When I returned to Malaysia in March this year, I honestly didn’t think I’d still be here come September. But all good things must come to an end. After almost 6 months at home, it’s finally time to go back to the UK.
I’ve been away from home since I was 12. So this shouldn’t be too difficult, should it? Yeeesss, and no.
In the last 6 months I’ve grown incredibly close to my kids. In that sense, this pandemic has been a blessing in disguise. Looking back at my life for the last few years, everything has been proceeding at breakneck pace. Housemanship, MO-ship, MRCP, neurology subspecialty training, PhD…all these leave very little time for family.
And yet for the last few months I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with my wife and kids. I’ve been able to teach them how to:
Ride a bicycle
Play the piano
Do Taekwondo stuff
Attend online classes (!)
All that, on top of spending more time with my other family members. Alhamdulillah, I am grateful for these moments , moments that are now etched into my memory and that I will treasure all my life.
Speaking of memory…
If we put aside the pain of being away from my family, I’m actually very much looking forward to resuming my DPhil work in earnest. To a certain extent, I feel torn between two loves. Love for my family, but also love for the topics I am studying: neuroscience, neurology, memory, motivation, apathy etc.
To me, these are important things, worth the time spent studying and researching them. Malaysia is not unusual in that we have a lot of people with stroke and dementia. If I can use my knowledge to help my future patients, that would be worth all the sacrifices I’ve had to make, and am still making.
10,000 km away
My 3 year-old son asked me this morning where I was going.
“Daddy’s going to work,” I replied. In my mind, I wonder if he understands that ‘work’ is 10,000 km away.
I asked my wife to just drop me off at the departure terminal earlier, but told my kids to stay at home, not because I was worried they’d burst into tears, but so that they won’t be able to see mine…
Hasbunallah wa ni’mal wakeel.