Faith

Coming Home

Dear readers, time and time again I always come back to the same place.  Some think that life in its own funny way always makes you go round in circles.  However, its just probably us.  Our now and yesterday just intertwine pressing the play and replay many times.

Maybe that’s why many believe that we live over and over again in different time periods during the infinite life of our spirit.

For instance, I love cats.  What I like the most of them is their unbothered way of life.  They just go about doing their own thing.  However, my point is that during my life I’ve always had a cat, as a child I recall having a white Siamese cat, Mom told me recently that she wasn’t white, but black, probably she’s confused with my other cat, Miss Me-aw.  I had a hard time after she passed, so it took me a while to let another cat into my life.  My son convinced me of adopting a kitten and four years down the road, Jinx  lives happily (or I would think) with us in our home.

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But hey this isn’t about cats!!! So let’s move on.

Isn’t it quite funny how things just happen to us so many times, the SAME things.

So, why wouldn’t it be different with my blog.  When I first started writing I was invested in it.  My blog was a way I would write myself through my difficulties, but than I just lost the thirst for writing.

It transitioned from reacting to Sunday’s sermon, to a place where I began growing as a person.  It was an eye opener to what was going on in a world that I had never bothered to look at closely.  Injustice rang loud and clear as I witnessed devastation created by those with power.  I began to question what I had thought was my faith.

I saw Christianity with new eyes.

I saw Buddhism with new eyes.

I began reading books about how to live a mindful life.

My spiritual exploration had been set in place and all these years down the road it’s still is.

Believing is a place where that exploration takes  place and I think I’m over with people who put you down spiritually.   It’s time to come back home and just write about the ups and down of life and faith.

My fingers are eager to type away my thoughts and experiences of a new path I’ve discovered.  A path where my spirit rests knowing that each and every day I try to not fall into practices that do  not contribute to my growth or those who I encounter with each day.

Because at the end of the day, we all want to feel the comfort of being in peace with ourselves  and the world, we all want to come home.

See you around and thanks for stopping by.  Hasta pronto!

Parenting

Cojetelo Easy Mom: A philosophy of life

Motherhood!  Just the word can make you freak out a bit.  Some of us (me included) got into parenting without thinking about it too much.  If I would have given it incredible thought (considering the awful background I had as a child myself) maybe I would have said, “No, thank you.”

Today was one of those days that I rejoice in the fact that I did become a mom.

I’ve been a bit of all types of moms in a sense.  I’ve been a stay at home mom, a part-time and full-time working mom and as icing to the cake a home school mom.

My kids were a big part of my career, since I was a teacher (they traveled to school with me) and during summer and Christmas vacation I was home with them.

But, going back to why today is special.

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Well, I’ll tell you a story about my 21-year-old boy, as a child he had developmental challenges.  His motor skills weren’t developed well enough for him to do well in school.  For some time,  we thought he had dyscalculia and dyslexia.  It wasn’t a pretty picture for a child beginning school.

 

We struggled with him during those early years.

We had the blessings of having a great team of teachers during those first four years in school.  Most of the time I needed to work with him part of his school work at home and then move on to his homework.

I took a part-time job during that time, where I would get off work at one in the afternoon, so I would be home by the time he came from school.

He received occupational and speech therapies up to Third grade.  The worst day would be on Mondays,  where my husband took him to a Learning Center where he would receive two therapies, then have to drive him back to his school (a more than forty minute drive).

It was hard on him and on us.  Since there were no cognitive optometrists in our area, we would travel to San Juan (more than two hours) for him to get his visual therapies every other week.

Then to top it off, I did the follow ups at home.  We would walk each afternoon at least twenty minutes, all our games needed to focus on visual and hand coordination (the game part lost an edge even if I made it sound fun).

He was a grown up fella in a small skinny body, and who said things can’t get worse?

They certainly did when he was diagnosed with Celiac disease.  Now food, one of his joys had to be scrutinized and dealt with.  But that’s another story to tell! I was thrown into becoming a gluten-free mom.

Thank God we made it through.

He learned to deal with his life and make the best of it.

His hardest year in school was when he was in First grade, I will always remember his solemn eyes as I told him,

-You understand we have a problem,  and we can’t hide away from it (it could sound awful for a child so young, but I wanted to be very honest with him).

