Home at Last, Home at Last...

Paraphrasing the closing words of Martin Luther King’s famous speech, which he in turn borrowed from an old Negro spiritual…

Home at last, home at last
Ever so thankful to be home at last

With Cookie in tow on our village walk
Me and my wife will sweetly talk

On my knees I was when time pass’s by
Tho’t my soul would rise and fly

On this morning, so bright and fair
Goin’ wake to see home and breath fresh country air

Home at last, home at last
Thankfully I’m home at last

Arriving in Hawaii, I found myself ensconced in my ridge-line abode high above the pacific ocean, with a beautiful view of Diamond Head and the sunset. This was to be my home for the duration of my stay in Hawaii. Located in a gated community, my accommodation was far from spartan and I had the whole house to myself. The day after I arrived my hosts, family friends, left on an extended trip leaving me in the position of house-sitter, I guess you could say.
Morning View of Diamond Head

Evening View

This of course is not where the story begins but after moaning about my travel angst and the fatigue of the first few days I thought better of it and spared you that part of the story. After picking up my father’s car, getting a temporary phone sim-card and settling into some semblance of a routine, with daily conversations with my wife back in Chiang Rai, I eventually made myself at home. Making my own bed, feeding myself and doing the laundry took me back to my bachelor days and greatly enhanced my appreciation for all my lovely wife does for me.

Running around Diamond Head on several occasions at sunset also contributed to my remaining sane. Making use of a very fast internet connection, I am returning home with a library of high-definition movies and series that should keep me entertained for a while. Sure hope their internet provider doesn’t impose any download limits, that I may have inadvertently exceeded.
Waikiki Sunset
Kapiolani Park

Diamond Head Sunset

I was taken aback by my reaction to life in both Bangkok and Honolulu as well as being separated from my wife. Throw in concern over the deteriorating health of my aging parents and the uncertainty of what comes next, and I was a bit of a mess and far from my normally blissful self. I guess my tolerance level for stress and irritation has been eroded by my idyllic life in the village.

With much to do and little time to do it there was nothing for it but to jump right in. There was only one outstanding project as time wound down but I was overly optimistic in thinking I could get that done in the time allotted. So it appears that my trip was a success if measured by things accomplished.

My mother of course did not know who I was and recent attempts to modify her medication left her far from receptive to our visits. While I understood the situation, my father was noticeably distressed that our visits with mother didn’t go better. After all I had flown halfway around the world to see her, in his mind. The truth is I had come for him and to do what I could to bolster his moral.
Everlasting Love

The Despair of Dementia

I am relieved that he seems to have agreed to sell his car and stop driving. That was an issue of concern, often brought up by others and which is a delicate matter signifying a major loss of independence for the elderly.  More tasks were automated and delicate matters discussed.  Clothes were bought, which found me in an unfamiliar position of dresser, down on my hands and knees, helping my father with the laborious task of dressing and undressing.  His reactions were classic and will not be soon forgotten by this son.

I treat each phone call and visit as if it could be the last, trying to move forward with a clear conscience and calm heart, but who knows how I will respond in the end.  For now I am satisfied that I am doing what I can.  I have no read on where the rest of my somewhat formal and distant family stands but that is beyond the scope of my control or influence.

Returning to Bangkok was no less torturous than the trip over, except for the fact that I was looking forward to what awaited me at journeys end.  Even the concrete jungle that is Bangkok was somehow less oppressive walking again hand in hand with my wife.  It wasn’t until the plane neared Chiang Rai and we could see the lush green fields below that I finally took a deep breath and felt that I was nearing home.

The last few weeks are quickly fading to a distant memory so I must post this before the present clouds all recollection of recent events.

Home at last, home at last
Thankfully I’m home at last