Wednesday, June 22, 2011


My eldest was an only child for 6 years before Sabina was born. I was quite content and happy with having just one child; but my daughter longed to have a brother or a sister. (actually sister was the preferred choice of sibling) as she saw her friends having fun with their own brother or sister. She wanted to have someone to play dolls with and share her many toys with. And so, when she was about 4 1/2 years old, she started praying hard for the Lord to give her a sister of her own.

I finally got pregnant after more than a year of trying to conceive. My daughter was thrilled that her prayer was answered!! Even more exciting was learning that the Lord did grant her desire to have a sister. (she was with us when we had the ultrasound to find out the sex, and she kept asking -- "so, is it a girl? is it a girl? when the sonologist confirmed it was a girl, she gestured with her arm and fist and said YES!!!!)

Throughout the pregnancy, I had daydreams of two sets of feet running in our garden screaming at the top of their lungs with laughter. I would look at my daughter and look forward to seeing her be a doting big sister; holding her sister's hand while they walked together. I would see two girls in my bedroom jumping and climbing on my lap asking me to braid their hair. I would dream of two sisters wearing matching dresses and bathing suits and filling our home with such girly stuff. I would often tell my eldest that she would make a great big sister as she would constantly talk to my tummy and tell her baby sis that she loved her. My eldest also actually named her sister Sabina. We do not know where she learned of that name, but decided it was a beautiful name for our new baby girl. And so, Sabina it was, as named by her "ate".

Well, as you know by now, those dreams continue to remain just that. Dreams.

Because Sabina is pegged like a six month old baby, our eldest cannot play dolls with her. She cannot hold her hand as they walk together around the house. There are no running feet in our garden except for the feet of our eldest daughter. There are no giggly screams and uncontrollable laughter resonating our walls. There are no jokes shared between sisters or Disney princess movie dates together. In many ways, our eldest daughter still lives like she were an only child.

It saddens me to think how our daughter got her answered prayer, and yet.......
Sometimes, she asks me, "Mom, how come Sabina has mitochondrial disease?" I tell her that I don't know. But I do know that the Lord has His purpose and it is for the best even tho we do not understand. She and I have had crying sessions together many times over Sabina's condition.

However, I am blessed by my daughter because inspite of her sister's disability, she is 1) not ashamed of Sabina. She is proud of her sister and openly shows affection. 2) she loves Sabina so much and prays for her healing everyday. 3) She still finds ways to relate to her baby sister, by either reading a book to her, or finding ways to make Sabina laugh and smile. Sabina on the other hand, adores her big sis and she is the only one who can easily make Sabina laugh and giggle. Even I struggle sometimes how to get Sabina to smile; but if its our eldest who does it, its almost as easy as pie.  :)

In all of this, my hope and prayer is that our eldest is able to still see that 1) God is good. No matter what the situation is, God is good. 2) God is in control and knows what is best even though we don't understand. 3) To be thankful in everything.

I don't want my eldest daughter to grow up being bitter with the Lord because of Sabina's disease. I am trying my best to let her see that we still praise the Lord in the midst of the storm. As a result Lord willing, she will grow up to be a more understanding person, a woman who is compassionate towards people with special needs, and a woman who loves the Lord with all her heart. :)

As for me, I still have not stopped dreaming of two sisters who love each other so much, running on the beach, sharing a joke and laughing in the wind with ribbons on their hair. Nothing is impossible with the Lord!!!

Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God. 
Jeremiah 32:27 I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Consider it pure joy when....

This past two weeks have been a series of sad events one after the other. Aside from my Mama Red passing away, another grandfather (the 1st cousin of my maternal lolo), who we were also quite close to, died of a heart attack while enroute to the US from Hong Kong. They could not revive him onboard the aircraft and my lola had to endure the tragedy alone for six hours while waiting for the plane to land in LA. :( The day before yesterday, I also found out that the three month old baby (and their first one at that) of a former schoolmate also passed away a few days ago due to complications and possible infections from Hirschprung disease. :( As a fellow mother, I was extremely saddened by this news, as I talked to this friend of mine just a few weeks ago and have been praying for her baby boy. She must be terribly devastated and heartbroken.

I stopped to think then about all these heartbreaking events, and asked the Lord, why all the sadness? Why the grief? Mama Red was 92 when she died and lived a full life. But my other lolo was only in his mid-70s. A man full of life and adventure, who loved the outdoors; and just this April, celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with all his family and friends. And what about the baby? Here was a couple who had been trying forever to have a child, and when they finally had one, the Lord took him home in a fleeting three months. Sigh..

And then the Lord pointed me to James 1:2-3 which says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."The Bible doesn't say if you face trials, it says when. And we are to consider them pure joy. Sigh. Easy to read, but so so difficult to apply. Joy is certainly beyond emotions and circumstances; it is based on knowing who Jesus is and the hope that we have in Him. 

I learned in a Bible study once that there are no accidents in the life of faith. God knows ALL of the things that happen in our lives. Nothing happens that doesn't get filtered through His loving hands. I don't understand why all of these have to happen, but I know that the Lord is indeed sovereign and in control. And we can take comfort in the truth that He will never, ever leave us nor forsake us no matter how truly devastating or difficult.

2 Cor. 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Jer. 31:13b I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Not goodbye, but see you later!

My paternal grandmother, who we fondly call Mama Red, passed away on Saturday, June 10. As we were on a family vacation out of town, I could not be there with her during her last hours. I did get the chance to speak with her on the phone tho and tell her that I loved her very much before she died.

I was very close to my Mama Red. I grew up with my grandparents and they showered me with so much love. I have so many fond childhood memories with them that are too many to count. As I have been missing my Papa Mert these past 20 years, I will surely miss Mama Red and our many conversations and stories she would tell me. Our family Sunday lunches and holiday celebrations will never be the same. Her presence will definitely leave a big hole in our family's hearts.

While Sabina never got to enjoy her great grandmother the way my eldest did. I have treasured photos in my mind of Mama Red giving Sabina many kisses and hugs. My lola was always very concerned with Sabina's condition and she would always tell me that Sabina was in her daily prayers.
As I grieve over the loss of my dearest lola and with great sadness in my heart that she is now gone from this earth, I still have peace and joy. Because i know for sure, that one day, I will be reunited with Mama Red and Papa Mert in heaven with Jesus. My grandparents trusted in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and the Bible promises eternal life in heaven when we believe in His saving work on the cross.

So today, as I prepare my eulogy for my beloved Mama Red, i know it is not goodbye, but see you later.    

I love you Mama Red!! I will really miss you!!!

1 John 5: 11-13 "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. "