My son is going away. :'(

My son, Ralph, is going away soon — and I’m having a hard time coming to terms with it.

You see, Ralph has long been preparing for his first job as part of the cabin crew of an airline company. For those who aren’t aware, he applied for the job last year when we heard that this airline company was hiring in Manila.

Ralph Dreyfus - Chuckie Dreyfus- graduation photo

For those curious, the airline company’s headquarters where my son will be training and working at is located in Malaysia. This is where our son would be based for two (2) years once he starts his job.

Now, some of you are probably wondering why Ralph would decide to make a huge jump and move to Malaysia for two (2) years, considering that this is merely his first crack in the real world after graduating from college. Well, the opportunity presented itself, and our son — being the strong-willed, go-getter that he is — didn’t want this chance to pass. Good for him. This attitude will help him through life in a big way.

Thankfully, Ralph was able to make it through his interviews and medicals with no problems.

There was a slight road bump (aka a “minor scare”) leading up to Ralph’s hiring, though.

Ralph Dreyfus - wheelchair - injury - ACL - knee

A mild ACL tear (knee injury) during one of his usual evening basketball scrimmages almost cost him this job. Good thing his MRI scans didn’t show the need to undergo surgery anymore.

Ralph Dreyfus - ACL - knee injury - rehab
Our son, Ralph, undergoing rehab after his mild ACL injury.

All Ralph needed to do, based on his ortho, was to go through a series of therapy sessions to strengthen his knee. Those sessions have been completed already (a good 3 months of regular rehab) and our son has been cleared by his doctor to pursue his job.

All the paperwork and clearances have been submitted. Right now we are just waiting for that fateful call (or email) from the airline company that will set the wheels in motion. The moment Ralph receives that notice (which we expect will arrive in a week or two), he will only have about 7 days to get his affairs in order before he flies off to train in Malaysia.

The Dreys - Ralph Dreyfus - Chuckie Dreyfus - Hong Kong

We are trying to make the most of whatever time we have left with our son before he leaves, knowing that he could leave anytime. We spend more time with him going to the mall, dining out, watching movies, sharing stories, and other stuff. It’s like a race against time.

It’s very bittersweet, actually.

We are happy with how his life is turning out… but also saddened that he will be gone for so long.

Sometimes, I find myself and my wife sobbing in our room before we sleep, anticipating our son’s departure. But holding him back, especially when we know that the opportunity is beneficial to his personal and professional growth, would be plain selfishness on our part.

Ralph Dreyfus - Chuckie Dreyfus - Ford Everest - Max

Such are the lives of parents. You can only do so much to prepare your children for the real world; guide them; rear them well to know right from wrong; and pray to God that you brought them up competently enough with love to make it through the challenges of life.

Right now, what I can offer Ralph, is sound advice on how to spend his income wisely; to invest early. To help him start thinking of his future more seriously now that he is about to venture out into a world where anything can happen — good and bad. Preparation is always key.

The Dreys - Dreyfus Family - Baguio

So, investments are most definitely on the horizon already. Setting up our son for a stable future is the best follow through any parent can do. And considering that I myself started working at a very early age (I began as a child actor back in the 80s, remember?), I know how being able and NOT being able to invest properly can spell disaster or success. Right now, I’m quite keen on talking with my son about real estate. For me, it’s a great way to start one’s road towards stability. It’s pretty timely, too, since I learned that Camella recently launched a good number of Condo Homes (aptly called CoHo) nationwide. We’ll most probably look into that very soon. Seems like a great way for Ralph to start investing, wouldn’t you think?

Well, anyways… looking back, I just wish I spent more time with my son. More getaways. More playtime when he was still a kid. More movie nights watching films that only we get to enjoy together. More memories.

Ralph Dreyfus - Chuckie Dreyfus - wacky photos

The other night, I actually cried to my wife, when it suddenly dawned on me that our son is going away very soon. The thought of knowing that the moment he leaves, everything will change; his outlook in life, his responsibilities, our dynamics. Everything.

Who knows what will happen two years down the road. Will he come back to live with us? Will he want to live alone? So many questions running through my mind.

I confided to her. And the only thing I could ask her was if Ralph possibly knew that I loved him with all my heart… if he truly felt it. Did I show him enough of it through all the years we’ve spent together? Did I have shortcomings? And did I make up for them? I guess I just wanted some sort of assurance that I loved our son enough.

So, this is how it feels.

The Dreys - Baguio

And though I know that it’ll take a very long time for my wife, our daughter, and myself to adjust to life without Ralph for the next couple of years, if it means a better future for our son, then we are all for it.

The Dreys - Hong Kong

My advise to young parents and those who have yet to experience this emotional roller coaster I am going through right now — love your kids with all your might. And make sure to let them feel it. Every. Single. Day. Leave no room for regret. And always have their best interests at heart — even if it means having to let them go to grow on their own.

Ralph Dreyfus - Baby pics

Trust that you loved and taught them enough to be strong, upright and responsible to find their way through life. And always let them know that you’ll be there for them when they come running back.

Above all, cherish every moment you spend with your children. Because these are the dearest things you will have and hold on to when they go away. :'(

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