Charity's Blog

Life Lessons


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Holiday


Holiday

My heart is full 
if not for the planning.
It would not be a good landing.
Holiday

Is  festive,
majestic, and 
will convince the skeptic.  
Holiday  

Where the family will cheer, and 
will make memories to last all year.

 


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Crazy Family Emotions


Have you ever been confused, conflicted about your life that you want to scream? My life is involved, I work I have a senior, my mother living with my husband and I. There are days where I feel that I am dancing on a balance beam trying to make sense of it all.

It is the little things that add up to great big ones, like not wiping the counter after use or being mindful, making sure nothing spills over when you are disposing of food in the trash. Having your parent living with you is most challenging!

During this pandemic, I have observed that my mother is not mindful or careful when she does things, and my husband gets frustrated when he sees the counter messy or the floor near the garbage spilled with coffee grounds. Imagine taking your lunch break, and you run into your husband, complaining about your mother. How would you handle that?

By the way, I, too, have noticed some of the same behaviors. One of the issues is that I don’t tell my mother when these incidents happen.

To give a little history of my mother. She is traditional at 88 years of age. She comes from the mindset that she has earned the right to say whatever she pleases and does not care about how others take it. Healthwise, she is mentally sharp, mind like tack, but physically she is hard of hearing and has refused to use hearing aids, her vision not so good. She is so stubborn full of pride, which gets in the way of seeing that the use of hearing aids would much improve her activities of daily living.

I love my mother very much, and there is nothing I would not do for her. It is chaotic the behaviors she exhibits. I want to tell her, “Mami, chill out!” “You live with us, not the other way around!”


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The Moms in my Life


It is Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 10, 2020. I want to honor the moms in my life that I love with all of my heart.

First and foremost, to my Mami, although we have our challenges, we continue to battle it through with our hearts in motion. I accept the good with the bad no matter what! It took us a bit to reach this point, and I am blessed to have you in my life!

To my sweet, Ma, my mother-in-law, you are a loving person, and I adore you and living with Alzheimer’s, it is difficult. I am so glad that during this pandemic, Ma is in a state of lucidity. We were so worried that this situation was going to further her condition.

My loving aunt, what can I say! I love your wisdom, your heart, and your creativity. You are the bomb! I look forward to us scrapbooking together the next time you come to visit.

To my independent, courageous, and beautiful daughter, I always say to myself, when I grow up, I want to be just like you. I use to say you had an old soul. You raised my granddaughter, and she is an amazing kid, almost a high school graduate of 2020! We are so proud!

To my sister, we have grown and so glad we did. I can not imagine my life without you. You are funny, especially when you talk about your parakeets who are very active, wink! wink! They have produced a multitude of eggs that hatched recently. I always tease her about separating those birds!

My cousin, in a short time, I have gotten to know you more, you are a dedicated mom of two, and you don’t play! I love your spirit; you are fearless and committed to family.

I wish you all a most blessed Mother’s Day!


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Happy Mother’s Day!


Happy Mother’s Day! My message to you is truthful and from the heart. I will not embellish, I will not paint a false picture of our mother, daughter relationship, but I hope you understand it is coming from my heart.

You are loving and challenging with a twinge of mystery! It bothers me that you don’t talk about your childhood in detail, just small puzzle pieces that often don’t connect. You come from a large family of nine, but yet I don’t see a close relationship between you and your siblings. You seek them out more than they seek you. It makes me wonder, why? You have shared how much you loved your mother and cared for her until her passing, but yet to hear stories of your childhood.

As a child, growing up, our relationship was not a positive one, and for that, I am sorry. I often felt very insecure, very unsure, and I was not a good student. My grades were crappy and now know why? I never felt supported. I never was told, “I am proud of you.”

I remember that in community college, I had an opportunity to do a music audition tape. I was taking a voice class at the time. I was approached by one of the students in the class who informed me of this opportunity to sing in a band, and I needed to do this audition tape. I remember I was so excited to tell you and Pop about it, but you both quickly talked me out of it. I will never forget that, and perhaps my future would have turned out differently. I guess I will never know!

My purpose is not to hurt you, but I want you to understand. I believe that for me, it has been a life full of lessons. I vowed at the time that my relationship with my future children will be different, so when I became a mom, my vow was in full swing! Every time my kids wanted to try out for something, I encouraged them, and I would say, “go for it!” It is so essential for a child to explore their talents and capabilities. I am proud to say my children turned to be well-rounded adults.

Over the years, I have tried to make that connection with you, and at present, our relationship has improved, but we still have room for improvement. You living with me has allowed me to get to know you. You are very sound in your faith and I am happy for you. Consider this my testimony. I love you very much!


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Coronavirus: A Visit to Ma’s


“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

~Dolly Parton

How many of you have a family member in a nursing home or an assisted living facility? It can be frustrating, and heart-wrenching. It is our new normal! I have not seen my mother-in-law since the beginning of this pandemic. She has Alzheimer’s and I am worried about this crisis furthering her condition. My fear is when this is over she will not know us.

Ma lives in memory care, her condition is at the beginning stages, she still knows us and she is well-loved by the staff and the residents. 

Fast forward to today. My husband and I decided to pay a visit and we are well aware that we can not visit due to the pandemic. I realize it is for the safety of the residents as well as ours, but I miss her deeply!

Upon arrival, at the entrance,  we saw a sign that read, “Heroes Work Here!,” it struck my heart and the reality of it all was extremely real! 

We drove toward the back of the parking lot by the outer glass door by the activity room and as we looked inside, there was Ma and she immediately spotted us. One of the nurse’s aides assisted her and the happiness on my mother-in-law’s face was well worth it.

