Acceptance of Betrayal

(I wrote this poem eons ago. I can’t even remember why…somehow it feels like it’s the right time to publish it.)

Your vibrancy seen through enigmatic eyes

Blinding both of us

Ecstatic despair now revealed

Lovely soul dividing

Our binding vows

Remember war and who won?

A dastardly deed created

Reasons proclaimed

House of cards fall like litter

Hasten the past

Billowing it comes

Excruciating pain conceded

Your true self unveiled before me

It echoes forever and ever

Death must be a part but both set free

My Son

(Published in APSN (Association For Persons With Special Needs) Newsletter; April 2010)

I consider Rene to be a blessing even before he was born. Although it was a sad time for us when we found out that we were having a baby with Down’s Syndrome, it was a blessing when our fervent prayers were answered because Rene is a happy, healthy, loving and adorable child.

I named Rene after my deceased twin brother who passed away at age four. Only much later, I realised that the name meant “to be reborn.” Rene was a happy, cute baby and easy to care for. As a toddler, Big Brother Rene showered love on his younger sister by always letting her have her way.

At age eleven, Rene is smart, funny, sensitive and loving. Although he gets bullied by his younger sister, he is big-hearted enough not to take such little squabbles personally. In fact, when he is scolded, he does not bear a grudge for long and will soon revert to his joyful self in no time.

He may be a little too affectionate at times, considering everyone, even strangers, as family or close friends by welcoming them with hugs and kisses. To him, his personal belongings are for giving away or exchanging for something else with lesser value. He has a soft heart (that’s why he gets taken advantaged of often). He needs to be guided in this aspect of “appropriate behavior.” He is a little slow to respond to tasks like waking up in the morning, sitting down for breakfast, taking a shower, etc., which basically are daily routines. He still needs a push to do these things independently.

Sometimes I forget that Rene is a special child because I consider myself blessed in the sense that raising him is like raising any normal child. He may be slower in many aspects compared to other children his age but he brings the same LOVE (maybe even more) and JOY to our family.

~~~

6 October 2012, 7:55am

Rene has this habit of talking to himself while he’s playing. Like a dialogue between two people. He uses his own voice for one and a different tone for the other. He’s really good at it. And I just realised he is having a conversation with God. I really, really believe this. Next time I’ll listen more intently. He might have some important message to convey. God, are You communicating with Rene?

Most definitely. I communicate with him at a level only he can comprehend. So, if you listen to it it might be gibberish to you. But it has certain meaning for him.

What is your purpose, God?

No purpose. People like your son (people with special needs) already know Who They Are. They do not need to find out Who They Want To Be. That is why I am in constant commune with them. Meaning, their bodies and minds are only tools to embody their souls. Once the body has finished its journey in the physical world all the soul has to do is remove itself. Their souls have already reached the realm of the absolute. In actuality, society does not need to interfere or shall I say intervene with their bodies and minds while in the physical world. But as it is you have this tendency to fix things which you think are less than PERFECT. That is why from the time that they arrive in your realm they are already in commune with Me. And this communication is constant until their return. Your son is My messenger (all of you are). He demonstrates everything you need to do in terms of becoming Who You Really Are and to remind others of theirs. Observe him and follow.

Special Teachers

This was a poem I wrote while bawling my eyes out as I pounded on the keyboard right after my son’s Graduation Day. Couldn’t help it. I was emotional (the teachers as well). After 4 years of trials, failures, triumphs, heartaches, body aches, headaches, laughter and friendship while our SPECIAL children egged us on, it was understandable.

God gave me a child with Special Needs for A PURPOSE. In order to be empowered and to empower others. To experience the aspect of Divinity called Patience, Faith, Trust and most of all LOVING WHAT IS CONSIDERED BY SOCIETY AS IMPERFECT. Nothing is imperfect in this world. It is only us who perceive it to be imperfect. GOD IS PERFECT. AND SINCE GOD IS EVERYTHING, THEREFORE EVERYTHING IS PERFECT. So there!

“Special Teachers” ~ A Poem by Joy Monreal Reyes
As I fold and put away my son’s uniform for the last time,

I notice how small it is.
Like most of his things, he has outgrown them.
I remember how it used to be too big for him.

When he first put it on, I delighted
That he will be going to school. He was so young!
I didn’t buy him new ones that fit
Because new ones would mean he’s really growing up.

But along with everything else, things must change.
My son doesn’t know it’s his Graduation Day today.

He doesn’t know that
He won’t be going to the same school next year.

But I know and when he can understand, I will let him know too.
Let him know that for the first four years of his life
He was thought by the most dedicated teachers.

Let him know that if not for him, I would never have known
Such “special” people with the highest goals
For the most special children.

Tell him of a place where mothers and fathers
Are told there is hope for their children.
A place where special teachers love children like their own.

But most of all I will tell him
That God made him special so that we come to know and
Remember these special teachers.

As I’ve known all along, my child is a special gift,
A gift of love which opens hearts
And brings special people together.

I realize now if my child was normal
I would have probably just passed by this special school
Without as much as wondering what goes on inside.

I have to put away my son’s uniform now
But I’ll bring it out again when I want to remember…
Remember all special teachers.

(Dedicated to the teachers of Balestier Special School (1998-2002) where my son, who has Down’s Syndrome, received intensive therapy and LOVE during the first four years of his life.)