TODAY, I CHOSE…

Everyone knows, at least I hope that everyone knows, that since we are “human” we are not “perfect”, right? And since we are not perfect, we hurt people, we make mistakes, and we make wrong choices and decisions – all of the aforementioned are knowingly or not; willingly or not.

What makes us a good, mature, and GODly person and one that GOD is proud of is that, sooner or later, we recognize that we have hurt someone, that we have made a mistake, that we have made a wrong choice and / or decision, that we admit it, and that we do right by it in the appropriate way according to the issue / situation.

And, of course, that we DON’T REPEAT IT!

As well, what makes us a good, mature, and GODly person and one that GOD is proud of is that, sooner or later, we GENUINELY accept that wrongdoer’s apology and move forward with that person, in whatever capacity that person is in our life, without keeping that “wrong” in the back of our mind.

Yesterday, my brother and sister took another step into their Catholic faith – that of receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. The ceremony was very nice and, although I am not Catholic, it was meaningful to me.

Today, I chose to GENUINELY forgive someone that, although did me [very] wrong once upon a time, is VERY special to me.

Today, I chose to GENUINELY believe the apologies that that person has given me.

Today, I chose to GENUINELY believe the words that that person has spoken to me “this time around” – that person’s thoughts; that person’s insight on the future; that person’s plans.

Today, I chose to stop fighting myself and tell that person that I love – H-I-M!

Today, I told my ex-boyfriend-now-boyfriend-again that I love him and that I will continue to be “there” for him, as his girlfriend, through the unfortunate “situation” that he is in. The day will come when that “situation” will be over for him… I pray for that day with all of my strength.

Today, he and I hugged and kissed each other and held each other’s hands for the first time in almost 5 months. Today, he and I cried together…

Just as there is no one that is perfect, there are no perfect situations and sometimes, there is no “right time”. MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY FIRST because, if you are not happy, you cannot make anyone happy!

Be happy with the person that you love and that loves you in return and do not allow any naysayers and / or any “situation” keep you from that.

I do not know what GOD holds for him and me, as a “couple” tomorrow and going forward from there but, what I do know is that, today, I am happy with my choices and decisions.

BE HAPPY! TODAY, tomorrow, and the next day…

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2013 – If I Could Start You All Over…

My dear readers,

After a 5-month hiatus, I am back to write the last article of this year; the year that began with a semi-smile and with a positive feeling on moving forward, achieving, growing, and prospering.

My hope was to recount my 2013, month to month, here to you but I am unable to do that at this time as I do not have the mental clarity and time to do so.

Those of you – my family/relatives, friends, and followers, know that early this year, in March, my father  – the first man that I ever loved – was taken from me and mine by Alzheimer’s disease. Many people have told me that the grieving/mourning, missing, pain “gets better“. “Gets better” has yet to knock on my door…

I grieve my father today just as I did the day that he was taken from me. It is not because I have not “released him” because I have; I did so the  morning that he ascended to Heaven. I told him to ascend, ascend, ascend, looking up all the time because he no longer belonged “here” and I wanted him where he belonged and that I knew that he would always be with me, and mine – in our hearts – and watching over us from Heaven. I just have not been emotionally able to “be stronger”, I guess.

Because of this, I now am a magnet to my mother. I cannot get enough of her. I cannot hug her enough. I cannot kiss her enough. I cannot look at her enough. I cannot absorb her enough. I cannot beg her enough, on an almost-daily basis, not to leave me. I cannot bare losing her…

Although I have many blessings to be thankful for, so many things have gone from bad > worse > extremely worse. MY HEALTH: 3 years ago today I weighed about 155 pounds. Today, I weigh 225 pounds. Yes, I have gained about 70 pounds. I have Alzheimer’s disease, a broken heart (VERY!), 3 antidepressants, stress, hormones (yes – menopause!), and other factors to thank for that. Granted, the fact that I have not exercised and I was addicted to Pepsi for a long time and eat pizza more than I should has contributed to that…

I have a series of health conditions beginning with a neck and spine that have lost their curvature making being in any one position for, sometimes, short periods of time, very painful (forget washing dishes! It is unbearable!).

I have severe inflammation of all of my joints and this causes me a lot of pain, mainly in my fingers/hands. I am being treated for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) although what I have is Mixed Connective Tissue Disease which is the hub of several diseases such as lupus, RA, and others. I have symptoms of several of those.

There are others but… I did, however, throw out the 3 antidepressants that I have been taking for 2.5 years about 1.5 month ago and have not had withdrawals or changes of any sort. I am okay there!

MY CAREER: It does not exist. After I graduated last year in April, I concentrated on my father and, to date, have not picked up my Physics book to study for the Board Exam. I have no desire to…

MY LOVE LIFE: Yet another thing that does not exist… Will I ever love, and be loved, again?

THANKSGIVING DAY: I spent it alone, at home, in bed.

CHRISTMAS EVE/DAY: I spent that entire week (last week), from Monday until Friday in the hospital and, on Christmas Day, while my family was visiting me, the Surgeon (Urulogist) came into my room and, basically, wheeled me right down to the Operating Room – no can wait! I was there because of a severe kidney infection that was caused by a stone that had housed itself in my right kidney over 3 years ago. Well, this one decided to vacate and, as it made it’s way through my ureter, it broke in a million pieces. Many of those pieces encrusted themselves into the walls of my ureter and the others scratched the walls on their way down. OUCH!

Needless to say, I had a very damaged ureter with infection here and there. So now I have a foreign object in there (a stent) and, although I am at home, went to work today, and feel a bit better, I do not feel as well as I had hoped that I would by now and still have localized pain.

As if that was not bad enough for a Christmas, I was unable to see my 2 grandsons and, what makes it worse is that I was unable to see them, my oldest one, for his 5th birthday on Christmas Day. I still have not seen them.

To boot, it was the first Christmas without my father. I was very sad, and still am, that I was unable to “be there” for my mother those 2 days and that I was unable to spend Christmas Eve and morning in the usual way – with my sister and her family.

The only Princess of my family – my niece – turned 13 the day after Christmas. This was a very special birthday for her, and for us. I was unable to share it with her that day and the next day at her party.

And yet I count my blessings because I know that, compared to many people, I am rich in blessings and these things are nothing.

What an awful year this has been. I cannot wait until it is gone forever and I pray that 2014 will come with those doors open that I was hoping for at this time last year: positive feelings for moving forward, achieving, growing, and prospering.

May GOD rain blessings in abundance to you and yours in 2014 – to all of you: near and far.

2013 - 2014

An Emergency Session

…and because I don’t know how to write in “to-the-point” format, I’ll begin this from the root of the root. It’s going to be long (but worth your time) so have a seat and make yourselves comfortable.

In August 2008, I went with my son, his girlfriend, and her mother to the imaging center where my son’s girlfriend had a sonogram to check the baby’s (my first-born grandchild) development and to find out its sex. Since the day that I found out that my son and his girlfriend were expecting a child, I wanted it to be a boy because I LOVE boys. As we were all in the [dark] examination room, facing the same way looking at the monitor, I just saw “boy” even though, at the time, I couldn’t identify the baby’s sex “part” in a sonogram.

NOTE: There was NO ONE behind me.

All of a sudden, from behind me over my right shoulder, I [clearly] heard a male voice say, “This is what I want you to do” to me. I looked over my right shoulder and then all around me and there was no one there. Immediately, my entire body became covered in goose bumps and I knew Who’s voice it was that I heard and what it meant. Then, the Ultrasound Technologist said, “See here? It’s a boy“. Three months later, I began going to school, full time in the evenings, to get my Associates in Science degree as a Diagnostic Ultrasound Technologist. A 2 year / 3 month program turned into a 3 year / 4 month one for me due to my father’s rapidly-advancing Alzheimer’s disease and my relationship with my ex-boyfriend – the love of my life… I graduated in April 2012 through the skin of my teeth. I had no desire for ANYTHING by then.

After my graduation, I didn’t open my Physics book in order to study for the Board / State Exam and, to this date, haven’t. So, I have a degree but no license so I can’t get a job as an Ultrasound Technologist – yet. The school that I attended allowed former students to practice in its labs in the evenings and on Saturday mornings / early afternoons and, sometimes, I’d take advantage of that. As well, they offered a crash review one weekend a month, or so, for the Exam. The school closed last December so I was, pretty much, in the dark. I had nowhere to practice and no help in preparing for the Exam. I gave up on ever obtaining my license and getting a job as an Ultrasound Technologist.

 (keep reading…)

Because my feet and ankles had been swelling for the past couple of months, a few weeks ago my Primary Care Physician (PCP) ordered me to have an arterial and a venous ultrasound done of my legs. I scheduled an appointment for that at the hospital that’s 5 minutes from where I work because of day / time convenience. The day before the appointment, I received a call to confirm and was told that my copayment would be $300+. I cancelled the appointment. Then, I called my health insurance provider and was told that, if I had it done at my PCP’s office, the copayment would be $50. I, then, called my PCP’s office and scheduled it. About 30 minutes later, the lady that I spoke to from my health insurance provider called me and told me that she found out that if I had it done at one of the stand-alone imaging centers that they’re affiliated with, the copayment would be $20. I called my PCP’s office, cancelled the appointment, and checked the listing of imaging centers from my health insurance provider’s website.

The first one on the list was one that’s very close to where I live but I didn’t want to go there because I’ve always seen a lot of people there and was afraid that I was going to be there a long time. All the places that I called aren’t open on Saturdays so, since I know that the one that’s close to where I live is, I called them and scheduled an appointment for the following Saturday. That day, I got there about 15 minutes prior to my scheduled appointment time and waited over an hour before I was called in. At one point, I wanted to leave but something told me to stay. When I heard my name called, I looked up and saw that it was a former Instructor of the school that I went to. She recognized me and we started chatting with each other even while she was scanning my legs.

