Posted by: minz | July 31, 2009

No game whatsoever.

On our plane home from our recent trip to Macau, I experienced the worst turbulence I have ever flown through in my entire life. That’s saying a lot given the flying I’ve done in all of my 32 years.

Half an hour into the flight, the plane shook uncontrollably for what seemed like an eternity. My Mom started praying. Considering how she’s able to usually keep her composure in life and death situations , that was entirely novel. For my part, I was terrified. I got my whole family with me and of course, Sofia, who was sleeping peacefully in my arms. Knowing that the odds of surviving an airplane crash is close to nil, I called out all the saints I know. St. Francis, St. Jude, Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Protect us. Or if we should go, make it quick and painless, I prayed. When the plane miraculously settled down a few minutes later, relief washed over me. There could not be anything more harrowing than that. Or so I thought.

Last week-end, when Sofia innocently complained that her tooth hurt, I hurriedly brought her to the dentist thinking that she probably just needed some fillings. A couple of consults later, the prognosis was that she needed to have four teeth extracted and that she had to be fully sedated for that “operation”.  At the outset, I was reluctant, no, petrified at the thought of having to put her to sleep. Santi and I talked about it many times over and we knew there was no other way to go about it so we acquiesced.

I can’t  write about that day without reliving it again so I won’t. All I know is that it was the day I came face to face with fear. Halfway-through the operation, after  the anaesthesia kicked in, Sofia had an asthma attack. A complication on an otherwise simple , easy-as-pie procedure. Her oxygen count dropped, her heart rate slowed.

For one moment there, my daughter stopped breathing.

I remember this is in slo-mo. The doctor tapping her cheeks, calling her name. Sofia, Sofia, wake up!, one of them said, while the other rushed to put the gas mask on her face. Sofia’s yaya ran to my side, her lips white as snow. I called my Mom but nothing came out of my mouth. Right then I knew what made Mummies loving but selfish people. I only had one thought in my mind. Don’t go , baby. Don’t leave Mommy. Mommy will die. And as if she heard me, Sofia stirred and I burst into tears.

I haven’t felt the same since then. Nowadays, whenever Sofia so much as whimpers about a cut or a rash, I’m on it. I call her more often than I usually do..or should. Worry has become my middle name. I’ve lost all my game.

Now I get what Elvie means when she says Moms are living deads. It means living when your life is not your own.

As for me, I haven’t looked at a tooth the same way again. Or loved Sofia more than I do today.


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