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A Kiss For Apa

I was having a conversation with someone just yesterday about her relationship with her mother and well, she sadly described her mother as manipulative. Pero esperate! As a mother, quickly I defended my fellow mother and said, “she just doesn’t want you to move and is glad for the extra time she’ll have with you, she’s gonna find the change difficult” Pero, the quick response was “No. She knows how to manipulate me and get her way” And what did I do? I pulled out my mothering portfolio. Asi soy yo? Do my kids see me like that… then it went to my marriage relationship. Do I use my words and feelings to manipulate? Hijole!

We carry into our new relationships so much baggage, so much old things, hidden things and sometimes we don’t even realize it. Relationships can take so many turns, verdad que si? Some relationships are easier to maneuver than others. Hijole! This sounds like a therapy session huh? Pero, I had a beautiful conversation with my sister this week, it was very therapeutic. She shared with me a beautiful memory and it turned out to be another puzzle piece in my own memories and conclusions of mi ama. I was so grateful for it, through my sister, my ama gave me a useful tool to use as I practice relationships. 

When I was 15 years old, I had stepped into some nasty reality. It felt gross  and I angrily formed judgments, from my perspective my parents weren’t doing things well at all! and our lives shouldn’t be affected negatively. I would take care of my own heart.  I built walls of protection, that weren’t much protection at all! They were ungrateful walls of pride and “stinking thinking” like my pastor says. Thankfully at 18 years old God drew me to him and his reality and He has carried me through the seasons of life. That was almost 4 decades ago and of course as I’ve entered into my own relationships I’ve understood and experienced some of the ugly realities of life. I’ve learned to push back against the lies and misconceptions, face the facts and use the freedom I have to make right and good choices for my life that will affect others.  I do not have to accept what the devil wants to throw at me, I do not have to conform to the ways of this world, even though I live here. 

As I continue to learn to learn and practice good healthy habits in relationships, I am ever grateful for those surprises of healing that come unexpectedly. 

As Marina and I were talking and comparing notes on how God speaks to us and shows us the concern he has for the littlest of details in our lives, we turned to talking about the most vulnerable and sometimes very difficult relationship we are experiencing, our marriage relationship. That relationship that God created for a man and a woman, God said that it was not good for man to be alone. Por supuesto que my latina, novela driven mind explodes at what that first meeting must have been like for the man and his wife. Eve, innocent, batting her lashes and Adam exploding at the gift? The responsibility? The journey? That lay before him. Anyway, back to my story.

As women we yearn to express so freely our love for our husbands, to tell them, to show them, but circumstances or history or baggage inhibit us. There we were on the phone talking about how hard it is to just be free to express our amor, then Marina said, “Don’t you remember the way my mom always kissed dad on the forehead?” Explosion in my head! Like a wrecking ball hitting a strong wall of pride. Y yo dije “What?! I don’t remember that? I never saw my ama kiss dad, never!” And Marina was surprised, because she saw it often. Como? How was it that I never saw that? Pero asi es, some memories stick more than others. For Marina all these years it has been something else she learned from our ama and now practices it and it pulls her through whatever wave wants to knock her down. When things are sticky and difficult. When walls of isolation want to stubbornly climb higher and higher, she’ll do like our ama did and look at her husband and while he’s busy, not even interrupting him, she goes over to him and kisses him on the forehead and it helps her.

I was humbled again at my mothers strength. I again appreciated her perseverance in the most difficult relationship she chose to maintain. I was happy that I could see beyond the “facts” and I told Marina that I too was going to use that kiss to break down a wall. I left that conversation so incredibly blessed for the kiss my ama gave me. 

The Counter Talk

Lately my family has been joking about having a podcast called “Counter Talk” In honor or our conversations around the kitchen counter. In our house, at the kitchen counter besides the food that gets put out for a gathering, there en el mostrador issues get pulled out, hashed out, dissected and either thrown out or left for another session. Nowadays it’s called “unpacking” with the good intention of calmly discussing a matter. Pero at the Greene home it’s more like something slipped out, or fell out. Ya sabes, when something is on our minds, we carry it with us, bouncing around our head very loosely y de repente! Bam, it’s on the kitchen counter. Aveces, one of us, usually Emery or myself will bring that heavyweight topic and purposely and not very gently place it on the counter, saying “This happened and I’m ticked!” 

What Does God Say About the Matter?

