Brought Me, Prepared me and Pacified Me

20170729_084012It has been a while since I posted in my blog, even though there has been so much that has run thru my mind that I have been wanting to share with others and to express.

My last blog, “Giant Tiny Dancer” published in June was about the childhood memory I had of my mom and her love for dancing and how she taught me to love and appreciate that part of life as well.

It was weird for me to write that post about my mom, the inspiration was strong but it came out of nowhere and in a moment that I should have been thinking about my dad, not my mom.  However, as I look back at all of the events that have transpired since then, I can see the reason why it happened the way it did.

I was dancing at a Father’s Day celebration last June when I had an extremely vivid vision of a treasured memory that involved my mom. About a month after seeing this vision/memory, I got a call from my siblings to tell me that my mom was sick and I needed to go to her bedside, when I got there I was told she had Neoplastic syndrome, which is the first or most prominent manifestation of a cancer.  My Mami, my Giant Tiny Dancer passed away in September.

20170728_225015The vision I had about my mom and her death shortly afterward, gave me a deeper understanding of the type of connection I have to the people that I love, and more likely, we all have. I believe that vivid vision was a message from something bigger than me to my spirit. Something was telling me….warning me…that my sweet Mami was dying, even though at the moment no one knew it, including my mom.

In retrospect, I understand now that the vision was a message. The message was in a way a warning that my mom would shortly be gone from this world, but mostly that I needed to express my love and admiration to her. The fact that I wrote down what I was feeling with those strong emotions at the time, and that I expressed all of those feelings to my mom, was a blessing. I’m so thankful that I did not hold back.

20170729_084328My mom was a very active woman, full of energy, full of life and wanting to do and try everything! I used to call her sporadically to talk and tell her about my life, my boys or just to hear her voice, and there were many times when I called to speak to her to find out that she was not available because she was out helping people. Throughout her life Mami wasn’t the most healthy woman, but she refused to let her weaknesses or sicknesses slow her down. She stayed strong willed and wouldn’t let anything get in her way.  So even when she was feeling sick or weak, she was serving people and working hard. I always thought that she was invincible. However, my Mom…my Tiny Giant…quickly deteriorated and dimmed… absorbed and consumed by cancer.

Cancer is a mean monster.

My vision brought admiration for my mom and a perspective of her that I had never had before, and which I had never expressed to her, either. If I had ignored the feeling I had with the vision, I would have lost the opportunity to tell her how much I loved her, how much I admired her, and how much she meant to me. I am so glad I didn’t pass that opportunity, or that I didn’t dismiss the prompt.

20170728_223336What came to me the night while I was dancing, I quickly transferred to words and I published it. Shortly after I found myself at her bedside and I read it to her out loud the night I arrived at her beside to say my goodbye. It was just the two of us snuggled up together in her bed, while my siblings were having dinner. It was a private moment between me and my Mami…one that I will always treasure. She listened to me read her the blog that I had written about her.  As I spoke the light came up in her eyes and her beautiful smile appeared as she and I were transported back to our kitchen some 40 years ago. As she listened, the story brought back those special memories. and many others as well. We talked about how much she loved to dance, the way she was always dressed so beautifully, her beautiful clothes and her wonderful hats. Her smile got brighter and brighter. After my siblings finished their dinner they all returned to her bedside and we all sat around her bed. We played songs dedicated to her and our memories, we all took turns to choose which songs to play. There were a lot of tears and there was a lot of love.

20170729_083626What I bring from this experience, the vision and the prompt that I had, is that there is something bigger than me, guiding me and directing me. It is important that I follow those little or big feelings. It’s important that I “listen” to that prompt and to do what comes to me as an “instruction”. I need to ignore my pride, my worries, my limitations and weaknesses. I need to take full advantage of the guidance that I’m receiving.  Listening to that vision and expressing what I felt with it to the world thru my blog and especially that I was able to share it with my Mami, gives me a gratitude and a peace that I can’t describe.

The purpose of that greater thing for me… brought me, prepared me and pacified me.

