Sun Kissed Days

Sun Kissed Days

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Privilege

Yesterday a grey haired man approached me as I arrived to my place of business. He asked if I could give him seventy eight cents, he opened his hand to show me his money. " I am short because I forgot that the price went up recently." I reached into my purse. A friend of mine arrived as I handed the man a dollar bill. I smiled as the man's wrinkled face lit up. It was just a small gesture yet it meant so much. The man left and my friend turned to me and said, "I know, you just can't help yourself." I asked, "is that so bad?". I added, "my father always said that when someone needs your help and you give it to them, you should do it with a warm hand and a warm heart." my father planted the seed by example. He was generous when he had little to give and generous when he had abundance. I planted the seed with my sons. Josh, began volunteering in a hospital when he was sixteen. He always extended a helping hand to anyone in need. Now at the age of twenty four he is a co-director of a mobile unit that serves the underprivileged. The mobile clinic is a bus funded by the college of medicine and staffed by volunteers. It contains two exam rooms and about eight patients can be seen in one evening. Daniel is nine years old and he earns money for charity by reading. Every book he reads we give him money toward his charity of choice . He donated money to the Clinton foundation to aid Haiti after the earthquake. He also donated to American Idol to help buy mosquito nets in Africa. Helping others gives him a sense of pride and happiness. This past month as a member of the student council he was overseeing the fourth grade food drive. It's a privilege to be able to help people in need . As my dad would say with a warm hand and a warm heart.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Accidental Meeting

Today I happened to be by the library when I ran into Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She was there campaigning. She was dressed casual to ward off the Florida heat. Her white tee shirt asking people to vote for her. I said hello. Normally I would not have done that, but my son Josh met her during an event at his medical school. He thought that she was extremely nice. I mentioned it to her and she seemed genuinely delighted to hear that. In March 2009, she revealed that she underwent seven surgeries related to breast cancer  in the year prior ( 2008) , while maintaining her responsibilities as a member of the House. She also maintained an aggressive schedule campaigning during recovery from these seven operations. I think that shows courage and determination. I think it shows the kind of spirit she carries within. I think that it shows how important she feels about representing the people in her district. I believe that we need more people to have that same drive and passion fighting for our rights. Even though this gracious lady is a warrior and a survivor standing proud and tall, I am glad that I was able to give her words of encouragement.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Memories of Hurricane Wilma

This post is inspired by my fellow blogger Belinda Munoz at the halfway point + choosing positivity. This morning she wrote about her son's bedroom ceiling caving in. Her thoughts brought me back to Hurricane Wilma and the damage that it caused. Thirty hours prior to the storm, I was sitting at the Duke Chapel listening to Duke Wind Symphony. I was caught up in the moment, the beautiful music, the beautiful chapel, my son sitting next to me. It was magical. I arrived home just in time, before the airports were shut down. We have had many hurricane warnings through the years. Most of us in South Florida did not take it seriously, because we have been bombarded by the media each and every time. This time was different. Hurricane Wilma arrived with a fury.It caused extensive damage and widespread destruction . Hours earlier, Daniel had written on the sidewalk,with chalk, "go away Wilma". We tried to find refuge in his room, where we thought it was safe, when suddenly there was a piercing noise. The oak tree, outside his window, fell onto the roof. Thankfully the tree did not pierce through into the room. We counted our blessings. Daniel was wearing his Buzz Lightyear pajamas and playing with a matchbox car which he barely ever touched. The sounds of wind and things flying outside did not phase him. He said," our house is made of strong bricks and if a tornado swallows it then it would realize how hard it is and it would spit it out of it's black hole". I think it was his way of trying to make sense of sitting in the darkness while the sound of chaos was coming from outside . After the hurricane left, it was difficult to comprehend the damage that had occurred. Our trees were down, we lost our fence, our streets were impossible to navigate through all the fallen trees. It looked like a war zone. My husband went right to work, cutting and removing the trees. Our power was out for ten days. He handed out blocks of ice, that he had made, to our neighbors. We found out that it was a four hour wait for one bag of ice being distributed by F.E.M.A. The gas stations were empty and when they received gas the wait was hours to fill up. The grocery store shelves were barren. It was a difficult time. On the other hand it was also inspiring. Neighbors were helping each other and feeling a connection to one another. It also made us realize that material things are replaceable, and that we can manage with less. The most important thing was that we had each other and we can solve whatever comes our way as long as we are together.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mom's Journey

