"Secret Garden"
Stephanie Bravo-Semilla
Loyola Heights, Quezon City


“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners…”

After losing 2 babies in a space of 3 years, the first after only a day, the second after fighting bravely for a week – I was admittedly the last person you would see in Mass, let alone, pray.  It was the saddest, darkest period of my life. If I couldn’t find solace in God, what was one to do?  Everyday it was a quest to find an answer to the question ‘Why?” Why me? Why my kids? There are far worse people out there who are not fit to be parents ( or  who don’t even want to be parents ). Going to Church lost its meaning to me or if I had to go, I’d have a big frown on my face to keep from crying because of all the resentment building up inside for the past 3 years. I knew God could hear what was going on inside my head and tomorrow’s paper could headline “ LONE WOMAN DIES AFTER FREAK THUNDERBOLT INSIDE CHURCH- REDUCED TO ASHES!” 

But you can never really shut out God from your life entirely. It is impossible. I began to feel a need to reconnect to the one Thing that really knows me inside and out, warts and all.

Being a Mother herself, I started poring out my pain to Mother Mary. I felt She would best understand what it was like to lose a child. Soon, I was praying to her to intercede on my behalf to God to give us another chance at having a child. Every chance I get I would pray to her and tell her of how much I know God would listen to Her.

I wasn’t wrong.

In 2004, we found ourselves pregnant again! But there was another hurdle to overcome. We went to Hong Kong for an amniotic test to determine if the baby exhibits the same symptoms of a club foot and a clenched fist which would indicate the same genetic defect that claimed the first two.

While looking up at the giant ultrasound screen at the doctor’s office the baby suddenly, miraculously opened his left hand as if waving to us and saying hello mom and dad!

He’s alright!

The doctor was so happy for us, he called overseas to tell us formally, the good news!

That boy is now 6 years old. He’s very smart and brings us as much happiness as 3 kids would.  (We have one cheeky 6 year old and 2 angels watching over us.)

Today, if I may be so bold to say, I see myself as a walking, talking example of a miracle. Of how Mother Mary really is a Champion for anybody and everybody who has ever felt crushed by an unfair world. She really listens to a broken heart and intercedes for us without fail to help us out even after all the abuse and neglect she gets when we don’t get our way.

 She is a true Mother. If not, a best friend.

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