2003-09-16Other things on my mind
I wanted to use as much time as possible to prepare the trip, but unfortunately I have a couple of other things on my mind as well. The international project is taking more time. The meeting in Paris was almost a waste of time, and we had to spend extra days the next week to make up for that. Went to Frankfurt for that. Then there are more complications, now of a political nature. More and more time slips away, while we progress only very slowly.
In the same period I am looking for a flat to buy for my children. That is fun to do, it does not drain all the energy. But my father's condition, who has been very ill since June, is getting worse. He's in and out of hospitals, but there is no treatment. We, his children come together to discuss the situation and prepare for the inevitable.
The project brings me again to Frankfurt in the first week of September. I really like my German colleagues, we seem to work together very well. Several meetings are going on in parallel. On the one hand there is great progress, on the other hand there are still the political issues we are facing, which will be on the table clearly on Thursday.
Wednesday evening I get the message that my father is again brought to the hospital. The Thursday meeting is terrible, and I am glad that I can take an earlier flight home. My Dutch colleague who had stayed behind calls me on Friday and reports on the results. All European colleagues are now on the same line: next step is the US. He is going there on Monday, do I care to join? I say, no thanks this time, if my expertise is really needed we can always organise a conference call.
A full circle
Dad dies Sunday morning. After Frankfurt I was going to see him that day, so I was too late. The first couple of days are filled with a mixture of relief and grieve. I went into the office to finish some of the work and delegate other things. But I cannot concentrate. The funeral will be on Friday.
That week we also buy the flat that my children had selected while I was in Frankfurt. In a way the circle has been completed. My father did a lot for his grandchildren when they were small, now I can do the same. I wanted to tell this story at the funeral, but it was too much, I couldn't.
One more week
It's Tuesday now, one more week before I go. I hope I will get everything ready in time now. And my Go has suffered, it is still difficult to concentrate. I played a couple of games this weekend, and my play was terrible. Luckily I am only the official, not the Dutch player (that is Emil, he can give me a four stone handicap).