Tuesday, 13 October 2009

"There is a difference between what you want and what your parents want"

So, my uncle randomly turned up in London yesterday. He was here for a meeting, which I did not know about and rang me up to ask me to meet him for coffee. I have not spoken to this man one-on-one for more than 5 minutes at a time in my life, so the prospect was fairly daunting. After trekking up and down Tottenham Court Rd for a while, we ended up in Starbucks (by the way, British Society, you were not doing yourself any favours yesterday, as the customer service everywhere we went was appalling. I was quite ashamed of the city that I call home) and sat down to talk about nothing.

Eventually the conversation turned to the upcoming trip and my parents arriving in Israel (which they did yesterday, how nice of you to ask! ;-) ) and he started saying some slightly odd things. He was wondering how come I was going to Israel when my brothers are not, why I am so adamant to stay and have I asked my parents what they want from me. Suddenly, and without warning, I thought "Holy shit. Has he been told something that I haven't? What if they don't want me there? What if I am just going to be a burden and my mother thinks she will have to cook for me and do my laundry and generally look after me, as well as after my father? Gah!"

So I rang home and called my mum. She said, "Don't be so silly. We not only want you. We need you. For instance, I can't leave the house to get a pint of milk if there is no one to look after your dad. We are counting the days until you get here" (Obviously, this was all in Hebrew, but you get the gist).

So I'm rather chuffed. The title of the post refers to something my uncle said, which suggested that I was going to be with them out of a selfish need to see my father, when he didn't necessarily want me there. So nah to that! Apparently it is unimaginable that a daughter could take time out of her life to be with her sick father.

I told my uncle the following: Let's pretend that there are two options. One option is that I run off to Israel and take 6 months out of my life, only to have him fully recover and I am left feeling like a bit of a ninny. Fine. Option two is that I don't. I decide that everything is fine, I stay in London, get on with things and, 9 months down the line my father is dead and I spend the rest of my life regretting the time with him that I will never get back. I know which option I choose, selfish or otherwise.

And this brings me on to my next point. My uncle kept talking about the circumstances in which my father is dead. People have been intentionally avoiding this, which includes everyone from my immediate family to random acquaintances. So, just to put it out there and thus confront the fear: Dead. Death. Dying. Terminal. My father may die. The chance is pretty damn high.

Phew. Do I feel better? No, not really. But if I need any justification as to why I am doing any of what I doing, let's go with that. And furthermore, let's go back to the start. 27 Percent. It's the 73 percent that is driving me right now. And everything else is bullshit.

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