There was a+ reason why I was there. It was to find out that

1) another [local] school bought the Ultrasound Program from the school that I went to when it closed;

2) some of my former Instructors work there;

3) former students of the school that I went to are allowed to practice in their lab;

4) she offered to help me and any former students of the school that I went to that haven’t taken / passed the Exam to study and review for it. She’s the one that would give the crash reviews at the school that I went to;

5) and she told me that I could go to that center on Saturdays to practice scanning on actual patients.

NOTE #1: She works at that center only when needed and hasn’t worked there in a long time. She was asked to come in to work early that morning…

NOTE #2: From the moment that I scheduled the appointment with that center, my feet and ankles haven’t gotten swollen… 

(keep reading…)

This happened after June 24th – the day of my first [emergency] session with Cindy Sommer of Lifeline Healing (see my tab named “Lifeline Healing” on this, my blog). That session helped me in a positive way in more ways than one and, since then, in less than one month, a number of things have gotten into place for me and others are aligned towards a positive result.

As far as my recently-acquired “career”, I feel optimistic about it even though I know that I have quite a ways to go since I think that I’ve forgotten much and haven’t scanned in a long time (if you don’t practice every day or often, you lose your technique). But I’m positive and confident that I’ll do it.

Tonight, my girlfriend and I went to the school’s lab to practice for the first time and, although we were VERY rusty, it felt good!

If GOD puts you somewhere, it’s for a reason. If He tells you to do something, do it – regardless of the trials and tribulations that you’ll encounter and be faced with. I will this time.

Thank you for reading this far. If you’ve gotten this far, it may be for a reason. If you’re faced with a situation (or more) that’s troubling you on any level, call Cindy > maybe that’s why GOD had you read this in its entirety.

WILL I KNOW WHEN YOU’RE GONE – FOREVER?

Will I be at your side when you expire?

Will I be holding your hand(s) – the ones that, as they held mine, became “clammy”…

Will I kiss your forehead, your hands, your lips – the ones that, once upon a [beautiful] time, were so gentle at kissing mine…

Will I hear a last “I love you” from you?

Will you hear a last “I love you” from me?

One’s life can change in an instant. A lady that I know has been [somewhat] dating, very nonchalantly, a gentleman that, recently had a stroke. His condition is not good. For complicated reasons, she is unable to be at his side and does not know if she will ever see him again; if she will ever hear his voice again; if she will ever receive another text message from him again. My heart breaks for her.

My heart breaks for me…

The love of my life and I have not seen each other for almost 19 months. Our time “together”, although our relationship was one with 2,727 miles between us, was brief. It has been the most special amorous relationship that I have had despite my 2 marriages. It was beautiful, fun, intense, romantic, and passionate to describe it in a few words.

Life happens. Plans change. Things change. Relationships end. Ours did…

Tomorrow marks the first year anniversary of his permanent move to another country. 2,727 miles are now approximately 4,300. He and his child’s mother are attempting to make their marriage work, again. For this reason, I wonder every day if I will ever see him again; if I will find out if anything of health concern happens to him; if I will find out if/when he passes away if he does so before I do.

Those thoughts have made my throat knot almost permanently.

I miss him.

I still love him – very, very much…

I love you, MY _ _ _ _ _!

BIRTHDAY IN HEAVEN…

JUNE 5, 2011

From a very young age, I was always behind you – intrigued at everything that you did and watching your every move. You instilled in me a passion for speed and cars and a love for boxing of the “real” pros (Muhammad Ali – our favorite!). These I preferred over dolls and everything “girlie”.

You taught me how to ride a bicycle at the age of 4. You taught me how to drive a car at the age of 11. You accepted my first boyfriend at the age of 15. You “gave me away” to my first husband at the age of 19 – never closing your doors to me. You welcomed me back home with open arms at the age of 21. You waited impatiently in the waiting room of the hospital while I was giving birth to my son – your firstborn grandson and the light of your life – at the age of 22. You reassured me that my son would never lack anything, including love and paternal guidance, as I cried when I returned home from my Divorce Hearing at the age of 23.

As far back as I remember, you were always serious, stern, and strict. To me, you were the tallest, strongest, most capable man that existed! Now, my eyes tear up to see that you are wilting away in age and incapable of much; that your memory and mind are not clear; to hear you struggle with your speech; to hear you repeat the same thing over and over; to hear you speak, and reply, incoherently; that you are not tall anymore; that you are not strong anymore; to see you struggle to walk and to see that you do not realize that you cannot walk on your own; to see that you cannot feed yourself anymore and struggle to hold a cup, on your own, to your lips; to see that, when I drive you within “your” beloved Hialeah, the city that you once knew every inch of with your eyes closed, you are clueless as to where we are; to see that you are no longer the man that you were just – yesterday…

You have been a good father to me and, most of all, an excellent grandfather as well as “father” to my son; you are a very loving great-grandfather to my grandsons, too. You are an excellent son, brother, uncle, and friend. You are THE MOST honest person I know and will – ever.

I miss the man that you were. I miss the little girl that I was. I cannot bear being helpless to “time” and the “aging process”. I cannot bear you forgetting me. So today, I thank GOD for blessing me with the gift of sharing another year of your life with you………at the age of 43 and your “82”.

FELICIDADES PAPI! QUE DIOS TE BENDIGA HOY Y SIEMPRE! TE QUIERO Y SIEMPRE TE QUERRE, MUCHO!!!

JUNE 5, 2012

Today, one year after I wrote the [note] above, all that I wrote therein stands true. Unfortunately, because of time, the aging process, and Alzheimer’s disease some things have worsened. Today, my father is incapable of much more than he was a year ago. Today, his memory and mind have declined much; his speech has gotten worse (less clear – although my mother, sister, and I understand him perfectly!); he no longer repeats himself because, most of the time, what he says is gibberish, and his replies are, usually, incoherent; he can no longer sit up, stand, nor walk; he can no longer eat through his mouth because of the high risk of aspiration pneumonia – today, he gets fed via a feeding tube that was surgically placed in through his abdominal wall and passed into his stomach; and one year ago today was the last time that he was able to be taken out for a short while (to his birthday celebration at my brother and sister’s house) on a pleasure outing; he no longer knows where he is, what day, month, year it is, and pretty much – anything…

Fortunately, he still remembers my mother, sister, close relatives, and me when he sees us and by our names although he, sometimes, calls us by the name of one of the other’s. Most of the time he lives in the past and remembers his childhood almost vividly. His mother is always there with him and he calls out to her a lot, most of the time confusing my mother with her…

He knows the staff at the nursing home where he lives, and the patient that lives in the room across the hall from his, because he sees them on a daily basis. He calls his neighbor, “Campeon”, one of his signature “pet names” for his male relatives, friends, co-workers, etc.

Today, he has a different type of “friend” that he spends a lot of his time with – they are “stuffed animals”. He loves them, hugs them, kisses them, talks to them, scolds them, unsews them, etc. He does not know the difference between real people and them…

Although much has changed for the worse since one year ago today, he is still my father; the man that he has always been; the good father, grandfather, and great-grandfather (although, sadly, he does not ever see his great-grandsons, he kisses them when I show him a picture of them and knows who they are when I remind him. He says, “Esos son los descaraditos de Nicola – Nicholas is my son.). He is still that man – “A man’s man” as my friend Steve described him recently – somewhere VERY, VERY deep inside of him, in his soul, and he will always be that man…

His 3 favorite words in the past 1.5 years are, “Dame un beso” (“Give me a kiss”).

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAPI! Tu “Nené” te quiere mucho!!!

TODAY – JUNE 5, 2013

Today, one year after I wrote the [comment] above, some of what I wrote therein stands true. Unfortunately, because of time, the aging process, and Alzheimer’s disease some things have worsened. Today, my father is no longer with me; with us.

During his last year of life, he suffered discomfort and pain due to the very deep and wide ulcers (bed sores) that he had. He had one on his sacrum and one on each hip. There was not a position that he could be in which he would not be on any one of these. His body continually became more fragile and weak. He did not have any fat nor muscle tone on him. He became positioned permanently in the fetal position and took up less than half of his twin-sized bed. Changing him (his bed sheets and his clothing) was a very difficult task for his caretakers and was very uncomfortable and painful for him. He was not only my father but my baby as well…

Fortunately, up to his passing moment, he remembered my mother, sister, close relatives, and me including our names although he would sometimes mix them/us up. He would, also, say signature words/phrases of his and would do signature faces/gestures signature of his as well. He gifted his own incoherencies with laughter for us without knowing…

His 3 favorite words in the past 2.5 years were, “Dame un beso” (“Give me a kiss”) and if I could give the world in order to give him one more kiss and/or to have him give me one, I would…

Papi, aunque no estas aqui en el mundo de los que vivimos, estas, y siempre estaras, en mi corazón. Por lo tanto, te deseo un feliz cumpleaños. Te extraño mas que las palabras pueden expresar. Siempre seguire siendo tu “Nene”! (“Even though you are not here in the living world, you are, and will always be, in my heart. Therefore, I wish you a happy birthday. I miss you more than words can express. I will continue to always be your “Nene”)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAPI!

Why Do We Sound The Way That We Do

We all have accents. It is our “syncopation”. In other words, the melody in which we speak is different than the typical American melody. I/You speak English in the same melody that I/you speak Spanish – hence “the accent”. It makes us flavorful and desireable by all.

You Can Make a Difference: You Can Forgive and You Can Let Go

MAKE A DIFFERENCE in someone’s life today. It only takes a moment of your time but could change an entire lifetime. If you encounter someone sad say something to make them smile. If you encounter someone who is giving up remind them they can get through whatever they’re going through. If you encounter a difficulty of your own smile, never give up and remember you’ll get through it because even challenges are only brief moments in time.

