UnMasked

Photo Credit: justposhmasks.com

All through my life, I’ve dealt with feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth. I felt undone, incomplete, or insignificant. Along the way, I realized this stemmed from my childhood. I did not ask for it. I certainly did not want it. But with an undeniably painful past and a seemingly questionable future, I muddled through life. I thought a man could save me, but he only tried to create me into his own image! I became his shadow, even worshiped the ground he walked on, subservient to his every whim. I was truly lost, with no identity, no voice – no me. Yet I held on, not wanting to lose him. This by the way, is a perfect example of insecurity: the more easily threatened we are, the more insecure we are.

Beth Moore says: “Insecurity lives in constant terror of loss.” As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been reading Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity with the subtitle you’ve been a bad friend to us. How I wish she wrote this book 40 years ago! She says, “insecurity is not only a woman’s battle.” She identifies insecurity as a “profound sense of self-doubt – a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate.”

I thought about myself as a Christian, why from time to time do I still struggle with insecurities? Why does rejection crush me so? Why do I second guess everything? Beth reveals an interesting point about herself in her book: “I not only lack security, I also lack faith. I don’t just doubt myself, I also doubt God about myself.

Now I don’t know about you, but that struck a chord in me!

She goes on to say how some of us never seek healing from God for our insecurities because we feel like we don’t fit the profile. But insecurity’s best cover is perfectionism. Now there’s a mask for you!

A person who has no self-worth or a low self-esteem

tends to hide behind a mask.

Note: Here’s a thought provoking poem I came across: Don’t Be Fooled By Me

What masks are you prone to wear? Looking back, I recall hiding the pain behind my smile…

Don’t try to be somebody you’re not, no one is perfect. It’s okay to let your guard down. We will face difficult and troubling times. Just remember God loves us just the way we are; He loves us too much to leave us that way.

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Filed under Beth Moore, insecurities, Masks

Beauty For Ashes

Beauty For Ashes

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3
(Photo Credit: forashes.org)

My devotions today is found in Isaiah 61:3. Although this passage of scripture brings me comfort, I wonder …

How can there be a smidgen of beauty amongst rubble? Or ashes?

How is this even possible?

How do we see beauty in the midst of suffering, hopelessness, or despair?

When I saw my baby sister lying in her small white coffin, I didn’t see beauty.

When I noticed my mama with bruises on her body, I failed to see the beauty in that.

My former husband known for his strength, vigor and being sure-footed, morphed into a sloppy drunk after one drink of alcohol was miles away from anything charming.

To see my grandpa become a prisoner in his own body, his barrel-chested physic becoming sunken and scrawny was a far cry from beauty.

For my eyes to caress my grandma’s features, once so robust and plump, turning thin and frail after having lost so much weight due to illness wasn’t lovely.

Watching the back of my former husband after he pulled the rug from under my feet, and left me in the dust while calling out his name wasn’t a picturesque scene.

My 29-day old granddaughter swollen from fluids in a medically induced coma after her open-heart surgery wasn’t attractive to me.

Scars are not beautiful. Neither are bruises on the body or on the heart.

Death is not beautiful; the grieving of loved ones taken from you is never beautiful. Hunger is not beautiful. Loneliness is not beautiful.

Repossession isn’t quaint. Foreclosure is eons away from being delightful.

So how can there be beauty for ashes?

I believe it is found in hope. Hope against hope. Hope that the imperfect will become perfect. Hope that the pain will cease. Hope that there will be a day of reckoning. Hope that the scattered pieces will rebuild. Hope for healing and relief. Hope that the light will dawn and a new day will come. Hope that this too, shall come to pass. Hope in heaven. Hope that the best is yet to come. And most importantly, believing in the Blessed Hope that one day, we shall see our loved ones again.

Thank you, Lord, for turning my life’s ugliness into a thing of beauty.

Out of sadness and hurt, will come strength and victory.

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July 23, 2015 · 10:39 PM

Full Circle – My Writing Journey

11750720_1017090005008790_4728723792586052925_nHey guys! Today I feel I have come full circle. It’s surreal that I am sitting here doing a book signing at the same Barnes and Noble, where I first attended a weekly writers group two years before my story published.

Back then, I’d sit with many seasoned writers and talented published authors, wondering if my day would ever come that my own dream would fulfill and to declare: I AM AN AUTHOR!

