So I made this Valentine charcuterie board just for Mama.
Happy Valentines y’all!
So I made this Valentine charcuterie board just for Mama.
Happy Valentines y’all!
Filed under Mama
Have a Blessed & Happy New Year!!!!
“Live like there’s no tomorrow. Love like you’re on borrowed time. Always remember: It’s good to be alive.” ~ Jason Gray
Filed under Inspirational
How time flies.
We’ve been caring for Mama in our home for the past 3 years. After spending the holidays with us like she’d normally do, she never returned to her apartment. Hubby and I noticed how frail she had become and the realization hit us both that she was going to need more assistance than what she’d been getting living on her own.
We do what we have to.
Our adult daughter, who also lives with us, is a tremendous help and caregiver for Mom, as well. My husband and I work full-time. Even with care providers, the bath-nurses, and medical folk checking in on Mom on a weekly basis, my daughter fills in the gap and then some.
Last year, after her doctor’s visit and blood work results, Mom’s doctor ordered that she be admitted to the hospital. Her blood pressure and blood count were dangerously low! During the four nights there, she received two units of blood and an iron infusion before returning home, along with her energy and appetite back! A year later, in August, it happened again – she was hospitalized and released. Soon after, I got medical POA, so when the repeated episode occurred a month later, this time, thankfully, Mom agreed to have an endoscopy procedure instead of coming home.
She had a mass in her stomach.
The dreaded cancer.
We cried, reminisced, and prayed.
Dr. Solomon would be Mom’s surgeon. We prayed non-stop for this physician and witnessed how he used wisdom in dealing with Mom’s delicate procedure beforehand. We placed our trust in him, knowing that the God we served–the Great Physician–was in control.
On the day of surgery, my husband, and children joined me. As they wheeled her off to surgery, I could see flecks of fear swimming in her eyes. I hoped she found strength in mine, howbeit my heart was heavy. You see, I became that little girl again. And I cried out to her, “Momma, come back to me!”
We waited in the waiting area for half a day, even when her surgery was over and she was in Post-Opt room. The good news, the cancer did not seem to have spread to any other area in her body. However, they removed 80% of her stomach.
Mama remained in ICU for a couple of days and then moved to a private room. I remained with her spending the night as much as I could, giving her my love and support every chance. We have always had a complex relationship–she and I–but no matter what, she is still my mama and I will always be her little girl. ( To read more of my journey, click here… )
Today is Mama’s 88th birthday. Yesterday, Sunday, the family joined us to celebrate her life, surrounding her with our love and prayers. We wore matching T-shirts to honor her. I wanted her to feel our love and let her know how special she is. She is the matriarch of the family.
Today, Mom is being moved to Rehab for a few weeks for therapy and to become stronger. We continue to wait for the final pathology report, trusting the Lord will complete the work He has started in her; she is in His hands.
Life is fleeting. Let go of the petty things. Treasure your loved ones while they are still around.
I am comforted in knowing that when I am weak then my God is strong, and His grace is sufficient for me! Thank you, Lord, that your mercies are new every morning. Thank you, Lord, for another day.
Filed under gastric surgery, Personal
Have your emotions ever run amuck? Without warning or preparation, it hits you between the eyes (or as in my case, the tear gland).
Allow me to share some recent experiences with you.
A friend of mine shared a music video with me and I turned it up to listen as I drove home. I was reminded of the goodness of the Lord. It wasn’t about me, it was all about Him. The next thing I knew, my heart was elated and I couldn’t help but rejoice in the God whom I serve! I was able to focus on the Lord in Who He is, and all He has done in my life. My spirit was lifted; my heart lightened. What a refreshing moment!
“The joy of the Lord is my strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
Well, last week was a bit rough for me in a technical sense. I am not very tech savvy, but my internet was acting up which affected my phone line and prevented me from doing my job satisfactorily – until it was finally fixed; which wasn’t soon enough for my taste! The frustrations built from within, and I felt defeated. Once I left the office, the damn had burst. I cried. And prayed.
“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.” (Psalms 56:8)
The other day when I arrived home from work, my husband told me to check out the progress of the repairs he’d been doing in the front room. I went in there, looked around, and yep, you guessed it, started crying! I was pleasantly surprised because, after so much construction mess, I could finally see the light. I saw how it was going to look once painted! My heart was filled with gratitude and thanksgiving. Yes, I had a moment! I stayed in there a while. The funny thing is when I went to my husband, he looked at me and immediately was concerned asking what was wrong, what had happened. My daughter also saw me and jumped up, thinking something had happened! But these were tears of joy … and it all sprung up and surprised me as well.
