Breath In, Breath Out and Stay Calm When Teaching Your Elderly Parents about Technology

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

YouTube Excitement

It’s been a challenging couple of weeks. My elderly father is in town. He is slow-paced in his ways but then again, he’s 81-years-old. Dad is quite smart and even though he is not too knowledgeable about the latest technology, once he learns, he’s unstoppable. A few months ago, he discovered YouTube. It was miraculous for him. As an avid gardener, he began researching anything and everything regarding gardening. Every time I called him, he would give me a lecture on how to fertilize this, and how to water that, and so on.

“You don’t have YouTube,” Dad would tell me.

“Dad, of course, I have access to YouTube. It is everywhere for anyone to access,” I’d respond.

“No, but in my YouTube, I learn how to care for my garden,” he’d reply.

Realizing he did not understand the YouTube concept, I opted to let it be. Dad watched the YouTube videos on his home television but claimed it was hard to navigate the keyboard on the remote. While there is a television in the bedroom he’s using, there is no extra keyboard, but I had an older laptop that was no longer in use. I asked him if he’d like to have it. His eyes gleamed with excitement as a child does. Therefore, I set up the laptop for his use and gave it to him. It thrilled him to learn to use it. 

I Need to be Patient

While sometimes it annoyed me to repeat things, it also made me realize his mind was not as sharp as before and I needed to have patience. I took a couple of breaths in and out to calm myself and patiently taught him how to navigate a laptop. I’m also aware he used my son’s expertise to master his way around the internet.

Upgrade to a Newer Phone

Just a few days ago, while we spent some time together, I noticed his old school cell phone. He told me he has had it for the past six or seven years. I asked him if he’d like to upgrade it. My son had recently upgraded his cell phone and still held on to his old iPhone XS. When he excitedly told me he would love to as long as he didn’t have to pay anything, I laughed but got to work on switching phones. He is still learning his way around the iPhone but is keen to learn and picks up quickly. 

Dad’s Emoji — Photo by the Author

Emoji Fun and Email

Today, I taught him how to create his own emoji. He laughed at it and said it did not look like him. But I could tell he was excited to use it — especially when I heard he sent his wife the emoji.

He also inquired about the E-mail address I created for him. “What is this and what is it for?” he asked.

“That’s your E-mail address Dad?” I replied.

“What does it do?” he asked.

I explained how and what the E-mail is for. I’m quite surprised he understood it so quickly.

“It’s like writing a letter and sending it, but instead of sending it through regular mail, you send it through the internet,” he responded.

“Yes Dad, that’s exactly what it is,” I said, as I looked at his gleaming eyes.

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They Taught Us

My point is, I’ve heard people complain about how their elderly parents have forgotten how to perform some basic things and they have to reteach them. While I was teaching my father how to use a laptop and an iPhone, I realized how fragile their minds are. I had patience in teaching my children, just like my parents had it with me. I remembered how Dad taught me to drive with patience and perseverance. He never scolded or gave up on me. Therefore, why can’t I have the patience to help him in his time of need? Every day he asks me something regarding his iPhone, and I learned to respond to his questions patiently and sweetly.

Therefore, never forget that possibly one day, we will all be at the other end of this journey and will need our children’s help. So be patient and nice while responding to their questions and/or teaching them about something not familiar to them, because they were patient and nice to you.


Dragging our feet through the perils of Walmart

Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

Not my Favorite Place to Shop

Today I went to Walmart. I don’t shop at Walmart and avoid it at all costs. If I need anything from there, I order it online and have it delivered. It has worked fine. Therefore, when my 81-year-old father asked me to take him to Walmart, I cringed but took him, anyway. My idea was to drop him off at the entrance and let him shop while I waited in the parking lot. Then I thought about how dangerous it can be for him. It would be like a baby dangerously crawling around a buffalo stampede, so I opted to go in with him.

Courtesy is no Longer Existent

It’s difficult to walk around Walmart taking tiny baby steps with an 81-year-old. People have little to no patience and shove their way between you and others just to get one of the hundreds of canned corn or whatever they are so desperate for. That’s when I stay close by to protect my father from getting shoved or pushed to the ground. People leave their carts in the middle of the aisle to grab an item when there’s clearly plenty of space for two carts. Some even give you a dirty look when you say, “Excuse me” to get through. The employees are no exception at all. They stand in the aisles and are bothered if we gather an item which they are replacing or if we ask them a question. I’m sure it’s not all of them, unfortunately, I haven’t come across any who are not.

Baby Steps — Forever Steps

My father needed only a few things, twelve items to be exact. It took us an entire hour to gather those twelve items. Not only because they’re scattered throughout the store, but because of the baby steps we were taking. If I was tired of taking those baby steps, I can’t imagine how my father felt.

Ready to Check Out

After gathering all the items, we headed towards the cash registers. They were full, but since we only had twelve items, we could use the 20 items or fewer register. Woo-hoo! But wait, why is it so slow? Never mind, we’re in Walmart. There’s little to no courtesy or consideration here. Let alone people who take their time to read where it clearly states, “20 ITEMS OR FEWER.” So there we were at the 20 items or fewer line waiting for the couple with 40+ items to finish.


A Good Deed

The gentleman behind us asked if he could cut in front since he only had three items. “Please do, sir,” I responded. It would not bother me to let him pass. He kindly thanked me and replied, “You are not from here. People here are not polite. Where are you from?” See, even he realized people are not courteous here. We chit-chatted a bit until he was ready to check out. Once he checked out, it was our turn and I could not be happier.

Camping World

Yes, today I took my elderly father to Walmart. The place I dislike shopping at the most. Not only are the social media memes about Walmart accurate, but there’s also a lack of courtesy or respect. It is unfortunate we have succumbed to this level within society. I sure hope people begin to shift their awareness to a politeness level and that I don’t have to go to Walmart ever again.


Conversation Between a Scammer and the Scammee who Tried Reversing the Scam

“I got blocked by a scammer,” ~ Daniel

Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

Dealing with Scammers

COVID just about paused the entire world except for scammers. They continue to find their way through phone calls, emails, texts, and even social media. I recently spoke to a young man which I’ll call Daniel, who was in this situation.

A Consumers Revenge

As we spoke, Daniel mentioned receiving scam emails and calls daily – about 3-4 times on average to where a scammer tried to scam him through Instagram. It fed Daniel up, but he knew that getting angry would not make the scams go away. Instead, he opted to follow their lead and tried to scam the scammer.

The Scammer was not Local

A lot of these scams come from abroad. You can easily tell by the way they word their context. To keep the conversation original, I did not change any of the words or phrases or correct the grammar. Therefore, you will see many errors. But I think you will enjoy how it unfolds. The conversation between Daniel and the scammer by the name of Shayzanco went on for a few days. Here is how the conversation followed:

Scammer Shayzanco: Hey,

Daniel: Hey, what’s up?

Scammer Shayzanco: Pleasant good day how are you doing at this moment, would you like to make some extra cash from this system?

Daniel: Haha, I was waiting for that. What have you got? Tell me about “this system.” How does it work?

Scammer Shayzanco: Ok I’m searching for only loyal person to help so they can earn cash on a daily basic. Do you have an available cash app are Zelle? This is a monitored business, which simply means your money is more than guaranteed. Also, your money is cash refundable, so this is a must that you get your cash back. We are also partnered with the IRS publication 4577 Security Enact System, The FTC so it’s impossible for you to lose your hard-working cash.

Daniel: Hmm, interesting. What is it I will invest in? Is it stocks, housing, etc? How much would be the return if, let’s say, I invest $1,000? How long does it take and how can I guarantee you will not disappear with my money?

Scammer Shayzanco: Okay no problem, You’ll be doing a same-day investment. The amount you invest determines your how much you receive back, for example: Say you did a transaction of $200 I can access it and make it $4,500 on the system within 2-5 minutes process and I only charge $100 for that leaving you with $4,400 in your pocket. I always charge base on how much you do. If you can’t agree to send my cut after receiving, we cannot do business! I do this with LOYAL people, agreed? Do you got an available cash app are Zelle?

Daniel: Yes, but before we proceed, I would like to know what it is. How does this business generate money? Before you talk money, what is the concept of the business? Is it selling something, investing, marketing? If you are looking for loyal people, you first need to convince them. No one is loyal to a stranger. So, what is this that you offer?

Scammer Shayzanco: This is where the money is coming from. We sum up investors funds worldwide and invest in multimillion dollars investments such as betting, sports, house foreclosure, trading, stocks, etc., and give investors a percentage of the profit. Because our company is generating billions of dollars by doing this, we are able to turn your hundreds into thousands easily. 

Daniel: So, you are telling me that if I were to invest $200, you can flip it into $4,500, returning me $4,400 in 2-5 minutes?

Scammer Shayzanco: Right, also you could get started first with $100 and receive back $2,500, then from there you could invest again.

Daniel: By that logic why don’t you just keep flipping your own money and become a billionaire?

Scammer Shayzanco: It’s my job and also, I got paid from the system, and once you wanna keep flipping you could till whenever you want.

Daniel: Seems like it would be easy to get rich off it. What if I invest 10k? Or does it have to be $100? I like to go big or go home; you know. I like a challenge.

Scammer Shayzanco: Look if you want to get started with the process let me know because your not talking business, seems like you don’t trust it are something.

Daniel: I’m just trying to figure out what I’ll be investing in.

Scammer Shayzanco: I already told you. Once you do this you are going to be happy and satisfied that all of my clients because this is 100% real and legit and also your cash can always be refund and reimburse.

Daniel: Well, you would not need a job if you were a billionaire with this system. Sounds like it would be an unlimited source of money. And why would I need a refund if my $100 could turn into $4,400 in 2-5 minutes? Wouldn’t it take just as long to issue a refund?

Scammer Shayzanco: Because I’m just telling you that your money could also refund back.

Daniel: Then I will keep investing what I profit. It is a win-win. Every time I do it, you get $100. You cannot go wrong with that.

Scammer Shayzanco: You need to make the payment first that how your going to earn back cash from this system, I understand that you don’t go the full payment, so I’m going to ask how much you got at this moment?

Daniel: Oh, I got the full payment. I want to put in $1000. But first, I want to know why you are not rich yet. If this works, why not take advantage of it? It is kind of sketchy man. Tell you what, prove to me its real. Cash app me $100. If I get it and it is all legit, I will send you $100 for the first round. How about this, you invest the $100 for me, then when you flip it send me back $4,400? Actually, send me back $4,300 for the other $100 you charge. I will throw in a tip too, like $50.

Scammer Shayzanco: Look I guess your not interested okay.

Daniel: Hey, I am trying to talk business here. I am totally interested. I believe that is a brilliant suggestion I gave. If you used “the system” you surely have $100 to spare for me. Think about it, we can work together on this and make millions. You will be able to quit your job. You know what, since I do not want to miss this opportunity, I’ll make a deal with you. I feel like we have developed a bit of a friendship in this conversation. So how about we work as partners and go in 50/50 and we divide all profits straight down the middle. Seems like it’s a little fairer than just $100 for you. But you also have to put in money. We both startup with $50 for which will equal the $100 we need for investment. What do you say?

The scammer did not respond to Daniel until the next day:

Scammer Shayzanco: Hey good morning

Daniel: Good morning, what do you have for me today?

Scammer Shayzanco: Do you have cashapp are Zelle to put $100?

Daniel: It’s kinda sketchy, man. I’ll tell you what, prove to me it’s real. Cash app me $100. If I get it and it’s all legit, I will send you $100 for the first try of “the system.”

Scammer Shayzanco: You every hard they said don’t be the one that you want it all, because you will lose it all then that’s.

Daniel: Who’s “they?” Nah, sorry man, haven’t heard it. Probably because it doesn’t really make much sense. I mean, if it’s legit, why would you be afraid. And if you lose it, why not just use “the system” again and get it back? I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you my cash app, you send me the $100 and I’ll send you back $250. $100 for “the system” and $150 for you. Then you give me back the $4,350. Let’s do this.

Scammer Shayzanco: Yes but how would I know whenever you receive the payment you not just going to blocked me?

Daniel: Wow, why would you assume I would do that? I feel kind of hurt that you would assume that about me. I thought we were developing a good relationship with trust and loyalty. Wow, I have to be honest, that kind of hurt my feelings. I thought we were past that part. This is business, man. I’m serious about business.

Scammer Shayzanco: Okay bet.

The Following Day

Scammer Shayzanco: I don’t think you mean business

Daniel: What do you mean? I told you my proposition. I think it’s a great idea. We could have been rich by now. Every 2-5 minutes we are losing $4,400. Imagine what we could have generated overnight. 

Scammer Shayzanco: Okay, so you wanna put $50 right?

Daniel: Are you going to match it up with $50 more? Are we going in this as partners? 50/50 we can both be rich that way.

Scammer Shayzanco: Yes but how would I know whenever you receive the payment you not just going to blocked me?

