Tag Archives: birthday

Forever, For Always in my Heart

Soft, velvety cheeks. A round rosy nose. Dark hair like mine, but curly. Eyes, blue that sparkled like the ocean I’d seen in storybooks. I kissed her sweet-smelling face. Her soft, pudgy hand with tiny fingers, curled inside mine.

My sister, Anna, melted my heart. I won’t be alone anymore. I caressed her cheeks and whispered, “I’ll stay by your side for always.”

Soon left with the responsibility of caring for Anna, I became her substitute mother. I loved her and took care of her as best as a seven-year-old could.

Before I knew it, my baby sister turned two. Whatever we did, doing it together was more fun than being alone.

One particular evening, as I gazed into my sister’s baby-blues, a sudden feeling of sorrow swept over me. Tears clouded my eyes. Something burned within my chest. I cried out, “Please God, don’t let nothing bad happen to her!”

Anna gazed at me with her gentle, trusting eyes.

“I’ll protect you,” I whispered to her. “For always.”

Before bedtime, we repeated a child’s prayer Grandma taught me, one that hung on the wall:

“. . . I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep . . .”

That night I clung to my sister and kept the strange premonition to myself.

My legs trembled as I crept to her room and peered through the glass-pane door on my tiptoes. I saw a blinking monitor. Then I saw her—my baby sister—with soiled feet, still in her little, green denim dress, tattered and torn. She lay motionless on her back, her curly, brown hair matted with blood. Her face bruised and swollen, her baby blues closed tight.

I felt light-headed as I slumped on the floor, pulling my knees to my chest, crying.

At the funeral, I held my breath and willed my feet toward the small white casket.

Grandma squeezed my hand. I took my finger and stroked my sister’s face, which reminded me of a plastic doll’s, stiff and cold to the touch. Heavy makeup could not conceal her bruises. Her little head—now swollen from the blow of the car that hit her—was cradled by a bonnet, much too small. She wore a new green dress, cleaned and pressed, without stains. Nor traces of blood.

I glanced up at Grandma. “Your sister’s in a better place now,” she choked. Then I placed a small cross under Anna’s tiny, rigid hands. My tears blinded me.

“. . . If I should die before I wake, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take.”

Excerpt from “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace

Each year as her birthday approaches, I think about how special my baby sister has always been to me. But those memories turn bittersweet, as it is difficult for me to separate how quickly we had to say goodbye to her, just a month after celebrating her 2nd birthday. Her memory will forever live in my heart, and for that I am grateful.

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The Wind Beneath My Wings

You are God’s gift to me. From day one, I was drawn to your tenderness, warmth and laughter, and loved your adventurous spirit for the outdoors and watching you with my children. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for choosing me and to remain by my side as my amazing hubby, confidant and best friend! You still light up my life and are the wind beneath my wings. May the Lord continue to watch over you and give us precious years together, believing that the best years are yet to come. I love you.

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New Year’s Birthday Bash

A late post–better late than never–worth sharing, especially with all the negative happenings in our world of late.

So what does one do when a New Year’s Baby turns 40?

She throws a Masquerade Party!

My baby girl, who many call my mini-me, lit up the room when she entered. She threw one of the best parties ever. It was so much fun to dress up and see the different outfits and masks others wore. With great decor, music, dancing, food and just plain fun, what more could you ask for?

Here is a video and a few photos. Hope you enjoy!

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Cruising – 2019

Ever have a dream, but priorities along with the responsibilities puts that dream on hold? Yeah, me too.

Well, after ten years, that dream finally became a reality! For my birthday and silver anniversary gift to hubby and I, the children all pitched in–in-laws and Mama included–giving us the surprise of our life! What an unexpected BLESSING!

We went on our first cruise, ever! So yes, I got a taste of it and now, it’s in my blood! Haha!

Our stateroom with an ocean view was very comfortable, the food and service impeccable, with plenty of activities, music, shopping, and shows to chose from. We enjoyed everything about our four day cruise on the Royal Caribbean to Cozumel. A couple of our friends had  joined us, and made our little getaway feel extra special.

Without further ado – here are just a few photos of our adventure!

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“And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count; it’s the life in your years.”

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Prayers for the Birthday Boy

Photo credit by Leo Laredo Photography

This is for you Grandson, Ryan.

Mimi can hardly believe how much of a young man you have grown to be. We are all so very proud of all your accomplishments, and look forward with great anticipation to what is yet to come.

Where has the time gone? I shall never forget when you were around six years of age, and attended a holiday outing with me and Papa. I invited you to go for a spin on the dance floor. You were a bit shy then and did not want to. I smiled at your sweet face and simply said that as I become older, I may not be able to move around as much and we will never have that dance … You delighted Mimi’s heart by not hesitating and pulled me to the dance floor! While others looked on, taking photos of us slow dancing that night, I beamed with pride.

Play it forward 10 years to the present – you are quite the matured teenager, way too cool, so much so that you amaze me with your whit. Matter of fact, it was just recently that you were standing by listening to your mom, auntie and I chit-chatting the way we normally do. As you observed how animated we are (after all we are Latina women), you exclaimed how the three of us are so “extra” when we talk. We laughed at that remark. We realized that maybe we are … but you know what? I have an extra remarkable grandson whom I love with all my heart!

