• Jasmine Mendiola

Counting Our Blessings

I just wrapped up Mio’s Enopi worksheet for tonight. I promised him he can play 5 songs on rockband before going to bed if he did homework. He also got to eat gum twice today. The first one was under the condition that he’d eat dinner and the other was that he’d brush his teeth after. He also asked if I could clean his ears. You see, he’s quite addicted to the sensation of his ears being poked at. That’s my fault, I think. I used to put him to sleep when he was a baby just cleaning his ears. Or maybe he got that from his Tito Jon who taught me how to clean his ears as early as when I was eight years old. I’m that good apparently. I gave in under the condition that he washes from head to toe when we get home and that I cut his nails (to the studio, since I have work here again tomorrow).

Lately, I’ve had to bargain so many things with Mio because its so hard to argue with him. Its a curse on most days that he’s so smart, I can’t get away with just asking him to obey. It doesn’t make sense to him if I say that without proper justification. Barter trading seemed to be the easiest way to tell Mio how things should be done without either of us throwing a fit.

Yes. We’ve been throwing a fit at each other. He’s five and he’s going through chemo. I should be the bigger and more mature person. I just feel helpless having to balance disciplining my growing child in spite of the indulgences he’s been receiving left and right. He knows that toys are expensive and that his medicines are more important, but sometimes, what do you expect from a five year old who has to think twice his age–even four times his age and is acting with much diligence when it comes to dealing with such an illness? He’s really making it easy for everybody, sometimes I think he deserves to be demanding and irrational sometimes. The sometimes gets to me. So I go back to counting our blessings instead.

Mio’s received countless and priceless gifts that are literally too many to mention. There are rosaries and holy water bottles from other countries sent and dropped off his doctor’s clinic, money from Singapore and Dubai delivered to us, anonymous envelopes passed on to us, toys from all over and collected notes from his previous schools… I wanna cry just thinking about how many people love my son, I owe them to be patient with him at least.

I watched him count his fingers while he was adding for his seatwork and I found myself holding back tears in my eyes. How wonderful is it that average parents get to marvel at the miracle of their child learning and growing on his own, looking back at how beautiful those tiny fingers were and how long and agile they are now… while here I am fearing for my son that the nails on those fingers won’t grow out for quite some time now precisely because his dead cells and normal cells are about to be attacked if only to ensure that his cancer goes out the window for good.

Just sometimes, the idea of Mio having to deal with those side effects, the feelings he has to go through and confuses him and the fatigue that he feels with just a little activity may hurt him. His youngest cousin had a small pinyata awhile ago for her second birthday, Mio collected so much candy (that he won’t eat) and after five minutes of just picking candy from the floor he says, “I’m tired!” so exhaustedly the other people just laughed. I take those things seriously and ask him to sit down. Poor son.

But then again, I go back to thinking how richly favored he is.We got this for Christmas you see.

A very generous family bought this watercolor artwork by CJ De Silva at the StART With Mio exhibit. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it, I’ve been keeping this photo as my wallpaper in my cellphone. It draws me to tears just thinking of how each stroke was made with so much love and affection for my child and how his laughter (not to mention my obviously way-too-nicely-depicted bossom) was drawn and captured in this artwork. I am honored and utterly grateful. In fact, all the artworks I’d love to have if only I can afford them. But I’m glad most if not all have had their first purchase, I hope the rest of the prints are bought to for the artists. 

There are so many things I’m thankful for in spite of and because of but I wouldn’t want to brag any further. These pictures remind me of how blessed we have been and I hope we continue to be able to inspire and do all of you a favor somehow, eventually out there, Mio and I will make your Christmas just as cheery as ours have been the past months because of you. It truly is a season of love and giving. Thank you….

somebody’s tired….

thank you to those who continue to support Mio Mondays…

to ALL those people who’ve participated one way or another

(the Navi’s almost sold out at some bookstores, thank you to those who bought their copies)

to those who patronize and believe in my craft and help Mio by providing me work…

and to those who just drop by and help without asking anything in return…

and most especially, thank you to the family who help me take care of Mio. Thank you for the love and for forever embracing us in your loving care.

His chemo in January is aggressive and will hurt but we’re facing it with a brave heart because all of you make us strong. Please continue praying for Mio as he goes through this. Thank you.

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