Daniel: I’m thinking you are not taking this deal or this partnership seriously. I can’t stress enough how important it is that we get everything in order so we can proceed to the next step. I have arranged a Zoom meeting with my lawyers so we can discuss this further. Also, for taxes, we must do this by the book. Since you guys comply with the IRS, we must do the same. So, we are going to have to incorporate a business. We are planning on an S Corp which seems to be the best way to go. I’ll get started on that. In the meantime, you get the cash flowing. We need to be on this. Every 2-5 minutes wasted is a possible $4,500 going down the drain. Money first via Cash app, then we can make this happen. Remember, we are going in this as a team. Once we start, we have to keep going until we both have over 100 billion in our accounts. I’ll have my lawyers draft a contract, so we are both protected. It’s a lot of money you know, don’t want any slip-ups.

Doormat Sale

Blocked by a Scammer

Scammer Shayzanco has not replied for a while. Upon further investigations, Daniel realized they blocked him from their account. Was Daniel able to scam the scammer? No, but at least he got the scammer out of his way and wasted the scammer’s time!


I Inherited an 80-Year-Old Chenille Vintage Bedspread from my Grandmother in the Spirit World

80-year-old chenille bead spread sprawled as best as it could on my king-size bed – photo by author

A Priceless Gift

I inherited my grandmother’s 80+-year-old vintage Chenille bedspread and am ecstatic about it! It is white with patterns of flowers in pink and yellow raised yarn. The bedspread is in pristine condition. I once read somewhere on the internet that Chenille dates back to the 18th century and originated in France. But do not take my word for it because I can not recall the source. 

To continue my story, last month (May 2021) we traveled to Puerto Rico. The whole intention of this small trip was to spend time with my 90-year-old mother-in-law and my 81-year-old dad. There is only one life and with aging parents, we do not know how much more time we will have them around, so we wanted to spend some time with them.

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The Unexpected Surprise

While visiting my dad, he mentioned he had his mother’s Chenille 80+-year-old vintage bedspread. Dad said he is sure it is 80 years old, but it could be older. Grandma was already 40-years-old when my dad was born and he is the youngest out of about fifteen (more or less) children. According to my dad, Grandma only dressed her bed with the Chenille bedspread on Mother’s Day and Dad recalls seeing her do so. Unbeknownst to my dad, my aunt inherited the bedspread, but she recently gave it to my dad. Dad took it though he knew he would not use it. And, even though I have two other sisters, he immediately thought of me. While he was telling me his story, I could not stop thinking about Grandma and my conversation during meditation a few months ago. This was certainly a sign, and it was meant for me. 

Communicating with my Spirit Guides

Ever since I can remember, I have always been an intuitive Empath. My parents knew and understood me. They never judged or told me I was imagining things, but they did not understand it themselves. As an adult, I learned to use and control my gifts. I constantly use meditation and yoga to maintain my sanity, relax, and raise my awareness. Through this method, I communicated with my spiritual guides. I learned that one of my spirit guides is my grandmother on my father’s side. Therefore, I reach out to her and my other spirit guides often. During one of those meditative sessions a few months ago, I told my grandmother I wished I had something that belonged to her as a memento. 

It Was Meant to Be

I mentioned that meditative conversation to my dad. He was very understanding and told me, “That explains why you were the first one to come to my mind when my sister gave it to me. It was for you. Your grandma granted your wish.” 

I agree with my dad. It was definitely a gift from my grandma, granting my wish. I am happy with my new 80+-year-old vintage Chenille bedspread. Unfortunately, I cannot use it since the full-size bedspread does not fit my king-size bed. But that’s okay, I’ll cherish it for as long as I live.


Don’t Downplay the COVID-19 Virus Unless You’ve Experienced it

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Is COVID Real or Just the Flu?

COVID struck in my family. As much as some of us tried to steer away from crowds and gatherings to protect our 81-year-old mother, it wasn’t enough. Mom caught the virus, and it was not pretty. It frustrated me to hear people downplaying it like the flu and saying Mom was pretending. People who did not bother to check on her while sick in her apartment, call while she was at the hospital, or even inquire about her health. It’s okay to believe whatever, it’s each one’s choice and we are all individual beings. But to downplay a condition when they know nothing about medicine, are not healthcare workers, and were not there to see what was going on is downright wrong.

Mom Does Not Feel Well

On February 24th, Mom told me she was not feeling well. I asked her what were the symptoms? She said she felt a lot of body ache, sore throat, tiredness, a lot of coughing, and a weird metallic taste in her mouth.

“Do you have a fever?” I asked.

“No, I don’t have a fever,” she responded.

It concerned me because she lives alone in an apartment with only her dog as a companion. My thought was she had COVID. Although I live quite close to her, the thought of me contracting the virus and spread it to my family worried me. But I needed to help Mom. I continued to call a few times a day to check on her status and brought over foods she requested or I knew would help nourish her. I took her dog, Precious, home with me thinking it’d be less work for her since she did not have to feed or walk Precious. But Mom called asking me to bring Precious back home because she missed her, so I did. I always wore my mask and never got near to Mom, hug or kiss her even though I wanted to. It hurt to see her so sick.

“Mom, let’s go to the doctor,” I said a few times.

“No, I don’t want to go, but I’ll call my doctor and let her know what’s going on,” she promised.

Mom made good on her promise and contacted her physician. They sent Mom for a chest x-ray, which she did the following Monday.

About a week into Mom’s illness, when I called her, she did not answer the call. It was about 9:00 a.m. I figured she’s asleep, and since I had two appointments that day, I thought I’d call her after my first appointment. The phone rang and rang, but she didn’t pick up. “She’s probably taking Precious for a walk. I’ll call after my second appointment,” I thought to myself.

It was 3:00 p.m. when I tried ringing her again and no answer. I worried me she wasn’t responding, so I drove directly to her home. It’s a good thing I have a key to her apartment and could enter without problems. However, in my rush to check in on Mom, I forgot to wear a mask.

Precious was barking incessantly as I walked in. “Mom!” I called out, but no answer. I dashed straight into her bedroom where I found Mom all bundled up on her bed. “Mom,” I yelled out and nothing. “Mom,” I called again and nudged her until she finally opened her eyes.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

Not realizing how long she had slept, “I’m okay,” she responded.

“I’ve been trying to reach you, but you didn’t answer the phone,” I told her.

“I didn’t hear the phone,” she said. “The doctor gave me a prescription for the cough and it makes me sleepy.”

“Okay,” I replied. “So what was the chest x-ray diagnosis?” I asked.

“She said my lungs are clear,” Mom responded.

“Did she send you to get tested for COVID?” I asked.

“No,” Mom responded.

“Mom, I think you should get tested. I’ll take you and get myself tested too,” I told her.

“I don’t want to get tested. Besides, I’m feeling better,” she responded.

“You don’t look better. Did you eat?” I asked.

“I’m not hungry, Mom replied.

“Mom, you need to eat something. Tell you what. I haven’t had lunch yet. How about if we order something to eat? What would you like?”

“I’m not hungry, but some soup sounds good,” she said.

“Okay, I’ll order some soup for both of us from Panera Bread,” and I placed the order.

Caring for My Ailing Mom

We sat down together and chatted while we waited for our lunch to arrive. She was not her total self but was happy that I was there with her. When our order arrived, we sat together at the dining table and ate. Unfortunately, she could only eat about three spoonfuls of soup and wanted no more. She claimed the metal taste in her mouth made her nauseous. It concerned me she wasn’t eating properly.

Looking in her refrigerator, I saw that the meals I had brought over for her to eat during the week were half eaten or not even touched and still in her fridge. I spent a few more hours with her until she could no longer stay awake and wanted to go to sleep. I stayed until Precious ate and I could take her downstairs for her walk and made sure Mom was not needing anything else, then I went home. Once at home, I realized that while I was with Mom; I did not use a mask. There was nothing I could do now. How long was Mom contagious, I didn’t know. I could only pray I didn’t catch whatever Mom had.

It was not easy but I continued to monitor Mom and tried to help as much as possible. Between work and my home, I couldn’t spend much time with her. It worried me to see how much weight she had lost. She was not eating at all, and I doubt she was drinking any water since she complained about the metallic taste.

We Need to Get Tested

That weekend I could finally convince her to get tested with me. So on Sunday night, I told her I’d pick her up after work on Monday and we’d both get tested. However, she claimed she didn’t want to go because three family members told her that if she got tested, she would definitely test positive because everyone that gets tested, comes out positive.

I was livid! How dare they impose their beliefs on an 80-year-old? They were not there to see how sick she looked, how much weight she’d lost, and how much she needed a diagnosis to properly care for her healing. I contacted the persons who misinformed her and demanded they corrected their wrongdoing. They promised they would speak with her if they needed to. Fortunately, she accepted to go with me the next day.

On Monday, March 8th, after work, I picked Mom up and headed to the testing center. Mom was so weak and could barely walk. I felt terrible to see my Mom like this but was glad she accepted to be tested. We wouldn’t get our results until Wednesday, so I dropped Mom off at her home and went straight to mine.

I Trusted My Intuition

That night was quite restless for me. I am a very intuitive person and something kept telling me to go over to my Mom’s house. I was up by 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Therefore, I prepared myself and was about to leave when my husband asked me, “where are you going?”

“I’m going to Mom’s house,” I responded.

“Aren’t you going to eat breakfast first?” he asked.

“No, I’ll make breakfast over there and hopefully she’ll eat with me,” I replied, and I was off to Mom’s.

Even though I had spoken and seen her during the week, I had not been inside her apartment since the previous Wednesday and I was in shock at what I walked into.

Another Sign Mom Was Not Well

Mom is a clean freak. Her home is always super neat, clean, and aromatic. But as I walked in, I was struck with a horrific smell. There were dirty dishes in the sink, the garbage needed taking out, and all those times she said she was taking Precious out for her walks—well; it wasn’t true. The garbage bins in her kitchen and bathroom were full of pee-pee pads, which were soiled—a sign Precious was not walked. Mom was a bit confused when I walked in with the breakfast groceries. The first thing I did was take the garbage out and disinfect the apartment, feed the dog, and take her out for a walk before beginning breakfast.

Confusion and Delirium Began

Once back, I began with breakfast. At that moment, Mom told me she had not paid the rent and asked if I could take the check to the office, to which I replied I could. She got up from the sofa and walked into her bedroom when suddenly I heard a loud thump.

I ran into her bedroom and there laid Mom on the floor. She had lost her balance and fell. I tried helping her up, but she had no strength and I couldn’t get her up. She kept her right hand as if she was holding something. I monitored her, thinking she might have a seizure because of the way she was moving her hand.

“Is your hand hurting Mom?” I asked.

“No, hold this,” she said, but there was nothing in her hand.

“There’s nothing there, Mom. What do you want me to hold?” I asked.

“Here, hold it!” she yelled.

I didn’t know what was going on and I couldn’t help her get up, so I contacted my husband to stop by before he left to work. But Mom was so weak, she couldn’t sustain herself for us to get her up, so I had no other choice than to call 911. I stayed with her while they arrived. She seemed confused and didn’t look well at all. The paramedics arrived in less than 15 minutes. They could not get any straight answers from her. She seemed confused, delirious, very weak, and her vitals were a bit off. She’s a diabetic, and if she was not eating, that was not doing her any good. The Paramedics transported her to the hospital.

She Tested Positive

I was glad that Mom went to the hospital because I knew she would get the proper care she needed. Other than vitals taken, they tested again her for COVID, but the results would be in on that same day. However, I noticed she was very forgetful. I thought maybe she was tired but there was also the incident at her apartment which told me something else was going on. Then the results came in. Mom tested positive for COVID and was going into isolation. The nurses changed Mom into a hospital gown and gave me her clothes. They did not allow me to go into Mom’s room or even say goodbye to her.

“Can I at least hand the cell phone to her?” I asked.

“I’ll give it to her,” said the nurse, and she handed me a sheet with instructions to follow in order to see Mom the next day.

Once home, I called the number on the sheet and scheduled an appointment to see Mom. The hospital policy was one visitor per day for 30 minutes. I had to be suited up with protective gear provided by the hospital and follow certain rules before going in and after exiting the room. I was okay with that just as long as I could visit Mom. Once done with scheduling the appointment, I returned to her apartment to clean and disinfect it and took Precious home with me. I was not about to leave her alone in the apartment. Also, I had to make sure that Mom’s apartment was in optimal condition before she came home.

That Was Not My Mom

The next day I visited Mom. She seemed so frail in that hospital bed. She was silent and said she felt extremely tired. I spent 30 minutes with her until they kicked me out. Once at home at around 5:30 p.m. I received a call from Mom. Since my son was with me at that moment, I put her on speaker.

“Hi Mom, how are you?” I asked.

“Why did you leave?” she asked.

“Because they didn’t allow me to stay any longer,” I responded.

“But, how am I going to get home? I don’t know my way home,” she said.

At that point, both my son and I noticed this was not Mom. “You’re staying there tonight, Mom. Don’t worry, I’ll pick you up tomorrow,” I replied and changed the conversation. “Did you eat, Mom?” I asked.

“I’m eating now,” she responded.

“What are you eating?”

“Mac and cheese, and, umm, umm, I don’t know,” she said.

We said a few more things and hung up. However, that conversation was puzzling to me and my son. It was as if she had dementia or something like it.

The next day, Thursday, March 11th, the ringing of the phone awakened at 6:00 a.m. It was Mom’s nurse calling. Apparently, Mom tried leaving and was yanking the tubes off so she had to be restrained. The nurse didn’t want me to be surprised when I got there. It was disturbing to me to hear this. Mom was not a belligerent person. My appointment was not until 2:00 p.m. and they did not allow me to go in any earlier. However, when I arrived at the hospital, she was no longer in isolation. Further testing showed her plasma levels were higher than expected, which meant she had COVID for some time and therefore no longer contagious. I could stay with her for as long as I wanted.

