Monday, December 31, 2018

Goodbye 2018

A glass of wine (a glass, a bottle, same difference) my laptop and me

Such is what is happening right now at 12:43 a.m. on December 31, 2018.  There isn't even any music playing in the background.  The thoughts in my head are noisy enough.   What's up bloggies? I trust everyone's Christmas holiday was grand.  Mine was great.  Lots of family time, lots of catching  up with old friends and making new ones time, lots of eating and eating and wait for it, more eating time.  I think I gained 1000lbs!  Santa forgot a few a lot of my things.  Again.  Bastard.  

So here we are, hours away from celebrating a brand spanking, never before used, year.  Out with the old and in with the new.  Buh-bye 2018 and hello 2019!  We've been expecting you.  I don't know about you, but I for one, am glad to see 2018 go. (no offense 2018)  I'm eager for new beginnings and hopeful for what is to come.  Aren't you?

But hey, I'm getting ahead of time here.  We're still in 2018 so let me reflect on it for a little bit longer, yes? 

This year taught me things like, realizing that the only person I can truly count on is myself.  I learned that we see only what we want to see and convince ourselves that what we see is true, when in fact, deep down in our hearts, we know it's not.  I learned that I am a strong woman (calm down, I don't mean like Popeye strong) that can handle all kinds of situations and still come up standing and that, my friends, is so powerful to me.  I learned to let go of the bullshit that I carried on my shoulders for so long.  I let it go and it's ok.  I'm ok.  Life went on.  I learned to stand up to people who called themselves my friend.  I learned that  I am enough.  For myself, for my friends and family and for any man that is fortunate enough to catch my eye.   I learned that falling apart is not a sign of weakness or failure.  It's a sign of being alive.  Of feeling.   And it only becomes weakness or failure when you stay down, when you don't attempt to get  back up or rise above the burning pit of hell that we put ourselves in.  So yeah, I made mistakes but I didn't sweep them under the rug. I dealt with them and learned/am learning from them.  I crawled and scratched my way back up and got myself back into the land of the living.  That's pretty amazing if I do say so myself.

But you know, the best part of this learning year for me was learning how to love myself.  Putting myself first.  Wanting the best for ME.  Let me tell you something, that alone is so empowering, so uplifting and I feel free.  Yeah I sound corny and maybe even a little annoying but I don't care.  This is how I feel.  Take from it what you will.  That is what I got from 2018.

From my house to yours, may this 2019 be everything you want it to be.  May your bellies be full, your hearts content, your troubles bearable and your sadness fleeting.
Happy New Year friends!  Salud!

Monday, December 17, 2018

It's Storming

Usually, December is the most happiest time of the year.  Usually. This December, however, has been anything but the most happiest time.  I don't even have a Christmas tree up -that's how bad it's been. Because if you are a regular of my blog, you know I channel my inner Buddy the Elf and just enjoy every single minute of Christmas, every year.  But not this one.  In my previous post I wrote about my cousin passing away.  Well, as all that happening, an uncle from my dad's side of the family, suffered two heart-attacks within hours of each other.  Fortunately, the paramedics were quick and were able to save him both times.  They later told our family that he had pretty much died twice.  They were amazed that he was talking  after the first time they brought him back to life.  I went to visit him and almost ran out of the ICU.  That was not my uncle.  But I took a deep breath and walked into the room.  He was awake and alert and talking. Barely.  He smiled when he saw me and I walked up to his bed and gave him a hug.  Actually, because of all the tubes and machines, I kind of just lay my head on his chest briefly.  He took my hand and held it all the while I was there.  I caressed his handsome face and ran my fingers through his hair.  I told him I loved him and he needed to listen to the doctors and nurses, so he could get better.  It was a short visit.  He needed to rest.

I cried all the way home.  Today, my dad called to tell me he is much better, his color is back and he's sitting up and is more animated.  Which is good news.  And he's out of ICU.  Which is great news.  But he's not out of the woods yet.  And so we wait and we pray that everything will work out and he will be able to go home soon.

