Gratitud: A Healing Power

Every now and then at noon I would enter his office with a,

“I didn’t bring lunch money today.”

Usually he was on the phone or doing something and his secretary was off during noon, so basically I would just stroll in to his office.


As he handed me a five dollar bill  (five bucks was the allotted amount each time), but I took them and let myself out and tried to grab a sandwich and go back to my job as a legal secretary in a nearby office.

Never ever did he question or ask me why. He just provided and kept on doing whatever it was he was doing.

I’m talking about my father in law, who was much more a father figure than in- law.

Not only did he provide my lunch money every once in a while, but also he bought our house, and many other things along my life. In other words, he went from small to big and everything in between.

He improved my life in every imaginable way.  He was our handy-man, he took my oldest child to school for her first three school years, our wing man in every financial decision we made, he was a major contributor in each project (he would always offer to split the bill on every major repair our home went through), he pulled us through as my husband waited for a liver transplant eighteen years ago, and in so many many many other things I fail to list here.

A time ago, a cousin told me that people who were gifted things didn’t appreciate them.  That they needed to work hard for them in order to really appreciate them.

I differ because I was given many things by this great guy and I appreciate them every day of my life.

Many years have passed since he became an important part of my life and today I lost him to cancer.  Facing this terrible disease hasn’t been easy for him or us as a family.  During these times I tried to give something back to him, but still I feel that I could have done much more.  Nothing I did seemed enough.  I wanted to shout “thank you” with every thing I did for him or my mother in law.

I’m happy in a sense because he didn’t enter that scary last stage of the disease where the only thing people talk about is the staggering pain their family members experience.

As the hospice nurse told me with a sympathetic voice,

“Nothing really alleviates the pain, it’s too much.”

He left before any of that happened.

Today as I said my goodbyes I felt overwhelmed with memories and with a bit of regret.  Wanting to do more…wanting to take back some things I said or did since that Christmas Eve in 1983 when my today husband took me to his home and I experienced for the first time how a family should celebrate Christmas.

When everything was said and done,  I only could quietly whisper,

“Thank you for everything Dad. I couldn’t have wished for a better father.”



Another Day in Paradise

Another Day in Paradise
photo credit: Stephanie Quintana – Spain 2012

The day we can walk the streets without finding someone who doesn’t have a home to go to will be a blessing. Have you ever thought about how people who not only walk the streets but live on them have seemed to lose their identity?

After a while they become part of a whole, a blur, no longer can we see their faces,but only the fact that they are homeless.  They become “those people”, it’s like they are lepers.  I can only imagine how people passed by them are not even looked.  I would say that’s how it’s today as well, be can’t even bare to look at their faces, we don’t want to deal with it.

Have any of you listened to Phil Collin’s “Another Day in Paradise”? The lyrics of this song deal with the issues homeless people face each day.

She calls out to the man on the street
“Sir, can you help me?
It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?”

He walks on, doesn’t look back
He pretends he can’t hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there

She calls out to the man on the street
He can see she’s been crying
She’s got blisters on the soles of her feet
She can’t walk but she’s trying

fragments of the lyrics….

Next time you stroll down or up the sidewalk, think about the homeless, so you appreciate who you are and what you have in life.

Sometimes we take  to much for granted!