The Moment I Panicked the Most

However, as I walked in towards Mom, it broke my heart. They physically restrained her arms from the bed. I understand it was for her own good, but it was horrific to see. She didn’t know who she was, or who I was. Even though she joked with the nurses and doctors, it wasn’t my Mom. I did not know this woman, and she did not know me. It devastated me. Mom was seeing things that were not there. She kept talking as if her dog was there with her. Kept fumbling with the sheets as if actually doing something and would ask me to hold whatever imaginary thing she had in her hand. I told her a few times that she’d be out of there soon and I will take her home, but she said she didn’t know me and wasn’t going home with me. She kept on trying to sit up and get off the bed, but had no strength to do either. And she talked so many incoherent things.

I asked the nurse what happened to her, to which she responded, “You mean she’s normally not like this?”

“Not at all!,” I replied. “My Mom is an independent woman who lives by herself, has family get-togethers where she cooks, lives on a second floor with no elevators, takes her dog for daily walks twice a day, does arts and crafts, and drives!”

“Oh no,” responded the nurse. “We’ll have to get a neurologist to see her.”

Trying to Bring Mom Back

It was killing me to see her like this. I contacted my siblings and family members and asked they call her through FaceTime. We needed to jog her memory. I wanted my Mom back! Many family members called and even though she did not recognize them, she associated them with the correct family, so that was good. But it wasn’t enough. Mom kept on trying to pull herself out of the bed and constantly yanked on all the tubes and cables. The weekend seemed like an eternity. I cried and prayed so much and spend the weekend with her at the hospital. I wanted to stay overnight but, again, hospital policy did not allow it. But I was there as soon as visiting time began at 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. when they kicked me out. During that time, I talked to her a lot, trying to jog her memory, tried to feed her, gave her water, and tried everything possible to help her regain her strength. It was frightening not knowing what might happen.

The neurologist came by and could not believe that this woman was an independent person. He truly believed she had dementia and told me not to get my hopes up because at her age, even if she didn’t have dementia before, but after what she’s been through with the virus most likely she would never recuperate and never be independent again. That was devastating news, and I knew I had to prepare for anything. She was turning 81-years-old on March 21st, so maybe the neurologist was right. But no! My Mom comes from a long life family line. Her dad died at 96 and his memory was perfect until the day he died. And my grandmother will turn 98 years old in July and her mind is perfectly well. Heck, my grandma will recite poems from when she was 8-years-old. I could not fathom my Mom becoming senile at 80. I summoned all my prayer warriors and healers for my Mom’s health and I know they all put in their best efforts.

Feeling of Joy

On Sunday, March 14th, I arrived at the hospital as usual. I took a photo album with me to show her. I needed to try everything possible to help her regain her memory. She was asleep when I arrived. Once she opened her eyes, I noticed she would not move her arms or legs. She wouldn’t speak either. I tried to feed her breakfast, but she refused. So I offered to show her some photos to which she nodded yes. I began showing her the photos—especially the ones of her. I noticed tears streaming down her face from the corner of her eyes while she struggled to speak.

“Why am I here? Why am I like this?” she asked.

“Because you tested positive for COVID and were very sick,” I responded.

“I was?” she asked.

At that moment, the nurses walked in.

“Yes, you were. Do you know who I am?” I asked.

Mom nodded yes, and the nurse asked her, “Who is this lady?”

“She’s my daughter,” Mom responded.

I was so happy to hear her say that. Then I asked, “What’s my name?”

“Debbie,” she replied.

It was such a joyous moment. Even the nurses were tearing up. They took the restraints off. She still could not get up, but seemed to get better. She was still too weak. However, on that day, the Physical Therapist helped Mom to the chair in the room. Followed by taking a few steps the next day and so on. On Tuesday, March 16th, the doctor discharged Mom from the hospital with home care help until she regains her strength. Her mind is 98% back and is getting stronger each day.

Returning Back Home

My Mom is a stubborn woman and didn’t want to come back home to my house. She was adamant it had to be to her home. Therefore, with little strength and the help of my son, she walked up those stairs to her apartment. I moved in temporarily with her so I could care for her. A week in and she kicked me out of her apartment. My Mom was finally back! Never have I been so happy to be kicked out of any place!

Oh, and by the way. My test came back negative. See? Not everyone tests positive!

NOTE: Further COVID research shows that delirium and confusion are also side-effects of the virus among the elderly or as young as 50 years old. To read about particular cases go to COVID – Delirium, and Confusion for the latest CDC updates.

Open Up Your Heart for a Worthy Cause – We Are all Different

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” ~ John 11:25-26

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash
Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

What is this church about?

I have written quite a few times about how I found my niche at the Church of Spiritual Awakening. I visited several Spiritualist churches going back and forth from church to church trying to get a feel or a sense of belonging. It took me a while to realize where I belonged.

The Church of Spiritual Awakening is unlike many other churches. Many of us believe in God, Lord, the Almighty, Infinite Spirit – whichever way you wish to call him/her, but don’t believe in certain religious doctrines. I grew up in the Catholic religion, however, there were certain things that did not sit well with me. As a child, I was sensitive to spirit. Something my parents nor sibling could see, feel or hear. I was lucky to have parents who didn’t judge me for what I saw, felt, or heard. They were always there and never made me feel uncomfortable or tell me it was my imagination.

Searching for answers within religion

As I grew up, I could no longer deny something was wrong with me. I didn’t understand it and frankly; I was afraid of it. So as a teenager, I joined the local neighborhood Catholic church. I played guitar in the choir and took part as much as I could in its ministries. One time I spoke with the Reverend explaining to him what I’ve felt ever since I was 4-years-old (that’s as far back as I could go). The Reverend suggested I contact the Rosicrucians. I didn’t know who they were or where to locate them, so I never even looked them up. Then again, there was no internet so it might have taken more time than what a teenager was willing to put in.

In the search for answers, I visited the Evangelical church and after a few visits felt compelled to let the pastor know what I felt. But during a service, I ended up running out when the pastor and congregation kept chanting and telling me to repent or the devil was coming for me. I also visited the Baptist church for a while and spoke to the pastor. He said the devil possessed me. When I was 18-years-old, I had my first session with a psychologist. That didn’t go any better. She wrote me a referral to a psychiatrist because, according to her, I was borderline schizophrenic. And that’s when I stopped searching for answers.

I found excuses of why I was seeing, hearing, or feeling inexplicable things.

“I probably saw it on the news,” I would think to myself. Or “I heard someone say it,” and so on.

There was always an excuse until eventually I just blocked it. It was always there, and every so often I would have an “episode.” But I put all my faith in God and just let it go.

The premonition that shook my core

Then one day, as I was driving my children home from school, I saw something that woke me up. As we waited for the light to change, an image came to my mind. It was an image of a car accident and a woman crawling out of the wrecked vehicle’s window with blood all over her face. She crawled out crying, looked at me, and extended her right arm towards me. I recognized that face! It was my cousin’s face. I panicked and began trembling when the honking of horns and my children signaled to me that the light had changed. I didn’t know what it meant or why I had felt it, but I tried to leave it behind. Two weeks after that incident, I received a frantic call from my mother.

“Debbie, please go check on your cousin. I just got word she had a car accident,” Mom said.

“WHAT? WHERE? WHEN?” I screeched out.

“Today close to you on the main road,” she replied.

I left as fast as I could and stopped by my cousin’s house. I was so relieved when she opened the door. They were all fine, just a little banged up. But that left me feeling so uneasy.

The guilt was killing me

“Why?” I thought. “Why would I wish this upon my cousin? How could I have done this to her?”

I felt so guilty. As if I had caused the accident. I couldn’t shake it out of my head. At that time, I was working at a church, so the next day, I spoke with the Pastor. I told him about the accident and how guilty I felt. Opening up was hard for me. It had been so long since I told anyone, but I told him about my experiences since young. I needed to let it out. I needed God’s forgiveness for having such horrific thoughts about my loving cousin.

The Pastor listened and reassured me I had nothing to be afraid of and need not feel any guilt. He told me I wasn’t alone. There were many like-minded people who felt, saw, and heard just like I did. He then encouraged me to meet them, which I did. That day, I realized I was not alone and much less crazy. I befriended a few like-minded individuals but still had my reservations about my feelings. Every so often I’d have a premonition. I learned to not hold on to it, but pass it on to the right individual. It helped some, but I still did not understand why.

A cruel awakening

It took a tragic event in my life for me to come to terms with it. My oldest son died in a pedestrian accident. My grief was unbearable. As a mom, I didn’t want to let go. In my mind, I always held a conversation with him and he responded. I had my doubts, though. One night, my sorrow was so deep I just needed to know. I cried so hard and prayed so much. Asking for God’s help, I prayed. I prayed for God to help me decipher this feeling – the hearing my son speak to me. If this was indeed from God, then teach me how to work with it and I will embrace it. But if it wasn’t, please take it away.

Click here for Spiritual Awakening Fundraiser

I found my home

A few weeks later, while researching on the internet, I found the local Spiritualist churches. I loved its principles as I felt the same way. Hence, I visited quite a few before I decided that the Church of Spiritual Awakening was my home. I did many workshops at this center – Introduction to Spiritualism, Laying on of Hands Healing, Beginners Mediumship, Advanced Mediumship, among others, and also attended the Tuesday night Meditation Circle for a while.

I learned many things at the Church of Spiritual Awakening. One being that the spirit never dies {John 11:25-26}. That makes me feel at ease with myself and my gift. I know I’m not the only one either. Like me, there are many children, teens, and adults that do not understand the gift they have. A Spiritualist Church is a place where they can safely talk about it and learn to use their gifts positively. There are no judgments here. We welcome everyone to partake in our services and activities. It’s an open and affirming environment with lots of loving people.

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

Accepting my gift is a blessing

I have finally accepted the gift Infinite Spirit has given me and would love nothing more than for the Church of Spiritual Awakening Center to have its own location instead of renting out space. As of now, we hold the meditation circle and Sunday services through Zoom. Though I miss our personal interaction, on the bright side, the building fund has continued to increase since there is no rent or utilities to pay. So, to reach our goal, we are having fundraisers.

This fundraiser and many others that we will have during the year, will not only help us increase our building fund; but will also bring awareness to what we represent. It is a loving atmosphere with people from all over the world coming together with a like-minded attitude. We love everyone and all are welcome.

This fundraiser is for masks. Everybody is wearing a mask – some are plain, some are creative – so why not support a worthy cause? We have unique designs and colors to choose from. So, if you feel compelled to help us raise funds for our new building, follow the link to the Spiritual Awakening fundraiser, make sure to put “Debbie Centeno” as the person you’re sponsoring, and thank you in advance for your support.

Love and light to all!


The Sensations of a Full Body Massage

A Much Needed Me Time

Stress had taken over me. How I yearned to relax and pamper myself. Keeping myself busy made me forget about my own needs. I knew all too well how important it is to tend to my own needs. Caring for myself now will allow me to help others. There’s no need to go on with stress. It is important that I take the time to heal and recalibrate and a massage would work wonders. Yes, I will book a massage for my well-being.

The Masseuse

There I was waiting for the masseuse. Just waiting for the masseuse, Carlos to be ready. Carlos was a young, tall, thin, well-built, muscular Costa Rican male. Carlos’ hair was black and long-pulled back in a ponytail. He had the most beautiful green eyes which glowed when his full-juicy lips curled into a smile. Carlos’ skin was so tanned that it shimmered like gold. He wore white sweatpants and a tank top that contoured his well-built six-pack abs and muscles. And his low, sexy voice just made it all too perfect.

As he approached me, I noticed his strong, enormous hands. His fingernails were short and well-groomed, yet very masculine. I sensed his eagerness to begin the session as he handed me a clear, tall glass of sparkling wine. I, too, was eager to begin. The wine was crisp and cold against my lips as I sipped it little by little. Its sweet, delicate taste kept me wanting more. I loved it.

Just the Perfect Place

The dim room atmosphere completed the scene. There was soft music that filled my ears, the room glowed with the flickering of the candles, and the aroma of the scented candles filled the air. It was the perfect stress-free environment. The massage table was covered in a soft, clean white linen that felt satiny. I was feeling it and the wine was just the touch to make me feel at ease—no worries at all.

Enjoyment and Relaxation

Carlos signaled for me to lie down. I felt blissful. Carlos’s body emanated a sweet intoxicating fragrance. It, too, made me feel relaxed. He drizzled the warm oil over my skin. I moaned softly as his fingers penetrated my skin. His soft, long fingers massaged my neck intensely. He followed a circular motion throughout my shoulders and upper back. His fingers felt like a caress on my body. Slowly, he continued to my lower back. Gentle circular strokes caressed every inch of my back and arms.

Say I Love You Gifts

I moaned with delight as he reached my thighs and legs. I felt the warmth and scent of the lubricating oil on my skin. His circular strokes were tender—yet strong enough to feel the power of the effect. I did not want it to end. The massage was invigorating and perfect. He continued towards my calves, ankles, and feet. His fingers caressed every toe in the right way. With circular strokes, he reached the heel of my feet. Such a good feeling. Every inch of my body tingled with his touch. I was in pure ecstasy and nearly falling asleep.

