• Jasmine Mendiola

Counting Blessings

I think I’ve used this title before. But when I think about what to write next, I can really only think of things to count:

100. Mio counts up to 100 every time he brushes his teeth since his baby teeth started falling out to make sure that he cleans his teeth well enough.

60. That’s how long I count after feeling that I’ve been lying down beside him too long when I put him to bed to make sure that I’ve at least spent more than a minute there. He sometimes wakes up and I’m at work already giddy when he feels that I stayed with him for a long time the night before. Although I told him that when he turns 7, he should start being able to sleep by himself already. Good luck. I think I won’t be used to THAT.

16. That’s how many days to go before Christmas.

5. That’s how many gifts we’ve wrapped for Mio already to make up for just in case we can’t afford to get his one and only christmas wish which is a wii. We got him a case for his cars, a DVD of Maters Tales, a game he always wanted for the PS3, an Ateneo jacket (he actually wants an Ateneo-themed birthday party we turns 7 he said. Oh my!) and another toy I forget at the moment. Thankfully, a generous soul from Australia, an old friend of my parents volunteered to get him that gift.

1,300. That’s how many Santas Mio has. To date, I haven’t finished replying to half of those who have sent their prayers and well wishes for Mio since he was diagnosed of cancer (that used to be 1,600).

4. That’s how many baby teeth he’s lost this year. We tell him that lucky him, he wears a mask all the time so no one can really tell he doesn’t have his front teeth anymore unless he shows them! Haha

96. That’s the lowest grade he has last quarter 🙂

8,000. That’s how much his paternal father contributes now monthly since September. Thank you (although that case isn’t closed yet, I’m just thankful we’re getting help from that end.)

Another 5. That’s the number of jobs I have done the past year — for ABS-CBN, for Adora, for JRP and freelancing as a stylist and makeup artist which I’ll be retiring from come 2011. I thought I should work on a stable income to provide for Mio’s needs as I didn’t want to get used to help. But having….

7. That’s the number of days I work in a week. Having to work non-stop isn’t as rewarding as being able to spend time and do the chemo rounds with Mio even if he can manage on the usual routine intravenous sessions now. “I don’t want to cry, I don’t want to make a sound, I don’t even want to wiggle!” is what he says every time! So brave!

10. That’s how many orders we got already for the Mio Gift Wrappers. Thank you!

29. While talking about not having to put him to bed when he turns 7, I tell him the story of when I was his age, I shared a room with my sister and for a time, I knocked at my parents’ room to sleep between the two of them exactly like how he does now when he sleeps with them on weekends. He inquires on how old is Dada (Grandad) was at that time. I said he was around 41. He asked, “is Dada older than Michael Jackson?” I answered yes. “Is Tito Jon older than Michael Jackson?” I said no and reminded him that Michael Jackson has passed away already. He said, “Yah coz he got sick. Why do people get sick?” I explained that that’s what happens when people get older. He had a worried look and whispered, “Dada has been getting sick a lot.” (My dad suffered from kidney stones a few weeks ago and got all of us worried but he’s ok now). I explained that that’s why people eat healthy and sleep early when they’re young so that they can grow old and not get sick so much. That’s why its unusual that he is because he’s young and that he has to sleep early (already! at that time!) and eat well (its been difficult having to make him eat well). “Why do old people get sick even if they eat healthy?” he asked. I said, “work gets in the way.” To that Mio recommended,

“eh you retire nlng when you’re 29.”

That’s next year guys. That’s how fast he counts. And that’s just a few of what we count these days 🙂


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