All in Love is Fair

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Nobody said that life would be fair. And anyone who still believe that it is, would be rudely disappointed.

“Life is so unfair.” That’s what I heard my wife said, a few days ago. Here’s the story behind it.

I was on-call that day. It was an extra-ordinarily busy call for me. In fact, I have not had such a “toxic” call for a while. And it was not even a full moon. Maybe the dark stars aligned in their orbits or there were a couple of full moons in some other planets. Whatever the reason was, it was busy.

During one stretch of my call, I had 4 ICU admissions in a matter of 2 hours. Having very sick patients coming at the same time was bad enough, but them presenting simultaneously on 2 different hospitals I cover that were few miles apart was almost impossible to deal with. Good thing I had reliable medical residents that helped me took care of our critically ill patients. And to cap the night, two more ICU admissions came later that night.

I came home past 1 o’clock in the morning. (I usually come home 5 or 6 PM, even if I am on-call.) I was glad to see that the porch and driveway lights were on, when I pulled up in our garage. It was a nice feeling to come home, and know that you were expected.

My wife was already in bed but I was delightfully surprised that she was still awake, waiting for me all along. She even told me that my son also stayed up almost up to midnight, waiting for me. It was really a wonderful feeling to come home, even though I know that I was still on-call, and my beeper can go off anytime, and there was a possibility that I could still be called back to the hospital.

My fatigue melted away and not too long after, I was snoring in bed. Perhaps my beeper went off one or two more times after I slept, but I was able to deal with those calls without the need to return to the hospital.

Later on that morning, when the sun was already up, as I was preparing to go back to work, after a short night of sleep, that was when my wife blurted out, tongue-in-cheek: “Life is so unfair.”

Apparently after I came home, and was soon fast asleep, she stayed awake, unable to fall asleep. Can you imagine her sad plight? She waited that long for me, and when I came, I fell asleep so readily while she was kept awake by my snoring. Sure, that I agree was “unfair.” But I really appreciated that she stayed up for me, for I know she did it out of love. And I know that her ‘life is unfair’ statement, is an expression of endearment.

Life is so unfair

Last weekend, I woke up early and went out for my morning run. It was nice to get out and run as the sun was just peeking above the horizon. The spring air was fresh and crisp, the birds were singing, and the neighborhood was still snoring. After half an hour, I returned home to find out that I locked myself out. I did not carry a key, and I did not leave the front door of our house unlocked.

I knew that my wife and kids were still sleeping, so I did not knock or ring the doorbell. I dare not be told again that “life is so unfair.” Besides, it was a beautiful morning, not so cold outside (read: a little above freezing) and the sun was shining, so I just sat there in the front bench of our house and enjoyed my quiet moment. Or should I say “enjoy” the moment of my stupidity of locking myself out!

After a while, my wife and kids woke up eventually. As my wife opened the front door to let the sunshine in and to see where I’ve been, she was surprised how happy and smiling I was, to enter back our house. She initially thought that I just had a good run or perhaps I had a funny incident while I was out. Only later that she learned that I locked myself out and that I was sitting in our bench for almost half an hour.

I don’t think my wife would really mind if I wake her up a little early if I rang the doorbell, but I’m sure she appreciated that I did not. Yes, life can be unfair, but like in Stevie Wonder’s song……”all in love is fair.”

(*image from here)


  1. so nice to read a personal anecdote from you, doc.
    i believe you have a sweet family. 🙂

    ps : toxic nga po iyon, 6 ICU admissions in few hours? ang yaman nyo tyak, dami nyo pasyente e! hehe.

    1. That’s the good thing here, hard work is well compensated. As long as you work, you’ll reap the fruit of your labor. Hindi tulad ng “ako ang nagtanim, nagbayo, nag-saing….iba and kakain.”

  2. Hi Doc, I rarely visit your blog but your anecdotes on family, love and works always
    inspire your readers including myself. Truth to be told that “Life is so unfair” but if
    you’re surrounded with loving family and friends life is becoming easier to deal with.
    I hope I can visit Iowa soon so I can experience the countryside feeling away from
    chaotic city life of LA. Take care Alvin of California.

    1. Thanks for visiting. We lived in LA for several months, so I know what you mean of chaotic city life. Yes you should visit Iowa. Just don’t do it during the political caucus time for it can be as chaotic as LA.

      It is comments from people like you, that makes writing this blogs worthwhile. Take care too.

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