A Warning Would Have Helped

Out of nowhere, I felt it. It was feathery-like, yet strong enough to jolt me up from my blissful state. The feeling of Carlos’ fingers massaging the arch of my feet as if he was tickling me. I could not contain myself. My peace and joy were disturbed with laughter at the spa. Had I let Carlos know my feet were very sensitive and ticklish, he would have not gone that far. Had he not touched my feet, I would have enjoyed it longer.

What Will the New Year Bring us?

“It can be disastrous or great. It depends on us.” ~ Debbie

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

2020 Be Gone!

It’s the last day of the year 2020 — the year of the global pandemic, COVID-19. It’s new year’s eve and everyone is looking forward to the beginning of 2021, new hopes, new dreams, and new ventures. The social media venues are full of posts condemning 2020. The year 2020 brought so much heartache, hatred, disappointment, and loss to so many. Loss of lives, jobs, homes, and dreams.

“I can’t wait for 2020 to go away,” I have seen posted so many times.

I wonder what makes people believe that just because 2020 is over, the virus will magically disappear and everything will be back to the way it was before. Why dwell on how bad the year was? There’s nothing we can do to change what happened or what was. Why not attempt to see all the good in it?

Things to be Grateful For

Good? What was good about 2020? For starters, we are alive. Rise in the morning and be grateful that you could open your eyes. Be grateful for the loved ones who woke up next to you in bed or in your household. For your pets, the roof over your head, your fluffy pillow, and sheets that kept you warm. Be grateful if the virus did not affect you. If you caught COVID-19 and healed, be grateful too.

I see the year 2020 as a test. A test for all of us to realize who we are, our gifts, and what we have. A time for us to awaken and grow. We all have been given cards to deal with, and we make our own decisions on how to deal with these cards. Think about what you may have accomplished during the year 2020. So you spent most of your time at home — no trips, no gatherings, no socializing, blah, blah, blah. Did you use this time to do things you never had time to do before? Declutter your home, read a few books, redecorate your living quarters, ground yourself with nature, or just lounge around in blissful peace.

Photo by Kiy Turk on Unsplash

Parenting in 2020

If you’re a parent, did you spend more time with your children doing meaningful stuff like playing board games, puzzles, teach them to cook, etc? Or just simply get to know them? Oh, believe me, I once had a conversation with a 7-year-old who told me she only danced in front of her friends and not her mom because she didn’t know her mom that well. Shocking, I know, but they’re out there.

So Much to Do, So Little Time

Returning to the topic on hand, did you take the time to reflect on your life and figure out how you can deal with your cards differently for your benefit? What did you accomplish in 2020? There is so much you could have achieved throughout this year. Yet many just complain they could not go out or have fun the conventional way.

I too had certain goals and resolutions for 2020, which I could not fulfill. But I didn’t focus on that. I set my intention to accomplish as much as I could according to what was happening worldwide. Yes, I could not travel this year, which is big for me. But that just means I’ll take an extra trip when there’s no more COVID-19 threat. So, this year l focused on my other goals and completed 90% of them.

Jon Kabat-Zinn meditation and mindfulness in the digital age

My Thoughts Create My Luck

If you’re thinking that it was just luck, you’re wrong. My accomplishment was not because of luck or wealth. It happened because I believe it’s a matter of mindset. I focused on all the good that would come from the situation at hand and did not give a second thought about all the bad that could happen. Also, I learned not to worry. The way I see it is, can I do something about it? If I can, then I do it. If not, then let it go — hence no need to worry because worrying will not solve any problems but just give us more. When we focus on what is going wrong in our lives, we’re just opening the door for more things to go wrong. However, if we turn it around and look for the positives, we will attract more positive things to come.

We Should All Be Grateful

Everyone has things to be grateful for this year, so let’s start with that. There’s no need to wait for the new year to turn our mindset around and be grateful. “Grateful” is the keyword because if you’re reading this, that is just one reason to be grateful. It means you have eyesight, learned how to read, and have a gadget where you can read from, just to name a few. With that said, how will you deal with your new deck of cards in 2021?

Wishing you all a Happy New Year 2021!


Duet Sound Machine and Night Light

The Current Effects of Evolution on Our Christmas Traditions

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Nostalgic but Fond Memories

Today I received a video through my Facebook Messenger. The video is about a Christmas tradition in Puerto Rico. This tradition is a “parranda.” It brought many memories from when I was young. It was also very nostalgic for us — my husband included. We enjoyed the full 7-minute video and reminisced about that time in our lives.


Holiday Baskets from winebasket.com

What is a Parranda?

A parranda is an old tradition celebrated in Puerto Rico where a group of people (which are called parranderos) — some with instruments like a cuatro, güiro, maracas, and any other instrument available, gather to bring music and songs to their neighbors or family in exchange for food and drinks. There are many popular songs in a parranderos repertoire. From what I heard in the video, most songs are the same as they were when we used to parrandear. Parrandas begin as early as the weekend following Thanksgiving and don’t end until the Octavitas, which is 8 days following the Three Kings Day on January 14.

How Does a Parranda Work?

Let me explain in detail what a parranda comprises. The parranderos decide who they will visit. These visits take place during the evening hours — mostly after 10:00 p.m. The homeowners normally are unaware of the parranderos visit. The parranderos approach the house quietly as to not awaken the homeowner. Once the parranderos situate themselves in front of the house, they unanimously shout out “ASALTO,” or “PARRANDA,” immediately followed by playing their instruments and singing. Note that shouting “Asalto,” even though it translates to assault, doesn’t really hold the same meaning. It’s more of a term for “Surprise.” The parranderos might spend about 5 minutes outside singing before they are let inside to allow enough time for the homeowners to put on some decent attire.

Oh, But the Neighbors!

I know what you’re thinking, “How inconsiderate to the neighbors!” But no, that’s not the case. It does not bother the neighbors. Neighbors actually enjoy listening and expect to hear parrandas in their neighborhoods. Oh sure, you might have some scrooges around, but I can’t recall one time where anyone was bothered by a parranda.

Image for post
Photo by Stephen Niemeier from Pexels

Once the parraderos are inside the house, they continue with their medleys. Please know that you do not need to be a singer, take part in any choir, or be a soprano to sing in a parranda. There are always a few talented singers that take lead. But it’s just an event to bring joy to others and have fun together. So no voice is too sharp, soft, or squeaky here. Although that’s not the case in the video. They all seem to know their notes.

Singing, Eating, and Drinking!

Anyway, while the parranderos delight the homeowners with their cheerful songs, the homeowners whisk out their stash of alcoholic drinks. Anything goes — whiskey, rum, wine, tequila, beer, pitorro (Puerto Rican moonshine), coquito (Puerto Rican Christmas drink) — whatever is available is perfectly fine. They also dish out some hors d’oeuvres. Sometimes there’s cooking involved — especially shrimp or chicken asopao’ (soup) or even Puerto Rican pasteles!

So Then What?

After a couple of hours of singing, drinking, and eating, it is time to go. But it doesn’t end there. Traditionally, the homeowner joins the parranderos and choose the next family or friend to visit. It continues this way throughout the night. What might have begun with six parranderos would sometimes end up being a group of 20 or more. And there was never a set time to stop.

Even Til the Break of Dawn

As a child, I remember a parranda that arrived around 4:30 a.m. Of course, my parents received them. It was such great fun that I recall the sun was already out by the time they left at about 6:00 a.m. I laugh now when I remember how my Mom made sure the house was spotless before we went to sleep Friday and Saturday nights for those 8–9 weeks (late November to mid-January) of the year. “You never know, there might be a parranda coming tonight,” she would say. And you always needed to make sure you had plenty of food supply and alcohol “just in case.”

Those Were Some Great Times

We partook in a fair share of these parrandas ourselves. Heck, I was a guitar player in my teen years, so definitely one of the leads — not a brilliant singer but a guitar player indeed. Those were some fun times. Ah yes, this video brought back many memories. Unfortunately, I hear the tradition is dwindling. But it’ll always hold a special place in my heart. I hope you enjoy the video below. WEEEEPA!

Courtesy of Felix Jose Colon – Video by Zoom Studio

What Christmas tradition does your country have? Have you been to a parranda before? Share your thoughts.


SHOLDIT Convertible Infinity Scarf with Pocket

How Aromatic Candles can Set the Mood for Whatever You Want

Photo by thevibrantmachine from Pexels

No Candles at Home

I recently began using scented candles in my home. I stopped using these about 15 years ago because my husband could not stand the scented candles. He claimed these scents triggered migraine headaches. Of course, I did not want my husband to suffer through these horrific headaches, so I opted to not use them anymore. But, while at the Farmer and Artisan’s Marketplace in Kissimmee, Florida, I came across a kiosk of locally hand-poured candles by the name of Vista Candle Co. Since I no longer bought scented candles, I thought it’d be nice to just take a whiff of the aromatic candles.

Vista Candle Co. banner — photo by author

A Female Owned Local Company

Vista Candle Co. is a home-based, local company in Orlando, Florida, owned and operated by a young, female healthcare worker. As a healthcare worker and lover of candles, she ventured out to create something that would help her destress after work during the COVID-19 pandemic. She quickly realized that, just as candles help her relax and decompress after a long stressful day at work, it can also help others. Hence her creation took form. She created these candles with a soy and paraffin blend, high-quality essential oils, and uses a wood wick for the smaller ones.

Elegant Kiosk with Varied Scents

As we approached the kiosk, a lovely young couple greeted us. Their setup was simple but elegant and displayed the tin candles, glass candles, and some wax melts. There were also some open scent samplers for visitors to try. Did you know that after sniffing aromas you can sniff coffee beans to cleanse your nasal palate? I did not know that was a thing until I saw the coffee beans at the kiosk. Curiosity got to me. I asked the young lady about the beans and she explained that after smelling a few candle samples, you might suffer temporary olfactory fatigue. If you take a sniff of the coffee beans, you can continue sniffing candles without missing out on their irresistible aromas. Why had I not heard of that before?

Kiosk at Farmers and Artisan’s Market — photo by author

I Am Buying Candles!

While I explored the aromatic scents, I noticed that my husband was doing the same. I reminded him of his experience with scented candles. He responded, “I like these scents.” No need to tell me twice. I grabbed three — Palo Santo+Sage, White Sage+Lavender, and Pumpkin Chai. At home, I use the Palo Santo+Sage and White Sage+Lavender while meditating. The candle aroma eases me into a deep meditation, making the experience more vivid and relaxing. And the Pumpkin Chai burns during the day, which takes me back to days of family gatherings and Thanksgiving.

Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels

Easy Christmas Shopping For Me!

After trying them at home, I thought they would make splendid gifts and have since ordered more online. The ones I ordered are Cozy Flannel, White Birch, Hansel & Gretel, and Christmas Hearth. I think I might add some other scents for Christmas gifts and myself. Aromatic candles are perfect for setting the mood for any event or relaxing and make wonderful gifts for any occasion. After all, who doesn’t like scented candles?

Much Success to this Company

I admire the creativity and determination of this young woman to venture out and create a company amidst the global pandemic. This approach alone was one reason I continue to purchase candles from this company, along with the fact that it’s a young, female healthcare worker entrepreneur. I wish her success in this endeavor. Thank you Vista Candle Co. for your amazing product.


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

A few years ago, on September 8, I attended two events. The first one during the day was a memorial service/celebration of life. The second one during the evening was a birthday celebration. I’m sure you probably think 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 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 woman.  She is a healthy person who raised three exceptional children. They surprised her with a birthday celebration, with Mariachis and all. A very well deserved celebration for a fine lady. Even though there have been some struggles, as we all have struggled in our lives, but it’s a blessing for her to reach the age of 70.  I 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 imagine 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 mentally prepared to even contemplate a child dying. So it always comes as a shock. However, when it’s an adult person, especially the elderly, it seems okay.

Never Take Life for Granted

We are here today and don’t know about tomorrow. We should 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 anywhere and everywhere. 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 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 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 critical moments and life will be more enjoyable. Some might think, “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. Look within, which starts by being grateful that you are alive today and maybe you will celebrate another birthday.

Many blessings to all, may you live a long, healthy, and 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. (Based on a true story)

True story of how cbd oil helps ease the pain

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Who Am I?

I am a woman in my 50s who never did drugs or smoked a cigarette. I was one of those that thought marijuana was harmful and did not condone its use. The same goes for CBD oil, which I thought was just as bad. That was until I went through an experience that has changed my mind. And, if I can help someone else feel better while healing, then it’s worth it.

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My Story

A little over two years ago, I underwent partial knee replacement surgery. The surgery was a success. For the pain, the doctor gave me a prescription for painkillers (opioids). I began taking the painkiller every 3–4 hours as instructed and they worked. But, when the doctor said he would not allow me to drive until I went off the prescribed medication, I knew I had to endure the pain somehow. That night, I decided I would not take the pill; but I could not sleep because of the pain. I was considering taking it when I realized this is how addiction begins! I wasn’t about to go towards that route so I got up and took a couple of acetaminophen. It didn’t work, but I continued it for a few days. I switched to ibuprofen and nope, that didn’t work either.