Yesterday and everything about it is in the past. What you learn from the past you can apply in the future but don’t dwell on it. Today is the day to focus on and only for one day. Tomorrow comes soon enough and we needn’t worry about challenges that have not or may never manifest.

Keep your head held high and remember that if God loves you — and He does — the worst will never happen to you. So long as you trust God, the Divine, your Higher Power or whatever you’d like to call it — you’ll be okay.

There are Angels everywhere. Perhaps you think of Angels as winged cherubs. Perhaps to you an Angel is someone who comes to your aid when you need it most. Some believe that Angels are both incarnate and disincarnate and though some don’t know what Angels are they believe there are Angels, anyway.

I have met Angels in my life who were people who showed up in the nick of time. I’ve seen miracles in my life and in the lives of others whether they realized a miracle was happening or not. I have been in need before and never went without. There was always someone to help me, strengthen me or comfort me when I needed it most: those are Angels, too.  I believe in Angels both the storybook kind, the biblical kind and the human kind. Some say I have been an Angel to them and if that’s what they believe that’s good, too.

Most of my work doesn’t pay a dime and that’s the work that I love to do. I love to be there for anyone who needs a friend. I love to be there for those who feel lost, lonely and sad. It makes me feel good, it completes me and makes me feel like I make a difference in this world.If ever you doubt that no one cares for you, that no one else knows your suffering or cares about your trials and what you are going through I’d like to correct you: There is always someone in your life that would miss you if you were gone. There is always someone in your life who would share your burdens with you if only you let them. There is always someone who cries for you when you cry, suffers with you when you suffer and who, in the beat of a heart, would take your place if they could.

There are Christians in the world and I use the distinction loosely. One need not be a particularly religious person to be Christian. One needs not go to church every Sunday to be a good Christian. But there are identifiers that are unlike others that indicate a person loves God and Jesus though they may not say so: a Christian person understands and demonstrates mercy, kindness, love, support and would never hurt you. A Christian person doesn’t need to have memorized the bible or any other religious text to be one. But what a Christian-type person will do is be kind to others, be merciful toward others and will be there for you — in the beat of a heart — if you need them to be.

Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask someone to pray for you. If you prefer you can ask someone to send you well-wishes and to keep you on their mind during your times of difficulty. A Christian person will do that and more. A Christian person will remember that Jesus’ teachings included to love one another.

If you’re wondering what a Christian person is not, a person who is not Christian, who does not love and respect God, will do none of the above so it should be easy to identify those without the light of Christ and/or do not have the Holy Spirit present in them.

The Spirit of Christ is a gentle spirit. The Spirit of Christ is not a combative spirit. The Spirit of Christ is not a mean, accusatory, judgmental, argumentative, cruel, selfish or jealous spirit. The Spirit of Christ IS none of the above but IS gentle, conciliatory, kind, self-controlled, appealing and appeasing, giving and understanding spirit. If these traits describe you I would say you are Christian in spirit.

What do we do when we encounter a person who does not embody these Christian traits? We are to forgive them. Does that mean we are to tolerated abuses by those who are not of a Christian spirit? No. We do not tolerate abuse of any kind. We are to, if at all possible, call the abuse out and demand it be stopped. If someone’s hurting you give them the benefit of the doubt that they do not know the hurt they are causing you but only if it leads to that person recognizing their errors and apologizes to you. Perhaps you will never be apologized to but that’s okay: your job is to forgive and also to forget. That doesn’t mean we are to allow anyone to further bring us harm. But what it does mean is that we are to remain mindful that not all persons are kind and not all persons will ever understand their errors or cruelty. God, through Jesus, did not promote anger and other negative behaviors and reactions. But God, through Jesus, did give us the ability to discern between good and bad. We are thus to remember that when a person chooses to be less than kind and if we cannot safely or sanely explain to them why they need to change that there is nothing further we need to do but we can place that person and their problems into God’s hands. No further action is required unless we want to pray for them. If we are contacted or approached by the same person who demonstrated ill-willed behavior toward us and they would like to make amends you can listen to them including, if they are a violent person, from a safe distance like email and other communications that provide safe distance from potential violence. Be very careful around violent or volatile people. Their hallmark is also obvious: they will not have the spirit of peace, they will not have the spirit of love, they will not have the spirit of patience but they will hurl painful words at you if they are given that opportunity.This writing is intended to help us understand what good is and what bad is from a Christian perspective. We were born to be happy and not born to be unhappy. Life can be mired with myriad challenges but there are plenty of challenges that we can avoid or educate ourselves how to better deal with negative types. There are some people we can never help because they either don’t recognize their negative traits or don’t wish to be helped at all. It is not your job to change someone’s thinking or behaviors unless they are your children. Adults are responsible for themselves and their behavior in the world. Even when they are born and become of age their own mother cannot change who they are: Mother can only pray for their child. In this example we can understand that we are only in control of ourselves and are not required to control or fix other people.

This writing is for you to use, copy or disseminate in any way you see fit. It would be nice if you cited the author after the writing but that’s up to you. My only wish is that this writing be shared as far and wide as possible.

Thank you and God bless you today, tomorrow and always,

Rita

Written by my own “Heaven-sent” angel and best friend, Rita Evelyn Yañez-Gremler.

Please check out her blog at: ritaevelynyanezgremler.wordpress.com

Forgiveness

Mr. Alzheimer’s ALWAYS Wins!

On Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 12:12AM, Alzheimer’s disease conquered another life to death – MY FATHER’S…

My father is gone from me, from his loved ones. My heart has NEVER ached as it does now. It is broken into a zillion pieces and each of those pieces are broken into a zillion pieces more. I feel alone. I feel numb. I have no words to express the void and devastation that I feel.

I love and miss you, Papi.

From, tu nene

Image

A Message From ME!

My dear blog family, friends, followers, readers, and YOU;

It has been almost three weeks since I last posted an article on here and I want to thank all of you that have inquired as to why I have not posted anything on here since then and about my wellbeing. I assure you that I have been, and am, well.

As far as my blog goes, when I launched it, my original plan was to write and post on here every day or, at least, every other day. That IS still my plan and I have very much missed doing so.

As all of us know, sometimes “life” happens unexpectedly and we get thrown off course. When that happens, we must accept the reason(s) why it happened and get back on the course ahead of us, even if it was not the course that we were on.

Recently, I was thrown off course in various ways that I have had to take on and handle all at the same time. I welcomed the changes and enjoyed, and am still enjoying, taking care of the steps of my new “course” – my new path.

Towards the end of 2012, I knew that 2013 was/is going to be MY year and that I was/am going to take back all the joy that was robbed from me, from the deepest of my soul, in the past. And so it has been – with GOD always ahead of me, guiding and protecting me. I am in awe about all that has transpired in me, in my life, in less than three months into 2013 and am floating in happiness!

I will continue writing and posting on here very soon; as soon as I am settled with a few things that I have going on. Please, just keep your eyes on this – my blog – and know that everything is all good.

To give you a tidbit, I have even gotten ahead, more ahead than I imagined in such a short time, on my book and even on a second one which, pretty much, just came to me…

Please visit the tab named, “Lifeline Healing” on here and seek assistance and/or guidance from Ms. Sommer if you are going through a less-than-happy moment in your life. I have not done so but my best friend has and is very satisfied and happy with how she feels and is coping after having done so.

Ms. Sommer gave me a statement – just one statement – and it has brought me some happiness back and I have walked through a few doors that were never – there. GOD is the head, the feet, and the backbone of all of this.

I will be back VERY soon.

MY LOVE TO ALL OF YOU!

The right love, at the right place, at the right time…

Sometimes, I ask GOD, “Why?”

I believe, and strongly feel, that my life has been, and is, the way that it has and is (in summary – all that I have suffered; the oceans of tears that I have cried, etc.) because of the mistakes and wrongdoings that I did in my previous lives that I have to clean up and/or fix in this one so that I can live a happily fulfilled life with a “happily ever after” ending in my next one.

So please, in your next life, do not settle for anyone until you and I meet – again; we will recognize each other through our souls. I will be “IT” for you then as I am now but under perfect conditions. Then, it will be *the right love, at the right place, at the right time* I will look and wait for you…

FAREWELL, AGAIN…

Three years ago today, on February 18, 2010, I wrote what I consider to be the most difficult piece that I have ever written. That “piece” was the eulogy of a dear friend of mine. He passed away due to a stroke on February 8, 2010; 3 days before his 42nd birthday.

His siblings granted me the honor of writing and delivering his eulogy so, on that day, I flew 2,748 miles to do so.

It was an emotional reunion of old high school friends in which I had not seen in about 15 to 20 years or more. I arrived early at the funeral home with 2 friends and sat close to the front of the room where my dear friend laid in a beautiful casket and where flower arrangements abounded. I walked over to his family, my friends, and we greeted each other warmly. Then, I took a deep breath and tried to swallow but could not do so because the knot in my throat did not allow me to. I, then, walked over to him. I had not seen him in more than 20 years but he looked as handsome as he always did. I leaned over, kissed his forehead, and told him, “I love you, Sweetie”.

As I walked back to my seat, I glanced at the room. It was quite big and more than half the room was empty. The service began shortly after which was opened by a Priest which spoke for a bit over an hour. Once he was finished, he asked if there was anyone that wanted to say a few words. I, then, got up, walked up to the podium and, as I looked up to begin my speech, I was taken aback when I saw that the entire room was filled; there was not an empty seat, and there were people standing in the back of the room and on the sides against the walls. I panicked, as I had never spoken in public, much less to a large number of people as were present, but I was there for a purpose and I carried it through.