Through the years, Counter Talks have been therapeutic. We squeeze out every reaction, every feeling that comes forward because of ‘the issue,’ and we look for similar reactions from those at the counter. At the moment we don’t want to hear “What does God say about the matter?” Pero, pulling God into our counter talks makes them what they are; sometimes painful, beautiful, appreciated and refreshing. A veces, it’s one on one conversations but other times everyone at dinner is chiming in, contributing their thoughts to make sure all parts of the matter are viewed. While I’m on the kitchen side, working on something to serve, we are discussing a matter, and I will paint ‘the offender’ as maybe innocent or at the very least their intentions had no malice behind them, come on, they were not trying to hurt. It gets dicey when the conclusions come to:

“Let it go” Do nothing. God will make it right in the end, pero waiting for healing to come is so hard. Then there’s the other conclusion, You can’t just let it go, you’ve got to talk to that person, not about the person. You’ll have to ‘confront’ the matter and deal with it. Hijole! It can be dramatico, what if it ends a friendship? What if… All of this comes out at the counter.

When The Kids Grow Up

Nunca pense, that one day my kids would be “painting the bigger picture” at the kitchen counter. El otro dia, mi hijo was on my side of the kitchen counter?! While he ate his slice of chocolate cake and ice cream he said things like “Mom like you have always said” or “You taught us this” and he pulled God right into the matter! Luego, when we left the counter I received a text from my baby, ya se, he’s 20 and all grown up, his text reminded me that God’s gifts are worth fighting for. I laid in bed amazed at how much my kids hope in Jesus and despite their youth I was able to receive their gifts of encouragement and their challenges to believe God in the matter. 

En Conclusion

Este mes has been a hard month for me, I’ve wanted to run away, but that takes too much work, so I considered just crawling into bed to sleep “it” off and I have tried it, not sure if it helped. It’s been a month overflowing with every imaginable feeling surfacing and in me no strength to stop them from strutting. When Thomas, mi baby, sent that encouraging text he mentioned a “season of winter”  Hijole! I’m so very thankful for the support God has given me, winter is my least favorite season. Pero, I  am pleasantly and gratefully surprised that the support included my very own children.

Psalms 127:3 has taken a fuller, deeper meaning in my soul. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward” (NKJ)

Wedding Day Details

Just 30 days left of Wedding plan for my son and his girl. Just 30 days for his sister, the unofficial and untitled wedding planner to fuel their wedding day dream, with untried creativity. Thirty more days for the rest of us to help or meddle. Pero, la verdad es que all the detallitos, those little embellishments confound me. I mean, how critical is it that the utensils be ensembled a particular way?  I am working hard at NOT letting other details arrest me. Por ejemplo,  it’s my third child getting married, no big deal verdad? I’m already wearing the mother in law shoes. I know mi hijo won’t forget me. I hope that this strong latina suegra won’t scare his sweet girl. I’m praying that when life settles down he’ll put me in the right place in his heart and with his wife in his arms, I’ll enjoy the newest San Diego Greene couple. 

As the day draws closer and closer I’m stepping back in my own wedding planning or lack of it. Ahora si, now that I’m an abuela, an ‘old married lady’ I have my opinion. Can anyone hear me? Will it matter now? My stomach is jittery again and I’m wondering how’s Ems beautiful girl is handling the wedding planning.

During Engagement:

When I was engaged, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to behave. I had a ring on my finger, but no date and my “husband to be” was out to sea. I was a busy fiancé writing love letters  to my comprometido, telling him my woes of singleness. I was keeping busy accepting any dinner invite my lonely heart received and as I consumed the delicious tostones and arroz con habichuelas that my Puerto Rican friends offered I put aside the wedding plans for mañana.

Covered in Questions:

At church, at work, with friends, y con la familia the questions buried me and my engagement ring.

“Do you have a dress? Where are you looking? Do you know what style you want? Have you tried on some dresses? Y sabes que, I’ve been getting those same questions again! And I’m just the mother of the groom.

“Who’s your maid of honor? Bridesmaids? Flower girl? Ring bearer? What colors will you be using? I thought white was the only color I needed, ya se, ya se, pobrecita Rosie…I still don’t have a favorite color! Y! Back in those days there was no beautiful little girl or boy, like my grandchildren that captured my heart to crown them flower girl and ring bearer. Maybe I was remembering the uncooperative flower girl I had been.