Seeing me in constant pain and little to no relief, my son brought me CBD Oil and explained the benefits to me. He was not convincing me. In fact, it bothered me he would think I was going to take such a thing.

“Are you crazy? I am NOT taking that!” I responded.

His insistence on how it will help me without the highs or lows, or whatever happens when consuming drugs, made me think about it. With no remedy in sight other than returning to the addictive painkiller, and needing to get back to work, I reluctantly tried it. Before trying it, I did my research on it.

I Began Researching

According to what I read, CBD Oil does NOT contain the ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is what causes the “high” effect. CBD Oil helps to reduce pain and inflammation. I read article after article, with most of them talking about the positive results and little to no side effects. After researching and reading, I tried it. Still, with skepticism, I took less than the dose recommended before I went to sleep.

Undeniable Difference

It was the first night, after stopping the painkiller, in which I did not wake up every three hours to take another dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. The next day I was fine until around 10 a.m. — about 12 hours after taking the CBD Oil. I took another dose of CBD Oil. The second night I increased the dose to the recommended. Thereafter, I only took one dose before going to sleep. I went from taking painkillers every three hours to taking one a day!

It was funny to hear the doctor ask me if I needed another prescription for painkillers at my follow-up appointment. When I responded that I did not, he asked, “Are you sure?” It surprised him to hear that I rarely took the painkiller, but I never told him why. I was no longer in pain after about a month of my surgery, therefore, I stopped taking the CBD Oil.

And There Was More

But it didn’t stop there. I was also experiencing ankle pain on the same leg. At first, I blamed it on the surgery. I just had surgery on that leg so it was normal for my ankle swelling. It made sense, right? Well, it turns out that it was not related. Unbeknownst to me of how it happened, I had two torn tendons. While taking the CBD Oil, I didn’t feel the pain but as soon as I stopped taking it the pain returned in my ankle area. When I did my follow-up visit to the doctor, he gave me another prescription for a painkiller, a CAM boot for 6-weeks followed by physical therapy. I didn’t fill the painkiller prescription. I was so happy with the results of my knee after taking the CBD Oil that I preferred to take the oil instead.

To Share or Not to Share

Other than my immediate family, I didn’t tell anyone what I was taking until one day I came across an old friend. While catching up, he mentioned his wife had a real hard time with fibromyalgia. He said that most days she could not get out of bed and was suffering from severe pain. I debated whether to tell him about my experience with the CBD oil, but gave it a shot. I explained to him how it had helped me. He asked for information on how to get it so he could pass it on to his wife.

About two months after that encounter I saw him again and the first thing he did was give me a hug and say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I asked, “For what?” He explained that his wife took the oil.

“My wife is feeling so much better. She is back at work and happier than ever,” he said.

I also shared the info with a co-worker whom I’ll call Mary. Mary was suffering from fibromyalgia. I’m happy to report that she got back to me with splendid news. She tried it and it’s working. Mary also saw positive results allowing her to sleep without pain.

Sharing Is the Right Thing to do

Even though it was the CBD Oil that helped them both, not me, I am so happy I shared this information with them. I vowed to share my experience with whoever I knew was suffering from an illness and needed a natural remedy. It is not something you can share with everybody. Not everyone has an open mind and may still consider it illegal.

Like I said in the beginning, I’m a woman in my 50s. I can assure you and anybody that knows me can affirm that I am not a drug addict. I cannot vouch for how others have felt using it or their side effects. However, I will continue promoting CBD Oil because I am living proof that it does work and no one should live in pain!


Observations of Humankind During a Morning Commute

My Morning Commute

I am an independent contractor working from home. Every once in a while I go to my client’s office. It never occurred to me to observe my surroundings as I did one particular morning. I stayed in the slow lane to take it all in. Here’s my story.

During my morning commute, I left my windows down. Not because I wanted to, but because my vehicle’s a/c stopped working, so I did not have a choice. It was alright; I didn’t mind though. It was the early fall season, so the weather was not hot. At 7:30 in the morning, it was nice outside. I took in nature and enjoyed it. The smell of morning dew, the aroma of freshly mowed grass (until I approach the maintenance guy with the mower spewing the odor of gasoline), the cricket’s screech through the dense grassy areas, the bird’s early morning chirping, and the fresh breeze that hit my face while driving on Highway 27. I love nature!

My Observation on Humankind

Every time I reached the stoplights, I found mostly the same vehicles and drivers. I glanced around from car to car to observe humankind. The young lady smacking her lips together as she put on her lipstick, a well-suited man sipping his coffee in a travel mug (I suppose it was coffee but maybe it wasn’t), the couple eating their breakfast, a young man yawning (probably didn’t sleep well or was hungry), about 6 or 7 people on their cell phones, a woman who appeared to be arguing on the phone. I wonder what upset her so much that made her face beet red? Three truckers blocking all lanes. The mom trying to comfort the crying child.

Then there was the texter texting away at the stoplights while the impatient driver behind her honks his horn 1/8 of a second after the light turns green. I think his hand was already on the horn, ready to blast it. Heck, I think he honked even before the light turned green, not at me but at the texter. 

My Favorite Character

Ah, but my favorite character was the one I saw through my rearview mirror. The young man in the green Honda driving erratically, cutting in front of everyone from one lane to the other and blasting his music. I wondered why he was in such a rush. His desperation did not do much because somehow I caught up with him at the light and I didn’t even go the speed limit! Remember, I was in the slow lane. I guess he liked to be the first at the stoplight. The light turned green, and he sped up past everyone else just to be standing at the next light for a more extended period than the rest of us. Does he not realize that? Lucky for him that the police officer we passed was too busy giving out a ticket to another desperate driver.

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I continued my drive observing humankind and their acts while still glimpsing the erratic Honda lunatic swerving left and right, speeding through traffic blasting his music. Then I finally reached my left turn. Just five more minutes and three more stoplights ’til I arrive. That was a pleasant drive. Suddenly I realized that the lunatic in the green Honda has turned down his music and was one car in front of me. He was turning into the department store parking lot. What do you know, I didn’t even have to speed, and we arrived at his destiny at the same time. I’m not sure about him, but I learned that speeding will not get me there any faster. Lol! Sending lots of love, light, and peace to you, my dear lunatic. Maybe we’ll meet again sometime.

Have You Experienced a Full Moon Gong Bath?

What’s a Full Moon Gong Bath?

I had my first Full Moon Gong Bath last week. It was held at One Yoga Fitness by Jenny. What a wonderful experience it was. What’s a Full Moon Gong Bath you ask? Don’t worry, I didn’t know either, but just the name made me curious enough to explore what is involved. I once read somewhere that the full moon is a time of culmination and fruition, a time to let go and recharge. In other words, a time to release anything that holds us back and recalibrate. With all the chaos going on right now in the USA it seemed like a perfect time for me to engage in this relaxing ritual. There is never too much of connecting to our higher selves, therefore, I will partake in every opportunity available. So, there I was promptly at 7:00 p.m. ready for the new experience.

Tranquil Atmosphere Waiting

Just entering the space was relaxing. Dimmed lights cast a low glow in the room, flowers beautifully placed in the center with a couple of candles around the flowers, and a large gong at the very back of the room. We placed our mats in a circle facing the center of the room. The music was soft and calming. The temperature was adequate – not too cold but not too hot. There was a good number of like-minded people attending.

Stages of the Gong Bath

Jenny began with a breathing technique by alternating between the right and left nostrils as we inhaled and exhaled. This form of breathing is the Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. We continued this breathing technique for a few minutes with our eyes closed. Well, I had my eyes closed. I’m not sure that everyone did. I believe it was encouraged and it felt right too. The great thing about these practices is that if you fully emerge yourself into the experience, you tend to forget you’re not alone therefore you enjoy it to the fullest.

Afterward, we continued with a gentle yoga session to open the body. After a few minutes with yoga, we laid on our mats face up. It was up to us if we wanted to cover ourselves with a blanket or not. Then we heard the gong sound. Vibration filled the space. It took a few seconds to adjust and get into the feeling of an altered state of consciousness. But then it was relaxing, rejuvenating. I did not fall asleep, but I let my mind go. I didn’t entertain any thoughts. They just came and went.

The gong sound filled the air. The vibration intertwined with our energy expanding and joining as one. I felt engulfed in a beautiful universal light. Almost as if I was floating in the universe above the stars. It felt so good. I just wanted to stay there, but like everything, it had to come to an end.

All Good Things Come to an End

Frankly, I do not remember what time it ended. It felt so good that I did not bother to check. I am thankful that my friend, Gill, was with me. We had a 25-minute drive home. Had it not been that I was in the company of my dear friend, I might have fallen asleep at the steering wheel. But with Gill by my side, we engaged in small talk keeping me aware of the road.

I am Feeling Great

The experience was perfect. I’m sure it has contributed to this feeling of well-being I’ve experienced these past few days. I thank Jenny and One Yoga Studio for such an amazing opportunity. I will definitely sign up for any further Full Moon Gong Baths that they may offer. So, if you have not experienced a Gong Bath I highly recommend you do. You won’t regret it.


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How to Fully Understand the Tracking of an Order Placed Online and Where it’s At Now

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As a consumer, I stay up to date with tracking the purchases I make online. However, I never had studied or analyzed how the shipping system works until a recent order I placed early in August. Here’s my story.

I ordered two pairs of Vionic flip flops online. Those who know the brand can attest they are comfortable and of excellent quality. They were on sale, therefore; I placed an order of two pairs on August 8, 2020. Today is September 4th and I have not received my order. I have a tracking number and been following its itinerary. Here’s what I’ve noticed thus far.

According to the tracking information, somewhere around the world, my flip flop’s label was created on August 16, 2020, at 9:02 a.m. Lake Forest, California, received the electronic shipping information on that same day at 10:05 a.m. My flip flops, which I’ll call Vioflop, must be very excited to embark on this journey.

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On that same day, Vioflop arrived in Shanghai, China’s hub export. They had a few hours of rest before departing Shanghai on August 17. Vioflop seemed tired because they were handed to the airline supplier the next day, August 18, in which they departed to the country of their destination (U.S.A.). 

It was a long journey for Vioflop. They finally arrived on August 21 to U.S. Chicago O’Hare Airport. Even though they released Vioflop from import customs on that same day, they were inducted into the Pitney Bowes network in Carol Stream, Illinois three days later on August 24. Plenty of time for Vioflop to recoup from yet another long, exhausting trip. Vioflop was then picked up on this same day and departed to the Pitney Bowes facility arriving on August 25th. From the Pitney Bowes facility, Vioflop was transported to Greenwood, Indiana. Amazingly, they arrived on the same day. 

One Pair Anywhere

Vioflop had another day of rest before departing Greenwood, Indiana on their way to Atlanta, Georgia. They arrived on August 26th. Now here’s where it gets confusing. Upon arrival in Atlanta, Georgia, they were miraculously picked up and processed by an agent in Clermont, Florida—which is their last destination. However, on that same day and only two hours after, they appeared to be back in Atlanta, Georgia. Or did my flip flops get confused and thought they were in Florida already?

That was not the case. On August 27th they were in transit to Clermont, Florida via a USPS delivery unit. They’ve been in that truck ever since. I haven’t heard from them. I worry if, by the time they arrive, the soles of the flip flops are wasted from so much walking. I’m assuming Vioflop walked its way here. I don’t know. But someday, hopefully soon, I’ll find out.


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What Is Our Mission on the Earth Plane?

“We are all different. You have to figure it out. What makes you tick and what makes you happy. Stop looking to others for answers and start looking within. It takes time but there’s no hurry. Enjoy the journey, because that’s what life is all about.” ~ Rebecca Fox

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Where Did Time Go?

Time goes by fast. So fast that we don’t even realize it. Thirteen years have gone by since I began questioning my life. It all started when my son died. In these past 13 years, there have been many changes. I’ve grown a lot spiritually and mindfully. Forgetfulness is one of the things that has grown too. Like I don’t even remember what I had for dinner last night! Yes, I know, that could be part of aging. 😊 As I was saying, I’ve done a lot of spiritual growth.

I Questioned My Life

Within these 13 years, I began to analyze my life. What is life? Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? Am I fulfilling the purpose of my existence? Those questions began to cross my mind. I needed answers. It didn’t sit right with me that we are born, to study, work, get married, give life to another, raise them, and that’s it. The cycle begins again. It didn’t make sense to me. There had to be more to life than live to work. When my son’s life ended I felt I was wasting my life. He was given only 20 years and just when he began to discover life, it was cut short. So, what could I do to fulfill my purpose in life? To make my years count.

I Finally Awakened

It was through the grief process that I finally awakened. I feel that my son had a hand in this. It was through him that I discovered there is more in life than I thought. I’ve always been spiritually intuitive but never did anything to develop it. If anything, I tried hard to block it. The lack of understanding of what it was and meant kept me in fear. I made sure to stay connected to my religious beliefs, my Catholic upbringing, and Infinite Spirit (God). My son did not allow me to fear it anymore. I had a sixth sense and I could feel it. I could hear him. Many times I thought it was my wishful thinking, but I was proved wrong by other like-minded, spiritually intuitive beings. Even though they connected with my son and it helped me immensely in my grieving, I never gave in.

But one night my sorrow was so intense and deep that the tears would not stop flowing. What is happening to me? Am I going crazy?

