Tag Archives: child

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.

The Spunky 5-Year-Old’s Gift

I Met A Little Boy

Every time I switch out purses, I come across my dingy old crucifix.  It’s a silver and gold colored crucifix with green gemstones, and it’s made of some sort of plastic material.  It is missing one of the gemstones.  This crucifix was given to me by a spunky 5-year-old Caucasian little boy with beautiful green eyes.  His name was Timothy.

It was the year 1981, I worked as a cake decorator in Baskin-Robins.  Timothy came in with his Mom every day and ate a French vanilla ice cream cone.  Neither Timothy nor his Mom spoke Spanish, so I would tend to them since I was fluent in English.  Timothy was not shy at all and asked all sorts of questions about ice cream.

Timothy loved the cake decorations and complimented my cake decorating skills.  He especially enjoyed the ice cream clown cones, which were nothing other than a vanilla or chocolate upside down ice cream cone with a cherry as its nose, icing as its eyes, mouth, and decoration.  His Mom didn’t buy those since Timothy liked French vanilla and I never made French vanilla ice cream cones.

One time on their usual visit, I said to him, “Wow Timothy, you are so lucky to have a Mom who brings you to get ice cream every day!”  Timothy replied, “I sure am,” while licking away on his ice cream cone and chatting as he usually did.  There was something about that little boy that made me stop what I was doing just to listen to him talk.  Whenever I was swamped, his Mom would prop him on the counter closest to my decorating area, and he’d continue to talk to me while I worked.  He always made me laugh and smile.  Timothy made me happy.

Unexpected News

I had not seen Timothy in about a week. One day, Timothy’s Mom dropped in by herself and purchased a pint of French Vanilla ice cream.  I asked her about Timothy, she responded that he was ill.  I thought maybe he had a cold or something like that and asked.  Her response left me in shock.  She said, “Timothy has cancer and doesn’t have much time to live.”  She told me that he knew but didn’t understand it too well.

She told him that he could have whatever he wanted in the world and all Timothy requested was a French vanilla ice cream cone every day until the day he went back home to God.  I was speechless and other than “I’m sorry” I didn’t know what else to say.  She smiled, thanked me and told me that most likely she would be able to bring him on Friday or Saturday if he was feeling better.

Anticipating to see him that weekend, I made a single French vanilla clown cone for Timothy and wrote his name on the clown’s hat.  It would be my little gift to him.

Friday came along and in ran Timothy with a massive smile on his face.  I could hear him yell “Hi Miss Debbie” in his sweet child voice.  I turned around from my decorating area and went to greet him.  He asked for his usual French Vanilla cone, and while he ran to the fridge where the cakes and clown cones were, I told his Mom about the clown ice cream cone I had made especially for him and asked if it were okay.

When she gave me the authorization to give it to him, I walked over to where Timothy stood and asked him if he knew how to read his name.  He responded that he did, so I motioned for him to look towards the clown cones.  When he saw his name, he got very excited and asked if it were for him.  I responded that it was and gave it to him.  I will never forget that look of happiness on his face over an ice cream clown.

The Old Dingy Crucifix

The next day, Timothy and his Mom returned.  Timothy had a gift for me.  He brought in an old worn-out, thin cake decorating ideas book and a small gift wrapped by him.  He handed me the book and gift, and I proceeded to unwrap it.  It was the crucifix.  He told me that he wanted me to have it so I would never forget him.  For the first time since I knew Timothy, tears rolled down my cheeks.  He was the sweetest little boy I had known.  I thanked him, he ate his usual French vanilla cone, and they were on their way.  That was the last time I saw Timothy.

A few months went by when his Mom dropped in by herself.  I didn’t need to ask.  I already knew that she wasn’t there to buy ice cream.  She was very sad.  She looked at me and said, “I just want to thank you for your kindness towards my son.  Timothy passed away a month ago.”

The rest of my day was a sad one.  I didn’t know Timothy that well, but he was such a delight that it was easy for anyone to feel love for him.  Remembering that the crucifix was on top of the counter where I decorated cakes along with the cake decorating booklet, I walked towards it.  I took the crucifix in my hand and vowed that I would never part from it or forget Timothy and I placed it in my purse.

So as of today, every time I switch purses, I make sure to transfer the crucifix into my new bag.  And every time I come across it memories of Timothy flood my mind. With no doubt, I will never forget him. Thank you, Timothy, may you rest in peace.  With Love Miss Debbie