Monday, November 24, 2008

Return to Benztown


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.

3 comments:

Jamie said...

You're right Maha. My mom just visited me and it was great but there was a lingering feeling that i had abandoned her. don't regret the decisions you've made though. you're parents are surely proud of you and the life you've lived so far. it's made you who you are.

rasha said...

oooooh boy ... both of you remind me of my own status . my parents left Dubai for good in 2004 and ever since then I feel so guilty for leaving them . my dad is 77 my mum is 72 and I always tell myself I should be with them . they were there for me when I needed them I should be there for them too. But this is life and I guess we have to live with reality . I hope your dad's health improves so that your family would feel better . take care of yourself and if you need anything do not hesitate to ask my friend.

Walaa said...

Visiting my cousin's world... it's amazing a lot of cheeze and new decisions, I'm sorry to hear that uncle Shoukri was going through bad health conditions... however I'm glade he is doing better by now. please send him my regards, and warm greetings to the whole family...I like your blog, so much, you gotta be proud of it... I've tried to create one... but it seems I'm not that type of person who can keep it on...