Our story – update on Kalia

March 2012. I’m sitting on the children hospital chair crying… no actually, I’m sobbing. My husband’s arms are around me. He’s crying, too.

Our ENT specialist has just came and informed us that our 18-month-old daughter, Kalia, has moderate hearing loss that is progressive and eventually she will be profoundly deaf.

Some people ask, “Why me?” I’m asking “Why her? What good could possibly come of this?”  – that some people was me.

I have the experience of her life flashing before my eyes, or some possible version of her future life. It seems like many of the dreams that I have for my child just got erased.

All this time, she’s never heard a song that I’ve sung. She’s never heard a story that I’ve read. She’s never heard the words, “I love you.” All this time, she’s been living in silent and I never knew or do anything about it. I feel like a failure, what a bad mother!!

I open my eyes. I see my daughter’s face peering up from my husband’s side. She’s watching us, her parents cry. She sees they are distraught. Kalia’s face is full of concern, as if to ask, “What’s wrong?” I smile at the absurdity of the only possible answer. “Well, you can’t hear this whole time and we just found out!”

Then, as she just keep on playing with her sister, following her every steps of the way while keep on glancing at us, I saw her laughing, giggling, like nothing had happens, then I try to imagine Kalia’s perspective: a safe, happy life, surrounded by people who love her. I realize that for Kalia, nothing is wrong. Nothing has changed. Her dreams weren’t lost. She may not have even liked the dreams I had for her.

We make the choice to adopt Kalia’s perspective:

“There’s nothing wrong. It’s always been this way. Mom and Dad, it’s just time for you to learn something new.” ~Kalia

We learn American Sign Language. All four of us. We also opted for Cochlear implants in hoping for some type of technology help.

One years later, August 21, 2013. I sit in Kalia speech and pathology therapist’s office with my now three-year-old Kalia. There is some concerns on her lack of progress in therapy and we are hearing some opinion on why. “Kalia showing some sign on Autism and/or ADHD.”

The tears and mourning are the same, maybe slightly worse. I haven’t had a chance to let this whole having a deaf child settle in, now this? What is Autism, isn’t that only on boys? What is ADHD, what should we do now? Is God just really playing a cruel joke on us? Haven’t she go through enough?

I imagine after Cochlear implants, all will be well…. She will start listening,  she will progress in therapy, she will go to school, we’re all advancing on our sign language ability and all will be okay.

This new life of more evaluation and therapy and group sessions ahead of us almost seems too much. Then, I remember the gift Kalia gave us one years earlier, and I imagine the same words in a slightly different voice:

“There’s nothing wrong. It’s always been this way. Mom and Dad, it’s just time for you to learn something new.” ~Kalia

Ps. after few observations and test, Kalia does not have Autism nor ADHD. We have switch speech therapist since then.

Kalia and Mommy

Life is…

Be kinds to others for everybody is fighting some kind of battle…

Taken from Yahoo Images

 We probably heard that once or few times in our lifetime. I am no exception and not to the saying either.

This year has been interesting to say the least. It starts off very good. Everything seems to start falls into places and I’m happy.

Comes March.. late march is when we heard about Kalia hearing problem. We learned that our beautiful baby girl is hard –hearing.

At that time, I don’t ever recall hearing more devastating news in my life.

I was so overwhelm with grief and guilt – for whatever reason. It wasn’t a good time.

 April came then things are slowly getting better again, both of my parents are here! I’m so happy I get to be a child again.

I love waking up to the sound of my parents talking about stuff over their breakfast.

It’s such a fond childhood memory where I wake up to see my dad with the newspaper and his cup of coffee on the table

And my mom sitting next to him while putting on make-up commenting on the news…

It’s comforting…

 Then June came, my dad have to leaves. He needs to go back to Indonesia to tidy up some business deal.

We made plan of him returning back in the fall so I can shows him beautiful CO during the fall season    

.. and its Tyra’s birthday as well.

We have so much plan….

 Then July came.. exactly one month after I say good bye to him at the airport, I have to say good bye to him again,..

This time forever…

God decided that it’s time for my dad to come back home for good. Leaving us here grieving, wondering why…

 Now we’re in October.. how time flew…

I survive the first holiday without my dad.. another one is around the corner..

