|Ramram and Mommy Raquel (photo used with permission from the owner)|
Monday, February 3, 2014
How can your heartbreak for a child you've never known? How can you feel the sadness of someone whom you've not ever met?
We are all bridged together by a threads of commonality - a single gene that has allowed us to connect in one way or another. That misspelled gene that brought about our children's condition, is the same thread that binds us all together.
I received a Facebook friend request today from someone I did not know. As soon as i checked her profile, a familiar face greeted me - the face of a child with Apert Syndrome. Perhaps because of my familiarity with Nina's case and the friends i have made both here and in other places has taught me to zero out on the Apert kid merely by their facial features. Sometimes I check the hands just to make sure, but more often than not, there is no need to do so.
I saw that that she and I had common friends from the Cranio communities and i was pleased to see that she was based in the Philippines. I approved the friend request and added her up to the Apert Manila page that I had created as well. A few minutes after, she sent me a private message. And so i came to know of this pretty little girl nicknamed Ramram and her strong-willed Mama Raquel even though it was too late.
They chanced upon Nina's video on you tube. Seeing how well she had thrived after her own surgery, they decided to bring Ram to PGH for her craniotomy. The procedure had gone well, or so it had appeared. But in less than 24hours, her vital signs went down and then she was gone, all too soon. Despite the fact that she was under the care of one of the best cranio teams here in Manila, the path which they had begun to create for her came to an abrupt end.
My heart bleeds for the parents of Ramram. My heart bleeds for Mommy Raquel who treated Ram like her own. I couldn't help but cry at the idea of bringing in a well child to the hospital with hopes of even making her life even better only to end up not being able to bring her home anymore, or hug her, or kiss her evenf or one last time. I scan through the pictures of her mom's facebook account and all I see is a beautiful and angelic face. A face no different from Nina's. I am told that the reason they had the courage to go through with the surgery was because of Nina. I can't help but think if things would have been much better for her if they hadn't seen the video at all. While it seems that the Lord had other plans for Ram, the loss of such a young life is disconcerting. The thought pains me but I know that what I feel now cannot even match half of what her parents felt when they were told of the news.
I have always favored the saying that "everything happens for a reason" but when that 'everything' happens to you, no amount of reasoning will ever be enough. When grief and sadness envelope your whole being, everything else will come up empty.
I know very little about this family and yet my heart believes that no matter how short she had spent her life with them, the memories they have of her will always be special. Her presence albeit short, will change them drastically but hopefully positively, in the same way that knowing of her story has changed me over the last 24 hours.
Everything happens for a reason. Whatever the reason may be, I pray that Ram's sacrifice of having to give up her wonderful earthly family was not in vain. I pray that all families who are experiencing or who have experienced their own losses will find the light at the end of the tunnel. I pray that we all learn to appreciate everything that we have, regardless if these aren't what we had hoped for. I pray that each parent will, at the end of the day, never forget to hug their children and tell them how much they are loved.
And to you Ram, i wish I had met you. i wish Nina had met you because you would have become such good buddies, I'm sure. Thank you for blessing our lives even though you are no longer around. Thank you little angel, thank you for giving us so much in the so little time that you had on earth. Go ahead now, flap your wings - it's time for you to fly high. Rest in peace sweetie, your task is completed and you have done it well.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
I usually blog about Nina so this time, I'm giving a little cybertime to Kuya for a change.
Hubs and kuya returned from the annual field trip today and hubs had a lot to tell. Normally, i am the one who usually goes with the kids since my schedules are more flexible. But since my sister and I were scheduled to watch Wicked on stage and i wasnt sure if i could make it back in time, hubs ended up going with them instead (aside from the fact that Kuya said he wanted Dad to be the one to go with him).
Before i start with my story, let me give a little backgrounder first... Kuya's preschool actually belongs to an exclusive girl's school campus. But because the neighboring all-boys school beside them did not offer pre-school courses, the administrators took the opportunity and made their pre-school co-ed. So it goes without saying that most sections in the pre-school have more girls than boys. And that is where i will begin my story.
Hubs told me that while the kids were wandering around the flower farm, a mother of one if Kuya's classmates approached him. She casually mentioned that our son was known to kiss a lot of his female classmates. Somewhat embarrassed with that revelation, hubs explained that we have been conditioning Kuya that the only females that he should be kissing are mommy and Nina. Hubs further explained that Kuya has always been very affectionate to his little sister and his female cousins. Apparently, the mom wasn't at all bothered by it and even said that her daughter "liked" it and that she had a crush on our son. It appears that our little boy has his own following among the girls in the class, her daughter being one of them. The daughter apparently went on and declared to her mom that she liked Kuya because he was "so smart and that she wanted to marry him." Thank God I wasn't there because i would not know how to react to something like that. In act even up to now, i still don't know how to respond to that. It appeared to hubs that what the mom had to say was true because aside from the fact that the little girl kept following (and sometimes waiting) for them, while at the bus, kuya had a captive audience of 3 girls intently listening to his stories and laughing at his antics. Uh oh....
My baby is a 5 year-old hearththrob. A girl has declared her intentions of marrying him. I am going over my head on this. I am perfectly aware that this is nothing serious and that there is no reason for me to over-react. Hey, they're just 5 aren't they? Sure, but that that isn't my point. When i was 5 the only things on my mind were playing and trying to get out of having to do schoolwork or chores. The gender of the other kids that i played with were inconsequential/ignored and crushes, more so marriage, were all alien concepts to me. What is happening to our children? Why are their thoughts polluted with ideas of crushes and marriages? Aren't they supposed to be innocent still at this age? I know for a fact that during my time, crushes only became 'normal' when we were in the late elementary levels and in high school. What happened between then and now?
Media. Yes, i blame the for robbing the innocence out of children - television commercials that focus on boys giving them more attention if the wear this, use that or even eat this particular brand, print ads that objectify women rather than focus on the product at hand... All these make it appear to our kids that its okay for them to act like adults, to behave the way adults do. And in the course of that, they grow up much too fast and leave behind the childlike innocence that can only be found among them. When you move the clock forward, you can never bring back the minutes and even the seconds that you lost in between. There is no turning back.
I know my son will eventually be the object of crushes by other girls, eventually he will probably find a girl whom he will shower with the same affection that he does for me and Nina. But not now. And perhaps maybe not in the next 5 years. I want him to enjoy being a kid, being a child. I want him to remain pure, unabashed, and untainted by commercialism and materialism for as long as it is possible. Perhaps by that time, i will be prepared the next time a parent comes up to me and lets me know that her daughter is crushing over my son and has declared that she wants to marry him.