Celebrating mothers should be all year round. Extra love should be given to moms who are caregivers to children who are battling any critical illness. Today, we wrap up our Mother’s May series, but it won’t be the last time you will hear from our courageous moms.
JBF Talks to Emelda - Mother of Kristina, a beautiful three-year-old with the strength and resilience of an adult. She appears to be quiet and reserved at first but we have seen for ourselves her amazing, beautiful, outgoing personality.
Emelda: “Being a mother is everything to me. I stand proudly as the mother of two beautiful yet strong-minded girls who give me the joy and willpower to ensure that I do everything that is necessary to provide for them. It is enough to assure me that I am serving my purpose when they excel at school and surprise me with the many good deeds that come from their hearts.
Growing up, I clearly remember the effort that my mother made, ensuring that the traits of honesty, hard work, and confidence were instilled in me. I am grateful for those life lessons and golden memories as I can now confidently share them with both Reanna and Kristina knowing that they will grow up to be the best they can be. My upbringing is one that I consider traditional, and now I am able to see through the eyes of my mother and understand what she saw and felt whilst caring for me.
On February 18th 2019, life changed for my family and I. Kristina was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and it is the hardest news I have ever faced. The discovery of her cancer was a test of my strength as a mother. I remember clearly, the day we got the life changing news and Kristina sensed that something was wrong. She sat on the bed with my husband and I and she innocently asked, “Mummy, Daddy why you crying?” The fact that she was good gave me the strength to face the cancer with faith.
Kristina and I eat, sleep and play together. She spends most of her time with me. At night we get very emotional with each other. Before she sleeps every night, we have our girl talks and play games. Each day that passes by, I’m in awe at her intelligence and ability to openly love us not only with words but actions.
The journey has been filled with emotions. I can say that I have taken comfort in realising that Kristina is not the only child fighting cancer. There are other children and other parents who share the same emotions and stories like us. I think comfort also comes in realising that support is all around. The JBF Special Unit (SU) has given us faith. As a family, we are comforted in knowing that amidst all of this, Kristina is still able to be her free-spirited self. There are definitely bright sides to this journey. Knowledge of the sickness and ongoing support has shown me that Kristina has a chance at life and it is my duty to be strong for her.
I am very proud of the strength and willpower that my little Krissy has displayed through all of this. She is aware that something is wrong with her stomach and she handles her treatment with confidence and a positive outlook that she is being healed. I admire the way in which she understands that her hair loss is not permanent. She is confident that it will regrow. She believes that she will move forward from all of this.
In the beginning she would fret about having to come to the hospital but now, her eagerness to be better changed that attitude. She has adjusted well, and packing her bags in preparation for the day that she knows she will be warded, has become an easy task. My relationship with Kristina is based heavily on God. As a family, we are very spiritual. On mornings before school, we pray together. Kristina is that innocent voice in the background that praises God saying “Amen!” and “Yes!” in agreement. She often sits on her bed and sings her favourite gospel songs. Among all the bonds that we share, her spiritual side is definitely what keeps me going.
Emotionally, I would say that Kristina has not changed. At home she is vibrant, energetic and the same as any other child her age. There is only so much a three-year-old can understand but to her, this is a process for the sake of her tummy being healed. She is still the strong, opinionated girl and once comfortable, her free-spirited, bubbly side is unlocked. We share a special bond and throughout this ordeal it has become stronger.
I enjoy being a mother. There are days when my husband would jokingly tell me I have the option of being a full-time mom but for me, more than anything, I love the excitement of being able to balance the effort of having a job and caring for my family. It defines motherhood and I handle it like I was made for this. Motherhood has taught me that life will always be in our favour if we have faith and continue with our fight to be stronger spiritually. The lesson that is embedded in my heart, mind and soul will always be that of prayer, spirituality and hope that come with each new sunrise.”
Children are God’s love-gift; they are heaven’s generous reward. – Psalm 127:3 (The Passion Translation)
Submitted by: Chevaughn Joseph
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