Hope is a Heartbeat

There is a saying in Spanish that goes, hope is the last thing to die. This saying has always reminded me of the mom who waits a lifetime for a son or a daughter to be delivered from the grip of drugs. She hopes to her last breath. Or the parents who sit by the bedside of a sick child to the end, waiting and hoping.

Horror!

It is a brutal reality that we are living an era of chaos. It is also a reality humanity has been here before, multiple times. It does not mean that this time around is not significant. It always is. It is always significant when it claims lives, when it wreaks havoc in ordinary day to day life, when it disrupts the rhythm of sowing and reaping to sustain life.

Babies! Also known as pups.

I was thinking and reflecting on this fleeting summer. Mid-June or so I found my aloe plant was not doing well. I did a little searching to find out if there was hope for my plant and what to do to bring it around. To my surprise, there was hope. There was still life in the plant. .

After reading several web pages and watching a couple of videos, I went to work. By mid July, it was vibrant and healthy again.

Sweet.

A few weeks ago I noticed something. Not only did I manage to bring my plant back around, my aloe did something I had never seen it do in the over 15 years that I have it. It grew babies!

I happily harvested those babies, replanted them in small pots and gifted them away.

My aloe reminded me there is always hope. Hope is a heartbeat.

The Odd Tuesday

It all starts with me opening my eyes and wanting to bury my head into my pillow and wishing the clock would rewind. Ha! And then reality sinks in and I get up.

But what was different about the start of today, a morning like I have not seen in a long time, I had to wake up my son. He is an early riser. He gets up before I’m ready to stick my foot out of the warm blanket. It is possibly because we are starting to get cool weather.

I walked into his room and just looked at him sleeping. He is 14 and I don’t think I remember seeing him sleeping like that for about 6-7 years now because he always beats me out of bed.

Well this morning, time slowed down. I watched him, his breathing, his peacefulness. I took in the view that doesn’t show any indication of the fact he is in the spectrum. Just a beautiful 14 year old sleeping like a teenager. 😍

Well, I could not stay there forever. We have a schedule to stay on, virtual school to get to and the blissful moment had to end. So I kissed his arm, pressing gently. And he began to open his eyes. He frowned a little. Then he looked up at me and said, I was sleeping. And I thought to myself, yeah kid, that’s what you’ve been doing to me for years now. 😂

And the Tuesday grind begins…

It’s gonna be that kind of week…

You know you had a good weekend when you find yourself at the end of Sunday and you want to scream, noooooooo!

That’s when I know in the morning, especially that first day of the work/school week I’m going to need me a Monday size coffee. No matter, Monday will come and go. Then Tuesday. Then Wednesday and eventually I’m back at Sunday night again and I want to go to bed early but I just want to do that one more thing before I go to bed. And one more thing. And, wait, one last thing. So Monday morning comes and Monday size coffee will have to do again.

When Monday morning arrives…

America runs on coffee is accurate, definitely true of me. And I run on Spanish finely ground coffee. Someone once told me, you people make coffee you can paint the walls with. Haha! True. I will not deny that. I will own that one to the end of my days. We don’t just make coffee. We make a mean cup of coffee and we make coffee that is going to get us through the day and every single day through the week. And we accomplish things while running on our Spanish coffee. I am working on the right brew that will make me leap over buildings. 😉

Here’s to a good start of the week for everyone! Get your fuel and go! ☕

Is there a “thing” that you do to propel you on that first day of the week, the dreaded Monday?

Growth Happens

I am sorry I have been MIA here. We have been busy with so many things, and wearing so many different hats.

But hey check this out, we are seeing much fruit for our hard work. Literally.

This cluster of tomatoes is pretty cool. So beautiful. We have already eaten some and they are delicious. We also have had some of our peppers.

This crazy guy was just harvested today. Mr. Zucchini, thank you so much for coming into existence and being sustenance for our bodies! Thank you Creator for the amazing work of your hands!

When I think about the tiny seeds these huge plants have grown from and the abundance of the fruit they are producing, I can’t help but stand in awe. How could I not be amazed at the beauty of the miracle of life? Sometimes my husband and I were freaked at how some of our veggie plants seemed to do some significant growing overnight.

Sorry, already ate these. 😁

I try not to cry, but same thing comes to mind when I look at pictures and videos of my babies back in their early beginnings and even what seemed at the time like a slow progression of their growth.

10 years ago, my special needs child was in preschool.. Time flies.

Today, as I look back I feel like I blinked and missed most of it. But I know I didn’t miss it. I was there all along. Even when they were in school, I showed up to drop them off, pick them up and hear their stories.

I was definitely there. ❤

Que Tragedia!

Spanish for: Such Drama!

There was a day in the kingdom of the Little Prince that was a bit off. Just a bit. Ok, a little more than the usual.

Did not expect to feel crunch in my mouth 😒

The queen mom discovered eggshells in her omelet when eating her breakfast. She wore her flip flops for the first time in the spring season and her feet got very cold, so the rest of her body was also very cold-until she got home and rushed to her room and put on a pair of socks. Aahh!

