Monday, February 18, 2008

Migi's 14th Birthday In Heaven

My son Migi marks his 14th birthday in heaven on Thursday, February 21, 2008. He has been living there, with the heavenly Father, for close to nine years now.

"Does it become easy after nine years?" Many people have asked me this question. I choose to answer the question with both a yes and a no.

Yes, because after nine years you do not cry as much, but no, because you continue to remember. There is not a day that goes by when you do not think about the little boy who filled your life with love and laughter but was gone to soon.

Yes, because God is gracious and merciful and over the last nine years He has given me and my family the peace that passes all understanding. No, because there will always be that void in your heart that no one else, but God can fill.

Yes, because out of his loss, Migi's Corner was borne and because of it many children now have a place of solace while they themselves heal. No, because with the opening of each new project you relive all over the again, the reason why the project came to be in the first place, and so it always is an emotional and weepy time.

Yes, because in spite of losing one son, it is like we have gained many children. Migi continues to live on in the heart of every child who has ever spent time in any of the 14 corners now in existence.

But God is all-wise and all-knowing and ever gracious because He always sends his comfort, and allows a message to come down from heaven every year in the week leading to his birthday, since Migi left us 10 years ago.

On several years it was the opening of a corner, timed perfectly with a birthday.

On another it was receiving a whole box of goody bags from a donor (who did not know it was his birthday) with the words "Happy Birthday!" emblazoned on it.

This year it was the mural on the latest Migi's Corner, a joint project between our foundation and my Maryknoll High School Batch '82. The project is a daycare to be used by the children of the employees of Miriam College. Integrated is a breastfeeding corner that will be made open to the teachers and the single mothers who study at the college.

All of Migi's Corners have murals that depict Migi and his favorite dinosaurs in various settings - the sea, the park, in a forest, on a beach, under the sea. Yesterday, as I stood to gaze at the just completed mural - painted lovingly by my friends Fen, Vena, Raf and some of their other friends from U.P. and UST Fine Arts - I could not help but smile and sigh at the way God works. Uknown to them, at the time that they painted the mural, I had just completed a children's story, for release, later this year, about our family's experience. I excerpt here a portion of that story...

Migi was smaller than other kids his age but he was way smarter than most other four year olds. He could not run as fast, or climb trees, but he loved to read a lot and he enjoyed telling stories. He loved reading about dinosaurs and knew all their names by heart. Migi could name you all the dinosaurs in the whole wide world in a flash!

One time, mommy bought him a sticker book of dinosaurs and he stuck them all over our bedroom….

On his bed…on the chairs…on his cabinets… his bedsheets and on the walls.

Migi and I liked to play a special game. Before entering our room, or before he would let me pass through the door, he would place his arm across and say, “What’s the magic word Ate?” And I would say, “God is good all the time!” and then he would open the gate, and let me in. Oh how we loved to play all sorts of games!

And here is the mural...

So my answer to the question above -- no, because a mother never forgets her child, but yes, because He always sends his comfort and because, in spite of everything, God is good all the time.