Once a week, I’d bring 5 pages of my manuscript and make several copies (enough for 10-15 other attendees) before arriving to the group. I passed around my copies to every one there, and someone would volunteer to read aloud. As I listened, the rest added notes, made corrections, suggestions and/or comments on my sheets. Then it was someone else’s turn to critique. I enjoyed doing that but I couldn’t wait to take my work home and sit in front of the computer to see what–if any–changes I should make.

I’ve met some wonderful people I consider friends to this day, and received great feedback which only helped propelled me forward. Looking back, I am thankful that I didn’t give up. I took constructive criticism; I stayed the course. I kept my voice as well as my message. If I couldn’t quite convey the meaning in my sentences correctly, I welcomed suggestions. However, if someone didn’t get my meaning but added their own take instead–which meant changing the entire contents from what I initially believed how it should read–I’d reworked the sentence, paragraph or phrase to express better what I wanted to say, or left it alone.

I believe you have to stay true to who you are. After all, it’s your story and in my case, wasn’t one of fiction. Therefore, only you can tap into your own mind filled with memories and jot down those scenes and sequels in your head. May not always be an easy feat, but oh, can be so worth it!

So for those of you who haven’t read my story, just what is the message? My message is one of hope, perseverance and forgiveness. You don’t have to be a product of your environment and have your past dictate your future. Know that you don’t have to remain isolated or medicate yourself, nor do you need to become ashamed of your pain. You can rise above the ashes and soar to new heights bruised or scarred, and not remain broken. I believe there is healing for us all; it’s a work in progress and sometimes takes a while. But where there is life, there is hope.

The fruition of my entire journey, is to hear that others are inspired.

My story, “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace” is currently found at your favorite online bookstore.

Here are a few photos taken at Barnes and Noble for you to enjoy. Thank you for taking part in my journey.collage-2015-07-20 (1)

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Filed under Author, Book Signing Event, Writing Journey

Shark Bait

In his late twenties, my husband’s occupation was working on a 250 ft. workboat as an offshore surveyor in the Gulf of Mexico, staking out a pipeline for a jackup rig. This is his story …

“It was a fairly nice day, the weather was comfortable. In those days, I was wearing shorts and flip-flops. I had on a heavy belt with my big 7-inch sheath knife. It was early evening, the sun still out. We had to lift anchor and head on out. The jackup rig was coming in and we needed to get the buoys made up and dropped on the pipeline. After about an hour, I had all my buoys made and the boat headed on out for miles, running around getting ready to make our run into the platform.”

“Now, the ship has to get real close to the platform, make a sharp turn, then line up on the pipeline and start dropping the buoys where the pipeline is supposed to be.”

“So, I’m standing there on the back deck, everything is going good, and my buoys are all made with the rope trailing in the water.”

“I’m just kind of walking around with nothing to do, so I start to clean up. I throw scrapped rope off … tin cans … I’m just cleaning up the back of the deck. There’s this empty spool that usually has rope on it. I lift the spool and hoist it over the deck and immediately think, Oh, no! I run to the back of the deck because I got my ropes on the buoys trailing on the water. I reach the edge of the boat and I’m watching that spool get caught on the rope. It’s like slamming on the brakes. My anchor shoots like a bullet right off the deck! And where I had it positioned, the buoy comes flying around and hits me from behind and just knocks me right off the back-end of the boat into the water.”

“The first thing I figure out is that you can’t swim with flip-flops! I kick those suckers off!. I’m down under and freaking out, and just as I come on up, by instinct I start swimming for the boat. Now the boat’s doing 20 knots. There’s no way on God’s green earth I’ll ever catch it! And I immediately stop. I feel something and look around and realize I am inside the other buoy line! That thing can wrap me up and take me right under! I dive back down real quick and swim off to the side and come back up again. Then I start yelling for the boat … like they can hear me. Because of the engine noise alone they can’t hear me. They also got all the pumps on in the back deck going as well. Nobody standing on the deck can hear me if they’re looking at me.”

Homemade buoys

Photo source: unknown

“I’m paddling my arms along and wondering, What the heck do I do now? I’m looking around and see the buoy that knocked me over. Now the cane pole on the buoy is broken; the flag is down in the water with the light bulb thingy. So I swim for it and grab a hold of the thing, but it really isn’t enough to keep me up. It helps to keep me buoyant, but it doesn’t really float me. I kind of hang onto it while lightly paddling to keep up. After a while I’m sitting there, watching the boat heading off into the distance … heading off … heading off. Now I can see the platform from where I’m at. I see the boat get right up to that big old platform and I think, Okay, right about now they’re going to make the turn. The boat turns and I think, Right about there, I’m suppose to drop a buoy. I’m watching and the boat makes another turn and then I think, Right about now, I should be dropping another buoy. And then, Right about now they’re going to realize something might be wrong! Then the lights come on in the boat! The spotlight is on, the boat makes a sharp turn heading back on around.”