Where are you getting your flowers? Who’s making your cake? Where’s the reception? What’s on the menu? Did you find a photographer?  Always my answer was “I don’t know”

The Things in Miss Rosalba’s Head

Despite the mountain of  “I don’t knows” the things that worried me were:

Will my familia be there? I was stepping into uncharted waters, marrying outside of mi gente and my wedding was outside of the family’s tradition. Would my ama come to my wedding? I worried that my apa wouldn’t give me away. 

What was Ben’s mother gonna really think of me? My heart trembled, “Oh God, help me”

I needed to figure out how to make a wedding invitation that would embrace both of our heritage. Spanglish was just me and besides it was too uncouth. Although in reality it would have fit right in with my unplanned wedding day details. In the end I chose two completely different styles, English and Spanish. I’m not sure if I asked for advice or ignored it. 

What was I going to focus on when I gave my testimony during the ceremony? Oh I worried that I wouldn’t get the whole beautiful story of redemption across. 

On My Wedding Day:

Mira lo que sigue conmigo, I was unused to too much makeup, and I felt overdone with eyeshadow, ya se ya se. 

My testimony was wordy, did anyone get the revelation that I was a new creation in Christ?

I shared my first meal with my Benjamin, fried chicken and potato salad. I was hungry! I thought brides were too full of butterflies to feel hunger, of course I would be different!

Ben shocked me when we cut the cake, he smeared frosting on my face! And guess what? I couldn’t do it back to him!

My parents gave me their blessing and my apa represented them both on my wedding day. Ama was physically unable to attend, and it broke her heart. My apa was nervous, but his proud regal Zepeda stance sustained him as he stood with me that day. His sister, my faithful Tia Chepina and her family came to my wedding, something I’m forever grateful for. My apas brother, Tio Chuy was there too. He and his wife, my quirky Tia Cuca always appreciated that I included them into my life. My sisters, pillars in my support system were there, making sure they encircled me with protection as I ventured into this voyage. 

Me acuerdo, that the drive up the mountain to see my ama at the hospital was long and winding. I sat next to mi esposo and apa sat in the back seat. Hijole! Was it ok to hold his hand? 

If I Could Do It Over:

What would I do differently if I had the knowledge I have now? Probably everything would change! Pero, so many other little things, seemingly unimportant things remain in my heart, those things for sure I wouldn’t change.

In the fire of wedding planning so many things happen, and so many things are dropped. So much explosive emotions and countless offenses can happen. The best thing I can do for Ems girl is pray for her peace. Emery knows I’m here to help, y gracias a Dios, he’s not hesitating to ask for it.  

Que Dios los Bendiga, with his hedge of protection and peace on these last 30 days of wedding planning.

Ama Heard Me Crying

I was having a quiet moment with my daughter, por supuesto que we were talking about very important matters, when her ears perked up, I could see in her face that she was making a calculation about something in her head. Then as I heard my grandbaby crying, her youngest son who’s not so baby, she put her attention back to our conversation. I had already put on my “Ama al rescate” cape. I was ready to rescue him. I said “Don’t you hear?” She calmly responded “yes, but I can tell he’s not hurt, they’ll work it out” A pos si! I’d forgotten that a mother can recognize and distinguish the different alarms her child sounds. And usually she knows when to run to him, or when he’s safe and he must figure it out. Hijole! I was all tangled up in my “rescue cape” Don’t get me wrong, I know moms (me) who have missed the cry for help or were too slow, but God helped us. Thankfully, in todays story, my Ama arrived to pull Fernando out of his mess!

The American Dream

Para mi familia, coming to “El Norte” was a slow process that began in Mexicali Baja California, a border city. This is where many other  immigrants began their pursuit of the “American Dream. My apa worked across the border and my ama probably worked harder at taking care of their growing family. They went to live in a colonia where housing and plumbing wasn’t very personal and definitely not cozy. The need for housing intensified as people were arriving. One “solution” to the growing population and daily needs was to build shared outhouses in the colonia. Everything in my sheltered inexperienced mind is grappling with the idea of leaving my house to use the bathroom. Pero pues, I’m trying to understand the logic behind this solucion. Gracias a Dios, that children are different. They’re resilient, they see most things as adventures.