“Please Lord,” I pleaded, “If it’s a gift from you, teach me how to work with it. I will embrace it and use it for the highest good. But if it is not from you, then take it away. Please take it away.”

That night I cried and prayed for hours until I finally fell into a deep sleep.

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It Was Meant to Be

In my search for answers, I began researching on the web anything related to spirituality. I came across a few spiritualist churches with like-minded people. It was important to me that these churches worshipped God (Infinite Spirit) and only God. These churches seemed to fit what I was looking for. So, every week I visited a different one in hopes to find where I fit in. There was a particular one, Church of Spiritual Awakening, which made me feel more at home than the others. Still, I continued to explore all my options even though I already knew where my heart stood. But I wanted to be sure of my decision. However, I knew it was meant to be. I needed to further develop my God-given gift in order to help others grieving the loss of their loved ones.

Lessons I Learned

I learned to meditate at the meditation circle which the Church of Spiritual Awakening holds weekly. I enjoyed it very much and began to meditate at home as well. Meditation changed my life. It is different from praying. The way I see it, when I pray I talk to God. When I meditate, I listen to God. In being still and listening I learned so much about myself. I learned to be patient, loving and found inner peace. Things that bothered me before no longer did. I raised my awareness and consciousness. And also felt more connected to nature.

I began to see the world differently. There was beauty where I didn’t see it before. I began to change my mindset and way of thinking. I learned to view everything, even the hurtful situations, positively. It does not make sense for me to worry about something I had no control of. All of this improved my life. I found peace.

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I Found My Home

Eventually, I joined the church and participated in the classes they offered – Introduction to Spiritualism, Laying on of Hands Healing, Introduction to Mediumship, Advanced Mediumship – and a few others. I continue my meditation as often as possible and have even taken up yoga. Contrary to what many might think, it has been a blessing. It has improved my life 100%.

We Are Spiritual Beings

So, what does all this have to do with my son’s death? It was because of his death my life was turned upside down. After his death, I realized there had to be more in life than just work to live. While he was on the Earth plane, we were close. Even after his death, I can still connect with him in the spirit world. You see, we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. We are energy. Everything is energy. Once we acknowledge and accept this, we are then awakened and can take charge of our lives the way we need to. The way we want to.

Grateful to Infinite Spirit

I love my son and miss him immensely. It pains me to know that he had to leave the Earth plane for me to realize that we are eternal because the spirit never dies. I can honestly say, that despite my son’s passing, to this day, I have never been happier in my life. Happiness resides within ourselves. Nothing and nobody can make us happy. All this, I owe it to Infinite Spirit who opened my eyes to the true nature of my existence – my awakening. I am forever grateful for the wonderful son Infinite Spirit gave me and for the opportunity and knowledge to continue to communicate with him. Thank you, Infinite Spirit, for never leaving my side.


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.


Not All Father’s Can Be Judged the Same

Photo by Cristian Dina

Father’s Day, a day dedicated to the many dads that step up to the plate and are there for their children. While looking through Facebook I see posts of happiness from many celebrating Father’s Day. Some are posts of sadness from mourning the loss of their dads. And, there are those who hold resentment from dads who chose not to be in their children’s lives.

Yes, there are some deadbeat dads out there. Dads that never once cared to seek for their child or call them. Other’s that broke promises to their children and never showed up to their events or picking them up. And, of course, the ones that raised their stepchildren as their own all the while ignoring their own biological children. But not all dads fall into this category.

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I’ve known of dad’s that have taken the role of moms forgoing the dating scenario. Dads that never remarried because their main priority was their children. Other dads that, when their wives decided to bail on them or passed away, stepped up to the plate and raised their children alone as a mother and father.

I am blessed to have a wonderful father in my life. My dad was a good father and provider. Ever since I can remember my dad worked two jobs to provide for our family. Unfortunately, that didn’t leave him enough time to attend graduations, plays or any of our extra-curricular activities. But it did not take away from him being a good dad. He is still on the earth plane with us and I thank the Lord every day for giving me a great dad. Even though we’re miles apart I still have a great relationship with him.

So to all the Dads out there, Happy Father’s Day. May your life be filled with blessings.


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

The death of my son was the worst thing to happen to me. For the six months that followed, I felt numb, depressed and lonely. I didn’t want to continue living. Even though I had my daughter and younger son, it did not make me feel any better. I did not know what to do to make them feel better. How could I continue on without him? What would I do to become whole again? I had two choices. I could either succumb to depression or live for him. I decided to live for him. I decided that I wanted to do what he could not and so my journey began. I learned a lot from my son after his death. Even in death, he was teaching me what I did not know. I wanted to live for my son – as he would have. I wanted my daughter and younger son to heal. I embarked on this journey for myself, my family and in memory of Richie. With this book, I hope to help grieving Moms reach that place of peace that I have reached.

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart can be found on Amazon in both, paperback and Kindle version.

{Debbie’s Reflection is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to the affiliate sites.}

Daily Struggles of Hard-Working Citizens Amid COVID-19

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t give up.” ~ Robert Tew

It’s Not What it Seems

It seems things are getting back to normal amidst the COVID-19. Department store parking lots are full, many more vehicles on the streets, restaurants open. One might think that the pandemic is almost over. What many don’t see is the number of people who are still struggling to pay their bills, rent/mortgage, or putting food on the table. It is a sad situation. One that I’d never expected to see here in the good old USA.

I Learned the Truth

Speaking to a few people, they mentioned they had been laid-off or fired from their jobs. Yet have not received a check from unemployment. Some have not been able to get through processing their claims. Other’s are still waiting on their $1,200 stimulus check. These are hard-working citizens who pay their taxes and shouldn’t be going through such a scenario. It’s not a handout. They did not choose to be laid-off. Where is our great government when they are needed? Why is it so hard for these people to receive their unemployment checks, or even access the DEO website for that matter? And this is not the worst of it.

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Families are Being Evicted

At the entrance of my neighborhood subdivision, there’s an apartment complex. On various occasions, I’ve seen lots of furniture and personal belongings dumped on the sidewalk. A sure sign that someone had been evicted from their apartment. It’s not common to see it except for these past few months. I can’t imagine where these people are going to live in.

About the Food Line

Just this morning as we drove to the auto shop, we encountered a traffic line that began at the apartment complex entrance. I had never seen so many vehicles around here so I asked my husband if he knew what was going on. Well, it was the food lines. The lines to receive food from the food pantry almost a mile away. Two lines through two different streets with vehicles waiting their turn. There were so many vehicles with people – young and elders. It took me by surprise. I never expected to see this situation and it made me realize how desperate people are. That there are many more families struggling than what we imagine or even hear on the news. It broke my heart.


Struggling Hard-Working Citizens

This is not an affluent area but it isn’t a poor area either. These are middle-class hard-working families who pay their taxes just like everyone else. They should not be in the situation they’re in. I don’t think it’s fair. But, there’s nothing I can do except offer my prayers to all. It opened my eyes to the reality of COVID-19 and what the media does not say. My prayers to all.


With COVID-19 We Lost Touch with Humanity

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Yesterday was a sad day for me. What I thought could be an awakening for society has been nothing but a complete disappointment. I knew that COVID-19 would not bring about anything good. But I felt with people staying home spending time with their loved ones, reflecting on their lives, and connecting with nature might bring out their love for life which is buried deep within. That people will forget about living just to work and fulfill their greed for material things or be better than their neighbor, friend, family, etc. Unfortunately, it did not happen.

Amid this COVID-19 scenario, I followed the social distancing 80% of the time, leaving my home only to see my elderly mother and to work on Mondays where I’m alone in the office. Most of our shopping is online except for groceries. But this week, I ventured out twice. I visited the supermarket and a hobby store. For me, it was the saddest shopping experience I’ve ever had, and here’s why.

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My first shopping experience was at the supermarket. It was not empty, but there were fewer people than usual. I noticed the social distancing right away, and that’s okay. I also noticed how social distancing had changed people’s behavior. I was at the deli counter, waiting on my order. The junior male employee was wearing a mask but no gloves. He was very polite. For me, the mask is uncomfortable, and I only wear it while out in public, so I can imagine how hard it must be for him to wear it anywhere from 6 to 8 hours a day. Anyhow, he finished my order and called for the next person, a middle-aged woman. While I arranged my deli items in the cart, the middle-aged woman began asking the employee why he was not wearing any gloves because it defeated the purpose of wearing a mask. The employee responded politely, but I could not hear what he was saying since I walked away.

Suddenly I heard the woman yell, “Do you understand what I mean by it defeating the purpose of wearing a mask if you’re not wearing gloves and touching things everyone else touches?”

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I didn’t understand why she felt the need to berate the deli employee when she did not have on any gloves or mask. Why scold him when he’s out there working so we can all have the things we need? I would not let that affect me, so I continued to complete my grocery list. Among the COVID-19 social distancing changes is the one-way aisles. I don’t watch or read the news, so I wasn’t aware of the supermarkets implementing it. Since I don’t walk around looking at the floor, I didn’t notice. I saw the dirty looks at me from other shoppers. It wasn’t until I had crossed three aisles that I finally realized why the dirty looks when I glanced at the floor. Oops! 

When I arrived home, I shared the experience with my husband. So he shared what happened at the supermarket when he went to pick up a few things a couple of days ago. He told me a woman was wearing a mask with a political message on it. Another woman who didn’t have a mask asked the mask wearer why was she wearing a mask if her political party does not agree with that. According to my husband, the masked woman lowered her mask and blurted out the words, “F… Y…” to the other woman. There was no need for either woman to ask or to respond in such form. People need to mind their own business. It was rude to respond such as the above, but what business does the other woman have to ask?

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

The other shop experience I came across was at a hobby store. There were barely any shoppers, maybe a dozen, when my mom and I arrived at the store. I knew what I wanted, so I intended to go straight to that section, grab it, pay, and get out. But here’s what I noticed. You’re walking up an aisle and meet another person. They will either run away from you as fast as possible or turn left or right, whichever is closest. If you don’t have a mask, prepare yourself to receive a dirty look. There’s no “hello,” or “that’s an excellent product,” or anything said. And, if you want to ask an employee for help, make sure you have a good pair of lungs so you can shout out your questions from at least 6 ft away!

Where am I going with this? There’s no love left, no warm smiles, or helping hands. Everyone seems on guard, rude, and don’t care for one another anymore. Things are getting worse every day and just because of a pandemic. I wonder how many people have noticed this. How many people have sat to think about what is happening and what it means? I believe we should protect ourselves, but what’s happening is ruining people’s spirits.


Are we really protecting ourselves? No, we’re not. Germs are rampant throughout the air when in enclosed premises. Just because we wear a mask does not mean we will not get sick, especially if it’s not the proper mask. When we go shopping, we first take a cart or basket others used. Not every store is cleaning their carts or baskets, and not everyone walks around with disinfectant wipes to do so. Then we pick up an item that who knows how many people have touched it with germy hands. They do not spray those items with decontaminants either. We proceed to pay using their keypad to key in our pin or swipe our credit card. Some stores place a plastic cover over the keypad. Okay, the keypad is safe, but the germs are now on the plastic cover. There goes the “germ-free” environment! We have passed them on to our vehicle, which we will sit in, drive, and carry those germs into our home. Think about it; it’s the same everyday situation without a pandemic. It’s no different. You can catch any disease this way, so it does not protect us from anything. We have complied to become inhuman, uncaring, and misunderstanding. 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

I understand we should take care of ourselves. But we should do it the same way we take care to avoid getting the flu or any other virus. Not by ignoring each other. That’s not socially distancing. That’s being rude. I, too, understand no one wants to die, even though that’s the one thing we will for sure have in life. But the fact is, when our time arrives, it doesn’t matter how but it will happen. I’m not insensitive, and I apologize if you think I am. I lost my oldest son 13 years ago, so I know the pain of losing a loved one. I know THE worst pain of losing a loved one and don’t want to experience it again. But it’s a reality that we will face.

I’m not saying to not protect yourself. I agree with protecting ourselves, but why do it in such a way? Why give a person the stink eye because they don’t have a mask? It’s not mandatory in Florida, so they are not breaking any laws. Why bother with comments to those that wear a mask or don’t wear gloves? What good does it do to criticize the store staff if they do or don’t wear protective gear? If it affects you that much, then don’t go out. A simple “Hello” or “Have a pleasant day,” won’t kill you. It can improve your day. You might not agree with me, but that’s how I feel. We are living in the saddest times of our lives with no proper reason. We just lost touch with humanity.

If You can recognize it, then own it!

Photo by Rodolpho Zanardo

I don’t tolerate well people who tend to push the blame on someone else, other than themselves, for things that go wrong in their life. I believe we are responsible for the way our life turns out. Yes, we all have problems and not everyone has had a perfect childhood. We have encountered hard times and struggles. But, we learned from those struggles. Most of us realize where the problem stems from and take action to avoid repeating the same situations. The issue lies when some never make an effort to correct it even when they know that there is a problem or where it began.

Of course, there are many whose lives were affected so severely that they don’t even recognize that their upbringing was screwed up. But you don’t hear them saying, “I didn’t have a good example to follow.” I feel that once you recognize that phrase, you’re capable of making a change.

