Thursday, September 30, 2010

Life gifts a new dawn...













Life is bountiful, always giving us just the percise amount of time...

It gifts us with time for our souls to mend.

In time we all get to see that troubles do have an ending.

Life is hopeful, however great our sorrow,

It gifts us with a new tomorrow.

As long as there is time for wishing then there is sufficient time for hoping.

Even when you are blindly groping through doubt and darkness.

Though our hearts may be heavy and the only thing we feel is pain...

As long as there is time for prayer, we are gifted with a time for healing.

We are gifted with a new dawn.

A promise of a new day.

And with it opportunities for a more meaningful Life.

Make it a great dia!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My 50 cent book...











There is a lot we can do to be happier, more satisfied or more content with the life we live.

We all have a lot more control over the quality of our lives. 

I like to write down the things that I can be grateful for.

Lately I've had to really dig deep due to the mourning and grief which has at times overshadowed my gratitude.

On these days I bring it down to - giving thanks for my good health, my son, my loved ones, the family, Parker, my home and my friends.

I happened to go to a yard sale a couple of blocks from my home this past weekend and ran into a gratitude journal called Simple Abundance.

I couldn't wait to get home and write my thoughts in it.

It is a really neat guide, that uses simple exercises to identify the simple things around us that bring us harmony, happiness and joy.

You can't imagine the change I feel inside when I am grateful.

This .50 cent book has pushed me to give thanks each day.

To acknowledge the abundance that exists in my life.

Especially if one focuses on the abundance rather than on the lack of things in our life.

I remember my Viejita's advice on life that said, "The more you are grateful for, the more will be given to you."

I am a witness to that.

We can create our own destiny.

We are architects of the design plan and blueprint for a better tomorrow.

Taking time to acknowledge our abundance creates a sense of fulfillment.

It is gratitude at work.

We can transform our dreams into reality.

Make it a great dia!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I still have a lot more to learn...















Every day I wake up and find that I have so much more to still learn...

I've learned that no matter how much heartache or how bad it seems today, a sunrise awaits and with it comes a new day and a better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle...  a down pour in your Sunday's best, someone taking your parking spot at the movies or running out of gas.

I've learned that no matter how strained your relationship with your parents may be, you'll miss them when they're gone.


I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands.  

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually end up making the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have a pain, I don't necessarily have to be one.

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.  


You need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that it is easier to make a "living" then making a "life."

I've learned that life always gives you a second chance.

People love to feel cared about - give someone a hug.

I've learned that people will forget the stories you tell...


They will forget what you've done lately...

But people never forget how you make them feel.

So even after all this time, I've learned that I still have a lot more to learn...


Make it a great dia!

Monday, September 27, 2010

How bad do you want it?














Sometimes in life we at times end up short changing ourselves and limiting the rewards we could have earned.

I am not talking about luck - I am actually talking about one's expectation, beliefs, focus and passion.

I believe that we can attain everything we seek if we want it bad enough.

I think too often we concede the results and maybe it is easier to attribute some end results to bad luck, karma or one's fate.

I am not sold on these philosophies.

I was taught early on that given the same playing field, there was no excuse why I couldn't be better then the next guy.

It is all a matter of wanting something bad enough and going all out after it.

There is something to be said about the tenacity that comes from one's passion and drive.

If you want it bad enough, you will achieve your goals.
Make it a great dia and week!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our 70 years...













I was sent this by one of my nephews and it made my day. It is a great take on LIFE.

On the very first day, God created the cow.

He said to the cow, "Today I have created you! As a cow, you must go to the field with the farmer all day long. You will work all day under the sun! I will give you a life span of 50 years."

The cow objected, "What? This kind of a tough life you want me to live for 50 years? Let me have 20 years, and the 30 years I'll give back to you."

So God agreed.

On the second day, God created the dog.

God said to the dog, "You are supposed to do is to sit all day by the door of your house. Any people that come in, you will have to bark at them! I'll give a life span of 20 years."

The dog objected, "What? All day long to sit by the door? No way! I give you back my other 10 years of life!"

So God agreed.

On the third day, God created the monkey. He said to the monkey, "Monkeys have to entertain people. You've got to make them laugh and do monkey tricks. I'll give you 20 years life span."