250' workboat

Photo Source: unknown

“All during this time, party chief Mike, is running through the boat, first going straight to my bunk, thinking I’ve fallen asleep through the whole thing. He then heads for the bathrooms, and starts to panic. I’m told that Mike is going absolutely crazy; everybody is searching for me! The first thing that popped into their minds is that I had dropped a buoy, but had gotten wrapped up in it and went down with it – that’s what they thought. Now I can see the boat way off in the distance. As it comes on around to the platform, they start dropping the divers over searching for me, fearing I’m tied up in the buoy some place down below. I’m sitting there all the while thinking, Hello. Hello guys. I can’t get that flag back up, because it broke about 3 or 4 feet above me, so I can’t really reach it to get it up. I’m thinking about breaking it while I’m paddling and then it dawned on me, There’s a counterweight on this thing!”

“I dive down but can’t get the thing broke off. I’m chewing on the tape to try to get it to tear and finally got it torn. The counterweight drops away and I swim back up. The buoy lies flat but it’s holding me up now. I was finally able to rest and hang onto it. I’m looking at the platform and was reaching for my knife to cut the rope lose and then I realize, My knife is gone! Apparently, the buoy hooked my knife when I got knocked off and ripped it right off my belt. So I’m sitting there trying to untie this thing. I’m working at it and working at it, and I could not get that thing untied! (I make a mean buoy.) It’s polypropylene, so there’s no chewing through a thing like that; it’s just really tough stuff. I finally give up on that (which is actually a good thing because God is good, I had lost my knife, and that I make a mean buoy). If I had cut that rope, and tried swimming to the platform, I’d have never made it. The current was going the other way – two, three miles away. I would have never made it. I’d had just gone with the current and would have been long gone. No telling if and when they would have found me.”

“I’m trap here; I’m not going any place. It’s getting dark and I’m thinking, Man! They’re never going to find me! And then it hits me, I have a light here blinking and a flag! So I reach over–I can finally grab the broken part and actually hold it up out of the water–and now I’m siting there waving it around. You know, miles away it’s really hard to notice a flag. I then see some of the other boats on the platform untie; running around and racing off down the south of the platform, just going in different directions. I’m thinking, What the heck are those guys doing? It turns out they were chasing all the little glow in the dark things I had thrown over the side ! So they’d see a speck of light out there and just head straight for it.”

Photo Credit: Oleg Doroshenko #9417199 (stock photo)

“Finally, somebody spots my little itty-bity light off in the distance and heads towards me. I see my ship and a crew boat coming. My ship is heading for me on my right, and a little crew boat–maybe a 75 footer–very low on the water–heading for me off to my left. They’re coming at me and then I thought, Okay, now is when a SHARK shows up! I’m sitting there hanging on, waving my flag and they’re coming up. One of the guys has one of those big liferings.”

“Now you have to remember, this is a big boat. The bow of that thing is way the heck up there. I mean, it’s 15 feet or more, so there’s no way I’m crawling up there. I have to be able to come up the back or something. Anyway, one of the guys has this ring and he yells, “‘Mark, here, catch this!'” He flings it out, and it goes boing! and just stops cold and swings down; it doesn’t even touch the water. I put my arms out and I’m like ‘hello?‘ I then turn to swim for the crewboat because it’s so low in the water that I just climbed right up. The guys give me some drinking water and then transport me back to the other boat. It’s late on into the evening when I am finally rescued. I was in that gulf for 6-7 hours before they found me.”

Photo Source: Pinterest

Photo Source: Pinterest

And so the moral of the story is…?

“I always carried three knives after that!”

Gotta love him.

Here’s to my wild and crazy, adventurous husband who was lost at sea for nearly 7 hours. He conquered fear–void of encountering any sharks–and remained of sound mind in the midst of danger. Thank God, he didn’t drown and had lost that knife, or he would have tried to swim and then been carried away with the current.

Happy Birthday, babe. You’re the cutest shark bait that I know. And I’m so glad God saved you for me.

I love you.

