My daughter, Bianca, recently went on a school retreat for three days in Caleruega, Batangas. I wrote her a thank you letter and I'd like to share it with you.
I hardly write about the challenges I face in dealing with my Parkinson's disease. Bianca witnesses the difficulties I face everyday as my disease progresses and I purposely avoid writing about it on our blog because I feel as if I'm rubbing it in and making her suffer more. Sadly, there is no cure yet for Parkinson's, and it being a degenerative condition, my symptoms and medications are increasing as time goes by.
Bianca was only nine years old when I was diagnosed, and she's been selflessly caring for me ever since. She's been my source of strength and inspiration, and this time I want her to get all the credit. I've said before that we put up this blog because we wanted to have a happy place to look back on and as a reminder of how blessed we are despite everything we are going through.
Life hasn't been easy, but because we have each other, we have love and we have hope.
October 8, 2014To my dearest Bianca,I’m always in denial every time I think about how you’re on your last year in high school and how you’ll be entering college soon. I get this happy kind of sad feeling thinking about how far you’ve come and all your accomplishments and how soon, you won’t be needing me around as much anymore because you are clearly on your way to becoming an adult.You’ve come such a long way and I’m so so so proud of you! I know you have big dreams. Please know that I’m always here to support you, no matter what it takes, I’ll be here to help you make it happen.Life hasn’t been easy for both of us because of my PD. I know that having a sick mom is hard on you, but despite everything we are going through, you have shown me amazing strength. People always tell me that I am strong. But, the truth is, you are the strong one. For taking care of me without complain, for feeding me my dinner when my hands fail me, for helping me dress up when I’m shaking too much and can’t stand still, for giving me a back massage every time I’m palpitating and for waking up in the middle of the night to cover me up with a blanket when I get the chills.You’ve always been so protective of me, not wanting others to know what I’m going through because you don’t want me to be misunderstood and criticized for attracting attention because I’m sick. I know it’s difficult for you to listen to me talk about my condition and the reality that we both face. You don’t get asked too often how you’re dealing with caring for me, and I just want others to know of the courage and bravery you show me every day.I remember when during one of our talks, I told you to be prepared that as my disease progresses, I might suffer from dementia. In a sad, quiet voice you said, “Mama, please don’t ever forget me okay?” It almost broke my heart, that I could cause you so much pain. But, I don’t want to keep you in the dark, and although it’s sometimes hard to accept, we both have to be prepared.I worry that sometimes you are unhappy, but I see you smile and hear you laugh, and I know that your joy is genuine. Despite, everything, you have remained positive that in God’s perfect time, I will be healed.My dearest Bianca, I am strong because you are strong. Because of you, I know we will reach all our goals and dreams. Yes, we are going travel together to see the world as we have always planned, we’re building our dream house in the very near future, and we’re both going to be on the cover of Vogue Magazine. Okay, maybe just you on the cover of Vogue, and I can be on the cover of Smart Parenting? HahahaYou are the best daughter any mom can ask for. I am so blessed that God put you in my life. You have taught me so much and I can never imagine my life without you. Once in a while I wonder if you get embarrassed because you have a ‘shaky mama’, but on more than one occasion you came home from school declaring that your friends think I’m a cool mom and I’m mentally giving myself a high five.Thank you for being my hero. Thank you for everything that you do for me. I wish you a happy, fulfilled life and I pray for your good health always.Take care of yourself and come home soon. I’ll have your favourite freshly baked cookies waiting for you when you get back. I miss you so much!With all my love,Mama