To this day, I get choked up each time that I read this…

ADOLFO’S EULOGY

Why are we here today? We are here today to commemorate two of the greatest gifts that GOD has given each of us; the precious gifts of life and friendship. We are here to, not only say, “Goodbye” to Adolfo and pay our respects to his family, but to celebrate the memory of his presence in our lives, regardless of the role that he played and for the amount of time that he was in them.

Adolfo brought happiness to our lives, laughter to our lips, and smiles to our hearts. He was the kind of person that will most be remembered for having a genuine heart and a free spirit that was always fun to be around. He always kept the laughs and smiles coming.

As one of our mutual friends said, and as I am sure that we can agree, the most special trait about him was his smile. Regardless of what he was feeling or what he may have been going through, he always kept a smile on his face and was always happy.

There are only a handful of people who come into our lives and touch us in a dramatic fashion. Some of them are just flickers of light during a long life, while others are consistent glows for years. For me, as for most, if not all of us, he was a consistent glow.

He had a passion not only for his family and friends but, as many of you know, for music as well. I recently learned that he had over 14,000 songs downloaded onto his computer! Many beats, many rhythms, many songs will forever remind us of him.

Adolfo and I met in High School during our senior year and we became instant friends. From the beginning of our friendship, he always called me “Sweetie” (emphasizing on the “E” at the end).

He was “it” in our group of friends. He was always happy, caring, loving, willing to go out of his way for anyone, and always knew how to make everyone laugh and smile; especially when that person was down. He lifted me many times! He was “the” best friend, the life of the party, the “it” to us all! We were all sad when he left home to go to the Army and were happy upon his return.

After many years of having lost touch with him after I moved back home to Miami, we found each other about three months ago on Facebook. From the moment that we made the first contact with each other it was as if the gap of time that we had missed from each others’ lives closed and we rekindled our friendship stronger than before.

There was not three days that would go by without us calling each other – either or – and not two days that we would not send each other a text message. Somehow, it seems that, every time that I was down about something or not feeling well for whatever reason, he would know it because he would always send me a “Hi Sweetie” text message and that would lift me.

We had made plans that he was going to go to Miami this coming summer to visit. Many times, he told me how much he craved to eat fritas Cubanas and Cuban-style pizza at his favorite place over there, Rey’s Pizza. So, I promised him that I would pick him up at the airport and take him straight there. I even went as far as to create a photo album on Facebook with pictures of the menu items from there and sent it to him. For this he got a big laugh and told me his signature words, “I likeeeee”.

I was very much looking forward to seeing him again and enjoying some time with him over there. I never imagined that that would never take place and that, instead, I would be the one flying to visit him “Goodbye” much less did I ever imagine standing here, at this moment, expressing these feelings for and thoughts about him with all of you.

Indeed, this is a sad occasion. Death is the ultimate end of our biological existence but not of our spiritual one. Adolfo is in Heaven with our Heavenly Father and that is to be rejoiced in our hearts! We should all rejoice that GOD blessed us, at some point in our lives, with Adolfo’s presence in it and for the imprint that he left there.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote: “Death is the great clarifier; it shows us what is important.” All of us are in disbelief at Adolfo’s passing but, without minimizing the emptiness and sadness that each of us – individually – feels about this, let us cherish what has come out of this: Because he was an organ donor, he saved someone’s life, and also, many of us that had lost touch with each other over the years have reconnected with each other and have made a strong reconnection. Because he was “it”, I am sure that he is glad that we have all come together once more.

As we have just witnessed, life is short and can be taken from us instantly. With that said, thank GOD for yours, embrace it; make the best of it by living it to the fullest every second regardless of the adversities in it; forgive and move forward; let bygones be bygones; respect, love, and cherish everyone in your life regardless of their role in it; tell those that matter to you how you feel about them; hug and kiss your loved ones at “Goodbye” or “Good night”.

The last time that Adolfo called me was on February 3rd, after I sent him a text message informing him of the birth of my second grandson. I did not answer his call at that moment because I was overwhelmed in joy because of the birth of my grandson and because many people were calling me at the same time. How I wish that I would have answered that call…

I want to, again, thank his siblings for having honored me with this gift; the gift of delivering Adolfo’s eulogy. I began working on it a week ago and could not get past the first few lines each time that I would begin to continue working on it. I would get interrupted by someone or distracted by something and I experienced a bad case of “Writer’s Block”. On an emotional level, this has been the most difficult thing that I have ever written yet a genuine privilege.

Today is a bittersweet day for me. “Bitter” because my sole purpose for having flown here from Miami after 16 years is to personally say, “Goodbye” to him. “Sweet” because, despite the sadness that I feel because of his passing, I am blessed to be here sharing this moment with all of you, his family and friends.

To his daughter, siblings, and other family members, together we will help ease the suffering that you are going through.  He will be missed but never forgotten. He is very much alive, well, and happy in the presence of GOD and of his beloved and beautiful mother as well as in our thoughts and memories.

Adolfo, I love you. I miss you. You graced my life, and the lives of those present here today, more than you will ever know.

If tears could build a stairway and memories were a lane we’d walk right up to Heaven and bring you back again. No farewell words were spoken; no time to say goodbye. You were gone before we knew it and only GOD knows why. Our hearts still ache in sadness and secret tears still flow. What it meant to lose you no one will ever know. But now we know you want us to mourn for you no more; to remember all the happy times life still has much in store. Since you’ll never be forgotten we pledge to you today a hallowed place within our hearts is where you’ll always stay. {Anonymous}

You will always hold a special place in my heart today, tomorrow and always, SWEETIEEEEEE!!!

PRUNING

Pruning people out of your life is necessary at times in order to be happy.
Anonymous

PUT A BANDAID ON IT AND GO!

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So you had a heart-breaking break up with the love of your life. Everyone has, or will, at one point in our lives; NO ONE is exempt from that.

So because of this, you are devastated; you do not care about yourself, anyone, or anything anymore; you no longer want to exist.

You hate him (or “her”) for breaking your heart yet, because of the immense love that you have for him, you want nothing more than that all of this be a bad dream and that you would wake up and he would still be there – with you.

But, he is not…

Allow yourself to mourn. Mourn as deeply and as long as you “NEED” to but no more than that. Any deeper and longer than that is unhealthy for you as well as your loved ones that are with or close to you. You do not know how deep and long that is while you are in the [mourning] process but, when you have reached the end of your needed-mourning, you WILL know.

NO ONE knows when this is. NO ONE has the right to tell you when this should be. NO ONE has the right to interfere with your mourning process. And, much less, NO ONE has the right to criticize and/or scold you for mourning.

Everyone mourns in their own way. Some may mourn one day and be okay the next day going forward. Some may need to mourn for a year, two, or longer before they will be okay. Whatever way you mourn and for however long you do, it is okay. It is what you NEED to do in order for you to be whole again, some day.

Forgive your past. Forgive those that have broken your heart and done you wrong. Forgive yourself. Be thankful that “love” happened in your life and release your emotions, feelings, memories, and thoughts to GOD and to the Universe.

Take the bandaid off of your heart, look at the scar, smile at it, and go love once again…

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

HE MADE ME SMILE

February 03, 2013: It was nice to hear his voice again after a long time not having done so; to talk to him; to have a conversation with him that ended in the same tone or in a better one than it began.

It was nice that he listened to me. It was nice listening to him. It was nice laughing – together…

It was a very nice feeling to share a “first moment” together with him – again. The one where, for the first time, he heard both our grandson’s voices, spoke to them, and they spoke back to him. It was nice to hear his [still] somewhat-crackling voice and nervous laugh due to the excitement within him.

It was nice to hear him ask about me, twice. It was nice to hear him tell me, “Let’s see and talk to each other, via cyber face-to-face, this week.”

And, right before we hung up with each other, when he said, “Love to everyone”, at “Love”, it was nice to remember, for a split second, what it sounded like when he said “I love you” to me, once upon a time…

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

FOOD IS “YUCKY”!

…Three words that have come out of my mouth many times throughout my lifetime.

I am a “Food Neophobe” (Food Neophobia is a disorder which is fear of new food) and this is my story:

According to my parents, before I turned 5-years old, I ate almost everything that I was fed but somewhere between ages 4 and 5, I stopped liking and being able to eat just about everything. One of the most basic aspects of being a parent is feeding your child. My parents never neglected me of that and from the moment that I stopped “being able to eat”, everyday for years to come was a struggle for them. They did everything that they could and was suggested to them; anything from begging me, to bribing me, to punishing me if I did not eat. My doctor’s advice to them was for them to put food in front of me and “she’ll eat when she gets hungry.” That never happened…

When I was young, the most common meal that was served at dinnertime in my home was white rice, black beans, steak, and French fries (YUM – the French fries, that is). I remember the MANY times that my mother would cut my steak (a VERY small steak) into tiny pieces and feed a tiny piece to me. After [finally] getting me to put it in my mouth, with tears rolling down my eyes and feeling as if I wanted to gag, I would just leave it there, without chewing it. My parents, sister, and I would sit down at the table for dinner at about 8PM almost every night. Many times, at about 11PM, right before my mother went to bed, she would come to me, put her hand in front of my mouth with a napkin on it, and I would spit the [then huge] piece of steak onto it. I would then go to bed…

It hurts me when people that do not have this disorder, or are educated on it, are quick to criticize the person with it and blame the parents for “allowing you to decide what you’re going to eat and they gave in over and over again” as many ignorant people have commented about my parents.

My disorder was not caused because my parents gave in to me. It was not because they resorted to feeding me fast food most of the time. It was not because they preferred giving me treats versus healthy dinners. It was not because they were not good cooks (on the contrary, I have been told that they are excellent cooks!).

It was because of the elephant in MY room!

