A Mother’s Day Reflection

128de10c7c7d37db502f7cfa400fea67--angels-in-heaven-i-miss-you

Mother’s Day is this Sunday. I don’t have to look at a calendar to know that the feelings I’ve been having these past few days are a product of grief. I look at my beautiful daughter and as I listen to her speak I can’t help but feel so proud of the beautiful young lady we’ve raised.  A smart young lady who graduated from college and is on her way to a successful life. She is loving, sweet, funny, determined and gorgeous. I thank God for giving me the daughter I always wanted.

Then I look at my youngest son, the one who gave me such a headache growing up. The one who got a detention 3 out of 5 days of every week in school. The one who some teachers said wouldn’t amount to anything but is now a successful young man who rose to a management position in less than two years after graduating from college. And I feel so proud of him, of his wisdom and charisma. He is still hyper but super funny, sweet and a handsome young man. Every day, I thank God for giving me such a wonderful son.

I can’t help but think about my oldest son, Richie. Thinking about him daily has become part of my life. I miss talking to him and listening to his quirky conversations. I wish I could hug him just like I hug my daughter and younger son. And when we go out as a family, I miss having Richie sit among us. Many times, I wonder if he would have gotten married, had children and completed college.

Many times, I wonder what it would’ve been like if he were alive. Richie was a good young man, so I don’t doubt he would’ve continued the right path. Sometimes, I just imagine what it would’ve been like. I don’t know if this feeling is normal. I’m not sure that any other grieving Moms imagine or experience the same. I think about all the good times, the bad, the happy and the sad. I think about our conversations, his silliness, his childhood and all the little things about him that never left my mind and never will. It’s a mixture of happy and sad feelings and sometimes happy and sad tears. I miss him so much and will always.

Every Mother’s Day, birthday, angelversary, and holiday will be a reminder that he is no longer with me regardless of how long ago he died. It is important for everyone to know that death doesn’t mean out of sight, out of mind. When we give birth to a child we send out birth announcement cards. When the child turns 1, we send out a birthday celebration invitation, and then 2 and 3 and so on. Never does anyone say, “another birthday? Enough now, get over it.” Then why does society expect grieving Mom’s to “get over” the death of a son or daughter? 

Grief is still a huge part of my life. You see me smile and laugh, but I still feel the pain in my heart that will never heal. My happy face and smile is just a mask to cover up those feelings. The feeling of wanting something so bad and knowing that there is not even a glimpse of hope of getting it.

When I see other mothers surrounded by their children, the feeling of not ever having that takes over me. But I smile because I feel happy for that Mom and I wish her only the best, and I pray that she will never have to experience this heart-wrenching pain that will change her life forever. At the same time, I’m grateful for the amazing children I have now with me. Grateful for the wonderful son God gave me. Grateful for the time He allotted for me to spend with my son. And grateful because, even though Richie is not physically here with me, he is in spirit.

So, on this Mother’s Day, make sure to hug your child and let them know how much you love them. Make sure to allow time for your children because you never know when it will be the last. Moms love unconditionally so let them know. Me, well besides smothering my daughter and youngest son with love, I will continue to pray that no other mother experiences the pain of losing their child. And, if you know a grieving Mother, reach out to her, even if just to send her a hug. I’m sure she will appreciate it.

I still conserve the last Mother’s Day card he gave me.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey in the hope that you, too, can reach that place of peace. I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you.

Available on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.

Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

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He Taught Me to Live

On January 8, 1987, I became a Mom for the first time. My angel in heaven Richie would’ve been 32 years old now. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him, miss him, or talk to him. I’ve learned a lot from his passing and about life. Even though I miss him I do feel that I’m in a good place in my life. I only have God to thank for that. You see because even though God took His child back, He made sure I understood that Richie’s earthly life was not eternal. However, his spirit is. He made sure to send me a good child and stood by me while I raised him. And his child taught me lessons I wouldn’t have otherwise known. God never abandoned me – even when I was angry at him for taking my/His child.

Richie taught me that there’s always a reason why things happen. “There is no such thing as a coincidence,” he would say. I don’t know where he got that from but he was always saying that.

Richie taught me that a positive outlook on life could change our lives. He was a very positive person and even in the adversity, he would find something positive to cling on to. 

Richie taught me to appreciate every second of the day. He didn’t like to waste time and felt that waking up at 9:00 a.m. or after was a waste of a day. When he stepped out of his room he was always fully dressed in sneakers and ready to embark on whatever came his way.

