Day 15 – A photo of someone you love
Even if it weren’t Special Education & Autism Awareness Week, I’d still post this photo because my sister K is the greatest love of my life. And yes, I still get goosebumps saying that.

I love this photo. My family went to Bora (once again, without me) and my sister, water baby that she is, had an absolute mint time. K turns seven this year (OHMYGOSH – in exactly a month!!!) but is still as adorable and as malambing as ever. She’s turned out to be a really smart kid – when she was barely a year old her early intervention school teachers have commended her cleverness and intuitiveness. And she’s very, very, very entertaining! =)
I’m posting an old journal entry, because K really is the blessing my family needed at the time. My love for her goes beyond words, beyond time and beyond the universe.

OLD JOURNAL ENTRY: everyone loves a tragedy (this is not one)
5th Oct, 2007 at 12:32 AM
     My first blog entry (which dates back to more than seven years ago) was a cross between an outlet for teenage hormonal turbulence and a high school project for technology. Back then making webpages (aka basic HTML) seemed so complicated, and so was my family. That’s prolly why my first ever cyber post was about us – “The Triple Ds: Dysfunctional Dyslexic De Gracias” (forgive me, I was sixteen).

     The family has gone through a lot – what an understatement, that understatement. My brother and I played that pingpong game between our parents courts. My parents had an on and off switch and that kinda affected us more than we’d like to admit. We tried to sort things out, really. Tried hard. Until it felt hopeless – everything felt like it was for show. I remember spending the last of my teenage years hoping that, for the benefit of everyone involved, we’d just be on permanent blackout. No need for closure, no need for any warning. Just an abrupt stop and darkness all over.

     And then a miracle. My sister came into our lives. I remember that fateful day when we had to wait three whoppin’ hours (though we were the first to arrive) just to hear the doctor tell Mother, “We have a problem with your 8-month old sister. She has Down’s Syndrome. Don’t worry. It’s not genetic. You were just over forty.” I remember Mom holding back her tears. She burst a friggin’ ocean when we got in the car. I was sitting in the back watching her and Dad locked up tightly in each other’s arms, crying all the way home. As fucked up as it was I remember thinking, “Oh what a fucked up situation this is.” It seemed so, but it wasn’t really.

     Things have changed since then. Drastically. My family’s been closer than ever and it wasn’t just for show no more. Family affairs felt more important than the next big event in town and I was willing to sacrifice my social life for them. Until of course, I decided to do something for myself. Just to prove something to myself, I went to the UK for a year. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs brought me to believe that self-actualisation is indeed, the most important thing that drives a person. So that was that, I got what I wanted in England and now I’m back. And I’ve realised that my family is still my driving force. To see my parents kid around the past (lovingly this time), my brother exploring his talents and potential, my sister laughing and learning and playing with me… Good God. Nothing can ever top that.

     I overheard my parents earlier this evening talking about me heading back to the UK. And it feels like they’re letting me go, which brought about this sense of sadness. It’s almost unbearable. I ask myself if it’s worth it or not and the answer evades me.

     Over seven years later, my family can still be just as complicated as HTML. But we’ve learned. And now I’m counting days until I have to go back to an easy life where psychic distance can’t be comparable to the physical proximity of my mom’s strange but funny ways. My dad’s humour and charisma. My brother’s funky philosophies. My sister’s – ohmygod – Dinky-isms. Familial love. Ohgosh.

     I sure hope it’s worth it. Because they mean the world to me.

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