I always showed strong food preferences. I have always loved carbs! Bread and butter, chips, cookies, crackers, sweets, etc. would, and still make me happy. When I was young, I would take the cheese and sauce off of pizza and eat only the bread. Today, cheese pizza (with extra cheese and light on the tomato sauce) and garlic rolls are my favorite foods.

When I was very young up to when I was a teenager and would go eat somewhere with my family, I would order only French fries (no ketchup!).

When I was about 8-years old, I began liking grilled cheese sandwiches but they had to have butter on the outside of each bread slice and only [melted] cheese in the middle. To date, I love grilled cheese sandwiches!

I do not eat ANY vegetables (except for corn and it MUST be on the cob!); I like very few fruits but seldom eat them; I do not like ANY meat/seafood except for shrimp (not in red sauce!), and I can eat only a few bites of churrasco steak (well done), and of chicken breast (thin and grilled with a lot of lemon juice!); I do not like ANY mixed meals (i.e. arroz con pollo, fried rice, rice and beans, etc.); nor anything that has a liquid-like consistency (soups, beans, anything with sauces, etc.); I do not like any sandwiches except for grilled cheese; I do not like anything at fast food restaurants except for plain hamburgers from only McDonald’s! This is only a summary of the monster that I live with…

The problem is not so much that I do not “like” food; it is that I “cannot” try it. I have been seen by doctors and hypnotherapists to no avail.

Since childhood, I have been laughed at, picked on, and ridiculed because of this disorder and, as well, been labeled anything from being an extremely picky eater to “a spoiled brat that just won’t eat” (words of an ex-mother-in-law!). This continues to happen…

I have always had this disorder and have, and still do, suffer A LOT because of it. I am VERY limited in what I eat and this affects me in MANY ways – mainly socially. I have never been able to eat the foods served at home during dinner, nor at a family/friend’s house for get-togethers or holiday celebrations, nor have I been able to enjoy a meal, of any kind, at a restaurant.

During family get-togethers, many times I have been the “gofer” while the others ate. I have been the one that got anything that was needed for anyone (“I need another napkin“, “I need salt“, “I need water“, etc.). This is a given in my family…

During these times, no one asks me if I want a serving of this or that because they just know… When the get-togethers are at my sister’s house, she always has mozzarella cheese sticks and/or cheese pizza for me because she knows I eat those.

I ate shrimp for the first time when I was 23-years old and, to date, I thank GOD that I liked it because, since then, it is what saves me from embarrassment when I go to a restaurant.

This disorder has even caused me a relationship or two. When I meet a man and he asks me out on a date, I immediately panic in thinking that he might take me to a restaurant or will want to cook for me. Of course, this is obviously a typical date but I hate it! I ALWAYS ask where he is taking me and hope that he does not say that he wants to keep it a surprise. If he does, I have ALWAYS canceled the date an hour or two before…

If he tells me that he is taking me to a restaurant that I have not been to, I will call the restaurant to ask if they have any shrimp entrees. If they do not, I ALWAYS cancel the date an hour or two before, too.

After having dated a man for a few weeks or so, I begin telling him, little by little (as if to not scare him away – because it has happened) about my eating disorder. It is then up to him to leave or stay. I am immune to this so, if he goes because of this, it does not faze me.

When I was married to my [first] ex-husband, he was in the Army and wanted for us to go to Korea for a few days (since it would cost us almost nothing!). I panicked immediately. Then, I asked him, “…and what do you suppose I eat over there?” We did not go…

When my son was a baby/toddler, I would have my grandmother or mother feed him most of the time because doing so would gross me out unless if it was fruit. I still cannot look at most foods; much less at people when they are eating them.

Although I have always had this disorder and it has always been of concern to me, it began to be more of concern to me a few years ago when I visited my dying uncle at the nursing home that he was in and saw the food that was brought to him. It was the most disgusting meal that I have ever seen; it consisted of red meat, carrots, and potatoes – they were all PUREED, separately.

I, literally, began crying and became choked up imagining that, one day, that could be MY meal. At that moment, I thought that I would rather die before getting to that age than to go through that. I cannot shake the thought of that meal from my mind and I am very scared.

Because of this, about a year ago, I drew up a legal Healthcare Surrogate Designation Form and, in the “Other Requests” section, I noted that if ever I was unable to decide what I would eat, I want to be fed via an abdominal feeding tube. My family is aware of this and I trust that they will follow my wishes.

A couple of years ago, I came across an article that a lady wrote about her daughter that has the same disorder that I do. I immediately came to tears. My tears were that of sadness for my own self because of this “disorder” and, although I am NOT glad to know that there is someone else out there with it, I am relieved that I am not alone anymore as I have always felt that I am the only person in the world with this that NO ONE can begin to understand; at least, not the people in my life – past and present – except for my immediate family. I am also glad to know that there is a name, a diagnosis, for this and that there are professionals that work only with people with this. Nancy Zucker, PhD, Director of Duke Center for Eating Disorders at Duke University is one.

There are websites about this disorder and even support groups. One website that I like is www.pickyeatingadults.com. Also, www.foodneophobia.livejournal.com is very helpful and uplifting. There are actually many people – adults – out there like me > > > and worse!

So, when you come across someone that is a “picky eater”, do not criticize and/or ridicule them because, unless you have it yourself, you have no idea how much that person suffers because of having “this”.

BE NICE TO PEOPLE!

IT IS VERY HARD TO GO THROUGH LIFE WITH THIS!

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

“When you think, what language do you think in?”…

A long time ago, a woman asked me this question after I told her that I was fluent in English and Spanish and that, while I speak, I can go from one language to the other without thinking about it. I was thrown aback by this question because, within my mind, I instantly asked myself, “What language DO I think in?” Then, I replied to her, “I don’t know. I don’t think what language I’m thinking in when I’m thinking.” She seemed confused. I was even more…

My parents were born in Cuba; each at opposite ends of their island. In the Cuba of yesteryear. In a time which seems almost mythical in its perfection. My sister and I were born in the United States and, unfortunately, I have never stepped on Cuban soil – on the soil that birthed my grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.

My father is from Pinar del Rio which is located on the western end of the island; the countryside province which is popularly known for its tobacco farming – the one that I am most drawn to. My mother is from Oriente which is located on the eastern end of the island and is best known for its sugarcane and café production as well as the birthplace of “El Son” (a popular, traditional dance) which still moves in “our” blood; in “our” skin.

I am the product of two cultures. I have been labeled “Cuban-American”, and like the hyphen in this single phrase, I see the separation and feel the distinction.

For some I will always be a “minority” despite my birthplace and education but I cannot, nor will I, hide my heritage. I find open arms of welcome in my Anglo world but the blood that we share is too thin; we are the same, but not one.

Gifted to me is the history of my ancestors’ homeland. I am tied to a forbidden land and to relatives I will never know. For as far back as I have memory of my life, inside my heart I have always mourned my parents’ past; the past that I will never physically see, smell, and touch although in my heart I have always seen and felt it as I do to this day and know that I will – always. My life is here, in the now, but it has always, still does, and forever will yearn for my parents’ lost “past”.

Across the water is a nightmare, a constant bad dream to those that were born and raised there and because of their freedom’s capture, fled to this country in search of that which was taken from them and theirs: FREEDOM AND OPPORTUNITY!

I can relate to the time before “El Exilio” (the exile) and I am fascinated to hear the melancholy ramblings of the old. No matter how many times I have heard any particular story, I am always in awe when hearing it again – and again… Sometimes, this takes me to want to forget my Anglo teachings and surroundings; to be able to join my elders in their fond memories; to be able to go back in time erasing my patronizing smile and exchanging it with a sense of knowledge – the knowledge of who I am and to whom I belong. However, no matter how sincere this longing may be, I cannot, nor will I, discard my nationality.

I will always be a guest in both worlds secretly hoping that I will be able to stay in both forever.

I am [gratefully] free like the wind moving within my cultures like a palm tree – strong, upright, and proud of where I came from and where I am. Within me grows a ”sabor tropical” (island fever) – an urge to wear “un sombrero guajiro” (beachcomber-style straw hat), a “Rumbera” dress; to dance Salsa, Cha-Cha-Cha, Danzon, and Mambo; and to play “Los Bongos”, “El Guiro”, and “Las Maracas”…

I am content with my life. I am part of a new breed although I wish that I was part of “them”; of my parent’s generation.

Our speech is sprinkled with both languages switching randomly between both until we find the “perfect” word.

Our food is like none other. For breakfast we have café con leche and jelly on wheat toast. For lunch we have a Coke and a media noche, and meatloaf is inconceivable without plátanos maduros.

We are a people of much celebrating, of dance, of traditions. We celebrate both our countries’ holidays. For example: December 24th is Noche Buena, December 25th is Christmas, and January 6th is El Dia De Los Reyes Magos (Three Wisemen Day).

Though we do not belong to Cubans or Americans, we belong to each other. We are not “ellos”; we are not “them”; we just – ARE!

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

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THE BEST CLOTHING ITEM

I wear my heart on my sleeve. I always have and I always will…

EXPRESS YOURSELF

Do you care what others think about you? Do what others think about you affect you? Is what others think about you a factor when making a choice or decision about you, your life, something personal? Do you hold back from expressing yourself – your emotions, your feelings, your thoughts, and your life – in fear of what others may think about you; about it? If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes”, up to what point???

I am a very verbally expressive person (and even more so in writing, as you can tell if you have been following my blog…). Has this always been a plus? NO! Sometimes it has gotten me in trouble (mainly when I was in Junior High School!). One time I was told that I was “effervescent” because I was like the gas bubbles in Alka Seltzer that would not stop. Another time I was told that I was “like molasses” – OUCH! – because I expressed my [amorous] feelings too much (well, that was the end of THAT relationship!). Sometimes I have just talked my foot into my mouth. But, most of the time, it has been a good thing. One thing is for sure, everyone in my life, at least the ones that are, and have been, close to me know how I feel about them.