Richie taught me to enjoy life. I once asked him what did he want to do in life and his response was, “I want to live life to the fullest.” I raised this young man and somehow his outlook in life was more defined than mine.

Richie wasn’t concerned about money. He would say that one hundred dollars was just pocket change and always thrived to enjoy life with what little he had.

Even after his death, Richie taught me that life is a gift and we shouldn’t take it for granted. We should live life to the fullest and not stress over what we can’t control. He was a special soul.

I recall the day God, through Richie, woke me up from my “la la” land state. It was his birthday, Tuesday, January 8, 2008 – just 1 day shy of 6 months from his death. I requested the day off from work. I was grieving heavily. I was alone that morning and was getting ready to take the prescribed medication for depression and anxiety. As I held them both in my hand I heard a whisper in my ear say, “Mom, you don’t need that.” I felt it was Richie and responded that he was right, I didn’t need those and I dropped them in the trash as well as the contents of both bottles. I broke free from my hypnotic “didn’t give a crap for life” state and was finally able to take charge of my life.

I decided to continue journaling about my grief journey which I released as a book, Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart. I also thought a lot about our conversations and started to see life as he did. Therefore, I try to post positive affirmations on Facebook on a daily basis. I feel those affirmations come from Richie and if they make me feel good, they will most definitely make someone else feel good.

I’ve gotten quite far in my journey and I’m proud of it. I do miss him and sometimes cry and that’s okay. After all, he was my firstborn son and the feeling of a broken heart will accompany me to my grave. So please don’t try to help me or any grieving mother by telling us to get over it, let them rest in peace or to move on. Believe it or not, those words do not help. If anything, it only makes it worst. We write and talk about them because we don’t want them to be forgotten. I know I’ll never forget him for he lives in my heart and my mind.

Yes, this year he would’ve been 32 and I wonder if he’d be married by now, or if he’d made me a grandma; who would he look like or what he would’ve done in life. Nonetheless, we still love and miss him every day and will never forget him.

We love you Richie and will never forget you. 💙

https://www.facebook.com/rignacen/

Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.

No One Grieves the Same, Nor Better or Worse

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

Grief Is Always Different for Every One

Grief strikes differently. No one grieves the same. So when you compare your grief with mine, it makes me uncomfortable. There are many reasons to feel grief. It could be the loss of a beloved pet, loss of a job, a divorce or a breakup between two lovers. Losses are tough and I don’t wish it upon anyone. But, just as there are different reasons to feel grief, there are different ways to grieve. No grief is the same – even if we both lost a child.

Different Types of Grief

I can understand where a person may come from. I have a dog and I love him as my child. Losing my dog would devastate me. But there’s no way that losing a pet can compare to the loss of my son. I know a woman who had the audacity to compare her divorce to the death of my son. I asked her how is it the same? She said she lost the love of her life, not in death but in a divorce. It did not sit well with me. She will get over her divorce and maybe even remarry. But I will never be able to replace my son. How dare she compare her loss with mine?

Don’t Compare Our Grief

You can’t compare griefs even if it was of your child. My relationship with my son was different from yours with your son. Our griefs are different so please don’t compare them. I will never compare my grief with anyone else’s. I hope people understand the importance of not comparing such sensitive feeling because it is not the same. Let’s be sensitive to other people’s feelings and don’t compare.


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.

Available on Amazon

Are You Ready For The Virtual Reality Experience?

What’s New?

There’s a new trend in town which engages all ages. It’s the virtual reality (VR) interactive games. Of course, I had to try it and see what all the buzz was about. And I must say, it is the best gaming experience I’ve ever had.

Out of This World

I chose TheBlu which is an underwater experience where I interacted with marine life while standing on a shipwreck. The experience of having a beluga whale facing me eye to eye was surreal. My mind took me to the relaxing depths of the sea where I enjoyed the plethora of marine life swimming all around me. It was an awesome experience.

TheBlu Experience

Pain Management

I read recently that the VR is being used as an alternative to opioids. The Oregon Burn Center began using VR units as a sort of pain treatment when caring for the burn wounds of the patient. In turn, they were able to reduce the opioid dosage. For more information read Virtual Reality Pain Treatment. According to the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, VR also proved to be successful for phlebotomists when drawing blood, particularly from children. Its immersive and engaging nature maintained the patient in a relaxed state allowing for a successful blood draw.

