The journey has started - with negative news. I´ve arrived in Frankfurt around noon, it was freezing, raining and grey but I was all the smiley face, as if I´ve just arrived somewhere in the Caribbean, ready to jump on a boat to some coconut island. I had some time to kill because my ride to Berlin wouldn´t leave until 5pm so I kept myself busy eating lots of German things and staring at the Germans at the train station. And then I thought, why don´t you do something useful and get yourself a German mobile number to call your parents. So I called home and this was when I stopped smiling. Turns out that dad had a heart attack and got admitted to hospital. No, not today. Almost a week ago! A tearful half hour later I was sitting in the train to Stuttgart - Benztown here I come - and at 6.30pm I was holding dad´s hand at the hospital bed.
These things happen. All the time and everywhere. Still, it hits you like a rocket. One minute you are immersed into your selfish happiness and the next you get a wake up call. It hasn´t occured to me that my dad is in a risky age - he´s 70 now. I´ve always been too absorbed with my own life, taking for granted that my parents are always there, waiting for me to come home once a year, dinner ready on the table. Now I´m sitting next to my dad´s bed in the hospital - this is day No. 5 - and feel bad about having left him (and my mom) to go and live somewhere else. I should have stayed. Should have, could have, would have. Who knows what the right decision would have been. Fact is, it´s difficult seeing your dad strapped to a hospital bed, surrounded by morbidity, bad food and loneliness. He is feeling better every day - still, I feel guilty for having left him years ago. He kept telling me "what´s the point of having children when they´re never around, especially when you are about to die". I guess he´s right so I´ve decided that things will change ... how I don´t know yet. But I know for sure that I want to be a part of his life again. Parents are too precious to grant them 2 weeks a year only. You won´t have them around forever.