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Let's appreciate life

My father is in the hospital.

My father is 86 years old (or so. He was born in Yemen. No birth certificate). Twenty years ago, after he retired, we found out he had Parkinson. We have been living with it for the past 20 years or so.

It does not happen in one day; slowly - end surely - the symptoms become more severe as if the Parkinson is saying: I am here, I can not go unnoticed and I am here to stay...

So, the very strong man that we all knew, can not move around without help and he could hardly speak. Thank God we have that caregiver that takes care of him - and my Mom - 24/7.

My heart goes out to my Mom. She is so frustrated. And Sad. And bitter. For the past 20 years she is - in fact - without a spouse. She takes care of him like a angel, but there is no one to take care of her. As much as we try, it is not the same. There is no substitute to what you get from your spouse.

I think about my parents and it makes me sad.

I thought, as they retire, they would have the opportunity to enjoy life, travel, enjoy their growing family - children, grandchildren, great grandchildren. Well, my father can't. My Mom can't either. She is totally drawn into my father's situation. My Mom is in a jail that has no walls.

This week my father is at the hospital. He fell last week and broke a bone. He developed some sorts of an infection. He is treated with antibiotics. After that, they will make a decision if they should operate. We are three brothers and two sisters. My sisters (as well as the grandchildren and friends and family) visit during the day while the caregiver is there. We, the men, spend the nights there. By his bed. To keep him company. To take care of him.

When I spend the nights there, it gets me thinking.

It is so depressing to be at the hospital. I look at those helpless old people, those who have no family to be around them every single minute of the day. I can feel their pain. I can feel their loneliness.

Please! Appreciate being well! Be grateful for all the good things that you have. For being at home and not needing anybody to feed you, to help you drink, to help you turn in your bed, to help you go to the bathroom.

We have that thing 'to be taken care of'. We wish to 'enjoy life', do nothing and have other people serve us.

Trust me, the best way to enjoy life is to use nobody. Do it by ourselves. Do it by ourselves because - thank God - we can.

One more thing:

Next to a sick husband there is a wife. Next to a sick wife there is a husband. When it is just a cold - a cup of tea and two days in bed will do it.

When it is a terminal illness - it is a very long road filled with potholes, bumps and winding curves. It is a road no one wants to drive.

On that road, there are two people - the sick person and his/her spouse. The two of them are driving that road: the pain, the fears, the frustration, the breakdowns, the never ending pressure in the chest.

I pray for the speedy recovery of all sick people.

I honor, I solute those who stand by them and take care of them, those who live the pain with them.

I solute those people who want to enjoy life like ordinary people but choose to act like and become living angels.

I solute you, Mom.

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