It's Philip's birthday today. Interestingly when it's the birthdays of my other kids, I don't really talk to you about their birthdays, just this one special child.
|5 days old|
I remembered the day after Philip's first major surgery, Dan and I visited him at ICU ward to check in on him. He had so many tubes coming out of his body that it was a pain to watch. I never took a picture of that thinking that I didn't want to remember him in that state, but ironically, I soon came to realise it will never be a choice since I won't be able to shake off that image of him in my memory. Philip was conscious but he had this perpetual frown on his face. It was as if he was saying to us "Why did you do this to me?" or "Why didn't you stop them from doing this to me?"
And while I was laughing at his choice of expression then, it must have been to him that we have failed him as parents. Something I am sure You can relate to many times a day. "Why Lord, did you allow bad things to happen" or "Why Lord did you allow me to suffer?"
I wished I could explain to Philip then why we needed to do the operation or even do any of the surgical procedures, unfortunately, there was no way of us explaining to him why things were such. Our understanding capabilities are of a different level. And today as I went for my run, I realised for those times I questioned why, it was not because You did not have the answer, or that You were not present, it was because there was no way you could help me understand why.
Last Sunday, Dan shared that the phrase that struck him was from the second reading, "Where, O Death, is your sting?" And while it reminded him that life on earth is temporary, it's significant events like these that reminds me the sting is in the memories, in my heart and in my mind.
And after three years, I still wish that You would choose to let Philip stay with me, but I also realised that "my ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts". I will never be able to understand why this must happen.. and for now during these moments when I struggle with not being able to understand your ways, I take comfort that You have never stopped to be near to me... even as I walk away from You during moments of darkness. From the priest who offered to say mass with the family, despite his busy schedule, to the acquaintance who reached out with a word of consolation for today... Thank you Father, for never giving up on me... even when I (the lowly one) don't deserve that.
I can't be with Philip today... so please hug him a little tighter and kiss him a little more for me today. And in case he forgets about us, remind him that we still miss him and will never stop loving him... just as how you will never stop loving me.
|Us today…. 💕|