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.