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Filed under Lost at Sea, Man Overboard, Offshore Surveyor

The Battle Is Real

C. S. Lewis said “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Bad things happen to good people. The Bible says: It rains on the just and unjust. (Matt. 5:45)

We are not immune to suffering, pain, hardships, struggles, losses. Adversities is part of life. The battle is real with me just as much as it is with you. Some suffer in silence, some scream at the top of their lungs while alone. Although in a different way, inner turmoil can hurt just as much as physical pain. We battle within just as much as our outer shell. Pain is pain. When you hurt, you HURT. You may not see my pain, I may not see yours, but it doesn’t lessen the reality. Someone said: Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

Sometimes we are left with scars. Our heart has melted … waxed cold … turned numb. We are consumed with grief, despair, unanswered questions. What do we do now? Where do we go? Who do we run to? When will it end? How much more? Why, God? Why?

I’ve learned, adversity can either make you or break you. I wonder: Is it possible to go through the fire and come out without the stench of smoke? Don’t let adversity crush you. Build a support system: Family, Faith, Friends. Resilience is like a muscle which strengthens as it is gradually exposed to obstacles.

As a Christian, I may not have all the answers as to the whys, but I have an unwavering faith, even when my flesh is shaken. There is nothing too hard for Him, therefore, I can rest in the midst of challenges.

Though the tears may fall and the struggles may come, there will be a time of refreshing and healing. Maybe not in my time frame, but in His perfect timing. I am a little stronger and a little wiser after each storm. I am comforted knowing that my battle belongs to God and He hears the cries of the brokenhearted. (Psm. 147:3)

In times of suffering …

 “Either you’ll become better, or you’ll become bitter, but you won’t be the same again.”

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Photo Credit: Unknown Source

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Filed under Inspirational, Overcoming Adversity, Resiliency

In Case You Missed It

booksigning

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RadioNEWINTERVIEW     flashing_new

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/toughtalkradionetwork/2015/07/09/lifes-issues-with-lauren-jawno

33:22 minutes into the show is the beginning of my interview w/ Lauren Jawno

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My Colorado’s Bicentennial (Mis)Adventure

July 31, 1976

Have you ever experienced a what if? Ever been dangerously close to a hazardous situation, to realize just how fortunate you were to have escaped, only to have it gnaw at you later?

Today, as I celebrate this Independence Day, my mind goes back to a moment in time I shall never forget.

We headed for Colorado’s Rocky Mountain State Park for a continued weekend bicentennial celebration, to enjoy the magnificent canyons’ cool mountain air and breath-taking river valleys.

LovelandPassCO

Loveland Pass, CO looking east from the summit. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

The afternoon breeze, mingled with the whiff of hamburgers sizzling on the pit, put our troubles behind us. Don was in good spirits, along with ample supply of his favorite beverage. He drank one after another, as he rehashed old childhood and war stories. I roasted marshmallows over the campfire, until raindrops drove us inside our van. We tucked in for the night in our sleeping bags.

In no time, Don’s snoring commenced. As my eyelids grew heavy, I thought, at least I’m not out in this wilderness alone.

Sometime later, I awoke with a start, “Donny! Donny, wake up!”

“Hmmm?” my still-asleep, great protector mumbled, turning over.

I sat up and held my breath. I felt the van vibrate. The plunking sound of raindrops rattled across the rooftop, lashing at the van’s exterior. I strained to listen for something else, feel something else, but wasn’t sure what.

Only a case of bad nerves, I reasoned, starting to lie back down. No! There it is again.

“Donny, did you feel that? Our whole van shook!”

“Go back to sleep, gal,” Donny muttered. “It’s probably just a bear.”

Just a bear? Better not be any bear out there!

Minutes passed. I lay back down and willed my body to relax. The sound of rain soon lulled my unsettled thoughts and sleep overtook me. Before nodding off, I thought I heard rumbling in the distant.

Dusk turned to dawn, and I considered my night’s fright silly. We ate a quick breakfast of hard-boiled eggs, leftover meat and orange juice.

“Shake a leg,” Donny announced. “Time to go.”

We left our campsite cruising over mucky roads. Puddles and slushy trails made the roads treacherous and tricky. At one point, our van was stuck in the mud. Donny kept his foot over the gas pedal and accelerated. The tires sloshed and the van swirled, nearly tipping over.

“Jesus!” I cried out, thinking we were history.

Unruffled under pressure, Donny turned the wheel sharply to the right and back on the road again.

“What’s the matter?” he said, looking at me as if I were a dimwit.

“Nothing,” I huffed.

