In the past few weeks I have been on a rollercoaster of emotions; juggling business with the rapid decline of my father’s health. Is it humanly possible to do both? When you have to put yourself to the test, you quickly discover where your priorities are. Unfortunately, I have been in this place before. Almost six years ago, I lost my mother. Now, I am facing the loss of my surviving parent. Until only a few years ago, my father had never suffered from a major illness. In fact, it was rare that he ever had a cold. Eighteen months ago he was diagnosed with cancer. As he approaches 91 years of age, his cancer has spread rapidly and he is deteriorating fast. I left Vancouver and went to Australia 10 days ago as I could not sit still and wait another day. It became very clear to me that I made the right decision to be with my father. To put it simply, I had to ask myself “in what state do I want to see my Dad?” His smile was worth everything. He is still hanging on, although he is very weak.
If you are questioning where to place your professional or personal priorities, don’t wait too long to make your decisions. Trust your intuition and you will not regret your choices. The jetlag and exhaustion is something I could live with. Not acting on my gut feeling would have left me remorseful. We don’t have to experience the inevitability of the most significant events in our lives to teach us these lessons. Instead, we can accept that we cannot do everything and choose to do the most important thing. For anyone reading my blog who has gone through the loss of your parents, I would welcome your advice and support.