half the afternoon tomorrow before flying back to Singapore tomorrow evening.
I managed to stop by the hospital for a quick visit before I came to the airport, and I thought I could quickly update everyone on my dad.
My siblings and Christine have been updating me on Dad’s progress. Today is exactly 7 days since his bypass surgery, and also about 6 days since his stroke. From the initial days of fear and trepidation, I think things are settling down to a stability and a reality has set in.
Dad’s stroke is a reality that we have to accept. There’s no point harping on what could have happened if he didn’t go for the Op. We need to look forward as a family if we are to overcome this together. So far, I thank God that everyone is chipping in, and helping everyone cope.
And thus far, we have seen dad improve day by day. Initially, he couldn’t even move. Now, he can smile, move his left hand and leg with normal dexterity, and also move his right leg fairly well enough to walk from his bed to the physiotheraphy area! He still can’t speak, but has began uttering some audible sounds, and has displayed a keen understanding when we communicate with him.
The physiotherapist has also said that dad is a very strong candidate for physiotheraphy, and has put him on the fast track as he has been indicating miprovements very very fast.
Yes, it’s a long haul ahead for us, but there also things I thank God for through this family crisis.
Dad indicated to Christine that he would like to see me, and I rushed to the hospital in the afternoon to meet him before my flight out. Today, as I visited him, he was visibly happy, and relaxed. going near to him, he touched and caressed my face. Something he has never ever done (ever since I gained intellectual thought).
But perhaps, I might also like to add that I had taken the first step on Sunday to give him a peck on the cheek before I left. I guess this must have encouraged him to allow the traditional asian stoic paternal to son “never tell your son you love him” behaviour to just fall away.
Today I felt….I gained a father. One who truly loves me and one who gave up so much to ensure I completed my studies, gained a good job, so that I would have a bright future. I never realised how much I loved my dad until he got admitted, and now it seems like I am getting to know dad all over again in the most intimate of ways.
I am so very thankful I have got this opportunity to be able to express openly our love and affection for each other. But so painful that it had to take a stroke to open up this new and exciting channel of communication.
I’m seizing the opportunity to love him as much as possible in his twilight years. Dad is already 74 years old, and doesn’t have very many more years ahead. I need to treasure this moments I have with him, and I fully intend to.
Perhaps you have old and ageing parents too. Maybe you are like me and your parents very much like my dad. Emotions are a “No No”, and you find it hard to communicate or relate to them.
Listen to me. Your parents are only here on earth for so long. Treasure them. Give them a peck or a hug. Don’t wait till something major happens before you tell them you love them.
Before I left the hospital, I gave him another big kiss on his cheek. I love my dad.