My second son had a surgery exactly five years ago. He fell from a monkey bar during his school’s foundation day. At first, the surgeon conducted a closed reduction procedure. The process was to align my boy’s broken wrist bones. It was unsuccessful, thus we opted for a surgery.
The four-hour operation was successful. The doctor inserted three narrow pins (as long and slender as a pencil) inside my son’s right arm. Though the metal pins were removed four months after the operation, the stitches on his arm are still very evident. Possibly, they are his constant reminder that once, he fell from a monkey bar. That next time, he should be careful of his moves. Or maybe, he should not go near any monkey bar.
A year after the incident, we went back to the place where he fell. Our main goal was to fulfill a goal which was suddenly aborted by an unexpected accident. This mother had high hopes her son will complete the climb and finish those long bars. That armed with more confidence and full support from his family, he will complete the monkey bar with more caution.
Perhaps eluding the monkey bar, my boy went to try the swing first. An instant magnet for kids, a swing set is a must in almost all playgrounds. Upon seeing one, my boys immediate readied themselves to play and swing themselves.
A few minutes after, a chorus of boisterous laughter came from the see-saw. The kids managed to transfer from one play set to another in a flash. They must have enjoyed the playground. After all, it has been a year since our last visit. A year after my second son’s fall from the monkey bar.
I saw second son went alone in one of the swing sets. I felt his eagerness to try the monkey bar but something was pushing him not to. He stayed at the swing for a couple of minutes then joined his little brother in the slide.
I was monitoring second son’s every move. I saw him walk slowly toward the monkey bar area. And he was very careful. He first held the poles, as if talking to them to be gentle with him. He even advised his little brother to be extra careful and hold tightly on each rounded piece of metal.
Then I saw Second son rubbed his right arm. He looked at his stitches. And those stitches are still very clear. These perhaps are a good reminder of the past.
He left the area. Second son did not try the monkey bar. In due time, maybe.
Cheers to life
After our short playground stay, we visited a church to say our prayers for our dearly departed. We lit a number of candles and husband was patient enough to answer all the kids’ queries that even I was drawn to listen to his explanation.
“Why do we remember the dead? Why we do light candles for them.”
Husband explained that according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, not all souls enter heaven immediately after death. There is a place called purgatory where some who died need a little purification to meet the holiness necessary to enter heaven. These souls in purgatory cannot help themselves. We, however, can help them through our prayers . And once they are in heaven, they will then help us with our prayers to God through their intercession.
The boys were in awe. They told their parents that they find life as eternal. It never ended after death. Life continues even in heaven or in purgatory.
Cheers to everyday
It has been five years since that misfortune. And life continues. Five years and the stitches are still there — to constantly remind the boys to be careful of their actions in the coming more years to come. Also, a reminder to be grateful for this gift called life as we only live it once. That if we could celebrate life everyday, go and celebrate it.
Celebrations need not be extravagant, though. Attending mass to say a thanksgiving is one simple way. A small gathering with family and close friends to mark birthdays or graduations is another. Or it may also be a simple cook off by the garden to celebrate little successes like surgery or conquering fear.
I remember that day when we went back to the SB Park. It was another year after the first revisit. Second son walked near the monkey bar and made a few swings. After some tries, he marched to the basketball court and played. We went home all tired yet happy. We celebrated with some chicken lollipop and homemade spaghetti. We brought out our Cheers cocktail napkins to make the celebration extra special. The boys would quip that our lunch or dinner becomes extra special if we use party napkins. So we always have a stock of Cheers folded table napkins and cocktail napkins. This mom would want her boys to always remember family meal times as family celebrations. And if a simple napkin would make it look extra special, why not give in to what the boys fancy?
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