 Leaves are changing, air is crispier. I wish my dad can see how beautiful it is here now..

I started remembering the plan we made…   promises I made to him.. 

 Life is cruel…

 Many – many times I wish I go back to my childhood.. When the life is so care free.

Playing and playing and playing with my friends…

 Life is cruel..

Then I remember something… a saying from Hadist

I said to Allah, I hate life.

Allah replied, who said love life. Love me and life will be beautiful.

A stroll down memory lane…

Have you ever taken back into your past or childhood by a smell, taste, songs or picture? This past weekend, all of that happening to me.

 I just open a bottle of liquid soap that my sister got me from Indonesia. The scent just automatically take me back on the day I still living there, taking a shower at my bathroom in Indonesia.

As I was cleaning my little cabinet where I hold my little perfume collection, a bottle of Este lauder perfume – beautiful fell off and as I pick it up, I spray it little bit on my wrist. It was my mom’s perfume when I was growing up. The scent take me back in time where I spent time in her arms and how I can smells that on her ….

 And here’s the finale:

 One of my good friends told me that The Original House of Pancake has this Dutch Pancake and how I should try it out. So we did, the family went for a lunch there and I order the baby Dutch pancake. OMG, just the first bite, I almost burst into tears; it’s just like how my grandma used to made for me!! As hungry as I was that time, I couldn’t eat a whole lot because I was so overwhelmed with emotions.  I’ll definitely come back!

 I find comfort on things like that… certain songs that my parents used to sing to me can bring me tears and smile at the same time. For example, Andy Williams – Speak Softly love, have you ever listened to it? It’s beautiful love songs that my parents loves to sing together…  if you haven’t listen here.

 On a side note, one night, Kalia was so fussy and refuse to sleeps. I can’t remember what I was thinking, but I do have my dad old shirt still hanging on the closet, so I just kinda wrapped that around Kalia and just within minutes she drifted to sleeps…. That night I spray a bit of my mom’s perfume on the pillow.. and play Andy William songs till I drifted to sleeps…

My dad

My dad (Ayah) pass away unexpended on Tuesday morning June 17th, 2012. He should not have died, he just text my mom few hrs. earlier, talking about the Ramadan preparation, taking my sister to work and how he’ll promise to pick my mom up from the airport on August 5th. Everything went so fast that night it seems blurry to me. I remember getting the news around 10:30pm, family and frantically trying to get hold of anybody back home.. then finally hear the truth after talking to my crying sister. I remember the pain, so unbearable, it actually physically hurt. I remember how my mom keeps on fainted the whole night… he should not have died… there are many plans left….

Here I am writing this memorial for my dad’s memory book and it shouldn’t be that way.  My dad should not have died on Tuesday morning July 17th 2012. He was 65 years old and although he’s been complaining a minor chest pain lately, he’s fine. Then this, he died of a heart attack… leaving us here.

Losing my Father is one of the most difficult things I have gone through.  As I am writing this today, I realize how fortunate I was to have him as my Father.  There are not words to express his influence in my life. Ayah is (was) a great dad and a loving husband. He is also a wonderful grandfather. There are so many wonderful stories I could tell you, but there won’t be enough pages in this books… wonderful memories he left us with… and that memory keep him alive inside me, my mom, my sister and my two little girls, and among all people that loves him just as much. As Tyra often remind me, “grandpa will always be here with us” as he point to her chest.

I learned from him the value of education and hard work. One main lesson he gave me is that how as a woman, I should have skills, I should have a degree, a career, so I don’t depend on men and therefore no man will ever took me for granted and valued me. I am who I am today is because of my parents, because of my dad… he is no saint by any means, he’s human who made mistake and learned from them, but now I know he did the best he could with what he had. In many ways he succeeded better than most.

