Why Do I Write?

I write that I might inspire, encourage, and inform. But I also write for the same reason:

  a canary sings in its cage

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an acorn grows into a shaded oak tree

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a waddling duckling matures into a graceful swan

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a caterpillar morphs into a beautiful butterfly

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a daydream turns into reality

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contented cats purr

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a bud blossoms into a beautiful rose

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a mountain goat climbs the Rockies

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a ripple of water forms into a majestic wave

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an eagle spreads its wings and soars

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a child dances in the rain

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© M.A. Perez 2014, All Rights Reserved
http://authr.com/title/3282/running-in-heels_a-memoir-of-grit-and-grace.html

9 Comments

Filed under Blogging, writing

Another Day at the Office

Ever think you’d wake up to face another day and everything go according to plan? Remain normal? Nothing out of the ordinary? Yeah, me too. But this would be no ordinary work day for me …

Several months of working the drive-thru window at my new banking job, I looked forward to working the inside lobby. I retrieved my cash box and set up my drawer like any other day, with the exception of being stationed alongside manager and friend, Judy, with her fifteen years of experience in the industry. Once all bank tellers were set with their consignment items, our security guard Victor, unlocked the front doors and opened for business.

Because it was the beginning of the week, I felt confident the day would go fairly smooth. After assisting a couple of customers with their transactions, I became startled by a commotion to my far left. I glanced toward that direction in time to see a masked man shove Victor against the counter, snatching his gun out of his holster. Like a surreal scene right out of a horror flick, the masked man shoved the gun against Victor’s spine, ordering him not to move or to turn around. Before realization hit me, another gunman shot by from the opposite direction with a stocking over his face, shouting obscenities and threatening that he would “pop” anyone who moved! Another hooded gunman appeared, waving his rifle, shoving customers and employees along the wall, yelling at them to drop down and not move. Staring in disbelief and in shock, as if frozen in time, we tellers behind the counters, were still standing with hands in the air. As thoughts reeled in my brain, I hardly noticed that my hand was slowly etching out attempting to set off a silent alarm hidden under the counter inches from me. Out of no where, one of the gunmen jumped on top of my station, glaring with his gun pointed at me and growls, “You! Down, now. Or I’ll pop you!” I was going to faint on the spot at best, or be shot to smithereens at worst. Thank the good Lord, I still had some control of my faculties and complied, dropping to my knees with my head down, all the while praying.

Judy was not so lucky. The gunman began ordering her to climb over the counter to go into the vault with him. One of the other gunmen already held Victor and the commercial teller with his gun pointed in their faces while they waited to go inside the vault once it was unlocked. The gunman became impatient with Judy and proceeded to pull on her arm attempting to drag her up and over the counter. As she struggled to raise her leg to climb, she stumbled back and was immediately pistol whipped after he jumped down, cursing her for moving too slow. He proceeded to push her towards the vault with the others. (Yes, my head was up and I was peeking.)

Once the vault was unlocked, one could only imagined what was taking place inside. One of the gunmen stood by the front door, holding everyone at bay spewing profanities and waving his gun back and forth. After what seemed like an eternity, the two gunmen ran out from the vault, throwing money bags at their partner by the exit. They ordered everyone to remain down as they scurried out the front door.

After the ruckus, we began to stir and rise from our positions. Peering out of the windows we noticed the police were already on the scene (an alarm had indeed gone off), and they were in hot pursuit of the bank robbers who apparently had jumped into a getaway car.

Instantly, I thought of Judy and the rest who had gone into the vault. They were still inside! Were they hurt? Still alive? I shuddered to think. As I quickly approached the vault, I heard sobbing and my heart dropped! All three employees were lying face down. But the sight of Judy faced down with blood glistering from a gash on her forehead stunned me. A sob escaped me as I called her name. I was relieved to discover that in calling out, they all responded by sitting up and were simply waiting for one of us from the outside to come and get them. Upon examining Judy’s head, we knew her outer wounds would heal. We hugged one another and let the tears flow freely.

After the police interviewed everyone, we were allowed to call family members to come for us. When Mark came for me, I was still trembling and immediately crumbled in the safety of his arms. I couldn’t wait to go home to hug my kids tight. Recovery from trauma is a process. Most of us were shaken up for quite some time after that ordeal and needed counseling. Some even quit their banking jobs to look elsewhere for employment. As for me, that moment in time would forever be etched in my memory.

I myself experienced what is called a trauma-related symptom in the aftermath of that bank robbery. Days after the incident, while I was on lunch break at a fast-food chicken joint, an outraged customer began verbally attacking one of the employees over his incorrect order. My heart was pounding out of my chest, my nerves felt like pins and needles. I left my food and made a hasty exit and got the heck out of dodge.