There’s a time and season for everything. In the good, praise God! In the bad when things are rough, praise God!
“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).
© M.A. Perez 2022, All Rights Reserved
Please check out my first blog about tears: https://maryaperez.com/2013/10/17/this-thing-called-tears/
And who can forget this timeless song below by The Byrds?
Filed under emotions
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”
He is the one for me. He is the man who has stuck by my side since day one as my loving confidant, helpmate, and best friend. He is the man who loves me, cherishes me, and tells me that I am beautiful. He loves me on my best days and he loves me on my worse days. He knows my past and has never belittled me or made me feel inadequate. He is faithful, a man true to his word. I can count on his constant love and remain secure in his arms. He praises me for my accomplishments and encourages me in my failures. When I’m happy, his warm laughter melts my heart. When I’m sad or fearful, his gentle touch wipes away my tears.
I love you, my husband. And I am proud to be your wife. I am truly grateful to the Lord for joining us together to share the remainder of our days. As we celebrate our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary, may our constant love nourish and sustain each other until the end of time.
You can read about him in Chapter 42 of my book: “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace”
Filed under Anniversary celebration, Marriage
So, I’ve been away from posting any new materials of late. One of the reasons is that I have been quite busy in my spare time, trying to translate my memoir chapters into Spanish. One of the hardest and most tedious tasks for me thus far. I couldn’t do it without the help and reliance upon others. Initially, I sought the ‘professionals’ and their prices were sky-high, too rich for my blood. My reality check. I then requested help from family and friends, and even after telling me yes, are too busy and couldn’t commit.
Well, my son’s new girl in his life dove right in and is taking on the task. And recently, wouldn’t you know it, I have another friend and her mother looking over the chapters. I am far from finished and know that I will have to find professional editing afterward. But I am up to the challenge.
So many sentences, chapters, and conversations across every page of my memoir come alive and I find myself reliving almost every word. I find myself touched and tears roll down my face. You see, it hits me – I’ve survived so much! Indeed, God has been good to me; a constant steadfastness in my unstabled life. God is the God of miracles.
“¡Respondeme!” Me dio una bofetada de revés.
The above quote is just a tiny picture of what once was … I will retell my story so that others may know hope, and about the God of second chances and new beginnings. If He can do it for me, He can certainly do it for you!
“Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace” (PAPERBACK)
I also have another future writing project that will share the stories of other survivors.
Pray for me. And stay tuned.
Filed under reflection
Retrospecting can be a good thing. Last year, on Thanksgiving Day, I remember feeling sad and a bit irritated. The reason: we were not having our regular holiday family gathering due to the Covid Pandemic restrictions. My emotions floundered all over the place. I did my best to focus on the positive. I even wrote this message to my family and friends:
If I am to be honest, I’ve been bummed out for a couple of days, knowing I would be missing our traditional, family Thanksgiving Day celebration in our home, which has always filled my heart with so much joy. Instead, I must choose to focus on what I have and count my blessings, giving God thanks and glory for all in my life!
Even on my worst days, He loves me! I have known Him in the valley, I have known Him on the mountaintops. While I love being on the mountaintops, it was trudging in the valleys where I grew closest to my Lord, and where I learned that the God on the mountain is still God in the valleys.
I am thankful He has given me health, provision, shelter, a loving husband, a beautiful family, and wonderful friends – He has made many dreams come to fruition.
I am a work in progress. Thank you, Lord, for not having given up on me, and I know You’re not finished with any of us yet.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!!
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:18
Jump over to the present:
I am happy to report that this Thanksgiving Holiday, the day turned out to be special in so many ways. Yes, I am truly grateful for my loved ones. You see, while we celebrated the holiday with prayer, food, and fellowship, I glanced around the table, caressing my eyes over each face representing my family. And I realized, Mary, you’re not alone anymore. You see, as a kid growing up, I once felt alone and rejected. Matter of fact, I felt insignificant, always on the outside looking in. I had many insecurities and felt much like second-class. It wouldn’t be until many years later in my adulthood, that I experienced inner healing and received a breakthrough in my personal life. So much so, I put my story to pen and paper and published my book, “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace.”
We did something different this year, thanks to my youngest daughter’s prompting. We each held a strip of paper of questions we took turns reading out loud and then answering. This was epic because the questions caused most of us to dig deep and open up with heartfelt answers.