Family, relative and friends have said to me over and over again, how my dad was a great man, loving, kind and generous. Most of them remember how much he loves his family, how much he loves my mom and us his girls. He passionate about the world and history, he loves to play the piano or organ and sings, he loves to dance, him and my mom took samba, cha cha and salsa lesson together and enjoy it. Recently he enjoys cooking and I’m fortunate that I got to taste that! He is also very passionate about God, about Allah and never stop teaching me small little pray to get me through the day and difficult time…

He always reminds me to trust God with His plan. Remind me to achieve more and yet to stay humble, he assures me that all will be okay at the end. Now here I am, still filled with sadness, grief, and little anger. I need to remember his words, his advises, and most of us trust God that all will be okay.

There’s a saying in Indonesia rough translation is: “how a person live their life will be reflected when he die.” Hundreds have come and pay their respect, many cries with my family, some even wish is should’ve been them instead of him…  my sister told me that till this day we have not spend one cents on his funeral or memorial services. Everything has somehow been provided for us by relatives and family friends. From the cemetery plot, memorial service expenses, food expense…  all has been taking care of.. Everybody loves my dad. My Dad loved us, worked hard for many years for us, was liked by many people, and loved God.

 My dad passing was very quickly – just what he always wanted, no pain, no suffering – expect for the one he left behind. As if he knew his days were numbered, one of his last text messages to my mom was:

“Many people told me I’m unlucky for not having boys to carry my name. On the contrary, I am the luckiest father and man in the world, both our daughters grew up to be respectful daughters who took care of me and spoils me. When I was in Denver Sendie spoils me and her and Pheng never stops show me a good time. Now I’m back home, Acha did the same. Always make sure I have all I need, especially my favorite food. I’m sure both girls turn out well because of you, because of your upbringing. Thank you my love for raising our daughters’ right. I know you will be in their great hands.”

I love you daddy and I miss you so much….  Thank you for everything, for being the greatest dad a daughter can ask for, the greatest grandfather for my two little girls…  for all the wonderful memories you left us with… Until the day we meet again…

Mother knows

I’m still not ready to talk about it more in details of what happen, but I wanted to share my story because I think it is important for mother’s out there to listen to yourself and seeks for comfort and support.                             

When our daughter Kalia was born, we were thrilled to have a beautiful baby girl. All of her test at birth showed normal results, as did the second one at the age of 7 months.

Kalia had always been a very happy and communicative baby. Then, as months passed, she improved all of her skills and developing as normal and baby possibly can. Even at her 1 year checkup, her pediatricians made comments on how she actually ahead. She masters some skills that normally mastered by a 18 month old baby if not older.

But later, at about the age of 18 months, she seemed to have fallen behind her peers as far as one of her skills were concerned. People around me always assure me that she’s fine and she will master that skills later on and baby develop at different rate and how I’m being paranoid. I heard this many – many times. Even from my husband.

Despite all that, I decided to have a special test done. My pediatrician, bless her heart, support me 100%. She told me to wait until Kalia is 2 but she did say, I shouldn’t ignore my instinct. Even though my husband kinda thinks it’s a waste of time at first, he supports me as well.

We did the test last Friday – I guess because it wasn’t really a medical reason and the test was done just based on instinct; it took us almost 1 month to get an appointment with the specialist, but we finally get in. As I hold her during the test, my heart slowly sink, I just knew that she blew it.

Even though I suspect it, both my husband and I were shocked by the results, it is different to suspect something then to actually hear and confirm it. : Fortunately, the doctor was very nice and professional. She immediately informed us of what the next steps should be. She immediately forwards the results to Kalia pediatrician, to different specialist and county for moral helps and supports. She gave us the entire outlet we need on how to move forward.

It doesn’t makes it any easier, I remember sitting there and listening to the test results and look at my husband next to me who have this stern look on his face and then I glance at Kalia and Tyra who were just happily playing with all the toys at the doctor’s office, my eyes just start getting blurry and I just cry right there and then.

I started asking the why questions… what did I do wrong, what did I miss, what I could’ve done different? What is it… WHY????? Don’t play a blaming game, that’s what the doctor told me. Nothing I’ve done or my husband that causes this, she assures us. It happens….  Things happens…

Doctors told me and my husband that we should not under estimate a support group for us. While we will continue to work on Kalia and her future but it is also important for us to get some counseling and support. I thought friends will do.

While we were waiting to get the test done, I took pictures of my kids playing in the waiting room and I post it on facebook. Some of friends start calling and ask if everything is okay. Friday afternoon was a very overwhelming time for us so I don’t return phone calls until Saturday. Even then I was still mixed with anger and guilt.