Un dia, while my ama was busy, the kids were out playing. Fernando was out in the colonia playing ball with his friends, he doesn’t remember if he was playing soccer, but he was hard at play. Y de repente! That’s how it is with latinos, every story has an “all of a sudden!” element. They all noticed the BIG hole in the ground and curiosity got a hold of them. After having raised three boys myself, I can attest to the fact that boys like to take curiosity to another level! After some speculation they concluded that the ollo was for the new outhouse that was coming soon. They peered into it, they sized it up and one another and put out the challenge. “Who can get out of the ollo?” They all decided they could easily, no problem. Right here, I’ll embellish Fernandos story, because he doesn’t remember, and I have faced 3 little boys who ALWAYS did everything better and faster. Is it possible that Chapparro was too eager to top all the other boys? Por supuesto que si! And before he knew it, they were all daring him to prove it. He faced that hole and the dare, I can only imagine how much time he took ruminating about the act of the big jump. For sure the voices of his friends echoed in his mind. “You can’t do it” “Tienes miedo” and then, he was in the hole. When he looked up, his friends were gone and he was stuck. A hole that was all of a sudden an insurmountable height, maybe five feet high, he was about 3 ft high himself. Panic struck him as he realized that he couldn’t get out, forever trapped in the newly dug outhouse hole. It took him no time at all to sound his alarm. “Ama! Ama!” No response. Panic gripped him and his voice went up a notch “Ama! Ama!” and the tears gushed as he cried “Amaaa! Amaaa!” The ollo was closing in on him as he screamed for ama. And then she was there, relief flooded him. 

The Board of Education

When he was out of the hole, his relief lasted a moment because he had to face ama and answer the questions. “Porque hiciste eso?” She would never understand his need to prove himself, but he would have to learn quickly that he must stay away from dangerous scenarios. And for that short quick lesson the ‘board of education’ was needed. Fernando says that one of his grade school teachers referred to the paddle for disciplining like this. Ya se, this is a sensitive topic, so I’m just sharing facts, ama spanked him as needed, y pues all of her children felt the “board of education” as needed. She didn’t beat or abuse him, she loved him. The lesson of not following the crowd, or listening to the voices of foolishness would be ongoing lessons that everyone faces.

Gracias a Dios that my ama learned how to discern those different cries we let out as we experienced life and came to our rescue, aid or encouragement as needed. It’s pretty special to watch a mom in action when her child cries out. I have a beautiful friend who sometimes will hear her kids cry and doesn’t follow the crowd of moms who sometimes apapachan, you know hover and immediately pull their child out of their distress, without giving him/her a chance to work things out and learn their own boundaries and establish them. This fiesty latina, will hear and recognize their need and choose not to be anxious for them. 

Whether or not a mother hovers about and runs to every cry, or picks and chooses which cry is a genuine emergency, the main thing is that a mother hears her child’s cries. 

If I Could Send a Text To Heaven

The Heavy Weight of Loss

Ya se, ya se. Here I am in beautiful San Diego smack dab in the middle of the summer, beautiful city, perfect weather y aun asi my heart is heavy with loss. Circumstances of my life have propelled me into a feeling of swimming for survival. Que dramatic verdad?

My ama, oh how I wish we could talk. I would pick her brain about her marriage and motherhood and grandmotherhood. Ahora si, I see her sacrifices, and totally relate to her tears and her fatigue. Y, I’d pull out the pictures of her great grandchildren, “Mire ama, todo lo que Dios me ha concedido” Oh I know she would cry tears of joy to see my beautiful inheritance. I get anxious at times about my apa. Is he indeed resting in peace? so I’d also have her ask her “Como esta mi apa?”  In my mind I still imagine some of those unspoken difficult conversations, pero, gracias a Dios, that He was with my apa till  he finished his race.  I do want to tell him about Hector, his youngest. The travieso!, his troublemaking days are behind him, I hope he knows that is ok. 

Y mis hermanas, my sisters, I want to assure them, or maybe me, that all is well. 

With all the things to come, I think I’m behaving quite “self controlled”. While I’m not quite Ben (my cold blooded Englishman), I’m handling life. Pero, I’m tending to want to keep on that terrible and wicked stronghold of pride, yet I know it only damages me. If you’re latina, (or maybe pride affects everyone) ya sabes. Hold your head up, if needed, look angry to ‘prove’ you are a strong latina woman and nothing can knock you down. O, if something has threatened you push back, be strong, fight, no te dejes! 

Like I’ve said a few times, anything can trigger mourning, my sister Patty’s birthday just passed, and I asked God if he would give her a message. Honestly, as long as I’ve been Born Again, I have very little knowledge of heaven. Note to self: Learn about the place you’ll spend eternity girl! The streets are paved with gold, Jesus, my savior is preparing my place, there will be no more suffering, pain or mourning. But I don’t know how Heaven functions, I pray and and hold fast to His promises, then one day I’ll be there with my familia.

