Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Mich says, KAYA!

Here is my take on Nina's challenge. I could only think of the accident my Dad & Sister had as the most difficult challenge that I have faced so far. I hope this qualifies for the Kaya 13.

The symbol that represents me is the Heart for love and Wings to fly. Wings could help you fly and be happy and wings can bring you down as well to face reality.
The journaling is pretty long. Am not sure you could post it all in the blog. I wrote the story of the accident. This is the first time i have written it and i cried while doing it. The memory cannot be erased even if we are all okay now. I have created a pocket at the back of the LO to store the folded paper where my journaling is written. You could pull it from the ribbons that i have attached.

Hope you like my take on your challenge.
Happy Anniversary Kaya!

Gilbert and I were enjoying a quiet night in Mall of Asia last Sept. 14, 2006. We dined in Kalye Juan and we just started eating our dinner when I got a call from my sister who was traveling with my dad to Manila. Mom arrived a day earlier because Dad had to pick-up Achi Raki in Abra. Achi Raki was frantic, screaming telling me that they had an accident and something exploded in front of them. There were 4 cars involved. It was horrible. Honestly, I was waiting for her punch line. She is known to drop jokes at anytime of the day. I was waiting for her to say that they have safely arrived in Manila. She continued screaming. She couldn’t be understood. She was saying “my foot, dad, his back, his spine, pick us up, we are in NLEX. Dad looks bad, the driver is okay. Hurry!” I couldn’t fathom it.

I called her up again and she was more understandable now. They had a car accident. Something exploded in front of them. The van turned to the other lane and fell on a ditch. Dad was bad. The rescue was there and they are taking dad to Angeles Hospital. She is going with Dad; the driver will have to stay in the Van. Dad had millions in the bag. We have to look for the check, her bag it has money. It has to be found. Are we near? How can you tell a hysterical sister that you are on the other side of the map and it will take time before we could be there? I just told her that we’ll have them picked-up and that we will be there. When it comes to family matter, I could say I was the strongest. As a child, I have seen so many painful things in my family. Some I have witnessed it. This was probably the reason why God chose me to get that phone call from my sister.

Hubby and I had to leave with the unfinished dinner. The valet parking took so long to retrieve our car. It gave me time to contact my other sister and drop the news to her. I told her that we were on our way. She has to call our brother since they are nearer to NLEX. Achi Mari has to stay with mom. Delay telling mom the news. I was beginning to be so afraid and yet there is a strong power in me that said that I could not stay afraid. I had to face it as I was facing the greatest battle in the office. I had to stay strong for the family. We drove home to Sta Mesa. I called my yaya to prepare the kids and that they were going in Grandma’s house. I had to make sure that Mom has a company. We had so much in our hands right now. Mom has to be strong too.

Going to Angeles was a bad move for me. It would mean that we have to see the crash site. It was terrible. Anyone who has seen our Van would assume that nobody lived. I couldn’t erase it from my mind. My brother & his girlfriend were at the crash site when we arrived. We had to change places. We had to stay at the crash site to retrieve whatever we could and accompany the van to the NLEX Tow Garage. God! They were so lucky that their lives have been spared. They were going towards south and a truck tool box was in the middle of the fast lane. Dad was hit first and then 3 other cars. Dad was driving the Van while the driver took a nap. When they hit the toolbox, dad lost control of the steering wheel and they went to the other lane towards North. He couldn’t control it anymore until they fell in a deep ditch. The driver had to hold my dad from the back to stop him from being thrown out. Half of Dad’s body went out of the windshield. My sister’s foot was stuck by the car seat. It was a miracle that she was stuck because it prevented her from being thrown out. She sprained her foot. The driver had minor face bruises. Thank God nothing serious happened to him. Dad was the main casualty. He sprained his spine. There was a crack. It was bad. He was in pain. He couldn’t move. He has to be given high dose pain relievers. When I saw him at the hospital, he was mumbling. He wants mom but we can’t have mom yet unless we know what was happening. We had to bring the others home especially my sister who was on cast already. Gilbert and I had to stay with dad. We slept on the floor because the ward room was only available. I didn’t want a ward room for my dad especially that he too is a Doctor but we didn’t have a choice. There was just no room.

Morning came and dad was awake. I was alone with him. Being the doctor that he was, he knew how serious the damage was. If the sprain would lead him to be vegetable forever, he preferred to die. That’s what he told me. He even went to a point to tell me how he wanted his wake and burial to be. He asked me to let everyone who wanted to see him be welcomed in the house. He didn’t want the wake to be done in our main sala, he wanted it to be done in the Garage (which mom converted into a nice receiving area). He said that he was worried that mom’s collection might be stolen. He wanted a simple and quiet wake. He told me how he felt and he told me to take care of mom and my children. He explained to me that he doesn’t want to live if it means he has to sit on a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He would rather die.

I quietly listened to Dad and just holding his hands. Nagbibilin na si Dad. It hurts but I had to listen. That was the least thing that I could do as a daughter. When my mom arrived in the hospital, they both cried. Dad explained to her that she has to be strong because the journey will be long and hard. He wants to die but mom won’t let him. We assured Dad that we will do everything we can to make him health again. He has to be healthy again.

