• Jasmine Mendiola

Wishing

Mother’s Day has passed and Father’s Day is dawning and I realized how selfish I’ve felt all this time whining like any working adult of how “I wish I’d have me-time… I wish I’d get to book more work… I wish I can get myself (insert latest gadget here)… I wish I can buy that new bag (a trendy satchel looks nice)…” and this and that. And every time I muster enough courage, a thorough map of what I intend to write and time to actually write an entry, I find myself being overly careful not to upset anyone by giving off any kind of impression– either way, it’s the price of putting myself out there, isn’t it? You see, I was traumatized early on during Mio’s most crucial chemo treatments. I simultaneously maintained a work blog which is way older than this to showcase my works as a freelance makeup artist and fashion stylist. When I gave birth to this, I made sure that I was able to separate work from what this blog was about. Surely, one of my main efforts was to make sure that in spite of the flood of prayers and strong support this blog gained for Mio, I wouldn’t be found to be irresponsible and NOT helping myself. So work had to go on, er go, that blog as well. And for some reason, amidst the generous and heart-warming comments on this blog, I was send an anonymous comment bashing my work in the other one and saying that I ought to just stick to taking care of my sick child. Sad. Needless to say, I cried and was hell bent on making sure that I don’t get anything like that anymore. I hope this doesn’t start another fire. My point is, the things I am about to write from hereon are the truth and I can only hope that what you make out of it is as inspiring as how I always thought Mio’s life has been since being diagnosed with leukemia. So going back to how the past weeks’ Hallmark-occasions encouraged wishful thinking in me, a rainy day right smack in the middle of his first week of classes was quite an uncanny day for Mio, I think. It must be the joy from a wish granted or a series of events recalled but Mio had one wishful thought that day.


We were having chicken for lunch and I found a wish bone. We told him how to wish on a wishbone and of course I made sure he got the part where he can wish. He asked me what I hoped to wish for and I said, “that your wish will come true.” It’s a shame because it took me a good 2 seconds to answer that because like I said, I was thinking of those selfish wishes I had for myself. And I’m glad I took that while to say such a wonderful come back because when I asked Mio what his wish was, he said, “that the cancer will go away.” He just recovered last week from a 3-week series of infections that made us go back and forth for blood tests and postpone his chemo for a week and keep him on house arrest (more than he already usually is) but most of the time, Mio has thankfully coped well with his treatments and to us, his family, wearing a mask and having to take 4 to 6 kinds of medicines everyday is as normal as having him brush his teeth or drinking vitamins. So it was a pleasant surprise to me that two years after his long hospital-stay where his every request for water, “back flow push please”, help to pee and all the other small things that he needed help with were addressed by fairies in nurses uniforms — his greatest wish has not changed. My son has asked for impossibly expensive things and his lucky stars would send him so many blessings, I actually believe that if Mio wished for another child or someone else, it would come true. The same day, he rambled– non-stop, about his wish. The TV was on while having dinner and one of our favorite cartoons (The Fairly Odd Parents) was on and Mio said, “I wish I had a fairy so I can wish my cancer to go away!” He went on explaining that Dibbo the Gift Dragon only gave gift things and making the cancer go away wasn’t a thing but fairies can make anything possible. He also told me the story of a time he saw a wishing well, “… so next time I see some coins, I’ll pick them up so I can throw them in the next well I see because my wish came true when I wished upon a well before! I had to change my wish to make my fever go away then so see, Mom, no more fever!” I was amazed at how passionate my 7 year old was about making his cancer go away. I also felt a bit sad that although we try to make him have the most normal life as possible– playing with friends, his cousins, getting to watch the latest shows and play new games– he’s actually well-aware that he’s sick. And I have no idea how much that knowledge affects him everyday aside from his deepest desires. Does he also feel emotional anxiety? Does he regret things? Does he have a memory of pain? He probably does. And my wish is for all of that to go away. On a happier thought though, like a fairy granting one of Magic Mio’s wishes, we received good news that although most of us can only do so much to help make Mio’sMio’s wish to go to Disneyland is about to come true! Thanks to the efforts of Cathay Pacific and Make a Wish Foundation Hong Kong & the Philippines! We are excited and also scared to be in a different place so I can only HOPE that we can cover our traveling insurance soon. But I cannot WISH for anything else right now.


I think the credit of Mother’s and Father’s Day lacks acknowledging that parents cannot be good parents — or parents at all, if we did not have wonderful children. I don’t know about you, but I realized that these months celebrations isn’t really about being great parents. It’s about having wonderful children, don’t you think? So I take back everything else I’ve wished for and hope that you learn valuable lessons the same way I learn from Mio. Cancer or no cancer. Wishful thinking or actual happening.

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Jasmine Mendiola

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