I didn’t want to write it but I can’t help it. It’s a long weekend here in the UAE, in celebration of Eid Al-Adha. I’m off from Friday to Sunday only but some people are lucky enough to have given more days off all through National Day, December 2nd. Dubai is in festive mood, with lights on buildings representing the colors of the national flag and flags planted on the ground wave as the cool winter air blows.
It’s a nice time to spend in Dubai at this time of the year. But not everyone is celebrating.
Last week, Pristine came home with a letter from the school. It was addressed: “to parents only”. I was scared, thought she had done something wrong but she looks at me with wide eyes, so innocent. I know nothing is wrong, I’m in close monitor with her school work. As I read the letter, one word stood out from the rest.
One of her teachers at school was diagnosed with cancer. I’ve known that teacher since Pristine stepped into that school three years ago. He’s their PE teacher, a good man, very friendly and accommodating and loved by the children. Teacher Craig (as he is called) is leaving to go back to South Africa for further treatment. His fiancee, also a teacher working at the same school will also leave to join and support him.
At the end of the note it says, “It’s up to you parents how you’ll inform your children. You can tell them teacher Craig is not well and will not be around.”
I assume, it would be so hard to explain to little children what cancer is, what happens after that.
“Mom, can teacher Craig see my doctor?” Pristine asks. She didn’t like the idea of not having teacher Craig around. I told her teacher Craig has his own doctor in his hometown and they need to see each other.
Then I hugged her tightly. At this point, she was confused why I cried.
Teacher Craig had been diagnosed with having a tumor in his head a few months back. It was (thought to be) malignant and taken out through surgery. Now, everyone, including himself is surprised that another doctor is saying now that the cancer has spread throughout his whole body and affecting other important organs.
My heart breaks because he is so young. Not even 30 yet, and getting married, having his whole life ahead. Cancer do not choose people. It’s sneaky, cunning and one of the biggest heartbreakers in the world. I wish for it to be gone. Forever.