It has been 10 days since Ben's operation. He is doing quite well although there are some changes. For one, he is thinner. He also cries lengthily at night, waking up 2 -3 times for no reason. But like I mentioned to one of our well-wishers, I guess the worst is over. His operation was a success and the thought of giving him a happy, normal life eases the hardship that came with the process.
There are a lot of people (a mass movement even) involved in giving Ben a new lease in life. We are, indeed, forever grateful.
First in our list is my parents: they have been very supportive ever since Ben was diagnosed with VSD. My sister Wena, who has been with us during check-ups and hospital visits. Ryan and Reese for helping us sell planners and for being the subject of Ben's delight whenever they come visit. Of course, Cathy for patiently taking care of Ben.
Our extended family, the Balbastro family, Maravillas family, Espinosa family, Garcia family, Lorraine and Karla, Sindy, Tita Ofel, Lola Quita, Ate Sol. I should also mention my mother's friends who offered their prayers and well-wishes. Also my mother's friend and former officemate, Tita Penny, for introducing us to Dr. Lopez.
My friends, how can I go through this ordeal without you! With the risk of sounding "showbiz" and of missing out someone, I would still mention some people who helped us get through Ben's operation.
Ben's Ninang Raia and Tito Ruel, owner of Sinag Printing and Publishing, was very generous to offer the printing of planners for fund raising. The Dela Pena family for being their support. Bogart, who has been my (online) therapist and constant companion during Ben's hospital confinement. Nerve for the exceptional cover design of Ben's planner and for forming the benheartsyou facebook group. ;) RC for introducing me to Djay - this consequently resulted to a guarantee letter from PCSO. Tin Ciu for helping me secure a solicitation from Cong. Tanada. Helen for being with me (and Bogart) during the crucial moments of Ben's hospitalization, for passing needed documents to Tin Ciu and for making a career out of selling Ben's planners.
Analea, Raia, Miles, Tita Sening, Tita Luz, Tito Jojo, Karla, Patrick, Tita Mely, JR's cousins, Tita Penny, Ate Sol, Donald, Anji, Sheena, Joel for visiting Ben in PHC.
Mary Rose Dayao (I can't help using the full name!), Donna, Issa, Daddy Mario, Boss May, RAMO Toni C., Team John my beloved teammates, for not making me worry a thing about selling the planners at the office.
Everyone who bought the planner: my tibak friends (especially, STAND-UP Alumni - forever and ever!), my officemates, brods and sisses from Sigma Kappa Pi Fraternity and Sigma Delta Pi Sorority, especially Czani Kho, Jo Israel, Joanna Pascual, Krista for informing Toldy and Toldy for informing everybody else.
It is very touching to have people whom I have never met but nonetheless responded to my solicitation for financial assistance - Brod Romy Sajor, Brod Charlie Castillo, Brod Sam Ganapin, my UPOU classmates Jerry Ugay and Mel Trani. These people made me see and understand a new dimension of charity.
Thank you also to Ben's blood donors - Jason, Kuya Marlon, Roy and his officemate, Diego Maranan and everyone else who went (or offered) but did not pass the screening.
The past few months have been quite a journey. I will remember this as a humbling episode of my life, it surpasses the anxiety and hopelessness I went through. Again, many thanks!