Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sins of the Father

Last week was catch-up week after returning from California, after laboring remotely; trying to continue my job after 2 weeks of working on the fly, catching moments in the hospital waiting room or at the lodgings to do work, attend meetings and make phone calls.  I had arrived Saturday on the 19 of October in the morning fog after nearly missing my plane from LAX the night before, the nurses scrambling to find a way to get me to the airport, finding a web site in the Internet, finally booking a ride  on a shuttle bus powered by natural gas. I had spent the day praying, sitting beside him and reading from the Bible, happy to see improvements in the early evening, allowing the doctor to finally pull the tube from his mouth, my time in the chapel and at his bedside had provided comfort. But I left Los Angeles without seeing him conscious although great improvement the next day as he was no longer sedated; he was sitting down and standing up, listening to the therapist and exercising; small steps in the difficult journey of rehabilitation. After arriving in Charlotte, I rented a car and went to IKEA to do shopping; retail therapy to reduce stress.

During the week since I got back, I was reading my mail and working on many outstanding requests,  but I was able to watch a movie (‘Gravity’ in IMAX 3D) the night after my arrival and going swimming on Sunday morning; trying to get back to normality. So I felt good but tired back in the office but there was a lot to do, following–up people and responding to email. A lot of work had piled up and I had interesting but stressful exchanges with the customers, while dreading phone calls from California in the evenings after work, fearful of the possible bureaucratic and legal mess aside from his health problems, feeling pressure because of the urge to help but unable to do anything else; the well is dried up and one is running on empty. I prayed to God on my last day, trying to make sense of the tragedy hoping for a second chance, for a different life from the one that burdened him, oppressed by decisions of the past;  the sins of the father coming to haunt his sons despite the urge to do good for his children but created a nightmare decades later.

I had also neglected my duties in Toastmasters, missing the deadline for the payment of dues, nearly failing to attend the conference last Saturday, 26th October, but managing to scramble for a place but ending in shame as my wife called during a speech contest; my reaction was like a fool scrambling to get away in front of many people.   I had thought that I would forget my troubles by doing a speech at our meeting and attending the conference, but there is no escape from my everyday problems, rising up to contribute their own stress to the already filled container. Suffering happens because of desire, and I wanted so many things, to be healthy and go to the gym, to do my duties as an officer of the club, to do well at my new role in the office, scrambling to lead a model life but deep inside the memory of him recovering in the hospital;  I wanted to run but came to face more problems in one’s own world. There is too much stress that one escapes from it, watching movies and being self-indulgent, to fantasize and settle into some drug induced stupor like sleeping in opium dens in the Singapore of the past, to escape the harshness of life. But there is no escaping one’s trouble even those committed long ago by an ill informed father trying to help his children have a better future. Instead, resulting in tragedy and heart disease.

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