VRtuality Orlando is Here!

Does that mean that the bounce houses are history? It could be. The VR interactive games are gaining popularity, not only among children and teens but among adults – even elders are drawn to it! Don’t take my word for it. Go ahead, give it a try. Contact VRtuality Orlando and book them for your next activity. Or follow them on Facebook to keep up to date on their next venue presentation.

Is It Human Nature To Judge?

Photo by Jonas Mohamadi from Pexels

We Judge Without Knowing

We, humans, have a tendency to judge sometimes without even noticing it. Why do I say we? Because I have done it too. I don’t like judging people and never do intentionally. Let me explain myself.

Birthday Party Celebration

A week ago I was at a birthday party for a 16-year-old which I’ll call Ann. Among the visitors was Ann’s 6-year-old cousin, which I’ll call Becky. Becky is autistic. I don’t know what type of Autism she has. She does speak and is quite hyper. Her mom, which I’ll call Catherine, kept an eye on her daughter at all times. Believe me, she did not sit down to chit-chat with anyone.

Party Gone Wrong

Catherine was ready to leave so she gathered Ann’s belongings and said her good-byes, as well as Ann. Someone opened the door and Ann sprung out with her Catherine right behind her. As Catherine was approaching her opened vehicle she sees that Ann was not in the vehicle.

The Search Begins

Catherine looked around and didn’t see Ann. She shouted Ann’s name but there was no answer. Catherine returned to the house and asked if Ann had come back inside by any chance. We didn’t see her come back inside but searched the house. Where is Ann? All visitors still hanging out at the party sprang into action searching for Ann. Most walked a few gathered their vehicles and circled the neighborhood. The neighbors began looking once they knew that a 6-year-old autistic child was missing.

She Outran Everyone

Some people did spot her and Ann outran anybody that tried to catch her. She would not stop. A woman told us that at one point she blocked Ann’s path with her car. The woman placed her car in park and got out. Ann ran between two houses and evaded the woman. She could see Ann eyeing alternative routes. The police were on their way and they immediately released their K-9 dog to trace her down. They received calls of a little girl with Ann’s description running past by the Dollar Tree. Ann had run out of the subdivision and was quick to evade all those looking for her. There was even a drone searching the area which police had released.

The Search Is Over

Catherine managed to stay calm and answer the deputy’s questions. The deputy at the house with us received a call. The deputies found Ann. She was 2.3 miles away at a vacant lot where a new subdivision was being built. There were 8 deputies surrounding her who tried to coerce her to come to them with her favorite toy. She paced from side to side, like if getting ready to run at any given moment. Ann kept them on edge while they desperately tried to close in on her. Catherine’s presence was needed because they knew Ann would not allow them to get any closer.

The Mother-Daughter Reunion

Catherine was taken to Ann on a patrol car running through lights and intersections. Catherine was in shock and doubted that the child was indeed her Ann. She thought Ann could not possibly have run that far. When they finally arrived, Catherine was overwhelmed with joy when she saw her beautiful child. Catherine collapsed to the ground and called out to Ann. Ann ran to her mother and they embraced in a hug and had a little mother-daughter moment.

How Did Ann Do It?

It was such a relief to see Catherine walk in with Ann. How did this little girl appear 2.3 miles away from the house? We don’t know. Thank God she is safe. Yes, Ann is an autistic child and a very smart one too. The way she outran the woman who blocked her path and reroutes her way through; the way she manages to cross two busy streets and end up at a vacant lot where there was a new subdivision going up; and to keep 8 officers on edge trying to figure out where to cut through, takes a lot of analyzing from a 6-year-old.


What Does This Story Have to do With Judging?

Well, I’ve read about similar cases or heard them on the news and the first words out of our mouths are, “Where were the parents?” That’s the problem! We immediately judged the parents without knowing. In Ann’s case, I know for a fact that Catherine was there with her daughter. She walked out right behind her daughter. In a blink of an eye, Ann had dashed away from her mother’s sight and disappeared.

Moral of the story

Let’s agree to never judge anyone for any reason. We just don’t know what’s going on in their life.


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.

Available on Amazon

Life After the Loss of Our Child

I Need A Magic Wand

I’m not perfect and I don’t have it all figured out. I am at a good place in my grieving process. So, when I see someone who I’ve befriended on Facebook or that I know struggling with the grief of losing their son/daughter it breaks my heart. I wish I could help them get to that place of peace that I have reached. I would love to help them try to live fully in memory of their child. If only they knew what I’ve learned on how to live life after the loss of our child. Can I get a magic wand to make that pain go away?

