Thursday, September 1, 2022
Friday, March 4, 2022
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…. 💕|
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
There are moments in the past that will always be replayed in my mind and while the last few months before Philip's passing was a blur to me, I remembered this scene very clearly.
This was after Philip's brain surgery and the night before we realised that his abdomen was a little bloated and his testicles were a little swollen. It wasn't a good sign and that night we went to bed worried.
The next morning, I was getting ready to bring Philip to see the oncologist when Dan rushed home and showed me the reading of the day. He was very much filled with faith that Philip will be fine.
I wasn't as sure as he was.. but I just went along with him because to me, even when I didn't have peace in my heart.
This has been an internal struggle for Daniel for the first 10 months after Philip died... and since it is the first reading for today... I will share with you his reflection. :)
The First Reading today is a particularly difficult one for me as it brings back many memories. It’s a reading from the book of Judges. The story is how God called Gideon and what Gideon’s response was. In 2019 when Philip was very ill in hospital, I was very afraid that he would die and I remember asking God that fateful morning. Show me a sign that would tell me Philip’s fate. I was in the adoration room in the Church of the Holy Spirit, all alone and pleading with the Lord for a sign, just like Gideon did.
The msg the Mister sent
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
If you were here, we would be celebrating your second birthday today. I doubt it would be anything fancy, but it would be a celebration nonetheless if you are around.
After 4 kids, no one would ever believe that you were an accident. (Thanks guys 😏) Or at least no one would believe that we didn't try to conceive you. You weren't a gift Mummy was praying for, but it quickly became ironic that you were the gift Mummy prayed very hard to God to not take away. You see, as much as I was not the most enthusiastic person to find out I was pregnant with you, I struggle with the sharp pain of giving you back to God.
It's been two years and while I don't remember much about the day I had you, I realised I don't remember much about you. I was feeling all anxious a few weeks back, because I was afraid that one day you will become a stranger to me. While you are my child, I actually don't know much about you. I don't know what you like or you don't. I don't know what dreams you have or even how you will look when you lose your baby fats. I don't know what your first word would be, what your fashion style is or how even your voice sounds. I realised my child, in many ways, I don't know you.
I recognise I had many dreams for you. I imagined that you would be a brilliant boy in school and even challenging your brothers academically. I thought you were going to be charming and all the ladies would be swoon by you. You would be like who you were named after, St Philip Neri, who would bring so much joy to the people you would meet. In fact, I always thought that you would be a priest (bishop even!), one who will be able to convince another just by looking at you. You would be such a wonderful gift, but all these my child would be what my plans and hopes for you. And because they are just my desires and plans of you... it really isn't you.
And yet despite not knowing much of you, my heart still aches and yearns for the next time we meet again. I'm sure with all the love and joy you have been getting from God in heaven, that you possibly may not be missing anything here. It's just that selfishly I wish you will not stop remembering who I am, my boy.
People often celebrate birthdays as a highlight of how much they have grown through the year. And as such, I wished my life was just like any other parent, celebrating the milestone of my child and spoiling him rotten with a special cake and presents. But this is not to be. And while you may not be physically with me today, it doesn't mean we would be sulking today. (I really doubt we will have any cake or blow any candles today though 😅)
My dear boy, your life, though short, is worth celebrating and remembering. Not just because we miss you but because we thank God for who you made us become during the short time we had together. Because of you, I have become more careful to reach out to those struggling in pain around me, to cheer them on and to support them when they needed a break. It's also because of you, I have become a better parent and catechist to your siblings in making sure that I don't lose any of them to the ways of the world. But more importantly, it is also because of you, that I was born again to believe that God really loves me. He may have seemed to have ignored me when He chose to bring you home, but truth was He has sent me many more angels to guard my heart so that I would not become cynical of the wonders of life and the excitement each day has for me.
I have come to realise that unlike other superficial wounds, He may never allow this wound to be fully healed. Not that He was being sadistic just so to cripple me and make me lean on Him, but more importantly to push me forward to know how much more I can do and how much more I need to better live life because of my love for you.
It's been two years my boy, and while it seems this year I started the day (again) in tears, I too look forward to today. Your siblings and us have decided that we will be fasting and abstaining today. Not because we are grieving, but it was with the intention to support and carry another with our prayers and thoughts as our gift to you. (Don't worry, we will reward them to a nice dinner... it's after all your birthday 😅)
Your siblings especially your brothers may need a little help from you to get through the day, judging from the discussion as to what they can eat in school 😅. And while they think chicken should go under the category of fish, I am seriously proud of them too for wanting to do this in honour of you. Can you see what a great priest you would be if Julian, your brother, is willing to forego food for you?
Happy birthday my dear boy. I know God must be very pleased (and busy answering the prayer intentions we will be offering) with you and your heavenly party would be well taken care of. Maybe if you want, you think you could ask God to draw us a picture of the rainbow in the sky so that we could also be part of your heavenly birthday celebrations too?
Have a wonderful time in heaven my dear boy.
I love you my dear, never stopped, never will.
Thursday, December 31, 2020
|A rainbow we saw at our |
family holiday this year
act to the meds only to abruptly snatch that away from me. I was bitter and envious when I saw kids the same age as Philip, growing and thriving while I just buried mine.
|Philip after his second op|
gotten thus far.