Thursday, September 1, 2022

Hope on a Promise

Dear Michelle

It's been 3 years... and I know everyday you still try to find some form of sign or clue that Philip is around.... 

With that breeze that touches your face as you walked on the streets, could it be a kiss from Philip?
It could be Michelle, but really that's from the bus that is driving past.

Or that random 3 year old boy who stopped and turned round to smile at you, could it be him?
No my dear, he was actually looking for his mummy behind you.

The sun is out after the rain, you are hoping to find a rainbow to tell you that Philip is fine.
Not today Michelle... there's no rainbow but he's fine.

A song, a dream, a child who has cancer, his name in random wine bottles or even a person who would listen about what you can share about Philip (sorry to the strangers who would have to listen to me when I share about my 5th child 😅)... I see everyday that you still try hard to hold on to anything that can keep his legacy alive. 
To others, these attempts may be futile, but I know deep down you are desperate and grieving.

Exactly a week back, I was there at your evening stroll with Daniel. Maybe you had a little too much sake, maybe it was on the topic of gratitude, or maybe it was getting closer to 1 September, either which, I was there when you cried. 
I heard you asked why did I need to choose Philip, why couldn't I spare him, why did I choose you to be a testimony.  

For the past 3 years, I see you and I hear your cries and I know your pain.

You brought Simon out to the park today with Daniel. I saw Dan putting him in the stroller without strapping him in, while you and Kyra ran ahead of them. In Simon's excitement to want to catch up with you, he stepped out of his stroller and fell. He scratched his elbow and head and let out a loud cry. Daddy carried him and placed him in the stroller, but that did nothing to stop his cries until you picked him up and kissed him. His wound remains, but he felt better. 
I hope through that you will remember that while your wounds may remain, I will be there in that moment when you hurt, carry you up, kiss you and tell you everything is going to be fine. And for that moment, it will be enough.

You see my child, I never needed you to defend me when my creation gets mad at me. Nothing you say will be enough for them to understand the situation and I never had in mind that you would be a testimony or defendent for me. I am glad that your choices and response did, but this was not why Philip's life on earth was for 6 months.

Continue to walk with Me. Continue to trust and continue to hope... not in outcomes or in how you want it to be done, but in Me. Unless your hope is in Me, you will continue to be disappointed and let down every single day.

Draw on the Me when you need strength, lean on Me when you need to rest, cry to Me when you are helpless, come to Me when you need to be carried. 

In the midst of your grief, you will learn where you have placed your hope. You may not know what tomorrow brings, but trust me and count on my promise and nothing else. Live life day by day without the need to know what will come next, not because you don't have the right to do so, but that would just drain and rob you the joy of living. 
Have unconditional hope in Me and hold Me to My promise that I will be there with you every single step and way. 

Pick up your cross and follow Me. Have faith in Me, my child, have an unwavering faith. It may not be in your lifetime that you will see My plan, but I promise you that all wounds will be healed one day, all tears will be wiped away, the dead will all rise and all mysteries will be understood. But until that day comes, take heart that even though you will feel the pain and hurts in this world, I have already overcome this world.

Unlike the hope the world gives, your hope has a name - Mine.

Take heart, my dear child, take heart, for I am with you through it all.

I love you.


Friday, March 4, 2022

Hey God... It's Me.

Hi Father,

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. 


Your Child.

Us today…. 💕