The Pain is Unbearable

It hurts, I know. It seems as if there is no hope in sight. The days are long and the nights are longer. We don’t think we’ll make it. There’s no space in our mind for anything else except to grieve the loss of our loved one. There is only plenty of space to relive every second of our last moments with them and mourn every day of our lives.

There Truly Are No Words

We know people mean well, but we really don’t care to hear anyone’s advice or comforting words because there aren’t any that will help us understand why. This holds true especially when coming from people who have never experienced such a loss. And, believe it or not, a simple hug will do much more than words. We don’t want to think about anything else other than our deceased child so trying to divert our attention towards other things won’t help either. I know because I’ve been there.

What Were Their Dreams?

My only advice to those who are grieving the loss of their son/daughter is to try to live for them. If your child(ren) were of talking age, most likely you’ve had conversations with them. Try to recall those conversations. What did they like? What did they want to do and didn’t have the chance to? Where did they want to go? What were their dreams? So, once you’ve identified those things, try living for them. Do, in their memory, what they could not. Try fulfilling those dreams for them.

Keeping Their Memory Alive

If they loved horses spend time at a stable, volunteer at one or go horseback riding in your child(ren)s memory. Did they enjoy dancing? Then take dance lessons, teach dancing to another child or something to that effect. What was their favorite color? Paint a wall in your home in that color and make it a memorial wall for your child. There are so many things that to do in memory of our child(ren) which will keep us busy, give us a sense of accomplishment and believe me, make us feel happy once we reach our goal. Most important of all, our child(ren) will be so happy and proud of us even though they’re in heaven. And, there’s no better feeling than knowing that our child(ren) are happy.

We Shall Live

I wish I had a little magic wand to make my grieving friends whole again, but I don’t. That little magic wand is within each one of us. Only you can make it happen and believe me, it is possible and it does help us continue to live.

My heartfelt blessings to all. {{Hug}}


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.


The Greatest Gift is Life – Learn to Live It

“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anger Is Everywhere

Why is there so much anger in this world? It’s like if people were angry at being given another day of life! Whatever happened to waking up and being thankful for another day of life? I see it every day on the road, on social media, while shopping, and I wonder what has happened to humanity?

Hostile Commuters

While commuting to work early in the morning I can see the anger in other commuters. Hostile drivers drive erratically and have no regard for their fellow drivers. People honk their horns on the milli-second of the traffic light change. They tail-gate the slower drivers even if these are doing the speed limit. Maybe they didn’t get a good night’s sleep.

No Good News

I don’t watch TV or listen to the news often, but when I do, there’s the anger splattered all over the media. Politics, homicides, missing people, accidents, etc. Why can’t the news talk about something nice for a change?

Following Social Media

Then when I log onto any of the social media platforms there it is again. The ones who berate others with their negative comments. Those who are annoyed by photos of happy couples, selfies, and family vacations. Others who judge the mourning or ill. Just this morning I was talking with my husband about this. And precisely today, when I logged onto Facebook, the first post I see was one about allowing others to express themselves. I enjoyed reading it therefore, I’m sharing it below.

Life Is Short

So, why not let people be? Stop with the hatred and negativity. Let’s spread love and positive energy. Maybe we should take a look at those who are thankful for their lives and learn from them. Life is short. We don’t know about tomorrow. So let’s be grateful for today. Appreciate what we have and live like if it were the last day of our lives because, in reality, we never know when we will be called home.

Facebook Post

To the pregnant women on social media posting constant updates and belly pictures — I love seeing how excited you are to become a Mom.

To the stay-at-home parents posting about cooking, baking and homemaking — I love seeing how you manage the hard work of being a provider for your family. 

To the person posting their whereabouts or new gadgets — thanks for showing how blessed you are. This will serve as a reminder for us to work hard and strive to achieve our goals.

To the people posting about your fitness and health — I love seeing your progress pictures, your healthy meals, your gym check ins…I especially love seeing your before and after pictures! You inspire me with your strength. 

To the women posting selfies — thanks for letting young girls know that it’s okay to love yourself and to feel beautiful! 

To the Mom posting a million pictures of your kids — it makes my heart so happy to see parents so proud of their babies! 

To the happy couple, constantly posting love posts — thank you for being a reminder to the next generation that all hope isn’t lost and happy marriages/steady relationships most definitely DO exist. 