After hearing of what happens, I would say most friends are very supportive and sympathetic. However there are few that shocked me more. By the way, I’m talking just a handful of people that knows about it. Some friend thought I was being a drama queen and I shouldn’t fret about it too much. Okay …. But then, some friends who was my longtime friends and I consider a very good friends actually start blaming me, her first reaction was “What the H#@#$ did you do to her? Did you clean her *** too hard that causing this?” She’s actually the only person I reach out too – beside my family. And her respond was not something I expected.

After that I just shut down. I ignore phone calls and refuse to talk. Until Tuesday, blogging friends that become facebook friends invite her friends to rant on her page. I figure none of her readers knows me anyway, I will rants….  The response was so overwhelmingly positive though…. I cry and I cry reading it over and over again….  Some even helps me relate to their situations and some just there “holding my hands”. These comes from strangers.. Literally! And yet, so far they have provided me with comfort beyond believe. I deeply touch and humble by that.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have friends here who also hold my hands an cry with me… and I’m will be forever grateful for them. But the situation between my “good” friend and “strangers”  had open my eyes that we do need another outlets than just people around us. The neutral people that will not judge us, that will listen and offers suggestions, supports from neutral perspective.

My pediatrician calls to check on ME. Not Kalia, but ME and my husbands. She’s confidence that Kalia will be in a great hands with doctors and specialist but she also want to make sure we get the helps we need in order to assist kalia. She let me cry with her and she listen. She is too in a way a stranger..  but she’s there for us.

I take comfort that Kalia will get what she needs and my husband and I will get what we need in order to helps Kalia. What happens to us is a gift, it brings everything into perspective that my children truly is a blessing to us and we will be forever grateful for them.

God trusted them in my hands and I will do whatever it takes to make sure I don’t betrayed that trust.  So far.. (so far..) if there’s any good comes from this is a realization that you should count every blessing and not burden yourself with something small. One friend calls me yesterday and thank me. She thank me for share with her my situation. She told me she can’t sleeps at night thinking what would she done if she were in my shoes. She told me I put things in more perspective for her and she thank me for it.

One thing that my pediatrician says that hits me is: “Thank God for your Mother’s instinct, we caught this early.”

So to all mother’s out there… LISTEN.. those voices that tells you when something is off… LISTEN. Who care about other’s opinion, it is you that can feel it in your heart. And use every outlet provided to you for helps.

Thank you,

Sendie

 

Happy 2012

I didn’t get a change to do my (intended) last post of 2011. My youngest one got a nasty case of ear infection just that Saturday and it’s pretty much our New Year, holding a hot fever and screaming baby. I hope that doesn’t really illustrate how our 2012 will be. She’s all better just few hours after the clock strike to 2 am new years day and we finally drifted to sleep around 3 am ish.

What I was going to say was:

2011 has come to a close. This year has seen many ups and downs. We’ve been through challenges, but we were able to get through them with the guidance of God. I wanted to say that I am very blessed, grateful and appreciative to have you in my life. Your comment, your post without you realized has helped me tremendously, I have felt your prayers and your support. I also have a great privilege on becoming a friends with some of you through facebook and you guys have enrich my life and I THANK YOU for it.

This journey  has been awesome and I am so looking forward to see what else is in store. Thank you so much for allowing me to be me and for letting me grow spiritually and mentally. I feel that I have grown a lot over this past year.

 I am super excited about 2012!!! I am going to continue to love and continue to get closer to God. This is my time to focus more on Him and of course my family and to stay on the path He has set for me. My faith will continue to guide me and I will forever Thank God for everything, including for the struggles, the storms, the messes and the tests for they make you stronger in faith and with Him.

Love and Blessing….

-sendie

Happy Mother’s day!!

 First day of winter in the US and Mother’s day in Indonesia. Yup December 22nd is Indonesian Mother’s day. I actually forgot all about it until I came home and Tyra & my husband surprise me with a “Happy Indonesian Mother’s day” wishes – yes, Tyra have to put the Indonesian word in it. 🙂

Then add to my surprise, my Mom & my Dad both sent me a very beautiful mother’s day wishes.