For instance, let’s use a random name like John. John claims he went through many struggles in his childhood which played a big part in who he is today. John’s dad abandoned the family when John was 6 years old, and his mom turned to alcohol. John was the oldest of three children, so he had to be the adult figure for his siblings when his mom was passed out. Fast-forward to John’s adult life and he too is an alcoholic.

John constantly blames his mother and father for the poor choices he’s made. According to John, his parents were not present for him so he did what he could. Do you see what I mean? John doesn’t think he’s responsible for his actions. Though he recognizes he did not have the best examples to go by. My point is if John recognizes the mistakes of his childhood, his best choice of action should be to not repeat them. Instead of imitating what his mother did, why not opt for not drinking at all? If he did not have enough to eat, why not make sure he is capable of supporting himself? If John’s dad walked out on them, why not strive to be there for his children?

We have choices. It is our responsibility to make the right choice. There is always room for error, but there’s also room for improvement. Therefore, the old excuse that you did not have a good example growing up, or the previous administration made the wrong choices, or whatever else excuse you choose, does not sit well with me. If you can recognize where the problem lies, then you sure as heck have the power to correct it. Stop blaming others for your mistakes, or for how your life has turned out. It is no one’s fault but yours alone.

Take Control of Your Happiness – Positive Thoughts Can Manifest Your Dreams Into Reality In No Time

“You have the ability to quickly change your patterns of thought, and eventually your life experience.” ~ Abraham Hicks

Manifesting what you want in life is not only talking positive things. It’s a bit more complicated than that but not impossible. The trick is to reprogram your subconscious mind. For instance, have you ever had a decision to make and hesitantly made up your mind as to what to do, but deep down inside you’re still questioning it? Well, that’s your subconscious mind at work.

There are ways to reprogram your subconscious mind. I used a YouTube guided meditation from Power Thoughts Meditation Club’s Subconscious Mind Reprogramming – Activate Your Higher Mind. It didn’t happen overnight. But it didn’t take too long either. I think it has to do with our eagerness to get there. I listened to the video many times over for about a year. And I still do listen to it every once in a while.

Although just listening to it won’t help you manifest what you want. You also have to learn to speak and think in a positive way. The law of attraction does not understand negative words or phrases.

So, if you’re asking for a job closer to your home you should not say, “I want a job which is not so far.” You need to rephrase your request. You can say, “I want a job close to my home.”

Trust me it really works because this happened to me. I manifested a job where I DID NOT have to drive far. Big mistake, I was offered a great opportunity, but the drive was an hour away. I did accept it, but two years driving an hour back and forth took its toll on me. So I manifested again carefully choosing my words and BAM, it worked!

I was once explaining this to a young couple in the presence of an elderly lady very dear to me that I’ll call Jane. As I spoke to the young couple, Jane chimed in saying, “That’s not true. All my life I’ve said that I did not want to take care of children when I got older and look at me. I’m almost 75 and still taking care of children.”

For me, that was a great example. I turned to Jane and responded, “You got what you asked for – taking care of children. The law of attraction does not understand negative words such as: no, don’t, or can’t. In other words, don’t manifest what you don’t want. Just ask for what you DO want and be specific.

Also, being grateful for what we have will attract more things to be grateful for. Giving thanks for all our blessings is a sure way to start. Every one has a blessing in their lives. I believe there are just too many negative beings concentrating on what’s going wrong in their lives instead of focusing their attention on what is going right. Let’s switch it up a bit. Every day look for one thing which you’ve been blessed with – be it health, family, career – anything and build it up day by day. Just by being able to open our eyes when we wake up is a blessing so start with that.

Each morning when I wake up and before I set my feet on the floor, I give thanks for the new day. I also proclaim that the new day will be a great one. Little by little, I have reprogrammed my brain to think positive thoughts. I don’t allow negative energy to disturb my inner peace.


You’re probably saying it’s much easier said than done or that I probably never had a bad experience. Well, you’re wrong. I am a grieving mother. My son passed away at the age of 20 so I have had tragedy struck my life. After the initial shock, many crying bouts and intensive grief therapy, I decided to choose which path to take. I could walk down the path of depression or I could do for my son what he could not. I chose the latter.

If I was able to reach the place of peace I am in now, I believe anyone can because l don’t think there is any pain worse than that of losing a son/daughter. It doesn’t take away from the fact that I still miss him every day, but I realized I won’t bring him back. Therefore, I live for him and cherish the memories I have. And I find that I am much happier. So go ahead and give it a try. It costs nothing but you can gain a lot from it.

Old Relic In Dad's Back Yard

During our last visit to Puerto Rico, we spent some time with my dad and his wife. While we were at their home, I came across a stationary bike in their backyard terrace. It’s green, old, rusty and ugly. I had never seen one like it before and am not sure if it was painted or if that green is its original color.


Gabriel & Co. fine jewelry

My daughter tried the bike and it works just fine, though my dad and his wife don’t use it. They don’t recall how old it is and don’t want to get rid of it either. I doubt it is worth anything. It’s sitting out in the rain and sun all day and all night. But I have to say, that it is in good condition being where it’s at with no cover or care.

Old relic still alive

I just found it fascinating to see such an old relic still alive. I wish I knew what brand and year it was. Old folks have so much history in their homes. It’s interesting to see what we will see at our folks’ homes. Can you share any old relics with me?


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I Won the Lottery!

“The smarter you play, the luckier you’ll be.” ~ Mark Pilarski

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

I Won the Lottery! I was stunned, surprised and in shock. I never thought, in a million years, that I’d be so fortunate. It happened when I least expected it. I wasn’t anticipating any winnings, so it caught me by surprise.

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

I looked at the two tickets on top of my dresser. My husband had bought them for me. They had been there for a while now. Today, I finally decided to check them. I grabbed the two tickets, a coin, and made my way to the dining room. I sat in one of the breakfast nook chairs with my tickets and coin. With lots of patience, I began to scratch.

I didn’t even look at the numbers that were uncovered. I just scratched away. I cleared the entire ticket leaving no spot without scratching. I then made my way to grab a paper towel and clean the mess I made with the scratch-offs. After I cleared the mess, I picked up the scratch-off and began looking at the numbers one-by-one. I saw the combination of winning numbers but did not immediately notice it. As I repeated the numbers in my head, I suddenly realized what had happened. I WON THE LOTTERY!


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What joy, what happiness I felt. I was ecstatic and felt an adrenaline rush. Oh boy was I happy! I needed to calm down, collect my thoughts and tell my family. I managed to contain my emotions and think of my next steps. When I finally got it all under control, I knew what my next move should be. Feeling more relaxed and breathing normally now, I just need to figure out where I will cash my $1 dollar winning.

Hahaha, got you there, didn’t I?

The Effects of Practicing Yoga and Meditation in Your Back Yard

I love being outdoors with nature – listening to the birds sing, the sweet aroma of grass and flowers, the sight of beautiful flowers blooming and luscious landscape. My yard is no exception. Plus add to the above the flowing waters of my outdoor fountain and the soft melody of my windchimes. It’s the perfect setting for meditation.

My Sanctuary

Meditation outdoors is not new to me. Every now and then I sit outside for as much as an hour of meditation. But I’ve never practiced yoga outside. The Florida weather doesn’t entice me to.

I have read that practicing yoga outdoors is more beneficial than in a studio. Practicing yoga outside can boost your energy, heightened your awareness, build confidence and boost meditation benefits. [See Yoga Journal]

My Sanctuary

As I stepped outside early this evening, I found it to be the perfect setting for a yoga session. The weather was just great – no clouds, no rain insight, and the sun was setting. So I took advantage of the opportunity Mother Nature had given me.

Photo by Oluremi Adebayo from Pexels
Photo by Min An from Pexels

I brought my yoga mat outside and engaged in a wonderful, soothing, spiritual yoga practice, as well as a little meditation. The soft light of the sun setting, the trickling water of the fountain and cool breeze made it all the more relaxing. I felt refreshed, calm and peaceful.

Yes, I love nature and little by little I’m building my own little sanctuary where I can sit to meditate and practice yoga to my heart’s content. I’m very grateful for these beautiful moments. Thank you, Lord.


Sadness Creeps In For No Reason At All

“Some days are just bad days, that’s all. You have to experience sadness to know happiness, and I remind myself that not every day is going to be a good day. That’s jus the way it is.” ~ Sad Quotes

Every day, I wake up giving thanks for another day of life, a restful night, my loving family, and all that I have. I follow up by posting a daily affirmation on Facebook. I could mean something to someone when they log on. But today, I felt sad. I’ve had this sad feeling all day long. Why? I don’t know. Thankfully, there’s nothing specific that could have caused this sadness I feel. It’s just there.

It’s happened before. Especially when it’s a special occasion or a holiday. The feeling of not having my son causes these emotions. But there’s nothing going on that would merit an emotion of sadness and I don’t know how to shake it off.

I went about my day at work and even took some time to get my hair nicely done and spend some time with my friend. But the sadness is still there. I received some good news from my son, but the sadness is still there. I’ve thought about all the great moments in my life, but the sadness is still there. I sat outside and meditated, as well as, prayed to the Lord; but the sadness still prevailed. I began to think about my upcoming vacation and how amazing it’ll be, but the sadness still invades my every thought. I smudged my home with Tibetan sage, which smells amazing, but the sadness is still lingering.

So, what do I do next? How do I let go of sadness that I don’t even know why it’s there? Should I cry it out? But why? I don’t even know why I’m sad. I guess, like many other things, this too shall pass. Hopefully, it’ll happen soon.

Have you ever experienced a sadness you were not able to shake off easily? If so, what did you do?

Falling In the Trap of Deceit

Time will inevitably uncover dishonesty and lies, history has no place for them.” ~ Norodom Sihanouk

The new trend being used to write reviews for certain products is deceiving. I rely on reviews a lot to make my purchases. But after my latest experience, I don’t know who and what to trust anymore.

In May 2019, I noticed that my hair was thinning and falling out more than usual. I opted to purchase a shampoo and conditioner to prevent hair thinning. It had great reviews – over 200 of them so I decided to go with it. It’s a little pricey at $24.99 a bottle each, but I purchased it anyway.

When I received the product, it had a sticker on it with instructions on how to get it for free! Woohoo, who doesn’t like free stuff right? So, I jumped at the opportunity to get a free bottle of shampoo and hair conditioner. The instructions were simple, go to the website on the sticker, enter your name, address, email and order number from Amazon; write a positive review, take a snapshot of your review and submit it to the company. So, I fell for it and followed their instructions after about a week of using the product.

Don’t get me wrong, the product smells amazing. I love the aroma of lavender. During the first week, I didn’t see much of a difference other than it left my hair stringy – not soft like other shampoos. Also, the conditioner seems more like a hand cream than a conditioner. But I thought I’d give it a chance. After all, it was only a week. Maybe I should give it more time.

A month went by and I saw no progress. On the contrary, after I washed my hair and began untangling it, I saw more hair on the bathroom counter than before. I thought, “maybe my thyroid is out of wack and acting up. So, I went to the doctor which sent me to get lab work done. The results came back normal so it’s not my thyroid. I felt perfectly fine and I’ve been eating very healthy lately, so what could it be? The only different thing I’ve been doing is using the new shampoo and hair conditioner. So, I took a break from it.

I still had some hair loss, but it wasn’t as severe as when I was using the special shampoo for hair thinning. But I still have the shampoo and conditioner that I bought and it was pricey, plus the free ones for writing a positive review, so I gave it another try. I don’t feel it is preventing my hair from falling out. So now I’m in search of something that will really help.

My point is, I relied on those reviews. I’m sure, just as I fell for it, many may have as well. But it won’t happen again. I’ve seen the same offer on other products I’ve bought. Now, I hold on to the special offer sticker and if the product is worthy of a good review, then I’ll go for it. If I didn’t like the product or didn’t feel it worked, I have forgone the offer. And if the “limited time” to submit the review passed, oh well. I apologize to all for writing a positive review of a product that doesn’t deserve it because many of us rely on these reviews to make our purchases. It’s unfortunate that we opt to deceive others just to receive a free product. Shame on me and others!

For the record: My announcement above on the SholdIt is genuine. I love, love, love that scarf!

The Feelings Behind Twelve Years of Grief

2004 vacation – Puerto Rico

Will It Ever Go Away?

This month brings me a lot of emotions. On Tuesday, July 9, is the angelversary of my son’s death. It’ll be 12 years now. It hurts the same as the day of. I can think about all the joyous times we spent together. My mind is well-aware of what happened and accepts it. My heart does not understand. How can I repair this broken heart from the loss of my son? I don’t believe there is any way to repair it. I’m at a good place with my grief now. But, every birthday, holiday and this month, in particular, will always trigger these feelings. I don’t have to think about it. It’s only natural. It’s called love.

Can’t Help the Feeling

A person who grieves the loss of a loved one does not plan on riding the rollercoaster of emotions. It just happens. The feeling isn’t welcomed. It just shows up. We do not entertain them either, they just linger there. We don’t relive the tragedy. It just seems like the events of that day/night will haunt us forever. This feeling just grabs ahold of a person like it or not. No two griefs are the same and none compares to the loss of a son/daughter – the worst grief you can experience.

