Thank you to all who had left their well-wishes for Hilman as he starts a new phase in his life. Boy to man :)
And as Hilman starts his journey as a (little) man, Ayah is also starting a new phase in his life.
Yup. After exactly 10 years 9 months of dedicating his life to PP*M, Ayah tendered in his resignation on Tuesday 16th December 2008 - something which neither of us ever thought would happen.
PP*M had been Ayah's second home. In fact, I dare say that for most of the times, it had been his FIRST home because he spent more time there than at home actually. He would leave for work around 6:45a.m (sending Hanna to school first), reaching the hospital around 7:30a.m., and he would come home (earliest) at 9:00p.m. There were times when he didn't see the younger kids for days as they would still be asleep when he left, and they would already be in bed when he came home late at night for a few days in a stretch. And he would go and see and review his patients at the wards even during weekends. I can't even remember the last time (if there ever was one) Ayah did not go to the hospital on Saturdays and Sundays.
Sometimes I would ask the kids, "How many days have you guys not seen Ayah?". And they would have to take a few seconds to count the days, before coming up with, "Errr...2 days, kot? Or maybe 3?"
But, I know that Ayah saw them EVERYDAY. Every time when he came back from work late at night, he would first go to their room and kiss them, unbeknown to them...And sometimes when I would be asleep when he came back, halfway to Dreamland, I would feel him hugging me close, and kissing my forehead before he surrendered to Slumberland himself...
And sometimes, the kids didn't even realize it when Ayah was away on conferences. They were so used to not having Ayah around at home that sometimes they didn't even feel that Ayah was thousands of miles away. To them, Ayah was probably at the hospital, working as always. And when he came back from his meetings abroad, his luggage would be filled with stuff for the kids. So much so, that the kids would always terpa and hug his luggage first before they hugged their Ayah when he came in through the door. Hehehe...
It had not been easy being married to a doctor. It's worse when his area of specialization is in cardiology. But, I know that it's even harder for Ayah to have missed out on so many things with regard to the kids due to the nature of his work.
I've lost count of how many times we had to postpone, or even worse - cancel, our family outings when Ayah was suddenly called in for emergency procedures.
I've lost count of how many times we had to wait for Ayah to fetch us from the malls, relatives' and friends' houses, etc., because he had to go to the hospital in the middle of our outings or functions.
I've lost count of how many time the kids and I had to follow him to and wait for him at the hospital during weekends when he was suddenly called while we were on our way to somewhere.
I've lost count of how many times I had waited for him to have dinner with him, only to be told that he would be very late because he had to perform a primary/emergency angioplasty just as he was about to leave the hospital for home.
I've lost count of how many times he would be called to the hospital in the middle of the night to attend to emergency cases.
I've lost count of how many times Ayah would fall asleep while having conversations with me, out of sheer exhaustion after work.
I've lost count of how many times he would come home feeling down when he couldn't save his patients' lives, even after going all out and giving his best everytime.
I've lost count of how many fights and arguments we had when I just could not take it at times - not having him there with us during the times that I wanted him to be there most, but, he could not make it, either in time, or at all...
Yes, I admit. I am not one of those very understanding doctors' wives that you often hear of. I can be rather selfish at times. I am only human.
If you think working in a government hospital is tough, let me tell you this - working in a teaching government hospital is even tougher. Ayah has his clinics to attend to. He has his ward-rounds to perform. He has his angio procedures to perform. He has to carry out research upon research. He has to write and publish academic papers. He has to present papers at meetings and conferences. He has to give lectures to his students. He has to supervise their clinical attachments, etc. And on top of that, he's also required to carry out certain admin work for the hospital AND faculty. And he does that nearly everyday - day in, day out for the last 10 years and 9 months.
But, he never complains because he loves his work.
Just as I've lost count on so many things that had happened, I've also lost count of how many times I panjatkan kesyukuran to Allah SWT for giving me such a responsible and loving husband who always tries his best to give the best to his family, his patients and to others. Syukur alhamdulillah.
The decision to leave PP*M was not done in haste, and it was NOT an easy decision to make. In fact Ayah had been thinking about it for nearly two years, but never seriously. There were so many things that pulled him to stay on - so many people to please, so many hati to jaga, so many debts in deeds to be paid.
But, there was only ONE thing pushing him to leave in the end. His kids. Their future.
It's not that he could not provide them with a good future. But, he doesn't want to settle for "good" when he has a choice to settle for "the best" for the kids. And it's not just about financing their future. It's also about investing more of his TIME with them now and the years to come. Something that he had not been able to do as much as he wanted to in the last 10 years.
I for one has never influenced him in any way whatsoever when it comes to his career. He would be the only person who knows what is best for him career-wise, and whatever decisions he made had always been his, with me giving him my full support.
Ayah only started to seriously think about leaving about a year ago. And, somehow macam tersusun elok, when one fine day I received an invitation to attend a health-talk organized by a PR firm for a soon-to-be-launched hospital. Ayah followed me to attend the talk, which did not materialize in the end when the Manager found out that Ayah was a doctor, and I obviously did not need any health-talk given by them. Hehehe... Anyway, before leaving, I managed to joke with them, and said, "If ever you need a brilliant cardiologist for your hospital, just contact my husband." :)
One thing led to another, and before we knew it, Ayah was head-hunted and approached by the said soon-to-be-launched hospital to join them. At the same time, Ayah was also approached by another hospital which is much more established to join them. But, Ayah being Ayah - one who thrives on challenges, he accepted the offer from the former, simply because it's a new hospital, and Ayah will be the first and only cardiologist there (at least for the first year or so), and he wants the cardio unit to be his 'baby'. He has great plans for the new hospital, and I know that they are very, very lucky to have Ayah as part of their pioneering team. They will never get anybody nearly half as dedicated as Ayah who will give them his 200% to bring the hospital to the next greater level, insya Allah. Amin.
Ayah is indeed one of the best cardiologists around, and his work, especially in peripheral and radial angioplasty, is recognized amongst the cardio fraternity in the region. And I'm not saying all these because he's my husband. He IS one of the best. And the kids and I are very, very proud of him.
In a way, it is a sad moment for Ayah to leave PP*M which had taught him so much. But, it is time to move on.
After giving his 3 months notice last Tuesday, Ayah will officially leave PP*M and start the next phase of his career at the new hospital on his 41st birthday, i.e. on 15th March 2009. He started working with PP*M, on 16th March 1998 - a day after his 30th birthday. So, in a way, it's a nice and neat closure for Ayah, leaving exactly after 11 years with PP*M. Just the way he wants it to be, being a melancholic guy that he is :)
And being a workaholic that he is, he still has 44 days of his annual leave to finish before his last day at PP*M. He'll start his leave on 5th January, 2009, i.e. the kids' first day of school. And insya Allah, for the first time ever, he would not need to rush back to the hospital while settling the kids fees and whatever nots on the first day. And I'm already looking forward to that :)
And hopefully, being his own boss, he will be able to spend more time with the kids, and make up for the times and opportunities lost in the last 10 years and 9 months, insya Allah. Amin.
I'm so excited for him. For the kids. For us.
Come what may, I'm here for you, dear. The kids are here for you, too.
Just continue being the brilliant cardiologist that you are, and you'll be fine.
You'll be more than fine... Wherever you are, wherever you will be in life.
TR*PI*ANA MEDICAL CENTRE is VERY lucky to have you there, my dear.
We want you to know that we are very, very proud of you, and that we love you very, very much - remember that always.
And we make do'a and wish you all the best in your new undertakings at TMC, dearest, dearest Ayah. Amin. Insya Allah...