If I Could Send a Text:

I want Patty to know that our Emery is getting married and she would be quite pleased with the jewel God is making her to be; beautiful, strong, sweet and spicy are the traits I’ve detected thus far. 

Could an unfeeling text, even with emojis, relate my heart in this? I want my ama to know that I understand her now. I want her to know that I regret my disrespectful ignorant attitude toward her trials. I want her to know that I realize how much we kids took a piece of her heart and I’m so sorry I broke it. 

I still want them to let me know how much they miss me, but missing someone is painful sometimes, and in Heaven they don’t suffer from pain anymore. 

The Days Pass Like Vapor:

As time is passing and life is quickly changing, I’m hanging on to Christ, the only one that doesn’t change. 

Coming to America – Fernando’s Story

In this post I’m going to introduce you to el “Chapparo,” my third older brother. His name is Fernando but my apa called him Chaparro, for you non Spanglishers this means a shorty, sorry Fernando I had to clarify. Of course Fernando did not put on that nickname, it was exclusive for my apa and ama. In high school he was dubbed  “Zap”  by one of his teachers. I believe it was a derivative from our last name Zepeda, which every teacher mispronounced. That teacher must have pronounced it “Zapeeduh.” My brother had his own battles to fight while in transition to learning the English language and American ways.

School and the Immigrant Child

Like my other siblings, Fernando was dropped into the American education system without knowing how to speak English. I know the difficulty of going to an unfamiliar place as a little kindergartener and not having your safe and secure pillars, like ama and apa visible and near. I was a chilliona my first year and cried until the teacher handed me to my 4th grade big sisterPero no me imagino what it must be like for a child to be dropped at school with a bunch of strangers and not understanding a word they’re saying to you. Chapparro (it feels weird to call him that since it was an exclusive name used by our parents) went along with the program as well as he could.

No Hablo Ingles

Un dia, while the class was working with messy art stuff, Fernando needed to wash his hands, he looked around and didn’t see a sink, so he went looking for one. He walked right into the girls bathroom and proceeded to scrub his hands. Luego, as he was washing vigorously he felt that uneasy feeling of someone watching him. He turned around and saw that some of the little girls in his class had followed him. They were chattering indignantly and staring at him in disbelief. Didn’t he know that he was in the girls bathroom?! Since he didn’t understand them, Fernando went back to washing his hands, but before he could finish he felt a nasty tug on his ear as he was being pulled out of the bathroom. Now he was indignant! The teacher was saying something to him and pointing at the words on the bathroom door “GIRLS” Fernando looked at the door and at her and using the universal “body language.” He shrugged his shoulders and knowing my brother, he had that natural Zepeda frown on his face. That’s when it hit the teacher, a “face palm” moment, that if he couldn’t speak English, he wouldn’t be able to read it. She showed him where the BOYS bathroom was and from that point on Fernando knew exactly where to go. No confusion, boys used the boys bathroom and girls used the girls one, and the English acquisition continued steadily for my big bro. 

I really enjoy sharing these stories, in my opinion, they are such a vital part of our American history. Y, para mi, it enriches my treasure vault. 

My Independence Day

Happy Independence Day! And how many people walk in true liberty? Porque pues, there are many people in the world practicing their freedom with no kind of limits.

Here I was in beautiful San Diego, fresh out of H.S. with an extra layer of sun on my skin from working in the grapevines of Coachella Valley, the American Dream at my finger tips. I teetered on the onset of adulthood with no parent rules, setting my own schedule, I thought I was  free to do anything I wanted to do.  Well sort of, I mean, I didn’t have a car, money or friends, I didn’t fit in and I was lonely. Even the Mexican-Americans around me didn’t speak Spanglish, hijole I was one free miserable little girl. One weekend I decided to push myself in with a  group of girls that were going across the border to party. Que ranchera! I felt like Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie, Comfort or cuteness? Sexy was way beyond my imagination. Hmmm… The girls were all cool or trying to look savvy in their vestiditos, they entered the club and so did I as part of their clique. When we were seated, the waiter came to take our drink order and since I didn’t know what I was doing, I ordered ice water. He said, in broken English “you must order to stay” Hijole! Then one of the girls said, in a very haughty tone, “just bring her a bloody mary” I was disgusted! A Clamato, with something in it that burned my tongue! Needless to say that I nursed that drink all evening, pretending that I didn’t even notice that I wasn’t getting asked to dance. WooHoo! Let freedom ring, verdad?

