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Monday, January 31, 2011

dear jon

Last summer, I got to know big boy Jon Angelo Modesto Viado through Anne Curtis' tweet about Breathe Hope bracelets. At first I was really not that concerned. All I want is that bracelet which I presumed a collector's item. What hit me was the entries found in his blog. Detailed there was his current situation, his illness, how he's battling all odds to survive, and how his parents never gave up. I was at the office when I found out about it and I cried while reading the entries.

Right there and then I told myself that I will be involved with this baby. I may not be there to help him financially, I'll give him my time. I will let him feel that he's not alone, that they're not alone. So I took effort to rally orders for the Breathe Hope bracelets from my friends and officemates. And it was pretty much a success.

Finally got to visit him on Independence Day, a day before he turned two. It was really a humbling experience seeing him lying there asleep, with the tubes stuck in his throat for him to breathe and nose for milk and water to pass through. Here lay an innocent child, fighting for his dear life. And all I did was complain about simple things in life. I felt ashamed and at the same time humbled. From then on I promised myself that I'll be there for big boy no matter what.

Before I flew for Cebu on my birthday, I visited him at the JRMMC where he was confined. Initially, I really wanted to celebrate my birthday with him. But I was bound for Cebu that same day so I visited him a day earlier instead. It was a nice birthday gift seeing him there, well not on that state. Just seeing him uplifts my spirits.

Since then I made it a point to visit him at least once every month. Even joined the fun run at Camp Aguinaldo. That was also memorable since I wasn't really a runner and my endurance is failing me. But I was able to finish 5k at an impressive 4.45 time, at least in my record.

Through it all, I never got tired visiting him. Not once. Coz I always get recharged when I see him. Though seeing him at his lowest points, siezures and all, really breaks my heart. But seeing him fight makes me want to fight with him. I always made it a point to include him in my prayers. Coz only Him can make all big boy's pains go away. I claimed it. We claimed it. But everything needs to end at some point. And so does big boy's battles.

This morning, January 31, our big boy Jon Angelo joined our Creator. It was really really painful reading that one liner text from Tet/Joni. Never really expected it ending that way. Me not visiting him this month. Yes I got to see him at St. Luke's during one of his check-ups. But for me that ain't enough. Not the thing that I promised him. Baby Jon Angelo's passing created a vast empty space in my heart. We weren't related by blood. But at least we have this connection. And that connection is strong enough that his passing couldn't break.

In life, I have so many regrets. Everyone does. And a number of those involves big boy. I regret not seeing him enjoy Enchanted Kingdom, one of his parents' wishes last year. Imagining him at the Grand Carousel will forever be etched in my mind. I regret not seeing him on my birthday. I regret not being able to join Run For Hope 2. I regret not seeing him in full "Russel" outfit. I regret not joining the Benefit Dinner at Max's. I regret not visiting him during the Christmas break. I regret not seeing him after New Year. I regret not joining the the Thanksgiving celebration for close Breathehopers. Most of all, I regret not writing a letter for Dear Jon. I regret that he won't be able to read all those inspiring letters that fellow Breathehopers had written for him. He was supposed to read them after he gets better. We claimed it. He'll be able to read them all.

I know this is late, but as the saying goes...better late than never...

Dear Jon,

You may not remember me physically since everytime I get to visit you, you're always asleep. But I very much know in spirit that you know me pretty well. Kuya Caloi here, a certified Breathehoper.

I made a promise that I'll always be there for you. I may be absent in a few occasions but please don't ever think that my love and concern for you diminishes. It will always be there, too bad that my schedule really was tight and in some circumstances,  my health failed me. I don't want you getting colds also.

If you only knew how much I love you Big Boy. You're like a family already, one of my pamangkins. The bond that we have is so strong. Stronger than blood. Are we related in our past lives?

You gave hope to me just as we Breathe Hope for you. You kept me grounded and thankful for all blessings that come my way. Because of you, I got closer to Him. You're always in my prayers Jon, you will always be. no matter what.

I really hate seeing you in your lowest points, may it be in your mini-ICU or in one of the hospitals. It breaks my heart. But you made me proud. Fighting that condition is not an easy task. Thankfully, Joni and Tet were there 100%. Couldn't ask for any other parents to take care of you.

You are truly an inspiration to everyone. To your family, friends, and complete strangers that joined the Breathe Hope campaign. Though you left us and now enjoying God's company, I am still thankful that even for a short period of time, you were with us. Fighting for us. Showing us how life should be handled. For that I thank you.

Baby Jon Angelo, you'll always be my Big Boy! I LOVE YOU and I'm missing you already. Hope you're enjoying a normal life in heaven. You deserve that. Til we meet again JON ANGELO MODESTO VIADO! Til we meet again...

-- Kuya Caloi

PS: Tonight, reality will hit me. I dunno if I can look at your remains. I don't want seeing you lifeless. But I know you're now at peace and pain-free. I LOVE YOU BIG BOY! Will always do.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

stat wars 2010

May aattend ba?! Kelan to? Go beat 'em StatSoc!

anniversary at SLMC

About the same time last year I was admitted at St. Luke's Medical Center in QC for meningitis. Stayed there for a week and was on house arrest (LOL) for the next 4 weeks. I ain't missing it though. But I was well rested for the rest of January and first 2 weeks of February only to find out that we'll be stressed out for the next 10 months!

That spinal tap on the night of January 4, 2010 I can handle, but the pain (psychological) of lying down flat on my back without pillows for the next 6 hours was excruciating. Sanay pa naman ako matulog in fetal position.

I won't forget the nurses of the 5th floor (forgot my room number and their names). They were so kind and reliable and didn't disturb my sleep or when I was watching PBB haha. Not to forget having the best neurologist, Dra. Victoria Manuel.

Thanks y'all! Not wishing though of seeing you ever again. Well except for my neuro. May appointment pa kami for my repeat MRI next week. =)