On Love and Labor

I must admit that over the past few weeks, a cloud of doubt and a hint of frustration hovered over what began as a purely positive thing.

There were times when I wondered if putting up the playroom was sustainable—if I could sustain it for long, given the number of children we had coming day after day AND given the unfathomable mess and damage there was to the room  each time I’d check and clean up after the children. I had fits of intense frustration when I’d just sit in a corner for minutes, afraid and embarrassed to ask for help (because I did bring this upon myself and in a way, I felt, there was no one else to blame).

I’d sit there, motionless and clueless as to where to start cleaning up and how to remove pen and crayon stains, repair torn patches and “revive” a newly-bought bear that was unfortunately dampened by an innocent child’s puke. Yes, the fantasy reformulated into the painful reality. This is real life and these are real children, with real issues. Therefore, I must confront reality with just the same amount of realism and a little bit more gusto and resilience.

My love for children—truly put to the test by the trials and tribulations of labor. There was work involved and it was no easy task. If love begets children and children beget love, why was I experiencing such anger and frustration?

I told myself, “And I want to have 5 kids?”

Then again, just as the Lord seems to provide an up for every down, a silver lining for every dark cloud, a warm hug from a loved one for every horrible day, He has shown me that no matter the difficulty, I must see that there are children out there who NEED this room. There are children affected by death everyday, without proper recourse or refuge.

To be able to provide that, to have the ability to help these children more than makes up for whatever mess, damage, color stain, puke, bruise and stress knots I’ve added to the constellation on my back. To have children around, breathing life into the room, amidst a place of death and perceived darkness, it’s as if difficulties were insignificant.

As in child bearing, love overpowers the pain and pains of labor.

I cannot explain the kind of joy these children bring to me each time they enter the room, with faces brighter than the summer sun and laughter so genuinely expressed. It reminds me to keep my patience intact and my frustration at bay, to keep moving forward without worrying so much about the mess, the stains, the broken blocks, the torn patches, and everything else I was stressing about.

(Skylar, 3)

A week after its grand opening and launch, I am proud to say that the room has become a home and haven for the children and even the adults that come by and visit. I observed a father, sitting quietly and reading pamphlets on grief, children and death. I’ve had parents and relatives, coming up to me, saying how grateful they are for such a facility and how helpful it has been in allowing children to deal with their grief after the loss— of a mother, a father,  a grandmother, a grandfather,  a sibling or a cousin.

(Princess, 3)

It’s uplifting hearing all this, and realizing

that a tiny room in the corner of a funeral home

can change lives, one child at a time.

Watch the Special Feature, Good News (Vicky Morales)

by GMA News TV Here:

http://www.gmanews.tv/evideo/83573/good-news-playroom-itinayo-sa-loob-ng-funeral-home

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2 thoughts on “On Love and Labor

  1. It’s quite a handful what you have on your plate, Sab!

    I don’t really know you that well but I’m starting to get a sense of appreciation for what you do merely by looking at the amount of work you’ve put into helping grief-stricken kids out. You deserve whatever goodness that comes your way. God bless!

    • Hi Serica, awww thank you! It’s words of affirmation and encouragement (especially from people like you) that really keep me going. I also apologize for whatever irreverent posts you’ve read on my blog. I’m only human! Haha! God Bless you too! Good luck with everything!

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