Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gone too soon....

One of the benefits of maintaining an FB account is that even if you're overseas, you get updated about the "goings on" in the life of family and friends. Never mind the sometimes ominous and negative energy that FB sends your way. What's important is that we are all updated. Yep even the criminal posers whom we accepted as friends. So beware and review your friends list, block these posers as soon as you can! But that is another story meant for another day.  For now, let me dedicate this article to my young niece, Vianca.

One of the best memories that I have as a child is the bond that my cousins (mostly from my maternal side), my sisters and I share. I remember how Papa and Mama would take me and my sisters to Batangas for a week-long vacation. Most times, we fear being fetched by our parents because we enjoy being with our cousins so much. Unfortunately, this is a phase that my children and my nephews and nieces won't enjoy the same way, as we are oceans away. It is fortunate that the children of my cousins (living at close proximity to each other) have the better luck of enjoying each others' company. Growing up together, they not only enjoy the fact that they are connected by blood, but connected by a bond wrought from pure love and friendship. They went to school together, and probably shared the same secrets that my cousins and I used to share back then.

Rosario was my second home, and I love the fact that I can run around the rooms in my Grandmother's house. My cousins and I would always try to scare each other out of our wits. And I can only imagine my nephews and nieces doing the same. Am sure they have raced on the same stairs, ran on the same grounds, on the same roofs, or even went up the same truck loaded with sugar cane, that my male cousins would get for us. But I can only imagine all these.

Since my cousins and I had our own family, like my parents, we chose to live in the city, while the rest of my cousins stayed in the province. The only time we see them and their children are during Family reunions, big birthday bashes, weddings, all Soul's day, important events, and during funerals. We made sure that we reunited at least once a year to keep our bond strong.

Once every year, we witnessed our nephews and nieces grow by a mile.  Reuniting with them last year, I was in awe to see how much they've grown physically, from the babies we used to cuddle. And so bonded they were, that even by themselves, amusement was not a rare commodity. They laughed, they performed, they sang and danced. I was just amazed at how our clan has grown! We've lost uncles and grandparents along the way and how I wished they could see their grandchildren in their shining moments.

Then I learned about my niece's illness, at first I thought it was just a simple flu but learned later on that she was afflicted with Stage 4 Dengue. A dengue virus with a new strain, more deadly than the first. (I didn't even know that there was a new strain going around.) After a week-long battle with the disease, her physical body could not take anymore. My niece...she just had to say goodbye albeit reluctantly. I cried because I could not even see her, cried because I never got the chance to know her more, the way I know her parents (her father is my first cousin). I was sad because at a young age she had to go. But I know that God has a good reason for letting her stay for a little more than over a week. She needed more time to show us, her family and her friends, how strong her will was to survive. How even in her weakest, she could still bring everyone to smile with the good memories that they remember her for. I only learn about her life from FB, and even that makes me thankful because through this channel, I learn about my nieces and nephews. Enjoyed their posts, got angry when they were oppressed, sad when they are depressed, overjoyed to share in their triumphs even as we are miles apart. I always looked forward to more happy news from them. It's just sad that I won't hear anything from my niece from now on. But I know that she has fallen in love. And am glad that before she left us, she's felt this emotion however, short-lived it was.

My niece, we will never understand the Lord's plan for us. But we rejoice in knowing that His plans has always proved the best! You have fought hard! In your 17 years on earth you've shown how a true warrior should be, while others never made it, some even continue living not knowing what true honor is. A true warrior of our Lord, you know well that He fought with you too on that battlefield! While we (your family and friends) cheered on the background, you made sure we all witnessed your fight, we know you won! You won because you awed us, you wowed the doctors who did not think that you could make it this far! You made your parents and us proud and we know that you have a purple heart reserved for you in heaven.

Rest now my dear one... You'll be met at the gate by our grandparents and uncles. They will take care of you there, in that place where pain is no more. You'll surely be missed but in our hearts your memory will remain forever. We love you!

Seriously delirious

My youngest son fell fast asleep after bouts of symptoms akin to diarrhea. Before falling into slumber he  went into hypothermia that urged me and my husband to sandwich him between our warm bodies. Earlier I had him drink water spiked with Hydrite powder to replenish his natural electrolyte and potassium reservoir. Only a couple of minutes passed when he woke up with a start seemingly in a drunken stupor. He was incoherent and did not seem to awaken in his dreamlike state. He was not really feverish hence, it was unusual for us to see him that way. In past feverish state, at a temperature of  more than a hundred degree Celsius, he'd still be alert. This time I was scared! I bet my husband was, too!  My husband carried our son out of our bedroom while I tearfully, grabbed shirts, shorts, the medicine given to him after lunch when we first brought him to the doctor. I shouted out orders to my children to prepare stuff for me as well and before I went out of our flat, I saw both my children in tears. They, too, were worried.

As soon as we arrived at the emergency room, I ran to get a nurse and my bunso was immediately attended to. He was then lethargic and was staring into space. When I asked him to look at me and if he knows me, he would not answer. The doctor who saw to him clapped his hands and tried catching his attention to no avail.  

He was confined and underwent several tests, including MRI and a procedure called Lumbar puncture. A fluid, called Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was collected from his spine for analysis. He was primarily suspected to have gastroenteritis, but because he was not responsive and did not know his name nor ours, the doctors wanted to be sure that he was not afflicted with meningitis or meninggococcima or any of those bacterial diseases that involved the meninges of the brain. We were scared, my husband and I, but my husband was a pillar of strength. He kept admonishing me to stop crying and to remain positive. I can understand his point but I just could not help it where my youngest son is involved.

I was afraid of the possibility that he will never recognise me again (I was probably over reacting but my mind sometimes, in panic, is that way). I just wanted him well. I called to the highest heavens and prayed for my son's fast recovery. I even promised to slow down on sweets and exercise more for good measure as long as my son hurdled through this successfully. It was during this time that I went over my role as a mother. Indeed motherhood is a roller coaster ride and I can say that at that moment I was at the lowest part of the ride.

We stayed in the hospital for 4 days and thankfully, all his tests came back negative. It all boiled down to stomach flu and realised that he may have gotten it from school during a classmate's birthday party. I've always been strict with my kids when it comes to thorough hand washing, good hygiene and general cleanliness. But there are just some things that we can't control when our kids are out of the house. And I just realised that my youngest has been confined in the hospital 3 years in a row. The first time was when we were still in the Philippines while my husband was abroad. I had to rush him back to the hospital due to very high fever that just would not go down, this was in the year 2010. Then in 2011, he underwent T&A or better known as Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy. I hope this stops this year.

We're home now and his usual complaint about painful eyes and nausea seem to have gone away. Am just glad we're home, my son is well, and we're all back to normal! :D

Busy Kitchen

I've been neglecting my blog for quite awhile and I attribute it to my busy kitchen. My kitchen has been smelling of cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla, and all those wonderful aroma that can only come from baked goodies. I've always wanted my kitchen to smell this way...the kind that greets my children when they come home from school. I want them to remember their growing up years with these such has been  a part of their childhood. And I hope they remember it with fondness.

I still wish for that day when I can finally be trained by the masters. I used to think that my kitchen ability only involved breakfast, lunch and dinner. Am glad I gave a hand in pastry. I think this hit home. And now am just so excited to have all the kitchen gadgets I can get hold of.  :D

I will always make sure that my kitchen smells this way... do you know that scents are better conjurer of past memories?