May you continue in your journey to being more remarkable than today.
Happy Birthday Ryan.


Dear Lord, on this day that we celebrate Ryan’s birth, I pray for blessings and joy over him.

You knew everything about him before his birth and You have a plan of prosperity and hope for his life!

Let him feel confident and ready for the year ahead knowing that You have an order to his steps and a purpose for his life.

Help him to find joy in every circumstance in life, knowing that You work all things out for good.

I thank You, God, for Ryan, for loving him with unconditional love, and for the promises You have spoken over his life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Another Glorious Birthday

 

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Hello faithful followers and fellow bloggers!

I just celebrated another birthday. As I mature, although not always pain-free, I am thankful to God for my health and for surrounding me with great friends and loved ones. My family continues to grow as my son recently married and I embrace my new daughter-in-love. I know in God’s perfect timing, a new little addition will be added…ah yeah!

Mostly, I am thankful to the Lord for restoring unto me the years the locust had eaten. For those of you who don’t know my story, I was once a neglected and lonely little girl. Life didn’t become easier for me as a teenager and when I thought I had met my Prince Charming, I imagined he would whisk me away into a happily ever after. He hadn’t sown all his wild oats. He was an abusive man twice my age. Before I knew it, I felt trapped and was a 22-year old with 4 children, the oldest then only 5 years old!

So yeah, I endured some hardships but I learned a lot of lessons along the way. I am stronger today because of them. No matter what life has dealt, I have always strived to become better instead of bitter. I believe we can turn stumbling blocks of defeat and difficulties, into stepping-stones of  purpose and peace. I came across a quote that said: “Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.” Let that sink in. Some of us remain miserable all our lives. I don’t want to be that person, do you?

Take one day at a time. No grit, no grace. If you have a pulse, you have a purpose! Hold onto faith and keep on smiling. Have a grateful heart. Be thankful for the little things. Believe the best is yet to come. You ain’t seen nothing yet!

 

 

 

 

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The Birthday Boy

Hello my fellow blog followers and fans!

Sometimes life throws you a curveball – sometimes you duck, sometimes it hits you right upside your head. How you react will determine what kind of player you are.

So what do you do when fear knocks on your door? Do you face your giant, or do you stick your head in the sand? Remember there are two sides of F.E.A.R.: Forget Everything and Run or Face Everything and Rise. Takes grit, doesn’t it? More importantly, it takes God’s grace, too.

Eight months prior, was such a trying time for us with all the emotional roller-coaster from one minute to the next. We weren’t sure what the next second would bring, let alone the next day. The days and nights were difficult ones. But I’m here to tell you that the support, prayers, and genuine love from family and friends made all the difference in the world! And I am happy to report that my husband is a walking miracle; (read about it here), and I am so thankful for the goodness and mercy of God.

I recently threw a surprised party for the Birthday Boy, also called the Miracle Man, with many of our close and precious friends. It was an incredible turn out and my hubby was indeed taken by surprised. He couldn’t believe how many people were able to keep the secret from him! Whew!

On July 21st, we celebrated Mark’s life. And I would like to share some of those moments with you through this slide.

 

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It Is Well With My Soul …

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Dear friends:

These past couple of weeks,  I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster, but my family and friends have literally lifted my spirits. Today, it being my birthday, I am thanking God for His neverending grace and His unfailing love. My journey continues and for that I am truly grateful.

Thank you for being my friend.

About "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit & Grace"

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Celebrating the Birthday Boy

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Happy Birthday to my hubby, confidant and best friend! You still light up my life, the wind beneath my wings.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ageless!

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Age. Aging. Ageless.

I rarely think about my age but the body has a way of reminding me whenever I throw my back out or my knee pops. And yes, in the mirror I sometimes notice an extra line here, another wrinkle there, and as I gaze upon certain areas of my physique I find myself wondering, where did “it” go and when did “that” change?

From time to time I muse about my early years in having to grow up so fast, and then in my teens and young adulthood in raising four children. Next thing I knew my twenties were gone, and my marriage was deteriorating. Divorced in my thirties (I felt like a failure but ya know, the world did not end), and remarried by my mid-thirties (thank God for new beginnings). I can shout from the rooftop that no marriage is so good that it can’t be made better! (You see, I’ve been married most of my life.) Then when I approached my early forties, the seasons changed again for me, this time, embracing the wonders of grand-parenting.

So, in my fifties, as I reflect on this aging process—knowing I certainly don’t have all the answers—I’ve learned a thing or two about what life has dealt me.

I read in Psalms 90:12: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”  This passage speaks to me and tells me to make each day count. I must remember to live in the present, not in the yesterdays or in the tomorrows. I must laugh often, love deeply, pray sincerely, and believe that my best days are before me.

As my birthday quickly approaches around the corner (like tomorrow the 27th), I can’t help but think: have I done all I ever wanted to do? Of course, the answer is a resounding: Not even close. Am I running out of time? I believe life is a gift from God and I’ll take each day and cherish the moment. He is the reason for every good thing, every heartbeat, and every second chance.

Age … aging … ageless …?

I’ll take ageless!

I may not know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds my tomorrows.

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