We visited for 15 minutes but it is a memory that will stay with me for as long as I live!


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Life is a Roller Coaster Ride!


Life is a roller coaster ride! If anyone were to tell me that Ma would be in a nursing facility six months ago undergoing rehabilitation. I would not have believed them. She was living independently with mild Alzheimer’s, functional, and in a senior community.

Fast Forward to the Present

Ma has transferred from the hospital to the rehabilitation-nursing facility. The doctor, in her care, informed us that her Alzheimer’s has progressed. How is this possible? A close friend tried to enlighten me by saying, ” Ma is not bedridden, not in diapers and not being spoon-fed.” I refuse to accept that! I feel that she has spiraled towards the severe versus moderate since Hurricane Irma.

To top it off, she fell again, as she attempted to get off the bed in the rehabilitation facility. Staff found her on the floor in a sitting position, conscious in the early morning hours. Her bed is a hospital bed with an alarm due to not being able to remember to press the ‘Call for the Nurse’ button. She is in the facility undergoing physical and occupational therapy.

Reality check!

Ma cannot come home and will require more supervisory care. I continue to pray for strength. The one thing that I learned from all of this is to live life every day, as it was my last.  

Alzheimer’s Quote


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Happy Father’s Day, Papi!


Pop & me on my wedding day

Happy Father’s Day Papi!  I am thinking about you during this special day honoring all fathers. There is not a single moment that passes with thoughts of you fluttering my mind. You were larger than life and you were not an easy walk but you were definitely a loving father.

You busted your butt for us, every night driving that yellow cab. I still remember you coming home with eighty stitches on your forearm. As the story goes, you were held up at knife point by some guy outside your favorite diner. You refused to give up any money and you fought back. I wonder sometimes, what passed through your mind? I cannot begin to imagine what it was like. It must have been very scary. After that horrific experience, you continued to go to that same old diner. My thoughts? You were either crazy or very brave I chose the latter.

As a disciplinarian, you were very strict and you know what? We turned out okay with a few rough edges under our belts which made us strong. It is amazing the things that you think of when you look back. I have plenty of good stories to tell about you, Papi. It will carry me through for years to come. Just know, we made it through and for that I am grateful.

I am all grown up now with my own family. I am a grandmother, surprised? You would love her, she is an exceptional young lady, very bright. I am truly blessed.


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Happy Birthday Papi!


Image

Happy Birthday Papi!

We have missed you…thoughts of you come flooding back each time an official holiday or your birthday comes around, and here I am again writing to you on your birthday. I cannot believe that you have been gone 27 years. Mami is doing, okay. She continues to cope everyday without you and at times it can be a struggle.

Our lives were left with a never-ending void. Let’s face it you always had that presence about you. I have been doing a lot of reflecting  about past times, where you said a word or did something and it would always bring a smile upon my face.

The other day, our granddaughter did not want to share her dessert. I told her about my story and the lesson I learned all those years ago. Do you remember that? I was ten. I was eating a banana, and you asked me for a bite and I refused. I remember it like it was yesterday. For one week, and by the way,  an eternity for a little kid.  I would ask to share your dessert and you would on purpose not share. I never forgot this lesson!

Isn’t it funny, what we remember?

Love your daughter,

Caridad


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The room was small; you could see out the window that overlooked the alley in between the two tenement buildings.You could see the silver trash cans all lined up ready for garbage day. My uncle’s room vivid in my mind. The walls were plain; the paint was an off white color. Windows had no curtains just the shades.

I was 11 years old; my Uncle Pipo was bedridden by then and unable to walk. He became ill with the meningitis virus at a young age. I always wondered how it all began. When did my uncle stop walking? My uncle never married and had no children of his own. In my heart, I felt he would have been a great Dad.

His hobby was saving empty glass coffee jars and filling them with half-dollars. He preferred only the glass jars with the Maxwell House labels. My grandmother helped by collecting the jars for him. Did I mention that my grandmother and my uncles, Pipo and Manolo lived on the second floor of our building, and we lived on the fifth?

I got a kick out of dropping the half-dollars in the jar. I liked the sound of the coins, perhaps like many kids that grew up in that era. I loved the noise!  I remember feeling the anticipation, and curiously,” How many coins did Uncle Pipo save today?” He listened patiently, as I talked and talked about my day at school.

The third jar was almost complete, and the other jars were stored away in his bureau closet. Memories are so vivid like it happened yesterday. I sometimes reminisce and travel back to that time.

My uncle died that same year from health complications. I don’t recall the details of the funeral or viewing my uncle Pipo in a casket, but I do remember the loud sounds of the coins. It was time valued.

He took the time to listen to my thoughts and childhood dreams. Uncle Pipo was a tender memory, and he will always have a place in my heart.


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Stories of My Father: The Engagement Bracelets


My father often spoke of my grandmother’s engagement bracelets. How my grandfather had proposed, and instead of an engagement ring. My grandma received a set of 24 carat gold engagement bracelets.

My grandmother always wore the bracelets, but when she passed away at age 77, they too disappeared. We never knew who in the family got possession of them. A mystery!

Although my father never went into detail of their courtship, he did mention how much my grandfather loved my grandmother and how well he provided for them until his death in 1950. After his death things changed for my grandmother and her life would never be the same again.

As a child hearing these family stories. You could not help but want to know more. Personally, I always had an ongoing curiosity about my family history. Not too long ago I joined Ancestry.com in hopes of piecing together my family’s missing pieces.

I would love to know how my grandparents met.  How long was their courtship? Did my grandfather go to my grandmother’s father for her hand in marriage? How young were they?  It all remains a mystery to this day. My father never mentioned his grandfather, only his grandmother.