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Thursday, July 28, 2016

No one told me.

"What makes a parent, I understood at that moment, is not so much genetics, but all the other things you give. Anyone can be a parent, but to be a mom or a dad, that takes years of giving with no thought of getting." (Unknown) 

When you are a kid, everyone tends to ask the infamous question: What do you want to be when you grow up? 

For me that was easy, I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to work with kids of all ages and teach them the wonders of the world. I would practice on my brothers and sisters, and let me tell you, there were plenty of them! I was the oldest of eight children at home at one point. 

...I remember living on Maple Street in Bridgeport, first floor apartment. Our family had access to the basement, and I remember my parents putting an old couch down there and other extras we had around the house. I remember them getting their hands on a huge green chalkboard for me and putting it in the basement as well. It was all I needed to make my "classroom" official. I would have stack of worksheets and paper that the teachers would disposed of at the end of the year. I had pencils and crayons and stickers and coloring books. I would bring my siblings down to the basement, in a single file, and "teach" them. Lol those where the good ol' days. 

... I remember, as a grew older, still wanting to be a teacher, but most of all, I wanted to be a mom. I mean I had the experience down packed with my siblings! My youngest sister and brother were like my own. Being ten years + older than them, I was my mother's helper. I would feed them, change diapers, and put them to sleep. They were my babies then, and as they grew older, I still had the attachment because I pushed myself to do good in school to be the example for them.  

But you see, no one told me being a parent was not as easy as they portrayed it to be. 
No one told me about sleepless nights where, I would stay at my child's side to make sure I heard him and her breathing. 
No one told me about the constant worrying when my child was not at my side because I had to go back to work to be able to provide for them. 
No one told me about the heart ache I would feel when I was told my daughter had leukemia and about the emptiness that still lingers due to her passing away. 
No one told me it would be a struggle between the mind and the heart because even though you know better, your heart will always overpower it. 
No one told me how exhausting and overwhelming it would be to raise children in this imperfect world. 

And though no one told me, I learned. 
I learned the only way I know how to and that is by going through it. Times get difficult and I am hard on myself. I tend to place blame on myself when things go wrong; even when they are not in my control. I need to remind myself that I have done and continue to do everything possible for my children. I need to remind myself that I am human and I am allowed some mistakes. I need to remind myself that I am doing the best that I can. 


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Children grieve too.

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love."(Washington Irving)

They say the eyes are windows of one's soul. 
I believe this is true, for the eyes can speak much louder than the tongue. 
Looking into the eyes of a certain 10 year old, as he shares his fears and expressed his sadness, is like drowning in a sea of worries and confusion. 

I've always said he is not your typical kid. Not only was his innocence shattered at the loss of his best friend, who was also his sister, at such a young age, but he has had to grow up faster than others as he tries to understand how this world works. He is a breath of fresh air on any given day; he is my heart. So when his heart is broken, that makes mine shatter in more way I didn't think was possible. 

Just this evening, he looked me in the eye and told me leukemia ruined his life. He stated it was not fair that he was only able to share three years with his sister. Tears made their way down, on both our parts, as I agreed with him that he was right and it wasn't fair. He then said he wished he had more time with her. He hugged me and of course I squeezed back not wanting to let go. I looked at him and told him it was okay to talk about his feelings; it was okay to cry. His eyes spoke what his mouth did not say. 

Every day and every night I pray that his heart is comforted. 😔


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Working on me.

 Back in 2011, I was at one of my heaviest moments. Physically and emotionally; and they go hand in hand right? When things are rough, I tend to drown my sorrows with food. I know I am not the only one. At the time, my 2 year old daughter was battling leukemia for the 2nd time. She had reached remission and we were able to spend the weekend at Camp Sunshine in Maine. Talk about struggles and I was facing them all. Mentally, emotionally, physically and financially. But with all that, I still kept pushing forward. I had no choice. I had to keep going for her and my oldest. 

Fast forward to 2016. My daughter is no longer physically here with us as she passed in 2012, but we have a new addition to the family and he will turn 1 this year. Things happen sometimes and we are not able to explain or comprehend why they happen they way they do. I still have my days, and I think I always will, but now I have another little being that I need to push forward for. In order to be able to do that, I have realized that I need to take care of me first so that I can then take care of them. A few days ago, I went in for a routine physical check up (last one was in 2013) and everything looked good. Today, I received a call confirming that all blood work came back A-ok! Doctor just wants me to continue doing what I've been doing in terms of eating and exercising. And that's what I planned to do because I have a goal to not be considered "obese" next year at my check up. #personalreflections