To the business owners who constantly post about your work — keep going! Your will and passion for what you do is outstanding! 

Let’s stop being annoyed by everything and start lifting each other up! #

If you feel the world would be a better place if everyone would think this way feel free to Copy & Paste. 

Listening to the Sounds of Wind Chimes

I love wind chimes. I enjoy listening to their melodic sounds. They help me calm down and meditate. I can sit and listen to a wind chime for hours. I have nine wind chimes ranging between metal, wood, stone, and glass. They all sound so peaceful. You’d think one would go crazy listening to so many sounds at the same time. But no, that’s not the case. It really is enjoyable and just the perfect tone needed to feel relaxed – maybe too relaxed I’d say.

One of my many wind chimes

Wind chimes have been around for a very long time. There are a few legends surrounding them. Some believe wind chimes could get rid of bad energy such as in Feng Shui; others thought they attracted ghosts, and also forecast the weather. I don’t believe in any of these legends. I just know it gives my home a sense of tranquility which I and my visitors love. So you take your pick, what is your belief about wind chimes?

My favorite wind chime’s melodic sound

Does a Mother Ever Stop Worrying About Her Children?

“A mother is always a mother.  She never stops worrying about her children, even when they are all grown up and have children of their own.” ~ The author had to be a mother

Worrying Senseless

I don’t know what kind of mother I am. All I know is that my children are my world. If my children are sad, I’m sad. When they are happy, I’m happy. If they are ill, I hurt. I worry if they get sick, I worry if I don’t hear from them for more than two days. Whatever it may be, they and their feelings are a part of me. It’s not that I want it to be that way. It just is. Maybe it’s because I have experienced the loss of my son. I don’t know, or maybe it’s just part of nature. Even though, I do know a few parents who could care less. But not me. I want them to be happy, safe and well always and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Are All Moms Overprotective?

As a grieving Mom, I do have emotions that seem a little over the top – a bit overprotective probably – even though my children are adults. But, when you’ve experienced the loss of one of your children, it seems that anything related to your surviving children will trigger the “worry” button. Not that I’m a worrier. I believe that when you have a problem if you can’t fix it, don’t worry about it. But, when it comes to my children, it’s different. And that’s okay. Even though they might say, “Mom you worry too much,” they’ll understand once they become parents.

A Wise Woman Once Told Me…

I’ll never forget something my mother-in-law once told me when I was pregnant with my first child. She said, “Once you have a child, you will never sleep an entire night in peace again.” At that time, I didn’t understand what she meant. “What are you talking about?” I thought. “I sleep so well that I could sleep through a thunderstorm.” Well, that was many years ago before I ever became a Mom. She was right. I don’t regret, not for a minute, the sleepless nights I had because the most wonderful thing that happened to me in this life was becoming a Mom and I’m thankful for that.

What Kind of Mother Am I?

So, I still don’t know what kind of Mom I was or am, but I do know that my children are my world and I wouldn’t trade those moments – worries and all – for anything in this world. 

What kind of mother are you?


Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.

Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

Being Grateful For Life Today to Celebrate a Birthday Tomorrow

Begin to look within, which starts by being grateful that you are alive today and maybe you will be able to celebrate another birthday.” ~ Debbie Centeno

Photography courtesy of Juan Pablo Arenas

Our Expectations

Yesterday, September 8, I attended two different events. The first one which was during the day was a memorial service/celebration of life and the second one, during the evening, was a birthday. I’m pretty sure you probably think that the memorial service was an older person, while the birthday was for a younger one. That’s okay because it is natural to feel this way.

But, let me clarify. The memorial service/celebration of life was for a 12-year-old child. A sweet boy who didn’t have a chance at living a normal life because of a devastating condition he suffered. A child that, we all expect to be able to run around, play sports, enjoy the many activities and attractions for children. To grow into a young man, fulfill his childhood dreams, become a good citizen and have a family of his own.

The birthday party we attended was for a 70-year-old person.  She is a healthy woman that raised three great children who surprised her with this celebration with Mariachis and all. Even though there have been some struggles, as we all have struggled in our lives, but she is blessed to reach the age of 70.  I do wish her many more years of health and happiness. So, what’s your point? – you might ask.

See the Irony?

As I mentioned above, some might be imagining an elderly’s memorial service; it’s just natural. From a very young age, we learn that when we grow old, we will die. We don’t think about dying at a young age – especially being a child. We are not conditioned even to contemplate the idea of a child dying. So it always comes as a shock. However, when it’s an adult person – especially elderly, it is expected.