Reflecting back, one thing became perfectly clear: You can be “busy as usual” with the mundane things in life and at a moment’s notice, your world can turn upside down and you are faced with a life and death situation!

Life is precious not to be taken for granted.

© M.A. Perez 2014, All Rights Reserved

Your turn. Have you had a traumatic experience or a close call when you least expected it?

18 Comments

Filed under Bank Robbery, Social

Veterans Day Tribute

 

A moving, patriotic tribute to our military, past and present. Thank you for your service! This video was produced by “The Sound Tank”.

 

great-grandpa20-e1400804642274My 19-year-old grandpa, Florentino Mendez – 1916

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4 Comments

November 9, 2014 · 1:43 PM

A Sneak Peek Behind the Scenes

Well, the day had finally arrived. A special day filled with prepping for my first professional headshot. I am very mindful of my followers and supporters and that I am not alone on this wonderful journey. So here I share with you some behind the scenes of my day (and not all are glamorous). Lol.

After some researching and making the appointments weeks in advance, I started the day off early for the first appointment at Hair International Day Spa. My youngest daughter, Angela, wouldn’t miss it for the world. Everything I needed to do today was right up her alley, so she met me at the hair salon.

I decided to step it up a notch and do something different with my hair. Hopefully, it pans out.

Hmmmm how short should I go?

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 A rare photo for all the world to see – and may be the last one I ever post! ((meh))

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I have chosen Chelsea to be my hairstylist and makeup artist. I trust her knowing I am in capable hands.

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 Okay. I think we’re on a roll.

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Getting in the groove.

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 “Mom …,” my daughter whispered, “there’s a lot of your hair on the floor.” Yep, 7-inches – gone!

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The finishing touch – hairspray!

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My new Bob cut.

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Chelsea did an amazing job! I just love her!

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Next appointment … to the photographer. (No time for lunch!)

I located this place searching the internet and after reading the reviews, I decided to call them. After speaking with Mary, she answered all my questions to my satisfaction. I was able to coordinate a time with her, not long after my hair and makeup session.

The studio, located in the Museum district, is in a historical home in Houston. Husband and wife team, Tom and Mary were friendly and accommodating. The atmosphere, charmingly odd, had an old-fashioned feel, and I immediately felt at ease. After changing outfits in complete privacy: show time!

Angela stood near the photographer and as the instructions began on how to turn my head and lean forward or back, look to the right or left, I saw my daughter’s thumbs up in my peripheral vision. I knew things were going okay with every click of the camera.

And so ladies and gentlemen, faithful followers and fellow bloggers, click here to see my untouched photos. I posted these on my FaceBook page and the votes were cast. I have three favorites and we will be working on them to use professionally.

Thank you for accompanying me in this journey; many more to come. After so many years, I am beginning to look and feel like a published author.

© M.A. Perez 2014, All Rights Reserved

21 Comments

October 28, 2014 · 9:02 PM

Time to Vote

Today was a big day for hair/makeup/photo shoot!

Please visit link below (courtesy of Click Photography) and cast your vote for your favorite headshot!
http://clickphotog.com/galleries/runninginheels/

18 Comments

Filed under Author, vote for photo

My One Lovely Blog Award

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I am honored to receive the One Lovely Blog Award. This award acknowledges up-and-coming bloggers who share their story, thoughts, or content in a beautiful manner that connects with their viewers and followers. The goal of the award is to give recognition to newer, up-and-coming, bloggers to help them reach more viewers.

Thank you LaTanya Davis and Clara Freeman for nominating my blog! I had fun sharing a little about myself and reading your blogs! Click here . . .

 

 

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Filed under Award

Forever Mama

As I mentioned in a previous post, Mama’s and my relationship and communication skills are a work in progress. This is good, because we are so much better than once before. You see, I missed out in doing the normal mother and daughter things with her when I was a child. But as an adult, I am blessed because I get to do some things for her she never could for me. That’s not necessarily a bad deal. I feel fortunate enough knowing that there is enough stability in my life, although it hasn’t always been this way.

I enjoy being able to take Mama out to a dinner and a movie on occasion, because these simple outings mean a great deal to her. I remember taking her to her first musical about a couple of years ago to see “Annie.” I knew there would be a lot of walking; therefore I insisted that we bring a wheelchair (instead of her walker). In more ways than one, that turned out to be a smart move. We were given great seats, close to the stage. As I watched those talented girls performing in the musical along with Annie, I commented on which were my favorites to Mama. But Mama’s interest centered on one thing. And one thing only. On Sandy the dog. “What a smart dog!” she’d say. “Isn’t that dog smart?” she’d ask. “Well, yes, but look at the little girl, the youngest one there,” I pointed out. “Isn’t she something?” “Yeah, but can’t you see how animals are so smart?” she squealed. “Oooh, I want to take him home with me!”

