A few days ago we got quite a scare when my son suddenly could not breathe. I remember him cuddling close to me, being unusually clingy and then suddenly succumbing to a bout of hyperventilation. We had to rush him to the hospital. Good thing that there was one in the middle of the isolated town where we were vacationing in for the weekend.
As I held a weak child in my arms and observed him being attached to machines to test his vital signs, I was suddenly gripped with the realisation that I could lose my son just right there. This was further exacerbated when I saw that his heart rate was escalating fast then suddenly started plummeting then up again. His overly erratic heart rate played with mine as well. I then uttered a prayer to take my heart instead and spare his.
It is this submission, which I refuse to see as an act of sacrifice because I think it is one borne out of a selfishness to not feel the pain of loss, that will be a reminder of that which I need to choose everyday. I choose his heart over mine. His is a heart so pure and true, with such capacity to be and do more in this world in the lifetime that he has ahead of him. My heart is one marked by the brokenness of some of my decisions as much as it is whole from choosing to be wholehearted everyday.
So I pledge to choose his heart over mine and in so doing choose to do what is right everyday. This is a promise that I would like to keep in the day to day undertakings, in the daily struggles to move towards what is good over what feels good at the moment. It is me making a pact with myself and my son’s heart to first remember what I promised before I do anything that will give me such temporal pleasure. My happiness is ultimately his heart holding mine. I find solace in the thought of a son’s unconditional love embracing me for the years to come. This is what I will choose everyday.