Personalized Crystal Gifts

Never Take Life for Granted

We are here today and don’t know about tomorrow. We must be grateful for all we have. I have heard so many times how people complain about not having enough money; not having the latest fashion; not having the new technological gadget they so much want; how someone made them lose their temper, and so on. Every day I hear more complaints than gratefulness.

I’m not talking about my family environment; I’m talking about everywhere – anywhere. If you turn on the news, it’s 95% bad (and I think I’m modest here); the same goes for social media. While driving to work early in the morning, I see it on the streets. People in a rush to get to their destiny, some blocking others from going into their lane. Others are driving too close to vehicles in a menacing way. Then there are the ones we interact with daily either while shopping, eating out, work and even socializing! Do they realize they have another day to live? Maybe they should take one-minute a day to be grateful for the gift of life. This action will emanate positive energy into the world, which will, in turn, bring positive things into their lives.

 

My Point Is

We must focus on living the life given with gratefulness thus enjoying what time we have on Earth. Everyone has struggled. There are good times and bad times. Learn to look for the good in the bad moments and life will be more comfortable and enjoyable. Some might be thinking, “Well you haven’t gone through any struggles!” My response? Yes I have. Just like any other human, I’ve struggled. My biggest heartbreak was the loss of my oldest son. But I did not let it define me. I learned how fragile life is and I learned to be grateful. I learned to take a negative situation and turn it around by looking for the positive in it, thus making me a happier person.

Happiness Begins Within Ourselves

I urge you to reflect on this and make a better life for yourself. Happiness begins within ourselves. No one can make us happy. Begin to look within, which starts by being grateful that you are alive today and maybe you will be able to celebrate another birthday.

Many blessings to all, may you live a long, abundant life.


Diary of A Grieving Mother’s Heart

by Debbie Centeno

Ten years of journaling my grief, anger, sadness, and joys now available in Kindle version and paperback on Amazon.

Dreams That Comfort and Are Full of Sorrow

I had a dream. It involved my husband and three children. In the dream my children were still young – about 9, 8, and 7 years old. They looked just as they did back then. Richie was just as curious and extrovert, my daughter with her big sweet cheeks and a tremendous appetite even though she was thin, and my youngest was his loving and hyper self. I don’t know what the dream was really about. All I remember was that we were happy to be together and that my husband and I enjoyed watching our children run around, play and then come running to us with big hugs and kisses.

Even though I enjoyed my dream and was happy, I realized that it was just a memory, a beautiful memory that will always live with me. My heart feels partially happy, but there is an inevitable, non-healing hole where sadness seeps through.

The part that Richie took with him when he left this world and that I know will never seal again. Whenever I enjoy a moment of happiness, it becomes bittersweet because my thoughts always turn to, “If only Richie could enjoy this,” or “ Richie would have liked that,” and sadness takes the place of the hole. I can’t patch it up because nobody will ever be able to take his place. I know my two other children and husband feel the same way.  We only have our memories to live by. While many say that I should think of the good times we spent with Richie, it doesn’t mean that those memories will make us happy because sadness will immediately follow.

I had a dream last night that brought me happiness, but in the end, it also brought me sadness. Even though it’s been more than 10 years, I realize that it doesn’t matter how long it was.  My son will always be in my heart, and I will miss him forever.

Rest in peace my son. Mom loves you.


Diary of A Grieving Mother’s Heart

by Debbie Centeno

Ten years of journaling my grief, anger, sadness, and joys now available in Kindle version and paperback on Amazon.

 

How a 40-Minute commute Turned Into a 2-Hour Drive

Photo by Pixabay

My Weekly Commute

Once a week I travel to my place of employment for our weekly staff meeting and lunch. I work in Orlando, Florida a little less than 30 miles from home (29.7 miles to be exact). Commuting is a hassle for me since I don’t enjoy driving. Therefore, I am always in search of alternate routes – even if I have to pay tolls – to make commuting more comfortable.

Things Don’t Always Go My Way

My feelings weren’t any different this week. I was feeling a bit under the weather so I left work before lunch at about 1:28 p.m. I figured I’d be home by 2:10 in the afternoon at the latest. Since there is construction on the Interstate 4 – also known as I4, (when is there never construction on I4), I had to take a detour to the interstate entrance. It was already congested so my first thought was to exit at the East-West Expressway (408) and take that route home. But I quickly realized that was not a good idea when I saw there was congestion on 408 as well. So, I decided to stay on I4. I figured that if I was going to be stuck in traffic then might as well stay on the route without tolls.

