A local mom with multiple sclerosis is leaving a love letter of sorts for her children, in the form of a new book of poetry.
"I decided to write to them because last year I felt uneasy about the future," author Oyuki Aguilar told NBC 7 San Diego. "I felt If I left this earth soon, for whatever reason, there would be many things unsaid."
She says the resulting book, "The Sport of Parenting," turned out to be a kind of "manual for a good and honorable life" for her children, six-year-old Oyuki and five-year-old Omar.
The collection of 30 poems includes topics many parents can relate to, such as "Please Don't Spit Out Your Vegetables," "Board Games," "Selective Hearing Impairment" and "The Invasion of Artwork."
"I am very proud of it, it's a petite book but very big on content," the Jamul mom said. "I guess you can say I poured my heart into it."
In the book, she explains how her MS diagnosis helps her put things in perspective.
"I constantly picture a future in my children's lives without me and that drives me to savor each moment with them," Aguilar wrote.
Nine years ago, Aguilar said her optic nerves froze, and she couldn't move her eyes, so her neurologist ordered a MRI. That's how doctors discovered spots in her brain and ultimately diagnosed her with mutiple sclerosis.
Cortisone treatments brought her sight back to normal in a couple of days. She has had to change her diet and watch her exposure to certain chemicals, as well as change other elements of her lifestyle, to try to prevent the symptoms from returning.
"MS is a tricky thing; you never know how it's going to creep up on you," Aguilar said, "For now it is under control and that is a good thing, however, it is always there in the back of your mind."
She said she wanted to tell her children how happy they had made her life and she wanted to leave them a document that they could always turn to for comfort and guidance.
"In those pages, I describe my feelings at pregnancy, birth, cuddling, diapers, first day of school, first loose tooth," she said. "I also mention the importance of cultivating certain character traits such as humility and gratitude, wisdom and courage."
Aguilar said she decided to share her poems in a book because she felt she could touch other lives, as well.
She also incorporated her children's artwork and her sister's graphic design work.
"The Sport of Parenting" is sold at various bookstores and websites, as well as at the sportofparenting.com.