While she began cooking dinner – this is not the palace of the rich and famous, this queen mom does her own cooking – she discovered a little cut on her thumb and it hurt like it was a deep wound. Gaahhh!

And it would not be a typical day in the kingdom if Little Prince were not obsessing over something, like, “when is the pool gonna be ready king father?” That’s not how the Little Prince asked, that’s how I imagine it in the fantasy version of our very real world.

At the end of the day, late at night when everyone else was sleeping, the queen mom sat by herself and reflected.

This is still a very happy kingdom, she concluded.

And with that, she retired to her chambers for the night.

The very happy end. 🤴

The Little Prince

There once was a little prince (not so little, he’s taller than me), who lived in a small castle. He had all the things he needed for his daily living plus a wonderful education right in the comfort of home. He communicated with his tutors via a strange device called a “chrome” book. They kept him busy with work and he could even talk to them through a magical window on the magical book.

He measured.

One day the tutors decided to seek some new ways to enhance the education of the little prince (they’re probably burnt out). This meant they would take Fridays off to go on their search for knowledge. The queen was then left to come up with a plan for the day off.

“An idle Friday morning for my little prince,” she thought in a bit of despair, “will only bring boredom and mischief. What must I do?”

She did not have to wear her thinking cap long for quickly enough an idea popped up into her mind. She knew how she would teach the mathematics, the science of physics and add an element of life skills to her little prince’s day off.

He mixed.

“We shall bake cookies!” she declared.

The little prince’s eyes widened like saucers at the thought of cookies, but he did not suspect his queen mom was making a school plan out of it. He was sometimes resistant to school.

On Friday morning, the little prince and his queen mom measured flour, sugar and salt. They counted one and a half cups of chocolate chips and cracked two eggs. They even learned when you mix the butter, sugar and eggs too quickly the laws of physics inevitably send some of the mixture flying out of the bowl and onto counter and wall, and even the hair.

He counted. And deducted. And added to his tummy.

After the baking was done, the little prince saw a mountain of cookies on a cooling rack. He did the final count, there were three dozen cookies and that’s 36 in all. He knew soon enough he would get a chance to complete his math and science day by deducting one from the stash and tasting it to make sure the experiment was a success. Indeed it was a successful home school day.

The end.

Through the Ages

Where there are no pauses.

I don’t know why one of the things that has always most fascinated me as far as movies’ special effects go is the illusion of suspended animation. The movie that most comes to mind is The Matrix. My favorite scenes are when Neo dodges bullets at the speed of slow motion and then almost to the point of suspended animation, you can hear the bullets whiz by.

I’m probably being a nerd, but I feel like the world has come to that almost but not quite point of suspended animation. Many things are on hold. Appointments which were scheduled months in advance have been canceled until further notice. We live a day at a time not knowing what to expect of tomorrow. Not that tomorrow is ever guaranteed, but we used to at least be able to plan ahead. Now, many of our plans are on suspended animation.

I am going to step into the world of faith now, so if this is not your thing, you can click away if you’d like. I would like to express myself to those of you out there who want and desire to have hope and faith. We are all in this together.

There is One who is not, has never been, and will never be in suspended animation.

Everything but Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit is on hold.

I trust in this time of uncertainty much is happening behind the scenes, much is being worked out in the heavenlies, and much is being resolved in our hearts and minds by the work of the One who loves our souls, Jesus. He loves us too much to leave us in a state of human suspended mess. His desire is always for the salvation of those who put their faith in Him.

So, I have failed big time so far in this season. I have been annoyed. I have been angry. I have been resentful that my plans and my agendas have been turned upside down and are suspended in mid-air. But the problem I have is I’m a bible reader. Inevitably I have looked in the mirror of those pages and have found myself to be looking pretty ugly lately.

God forgive me! I have cried. I have repented. I’m picking myself up and deciding to do better. I am finally beginning to learn how to dodge bullets of negativity and unproductive thoughts. Help me Lover of my soul!

If you are struggling, I encourage you to pause and think on these things. I am willing to have private chats with you, if you would like the company of one who understands all about being a dire mess! But there is hope on the God of Salvation. He never pauses, never goes into quarantine, never locks down His shop. He is always working.

Blessings!

Crossroads of Bitter Sweetness

I once learned to stop looking at the years and the seasons as one continual line but rather a circle. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and back to Winter again. That one is easy to visualize, it is a cycle and we experience it every year. Funny how being raised on a tropical island I did not get that at all as the seasonal changes were very mild. Only because I have lived in the northern hemisphere long enough, I can see the circular motion of the seasons. What I did not get was how to look at life in a circular pattern. I think I’m getting it now. I feel like I have come to a crossroads which seems new and at the same time it is also familiar.

I once was simply a daughter. Now I am a daughter and a mother. It’s full circle and sometimes it bites. I am both looking at who I was in the past and who I am at the present time, all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly. It does not have to be neat. Just worthy of reflection. As a youth minister I once knew would say “I used to be where you are and one day you’ll be where I am.” That sounds like a life cycle to me. We used to laugh at him. I am not laughing anymore.

