Dance in my shoes…

reminisce a time
thick as thieves
never apart
Dancing til dawn
Secrets a blasphemy
to the sacred bond
forged sisterhood

Now miles
rip pages apart
and force
new walks
in solitary feet
lines drawn in the sand
Square off
i’ll turn my cheek

clambor to the throne
so feet can tap alone
on my laundry room floor
dancing
humming
singing
a joyous new tune

never alone
TRUE LOVE BORN anew
cradled in perfection
the gaping wound
sure to be filled soon

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Sr. Beverly Revisited…

I went to an all girls Catholic high school. And looking back on it now, I’ve always been opinionated. Taught from the time I was a child to always stand up for my rights, and never to let anyone trample on me. All of my years in school had been pretty tranquil, and I was typically known as the “teacher’s pet”. So in comes Sr. Beverly, during my Junior year at Hallahan Girls Catholic high school.

Now there was something about Sr. Beverly that just rubbed me the wrong way. The way she picked on certain girls in the class, usually all my friends. She’d twist their words around to make them look stupid and all of the girls in the class would laugh, she was such a clown. But I never did. The way she put people on the spot and made them feel insignificant never sat well with me. There was just something about the way she talked to me, how her eyes would open really large, she’d push her face really close to mine and stare at me as if she could expose my soul.

She had this “in your face” follow you around the school kind of philosophy on teaching. And for some reason today, when my husband and I were arguing about what color trim to put on the floors, she came to mind. It was was almost as if I gave into him, that it would be like being back in that classroom watching one of my friends being humiliated by her and staying silent. I could stay silent and just acquiese to what he wanted. Or I could open my mouth and say something to her, something to sting her and make her think and make the other girls laugh at her instead of my friends. And I’d save my friends from embarrassment and in turn save myself.

I deserve to have a say in this situation after all, I’m the person that is here the most often. I should just LOVE this space, every inch of it. So it’s like Sr. Beverly’s Religion class revisited at home today. Me, saying things that Sr. Beverly/ my husband didn’t want to hear, but that I had to say so that they wouldn’t weigh on my soul. And this time it’s not for my friends, but for me… so that I don’t have to look at myself in the mirror and feel pity. But so that I can look at myself and know that what happened was hard, but I’m a better person for having stood up for what I believed in, and not letting others trample over me.

The 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk Philadelphia

So what can I say about the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk in Philadelphia?  I had such high hopes and expectations for the weekend.  A journey of 60 miles.  A chance to make a difference!  To raise money to find A CURE!  I signed up for the challenge in January of this year. 

It was a walk 10 months in the planning.  Months of meetings, fundraising, planning, training, tears, loss, hope with our small team called the Pink Bees.    



I had pinned so much on the walk.  I thought that during the walk I would feel Melody there with me, her presence somehow.  After all of the planning, all of the equipment, the packing, the making plans for babysitters – the day before the walk, a Noreaster blew in and they canceled the first day of the walk, Friday.  Shortly thereafter they canceled the 2nd day of the walk, Saturday, as well.  And then we were left with one day, Sunday – just 15 miles.
 


On Sunday, we were so excited, the day had finally arrived!  Shortly after we arrived at the walk, I was briefly overcome with emotion when my team mates and I lined up at the start of the walk.  I had registered so many long months before to inspire Melody, but after she passed away in the end of May, I was now walking in her memory. And all of the months of preparation and holding off of tears, it all had culminated to that moment.  As far as we could see in front of us were a sea of pink bunny rabbit Energizer bunny ears.



The walk was difficult, after all it was cold and rainy but I know none of it compared to anything that Melody had gone through in the 8 years of the fight for her life.


It will be 5 months since she’s been gone on the 27th and it still feels like a punch in the stomach every time I remember that she is actually gone. I don’t know if I thought I would catch a glimpse of her along the way or really actually feel her but none of that happened. And I went home and felt so disappointed and my loss felt so much more real. I actually feel selfish thinking about myself, because my loss is nothing compared to her son’s, her mother’s, or her father’s. Now theirs is a loss that I don’t even want to begin to imagine. 



