Dad’s talking more audibly and can last a few hours without his oxygen tank now. I have been running around town trying to get him settled before I finally return to my own home. Our situation is a tad bit complicated and makes it twice as difficult a goodbye. I don’t even know where to begin.
I have not visited my space here on the web not because I haven’t had access but simply because I’ve been too tired at the end of the day to even log on. And those select moments when I do get to log on, I find it too emotionally draining to write. So instead I work and talk to New York as if I was just working from home. But today, I woke up really early, and I feel a need to “speak my heart” out.
There are many lessons learned from the last three weeks, two of which I have spent with the family back here in Manila. I am most thankful for the blessings we have all been showered despite the trials presented by Dad’s life threatening illness. While we all felt the weight of the world on our shoulders, we plodded on knowing we had each other. I am thankful for the bond that brought my siblings and I even closer and the reminder of precious friendships that helped us make it through.
At the same time, the reality of a broken family has stared me in the face, and it has given me pause to revisit the various scenarios that might ensue should dad pass on. It is not something I have really thought about, but this was a wake up call. As the eldest of the brood, I feel a sense of responsibility to take the lead. It’s not a hat I would choose to wear given how Dad now lives with his second family, but it is a responsibility I cannot shirk away from.
I have found myself staring at Dad and I see how frail and old he is now at this point in time — I am grateful that I was able to take care of him even if only for a short while, and that I was able to play a role in getting him settled back home on the long way to full recovery.
I usually have a short chat over breakfast with Mom who is the early riser in the house. If I were to take her lead, she is actually telling me she is way past feeling any bitterness over our situation. Still…
As I get closer to the day when I actually must return to New York, I find more and more things that need to be taken cared of. That’s the burden of the eldest child. Meanwhile, it’s another Sunday and my last one here in Manila..