He's 56 years old.  He's my dad's baby brother.  We grew up together.  He baby-sat my siblings and I.  He's got two awesome grown kids.  And a sister and brother who adore him.  Oh and a first grandchild on the way!  He has everything to live for.

I try not to question why these things happen.  I try to make sense of it by embracing my faith.  But it is so hard to do sometimes.  Actually, it's so hard to do a lot of times.  I have this sadness that I don't know what to do with.  And I am so worried, for him, for my dad, who by the way, is freaking out inside, but on the outside he is doing everything he can to be there for his brother.  My dad is 78 years old and not in the best health either. But you could never tell  by looking at him now.

There has been so much tragedy and just bad news and chaos in our family these past few months.  But December is officially, the worst of all.  It's contagious, this bah-humbug mood that everyone is feeling.  I see it myself, in my siblings and my parents.  My faith taught me that in these most trying and difficult and tragic circumstances, is when we must be most faithful.  I'm trying, but as I said, it's hard sometimes.

If you made it this far, thanks. Really.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

For you, JLL

My cousin died on Friday.  He was forty-seven years old.  He was a twin.  He lived life to the fullest.  He loved and was loved.  I wish I could say more about him.   But we were not close and he always maintained a certain distance between the family.  I do remember that in my early twenties, we would hang out whenever he came to Houston.  He and his immediate family lived in another city.  That version I remember well.  He liked to laugh and tell jokes.  He could be eccentric at times, demure at other times.  He was a talented artist.  A free spirit.

I'm sad to say that I cannot even remember the last time I saw him.  

His death was not unexpected.  But it still took everyone by surprise.  I think we were all hoping beyond hope, that he would beat his illness.  I feel bad for my uncle and my aunt.  I cannot even imagine their pain.

Rest in peace my dear cousin.  You were handsome and had a beautiful smile.  Your light has dimmed here on earth, but I know you will shine bright from above.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

For Myself

I miss her.  I miss my friend.  It's been eight months since we last spoke and it still torments me.  She was my best friend.  My ride or die.  My sister from another mister.  We were friends over ten years.  We met late in life but from the very first day, we had a great connection and commonalities.  We became friends almost instantly.  There was hardly a place one would be without the other.  Always laughing, getting into shenanigans and crazy adventures.

All of that changed the day I decided to stand up for myself. Tired of being manipulated and disrespected and just plain treated like crap, I said, "Enough!" and ended our friendship.  There are days when I have had a lousy day or a fantastic day or have a "date from hell" story, that I automatically reach for my phone and start texting or dialing her number.  But then I remember that we are no longer friends and I stop myself.  And I get so sad.  I feel bad that things went down the way they did.  And I feel bad that I didn't mean enough to her that she didn't try and understand my angst.  Even so, I do not regret what I did.  

This year I learned and continue to learn, a lot about myself and how strong I am.  Even when I think I am not, I surprise myself and realize that I scratch and crawl as hard as I can, to keep going.  And that's pretty amazing for me.  I am most proud of myself for that reason alone.  Sometimes in this chaotic, roller-coaster of a ride, world we live in, we have to do things that are painfully difficult to do.  But no matter how much our hearts may ache, we stand firm and do what we need to do.  And that's what I finally did for me.

I have re-connected with old friends, made new friends, started going to new places.  All on my own. All because I love myself and want to be kinder to me.  And let me tell you, it feels really good.  I've always been the "mother hen" of the bunch.  I take care of everyone else, look out for others and kind of lose track of myself in the process.  But not anymore.  I'm first. I'm important. I matter and  I am so blessed to have people in my life who truly have MY best interest at heart.  No strings.  No ulterior motives.  I harbor no ill will to my friend.  She is a good person and deserves happiness and good things.  It's just, I wish her all of that from a distance now.

Chapter 56

The sunlight peeping through the curtains, stir her from her sleep.  Her eyes open and she rubs them a bit before sitting up in bed.  Eyes n...