The monkey objected. "What? Make them laugh? Do monkey faces and tricks? Ten years will do, and the other 10 years I'll give you back."

So God agreed.

On the fourth day, God created man and said to him, "Your job is to sleep, eat, and play. You will enjoy very much in your life. All you need to do is to enjoy and do nothing. This kind of life, I'll give you a 20 year life span."

The man objected. "What? Such a good life! Eat, play, sleep, do nothing? Enjoy the best and you expect me to live only for 20 years?

No way!....Why don't we make a deal?

Since the cow gave you back 30 years, and the dog gave you back 10 years and the monkey gave you back 10 years, I will take them from you! That makes my life span 70 years, right?"

So God agreed.

AND THAT'S WHY....

In our first 20 years, we eat, sleep, play, enjoy the best and do nothing much.

For the next 30 years, we work all day long, suffer and get to support the family.

For the next 10 years, we entertain our grandchildren by making monkey faces and monkey tricks.

And for the last 10 years, we stay at home, sit by the front door and bark at people!

Make it a great dia!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

1,000,000 need us...













Nine days ago Hurricane Karl caused incredible destruction to the widespread coastal areas of the Mexican state of Veracruz, (whose northern border is just 250 miles south of Texas).

I can't believe I haven't written about the flooding in southern Mexico. Over 1,000,000 people are suffering the effects of the devastating floods.

It is estimated that another 150,000 throughout southern Mexico are now homeless. In the state of Veracruz, out of 212 municipalities, 117 have been affected.

Thousands of acres of agricultural land are under water. I read that half of the state is under water. The villages are still filled with water and all  roads are muddy swamps. 

Thousands of homes remain surrounded by floodwaters most reachable only water crafts. With the majority living in poverty, losing what ittle they had will be extremely difficult to recover from. 

Where their homes once stood, now all that is left are piles of mud, rocks, wooden planks and cemet bricks.

Sadly most of the now homeless people have only the clothes that they were wearing when the flooding began to their names.

Thousands of cows, horses and dogs, as well as poultry can be seen floating in the sewage infested waters.

Aerial shots last night showed entire communities still under water. With many families still sitting atop roofs waiting for aid.

Many chose not to leave their homes due to recent looting. What little they had has been destroyed. The people are desperate, they have lost everything - they are thirsty and hungry.

Although the people of Veracruz known as "Jarachos" are some of the toughest and most resilient people of any Mexican state. They are in need of our help.

I am really worried about the poor sanitation and lack of potable water especially after massive flooding.  Outbreaks of Cholera, Dysentery and Malaria from breeding mosquitoes in stagnant water is sure to come next.

I know you've opened your wallets to many causes lately, but I am pleading with you... please make your generous donation today. Our neighbors to the south need you.

You can donate to the local Red Cross and tell them you want it to go to flood relief in Mexico.

You can also donate at any Wells Fargo:

USA deposits:

Wells Fargo Bank
Account name: "Estado de Nuevo Leon"
Account number: 4 9 4 4 0 5 0 4 7 5
ABA number: 1 2 1 0 0 0 2 4 8

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lessons from Parker and his amigos...















Lately my loyal companion has been very therapeutic.

I have been taking Parker to the local dog park.

I must admit I have learned a lot in the past couple of weeks.

Here’s just a few things that Parker's amigos have taught me:

1. If you wag your tail, people will pet you. We don’t have tails, but we do have the human equivalent which is a smile. Use it!

2. If you love someone, let them know. Dogs have no problem expressing their affection spontaenously.

3. There’s no such thing as strangers. I’ve had many strange dogs jump up to greet me.

4. You don’t need much to be happy. Dogs with their simple existance seem to be really, really happy.

5. You’re never too old to play. Even the elderly canines aren’t too sophisticated to chase a ball or play in the mud and get dirty.

6. Everything is an adventure to them. Everything can be an adventure if we allow ourselves to see it that way. I have yet to hear a dog complain about being bored.

7. Give lots of hugs and kisses. They are a renewable resource.

8. A full belly and a good nap are two of life’s greatest pleasures.
Parker always seems to have a content look on his face after either of these. 

Make it a great dia and an even better weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I've received everything I need...



















Lately it is hard to find solace.

Prayer, meditation and long walks seem to help.