Following, is something that I wrote to someone earlier today because this person is having issues with not being as expressive as would like.

“At our age, do you care what people “think” of you? Why should you hold anything that you have inside of yourself; any of your emotions; any of your feelings; any of your thoughts because of what people might think? You were born alone. You will die alone. And in between, no one lived your life for you. You’re YOU and people have two choices: They can accept you as you are or they can choose not to. Whatever THEIR choice is, it’s exactly that: THEIRS! At our age, we know how fast time goes by and, realistically, we’re past our halfway lifespan point so why live the rest of your life holding in all of the aforementioned things? They’re part of your chemistry, your makeup – YOU!

As long as you’re respectful of others and are a decent human being in society and otherwise, BE YOU! EXPRESS YOURSELF so that when you’re old and it’ll be too late for you to do so, you won’t have any regrets! If you love someone, tell them. If you miss someone, tell them. If you feel the need to apologize to someone, do so.”

Never put it off. Do so at “the moment” because you might not get that opportunity again…

MUCH LOVE TO YOU FROM ME!

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

WHO’S JUDGING WHO?

Have you ever been judged? Wrongfully accused? Had ghost assumptions made about you? If so, how did it make you feel? How did you react? Did you badmouth the doers to others? Did you confront the “Judge”? Did you turn the opposite way and walk away? Did you cry?

As human beings, we are not perfect. We have many flaws. We make many mistakes. We do bad things to others; sometimes knowingly and sometimes not. We hurt people; sometimes intentionally and sometimes not, too.

Is anyone exempt from doing this and from having this done to? NO!

Some time ago, “I” was judged. No, it was more like I was “ripped apart” by a few of my close relatives because of an assumption that they had about me and the relationship that I was in at the time. Harsh accusations, assumptions, and words were spoken about me amongst themselves; only but one of them confronted me about it (via text messaging…). This one took her assumptions to such an extreme that she, literally, became enraged as if I had done something directly to her. She sent me back to back text messages for a few hours one day. She did not get a reply… She went as far as to accuse me of posting on a social network a picture of me and the son of the “supposedly” married man that I was being accused of being “with”. The picture was of my nephew and me…

Words like, “I can’t believe that she’d do something like this” and others with the same “accusation” were spoken of me. Some took it as far as to stop talking to me.

When I learned about this, I felt betrayed by them. I felt very sad. I cried and, with my head held high and my conscious clean, I ignored all of their “words”. I ignored the situation. I ignored them. And I went on with my life as usual.

My ex-boyfriend/love of my life and I had a beautiful relationship despite the 2,739 miles that were between his home and mine. When we first “got together”, I was aware of the (quoting him) “miserable” relationship between his son’s mother and him. I was aware that they had a child, together, as I was also aware that he had an older child that came from a previous relationship.

FAST FORWARD TWO YEARS: He and his son’s mother decided to give their relationship another try. Maybe because they still loved each other. Maybe for the sake of their child. Maybe for both. Their reasons are exactly that: THEIRS – and because I know what it is like for a child to grow up without a father (not that his child would not have had his father in his life), I stepped back, cried, told him that I wished him well, cried some more, told him that I loved him, cried even more, and said, “Goodbye” to him. Then, I cried oceans – deep, wide oceans – in tears for a very long time and I will always continue widening those oceans from deep inside my heart…

Today, I am happy that he is happy and readjusting his “life”. More so, I am very happy that his son is happy every day when he wakes up and sees his father and every night when his father tucks him in his bed.

NO ONE has the right to judge you, whether blindly or with proof. You do not owe ANYTHING to ANYONE except to be respectful of others. NO ONE has the right to speak ill words of you. NO ONE has the right to create a rumor about you. NO ONE has the right to condemn you. NO ONE has the right to rob you of any of the gifts that GOD gave you – including “happiness”, “love”, and “peace”. You, however, do not have the right either!

So, when you find out that someone has assumed something about you in any capacity and/or has spoken ill words about you, turn and walk away from them and their entire trial about you. You, AND ONLY YOU, know the truth about whatever is on their tongues and you do not EVER have to give ANYONE an explanation of ANYTHING!

The sad (or good) thing about this is that, as they are judging you, GOD is judging them…

Accept or give the olive branch…

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

I HEARD “HEART”

HIM: “Once I finish Basic Training, I want you to join me wherever I get stationed.”
ME: “As in live together? You know that I don’t believe in living together unless we’re married.”
HIM: “What do you think that I mean, of the nuts?” (he used to call me “of the nuts” because that’s my last name translated into English)
ME: “OMG!”

HIM: “I do.”

ME: “I do.”

HIM: “Don’t cry. We’ll be together soon.”

ME: “I love you! I’m going to miss you.”

HIM: “You should receive your orders in a couple of days. Your flight is on October 2nd”.

ME: “OMG! I can’t wait! I miss you so much!”

HIM: “Welcome to Hawaii” (while putting a lei around my neck)

BOTH: XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

HIM: “I like this apartment. Do you?”

ME: “YES!”

HIM: “I have bad news for you. I have to go to Korea for a few weeks.”

ME: “OH NO! What am I going to do here all that time by myself?”
HIM: “You can go back to the mainland to be with your family until I get back.”

ME: “No. I’ll wait for you here.”

< clonk clonk clonk > went the sound of his steps [with his Army boots] from the elevator as he walked towards our apartment > > > I opened the door > > > BAM! I slammed onto him and did not let go for a long time > > >

ME: “Welcome home, Babe!”

HIM: “Ahhh, it’s so nice to be home.”

HIM: “This isn’t working. I think that we should separate and you go back to the mainland.”

ME: “This isn’t working because YOU don’t want it to work!”

HIM: “Now that we signed the separation papers, your orders to go back to the mainland should be ready in a few days.”

MAGIC…

ME: “I arrived a little while ago.”

HIM: “Okay. I’ll call you soon.”

ME: “I just took a home pregnancy test and I’m pregnant!”

HIM: “Lourdes, you’ve made me the happiest man in the world!”

VIA FACEBOOK PRIVATE MESSAGING

HIM: “Lourdes, I know that this might be a shock to you hearing from me after 18+ years…”

ME: “I’m happy to hear from you.”

VIA EMAIL

HIM: “We can’t communicate with each other without arguing.”

ME: “It’s apparent that we still bring out the worst in each other.”

HIM: “We’re so different we can’t seem to agree on most issues. I simply don’t know you as you are now. If you let me I would like to try…”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Although I did not reply to him, that last sentence (“If you let me I would like to try…”) stuck to the forefront of my mind from the moment that I read it because, when I did, I not only “read” it – I “heard” it. I have not “heard” any of his words to me since we reconnected on Facebook a few years ago. Perhaps what I did not hear all that time was “heart”. I heard “heart” in that sentence…

I do not hate, nor have hated anyone however, if I have to choose one person that I have disliked-borderline-hated it is “HIM” – my [first] ex-husband and biological father of my son. Why? Because of the “mistakes” that he has made that have directly affected my son as well as me. When we reconnected on Facebook, I told myself, and him, that I forgave him but today, I realized that I had not; at least not completely and from the deepest of my heart and soul.

Today, we communicated with each other via email, again, and I “heard” something in his writing that I had not heard before. Today, I heard “heart” and, not only did I “hear” it, somehow inexplicable to me, I “felt” it, too. Then I replied: “I just felt something that I thought I’d never feel again if it regarded you – a knot in my throat…”

It is not okay for anyone to make you feel anything but happy and, after the MANY experiences that I have had with that, I now advise everyone to walk away if that is the case in their relationship with anyone, on any level (i.e. significant other, sibling, uncle, aunt, cousin, friend, co-worker, and even your best friend!) because life is too short and everyone deserves to be as happy as they can be – all the time and with everyone. However, no one can be completely, genuinely happy if there is any bit of “unforgiveness” (HMMM… I just made up that word and I like it!) in their heart.

So, live to make yourself as happy as you can. Live to make everyone in your life as happy as you can make them. Forgive. Repent. And if you have to start anew, do so; second chances are sometimes worthwhile even if it is not with the same feelings and/or intentions.

TURN THE VOLUME UP!!!

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

AS YOU GROW UP…

As you grow up, you learn that even the one person that was not supposed to ever let you down probably will.

You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it is harder every time.

You will break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken.

You will fight with your best friend.

You will blame a new love for things an old one did.

You will cry because time is passing too fast, and you will eventually lose someone you love.

So take too many pictures,

laugh too much,

and love like you have never been hurt

because every sixty seconds you spend upset

is a minute of happiness

you will never get back.

Do not be afraid that your life will end,

be afraid that it will never begin.

Anonymous

TESTIMONY OF A CAT

Have you heard the saying that every cat has nine lives? What does that mean, exactly? Do you believe that?

As some of you know, my father was diagnosed with [rapidly-advancing] Alzheimer’s disease in October 2010 and in December 2010, only two and a half months later; my mother, sister, and I had to hospitalize him. He never returned to our home and has been living in a nursing home ever since.

Since then, he has been in and out of the hospital MANY times, mostly because his “busy” hands have grabbed a hold of his Foley catheter or his abdominal peg and have pulled it/them out – just like that! The few other times that he has been in the hospital have been because of health conditions, some more serious than others. Some of those times, we have thought that he would not make it through and, just like that, he pulled out another life and came back to us, out of the hospital, and back to his “home”.

He was hospitalized last Monday and is still in the Intensive Care Unit. He is being treated with aggressive antibiotics and medications but this time, even his doctor does not have hope of him making it through. My sister and I, individually, had our own private time with him this time around and ended by releasing him. I am sure that my mother has done the same.

