Wednesday, 11 November 2015

The Golden Gate

A picture of my wife and my mother at the Golden Gate Bridge
Nothing special at first sight, but very special it is.

Two beautiful women, a generation apart.
Two beautiful women, half the world apart
Two beautiful women, my mom and my wife.

Now I realize how difficult it must have been for my mom.
She was Catholic, loved me and her family tremendously much.
I was marrying my Malaysian fellow student who was Muslim.

I was and surely still am an idealist.
My mom was super caring and very protective
She almost lost her baby (me) due to a severe infection in the first year of his life.
Was it not of her super alertness, swift action and superb care, I might not have been here.
And then that baby grows and gets it in his immature mind that he wants to be  a doc.
Not a regular one, but one that goes abroad to help like Albert Schweitzer had done.
Can you imagine the worries I was sending through her heart and mind by talking about this throughout my teenage years.

Somehow her love for me was so big. Even though she visibly was worried, she supported my eagerness to travel and go and do electives in my student years in America. We communicated through letters and the occasional extremely expensive phone call. At that time no internet, no skype, only post and fixed phone lines with a huge price tag on international calls.

Then in medical school I met my future wife. For me it was like something God had arranged and perhaps it was. For my mother lots of extra worries. Now she could see her son finding an easy way to move out of Belgium for long. And on top of that the future wife was not of the same religion.

We have gone through many hours of discussion, of deep religious talk, of consultation with other people even, we thought could give us some valid advice. In the end my mother made the fantastic and great-hearted move to accept my wife. In 1994, we made a trip to the US together with my father and my wife and a true friendship blossomed between my mom and my wife. They had sweet nick names for each other and I have multiple pictures of them together.

One of these pictures is near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. A very special one indeed.
A beautiful picture of two extremely beautiful women with beautiful hearts and beautiful minds.
Two beautiful women, one with a son, the other one a husband with crazy ideals that stick like glue and do not want to leave, even when he is entering his 50 series.

I want to say a warm thanks to my mom, for her grace and extreme love and care. I wish she could hear or read it. But I hope I manage to let her care and love live on in my daily work and through trying to achieve my own  "crazy" ideals...

Her generosity and enormous level of understanding has been like a golden gate for me to live the live of my dreams and achieve my wi(l)dest aspirations.

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