Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Tuesdays With Me..
Bon Voyage, Adel...
I seem to have been waiting for the moment when I have to say farewell to my eldest child and only son, Adel Hakim as he prepares to leave us to further his studies in Canada.
Not that I am looking forward to it. Inexplicable, this feeling. This rush of emotions.
Adel came down with fever on Saturday that got me worried. I'm no doctor but I knew it was not the dreaded H1N1 as he had only fever and nothing else -- no runny nose, no aches and pains, no nausea etc. Not wanting to take any chances (for I'm no doctor and I could be wrong), I called his eldest sister, Ana (a doctor) and gave her a rundown on Adel's condition. She asked that Adel be brought to the clinic.
No, Adel did not have the Swine Flu. Just fever and a little wheezing (Adel's asthmatic). Some medication and Adel should be okay.
"This must be the result of all the late nights you've been having, eh?"Ana said, with a wicked smile.
Aah, yes. of course. He had been spending time with his friends, either at the mamak stall for very late supper, watch football or play games. He'd hit the sack about 4 or 5 in the morning.
Now, that's enough to bring down his defences, hale and hearty as he is.
Back at home, I teased Adel.
"Sakit sebab nak pergi jauh, rindu mummy, kan?". He looked up at me and just smiled. I rubbed his head.
I remember what he told me as we were watching "Leverage" on tv, the other night.
"I'll be leaving in about two weeks, mummy." And I felt my heartstrings tugging. I rubbed his head.
Adel has been responding well to medication and is well on the road to recovery. He is still not able to fast because of the medication he has to take.
After a diet of chicken porridge, he is now able to enjoy pasta and chicken rice.
Adel has got to get better for he leaves for Canada early Sunday morning. That's like four days more.
Right now, I am a bag of nerves, though you can't tell because I'm good at hiding it all.
I think mothers go through this aching when their children leave the nest.
Mak was lucky. She had 10 children. One went away, and she had nine left at home. But , of course, that didn't mean that she felt no pain every time her child left home for a faraway land.
I'd be lying if I said that I am not at all worried about how he's going to cope there. I'd wanted him to opt for Australia, because it is nearer. Canada is on the other side of the world, for goodness sake.
"Jauh-lah Canada," I said forlornly.
Surely Australians universities are just as good. But Adel said he preferred what was being offered at the University of Waterloo in Canada.
Ok. I may know a lot of things but it so happened at that point of our conversation, I had not read up about the university. So I said:"Are you sure it's a good university?"
"Well, one of its engineering students was among the team that invented the blackberry," Adel remarked in way of resting his case.
Hmmm. Point taken.
I know I'm not supposed to believe everything the media tells me. There could be some exaggeration and dramatization.
Adel's name is spelt the Arabic way. He was named after an Egyptian journalist I met in Aman, Jordan in1987 (thereabouts) . We were covering the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
And in case there are pictures in that naughty head of yours, there was no hanky panky. Nothing of the sort.
Adel, the Egyptian journalist was an old man and very fatherly.
I told him that when I had a son, I'd name him Adel. He was deeply flattered.
So, because "Adel" is a common Arab name, could "his name" be in the Canadian terrorist database?
That is so so worrying. Visions of him being singled out are not helping.
And then there are the mundane things like -- how he's going to do the laundry, or who's going to take him to the doctor when he's taken ill.
"Aaah...that's why it's imperative that he gets a girlfriend," my bro-in-law Azmi offered.
Hell, no, I said. He's going there to study, graduate and make us all proud of him. And no girlfriend of his is going to be his maid.
Reality check. Ok. Time out. I'm not going into that. Too stressful.
Adel, however has assured me that he is a big boy and is capable of taking care of himself. It may not seem so at home, but when he is far away from home, he knows just what to do. Trust him, he reassures me.
After the farewell dinner Kak Olin threw for him last Friday night, his aunts, uncles and cousins gave him a huge "bon voyage" card.
Almost everyone signed "take care, study hard and don't forget to come home". More or less.
So, yes, Adel. Don't forget to come home. Alone or otherwise. I'll be okay by then.
(Picture: A painting by Canadian artist, Franklin Carmichael.)