I found this the other day and had to share -

I asked for Strength.........
And He gave me Difficulties to make me strong.


I asked for Wisdom.........
And He gave me Problems to solve.


I asked for Prosperity.........
And He gave me Brain and Brawn to work.


I asked for Courage.........
And He gave me Danger to overcome.


I asked for Love.........
And He gave me Troubled people to help.


I asked for Favors.........
And He gave me Opportunities.


I received nothing I wanted ........
I received everything I needed!

Make it a great dia!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Find something worth suffering for...















You can spend, minutes, hours, days, weeks or even months over analyzing a tragic situation.

We sit and stare and over analyze.

We want to put each of the pieces together, even justifying what could've, would've, should've happened.  

Is it best to sometime just "breathe" and move on therebye leaving the pieces on the floor?

Which pieces do we stand up and fight for?

I ran across a Bob Marley quote about suffering:

 "A lot of things are going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley

Often we drive ourselves crazy - not wanting to accept all of our emotional and spiritual limitations.

Maybe we should  do the best that we can with what we’ve been given?

Which things in our lives are worth suffering for?

Is making simple progress as simple as it looks?

Enduring a situation requires personal commitment and a single-minded sustained determination to overcome what ever obstacle we face and moving on.

Thinking about tommorrow is a positive change.

The first step forward is progress. 

The simple act of consciousness to make a steady effort to heal, to forgive, to let go is in itself progress.

Reminds me that every morning, we get a new opportunity to be better mentally, emotionally and spiritually than we were yesterday.

Truth is I don't believe that anyone lives free from some sort of suffering or loss.I know deep in
my heart that my family were not singled out for these terrible tragedies and misfortunes that we’ve experienced.

That alone don’t minimize our pain and our suffering.

But maybe in a small way it helps to reduce the suffering that comes from struggling with the question of why.

I have wished things have been different since they first occured, but they are not.

All we can do is the best that we can and allow ourselves to time to grieve - to console each other - to love the good memories they've left behind.

They are the ones worth suffering for.

Make it a great dia!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Struggling needlessly...












I was reading a great article on people and how they handle difficult situations and their struggles. 

It went on to say that some people tended to show some similarities with buzzards, bats and bees when challenged.

The article said that if you put a buzzard in a pen six or eight feet square and left it entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of his ability to fly, would be an absolute prisoner.

The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of ten or twelve feet.

Without space to run, as is his habit, he will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.

Then it talked about the ordinary bat that flies around at night, but how this remarkable nimble creature in the air, could not take off from a level place.

If it was placed on the floor or flat ground, all it could do was shuffle about helplessly and no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air.

Then, at once, it is able to take off like a flash.

The last one talked about the bumblebee and that if it  was dropped into an open tumbler would be there until it died, unless it was physically taken out.

It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides or near the bottom.

The bumblebee  will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.

I agree, some of us tend to forget that our answers are right there above us.

Never, ever lose Faith.

Make it a prayful dia!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Much like the seasons...



















They say people come into our lives for a purpose.

They come into our lives for a season.

When people come into our lives for a SEASON, it is said that they have come because it's our turn to teach them, to share and grow with them.

Quite often they bring us an experience of peace.

They may also teach us something we have never had the opportunity to learn.

All in all they give us an unbelievable amount of happiness.

Although they may only be here briefly.

And  as Spring turns into Summer and then Summer into Fall, they leave us much like the previous season.

To enjoy the memories they left behind.

Make it a great dia!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The innocent are merciful...













I have some of the most loving relationships anyone could ask for and for that I am extremely grateful.

I was thinking about what makes some relationships thrive while others wither.

I believe that relationships thrive not because the guilty get punished, but because the innocent are merciful.

In the end the one who has been hurt is the one who often has the courage to say, “I forgive you.

I love you.

Now let’s move on.

Have a great dia!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Might only be a couple of noisy frogs...















A friend of mine Vin in India sent me this folk story to share with you.

A farmer went to town and asked the owner of the local seafood restaurant if he could use a million frog legs.

The restaurant owner was delighted to hear about this potential money making opportunity. 

But he needed to know just how the farmer would come up with so many frog legs?

The farmer replied, "There is a pond near my house that is full of frogs - millions of them.

