to be an auntie

khal-el 1The moment my brother emailed me this picture, I almost cried.

He is Edj Khal-El Thaddeusz Talon Andaquig. He was a few hours old when this picture was taken on September 8, 2014. Now I know what it feels like to be an auntie. It was exciting and heartwarming. And at the same time heartbreaking for he has to leave this world very early. On that same day, he went back to heaven.

I have a lot of nephews and nieces from my cousins. But Khal-El is the most special to me. Perhaps, the only special.

Among us, my siblings and me, it was only my eldest brother who got married. He has been married for seven years so it brought us happiness when we received the news from him a month ago that his wife was pregnant with their first child. I’m going to be an auntie!

So it was heartbreaking to know that he was born 26 weeks premature. I was told that only those premature babies aged 28 weeks and above have a greater chance of survival if accompanied by proper medical attention and care. Khal-El’s mom, my sister-in-law, got sick with lupus, an autoimmune disease, while carrying her baby inside her tummy. The doctor advised her to terminate the pregnancy once and for all to save her life. Since day one, according to my sister-in-law, the doctor had told her to stop her pregnancy due to her delicate condition. But my sister-in-law wanted her child to live. “For as long as my baby’s heart is still beating,” was my sister-in-law’s stern reply to the doctor.

When Khal-El was born, he was still breathing. But with difficulty. He lived for five hours. The doctor was amazed with the baby (“The baby’s a fighter!”) that she suggested the name Khal-El, Superman’s name on the planet Krypton. Like Superman, he is strong. And his parents couldn’t agree more.

I think my sister-in-law is a true fighter. And brave, I must say. All those medical procedures she had to go through which just thinking about it is so hard for me to write it down here. She is the only perfect storyteller of that experience. Only the mom. What I can only say is she is a brave mom. So I was helpless when I saw her crying looking at the grave of her son.

Khal-El is now an angel watching over his parents. I don’t like to use past tense when talking about Khal-El because to us, he is alive in our hearts. Too bad he is not able to live with us in this world, to laugh with us, bond with us, and perhaps, argue with us when he is all grown up.

To Khal-El, take care of your parents, okay. Tell Jesus to always guide them in the right direction and bless them with good health.


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