All in all, I was pretty uninspired by the 3 Day.  From the 2 canceled days, the disorganized chaos of the day, to the rain and the mud.  I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect and I was looking forward to it really kicking my butt.  But I think the biggest disappointment was not seeing her at the end.  And that’s something the 3 Day never could have given us.  But for some strange reason I almost expected it. 



To make up for the upset that all the Philadelphia walkers felt, we were given the option to walk in any other walk in any other city in the US through the remainder of this year.  But for me, I would then need to fork out money for travel and babysitters again and being recently unemployed, that’s not really an option for me.  We also were told that our $90 registration fee would be waived for next year if we wanted to participate again next year.  But we’ll again have to raise the $2300+ per person to walk in the walk.  So although the walk was for a wonderful cause and it felt good to be there and to have contributed to the over $8 million raised by the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk Philadelphia, all in all it was a real let down to me.  I hope Melody is proud of me anyhow.  I know I’m definitely proud of her, probably more than ever now.  And I still miss and love her so much.  I’ll have to find other ways to honor her memory going forward. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month – should Young Latinas be concerned?

Where do I start!? It has been SO long since I have blogged. Too long honestly. If you are a writer, truly a writer, you need to write. Just as much as you need to eat and breathe. My writing is how I think. It’s how I feel things. How I know how to respond, or what to do next (yes I love lists too). But now here I am. It’s so good to be back. So I have a couple of pieces that I’ve been working on at home, for the past few weeks. And those I will post soon once they are complete. But now, this is just strictly a piece from the heart. To clear the cobwebs in my mind so to speak. I could just cry right now I feel so free.

There has been so much that has happened in my life over the past year. So much. I fasted for 40 days during Lent. Abstained from food completely during the day. And I made it through! I decided to inspire one of my dearest friends who was battling advanced breast cancer by signing up for the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk that is happening October 16, 17, and 18th in Philadelphia, PA. I signed up for it in January, began fundraising in February, and in May my friend, Melody Charen, she died. She was only 32 years old. She had been diagnosed with Advanced Breast Cancer at the young age of 25.  She didn’t fit the profile of a woman with Breast Cancer, after all she was young and Latina, she had a young son at the time.  But what’s in a profile anyhow?  Can one hold up the “profile” for someone with Breast Cancer as a “Get out of Jail Free” pass when one is diagnosed? No.
Today, after almost 8 years of fighting for her life to the last moments, after all of her struggles, Melody finally is at peace. When I signed up for the 3 Day, I did it to inspire her. I needed to do something. Because I saw how much she was going through I needed to do something. Melody was always the kind of person that never let you know how bad it really was. She always saw the silver lining in the clouds of gloom that were ahead. She took one day at a time and appreciated each day for what it was.

Melody and I had been friends since grade school, all through high school, but when she got sick we started talking a lot less. She distanced herself because she didn’t want people to pity her. She never wanted anyone’s sympathy. She wanted to be seen as normal above all.

I went to her son’s 9th birthday celebration the summer of 2007. I was pregnant then and it’s funny because I still remember this as if it were yesterday. And anyone who knows me knows that if I don’t write something down, write about it, my memories float away like dried up fall leaves on a strong autum wind.  I remember talking to her about the pregnancy and telling her that I was so worried because I didn’t have someone to watch the baby for me when I went back to work. I remember Melody sitting and watching and listening to me as I talked and after a minute, she suggested her own mother. I would never have thought of her, but afterwards her mother and I talked and everything just fell into place.

So when I went back to work her mother did watch Carina, my baby, for me. It was so great. I thought having the baby there was such a positive infusion for them in their lives at a time that was so difficult. I thought that the love that they felt for my daughter would somehow help Melody and her family. At the time, Melody was actively fighting the cancer that had returned to other parts of her body. But never once did she complain. Never once did she say, “why me?” The past couple of years, we became so much closer. Melody became Carina’s “Titi” (Spanish for Auntie) and Melody’s mother, Elsie became “Mom-Mom”. And we became more than friends, we became family, through this bond of love that we all shared for my daughter.  And love her they did.  They all doted on Carina as the newest member of the family.  Carina would at times confuse me and Elsie and call her “Mom” and me “Mom” as well.  But I was never jealous, I always felt blessed that my daughter had so many people in her life that loved her so much. 