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The pictures of the flowers in this post, are the ones that I took at my sister’s garden and brought to my mom’s bedside to show her with the hopes to cheer her up.  She would look at the pictures and would say: “Beautiful Mija… you need to make a book”… and then will tell me which other flowers I should go to photograph.. I would go and come back with a new shot.

I love you Mami… and I miss you. ♥♥♥

 

Gratitude.

 Gratitude:

The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. (Wikipedia)

Looking bac2015-08-08 12.16.02k on my life experiences to pinpoint the exact moment when having gratitude as my first thought of the day has been difficult.  My siblings and I were taught politeness and culture by expressing gratitude to everyone.  Many times,  if I wasn’t showing my gratitude or saying “Thank You’, I received a strong pinch from my mother.  There is a big difference between learning to express gratitude because you have to, and expressing gratitude because you feel it.

At one particular point in my life, I learned the true meaning of gratitude through a personal and powerful experience of my own. It happened when I was 17 years old, the day my beautiful Dad died.

My father was my best friend.  He taught me to box, the basics of fixing a car, to dance, and to be calm in the midst of conflict.  I loved him so much.  He became sick and passed away when he was 52.  I remember walking into the hospital with my best friend, her sister and my two younger siblings.  Before we got to his room, the nurse came out and without any warning, love, or concern, she announced, “Oh, your father just died.”  I remember running to him and hugging his dead body so, so tight, crying and hurting so much!

I turned around and saw my little brother and  sister with pain and devastation on their faces that was equal to mine.  I realized that my dad’s body was dead, but his spirit and memories would continue forever.  At that exact moment an overwhelming feeling of gratitude washed over me.  I felt so grateful for the few years that I had him as my dad.  I felt like a miracle happened to me when an extremely painful moment was transformed into a loving, peaceful one.  I turned to my siblings and shared my feelings with them.  I asked them to kneel, we held hands and said a loving prayer of thanks for the blessing that he had been to us.  Tears of loss were exchanged for tears of love and gratitude. Gratitude filled us and helped get us through those sad days.  I could actually feel the love of my dad surrounding us.   His big smile came to my mind and took over my heart and I felt his comfort.

The memory of this moment is the one that I use as a powerful tool to transform my life.  I use it to turn bad and difficult moments into positive experiences.  I do my best to make gratitude my first thought of everyday.  That alone, helps me to have a great day, regardless of any  situation or any problem.

Sometimes, I succeed.  Other days, I forget and it doesn’t come to me until later in the morning, but my gratitude is always with me.  It’s not always easy to make it my first thought of the day.

It is not easy to train ourselves to wake up giving thanks or having thoughts of gratitude.  It has taken me time, patience and practice to get to the point where I am now.  More likely, our first thoughts are along the lines of, “I need more sleep!”, or “I don’t want to get up to do all the things I have to do today!”  Sometimes, there is excitement about a new day, other times fear of what the day may bring, or complete indifference to the upcoming day, with no more interest in it than to get through it..mechanically…because it is something to do..like a job.  Regardless of the expectations of the day, if gratitude is at the start of it, life becomes more meaningful and rich in a spiritual way.

If gratitude is not your first thought, it could always be the second, or the third, or the fourth.  What is important is to have that thought at some point in the morning routine.  As times goes by, it becomes easier to remember and eventually becomes a habit.  Then it becomes part of the soul.  One day, I hope to realize that waking up with gratitude is as natural as the sunrise…..every morning.

I don’t look for a big list of amazing things happening, to be able to give thanks. The little things are the ones that matter the most.  Each morning I feel gratitude for waking up; for seeing a new sunrise, or maybe a rainy day; for calling a place my home;  for my family, pets, friends.  I’m simply grateful for being alive!

Feel the gratitude and see the transformation.

If time is taken every morning to feel grateful… for pretty much anything in life, the day will be brighter, smiles will be bigger, and by the end of the day, there will be even more reason to close the day with a feeling of complete gratitude for just being.

Now, let’s close our eyes, breathe deep and exhale with a smile…  Time to start the gratitude journey!2015-07-19 15.26.32

  • Photos by Sandi Gamblin
  • Editing by Randall Gamblin (randallgamblin@gmail.com)