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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Mother’s Day to all!


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

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

Available on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.

Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

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He Taught Me to Live

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We love you Richie and will never forget you. 💙

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

Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

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

No One Grieves the Same, Nor Better or Worse

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

Grief Is Always Different for Every One

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

Different Types of Grief

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

Don’t Compare Our Grief

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


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

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

Available on Amazon

Is It Human Nature To Judge?

Photo by Jonas Mohamadi from Pexels

We Judge Without Knowing

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

Birthday Party Celebration

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

Party Gone Wrong

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

The Search Begins

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

She Outran Everyone

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

The Search Is Over

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

The Mother-Daughter Reunion

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

How Did Ann Do It?

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


What Does This Story Have to do With Judging?

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

Moral of the story

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


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

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

Available on Amazon

Life After the Loss of Our Child

I Need A Magic Wand

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

The Pain is Unbearable

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

There Truly Are No Words

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

What Were Their Dreams?

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

Keeping Their Memory Alive

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

We Shall Live

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

My heartfelt blessings to all. {{Hug}}


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

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


The Greatest Gift is Life – Learn to Live It

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

Anger Is Everywhere

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

Hostile Commuters

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

No Good News

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

Following Social Media

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

Life Is Short

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

Facebook Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listening to the Sounds of Wind Chimes

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

One of my many wind chimes

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

My favorite wind chime’s melodic sound

Does a Mother Ever Stop Worrying About Her Children?

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

Worrying Senseless

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

Are All Moms Overprotective?

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

A Wise Woman Once Told Me…

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

What Kind of Mother Am I?

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

What kind of mother are you?


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

Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

Being Grateful For Life Today to Celebrate a Birthday Tomorrow

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

Photography courtesy of Juan Pablo Arenas

Our Expectations

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

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

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

See the Irony?

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

Personalized Crystal Gifts

Never Take Life for Granted

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

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

 

My Point Is

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

Happiness Begins Within Ourselves

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

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


Diary of A Grieving Mother’s Heart

by Debbie Centeno

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

Dreams That Comfort and Are Full of Sorrow

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

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

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

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

Rest in peace my son. Mom loves you.


Diary of A Grieving Mother’s Heart

by Debbie Centeno

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

 

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

Photo by Pixabay

My Weekly Commute

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

Things Don’t Always Go My Way

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

No Relief In Sight

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

There’s Traffic Everywhere!

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

On International Drive

A Lesson Learned

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

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

Safe driving everyone!


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

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