I reflected on these things on Mother’s Day. It was a cross between bitter and sweet because I looked at my youth and childhood with a sense of loss. And yet the sweet part is how much more I know today. The wisdom that life experiences afford you cannot be obtained in pure ignorance. You can’t cheat your way forward by buying it or getting a diploma in the finest of schools. You have to experience the cycle. And look back to see what you have attained, how far you have come, how often you fell and failed and got back up again. It’s hard earned wisdom and you cannot borrow it from someone else.

The bitter sweetness of life’s cycles is meant to be experienced. Even if it is bound to be bitter in your stomach, at least it is first sweet in your mouth. Still, it is a growing up and growing old benefit.

I took the day completely off yesterday. So, to all the mothers I know, Happy (belated) Mother’s Day!

Exhaust Yourself

It’s Worth It

When something involves a lot of work to the point of exhaustion, long hours of preparation, stretching of the mind to what else and how else you can go about making someone’s day special, the best reward is seeing the face full of expectation and the smiles and exhilaration.

I spent hours on a cake and on artwork to add some decor for a celebration only we would enjoy in our home, no guests, just us and our special birthday boy. My husband went out of his way and found some good creative gifts. At 1:30 a.m. I was tempted to just roll over with the rest of the gift wrap over me and just go to sleep on the floor. But I got up and dragged my body up the stairs to bed. That was painful.

No matter, my son’s face was lit. He enjoyed. He smiled. He inhaled his piece of cake (I wish he would not do that). He played a new game his sister sent him. And he is looking forward to enjoying all his other presents, outside in the warmer months I really hope we are going to get. Mission accomplished, not one sleepless minute wasted here.

I asked my son to help me color the bottom word. He hates coloring.

A sacrifice is not made so that you can receive a thank you, because then you have been rewarded here in the now. A sacrifice is made so that it reverberates through time and it is a layer upon which you will give a little more of you again and again each time, in the future, with more occasions to come. The stripping effect of your selfishness for the sake of selflessness will reap a harvest in due time, the fruit of which will probably not feed you but others. Happy birthday special boy! Sweet dreams…

Love on!

Waiting Room Creatures

In an interesting point in time, when the patience of the whole world is being tested, with a pandemic, quarantine, wear this and do that guidelines, I happened to bump into this journal entry from 2013 and it made me smile. I stand corrected.

I believe there is no better place on earth to test human patience, or lack thereof, than a waiting room. A certain day, which shall remain undocumented (in case the reader was there), between the hours of 9am and 2pm, I walked into 3 waiting rooms. It was only two waiting rooms, but I had to revisit one of them. I don’t mind. I welcome the opportunity to people watch.

No one I know spends time in a waiting room willingly. If that’s a hobby of yours, please contact me. I’d like to learn more about your interesting mind. For the most part, people show up to a waiting room already a bit annoyed. Businesses today have gone to great lengths fitting waiting rooms with certain conveniences, from padded seats to coffee to tv to free wifi. Heck, I take advantage and web surf, write or watch…people. I don’t really care for tv that much.

Not everyone stops to think or appreciate the amenities provided. Some people walk in wanting their thing done now and ASAP.  And what about the customer service rep? It takes a special breed to be a good one, a patient one. I know this because I was one once and no good at it. I greatly admire customer service reps. They are like frontline soldiers and should be awarded medals of honor.

On that certain undocumented day, at my auto service stop and first thing that morning, when I was all settled on my waiting room padded seat, this tough dude showed up demanding service quick and now. We will name him creature 2.

The service guy, creature 3, who is the nicest and most patient service guy I’ve ever met, calmly listened and said he’d do the best he could. Creature 2, in his red bandana, long beard and mismatched flannel pajama pants, made it clear he had no time to wait around and I think I even heard him say, I’ll be back, Terminator style. He called someone for a ride and they showed up in seconds. I dare not imagine their fate if they had not turned up that quickly.

Half hour later, tough guy, I’m sorry creature 2, came back and no one was at the front desk. He paced like a caged animal. Oh boy, I thought, someone come out from the back room soon please! In an effort to tame the wild beast, I offered a smile and said something to the fact the guy just went to the back and how I was sure he’d be back soon. He huffed and headed toward the “employees only” door.

In the nick of time, nice service guy-he’s too nice to call him “creature”- came back through the door and tough guy creature 2, wasting no time, asked if his car was done. Seriously? Again, he went through his list of reasons why he had no time to waste because he had things to do. Then he looked at me, at the precise moment I was stuffing my face with a bagel.

I could read his mind, unlike this broad who’s camping out here with her digital device, bag of food, comfortably sitting, shoes off, who clearly has nothing better to do.

Ooh! I imagined myself giving him a piece of my mind, let me tell you something mister! I am the mother of three school age children, with plenty of chores waiting to be accomplished at home and errands pending all over town. I secretly smiled at my imagination and the fact this tough dude was unknowingly giving me writing material.

It’s not that I have more patience than everyone else when it comes to waiting rooms. I’ve had my days when I’m not all that thrilled to be in one. But for the most part, I just purpose in my mind to go with the flow and whenever possible plan ahead, packing what I need in case there’s a long wait.

I wish everyone a long and prosperous life in every waiting room on earth! Peace out!

Journal entry 1/30/14