Sadly, no change for the better…

My father loves my mother, my sister, my nephew, my niece, and my grandsons VERY much but there is one person in our immediate family that he simply – adores. That person is my son; his firstborn grandson and, really, his “son”, too.

My son has never been affectionate, at least not since he was 6 years old. He does not like any “mushiness”, or physical affection. He is black and white – to the point and, if he does not like someone, more than likely, he never will and he will make it known to that person by his lack of attention towards them. To him, they simply will not exist. I have always struggled with this but have accepted that this is the way that he is and, whether it is right or wrong in any person’s individual opinion, it just “is”.

Since my father was hospitalized, my son has seldom visited him because, in his words, he “just can’t see my grandfather that way”. For a long time, I struggled with this, too and argued with him many times, each time telling him that he was selfish in thinking about how he felt instead of giving his grandfather – his only father – the satisfaction of seeing him.

Not long ago, I saw that he has a picture of his grandfather and him, which was taken the day of his 10th birthday, on the nightstand next to his bed and he told me that, of everyone in his life, the person that he loves most is his grandfather and that is why he just cannot see him in the [physically deteriorated] condition that he is in. I now understand him.

Since my father has been in the hospital, I have gone to visit him every day when I get out of work but yesterday I did not because my sister had spent the morning/afternoon with him so I wanted to just go home to rest. I was lying on my bed, watching television, and almost falling asleep when my son sent me a text message telling me that he was going to go see his grandfather. FAST FORWARD: I went with him.

When he saw my father, he broke down, from the heart. I gave him time alone with him and when he was done, he called me in. As I walked in, the automatic blood pressure machine went off and read my father’s blood pressure (which is one of the main reasons why he is in the hospital – because it is TOO low and the medication has not stabilized it). The result was that the high blood pressure reading was a lot higher than it was at the last reading and his heart rate was much faster. Clearly, he was excited that my son was there and his vitals showed us.

It was hard saying, “Goodbye” to my father when we left – because he is so weak and, well…

The report about him that I got from his nurse at 6AM today was that he slept calmly all night without fever and his vital signs were okay, including his blood pressure. At about 12PM, my sister informed me that the report that she was given about him at that time was that he was better, had not had fever, and his vital signs were better. At 5PM, my sister gave me another report. This one was unbelievable! He was continuing to improve and, because his blood pressure was stabilized, he was taken off the medication for it and his doctor said that if he continues this way, he will be moved to a regular room tomorrow.

I went to see him at about 6PM and lying on his bed was another man than the one that was there twenty-four hours prior. He spoke a few words to me, in his mumbled language, and gave me two kisses! This is definitely an improvement!

The reason why I have shared this with you with the details that I have is to give you as clear/vivid a picture as I can that the power of GOD and LOVE CAN move ANY mountain and CAN heal ANY sickness. My son’s presence around my father yesterday recharged his life and, like his doctor always says, my father has nine lives and when he runs out of those, he will find more.

Believe in GOD. Believe in the power of prayer. Believe in the power of faith. Believe in the power of hope. Believe in the power of love…

DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE MILK IN THE BOWL! MEOW!!!

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

GO. IT’S OKAY…

“Papi, (“Dad”), you know that I love you very much and I know that you love me very much as well. Thank you for being a good father. Thank you for being a good grandfather to my son, to my nephew, to my niece, and to my two grandsons. Most of all, thank you for being the best father AND grandfather to my son. I love you very, very, very much! I don’t want you to suffer any more so, if you want and are ready to go rest, do so and don’t worry about any of us; I’ll be okay. Everyone will be okay. I promise you that I’ll take good care of Mom the rest of her life. She’ll be okay. Go peacefully to your mother. I’ll love you forever…”

I NEVER imagined that I would ever say those words to my father. Much less, I NEVER imagined that the moment would come that I would. Unfortunately, that moment came – last night.

“That moment” came for my sister – today. “That moment” came for my son, the apple of my father’s eyes, tonight and it was one of the hardest moments that I have had; watching my son cry like a lost baby at the foot of my father’s bed.

My father has nine+ lives and he has hung on to each of them, and is hanging on to this one, with all of his might. Only GOD and he know if he is “ready to go” but, in case he needed/wanted confirmation from each of us that we are okay with his departure from our earthly lives, we gave it to him – each of us with our own words, in our own way, but with the same message. In the meantime, we will continue to love him and absorb every “moment” that GOD gifts us with him.

Life is very short. Love is very precious. Do not waste either of them because, once they are gone, they are exactly that: GONE…

Absorb your every “moment”.

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

ROAR LIKE A LIONESS!

I “AM” my father’s voice! I love him and demonstrate it to him as much as I can, every day, even if I do not see him on any given day. I do so by constantly having him, his care, and well being on the forefront of my mind at all times and working together with my mother, sister, and his caregivers of every level to ensure that; to ensure that he is not in any discomfort and/or pain. This is a hard job but one that I do so with my heart.

Up until December 2010, before my father was diagnosed with [rapidly-advancing] Alzheimer’s disease and my mother, sister, and I had to hospitalize him – in which he never returned “home” and has lived in a nursing home since – I never imagined being my parent’s “parent”. Since then, I love both of my parents more, if that is possible, than I did before. Why? Because during this time, I have gone as far back to when I begin having memories of my life (I can remember as far back to when I was 4 years old) and have remembered and thought deeply about my life and the role that my parents played in it and have seen things differently; with different eyes; from a different angle and I am so grateful to them for bringing me into this world and giving me the life that they gave me but most of all, for the example that they gave me and the morals and values that they instilled in me.

Today, at the age of 44, I am a daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and parent to my father (and mother is slowly following…) and I wear those hats with honor because I grew up in a home where my parents wore all of those hats and did so with grace. I am proud to be my parent’s daughter. I am proud to be my parent’s parent.

I have seven cubs that I will love, care for, and protect with my life. They are: my son, my two grandsons, my nephew, my niece, my father, and my mother. I will be their voice and I will be their rock and if ANYONE messes with them so help them! Just ask my son’s fifth grade teacher – – – well, let’s leave that story for another day…

Last year, during one of the many times that my father was in the hospital, he had a CT Scan done. I went to the Radiology Department with him to comfort him so that he would feel “safe”, as he feels when my mother, sister, and I are with him. Because I was not allowed in the exam room, I stood outside the door. While the Technician was trying to get him settled in place and whatever else she did, he yelled and yelled. This is a norm for him and he is not aware that he does it. He cannot communicate with others – only we and the regular staff of caregivers that care for him at the nursing home where he lives, understand him.

Well, the Technician yelled back at him, scolded him, and told him to shut up. I became so enraged that I banged on the door for the entire time that he was in there getting scanned. I did not hear her voice anymore – not even when he yelled again when she and her assistant were putting him back on his bed. When she opened the door, let’s just say that I had her for lunch – AND I WAS HUNGRY! I reported her immediately and, the next day, I received a telephone call from the Director of the Radiology Department apologizing, etc.

Today, my father was taken to the hospital, again. A CT Scan was ordered and guess who was the ONLY Technician working – – – you guessed right! It was the same Technician! As I was walking into the Department walking by my father’s bed talking to her assistant, she approached us and, obviously not recognizing me, told me in a rude tone, “You can’t come in”. I felt my blood begin to boil so, I snapped and told her (verbatim), “I’m coming in. I’d like to see you stop me. Oh, and by the way, I’m going to stand right outside the door, as I did last time, and I’m breaking it down if you even blink the wrong way to my father!” I guess she remembered me then because she walked away so fast that I could see smoke coming from underneath her shoes!

Be your parent’s “voice”, fight and stand up for their rights, as my sister and I do for our father (and mother). They are our children now.

I am off to my den now. It has been a very long day and an even longer night.

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

“In the jungle the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight…”

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CATCH IT! YES, THAT! THE “MOMENT”

Do not let “the moment” pass you by to verbally express your feelings towards another person to them; to tell them how you feel; to tell them “I love you”; to live out your “what if’s” so that you will not regret not having done so and wonder the rest of your life.

Do not let “the moment” pass you by to make a bucket list and ensure that on your dying day, all the things that you listed have been checked off.

Do not let “the moment” pass you by to take a step towards achieving your dreams and claim your heart’s desires.

In reminiscing about my past, which I have always done much of but have recently decided to turn doing so into something productive that I love – THIS! – I have remembered some instances when I did not let “the moment” go by. There are many as I am a very affectionate and verbally expressive person but two instances have pushed their way through all the others and are at the forefront of my mind so I will share those with you now.

One day in early February 1987, I woke up very sick. I had a fever that seemed to not go away, my throat hurt, I had a stuffy head and nose, my eyes and nose were runny, I had the shivers and, because of the fever that I had and because of the many times that I threw up, I was so weak that I could barely walk (yes, I remember ALL of those details!). That day, I had my heart set on going to the airport to send off someone of much importance to me, at the time. But, because of how sick I was, it seemed that would not be possible and I especially was not able to drive in the condition that I was in. All the while I laid on my bed, the thought of “what if I don’t go to the airport” haunted me. I am sure that I prayed to GOD for Him to make it possible because, when it was almost too late to go because I would miss that person, my father came in my room and told my friend that was in the room with me, caring for me, to get me up and dressed and in the car within five minutes.

The next thing that I remember was my father pulling up to the curb at the airport and my friend quickly helping me out of the car, sitting me on a wheelchair, and [literally] running with me through the airport to the departure gate. Luckily, I made it there within a few minutes before the passengers began to board the plane. (Thank GOD that my father drove fast, as usual.)

My [then] boyfriend then boarded the plane and I would not see him for the next three months because he was headed to Boot Camp. Saying, “Goodbye” to him was a very emotionally hard thing for me to do but I was glad, and relieved, that despite how I felt, I was able to see him off and give him a hug and kiss to last him until he returned home.

