Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Happy Walk 2009: Stand Up For Down

Nine years ago, my heart was torn to zillion pieces when the Chromosomal Test confirmed that my daughter Elizabeth has Down Syndrome.

I was sooh angry with God for choosing me to be the mother of a special child.

Worse, not only was Eia born with Down Syndrome but she was also born with serious heart ailments (two holes, leakage in artery, enlarged ventricle) and other physical disorders commonly associated with this genetic accident that happens in 1 out of 800 births.

In my desolation and pity for my child, I asked God to take away my daughter's life while she was still a baby to spare her of the "abnormal" life ahead of her.

Yes, at first I cried a river just like everybody else who's confronted with the same predicament like mine.

I cried and cried until there's no more tear left to shed for my daughter's fate.

After one whole month of grieving myself to death, I had to move on and face the challenge of raising my child with Down Syndrome.

Yes, I still cry my heart out to God now, though no longer in desperation but in EXALTATION for giving me my daughter Eia.

I am still alive now because of my child with Down Syndrome.

Eia gave me the strength to rise above the adversities that came into my life.

I've been through a tumultuous 5-year marriage and seemingly endless battles with my only son who had to go through psychotherapy in 2004 to correct his ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder).

At a tender age of two, Eia could already sense that I was deeply troubled, when I was struggling to keep my family together.

Eia would often hug me and pat me at the back saying--"Are you sad, Mama?"

Although I would answer her that I was not sad, she would hold my face with her tiny hands, look into my eyes and ask again-- "Are you happy, Mama, not sad?"

That would just melt my heart and cast all my aches away.
Then Eia would give me her sweetest smile, embrace me, and pat me at the back with her "It's okay, Mama, it's okay" expression.
Thanks to Eia, I managed to survived the storms.

Eia is the greatest gift that God ever gave me and my family.

Nothing and no one moved my father.
Not his wife.
Not even his only daughter.

Only Eia.
It took a child with Down Syndrome to soften my father's hardened heart.

With my daughter's loving ways she patiently taught my unyielding father how to hug and kiss, how to say good morning and goodnight and most importantly, how to say "I LOVE YOU".

I could go on and on how Eia changed our lives but let me pause for now. I'm just taking a short break from my leave of absence heh heh . . .

Let me just end this with our pictures taken during the Happy Walk last Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009 in celebration of the Down Syndrome Consciousness Month. It was a joyous occasion participated by the Down Syndrome Assn. of the Phils. Inc. (DSAPI) members, together with families, doctors, therapists, SPED teachers, and friends.


With Nanay, Gio and Eia before the Happy Walk started.



At the assembly area.




The Happy Walk Proper: A short portion of J. Vargas St. then back.




After walking under the scourging sun, we changed our shirts except for Nanay. (Lucky for me, Gio brought 2 shirts so I borrowed one)



A trip to SM Megamall wouldn't be complete without visiting Toy Kingdom!




A pose in front of the stage before finally going home.




28 comments:

  1. My wife will cry when she reads this post.

    Our children are gifts from God. Whatever we give them they will return it a hundredfold.

    Regards Mark & Tiffin

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  2. Hi Nora. I'm glad to read another of your much anticipated post. If only we can decide for you, we'll never let you take a leave of absence again, lol.

    On a more serious note Nora, you are both a blessing to each other, a loving and caring mother like you deserves a daughter in Eia who will love you unconditionally forever. Take care.

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  3. I must say that yours is one runner blog that provides inspiration not just in running or racing but in "personal" life as well. Keep it up, as I'm sure that you're an inspiration to many of us. I do hope to see you back at the starting lines soon!

    Adding you to my blogroll, I hope you don't mind. ü

    -wilson

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  4. Hi nora, nice to hear from you again. There are times that we really cannot understand the plans of God in our lives but one thing is sure, God loves those who seek Him, those who trust and obey Him and He has a great plan for them. God blessed you with wonderful children. Praise God!

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  5. That was a Happy Walk your family had. Hope to hear from you more often. Take care. :-)

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  6. Yes, Mark. That's why I don't regret having loved and lost. I couldn't imagine a life without Gio and Eia.

    Regards to Tiffin!

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  7. You are ever sooh sweet Bong! But I'm sorry I just took a break from my "leave of absence" hehe . . . I'll try my best to write something and visit blogs whenever I can--promise!