For my dearest daughterI

wish you patience in time of hardship, smiles when your heart is crying. Be silent when others is not. Keep on forgive, keep on loving to even those who hates, keep on giving without expecting anything back. Always be thankful for every blessing and hardship – hardship is the unknown blessing to us.

Even when I’m far away, please remember that my love and my prayers is always be with you.

I thought it was a very sweet wishes and I miss her terribly. I cry when I got it yesterday and miss her even more. I found this picture on the internet and the flower remind me of her.

So for all mother’s out there, Happy Mother’s day!!! We are so special that we can celebrate this day twice! – het at least I am! 🙂

Oh.. before I go, I want to share a picture taken this morning during our little winter storm here in Denver. I think it’s beautiful I wanted to share it with you guys.

1st day of winter 2011 storm

 

Very blessed

I have been neglected this blog! The old ages excuses, busy with things…. 🙂

Little recap of what’s been happening (if you interested hehehe 🙂 )

We went to WI to see the family for thanksgiving. We had a great time! When we’re there we also drive around in Madison looking for area we’re thinking of moving into. As the times get closer, I get so excited over the idea of moving to WI and actually look forward to.

My husband finishes his student teaching and all of his students did a little farewell party for him. The school district where he teaches is one of the challenging school district. He was in for quite a surprise when he first started. At the beginning of the program he would come home mentally exhausted of his students’ conditions and their environment. He also faces a lot of challenge with their behavior and their parent’s lack of interest on their child! At the end, all the students gave him a well sent off and he told me some event cry and wrote him the most beautifully written thank you note. He just realize that his most difficult students is actually the one that he touches the most and have a hard time saying good bye to. He told me they are the reason why he became a teacher.

Tyra & Kalia…. Oh dear, where do I start? So many activities with so many accomplishments. One of my proudest moments is when Tyra’s awarded with an honor student the “Awesome Antelope” certificate and ‘Big Cheese” few weeks later. She went to Antelope Ridge and”Awesome Antelope” is an award they gave to their students to went and accomplished above and beyond academically. In Tyra case, she excels in Math! The certificate was given to her in a little ceremony with the principal.

Tyra is awsome Antelope

 

She’s also chosen to be the Big Cheese just few weeks later. Big Cheese is a stuffed mouse animal that the class has as “pet”.  Students that have good behavior and attitude are allowed to take it home for a week and wrote a journal on their activities. Tyra is so excited when she can be the Big Cheese and took him everywhere with her. At the end of the week the class also does a book on why Tyra is chosen to be the Big Cheese. It is so cute to see what her other classmate wrote about her.

December flew by too fast for me. As a tradition we also adopt a family for the holiday, this time we get a family with three boys! I always have a hard time shopping for boys so this particular tradition is a challenging one for me. It is all good though. I also took Tyra to do the shopping and pick up the toys and the clothes and also to pick up the wrapping paper. She kinda got disappointed because we can’t wrap them; it is part of the rule for Inter-Faith organization. But overall she has a great time and understands the meaning behind us adopting the family and I hope she see the important of it. I think she does, I gave her little gift over the weekend and she told me not to spend too much money on her because Santa will give her gift and I should save my money to give to other kids. Awww…..

I can’t recall any holiday that was not special, this is no different. One main special thing for me is how Tyra started to understand the importance of giving and sharing. She’s now know how to separate her old toys and clothes which one to keep for little sissy and which one for goodwill. I’m so proud of her!

This holiday we will also do things a bit differently this time. We will have what we call all day gathering and eating! Will start off with breakfast at one friend’s house; follow with lunch at another friend’s house and then dinner at another friend’s house. I’m in charged with the dinner together with the host. Then we’ll do Secret Santa for the kids, White Elephant for the adult. It will be fun!

And the next day, I got a very special gift from my work which is two tickets to Trans Siberian Orchestra at the Pepsi Center Box seat, with dinner included! I’m excited!!

As hard as some part of the year has been for me, as challenging as it is, yesterday, I look at the house with the chimney on, the stocking is full and presents from relative for the kids, I can say that I’ve been so blessed…. Very blessed indeed.