They croak all night long and their noise is about to drive me crazy!"

So the restaurant owner and the farmer negotiated a deal.  

The farmer would deliver five hundred frogs at a time every week, for the next several weeks.

The first week, the farmer returned to the restaurant looking rather sheepishly, he was carrying only had two scrawny little frogs.

The restaurant owner was surprised and asked, "Well... where are all my frogs?"

The farmer replied, "I was mistaken.

There were only these two frogs in the pond.

But they sure made a lot of noise!"

The moral of the story is that you should never believe what you hear.

It's probably just a couple of noisy frogs.

Make it a great dia!

Friday, September 17, 2010

You can find Heaven if you open your “ojos” eyes…















I was reminiscing about a visit with my sister and my Viejita a little over a year ago. With so much going on in ours lives lately I thought it would be a nice memory to share with you.

So I went to visit my Viejita (Mom) and Sister over the Memorial Day weekend. My Sister was still nursing a torn ligament in her ankle and my Viejita continued to battle what she called “her annoying stomach ache” that in reality was the uterine cancer she was diagnosed the Spring before.

Late Saturday evening we were sitting in the living room reminiscing about our relatives and family members – especially one favorite Uncle and my Grandfather who have passed on.

My Mother who at 94 years of age tends to remind us jokingly and often (has for the last 20 some years) about how she’s “living on borrowed time”.. brought up the subject of “el Cielo” Spanish for - Heaven.

My Mom looked around the room and said, “You two need to realize that heaven is not exactly what you think.”

My Sister looked over at me and gave me one of her retired teacher raised left eyebrow gesture. After all, this was coming from a lifelong Catholic and I must add very devoted Christian lady.

We didn’t know what was coming next, so I gently took her hand and asked the inevitable question, “So Viejita (I’ve always called my Mom – my little old woman) what do you think Heaven looks like?”

She said jokingly, “Well I have had a lot of time to think about it, this past century. I know with some certainty that there are no golden escalators, like at that Mall where we sometimes go.. you know where you go up and up?

I also don’t think there is anyone peeking down on you from those big white fluffy clouds high up in the skies, no, no.. not even your favorite crazy Uncle” - she meant my dear Tío Alfredo.

She went on and in the next few minutes began to share her wisdom on her version of “el Cielo”, “Mijos (abbreviated for “mis hijos” – or my children) Heaven is taking this “borrowed time” and spending this special time – with everyone we Love”.

Looking around the room she said, “I think Heaven is here in this living room. Not there, as she pointed slowly to the window… on the outside of the house and peeking in the window”.

She then took a breath, and thought a moment and said, “Heaven is spending time in my garden and listening to my music (older ballads she tends to play loud because of her poor hearing) with all my Nietos (Grandchildren) or even listening to their loud “thumping and yelling” music they like”.

“Heaven I think is sitting here watching all my Grandchildren yelling and laughing as they watch los Vaqueros (Cowboys) on TV run around after each other all afternoon long on Sundays”. (She meant the Dallas Cowboys which we are all big fans of).

She leaned towards me and then smiled and said, “Heaven is going through our old boxes of pictures and almost feeling like we are there with all those people we took those pictures with.

My Mom thought for a minute as if searching her memory to find the next nugget and said, “Heaven is also about forgiving someone you quit talking to a long time ago, because… who knows why – it was probably something foolish anyway”. My Sister nodded for she had just mentioned a falling out with one of her daughters-in-law earlier.

“Heaven is the sudden arrival of all those birds (morning doves that she feeds daily in her backyard) when they come to visit me each morning”. She than added, “You know I don’t even mind those loud chirping crows”.

“Heaven is when I can pray peacefully in my favorite chair (she was joking about her wheelchair), or relaxing after a nice warm bath in my flannel robe”.

“I think Heaven is remembering loved ones at a moment that you were the happiest in life. Like when I first met your Father and raising all thirteen of you.” Today only eleven of my brothers and sisters are living.

“Heaven is thinking of them as if they were still the young (guapos) beautiful people that you married”. Then she added with her constant sense of humor… “Not fatter or with less hair on their heads as they look now – I will always love your Father, I don’t think real love ever grows old”.

“Heaven is having a sunny day so perfect that it warms up this cold house in December and you wish it would stay that warm forever”.