No Relief In Sight

The traffic congestion was so insane that my speedometer never went past 6 mph! According to construction signs, there were two closed lanes further ahead. “This is a nightmare,” I thought and once I saw the John Young Pkwy exit I felt a sense of relief! “I can take that route home too!” I thought. Once on John Young Pkwy, the first two to three miles flowed freely and then it happened. All of a sudden, we were no longer moving. And with the stop lights, it was worse than I4! My speedometer was between 3 and 4 mph. What now?

There’s Traffic Everywhere!

While speaking with my husband on the phone (hands-free of course), he suggested I take Central Florida Pkwy and cut through International Drive. So, as soon as I reached Central Florida Pkwy and saw that there was no congestion, I made a right and continued driving. Finally, I’ll make it home! I reached International Drive and made my turn. What a bummer. Traffic congestion again, what could it be?

On International Drive

A Lesson Learned

This time it was a dump truck and huge commercial landscape equipment blocking all three lanes. Luckily, that didn’t last long and in less than 10 minutes I was back on my merry way home. Once on the Osceola Pkwy and crossing the I4 overpass, I looked towards the I4 and realized there was no more traffic congestion. I laughed and thought, “Had I stayed on I4 I would’ve probably been home by now.” I finally made it safely home at 3:30 p.m. A ride that should’ve taken me no more than 40 minutes took me 2 hours – exactly why I don’t enjoy driving. Next time I’ll just “chill” in traffic.

Moral of this story: Taking short cuts will not always get you to your destination faster.

Safe driving everyone!


Always Look For The Positive in Bad Situations

My 2018 Reflection

The year 2018 is coming to an end. It is time for me to reflect on what I’ve done and accomplished. As I reflect on this year, I can either view it positively or negatively. Granted I didn’t get to travel but it was in my best interest not to.

Not A Great Beginning

You see, 2018 was a rough one for me. I began the year with two torn tendons on my left foot. Since this was an injury from 2017 which was not properly taken care of by the then podiatrist, I decided to begin the year with a second opinion. My first appointment was in early February 2018. The new podiatrist, suggested I get an MRI to compare with the one previously done by the prior podiatrist.

How It All Began

Let’s backtrack a little to understand where I’m coming from. In June 2017, I underwent a partial left knee replacement procedure. The surgery went perfectly well. I was feeling great, except for my left foot which was swollen. When I asked the surgeon about it he said that it was because of the surgery and I just needed to give it time. It made sense to me so I didn’t worry much about it. But, when my knee healed perfectly and my foot just got worst, I began to worry.

It Wasn’t Getting Better

One Sunday morning the pain was so unbearable, I had to visit the Urgent Care Clinic. At that point, I knew there was something more. The x-rays taken showed no broken bones, so the diagnosis was a sprained ankle. Beats me how I sprained my ankle when all I had been doing was resting my foot and cautiously walked with a walker and a cane. But okay, I accepted the diagnosis and began to treat it as such. However, it did not get better, it got worse.

Finally a Diagnosis

I decided to visit the same orthopedic group where I had the knee replacement surgery and have the podiatrist take a look at my foot. After more x-rays and no broken bones (of course), he ordered an MRI and gave me a steroid injection. I had the MRI done a week later and returned to the doctor’s office to discuss the results. The doctor confirmed that I had two torn tendons and placed me on a CAM boot for six weeks.

My first CAM Boot

No Hope or Relief

Once on the boot, I followed instructions to a tee. I was determined to return to my normal routine as soon as possible. So after six weeks on the boot, I was ordered eight weeks of physical therapy. The therapy was horrible and the pain excruciating. On my sixth week of physical therapy, I went for a follow-up. The doctor looked at my swollen foot and asked me, “How is it feeling?” I lifted my foot and while pointing to it replied, “As you can see it is still swollen and painful.” He got up from the chair and while walking towards the door, padded me on the shoulder and said, “Good, I’m happy with the progress. I’ll see you in three weeks.” And he left the room.