Today I struggled. I was drowning. I felt the darkness as tears rolled down my face. I've been trying to be strong for a while now. Yesterday my cousin's father in law passed away. She was describing to me how his kidneys shut down. How he had lived for twelve days without his kidneys functioning. I listened and I remembered.
My beautiful mom, how she swelled up. Her kidneys shut down and we tried dialysis. We tried because we wanted to do what dad would do if he was alive. Hope had faded . I didn't want her to suffer anymore. Her body ballooned. Her face lost the graceful lines. I sat with her in room number six. I sat listening to the steel door opening and closing. My mind wondered if in her subconscious the open and closed door sounded like a pleasant memory of a door at the movies or a door in a kitchen restaurant. We sat there, mother and daughter. I listened to every sound that she made. I watched every breath. Her discomfort lead to my silent desperation. I wiped her face and I held her hand. I told her that I love her. It was my turn to shield her and protect her. I felt helpless and yet strong. I knew that I had to be strong. It was my privilege to be the one to see her through this last journey. We had taken so many journeys before and now she would go on her own while I kiss her goodbye.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Tuesday is special. Tuesday is our day. Daniel and mama day. Now that Daniel is older and he goes to school it's Tuesday afternoon. We paint. We visit the science museum. We read, we dream out loud and we share wonderful conversations. I marvel at his wisdom of the way he views the world . I admire the compassion and empathy that he expresses. I treasure this time that we have. The bookstore is one of our favorite places to go to. We search for a book that will take us on a new adventure. Usually we choose a book to read together and Daniel chooses a book to read on his own. Last Tuesday when he found his desired book he rejoiced.  "The lost hero" was released that day. A book written by Rick Riordan , one of his favorite authors. He began to devour the five hundred and fifty three pages of this book as we stood in line to pay for it. I smiled. I couldn't help feeling a sense of satisfaction. I love that he is as passionate about reading as I am. I love that reading takes him to different worlds of imagination and mythology.
These thoughts bring me to a quote by Dr. Seuss, "the more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."  How true!   

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Marathon

Do you find yourself wishing that you could live everyday as if it's your last day? That wish is good in theory but these days all of us are so busy going through the motions. Once in awhile we allow ourselves the time to breathe deeper, to lift our eyes and revel in a beautiful sunset. Once in awhile we carve out time to savor a wonderful meal. We take the time and have wonderful conversation at the table. Life is a celebration but in reality we have deadlines, school projects, and bills to pay. I find myself searching for a balance between my work projects and my personal life. My son reminds me that my projects are not a sprint but a marathon. He also reminds me that I need to create boundaries. I , as well as some of you try to tackle too many things at once. The boundary lines are blurry at times. I need to remember that life is fragile. I need to pause and to take it all in. If today was my last day what would I choose to do? What would you?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Out of the ashes

I am burdened
when you ask
about things I long to forget.
I am uneasy about the things
that make me bow my head.
It's been now a long time that I
hold my head up  high.
The storms of my mind
the scars of my soul
have led me on this journey.
I peeled away the hurt,
I soared to new heights
to love you,
to find a home in your soul.
I have found you
and loving you
gave me strength to love myself again.
It gave me strength to find the little girl in me
the girl that struggled
when she could escape.
The girl that suffered
when she could dance.
I rose from the ashes
and I found the way.
I was beaten
but never weak
I crawled from the trench
and stood victorious.
I became free
free from the past.
I unchained myself
and I could fly.
Fly to new heights
I could rise and touch the clouds.
I am here today
because of yesterday
tomorrow I will be even better.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Embracing the moment

I once had a neighbor that was wrapped up in her house. She would fret and nag her husband and her child if they brought in any dirt from outside. She was exhausted all the time. Her son was unhappy. Her husband was unhappy. Her tank ran on empty on most days. Another neighbor said to me " I don't understand her. I don't want my tombstone to say that my floors were always spotless. I wish my tombstone to state that I lived and loved." I thought about this today. Don't get me wrong a clean house makes a happy home. But when my son comes home from school and his sneaker is filled with sand I smile. I smile because I know that he had fun during recess. When we worry about the little things it makes us lose the big picture of  life. The things most important  that will make a difference in the long run. Taking time to be with our loved ones. Enjoying the fleeting moments that we have. A home need not be a pharmacy that is sterile. A home needs to be lived in. A home needs to be filled with love and sometimes chaos. Today I choose to live. Today I choose to breathe. Today I choose to dance with my husband in the kitchen. Today I choose to color with my son. Today I choose to let my dog snuggle on the Ralph Lauren quilt. Today I abandon turmoil and I embrace the moment.