“Heaven is watching La Gitana (The Gypsy is a 10 lb. tabby) sleep. How I enjoy just watching her stretch this way and that.”

“I know Heaven is out on our front porch…as I sit and rock on that old rocker and watch the cars go bye”.

“Heaven is remembering all the good times we had as children – all those special Sundays with your Abuelitos, Tíos and Tías, brothers and sisters, primos and all our neighbors.”

She looked around and then asked us to come closer, “You know what I have come to know after all these years?”

She gently tapped my hand and smiled at my Sister and I, “God is a smart man, He has given us a small part of Heaven right here in our home, and he reveals “Los Cielos” to us one little piece at a time, if you just open your ojos”.

I gave my Viejita a hug… and told her that she was so right…

I am so glad she shared her description of heaven that day…

I think it’s easy to forget that we all have a piece of Heaven on earth.

Make it a great dia and an even better weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A difficult Bicentenial to celebrate...













200 years ago today Mexican patriots Miguel Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende, Jose Maria Morelos, Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, Manuel Bravo, Mina, Aldama fought the Spaniards who had come to plunder Mexico’s wealth.

They planted the seeds of liberty and promoted the ideals of independence. They sought freedom for all, social justice, civil rights and individual guarantees that they wrote into the Mexican Constitution.

200 years later Mexico finds itself suffering the worst violence in its history and where many have forgotten that their rights were paid for with the blood and sacrifice of those passionate insurgents.

Liberators who managed to motivate an entire nation to take up arms and help free Mexico from the conquerors.

In 1810 the nation was willing to die, and many did die, for the just cause of peace and independence.

After independence came many years of great struggle to forge a new nation.

An indigenous priest became President - his name was Benito Juarez, who inherited a bankrupt country, one sought with wide spread disorganization, weak justice and laws and rudderless society.

It was a nation that seemed lost and off its course. Juarez and those who shared his vision eagerly sought to anchor the roots of the country, to start building the foundations of a dream that would translate into a great nation.

They knew the road ahead was long, the end of the journey beyond their lifetime.
In retrospect I can say that Mexico has been hardened almost all of our time as a nation.

Sadly many Mexicans have been killed, abused, insulted, violated and exploited by personages who placed personal interests ahead of the interests of the nation.

I remember reading the words that President Felipe Calderon in a speech where he emphasized that "We should understand that generations of Mexicans have enjoyed peace and generations of Mexicans have been destined to fight for peace."

I too embrace the idea of fighting in the trenches to leave our children a real and tangible peace, and I pray that the Mexicans who love their country will also accept the challenge.


I know that they will one day realize the goals of social welfare and peace and attract investment in Mexican territory once again.

Today there is little to celebrate in Mexico, with all its on going violence, corruption and inequity.
As Mexico limps into the bicentennial of its 1810 independence uprising, it is battered and full of self-questioning, but with more openness and debate than perhaps at any other time in its history.

The bicentennial marks the 1810 uprising led by Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo, who gathered a band of Indians and farmers under the banner of the dark-skinned Virgin of Guadalupe.

He was caught and executed soon afterward, but by 1821 the movement he started ousted the Spanish, a feat Mexicans celebrate on Sept. 16th.

A bicentennial should inspire and generate hope, and because this one comes at a time of deep crisis it hasn't inspired like we would have loved.
Perhaps what Mexicans have to celebrate today is their own endurance - the real glue that's held the country together for centuries.

That's especially true in Ciudad Juarez, where drug violence has killed more than 4,000 people since 2009, making it one of the deadliest cities in the world.

The violence is so bad that the city canceled its own Independence Day celebration for the first time since 1910.
The dangerous, violent, tragic, dangerous, corrupt and cynical Mexico is not the country most Mexicans belong to.

The millions who go to work everyday, despite street protests that often block traffic, who work to get ahead and support their families ... this invisible Mexico is the real Mexico.

Today, Mexico has strong civic movements on issues like crime, human rights and environmental protection that didn't exist even 25 years ago.

And despite suffering the most severe recession since the 1930s in 2009, the country has sound government finances and growing accountability.

Yet a few rich still hold the reigns of the country's highly-concentrated economy, where one or two firms dominate key sectors like television, telephones, cement, and food distribution.

Half of the country's 107 million people live in poverty.

