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Location: Chicago, United States

I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Dear Auntie Patti Koh,

Last 12 Sept., my wife and myself went to Manila for a short visit until 22Sept. I was trying to unload some of the stuff that we have from the four suitcases that we travelled with, I saw this photos that was taken while my parents and my sisters was at Tagaytay Highlands Ranch.

While we are having our early dinner at the place, I was seatead with my father and across from me is my mother. Father was telling stories in a very soft and mild voice. He cannot speak loud anymore and to my surprise, my father is talking. He was a man of few words. He rarely dwell into conversations. My wife is always asking me if everything is alright with me and my father, because even if we are seated for an hour or more, there is no conversation with the two of us. I told my wife, that is how I grew up with my father, less talk and conversation, but we understood each other.

My eldest sister was telling my dad over dessert how lucky he was to have children around him giving him all the attention and care and always at his side when he needed something. My father smiled and said in a low voice, that is expected because he has been a good father to all of us. He was sharing the stories on how he was taking care of all of us when were still kids and how he was able to make all ends meet.

My mother was also talking simultaneously. She is outspoken and very extrovert, a far cry on the personality of my father. My mother is in the first stage of Alzheimers and we are taking small steps for her in looking after her. She had pelvic surgery twice and is now having a hard time walking. She can walk with the aid of her walking stick but not very far and not too long. The wheel chair and her caregiver is always behind her. My father, likewise, does not move very far without the aid of the wheel chair. He wants to walk all of the time, but he easilty gets tired and so the wheel chair is always handy and his caregiver.

My father is now 85 years old and my mother is 82 years old.
They have just celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary.

During the ride home from the Tagaytay, I was the one driving the car and it was only my wife, myself and my eldest sister inside the car. My parents was on their own car, together with my youngest sister. My eldest sister in my car was telling us stories on how my father goes to his three times a week theraphy at Asia Hospital which is closer to our house. My sister says, that everytime my father finishes his theraphy, he wants to eat immediately at the restaurant at Alabang Town Center. My sister said my father is like a little boy. He looks forward to his theraphy and looks forward in eating lunch at the restaurant at the mall. During his one hour theraphy, the driver returns back home to pick up my mother, so that she could join us for lunch.

I was looking very closely and intently at all the photos that I saw in the suitcase with the pictures of parents and my other sisters and nieces and nephews.

I was asking myself, if we were able to give everything to our parents and if they are both happy with what they have in their retirement years. I shed a tear when I saw the picture of my mother having a hard time going inside the car. She was aided carefully by her caregiver. My mother, who was a very independent and very strong woman when she was younger is now at the mercy of her caregiver. My dad has found another son, from his young care giver who loves him very much and cares very much to all my fathers needs and demands. This young boy of 21 years of age, sleeps at my parents house and is like a family member. His father was our driver for many many years until he died of cancer in our care.

I miss my parents thru the vision of all these pictures that I hold in my hands, so I called them, which I wanted to stop doing, because everytime I called and talked to my parents -- my eldest sister will call back and tell me that my parents becomes depressed and asked when will I come home again.

Auntie Patti Koh -- I am already a full grown man with two full grown boys, and about to retire, but I still miss my parents very much.

Am I such a kid? or am I acting like a kid?


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