Virtually anybody reading this column who is American knows who Tim Russert was, and that he died last week. Tim Russert was just 58 years old when he suffered a massive heart attack and died almost instantly. In 1992 my father died under similar circumstances. It was totally unexpected, and just a few months prior to his death, my father had undergone a very thorough physical exam including a very strenuous stress test, which he passed with flying colors. Similar to Tim Russert, my dad was 56 when he passed away unexpectedly.
My dad, while he had traveled the world extensively, had never been to the Philippines. After I married Feyma in 1990, he talked about making a visit here, but it never happened.
As far as I know, Tim Russert also never visited the Philippines. Even so, I believe that Tim Russert, and my own father, can teach us all something about living in the Philippines.
Having never been here, what in the world could they teach us? Well, when we have a first hand example of people losing their lives at such a young age, I believe that we should learn the lesson that each of us should really pursue our dreams while we are still young enough to ensure that those dreams can happen, and that we can enjoy them.
I believe that my father’s death was part of the reason that I decided to come and live in the Philippines at the age of 38. Living in the Philippines was something that I really wanted to do, and waiting until retirement age would mean that it may never happen. We just don’t know how much time we will have on this earth, enjoying our family, enjoying life, and basically reveling in the things that make us happy. When I was 17 years old, I had a younger sister (15 years old) who was killed by a drunk driver, so this is a lesson that has been shown to me on more than one occasion.
So, my advice to you is this – if you have a desire to live in the Philippines, do it sooner rather than later! Don’t wait for your golden years – each year that we are alive is a “golden year” that we should cherish and put to the use that makes us most happy.
I have never regretted the fact that I moved to the Philippines. I believe that had I stayed in the USA, there would have been a lot of times that I would have regretted not having come here.
Figure out how to make it happen sooner. I don’t think you would ever regret having made that move!