After Melody passed, I was deeply shaken.  Although all of the signs were there and I was preparing myself for it, her death shook me to the core.  The 3 Day gave me something positive to turn and focus my energy on.  And now as the time gets closer for the walk, it’s about a week away now, I know she’s going to be with me every step along the way. I know she’s going to walk those 60 miles with me. And I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to quit, because even though she’s not here with us anymore. I still want to inspire her. I miss her so much to this day.

So I’ve taken that love for her and turned it into an advocacy of sorts for Breast Cancer Prevention. I want everyone to know that you don’t have to be older to get breast cancer. And young Latinas, we get breast cancer too. So take a moment, do your own self breast exams and if you feel something wrong, get to the doctor. If he tells you it is nothing, go to another doctor. But don’t stop until you are satisfied that everything is really okay.

So over the next 1 ½ weeks, I’ll continue to prepare for the walk. Sleeping bags, rain gear, you name it, I have to think about it and probably pack it. And for a city girl like me, who’s never been camping a night in her life, this is no small task. But I’m going to do it. I’m not going to complain once and I’m never going to ask “why me?”. Melody never did, why should I?  I’m just going to thank God that I can do the walk and keep on walking until the 60 miles are done and I’ll listen to see if i hear Melody cheering for us.

When Tomorrow Starts Without me…

When tomorrow starts without me,
and I’m not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me:

I wish you wouldn’t cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn’t get to say.

I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too:

But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand.

And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I’d have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I’d always thought,
I didn’t want to die.

I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I’d say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.

And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven’s gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,

He said, “This is eternity.
And all I’ve promised you.
Today your life on earth is past,
But here life starts anew.

I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day’s the same way
There’s no longing for the past.

You have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times
You did some things

You knew you shouldn’t do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you’re free.
So won’t you come and take my hand
And share my life with me?”

So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I’m right here, in your heart.

Author Unknown_______________________________

I found this poem on line today and it touched me. I thought I would share it with you all. It is especially fitting today. Today is Veterans Day and it brings me memories of my uncle who passed away this year, he was a Veteran. I thought I would share it with you all in case any one has experienced any recent losses of a loved one, or may be losing one slowly, like we lost my uncle.

Random Thoughts that Stick in my Mind…

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged and it still feels weird doing it here. I’m not sure why, maybe because it’s different. For those of you who didn’t know, I had my tubes tied on Friday. A tubal ligation actually is the name. And I’m still recupperating. It hasn’t been that bad, but it could have been easier. Ever since, I’ve been kind of sad. Just knowing that I can’t ever have any more children, no more babies for me. It makes me feel sad. Not that I want another one, mind you. i don’t want to be pregnant again. Who would want that? The fat hot hungry misery of pregnancy… You see these women on TV and they speak of pregnancy like it’s art, some miraculous Mona Lisa hanging on the the wall. But it’s nothing like that at all. It’s like having an alien come and set up residence inside of you for 10 months and then at the end you’re hazed into infant boot camp through a tortoruous delivery of some type. So, that’s the furthest thing from my mind. Who would want that? So then why does it make me so sad knowing I will NEVER have it again? Ugh. Sometimes I exasperate myself with my thoughts.

So just yesterday, as I was driving back home to relax after I dropped off the kids the weirdest thing happened. Standing at the corner, waiting for the bus, was my 1st boyfriend ever. His name was Luis. And he looked just the same, but older. Same haircut, everything. I stared at him and inched my car closer so that I could get a better look. It was him. But he was a lane away from me, so conversation was impossible. As I was pulling away, he saw me and stepped out to get a better look at me and my heart dropped. I kept on going. What would I have said to him? Should I have given him a ride? Should I just have thanked my lucky stars that I wasn’t still with him and standing next to him on that bus stop as I did? I don’t know. But it made me think. Not of endless love, but of puppy love, and letters, and poems and sweetnesses that was our relationship. I can’t help but think that I missed my chance. For what I don’t know. I guess to be nosey and find out what he was, how many kids he had, was he married. Yeah I guess that’s it. I wanted to know about him today. But I missed the chance, cause the light turned green and I just kept on going. Anyhow, I’m leaving early to go home and rest. Just a bit of my random thoughts today. Hope you enjoyed the window into my mind.