Okay, so Mama and I don’t always see eye to eye or agree on everything. What may mean a big deal to me won’t necessarily be to her, and what may seem mundane to me isn’t to her, but we are working on that communication thing, along with some understanding. We really are!

Just a few days ago, we celebrated Mama’s 80th birthday. Family and friends surrounded her with their presence, delicious food (at a Cuban restaurant), birthday cake, and showered her with several cards and gifts. She seemed more comfortable in having pictures taken. I am glad she is still a part of my life. I am glad she will forever be my mama!

Please visit She’s My Mama – posted last year.

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http://authr.me/fmX

© M.A. Perez 2014, All Rights Reserved

12 Comments

Filed under communication, Memoir

News Flash

Dear Friends, Family, Followers and Fans:

I am super excited to announce: “Running in Heels” has landed a publishing home with Chart House Press. Please read all about this in the link below, posted just today, while waiting in the lobby of a movie theater and sipping on a milk shake. Minutes later, I chatted with a lady whom I never met before, and upon hearing what my memoir was about she said, “Women like me need this. Honey, congratulations! I want to go to your book signing.”

Thank you for your continual support. Our journey has just begun.

 

 

 

27 Comments

Filed under Author, Blog

Not That Girl

She is not the girl who scratched and clawed her way to the top. She is the girl who learned how to float to prevent from sinking when life tried to weigh her down. Who walked on pebbles and use them as her stepping-stones to get to higher ground. Who learned that childlike faith in the God above would blossom into something much greater than herself. She may have had father figures who were missing in action, but she became comforted with a Heavenly Father who never left her side.

Once dejected and rejected, she no longer is that sad, little girl. Don’t feel sorry for her. Applaud her, because it was during the dry seasons that she discovered an oasis. Rejoice with her, because in the darkness is where she found a beacon of light. Admire her for rising above her crisis in spite of her circumstances. She may have started out in the valley, pecking along like a chicken digging for worms. But then the Ancient of Days taught her to spread her wings like an eagle, and soar into the air over the mountaintop.

Don’t cry for her, feel sad for her, or grieve for her. If you’re looking for a lost and lonely child, she is not here. Misunderstood, she may be; a wonder to many she may be. If you’re looking for perfection, she is not that girl. If you expect to see sophistication or to hear profound eloquence, you will be disappointed. Her past may want to dictate her future, the voices in her head play a broken song, her name may even mean “bitter” — but she refuses to be that girl.

What kind of girl is she? A simple girl. A blessed girl. She is stronger today for everything she endured. She appreciates the beauty of living life one day at a time. She surrounds herself by those who encourage and genuinely care for her. She clothes herself with a garment of praise, amazed by the wonders of God’s grace.

Sad . . . alone . . . afraid. Not that girl anymore.

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© M.A. Perez 2014, All Rights Reserved

http://authr.me/fmX

 “The past does not have to be your prison. You have a voice in your destiny. You have a say in your life. You have a choice in the path you take.” Max Lucado

 

 

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under Memoir, survival

My Sister, If Only …

I remember first holding you, so tiny in my arms.
Next thing I knew, you turned two, angelic, and quite a charm.
Your silhouette dancing in my dreams before my eyes -
Remembering your joy with my simple lullabies.

I imagine your eyes, your voice, your laughter,
Spending time together, nothing else mattered.
Thinking about you often before crawling in bed at night,
I loved you so much, never wanted you out of my sight.

Please tell me what is on your mind today?
What are the things you are longing to say?
Will you marry that wonderful husband?
Live in a castle and have many children?

Oh, if only, if only, I could see you now,
I would run to you, hold you and twirl you around!

Oh, sister, there will always be a hole in my heart,
But I guess I knew that from the start.
If I still had you around to talk, share secrets, laugh and cry
I would not be here now thinking: Why did you have to die?

Photo Credit: LuLu Taylor via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: LuLu Taylor via Compfight cc

© M.A. Perez 2014, All Rights Reserved

http://authr.me/fmX

In memory of my sister whose birthday is around the corner. She would have been ten years older than my first born! I had to say goodbye to her when I was nine, a month after she turned two years old. I remember so much pain and suffering back then, looking back, I believe God spared her from something worse. I look forward to the Blessed Hope that one day we will embrace one another again. She will not come to me but I will go to her. And we will NEVER have to be apart.

To read more about my sister from last year’s post, click here . . .

11 Comments

Filed under Loss, Personal, poetry