Even after 12 years, I keep the feelings between my husband and myself. I know he understands, he goes through it too. I asked my daughter how it affects her. She responded that she tries not to think about it and keep herself busy. I too, keep myself busy. That’s why I write. It makes me feel better to jot it down. It helps me release the tightness in my chest and lifts up the tension on my shoulders.

It’ll Be a Good Day

Yes, July 9 will be a difficult day for me. I am doing my part to make it a good day. Will I go to work that day? Maybe. I’ll keep a positive attitude and hope for a good day. And, as I’ve done these past 12 years, I will continue to do for him what he could not.

My advice to the rest of the world is to hold your loved ones tight and let them know how much you love them. Let go of the petty things and embrace each other. Life is short and not worth clinging on to the resentment. Don’t waste precious time in meaningless things. Blessings to all.


A Tribute to My Son

Words in poem below

The Great Eternal Silence

By Aquinas T. Duffy

Missing in the darkness, vanished without a trace.
With only the memories and photographs to fill an empty place.

Frequent prayers and fervent cries. Is there anyone there?
But the only sound was the silent, eternal fanfare.

For a long time, it’s a deafening sound,
subdued by a path through lost and found.

Laughter and sorrow, anguish and grief;
all the moments of life but with no relief.

Everything and nothing, one within between all;
gentle, loving, penetrating the eternal silence falls…


Why Is It So Hard to Call Your Parents?

Is the expression, “the phone works both ways,” valid when it comes to our elderly parents? Is it justified to not call the person who raised you and cared for you because they don’t call you? Or is it just ignorance from some?

I recently attended a party and the conversation came up by one of the attendees (John) about his father. John was talking about his elderly father. His father recently called and during their conversation mentioned that John never calls him. He told his father that the phone worked both ways.

I’ve known John for many years now. I am aware that his father does not live locally and is in his late 70’s. I also know that John was raised by his mother and father. I never heard of any negligence or bad childhood experiences. John’s father worked two jobs all his life to sustain his family. So I believe he must have been a good provider. Therefore, I was shocked to hear those words from John.

I immediately reminded John that his dad was close to his 80’s. I told him to understand that all his dad wants is to hear from his son. John was adamant that his dad should initiate the call. And, not expect John to call first. I told John to think of it in a different way. “Put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel if your kids didn’t call or visit you.” His response was, “I don’t have kids.”

It made me sad. Not that John didn’t have kids, but his reaction to his father’s phone call. There are so many children that don’t have a father figure in their lives. So many children are longing for that fatherly figure to talk to, interact with and follow their steps. It made me sad to know that there are parents that gave their all to support their family and are forgotten as soon as the children become adults. It is very sad.

Photo by Emma Bauso

My dad is almost 80 and lives over 1000 miles away. I do not see him often. In fact, last time I saw my dad was about 3 years ago. But I speak with my dad on the phone at least once a month if not more. I do not mind calling him. I enjoy hearing his stories. I get many gardening tips from him. We talk for almost an hour on average and I make sure to let him know that I love him.

So tell me, am I being too sensitive, ridiculous or old-fashioned? Or am I right to feel that our elderly parents deserve to hear and have frequent visits from us? I understand that not everyone had a good experience with their parents. But, regarding those that did, what’s your take on this subject?


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. My intention in writing this book is to help other grieving parents reach the place of peace that I have. If I can help at least one parent, then I am happy.

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.

Not Just An Ordinary Day

La Pieta by Michelangelo

This image is the sculpture of La Pieta in the Vatican sculpted by Michelangelo. It shows the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Christ after his crucifixion, death, and removal from the cross, but before he was placed in the tomb. It is behind a plexiglass to avoid damage to the sculpture, hence the glass union line from top to bottom. I chose this image because I can relate to the pain Mary felt with the death of her son.


July 9 is just another day, not a holiday nor a recognized day of some kind, but just another ordinary day. That is for others but not for me. July 9 marks the “angelversary” of my son’s death, it’ll be 12 years. Time sure does go by fast. But, unlike the saying, “Time heals everything,” guess what? It doesn’t. There are things that cannot heal, and the loss of a son/daughter is one of them. At least for me. I just learned to live with it.

It is not that I dwell day and night on the fact that my son died. Nor do I live anticipating for this day to come, or his birthday. It’s something more and it’s uncontrollable. It’s the love we, as Moms, so strongly feel towards our children. Simple things can trigger the emotional rollercoaster, some so simple as looking at a calendar.

One day I was updating my calendar with future tasks reminders when it struck me. Right there in front of me was “July 9,” which caught me by surprise. It was there, glaring at me, tearing me apart. It felt like a dagger straight between my ribs and into my heart. All the memories of that night flashed through my mind and the tears started to build. What were just mere seconds of staring at the date on the calendar felt like hours. Our last conversation, our last hug, and the last “I love you” swept through my mind.

The smile that I had before seeing the date just melted away. I felt the sadness building up. But I didn’t speak to anyone about it – not even my husband as I usually do when I feel the sadness creeping over me. I just turned towards my son’s photo and whispered “I love and miss you” and continued to work. The more I tried to concentrate on my work, the more the thought of my son crept into my mind. I could see his beautiful face just smiling at me. It was as if he were telling me, “Mom, it’s okay. I’m fine.” And I know he is okay but, try to explain it to my heart which doesn’t understand it. My heart only knows that there’s a permanent hole which cannot be healed.

Grieving Mother Free Loving Memory Cards to Share

I don’t think there is a grieving mom who can say that she has healed after the loss of her child. Oh, I’ve had a person tell me that I will heal because based on her experience, after losing the love of her life through a divorce, she has fully recovered. Yes, she compared her divorce to the loss of my child. I wish it were that easy, but it’s not. She was able to rebuild her life with a new husband, but grieving parents cannot replace a son/daughter and that love does not subside. It’s impossible for it to disappear because each child is loved unconditionally. Grieving parents may or can have other children, but each child is their own person. Therefore, no one child can replace another. There’s nothing – absolutely nothing – in this world that can replace the loss of a child.

I know I will continue to grieve for the rest of my life and it’s because of the immense love I feel for my son. That’s okay to feel the way I do. I feel that my grief makes me work through the everyday battles we come across. It makes me stronger because, my thought is, if I am going through life without my son, I can get through anything. For me, there has been no worst pain. And I know that every time I feel that grief, it is a sign of what a loving mother I was to my child and still am to my other two children. This strength I owe to the Lord and am grateful to Him every day.


So, will I work on July 9? I don’t know. It all depends on what my heart is feeling that day. I will prepare to stay home and celebrate his life with my family – maybe cook his favorite meal and remember all the great times we had together. Yes, July 9 is an ordinary day for everyone else but not for me. It is a commemorative day which will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I thank the Lord for not abandoning me in these moments.

To my son in heaven, “I will never stop loving you or forget you. May you rest in peace.” ~ Love Mom


Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart 
by Debbie Centeno

Throughout these past years, I wrote about my journey through grief. My ups and downs, rants, joys, struggles and what I did to reach the peace I now feel. Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart can be found on Amazon in both, paperback and Kindle version.

A Mother’s Day Reflection

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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

Is It Human Nature To Judge?

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

We Judge Without Knowing

We have a tendency to judge sometimes without even noticing it. I say “we” because I have done it too. I dislike judging people and never do it intentionally. Here’s what I recently learned.

Birthday Party Celebration

I had an invitation to Ann’s birthday party. Among the visitors was Ann’s 6-year-old cousin, Becky. Becky is autistic. I don’t know what type of Autism she has. She speaks and is quite hyper. Her mom, Catherine, monitored her daughter at all times. Believe me, she did not sit down to chit-chat with anyone.

people walking on hanging bridge during daytime

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Party Gone Wrong

Catherine was ready to leave, so she gathered Becky’s belongings and said her goodbyes, and so did Becky. Within seconds, someone opened the door and Becky sprung out. Catherine was right behind her. But, as Catherine approached her vehicle, which she had opened remotely, she did not see Becky.

The Search Begins

Catherine began calling Becky in and around her vehicle. But there was no sign of her. She shouted Becky’s name to no avail. Catherine returned to the house and asked if, by any chance, Becky had come back. No one saw her come back inside, but we searched the house, anyway. We couldn’t waste time, so we placed a call to the police. Meanwhile, all the party-goers sprung into action, searching for Becky. Most walked, a few others gathered their vehicles and circled the neighborhood. Even the neighbors joined in on the search once they realized that a 6-year-old autistic child was missing.

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She Outran Everyone

Some people spotted her, but Becky outran anybody that tried to catch her or call her name. She would not stop. A woman told us that at one point she blocked Becky’s path with her car. The woman placed her car in park and got out to get to Becky. But Becky ran between two houses and evaded the woman. She could see Becky eyeing alternative routes. The police were on their way and once they arrived, they immediately released their K-9 to track Becky down. There were calls from witnesses eyeing a little girl with Becky’s description running past the strip mall on the primary avenue. Becky ran out of the subdivision, crossing two main roads, passing restaurants and stores on the strip mall. She was quick to evade all those searching for her. The police released a drone to help with the search.

The Search Is Over

Meanwhile at the house was Catherine. Even though desperate and worried about her daughter, she calmly answered the deputy’s questions. A few minutes into the interrogation, the deputy received a call. They had located Becky, but they needed Catherine’s help. Becky was 2.3 miles away from the house at a vacant lot where a new subdivision was being built. According to the deputy’s account, there were eight of them surrounding Becky trying to coerce her to come to them with her favorite toy. She paced from side to side as if searching for a large enough space between the deputies to run through. Becky kept them on edge while they desperately tried to close in on her. The deputies knew Becky would not allow them to get any closer.

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The Mother-Daughter Reunion

Catherine rode in a patrol car. For Catherine, they could not get there fast enough. They sped through red lights and intersections hoping to make it before Becky found a loophole to escape. Catherine was in shock and doubted that the child was her Becky. She thought, “Becky could not possibly have run this far,” but still had a glimmer of hope. Once they arrived, Catherine cried with joy when she saw her beautiful child. The deputy opened the patrol car’s door and Cathering ran out before collapsing on her knees.

She called out to her daughter, “BECKY, COME HERE TO MAMA!”

Becky ran to her Catherine, and they embraced in the most beautiful and loving mother-daughter hug.

photography of woman carrying baby near street during daytime

Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

How Did Becky Do It?

It was such a relief to see Catherine walk in with Becky. Other than a few scrapes, she was fine. But, we still ask ourselves, how did this little girl appear 2.3 miles away from the house? We don’t know. Thankfully she was safe. Yes, Becky is an autistic child and a very smart one too. The way she outran the woman who blocked her path and rerouted her way through. The way she crosses two busy streets and ends up at a vacant lot where there was a new subdivision going up. And, to keep eight 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?

I’ve read about similar cases and the first words out of our mouths are, “Where were the parents?”

That’s the problem! We immediately judge the parents without knowing. In Becky’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, Becky had dashed away from her mother’s sight and disappeared.

Moral of the story

Let’s agree not to judge others. 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

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.

 

A Grieving Mother Receives Comfort from Her Child through a Perfect Stranger’s Song

“There is no death. Only a change of worlds.” ~ Chief Seattle

Photo by Jarl Schmidt on Unsplash

A Heart Warming Story

Today I read the most heart-warming story ever. It teared me up. I use the Nextdoor app within my neighborhood. A woman, which I’ll call Ann, who lives in a surrounding neighborhood, was writing to express her thanks to a stranger. She did not know him, but his interaction with her caused a great impact. 

A Mother’s Nightmare

This month Ann experienced the worst nightmare a mother can go through. Her 19-year-old son died on February 3, 2021. I don’t know the details of his death, but it is not relevant in this story. Ann was driving back from picking up her son’s urn and ashes and stopped at the neighborhood supermarket for some groceries.

An Angel Among the Strangers

As she waited her turn at the deli counter, a kind gentleman who I’ll call Elvis and was also waiting his turn complimented her tattoo. He had a tattoo as well—an Elvis tattoo. They began to chit-chat while waiting, even though her mind was elsewhere. She could not fully describe him because of his mask. From what they spoke, she thought he might have been an Elvis impersonator when he was younger. 

“When I had hair,” she recalls him saying. Then he sang a part of the Elvis song “Love Me Tender” to her. 

Love me tender, love me sweet.
Never let me go.
You have made my life complete
and I love you so.

A Message from Heaven

The lyrics Elvis sang tucked at her heart and emotions. She felt as if her son was singing the song to her. As if he was telling his mom to always hold him close. Even though it made Ann emotional, it gave her a sense of peace and joy on that day and for the days to follow. Little does the stranger, Elvis, know what he did for Ann. He did not know how she was feeling, or that she was grieving the loss of her son, and how much comfort he brought to her. Therefore, Ann took her story to Nextdoor to thank him.

I Can Relate

I don’t know Ann or Elvis, but this story touched me because, I too, am a grieving mother. My son was 20 years old when he died. I know the feeling of receiving a message from a stranger or someone known to me and sensing it came from my son. For me it is a sign that Infinite Spirit (God) is always there for us and will always provide us comfort because the spirit never dies. Infinite Spirit sends his angels to comfort us either through someone we know, a sign, song, or a stranger. 

To the Stranger

I pray for God’s blessing for this stranger so he can continue to spread his love and healing through his music. Sending healing love and light to Ann and Elvis.

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

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