Monday, June 2, 2008

Brussels, anyone?

Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium
image: Brussels

Since it is Sunday (well technically now Monday), my dad always calls. It's like clockwork that he calls every Wednesday and Sunday, sometimes more frequently as well. Sometimes we both have a lot to say, while other times, we don't. Tonight, however, he ran something by me. He said that D., his wife, has applied for a job in BRUSSELS and that she is on the short list. Yes, this is Brussels, the one in Belgium, in Europe. Eeek! He wanted to know what my opinion was. I was flabbergasted and shocked and really didn't know what to say. We left it with that I would think about it.

He said it was important what I thought as well as S., D.'s son. Both S. and I are not teenagers but rather adults. S. is three or four years younger than me and engaged. He does have some issues (don't we all?) in terms of mentally. He was diagnosed as bipolar a few years ago and ADHD in his teens. He's had a hard time with academics, and I guess is working now. I know he and his fiance share at apartment not far from my dad and D. I'm not sure the rest in terms of how much they support him financially and such.

Then with me, my dad doesn't financially support me, but my mom helps me out greatly in terms of insurance stuff. However, my dad is the "go to" guy. He's often the person I go to with questions about my car, cooking, any appliance, how to fix something, geographical locations, etc. I guess I've gotten into the "habit" of knowing he'll be there for that type of stuff. In another sense, I think it's often made him feel useful, especially since I didn't share with him much of my personal life for a long time.

I honestly am not sure what to say. I want he and D. to be happy, live their life, etc. I don't want to be selfish thinking only of myself and my needs, but at the same time, can I fly solo? Yes, I've been pretty much living alone (or with roommates) for almost ten years now, but my parents have still been a big source of comfort for me, even with all our differences. Yes, he would still be there of course, but just on a different continent. E-mail would be come even more vital as phone calls might be difficult. I know I only see him a handful of times during the year, but it seems that if he was in Europe, it would be a less. I think he would have a hard time with this, especially since he sometimes just calls me to "hear my voice."

For a long time, South Carolina was the place where he really wanted to live. He's been living there for almost ten years now, though different locations. SC was like his paradise, so for him to even think about leaving seems out of place. He and D. built the home they are living in a few years ago. It's a gorgeous home with a beautiful wrap around, screened-in veranda. It sits on five acres with many trees and a pond with several different kinds of fish. The house alone I think is worth at least half a million.

Living in Brussels would definitely be an opportunity of a lifetime for them, though they would probably have to learn French fluently. That wouldn't be a problem for either of them, but still, it would just be a huge change. Heck, just moving out of state can have major changes, so imagine how different a continent would be. One concern I do have is my dad's health. He's established a good team of Drs. who know him well. He'd have to start from scratch which could be difficult, especially since his medical history is very complicated.

I keep thinking to myself, what if the tables were turned and it was me that wanted to live on a different continent? What would my parents say then? Ugh, I hate that I have to carry the weight of this decision. He tells me that if I am not comfortable with it, then they won't go. But how can you possibly say no when this might be what they truly want? I'm definitely going to need to sleep on this one.


OHN said...

Hi..I found you through Dr. Deb and popped over to read. It sounds as though you already know the answer to this post :) I think it is wonderful that your father truly wants to take your opinion to heart.

I wonder if living in both places is an option. Keeping the SC home and renting in Brussels. In any event he sounds like a very caring man and for that, you are quite lucky :) ---plus maybe you could plan a vacation to see Brussels!

Tiptoe said...

Ohn, thanks for replying. I'm pretty sure that if they do decide to leave, they will keep their SC home.

You're right that my father is a very caring man. We've had our differences, but we manage okay.

Yes, Europe would be a great vacation.