Pero asi es, somebody perpetuates the lie that the pursuit of happiness includes,  having “the” substance, to get you out of your mind, then you can be crazy.  Many find themselves deceived, miserable and without hope. As for me, I got freedom one Indepence day 38 years ago. Asi paso, I was fighting with God insisting that my religious practices made me a good girl and that was enough! But I certainly felt caged in my good works, did God even notice?  Gracias a Dios, that in this free country we still have the liberty to preach the Gospel and assemble (no thanks to covid) And as I was being stubborn, God in his mercy, let me hear the message of His love for me. Wasn’t he too busy to pursue me? Yet he wasn’t, and he still isn’t. He knocked and he knocked on the door of my heart until I couldn’t resist, I had to see all that this Lover of my soul offered me. Oh what a glorious day, that day when Jesus came into my heart and took out all the filthy rags of my works. That self righteous indignation, cleaned away. That angry unforgiving heart, healed. And, that loose tongue that lied too much and was a little too swift with the cussing and fussing, twisted and then straightened out! I rested immediately, and since that day,  we share un “cafecito.” Le digo todo, because I can trust him with my secrets. He loves me so much and when my heart condemns me, because it will, He is bigger than my heart. 

Ahora si! Let freedom ring!  Happy 4th of July, enjoy the liberties we have at the cost of others before us and may God keep helping America! 

A Pro Life Victory

Fighting For Life

June 24, 2022 was a good day in the fight for life. It reminded me of the ancient days of bible history, when queen Esther’s People won an opportunity to fight for their lives. Deveras,  I mean the law wasn’t overturned, the Jews were still very much in danger pero at least, a new edict made provision for them to defend themselves. Hijole! That alone was a great victory, I recommend you read the story, it has all the fixing for a good novela

Reconozco that this moment in history isn’t necessarily about motherhood, but for me, it definitely shines a light on this calling we women are honored with. 

Como me acuerdo de mis amigas. They expected to be mothers one day, it was something they desired, pero, it was a long journey y con mucho dolor. Such yearning to experience motherhood, waiting was so difficult. Such anxiety that the tiny living souls were in their hands. What healing it brought when her womb couldn’t carry a baby, a baby was birthed and she would nurture her. Constantly squelching down that feeling of impatience as the final documents for adoption were being signed. There are different roads to motherhood y mis fieles amigas trusted in God,  and after the hard days of waiting, oh how I rejoiced with these mommas.

Raquel yearned for a baby, her heart ached as she waited for a miracle. Each time she tested, she was careful and each time her hope fell. Why wasn’t she getting pregnant? She and her husband waited 10 years. Al fin, when it seemed impossible, un milagro! God gave her the incredible experience of pregnancy and mothering 3 varones

Patty thought she was too old to carry a baby. She had married later in life… How amazing it was that it wasn’t too late, in her womb she cradled her son. It was glorious to hear her baby’s heartbeat.

Stacie had endured the labor of foster parenting and now she held her breath as she waited for the baby to be permanently in her arms. Miracle would have her forever family.

Cita sat in that Neonatal intensive care unit watching her 2 lb. preemie fighting for her life. Her pregnancy had been hard and now She prayed for her tiny baby girl, asking God for strength for them both! Daily it had to be renewed as Cita learned how to care for her and face this giant in her life. Today she’s a thriving 4 year old.

Always God is with us, these are just a few glimpses of God’s grace and mercy on the lives of these women and their babies.  

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to fathers everywhere! This fathers day post is coming from the view and experience of a daughter and the observation of a wife and mother.

When I was a brand new mother and I didn’t have the care and help of my own mother, hijole, I felt pretty abandoned. Mi ama wasn’t going to watch to make sure I was eating plenty of atole blanco to produce the needed milk for my big boy. She wasn’t gonna be there to help my healing process, she had been a strong believer in “la cuarentena” 40 days of my ama’s watchful eye, not for me.  My apa had moved on after mom, I didn’t think I could count on him. When I was little, he provided for my needs and well I was a big girl now. 

