My dad who lives in Asia fell sick about a month ago. He had high fever that remained high and was coughing nonstop. He felt so sick that he called an ambulance in the middle of the night to take him to the emergency room. Armed with antibiotics for his newly diagnosed pneumonia and fever-reducing meds, he was sent home to rest. However, after being home for two more days, his temperature remained very high, and he was feeling very sick. He again called an ambulance to the ER, and this time he was admitted to the hospital and was in isolation because of the fear of being infected by others. My dad had never been so sick before. He was coughing every single minute to a point where his muscles everywhere were sore and hurt. Talking on the phone hurt because he would have to cough constantly while speaking. No position was comfortable for him. What worried me the most was his high fever. He was burning up constantly. His meds brought the temperature down a bit but it went back up high for quite a few days. For a 74-year-old, pneumonia could be fatal. Honestly, I was worried sick every single day that his fever remained high. I felt so stuck that I couldn’t be there for him. My brother considered flying there if my dad didn’t get better within a couple of days. I also felt bad that his immediate family (me, my mom, and my brother) was not by his side. Fortunately, my dad’s numerous siblings (he is one of ten) and my cousin were taking care of him. The hospital ran so many tests on my dad to make sure that he had nothing more than pneumonia. He was finally discharged after 6 days. I was so relieved to know that he was on the mend. He was notified by the public hospital that an earlier CT showed a shadow. Since getting an appointment at the public hospital would take a long time, my dad got one done at a private hospital, and was told that the results didn’t show cancer. Phew. What a relief. Last week my dad called me to chat. He told me that the public hospital tried to schedule an appointment with him for a follow up on his pneumonia in September. He told them that he wanted to plan a trip so he wouldn’t be available until early October. I didn’t think much about that because my dad goes on hiking and biking trips all the time. Then he said that he told them that he was planning a trip to go see babies. I was puzzled as to which babies he was going to visit. He was like, who else??? Then I realized that he meant my babies. Then he told me this. When he was lying on the hospital bed feeling very sick, he had that doomed feeling that he didn’t even know if he would ever make it out of the hospital. He wondered if he would ever get to see his grand-babies again. I guess when you are very sick especially at an older age, your mind goes to dark places. It was at that time that he had made up his mind to come see us during the babies’ birthday month, which is September, even though we are going to visit him in Asia in October. So just like that, grandpa who didn’t intend to come visit bought plane tickets so he can celebrate his grand-babies’ birthday with them. I can understand how he feels, and am so happy that he is healthy enough to fly for 13 hours to come see them. Especially after my sister-in-law’s mother passed away due to complications of dementia and colon cancer last week. I feel blessed that my parents are still healthy and the kids have a chance to get to know them intimately. I try not to take these chances to spend with my parents for granted because no one knows what tomorrow may bring.