-You will need to work harder than the rest of the kids in your class and that’s okay.

-Let’s focus on the things you can do well and on your strengths. You’ll have to become a good listener and rely on your memory and not your writing skills,

-Yet I know you’ll pull through because you’re a great kid and we will be with you all the way.

Well, my dear friends we did help him and kept along his side encouraging, sheltering and helping him and  today as I saw him picking up all this stuff from his desk so many years after.

I reminded him,

-Don’t leave anything you may need.

He just looked and said,

-Cojetelo easy Mom, estoy bien.  (Take it easy Mom, I’m okay) A bit in Spanish and a bit in English.

Actually I would think that his relaxed demeanor helped him through out all these years.  He did one thing at a time making his own path along the way.

I felt overwhelmed for a moment, today was the last day of his bachelor’s degree. He finished school with almost a perfect 4.0  GPA and is top of his class.

My heart just felt tight in my chest, I felt so much, pride, joy, and so many memories came back,

When I looked at him for a split second I saw my skimpy little seven-year old who at his very short age accepted his challenges and went face on to tackle them, but with a tight grip on my hand. Making the darn best of it!

So that my dear friends, is what motherhood is all about, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Cancer

The Stories that Surround Us

Have you ever wondered in awe how all our lives are intertwined as if we belonged together.

All our stories run parallel in way or the other.  Yet, we fool ourselves in thinking that we are unique, drifting alone and forgotten in this marvelous Universe.

via morgueFile

Today as we went through the pre-registration for my father in law’s next stay in the hospital to continue with his salvage regimen of chemo-therapies, towards the end of the paperwork the clerk who was helping us shared  her own story.  After hesitating she told us that her dad also is going through  Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

She kindly told  us all about him, and we felt humbled and blessed to the least.  She really didn’t have to share anything in fact. She shared their pain as a family and  how hard it was not only for the patient, but also for them.

She really didn’t have to tell us anything, we were just two strangers that were doing what needed to be done.

During all this process in occasions we feel alone and heartbroken that someone we love has to go through all the pain that cancer brings with it.

Sometime before my father’s last stay in the hospital, my husband told me quietly that,

“I haven’t let myself cry over Papi.”

I really didn’t have an answer to that, but the day I left both of his parents (which I love deeply as a daughter), I allowed myself to cry over him for the first time.  I’m not fond of doing such because I believe that it’s not over until it’s over.  Then, we’ll have time to grieve and move on eventually.

I felt very lonely in my car as I poured my heart out in pure grief.

My thoughts went back in time and saw a younger version of him handing my house keys to me.  He had literally bought us our home.  He didn’t give my husband the keys, he gave them to me.

It meant a lot  to me back then and it still does.

Yet my memories didn’t stop there, they went even further in time and recalled how he gave me money to go and buy all my school supplies for my freshman year.  I bought  a bunch of notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, files, markers and two gigantic dictionaries (No internet back then).

Then they jumped to my wedding, went back to when he had gotten out of his way trying to find the perfect crib.  I wanted it white with a bunch of requirements he was more than happy to meet.  All these random memories had no chronological order, yet shared something similar, they were all full of love.

I remained a while just pouring my heart out and then moved on.  I needed to get home and leave them behind.

Through this difficult time we have all grown one way or the other.   However, I have come to learn that we are not alone.  All of us share similar stories and when the time is right and the occasion rises we share them and connect in ways that may even seem impossible.

We stop if we are in a hurry to listen, we appreciate and are thankful for kind and compassionate words of those who have endured our same path, and most of all we are humbled with the blessings we have each day.

So, my dear friend next time  you fall into the temptation of thinking you are alone in the vast world, think again and open your mind and life to the blessings of the stories that surround us.

Life

Our Quests for Youth: Bad or Good?

What’s wrong with getting old?

It’s true we usually struggle with our weight when those forties come around the corner. That’s something we can live without.

It’s also true that wrinkles and grays are all over the place. L’Oreal becomes our middle name, at least for us ladies.

via Google images A middle aged couple!

But, what really is wrong with that anyway?

With our years comes an understanding of who we are, where we’ve been, and most important of all where we’re heading.  I’m not saying that with age regret comes along once in a while, and the dam what ifs, but there is no way we’re not going to have those.