As I listened to the different ones share, I felt my heart would burst with gratitude in hearing my children speak over me. I wasn’t prepared for this raw reaction, nor was I prepared for what I would say when my turn came. I found that I was able to share my heart with thankfulness and humility. I blessed each of my children and grandchildren and expressed to them what I appreciated about them. I blessed my husband for being the man that he was and, again, for accepting somebody else’s children by stepping up to the plate another man left on the table. And finally, I turned to my mom and expressed my undying love for her, no matter though our relationship is a complex one. I also asked her forgiveness for getting short with her, and I assured her that I will always be her little girl.
We are all flawed. But we can rise above stinking-thinking and look beyond ourselves. Take a look at others, really see them, and love on them. I thank the Lord for making all things new – His mercies are new every morning!
Filed under Reflections From the Heart, Thankfulness, Thanksgiving
Celebrating the woman who gave birth to me. A mother and daughter’s relationship can be a complicated one. It’s true, we’ve been through some rough and challenging seasons throughout the years! But I loved her as a little girl then, and I love her as a woman now. If you want to know more, read the book, https://www.amazon.com/Running-Heels-Memoir-Grit-Grace/dp/1944952039.
To Mama: Always and forever I’ll be your little girl, and nothing will ever change that. Happy Birthday Mama! xoxoxoxo
Filed under Mama's Birthday
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 into bed at night,
I loved you so much, never wanting you out of my sight.
I wish you could tell me what’s on your mind today?
What are the things you’re longing to say?
Would you have married a 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 tight 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 now to talk with, share secrets with, laugh and cry
I would not be here now thinking: Why? Why did you have to die?
As we approach the anniversary of my baby sister’s life and death, what I have shared is very dear and personal to my heart. As my eyes mist with tears, I still feel my heart burn heavily from missing her! But please understand that I do NOT “blame” God for my sister’s death! Our God is Sovereign and I believe that He allows certain things to happen to us for His greater plan and purpose. (Isa. 57: 1). After all, His ways are higher than our ways.
Now, I’m not by any means a theologian, a preacher, or a Bible teacher. I’m just a layman, a simple woman of faith, with a finite mind trying to serve an Infinite God. I know that it rains on the just and unjust (Matt. 5:45); bad things do happen to good people.
If I am to be honest, I don’t always understand the mind of God. Howbeit, I purpose in my heart to trust Him! And if I am to be truthful, yes, to this day my heart does have a few unanswered questions. On occasions, in my journey of life I have meltdowns, wallow in self-pity, and find myself clouded by doubts and fears. However, because of His steadfast love and His unfathomable mercy for me, I thank God that I don’t have to remain in that state of mind!
You see, I am a work in progress.
In memory of my sister who prematurely passed away 53 years ago by a hit-and-run driver. (To learn more of her story, click here.) She would have been ten years older than my first-born daughter! I had to say goodbye to my little sister when I was nine, just a month after she turned two years old. I remember so much pain and suffering as a child back then. In retrospect, I believe God may have spared her from something worse. I look forward to the Blessed Hope that some day we will embrace one another once again. She will not return to me, but I will go to her one day. (II Sam 12:23). And we will NEVER have to be apart.
Filed under Bereavement, Personal
By 2001, I had worked for two years for a reputable high-end carpet cleaning company. I started out as a receptionist and was then promoted to inside sales. I sported around in a Jeep Grand Cherokee and I’d been married for seven wonderful years. Mark had become a devoted Christian, and we attended church as a close-knit family. In April, we purchased our home southwest of Houston in Fort Bend County. Five months later, while driving to work, my tranquil life was interrupted by distress and unexpected terror.
On September 11th, around 7:50 in the morning, I heard on the radio that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. As soon as I arrived at the office, I flicked on the TV to see the live broadcast of a massive hole in one tower caused by the plane’s impact. Co-workers gathered around and we couldn’t peel our eyes away from the screen. Black smoke billowed out of the building, soon engulfed by flames.
We heard what we didn’t want to hear and continued to see unbelievable images that will forever be etched in our minds. My heart plummeted as I saw a second plane hit the other tower. Buildings collapsed minutes later and we all gasped in horror knowing that hundreds—thousands—lost their lives.
That night, President Bush spoke powerful words: “Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended.”
Freedom isn’t free, I thought, and freedom is worth any cost.
What is your memory of that fateful day?
© M.A. Pérez, 2021, All Rights Reserved