Pero! Gracias a Dios, somehow God put it in his heart to come to the hospital and see us. Oh how my heart exploded with emotions when I saw my apa. I was so anxious for him to meet his grandson, I was anxious about how he saw my gringo husband as a father and I was anxious for him to approve of me in this; motherhood. So much was happening in those days, the visit was so quick, he held his little gringo grandson and loved him and then he was gone. I don’t remember if I thanked him properly, I’ll have to do it when I see him again. 

As a daughter, I’m grateful for my apas provision, it was no small task to take care of todo el bonche! But he did it! And I’m grateful for all the little things, he didn’t realize he did. 

His playful pinches when we watched la tele. His display of the “conejos” in his strong arms as he flexed his muscles. He was the strongest apa in the world! His willingness to share his little watermelons from his small huerta. His quick response to attend to our school needs when he got a call. His admonitions to stay focused on what mattered in life.  Todas estas cosas, all of these details made my heart appreciate him. 

Now, let me indulge and talk about the father I’ve looked at for over 3 decades, my Cold Blooded Englishman, el amor de mi vida. My steady Ben when the waters were rough, my steady flaco when the waters were shallow.  This is what I’ve seen almost always, even when I didn’t want to see it. One of the tricks to his patience may be that he’s a man of few words. He holds his tongue and words don’t cut. He’s patient with his family, even when it doesn’t look like it. He’s pretty handy, siempre digo, “Ben can fix anything” and so he helps us when we call, and others too. He’s consistent and that makes for a stable home. Perhaps the most telling observation is how much his kids respect him and honor him because they love and appreciate him back. 

En Conclusion:

Fathers are critical in families. If you’ve got a father, grandfather, tio, father figure, that has invested in your life, go ahead and give them that deserved appreciation. If you haven’t had a ‘father’ invest in you, pues, you can, the most important Father is our Abba Father in heaven, he is more than willing to be your Apa. 

The Road to Empty Nesters Place

Ya estuvo! I’m done. No more teenagers to raise. Did you hear that door close? It was loud as that last teen left. This was my fourth time experiencing the end of raising another teen, and still each time that 19 year old teen leaves, I hold my breath regretting that he’s never coming back. Pero, no need to regret, they come back as… “adult children.” Twenty year old Thomas came through my front door just as loud, “HEY, HEY, HEY!” Y sabes que? He still sounds like that 19 year old that left last Thursday morning? I’m glad, because this last time was hitting me hard, again, I fretted that my parenting ‘license’ expired? 

Empty Nesters are ‘those’ parents who are done raising children, as in, the children leave home. Gracias a Dios that as I write this, I don’t quite fit that description yet. Like I did with his  brothers, les digo, “Look out and over the side of the nest” Agarrense! Hang on tight to Jesus 

Because adulting is all that, and more, hijole

Permit me to indulge in memories of Thomas stepping into our lives… He was definitely a surprise.

He showed up in my womb and made himself at home, in perhaps the most critical time of my life…When I thought I needed to go a different way, when I believed I had to “take control” of my life, asi es, pero! Please don’t look at me like that, humans, were like that, thank God that he pulled me “back into the ark”…After I dropped all my fears, I was able to embrace this wonderful surprise and of course 20 years later, I can say he was bien facil to deliver at only 8 1/2 libras 😀

His siblings fell in love with him as soon as they met him. Jonathan couldn’t hold him enough, Daniella easily nurtured him too, since Emery kept “el baby” position. They both enjoyed their big sister. 

My older sister Lupe absolutely fell in love with my guero, Thomas, he was not so secretly her favorite! And he loved her back…It was a match made in heaven.

Our dear friend Doug, well he was wrapped around 3 year old Thomas’s little finger. He gives God the glory for using Thomas to soften his heart toward the gospel, imaginate!

My surprise gift of a son turned out to be a gift to others. This little son of my “old age” makes me want to keep him home as long as he wants, but even as I write this, I’ve been praying that God would make him ‘His man’ and give him eyes to find a good candidate 😀 for a wife and “obtain favor from the Lord! (Prov. 18:22)

En Conclusion:

As I change lanes into “Empty Nesters” living, I’m one of those parents who can’t make up her mind. Now that I’m an abuela, I love a quiet house but, oh how I miss my kids when they don’t come around. Y ahora, they come with the rest of my inheritance, it does get pretty loud en mi casa. When they visit, Ben checks out at his bedtime, usually pretty tired, but we keep right on talking. When they do leave, usually late, I close the door behind them and take a heavy sigh of relief mixed with contentment. My house is quiet again.