Carl who's 7 years old, suffered from leukemia. Last week of January, he had measles that lead to his death.
I talked to his mom one-on-one. She's only 25 years old.
The death of a child is the most devastating loss. I can never imagine the pain. No matter how one loses a child, whether by prolonged illness or sudden death, the loss of a child is perhaps the most profound, the most overwhelming, the most inconsolable of losses to deal with.
Let me share to you her last conversation with her son.
Mom: Laban ka Carl.
Carl: Anjan na sila Ma. (referring to angels) Eto ung daan (pointing to his right - probaby the way to heaven). Wakas na Ma (end of his battle).
Nung kumalma daw ung bata, nagpa-alam siya na iidlip lang. Wala pa daw 5 minutes, pag-silip niya kay Carl, hindi na humihinga.
Instead of looking ahead and planning every aspect of my children's life, I want to be present in the moments I have with them.
The reality of having a child with a life-threatening illness is that you learn that nothing in life is guaranteed. You can have hopes and dreams for the future, but the reality is that none of us knows what's going to happen when we wake up tomorrow.via
We could be going to our child's school presentation and planning his/her birthday party. Or we could be rushing him/her to the hospital by ambulance because he/she is having a grand mal seizure.
This made me realize something I should have already known about motherhood: that the only moment that is guaranteed is this one. This one right now.
This one when someone wants you to read a story while you are busy making dinner. This one when someone wants you to push her on the swing while you are trying to sweep the floor in the kitchen. This one when she wants you to watch her dance "Let It Go" for the fourth time in an hour.
And this one when someone wants to crawl into my lap as I am typing this.
So, I hug the little one in my lap as she shows me the toy she's brought. And I sit on the floor in the kitchen and read a book. And I tuck the broom away so I can push someone on the swing. Not always, but more often than I used to.
Unfortunately, there aren't too many guarantees in motherhood. Our children's happiness is not a guarantee, nor is their future. That's morbid, I know. But what I've come to realize is that my children's future as I've imagined it is not a guarantee either. In my head, I've planned who their friends and interests will be and where they will go to college (and THAT they will go to college). But they might have ideas of their own.
I am appreciating what they're interested in at this moment.
We're not promised tomorrow or next year or even 20 years from now with our children. We're only promised this moment.
At this moment I have dirty laundry, "Frozen" movie, and a tantruming toddler, but I also have my children. So I am going to find moments to enjoy. I'm not going to dream about tomorrow or make promises for someday or plan their weddings just yet.
Losing a child taught me that dreams can be crushed in an instant. So I need to parent in the moment and make it count because there is no guarantee beyond now.