Sometimes We Need a Second Opinion

“Wait, what? Did I hear that correctly?” I thought. I was in shock so I put on my shoe and walked to the reception area to exit the premises. The receptionist asked me about the next appointment, and all I thought was, “Are you crazy? That nut didn’t even listen to what I said! Heck no!” But I only responded that I didn’t want to schedule it because I was going for a second opinion. That was the last time I visited their office. It was already December 2017 so I waited for the holidays to be over before scheduling an appointment with a different podiatrist.

Is There Any Hope For Me?

I finally visited the new podiatrist and as I stated above, before proceeding with anything, she wanted to know if the six weeks on a CAM boot and eight weeks of physical therapy improved the tendons in any way. In the meantime, I was back on a smaller CAM boot for six more weeks.

Me and my CAM Boot

The CAM Boot and I Are Becoming Close

I had the MRI done and unfortunately, the results were not good. The second MRI revealed that my foot was worse. According to the doctor, it was at a surgery stage. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe all the time in a CAM boot and physical therapy was just wasted time. I asked her if there was anything else she could do, besides surgery. She said laser therapy might work but there’s no guarantee that it would. I didn’t want to go through another surgery so I opt to do the laser therapy. I was on my way to seven sessions in three weeks of laser therapy treatment. I followed all the instructions given to me by the doctor and even slept with a Night Splint on my foot. I missed many days of work or sometimes left work early whenever my foot swelled too much. I spent many days with my foot elevated high. I was becoming an expert on foot elevation. 😊

Night Splint

Worst Part of the Treatment

It was now April 2018, the laser therapy sessions were completed, however, the treatment seemed to work about 50%. There was still some inflammation and needed more time to completely heal. The doctor didn’t want to take any chances of further injury so she had a non-walking cast placed on my foot. It was very difficult for me to walk on crutches. Heck, it was difficult to do anything. My poor husband had to work around meeting my needs. I felt useless and so hopeless! After three weeks on a cast, I could no longer take it so I called the doctor and asked if we could do another round of laser therapy. If it worked about 50% of the way, maybe it’ll heal completely with another round. She agreed to remove the cast and the second round of laser therapy.

Temporary Brace

It Was Finally Looking Better

The doctor removed the cast in early May 2018. While I went through the laser therapy, I had to continue using the CAM boot. So here I was with the boot again for the next three weeks. It was beginning to grow on me. 😊 Frankly, I preferred the boot to the cast. After seven more rounds of laser therapy, it was finally over. The sonogram revealed there was just a little bit of inflammation. Leaning on the cautious side, the doctor ordered a pair of custom-made orthotics and custom-made brace. Meanwhile, I continued on a temporary brace until the custom-made brace and orthotics arrived.

Final Stages

It was now mid -June 2018 when the orthotics and brace arrived. I was to wear the brace for eight weeks before using the orthotics. I then graduated to alternating between orthotics one day and brace the next day for six weeks. Little by little, it began to heal. I am now using orthotics alone. In the event that I’d be walking on uneven terrain or for extensive periods of time, I need to wear the brace.

My 2018 Shoe Collection consisted of a tall heavy black CAM boot, a short light CAM boot, a temporary brace, a Night Splint, a custom-made brace, and custom-made orthotics. Hey, don’t criticize. I don’t know if I needed all this but the doctor needed to make money somehow since I opted for no surgery 🙂

I Am Healed!

Yes, I endured a lot of pain and difficult moments but I won’t say it was a bad year. Amidst all the pain and difficulties, I was able to do a few things I had been wanting to do for a very long time. I enjoy writing and had been putting together my diary notes from my journey through grief which I wanted to convert into a book. I also thought about starting a travel blog. But my busy schedule would not allow me the time to write. This was the opportunity I was looking for. I was finally able to complete and self-publish my book, Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart, and began my blog, Traveler Wows, which launched in March 2018, and travel agency, Traveler WOWs Agency! I also continued writing for this blog. Come to think about it, I did do a lot!

A Blessing in Disguise

So, I didn’t get to do fun things. Most of my year was spent sitting down with an elevated foot. But I’m not complaining, I am healthy, alive and happy. I didn’t get to travel and you see why it was in my best interest not to. But, I traveled within my imagination when I wrote about all the wonderful places and experiences I had through my previous trips. Therefore, I’ll say that 2018 was a great year for me and that 2019 will be even better and will allow me to travel again. My advice to you is to always look for the positive in bad situations. Sometimes it’s a blessing in disguise.

I wish you many blessing and hope you have a Happy New Year. May all your dreams come true in 2019!


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.

Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. ~Dennis P. Kimbro

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