Keeping the Faith – One Mother’s Immeasurable Love by Maria Natividad D. Macariola
I came from a broken home and so it was my dream that someday, I would have a responsible loving and faithful husband, a simple happy family, a home full of love and lovable children. I know lots of women like me dream for the same thing – not a rich man or a poor one, but someone who can give them a better life.
Eventually I married the man of my dreams, and we were blessed with 5 children. My first born was Christian Timothy, and as he grew I noticed that something was wrong with him because he was not able to do the things that toddlers can normally do. I was paralyzed with fear when he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. I cried and asked God why?
When he was 14 years old, my husband and I separated, and I took custody of the children. As a mother, I sacrificed taking him back and forth to a hospital for his monthly medical check-up. As a cerebral palsy patient, his body became increasingly twisted and distorted. He was under medication against spasm. Although he was confined to a wheelchair and uncomfortable all the time, I treated him like a normal person, giving him task while I am away. As the eldest among his siblings, he put my youngest child to sleep each day by pulling on a rope which was tied to her cradle.
My sister Sheila, helped me send my two children to school because I cannot augment my salary with our daily expenses.
When I prayed to God, I asked for a genuine love, and He gave me my son Christian Timothy. My life begins and ends with my special child. Anything he asked, I gave . Together with his siblings we have gone everywhere together including the beach, malls, churches and parks. Since he cannot sit properly, I had to design his a special wheelchair for my special child. Despite all of his challenges, he had a heart so pure he would give away to his siblings materials things he owned without any qualms. He never ceased to smile, never complained, and bore the pain in silence.
My son taught me how to love endlessly, how to understand without hesitations and how to follow without questions. I witnessed how calm was he when things went wrong, emotionally strong and spiritually high. I learned from him as his mom, nurse, helper, consoler, and nanny.
Everyday we chat and discussed our lives. He told me once “ Mama, I wish to die ahead of you because I am afraid no one will take care of me when you’re gone”.
Having a special child makes me a special mother. In March 2013, Friday night, Christian Timothy asked me if he could sleep beside me, but I told him no because he had a room of his own, and I told him that I need to sleep well because I have work the following day. But he insisted that he will behave and will not wake me up to change his position. So, we slept together in my room.
Saturday morning I served him breakfast and then again he asked me if I am leaving, I said yes, but promised to comeback early before lunch. When I came back to serve his lunch he was perspiring profusely so I asked him if he wanted to take a bath. He nodded yes, but I noticed he was so irritable and uneasy.
I didn’t worry too much because I thought that his medicine was no longer having an effect. When I finished bathing him, I put him in his wheelchair (at this point he was 33 years old, but only the size of a 10 year old ).
A tiny gelatin like substance came out of his mouth. My heart pounded so strong and I told myself, my son is dying anytime. I start crying and he starred at me for a long time, while I am putting on his shirt.
“What do you feel, something painful?, I asked him.
“Please massage my tummy, I felt a excruciating pain Mama, please help me.” Unsure of what to do, I massaged his tummy and he said “Mama I can’t bear it anymore, I have to go”.
“Hold on to the Lord my son, I love you so much…… “ and in my arms he slowly, slowly closed his eyes. I cried loud hoping he heard my voice.
Losing a son, who never left you for 33 years is something unbearable. But knowing that he will no longer feel the pain, the best I could do is to let him go, rest in peace. I already have an angel praying for me in heaven. God is taking care of him in His Kingdom as written in the Bible “ I will prepare a room for you in the house of my father”.
By Maria Natividad D. Macariola / Philippines Writers Circle