Mexico is home to both the world's richest man, Carlos Slim, whose fortune is estimated at about $53.5 billion, and about 20 million Mexicans who live on less than $3 per day.

Mexico must work to close this gap that separates these two Mexicos!

This year also marks the centennial of the 1910-1917 revolution, when the old heroes like Emiliano Zapata and Villa overthrew the dictatorship of Porfiro Diaz on behalf of small, impoverished farmers.

The 2000 presidential elections which was won by President Felipe Calderon's conservative PAN or National Action party, marked the first peaceful transition of power in the country's history.

Today being a Mexican is about working hard, getting ahead by one's own efforts.

It's looking for some way to get ahead, even when there seems there is no way and just hoping to find it.

Today people are asking themselves if they are going to have to wait another hundred years to have our big celebration, to commemorate their independence and their liberty?

Here's hoping the next 200 bring the changes each Mexican so richly deserves.

Feliz 200 years! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Love the difficult ones more...

One of the greatest lessons I ever received from my Viejita was to always try to understand others... much like the quote, " work to understand rather than be understood."

She would also add that quite often people just needed someone to "LOVE" them.

We all must uncover all opportunities that "gift" us personal meaning.

We must look hard for our chance to both give and receive LOVE.

Love is after all just too important to miss out on gifting, especially because others are “difficult.”

Often, they have been no more difficult than you or I.











- Mother Teresa (1910-1997), born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, was a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian birth and founder of the Missionaries of Charity wrote one of my favorite quotes:

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self- centered;

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of having selfish, ulterior motives;

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;

Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;

Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;

Build it anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, others may be jealous;

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;

Do it anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;

Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;

It was never between you and them . . . anyway.

Love BIG and Make it a great día!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What's keeping you from changing?


Lately I have been dealing with change. 


Change is difficult but admitting ones need for change is always a good beginning.  


One must identify their goal, whatever that goal might be and work towards achieving it.



So how will I achieve this change I am looking to make?


By being open to learn from any past or current mistakes.

I consider a mistake anything I can learn from.


If one keeps doing the same thing over and over again, one will get the same results.

It’s insane to think anything might change.


In life like in business, competence breeds confidence.


So next is to do a close evaluation of the things one needs to change.

Especially looking for the things that are not working in my life.

I then seek to understand why these things are not working and substitute them for things that have worked.


Change is always positive - the added benefit is improving ourselves.


With that done I begin the day by setting targets that I can work at achieving.


I break down the bigger goal into smaller targets, each set towards the main goal.

I then keep the goal in sight, striving towards achieving each target and seeking my personal excellence.


The goal is to constantly improve and always working at attaining personal excellence.

What are you needing to change in your life?


Make it a great dia.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Let the pieces lay...












Lately I have been grieving it seems from sunrise to sunset.

Grieving has caused me to look at other losses. Other permanent losses I have experienced in my life.

I ran across this quote and had to share it with you...

“Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting them back together.” - Unknown author

It's never easy to let go of someone or something you've loved.

When you’ve lost what you've loved, it’s easy to miss the life you once had.

But no matter how great the positives were when you break up or away, one must not ignore the “bad” times.

You have to remind yourself that you’ve let go because holding on to it wasn’t good for you anymore.

There is a lesson in powerlessness and letting go…losses, heartbreaks and disappointments will end up making you a more compassionate you!

Instead of mourning for what was or what could have been get up - shake yourself off and begin to rebuild your new reality... your new life and begin shooting for new goals.

Remember that there will be some losses that we might feel that we will never ever get over... but you must and you will.

Letting go of the past is a strange sort of journey.

Most days you'll march onward at a fast clip, on a bad day you'll feel pushed backwards and taking a step forward will take a lot of effort.

I’ve survived a couple of those painful, gut wrenching breakups, you know the type that drop you to your knees and break you to a thousand pieces!

It takes time and filling your mind space with other thoughts, passions and meeting other people.

You will get over your loss - trust me.

You'll learn to love, to let go and love again.

Make it a great dia!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rodolfo Acosta Benavidez - Dream or apparition...

To forgive wrongs darker than death or night .
To love and bear; to hope till Hope creates.
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates.
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free. - Percy Bysshe Shelley

I wonder if forgiveness is only meaningful when we forgive that which is unforgivable?