When Dr. Benson, dad’s friend who was the owner of the hospital where he was admitted to insisted for an MRI to see the extent of the damage, we all agreed to it. The prognosis gave us a little hope that Dad had a chance that he could recover. We had to look for a Spine Surgeon willing to take Dad as his patient. It was important that they take him. It was only Dr. Catbagan of East Avenue who took Dad as his patient. East Avenue was in the least of our list but that was the only hospital that could have him. We transferred Dad to East Ave. A spine surgery has to be done for them to install a titanium plate in his spine to protect it. The surgery took 10 hours to be finished. They nearly lost dad while he was on the table. They had to revive him. He was their Mega Patient because he was a Doctor too and has an influential connection to all including the Director of East Avenue. Mom nearly collapsed when she saw Dad in the recovery room. He looked so pitiful. We scolded mom for seeing Dad. My brother who is also a Doctor briefed us what to expect. The surgery was successful…. but not for long. When the tube that sucks extra blood from the back of dad was removed, a piece of it remained in Dad’s back. They had to re-operate again to remove it. If the tube has been infected, they had to change the titanium plates. That would mean another 100 thousand for the plates but thank God the laboratory tests proved that there was no infection.

It was walking time. He was a persistent patient. He wanted to prove that someone who had a car crash, punctured spine and undergone a spine surgery can recover and live a normal life. Two weeks after, we were packing our bags and bringing him home. It was after all a Welcome Home Papa day for all of us.

Personally, that part of my life was very trying. I could only get my strength from the love that we have for each other. We have always been a close-knit family. We shared everything. We get our strengths from each other. I never knew that I could be that strong. I cried after everything has happened and see Dad walking and playing with the kids again. It has been one year after the accident but the memory of what I have seen and experienced will forever stay with me.
Being the youngest, Dad wanted me to have a normal life. A happy life! When we moved him to East Avenue, Scrapfest 2 was the latest buzz in the scrapbooking community. My dad wanted me to attend it. He knew that it would de-stress me from what has been going on. Hubby drove me there and we stayed for only about two hours. When Dad was undergoing his first surgery, I was busying myself with a scrap page. It made me sane, strong and it made me realized that Love for the family was so strong that even in the darkest days, the love keeps us going. I am scared still of fast cars, express ways, ambulance and hospitals but there is a deep thought that I have become stronger.

Dad is now back in the Medical field living a normal life! We are all back with our normal lives but that experience has made us a better person.

[Mich, May 13, 2008]

Materials Used:

About ME:
I'm Mich Sonza, married to a very supportive husband - Gilbert; with 2 kids Dominique (4) and Benedict (2). Been scrapping since I was little but just started achival scrapbooking last 2006. Since then I have been addicted to this craft because at least now, I share it with people with the same passion that I have. I have committed myself to restore and document family events. I have disciplined myself to only scrap only when there is a dead time on my hands. Family time is still my priority. So far, everything is just so great!


Teys said...

you are one strong family Mich, and it was brave of you to share with us all the painful details. Wishing you all the best. I know your story will encourage so many.

God Bless!

Alby said...

Thanks for sharing Mich. I was crying my eyes out while reading this in the OFFICE!!! Thank God for these miracles.

Candy said...

Oh, my. Yours is a personal difficulty that no one wants to have. Am glad that you shared this with us. Am also glad that you all survived this crisis. Ingat!

the dreamer said...

Mich, thanks so very much for sharing such a personal and truly challenging experience in you and your family's life. What amazes me even more is how families like yours are such an inspiration when it comes to the true difficulties in life. You are blessed with the miracle that saved your dad, your sister and the driver. And you are also blessed with such a wonderful family. God bless you and your family.


P.S. You'll get a special RAK from me for being the first to respond to Kaya 13. =)

cosette said...

hi mich. this story is very inspiring [though super scary at the beginning!].. thank you for sharing this. one LO definitely to cherish. :)

mich sonza said...

Dear PSers,
I did not realize that many appreciated my family's story. When i read the story again, there were so many things that i want to edit but you know what, when i was writing it down, i did not have the courage to go back and read it again. Its painful and scary and it helped me also to try to move on and appreciate the life that dad and my sister have again. Miracles do happen and we are just so glad that God decided to give it to my family. Thanks again for all the support girls!

Lee i. said...

Dear Mich, thanks so much for sharing. You've proven that in every difficulty, every challenge, we can overcome as long as we are with those we love. Mircacles happen everywhere everyday so we should never lose hope. I think those are the lessons your LO will impart to your children.

Christine said...

Mich, thanks for sharing what you and your family had to go through.

Anonymous said...

God is great talaga, noh? :)

thanks for sharing this with us, mich!

Au Lim said...

oh my! what a harrowing experience. hindi ko maimagine! thank goodness everything is alright now. thanks for sharing this. it only goes to show that the sun always shines after the storm. TC!