As we continued, we noticed massive trees toppled over, many bobbed along in the river. We heard the whump, whump, whump, whump of helicopters overhead. Soon, we approached park rangers re-routing traffic. I stuck my head out the window and overheard bits of instructions given to other passengers in their vehicle. “. . . mountainside . . . engulfed . . . destroyed . . . missing . . . proceed with extreme caution . . . !”

The reporter on the radio described how a typical summer rainfall turned into a horrendous nightmare for hundreds of people. Many homes washed away in a flash flood. Cars vanished, buried under tons of debris. Roads had swept away along the canyon, broken concrete stuck out of the riverbank like foreign objects. It took hours before we careened back into town.

 

Photo: Vehicles were left stranded in the aftermath of the 1976 Big Thompson flood. Courtesy of Water Resources Archive

Photo: Vehicles were left stranded in the aftermath of the 1976 Big Thompson flood. Courtesy of Water Resources Archive

“Big Thompson River Flood Marker” by Wusel007 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The morning headlines read:

“THE BIG THOMPSON CANYON FLASH FLOOD.”

Many reported missing. Dead. Houses and businesses washed away, destroyed. The overwhelming thought hit me on how oblivious we were to the dangers the night before. If we had camped near the Loveland area, we would never have escaped. Donny could have innocently erred by having us camped out in that Loveland area—and brushed off my concerns in his half-drunken sleep, just as he did the night before. Then what? We might have been one of those statistics.

© M.A. Pérez, 2015, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Bicentennial, Colorado, Memoir, travel

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

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Dance like nobody is watching,

Because they’re looking down on their cell phones anyway.

 

Dance like nobody’s watching,

They’re too engrossed in a sport’s show.

 

Dance like nobody’s watching,

The dog just yawned and rolled over.

 

Dance like nobody’s watching,

The newspaper is still in front of his face.

 

Dance like nobody’s watching,

The cat is busy scratching.

 

Dance like nobody’ s watching,

Isn’t that snoring coming across the room from the recliner?

 

So aren’t you glad nobody’s watching,

As you’re jamming to the music when your knee pops, you roll your ankle and throw out your back?

 

Yes, dance like nobody is watching,

He’s blinded with tears from laughing anyway!

 

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Best Daddy Ever: My Hero

As a young girl, I knew I had the best Daddy in the world. Although my parents were divorced, throughout the years, he’d come for me.

I loved it when he took me to the parks. My daddy may have been short, but he was a big kid at heart and loads of fun. He had a knack for mimicking different sounds. Children laughed whenever he cried out like Tarzan on the jungle gym. He wouldn’t hesitate to push me high on the swing. I squealed with delight when he ran in front and scrambled away right in time before I could kick him. He’d twirl me on the merry-go-round until we couldn’t go anymore and tumbled on the ground from exhaustion. Me from laughing hard; him from running in circles.

Daddy worked as the produce manager in a huge grocery chain store. He was a hard worker, a model employee. A friendly, robust, people-person, he never grew tired of chatting with his customers and telling them jokes. His dark eyes twinkled with glee. The mirth in his thick Puerto Rican accent, combined with his animated personality, charmed all.

Sometimes Daddy caused havoc, but always in fun. He often mimicked the sound of a kitten near the produce stand at work to see the children’s reactions. Once an elderly woman hunted everywhere for the pobrecito. Then another time while whistling like a bird, he had customers looking up for one. He even imitated a newborn’s cry.

“Excuse me, sir, but don’t you hear a baby crying somewhere?” a worried customer asked.

“A baby? No, no,” he answered. “No baby over here.” Daddy chuckled as he related to me how he watched the mystified customer walk away, shaking her head.

Daddy told me the story when a little boy in a shopping cart kept staring at him the whole time, while his mother across the aisle weighed her vegetables.

“I smiled at da boy and asked his name, but he dun say noteen,” Daddy explained. “He just keep lookin’ and lookin’ at me, like I’m ugly or somethin’.”

“Then what did you do?” I asked and chuckled.

“I dun do noteen . . .” Daddy’s eyes twinkled.

“Go on,” I persisted, knowing of his pranks.

“I just smiled big and stuck out my bottom dentures at da boy.”

“No, Daddy, you didn’t!” I laughed, remembering him doing that very thing before, enough to startle anyone.

“Yeah, but then da boy started cryin’, so I got outta there fast,” Daddy said guiltily. “I dunno where I get these jokes. You got a funny papi, eh?”