I grew up with the belief that hatred consumes everything in its path.

That forgiveness saved us the expense of anger and the cost of hatred.

I was talking to my nephew about his Father and in our fellowship of tears, Fito admitted it was all just starting to hit him.

He said that he had never loved anyone as much as he had loved his father.

The loss he said had left him imprisoned in a world of hatred.

There were no words to console much less in any way deny what he was feeling.

We talked into the night.

I need to tell you more about the man that was murdered on the night of August 31st.

Rodolfo was a very special man, a devout Catholic, funny, charming and a man that generously gave to all the less fortuunate.

He gave away scholarships pretty freely so that these gifted students could one day change Mexico's future.

Many were from very humble families and so he often gave them additional stipends (from his own money) so that they could buy their books, travel back and forth from the outlying colonias of Juarez and even feed themselves.

I have no doubt of Rodolfo's final moments and I know that his courage didn't waiver.

He was a man of deep conviction, a man of Faith.

I fell asleep around 4:00 a.m. and then I thought I heard a distinctive voice and I sat up shocked to hear Rodolfo's voice.

Dream or apparition, after several sleepless nights one can only wonder.

At the end of the bedroom towards the corner I saw a large gossamer figure in the dark.

I could feel his presence, I can't lie, it startled me and I felt a bit overwhelmed.

I closed my eyes and rubbed them but quickly opened them again.

I could faintly hear him saying over and over, "Perdona los," Forgive them.

"Diles que los perdonen," Tell them to Forgive them.

My heart was racing and I closed my eyes and prayed.

When I opened my eyes again I was wide awake and quickly reached over for the light switch on my reading lamp.

And then it was at this point that I thought I saw Rodolfo getting up off the floor and seemed to dust off his trousers.

I jumped out of bed and stood helpless looking towards the floor.

"Rodolfo eres tu?", I asked.

Rodolfo wasn't there.

Dream or apparition?

I sat back on my bed and I remembered Fito's conversation earlier and then I wept.

I said to myself, "These killers have forever changed our family's life and those of his staff, the students and all of the people who loved him."

Not only have his children and wife lost the love of their lives.

We all are enduring the unendurable.

I wonder if one can forgive under these circumstances?

Forgiveness they say is a way to unburden oneself from the constant pressure of its written past.

Though it has only been twelve days, I have to believe that we should do as Rodolfo would have had us do.

"Perdonar." Forgive.

It’s the only way I think that his family and those that loved him can go on.

I am not fooling myself and think it will be easy, for the hatred I've been feeling has been asphixiating.  

It is a terrifying, painful and overwhelming journey that we have been redirected to.

But deep down I believe that we must release this hatred into the wind.

So that the hatred and these killers lie in the past where they both belong.

I know it will be very difficult and it will take time, because we are still reeling from the shock and his tragic ending.

We will grieve long for this unspeakable loss .

In a deeply personal way I am realizing that when unthinkable circumstances enter our life, there comes a point when you either stand by what you believe or you walk away from it.

Let go and let God... I once was told.

Maybe we will be stronger in our Faith because of this.

When this horrific tragedy happened we were each faced with the powerful reaffirmation of our own foundational religious posture.

The phone calls, the stress of waiting for his release, the sleepless nights, emotional grieving and devastation made it easier to find that solace.

The moments of respite tends to gift one with succinct moments of clarity.

So if we are to keep Rodolfo's legacy alive we must not let his sense of purpose and passion die.

We must pray for the strength to forgive and believe in God's infinite mercy.

I believe in God's plan for redemption for all regardless of our sins or sorrows.

In my anger I also know it holds true just as much for our family as for those five murderers.

Louis B. Smedes said it best, "Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future."

Rodolfo we need to listen to you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine years later...













“Today, we gather to be reassured that God hears the lamenting and bitter weeping of Mother America because so many of her children are no more. Let us now seek that assurance in prayer for the healing of our grief stricken hearts, for the souls and sacred memory of those who have been lost. Let us also pray for divine wisdom as our leaders consider the necessary actions for national security, wisdom of the grace of God that as we act, we not become the evil we deplore.”  - Rev. Nathan Baxter, Dean of Washington National Cathedral

I can't believe its been nine years.