From my house to yours, Happy holiday!!

Happy Holiday

Never from Hallmark

I have two anniversaries, September 30th and August 4th. September is when my husband propose to me and we officiate our love in a exchange ceremony in Colorado Springs, 2 years later, we did a wedding in Indonesia on August 4th.

So today mark 11 years of me and my husband together. One of the best surprises in my life is my husband. I was just got back from Australia and started a new job and somehow “meet” him through a mutual friend. How we actually met is a very interesting story and I might write about it one day. But who knew I will meet someone across the globe that I will spend the rest of my life with.

We have about little over a year having a long distance relationship and his words that drawn me more and more to him. Never fails on any special day he will write me a poem or ever just a short message. Like this one, he wrote this as a thank you for surprising him on his birthday:

Thank you for making it all come true. My dreams were only in my mind until I met you. You have turn all my wishes into something real. Every second, every hour, every day, and every year, you have remind me of what happily ever after is. Again thank you for a wonderful cerebration to remember until next year!!! Love you now and forever, Always!!!

And let me tell you, he always wrote everything himself, never from Hallmark -nothing wrong with Hallmark by the way- it just feels a little bit more special when the words truly comes from the heart.

Today on our anniversary, he posted this on my facebook wall:

After all these years, so much and so many has happen between us. We fall and out of love so many times. So many tears, so much laughter has come between us for so long. And today, I still remember the first day I met you. That first moment becomes the seeds and stairs to my new world with you and I, us and we, always together and never apart. “Love is not finding someone you can live with; it’s finding someone you cannot live without.” You’re still with me, still my clown, still my shoulder, still my last song. Without you, never will be my morning and night. Lots of thanks for every moment you have been with me and I can’t wait for tomorrow when our life when our life will continue. Until Now and Forever, Always. Happy Anniversary.

And surprise me with the flowers deliver at my work. Aww.. don’t I got a keeper here or what!

Sendie-Lou’s musing

Yesterday marked the 10th year of the 9/11 tragedy. I still remember what I was doing that day. I was off that day and after saying good bye to husband for work, I watch Golden Girls – Yes, I’m a fan of the Girls! 🙂  then my husband call told me to switch to the news. At that time it wasn’t sure of what happen yet, we know a plane crash the twin tower but not sure whether it was an accident or what.

Later on that day, the pieces started coming together and it sickens me. It was a very dark days for a lot of people including me. I was grieving for those who lost their life, I was grieving for those who left without a husband, wife, mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sisters… those who lose their family.

I also personally grieve in the name of my religion. A group of small minded people decide to do this in the name of religion, in the name of God. It angers me. I was angry for a long time and I’m still angry. To be honest for a long time I was so prejudice against people from Middle East thinking they have ruins my religion.

I have never ashamed to be a Muslim that even that day, but I was ashamed Islam connections to Middle East. I’m not sure why I took my anger out to Middle Eastern people I just do. Later on that same year when we celebrate EID, at the mosque after the prayer and the sermon that’s the first time I feel like I can let go of the anger.

All Muslim – the true Muslim – regardless of where we came from condemn this act of violence. Including Arabs and the rest of the Middle Easterner. They hate it as much as anybody with the right mind.

It hits me, I was no difference then the terrorist for having that small minded. I am no difference then bigots for being so prejudice towards Middle Easterner. I feel so ashamed. I guess I was so angry and somehow direct my angers towards Middle Easterner. I apologize for having such a small minded.

There were (and still are) so many anger towards Islam and us Muslim, there are so many hate and unanswered questions. I can honestly say I understand the feeling, I understand the anger and even the hate. However as times goes on, I also wish that people will see that 9/11 wasn’t the act of a true Muslim and bring the message of Islam. As times goes on I wish that people will and can see that even Muslim was hurt by this.

Instead of linger with anger and hate; I try to see the message behind this tragedy. It’s about life. How life is short and it can be taken anytime. As corny as this might sound, but really I am trying to live my life as humble as possible, forgive often and be grateful for everything I have.

Life really is too short, let’s makes it the best possible way, so by the time we end this chapter it will be a celebrations of life instead of memorial services.

Love always,

Sendie