I’d say its more about counting the good things and marking off as experience the bad.

I’m not a hypocrite when I say that I really don’t care a bit on staying young, don’t get me wrong I do want to look good for my age.  There’s a slight difference there, just bear with me so I can offer you my insight.

via Google images

Trying to hold on to your youth it a total waste of time and by the way its a myth. That forever quest to reach the so called fountain of youth can prove to be tiring.

Reality is years do pass and they leave a trail behind not only on our body, but also on our soul. The truth to be told is that we’re scared one day we’re going to wake up and discover its over.

Going back to my youth,  I can honestly say it was an uncertain time.  I didn’t have much experience in life and I made a bundle of mistakes.  Some I’ve repeated during my life a couple of times because I failed to reflect and learn from them.

I was raising my children and trying to cope with a relationship at a very young age.  Not something I would want to repeat!!!  I’m more than happy we’ve remained together and in love over the years, this after all has given me the emotional stability I was in need of.

I didn’t value my health as much as I should have, and now I know the importance of that.

The years have given me a maturity I lacked, and most of all have given me peace of mind.

I no longer have the beautiful skin I used to, but it’s fine.  I’ve learned to accept that these wrinkles are the price for what I’ve gained.

My knees hurt a bit when I go to sleep at night, however I’m grateful for them because they’ve taken me many places and they’ve been good to me.

My back hurts as well, but that’s also a small price to pay for all the countless times it has helped my hips carry my children and care for my beloved husband while he was sick.  I have faith that it will keep me going as one day I will care for my parents towards the end of their lives.  It still has work ahead of it, so I might as well treasure it with love and care.

Time never stops and it’s useless to want to recapture our youth and go backwards instead of forward.  It’s all about embracing who we’ve become.

I’m not saying to let yourself go in a sense where you no longer care how you look, but face who you are and take care of what you’ve become.

You know my dear friends it’s all about being able to do the balancing act because at the end we just want to know we’ve lived a worthy life.

Sunset at Aguadilla's Crash Boat.

What better words to end this post, then those of an abstract of a poem I hold close to my heart since the very first time I read it a long time ago,

In Peace

Amado Nervo

Very close to my sunset, I bless you, life,
because you never gave me no hope failed,
no jobs unjust, undeserved punishment;

I see the end of my rough road
I was the architect of my own destiny;

… True, my blossoms will follow the winter:
But you did not tell me that May was eternal!

I loved, was loved, the sun caressed my face.
Life, you owe me nothing! Life, we are in peace!

Myasthenia Gravis

Dealing with MG and extreme hot weather: NOT EASY!!!!!!

First of all I’ll like to explain what MG stands for.  It’s a short version for Myasthenia Gravis, which I like by the way more than the complete medical term.  MG is short and has a fun twist to it, it’s like having a bit of fun with the mystery of people finding out what it means.

A lot of people are familiar with MS (which stands by the way for Multiple Sclerosis). When I want to get through to people who ask me I simply say that MG is MS’s cousin.  Sorry my MS buddies (specially Cathy Chestner) for that little detour trying to explain what MG really is.

We’ve had pretty hot temperatures for the last couple of days, and for people with Myasthenia Gravis extreme hot or cold puts a lot of stress on our medical conditions.

via MOrgueFile

Today with a soaring 103 (93 and heat index going towards the 103 degrees) my muscles began to protest and scream,

What the hell is going on?????

I feel we went to the beach.. but missed on the spectacular views or sunset!!!!!

photo credit Melissa Segarra
photo credit Melissa Segarra

As the day went on I felt my fingers, arms and legs stiffen with the familiar feel of it’s a matter of time before the limping began.

I’ve been so tired that my fingers have been acting as if they had no life in them.  I’ve almost thrown every thing on the floor except the baby (thank God).  Today  I left the comfort of my home to go over to my mom’s even more hotter house so she can help me out with the baby.  NOT FUNNY!

Even now twenty some years after, I have to pass through the excruciating pain of having her tell her how I need to feed my baby boy,  Again NOT FUNNY!

The only thing that kept me going was the fact that by five I’d be home.  Gee, what a relief when my boys were on their way and I didn’t need to say any longer.

Hopefully tomorrow the day will be less hot.