I feel for the victims of this tragedy - and know that their families are reminded today of their losses.

On this the ninth anniversary of this great trragedy, let's also remember the heroes, their families and all their loved ones.

Their legacy lives on and they will always be remembered for their bravery.

Their collective courage and true heroism.

I will never forget this day for as long as I live.

Today, I am also reminded to give thanks that we live in this great country.

Let's pray for the departed.

Make it a dia of thankfulness.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Do, Give, Love...









One of my favorite women in history has to be Mother Theresa of Calcutta.

I have always been inspired by her selflessness - her courage and her devotion to the marginalized.

One quote I especially love goes like this -

It is not how much we do - but how much love we put in the doing.

It is not how much we give - but how much love we put in the giving.

By blood she was Albanian, by citizenship an Indian, and by Faith a Catholic nun.

We too have so much more to give back - to our country, our communities and our neighborhoods.

It doesn't matter how much or how expensive...

Your donation will be appreciated.

Make it a great dia!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Keep looking for an opening...




















“When one door closes, another one opens… but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller

I whole heartedly believe that our attitude has a direct impact on our destiny.

We must guard that prescription and ensure that we are always being positive and living a grateful life.

When we move on to another chapter in our lives; we must look at it as, a NEW beginning to our life.

A new start to a journey filled with many opportunities for continued success and happiness in both our personal and working lives.

Like Helen’s quote, "we must never stop looking for an open or unlocked door."

Even the ones left slightly ajar.

For as one closes many other will open up.

Make it a great dia!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

RIP Lic. Rodolfo Acosta Benavidez



























The website for Centro Universitario (Central University) reads:

"Thanks for your positiveness, commitment and humbleness.
May all the great memories allow us to continue smiling,
and may they transform the pain we are now feeling... 
to give us the Hope we need to go on." 

Rest in peace Rodolfo.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dios tarda pero no olvida...













My Viejita always said, "Dios tarda pero no olvida." It more or less means that God might delay in coming to you, but he won't ever forget you. She is teaching me another lesson even though she's been gone for over a year.

Lately I have been feeling nauseas, sad, angry, and confused. The on going narco wars in Mexico have scorched my family's hearts.

The past weeks have made me take a closer and deeper look at my own religious beliefs and my Faith.  

These tragic murders have convinced me of a truth that I had always paid lip service to.

Yet now I know God is undeniable and He as real as it gets.

We are all one.

We are in this togther.

It doesn't matter what our race, creed, gender, or background happens to be, we're all one.

We might live in separate geographies or we might live in closer proximity, together... ultimately I know that death is something none of us will be able to avoid. 

Prior to Roberto's and Rodolfo's murders, my Faith in a merciful God was strong, secure and consistent and ever present.

I knew that, while at times He seemed distant, I could always count on Him to be there for me.

God has always been the one that kept my world in perfect order.

From the perfect sunrises to the beautiful sunsets and the perfect night stars in between... 

He has always been there.

He who would always provide.

He could be counted on.

But then the tragedies of July 28th and September 2nd occurred - forever searing my heart.

Faith became something I began to question and was struggling with.

The unquestionable Faith I once had was now something I was looking to piece together.

Could God be counted on in the way that I thought God could be counted on?

That's what I began to feel.

Where was my God? 

God seemed absent on these two days in Cuidad Juarez.

It is frightening, because the attributes that I had depended upon in the past, when thinking about my God, had suddenly been stripped away.

I prayed for reassurance - I prayed for my Faith.

My Viejita's voice began to remind me that I am left with nothing if I didn't have Faith.

But Faith in what?

After these violent murders I was struggling with its very foundation.

God's presence began to be much more of a mystery than He ever was.

And a mystery that was still unfolding.

Yet I am embarrassed to admit that in some ways, I believe that these painful deaths although heartbreaking are making me grow up.

Their deaths have caused me to work to redefine my own Faith.

Maybe it was all a part of a longer journey.

A destination where I needed to reach to truly grasp that which I never really believed I could grasp - the mystery of our loving God.

I understand that we will never be the same.

Still I pray that our lives can go on to find meaning and purpose.

Today I ask you to please pray for my family.

That we can grieve and heal and all find acceptance and hope!

Dios tarda pero no olvida.