Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Received bad news from my brother last night. My Dad's being treated in one of the hospitals in Bandung. Yesterday he couldn't move his left leg and the doctor said that it was a symptom of stroke. My memory flew back to the past when I heard that word. My Dad's own mother had stroke twice and the second one made her unable to talk or do anything much except eat and lie down.

The weird thing is that my aunt (Dad's younger sister) had predicted this. Well, it wasn't such a weird prediction. You see, Dad is so much like me. We're both Melancholics. We do have some differences, especially since our gender is different. However, you can say that he's somewhat my mirror. The things he does that bother me are the things that I myself may/can do/have done. When he shows the ugly parts of our personality, I tend to hate them not because I hate him, but simply because I hate those parts in myself whenever they emerge.

A few months before I moved to Finland, Dad had shown so much anger. He started yapping and yapping and yapping and he got angry over unreasonable things and he often snapped at my mother over trivial things. I was so worried about their condition when I moved to Finland. At first my brother and I were discussing the way to discuss his anger with him, but we knew it would be a major blow-up. Dad has a black-and-white way of seeing things. So if he's right, that means we must be wrong and vice versa. Tough job.

Another thing I noticed during the few months was that he started telling EVERYBODY that came to our house about his past. About the way people undermined him at work and how he proved them wrong, about the many awards he'd won from his workplace. You see, lately he's started forgetting things and he isn't too active anymore in his working place. He's been an insurance agent since around 1991. Anyway, it seemed that he would be retiring soon. So I began to suspect that it had something to do with his fear of retirement days looming in the near future. When I talked to my friends about my Dad's anger, they assumed that it had something to do with my leaving home, as well.

Anyway, a month after I moved to Finland, my Aunt (Dad's younger sister who's been living in Canada for some years as she got married with a Canadian) came to visit Indonesia with her husband. They spent a night at my parents' house, then they checked in at a hotel. My Dad took them to the hotel, but apparently he must have forgotten the hotel's precise location. So he drove past the hotel and when he realized his mistake, he got angry and he kept on yapping and yapping and blaming my aunt for it.

After my aunt went back home, she wrote me an email, telling me that my Dad could get a stroke if he kept on being SO angry. My aunt told me that maybe it was due to "post power syndrome" AKA my Dad felt useless as he was no longer the bread winner in my family.

I began to feel that my Aunt was SO right. I know my Dad's been SO afraid of being unappreciated by his family. However, the more anger he shows (the more yapping and snapping), the less positive responses he gets. The more negative responses he gets from my mother or my brother, the bigger his fear is. Thus the angrier he becomes, and so on. The Devil's cycle.

The problem is, how do you tell your own Dad what his problems might be? I can only pray and hope that he can give all his anger and fears to God and just leave them there. I have told my brother and mother about what my Aunt and I think as Dad's problems. I hope with this knowledge my mother won't take my Dad's anger too personally no matter how difficult it is. I have also sent SMSes to my Priest in Bandung, asking his help to give my Dad counseling or something. I stated briefly what I thought as his problems.

I hope I'll hear good news from my brother later. The thing is, my brother and his girlfriend will get married in the beginning of December. I hope nothing bad will happen near or on their wedding date. Please help me pray for my Dad's recovery, most especially his inner wounds. I just want them to be in harmony again, as they used to. THANKS for reading this post.


  1. Oh heck Amel! :-( I am sorry to hear about your dad.

    I agree, he sounds like he's yelling because he's scared. Not that that helps. I think your idea of contacting your dad's priest is a great one. I hope it works.

    My grandfather had several strokes over the last 10 years of his life. He managed to keep fairly active right up till the last year. When he could no longer work or read (grandpa so loved to read!) he took up gardening. His garden became his whole life and passion. A pity your dad couldn't find something to put his energy into. Something so he doesn't feel like his life is being eroded away.. and get scared and angry.

    Sending prayers for your dad.

    .. a candle for your dad.

  2. THX U SO MUCH, M!

    Well, Dad tried putting his energy into cleaning up the garden (we didn't have a big one, though). However, that became one source of complaint instead of joy. He kept on complaining on our neighbour who had a big starfruit tree which leaves kept on falling on our yard. Mom got tired of his complaints and told him to stop complaining. That only made him madder.

    Sigh...I hope things'll get better later. I just prayed for him: God, grant him the serenity to accept the things he can change, courage to accept the things he can change, and wisdom to know the difference.

    Knowing him (he's more like me than my mother or brother), it'll take time (probably much longer than I need) to adjust to being "retired" and to enjoy being a retired person. I also hope God gives my Mom and brother the strength and wisdom and patience to endure everything.

  3. My grandparents passed away when I were young and they were just as close to me as my Dad. They are pretty much the only people that can make me cry in an instant... I don't know why but my memories of them live forever in my mind and everytime I think about them, I feel extremely sad...

    So I understand your pain in many ways - my deepest heartfelt wishes are with you.

    God Bless.

  4. THX for your kind words, Shan! :-)

  5. Hey Amel! I am so sorry about your dad :(! I'll pray for his recovery! I could explain you of how right your auntie is, about his anger being the main cause of his stroke; but it's not the moment: now, we must meditate and pray!
    "Auguri" to your brother (for his marriage)!
    My thoughts are with you!

  6. THX SO MUCH for the prayers. I hope my family'll receive good news in time. :-)))

  7. May God give your dad a peaceful mind to overcome what he’s been going through lately.

  8. THX to you too, Choc Mint Girl!!! :-)))