Looking back, I think that was the first day I ever knew love at first sight, unconditional love, pure love, a mother’s love. Unfortunately, I can’t say that it was the happiest moment of my life, because my son Jorge was born with Craniosynostosis. I found out when he was barely ten days old, and my world crumbled.
When the doctor told me the news my mind was racing with questions. And I have to admit that my selfish attitude at the time asked, “Why did this have to happen to me?” Well, why not? What made me more vulnerable to this or that disease? And finally, why did I keep thinking about myself since it wasn’t even happening to me? That was precisely the worst part, that it was my newborn son, who was innocent, defenseless, vulnerable and had so much to live for, who had this condition. That question hung in the air, along with many others. What I didn’t see, couldn’t see at the time, was that my stupid plan was worthless, and that my fate and life were destined for a different plan.
Slowly the agonizing days went by while we waited for the first 12-hour surgery, when they would open my son’s skull and take out his small bones in an effort to reconstruct him. My daily menu featured desperation, frustration, and a sense of impotence, served by the day, the hour, the minute and even the second. I looked for information in encyclopedias, books, the Internet, and on Posada television, but they were all dead ends. Each time I found medical explanations with chilling illustrations that did little to satisfy my need for information. Though in reality, it was my need to hear another mother tell me that everything was going to be fine. The nights were an eternity and the days never-ending. I lost contact with the world and with the reality of the situation.
During those 9 months, I decided to wage an internal battle with the help of my friend, solitude. I didn’t even tell my husband Jorge how I felt, and would spend the day with a rehearsed smile pretending that everything was fine. I didn’t share my feelings with relatives or friends either, since I felt I was the only one, that no one else had this disease and that therefore no one else could understand how I felt. And things went on like this, ignoring the elephant in the room, until that day—the day before the surgery.
Everyone was already sleeping and I locked myself in the bathroom so that I could shower. Once there, my tired mind and body, unable to pretend any longer, gave in, and all I could do was cry and cry and cry. And it was precisely at that moment that I realized that life was showing me what my plan was. I couldn’t allow this to remain a secret and let other mothers feel the way I had felt. It was time to grow and open my heart to all of those families that were affected by this enemy, an enemy that for many years had inflicted its harm silently and unknowingly. Now I understand why this happened to me: so that I could help others avoid this pain and show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Now I understand how much happiness you can give another mother with a simple glance, some words of support, a hug, or just a call from a stranger who’s living a parallel life and who can tell her “everything will be fine”. I don’t feel like wasting my time anymore asking “Why did this happen to me?” Now I feel that, through the Jorge Posada Foundation, there are more important things that I can do to help the children and families affected by Craniosynostosis. To me, it’s clearer than ever that the “Why?” isn’t the question that matters, but rather “What will I do to help many people be happy?”