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  8. Thank you, Wilson. My life is more than a telenovela, with all its twists and turns. It is by God's grace that I made it through the storms. I will be more than happy if I inspire others through this blog.

    Hope to run with you someday, Wilson!

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  9. Amen to that, Bro J. God calls us not to understand Him, but to trust in Him. Yes, it is difficult to understand why bad things happen to us but in those trying times we only need to trust Him that everything is for the best.

    Regards to Baby!

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  10. Rico, my son Gio enjoyed the Happy Run more because of the Samba that you gave him hah hah . . .

    Good luck in your training!

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  11. I loved this post.

    I admire you Tita Nora for your strength. You are an inspiration to all the mothers (and mothers to be) out there. :O)

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  12. Doray, I sooh admire your pose in this picture! Walang panama ang Ms. Universe!

    Thanks for that wonderful comment, my dear honorable Doc Doray . . .

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  13. One of your more beautiful post Nora :-) It's always heart warming to read how you overcome life's challenges.

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  14. My dear Gene! Long time, no read hah hah . . .

    YOU always warm my heart with your kind words, Gene. Matatagalan pa bago tayo magkita. But deep inside, I know that day will eventually come. When is your next race, Gene?

    Good luck!

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  15. Hi Nora. I would say that God gives those deserving a special child. Why? Because only a special mom can truly take on the selfless mission of take care of children with special needs. As such, you are one special mom. Mabuhay ka!!

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  16. Nakakataba naman ng puso ang sinabi mo Johnny . . . Thank you so much!

    I had this twisted mentality before, that maybe God gave me a special child to punish me for all my sins. But now, I truly believe that God loves me so much for giving me Eia. Yes, I prayed for a normal child just like anybody else. Whoever said that "God may not give us want we want but He will give us something better" is sooh right.

    Hope to see you again in future races, Johnny!

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  17. Hi Nora, delayed response :-( just got back from out of town trip yesterday. I'll be running in 21k Condura race.

    About your question, spacing is bit tricky. By default, html (techie stuff) collapse extra spaces. That means if you use two or four or six spaces in between your words, you blog would still reduce it to only one space :-( If you want to add more space in between words, you need used html elements. So for instance, I want to say "hello Nora" but would like to put three spaces between 'hello' and 'Nora'. I have to write it down in the following format.

    Hello       Nora!

    The   is special character for additional space.

    Now if you're having problem with double space, use 'spacebar' and not 'tab'.

    Hope this helps. Hey, I'll see you at Condura Race and take care!

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  18. Hi Ate Nors,

    Oh I'm really very sorry we missed the Happy Walk, I'm sure mama would be more than glad to walk with Eia with her high heels.

    Can't wait for you to be back on the road. Junjun

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  19. Thanks for the info Gene. I'm sorry I cant make it to the Condura. Postpone na naman meeting natin (sigh)

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  20. Didn't invite you anymore Jun 'coz I know you're scheduled to join races every week. It was a very short walk, I'm sure Ate Meding could have endured it with her high heels hah hah . . .

    Will probably join a race in May or June. Have to train again. Back to square 1.

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  21. Just to let you know that my addiction is not cured yet. I'm still suffering from withdrawal symptoms (from not being able to read any new post from your blog).
    :)

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  22. You melt my heart Bong. My helper is leaving for Cebu this Mar. 22 and will be back in May. I'm expecting a more chaotic life ahead of me. Will visit your blog as often as I can so you won't miss me heh heh . . .

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  23. You are a good mother. I admire you for your unconditional love. i hope we can meet one day. i would love to meet your wonderful daughter Eia.
    take care

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  24. It has been my long time dream to meet The Patrick Concepcion in person but I guess it has to wait. I thought I could volunteer for something in the Condura Race since I'm not fit to run but my son Gio was scheduled to be the psalmist this Sunday, March 22. Hopefully before the year ends, we could get the chance to see each other . . .

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  25. hi!

    how are you? we've been mia for sometime and i havent really been runing. i hate saying that but i have to accept the awful truth. I hope you'll be back soon. you've been very warming and motivating.

    xoxo

    kassy

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  26. Kassy! Long time, no hear! Hah hah . . . oo nga. Dalawa na tayong MIA ngayon! Why don't we set a "date" for our next race? How about the Manila Marathon? Let's run 10k together. Hmm . . . better start training tomorrow!

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  27. Hu hu hu! When are you gonna comeback and write in your blog again? :)

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