“Yeah.” I giggled. “Muy loco, all right. Tell me the story about the goat sucker in Puerto Rico,” I said, wiping my eyes.

“¡Oh, si!” Daddy exclaimed, slapping his thigh. “¡El Chupacabra! Dis thin’ dat went round to all the animales suckin’ their blood dry.”

“Yep, that’s the one,” I said.

“Man, da people get so scared and say it’s some kind of diablo. They say, ‘sierra la puerta’, close your door, El Chupacabra is goin’ to suck your blood!”

“Ya ever see one, Daddy?”

“No, no, I never see dat thin’ in my life.” He chuckled and added, “I dunno if I believe it.”

“Well, it’s sure an awful scary story.” I shuddered at the possibilities.

Yes, my daddy has always been a natural born storyteller. I could sit and listen to him for hours. “Tell me again about the first time you left Puerto Rico on the plane.”

“When I left my home town Utuado in 1952?” His eyes flickered miles away, as he mused. “Flyin’ in dat two-engine airplane made me so scared. I needed to go to el baño so bad. The stewardess want to tell me somteen. Pues, I dunno what she say; I dunno any English then. She talk louder but I dun understand; I just wanna go. I try to make her understand me, so I jell to her, ‘I no spic inglish! I no spic inglish!’” 

As I listened to his broken English, I laughed until my sides ached and my eyes watered.

“Daddy, you didn’t know how to speak English when you were nineteen?”

“No hija, I didn’. Later, my cousin in New York explained to me that da stewardess just wanted me to put my seatbelt on. Ay bendito nene,” Daddy laughed. “I didn’ understand noteen.”

“Hey Papi,” I said, wiping my eyes. “Ya know what?”

“¿Que mi vida?”

“Ya still have an accent.”10493030_10204788142091228_5602024329688824434_o

“Ju tellin’ me, man.” He laughed.

Thirty years later:

My world shattered into a thousand fragments.

Along with my heart.

My hopes.

Dreams.

How so? When my former husband blurted, “I’m just not happy.”

After much heated words and screaming fits, I was relieved when he stormed out of the house. I felt ashamed knowing Daddy and my stepmother were visiting and within earshot in the guestroom had heard everything. By the time I went downstairs, Daddy was on his knees praying in Spanish by the bed. I stood by the doorway listening to his prayer, forgetting to move. Daddy, crying, glanced up and reached out his hand toward me. I went to him and collapsed, sobbing.

That day was Father’s Day, 1991.

The following day at the airport heartbroken and devastated, as we kissed and hugged to say our goodbyes, words stuck in my throat. He didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t sure what to do. But my daddy’s silence comforted me and it was enough. He wrapped strong, loving arms around me. I was a few inches taller, but felt smaller. At that moment, I wished I could stay in his arms and be a little girl again.

Today, with Father’s Day soon approaching, I remember how special my daddy has always made me feel. I still feel his love across the miles when we speak on the phone. At any given time when we’re together, I can still feel secure and safe in his arms as we embrace. His eyes still carry that familiar twinkle during his story telling.

Before long, my hero and I are reminiscing, laughing and enjoying the magical moment of father and daughter.

Note: My daddy will turn 82-years old this summer. He is still young-at-heart, full of lively, warm stories and jokes to share at a moment’s notice, and still very much a caring, loving, praying man. 

Te quiero mucho, Papi. 

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Filed under Father's Day, Memoir

“All of Business is About Relationships.”

As I journey along the way, I have come to realize that I need you. I learn, grow and I am encouraged by you.

You see, there was a period of time when I was hurting so much I didn’t have time for you. I was too wrapped up in my own little sad state of affairs to consider you. And why not? I was led to believe that I was insignificant, damaged goods, a toss away. In my bleeding heart, what could I have contributed to you anyway? Why would anyone listen to anything I had to offer? Inside I was frail, weak and torn. I felt lonely. I was a mess!

But that was then. This is now: I thrive in hearing you say that I’ve helped you. I am comforted knowing I have made a difference by a deed, a spoken word, a smile, a written word, a touch.

Thank you for allowing me to be me. Thank you for going on this incredible journey with me. You walked with me in my brokenness and pain. You rooted for me during my shame, and cheered for me because I came out sane!

I have an endless hope, not a hopeless end!

My messes became my message. My life of peril turned into a life of promise. Through it all, I have gained an astonishing insight: I know that I’m somebody – with a bright future –  who has purpose – is needed – loved.

God hasn’t given up on you, so don’t you dare give up on Him. God loves you, and I do too.

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