Tuesday, September 28

Tomorrow is Another Day

My brother recently visited a mutual friend whose wife just gave birth. I passed on my best to them, but with the kudos came the feeling of deep compassion for these first-time parents. They have probably marveled every minute of their nine months pregnancy, anticipating how their little baby would come out. Who will she/he take after--—mom or dad? Dad after all was a handsome chap in his days, and still is.

The precious little angel finally came out, but was carrying a rare genetic condition. He has Down Syndrome.

Down Syndrome is caused by excess gene from the 21st chromosome, aside from the ones the child has inherited from his parents. This condition may mean that the child may have some degree of mental retardation and other developmental stagnation. Certain physical traits are common to them too—folds over the eyes, flat nose, flabby body, and a soft tissue jutting out of their nape that extends to the shoulder.

My heart goes out to the little angel, not so much because of his looks, but how he would fare, if indeed his impediment would deprive him of the many warranties in life—learning, recognizing, and interacting. I have not in the past personally known a Down person, but I think they can be very vulnerable to illnesses, thus cutting their life expectancy to almost half. Can they be cured, or schooled, I don’t know…but if I were a parent to one, I would definitely do everything to make him a well child.

I have lost my first baby when he was four months in my womb, not a happy thought really. I went down, deep into the recesses of my guilt, asking myself where I had gone wrong. Did I neglect him and myself? Was I abusive and indiscreet with what I ate? How on earth did I lose this child that I have tried so resolutely to protect and nurture inside me? I badly wanted to be a mother to this boy.

As Miriam once said, what can be more important than a child?
My answer is...if anything, a little life that once came from you is the mirror of what you and your progenitors have been, and is the self-same life that will carry on the person you are now---your character, your achievements, your memories, your dreams, your love. You can only want to shield it from any tragic waste. It is that important.

I suppose Glenn Doman’s theory of teaching a brain-injured child to read comes to the fore again. It may not be as easy as it sounds, because I am not this child's mother or father. But I can share with what they feel—their anxiety, their fears and apprehensions, maybe even their attempt to rebuff the painful truth and question God of his motive in giving them this child.

Only time can placate them from their doubtful and fragile state of mind, and strengthen them to move on from there. And I believe that with infinite love, untiring dedication and persistence for the precious one, tomorrow may just be another day.
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