i am rhonel

This blog shares my sacred journey through tragedy.  I was called for audacious hope whilst grieving a living loss.  And I had to choose – will I be better or bitter? 

Nine years ago, early summer morning in front of our home, we sit hand in hand. As husband and wife we pray and then he says, just before starting the ignition of the car: “Are you ready to meet your new best friend?” Because we are on our way to the hospital to have our firsborn – Juneldè.

She was the tiniest bundle, weighing only 2.7kg at full term. I first heard her strong feisty cry, and as she was laid upon my chest, I greeted her. “Hi my angel”; midcry she stopped, opened her eyes and stared at me with a scew little baby smile. This moment was uniquely captured on a photograph that I will treasure forever.

Earlier this week as I am browsing the clothing rack of a chain store searching for the perfect outfit for our birthday girl to wear, a sweet sadness envelopes me. I wish she could join me so that we can argue about what she wants to wear and what I want her to wear instead. However now I carefully select garments that would be easy to dress her spastic body in, that will provide accessibility to the feeding tube, that will be soft around her sensory sensitive body but still be age appropriate and gorgeous. At the same time I am so grateful to still be able to have her in my life to shop for…Moments like these remain bittersweet, the contrast between what is, what could have been and what should have been recocheting like a pendulum in my heart and mind.

This morning with nine pink cupcakes alight with colorful candles, whilst singing happy birthday, we march into her room. With sincere joy and authentic pure happiness we envelop her in love. And in that moment the bitterness subsides and only the sweetness off grace remains.

Thank you God for allowing me to be her mother these past nine beautiful, turbulent; hopeful; faith-filled years.

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