FAST FORWARD 24 YEARS: In February 2011, I had the opportunity to live out one of my biggest dreams – to kiss the man of my dreams on a gondola while going under one of the bridges on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. (Okay, so it was not in the actual Venice, Italy; it was on the gondola ride in The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada but, to me, it was one in the same!) The man of my dreams/love of my life, and I did not make it to “happily ever after” and I am okay with that. What is meaningful to me now is that “WE” happened as well as the memories that I have of “US”. I have MANY beautiful memories that include him. In fact, the ENTIRE time that we were together sums up into ONE GREAT BIG HAPPY MEMORY that makes me smile. We danced in candlelight – sometimes to music and sometimes to just the sound of that “moment”. We held hands. We hugged each other. We kissed each other. Most of all, we ALWAYS laughed with each other – we laughed MUCH and those are the memories of moments of my heart’s desires being real.

Cherish and value what and the people that you have in your life. Speak to them from your heart even if you fear not being reciprocated because, if you do not do it, you will lose that “moment” – forever…

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

FEELING BLUE? TAKE A DOSE OF…

CHILDREN!!!

Have you ever noticed that, at some point that you have “been blue” (any shades of…) and a child came to or was around you, your shade of blue got lighter (unless if the child was misbehaving in some way – UGH!)? I am sure that everyone has. It is inevitable because children have that POWER.

My most recent experience with that was the year 2012 – ALL OF IT! Emotionally, amongst other ways, that year was not a good one for me. The depression treatment that I was on helped me immensely yet I was barely able to cope and deal with everything that involved me in any way; any part of “me”, and I released a lot in oceans of tears almost all the time that I was alone: at home, in my car, etc.

Throughout the year, I attempted getting weaned off of the treatment but was not successful so I gave up that thought and accepted that it was best for me to continue on it for some time or even, for the rest of my life.

I quickly noticed that every time that I was around my grandsons, nephew, and/or niece, I felt better. Of course, I always knew this but I had not “looked” at it, per say. As the year moved forward, I realized that all I needed when I felt blue was to be around them or simply to hear their voice(s) over the phone.

I call my grandsons my “oxygen bubbles” because they are exactly that to me! I feel as if I cannot breathe, as if the world is closing in, if I do not see them every other or third day. When I see and/or hear my nephew and/or niece, my day brightens immediately, even if it is nighttime.

Children are so many things and have so many roles within their little bodies and short-lived lives. They are our children first and foremost. They are our angels. They are our friends. They are our confidants (unless if they have a nosey grandparent that bribes them to share Daddy’s or Mommy’s secrets). They are our companions. They are our teachers. They are our healers.

Sometimes, a child – whether personally known or not – will make a difference in our lives; will be the base of choices, decisions, and acceptance – somehow…

Thank GOD for the gift of the children that are in your life be it a child of your own, a nephew, a niece, a student, a friend’s child, etc. They are a blessing to you directly or not. They might also be an angel in disguise… Now, if you are feeling green or red, please, give the child a head start in running AWAY from you!

HAPPY COLORING AND CALL ME IN THE MORNING!

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LET’S TALK CHICKEN

Do you remember the first time that you cooked chicken? I do and to this day, when I remember that day, I laugh within myself.

My [first] ex-husband and I were 19-years old and newlyweds. We had moved into our first place together less than one month prior and I wanted to cook my first full blown, real dinner for him besides hot dogs and spaghetti. I wanted him to fall in love with me more than he was [at the time], after having eaten that dinner. So, I set our places in our kitchen/living room counter (we ate there because we did not have a dining room table or practically any furniture at all – but I was HAPPY to be with “my love”…), put white rice to cook, and then I got a pack of chicken drumsticks (defrosted, of course!), put them in boiling water for about five minutes (because my mother told me to do so in order to “kill the germs”), seasoned them – somehow – and put them in the hot oil in the frying pan.

PAUSE: I cannot remember if I cooked/served anything else other than white rice and chicken. HMMM…

BACK TO THE CHICKEN: During this time, he was seated on a twin-sized bed that we used as a couch (NO SHEETS! We did not have any of those for that bed, either!) in the living room watching something on television. All of a sudden, I remembered that my parents always put white cooking wine in the frying pan when they cooked chicken so, since we did not have any, I grabbed from inside the refrigerator a bottle of something that I will mention in a couple of sentences, and poured away – into the frying pan!

fizzle! fizZEL! FIZZLE! KABAAM!

The oil splatted EVERYWHERE and POOF – – – FLAMES!!!

As soon as he heard the splattering of oil, he ran into the kitchen, grabbed a towel and, as he put the flames out with the towel, in a scolding tone, asked me, “What did you put in there?” By this time, I was crying and replied, “CHAMPAGNE”.

YEAP! I put bubbly, cheap, cold champagne in HOT OIL!!!

Then, scolding me, asked “Are you stupid or what?” And I replied, “I just wanted to make you a delicious dinner” and walked away. A few minutes later, he hugged me and said, “It’s okay. It’s the thought that counts. It was kinda cute.”

I cannot remember anything else about that night except the VERY greasy-all-over kitchen but it was hot dogs and lots of spaghetti after that for the next two years…

Why did I remember this? Because earlier tonight, I was at my son’s and his family’s place and his girlfriend had just finished making a very cheesy, delicious-looking lasagna for him (pictured below) simply because he told her that he wanted to eat that. She did not have to make that for him; she did not have to make anything for him – but she did because she loves him, as I loved my ex-husband (VERY much, I may add), and she wanted to do something nice for him, as I did for my ex-husband with the chicken-gone-wrong!

When you love someone, you try to make your loved one happy, even more so when it is reciprocated. You find happiness in the smallest things such as an “It’s okay” hug or a “Thank you. It was delicious (even if it was not). You live happily with almost nothing and/or in a crowded, small “home”.

If you live with your beloved, make wherever you live, regardless of the comfort/luxuries or lack thereof, a “home”. You do this by loving each other and making each other – happy…

ENJOY YOUR CHICKEN!

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

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SWEET AND SOUR

Have you ever smiled at the sound of someone’s voice? Someone that is not a family member, relative, significant other, friend, acquaintance, etc.? Someone that you, actually, just met and/or barely know and does not have a “role” in your life yet, the genuine “niceness” of that person makes you – smile?

Every day, we come across, and sometimes in contact with, people of all walks of life. Some people are sour and they dampen our mood just by being themselves – without doing anything; without speaking; without even looking at us. They just do! The flip side is that some people brighten our darkness, also just by being themselves – without doing anything; without speaking; without even looking at us. They just do, too!

Recently, I met a gentleman in the car service industry. Without knowing me besides a brief word or two a few months ago, he has helped me beyond my expectations, if I even had any. The times that he has called me in the past few weeks to ask and/or tell me something about my car, I have smiled just by hearing his “Hello”. Today, I had the opportunity to have a [non-car related] conversation with him and, as we were talking, I felt a sense of “I’d like to be friends with you for the rest of our lives”. I am thankful to GOD for having put him on my path and in this world because he makes it a better place for others, I am sure. He has for me…

Take a minute, or two, to think about the people that you have come across throughout your life – the ones that have dampened your mood and the ones that have brightened your day without doing anything at all. Then, discard the sour ones and just smile because the other ones simply – – – were.

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)

WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

JANUARY 01, 2013: Today, I take my first leap into doing what I love most to do – writing from my heart. For many years, my sister and many people that know that “writing” is my passion and/or have read some of what I have written, have tried to encourage me to “write” for the public. My reply to all of them was, “I plan to do so – someday”.

S – O – M – E – D – A – Y          I – S          T – O – D – A – Y

 …and I want to thank my sister, my dear friend/counselor/guide/kindred spirit/mentor: Rita, and everyone else that has cheered me on for having done so. Yes, I can easily turn the reply to “Hello. How are you?” into a 10-page document!

In the past year (2012), I heard many sounds but I “listened” to only three: My thoughts. My heart. And silence. I heard the sound of running from myself. I heard the sound of extreme depression. I heard the sound of my broken heart. I heard the sound of not having another choice to do “something” that I did not want to do. I heard the sound of hurting someone. I heard the sound of relief. I heard the sound of not caring anymore. I heard the sound of giving up. I heard the sound of my feet dragging. I heard the sound of falling – again. I heard the sound of distance despite nearness. I heard the sound of fear to lose my father to “death”. I heard the sound of losing my mother to the possibility of her being [somewhat] physically handicap. I heard the sound of helplessness. I heard the sound of continued loneliness. I heard the sound that a tear makes.

I, also, heard the sound of achievement. I heard the sound of surrender. I heard the sound of acceptance. I heard the sound of getting up. I heard the sound of peace within myself. I heard the sound of being genuinely happy for someone, despite the way that someone is “being” happy. I heard the sound of realizing that life is worth living. I heard the sound of the hearts of those that my life IS worth living for. I heard the sound of hope. I heard the sound of walking back towards – myself…

I spent New Year’s Eve 2011 at home, alone, and asleep because I did not want to be awake when that year ended and 2012 began. That was the first time that I spent a New Year’s Eve that way and I will never do that again if I can help it. Last night, New Year’s Eve 2012, I spent it as I always have – with my family. Happiness abounded despite the embedded sadness in my heart and that of mine. And this is what I pray to GOD that this year, 2013, will be about: HAPPINESS!

I am excited about this year. I am excited about, and have high hopes for this – my blog; to share myself, my thoughts, my desires, my past, my present, my [hopeful] future, and my motivations with you! With that said, I hope that you will follow me on here on a daily basis and feel free to post any comments and/or questions that you have for me. Your insights may be of help to someone, including me.

HAVE A WONDERFUL 2013!

(I appreciate your comments/questions/thoughts about this article)