So things are not going the way you plan, right? That’s ok, you know that things happen and you know at times things will not be as you expected. Just one thing fails me. I often think of myself as a good friend, fair, and very empathetic. Ok, so I grew up thinking everyone was like me. I mean really, I wasn’t lucky like everyone is today filled with resources. I mean now you have all these anti groups. A support group for just about anything. If there isn’t one, then we will make one up. I was much of a loner growing up in school I was not social. I was bullied a lot. I barely had friends. One thing I do remember is that I was a ****good friend. I was faithful, considerate I mean if you needed me I was there. So this is growing up right, then high school. Oh boy, that was tough. The friends you thought were your friends in the 8th grade, that you thought you would stay friends to the end, well guess what? They don’t even know you. They see you in high school and they put their noses up in the air with no recognition whatsoever. Who put those thoughts in my mind, that friends would las forever ? What was I thinking? Then the friends you have through high school, they’re only there so that you can be their support system. They can cheat of you, you can help them with their homework and I thought I was being a good friend. Then you find out they are not your true friend when you ask for them to return the favor. Wow! Yup, that was my reaction. Ok, so now I’m not in high school no not even college and you think things will get better. The ones that I considered my true friend are those that stab you in back in the worst possible way. I have learned to hate holidays. I’m not rich, I am borderline among the middle class and poor if there is a borderline. So why in the world am I so gullible to allow people to pick me up during the holidays as their friend then January 1st I don’t exist. How dare you come back into my life during the holidays, and or birthdays! I am a great friend, worth far much better than how you treat me. The worst part is that I feel so ashamed of myself to allow them to walk back into my life and do this to me over and over again. You know, you are far more worth it! I say all this, to tell you to let go of people that bring hurt into your life. It’s time you let go and move on. When you let go of those you hold dear to your heart that they continue to crush it, guess what? You are making room for new ones. Just maybe the next one will treat you how you deserve to be treated. They say even a blind squirrel can find a walnut from time to time, I guess this squirrel was born with delays. Either that or I never found the nut, the nut fell on my head. It’s ok you can laugh. (Smirking) Well, it’s better I say that to myself than have others say it. No, all jokes aside, be strong and take charge of your life. Take ownership of your mistakes and correct them. It’s ok if you failed last year, this year will be different. You still can be a great friend, you can be compassionate, be empathetic and be all those things whom you are inside. Don’t let others dictate to you by their actions that you don’t deserve to be happy. You are a great friend and you are so totally worth it!!
My mother died October 5, 2015. You see people come and go in your life, you friends, family but not your mother. You see them as an everlasting person, you put them on the highest pedestal. Well as least I know that was me. My mother the giant, my hero from everlasting to everlasting. You just know that she is there and deep in your heart she will always be there.
My mother my hero. I will never forget summer of 2014 when I spoke to my sister Carmen and told her that God had impressed me, that mom only had one year of life maybe less. I began to plan my last vacation with my mother and my sister. Maybe some will think that was selfish of me not to include my whole family in this one last family trip with my mom but deep in my heart that is what I felt to do. My mother wanted to see her brother and spend time with him before she died and that’s exactly what I planned to do. I planned our trip to Northeast PA along with my Mother, Sister, my husband and my two sons, Thomas and Roberto (Tommy and Lito).
I rented a vacation home and a minivan so that we can take this long road trip. My mother was clueless to what our plan was. One morning while we were staying at this vacation home my mother was quiet sitting at the dinner table in deep thoughts. I knew deep in my heart, that she knew she didn’t have much to live. I asked mom, “mom do you know where we are?” Of course her response was, “I don’t know”. She shrugged her shoulders like a person that is upset because they knew they were going to die and have no control over it. I then turned around and said, “guess where we are going today?” Again her shoulders responded for her like , “I don’t know and I don’t really care”. I said, “mom we are going to visit your brother Ramon”. She jumped of her chair and said, “for real?” I said, “Yes mom and I hope that he hasn’t moved because we only have one address”. She pulled on her shirt and said, “oh my, I better change then, I don’t want to wear this shirt it’s all dirty”. She went off to get changed. We took her to visit him and spent time with him, then few days later we picked him up and brought him over to the vacation home to have dinner with us.
Since we were near Niagara Falls we took her there. I noticed there she was very weak and out of breath couldn’t walk much so we bought tickets for a tour bus so that she didn’t have to walk much. I just wanted to spend every minute I could with her. With my size of family that was very hard to do. Most of the time I felt my family didn’t want me around my own mother. Till today I don’t understand why but that’s another story for another for another time.
After that trip she kept getting sick back and fourth to the doctors. Then December 2014 my sister Carmen asked me to stay with mom. She was very ill, she showed me her body she was covered in sores like if she was bitten by some insect. She said she had told the doctor and all he said was that it was an allergic reaction to her detergent. She explained of pain in her abdomen. That night all she did was vomit and back and forth to the bathroom. I told her I was going to take her to the hospital. They admitted her to then later find out that she had a tumor in her liver within her byle-ducts. Then 2015 came I tried to spend as much time with her as I could and was aloud. Took her to our favorite spot Longwood Gardens in PA. Laughed, prayed with her, talked about everything and anything we could both remember. In and out of hospitals, then the last and final blow her Oncologist planned her surgery to remove the tumor and with no success they had to close her up and leave her with a drainage tube in her abdomen. The doctors explained that there was no success she had stage four cancer and it had spread already throughout her abdomen and organs. They only gave her maybe one month to live. When Carmen and myself had to tell her that she was going to die, her exact words were, “Well what can I do, I have to stay content”. She began to explain that she already knew because God had spoke to her in a dream that it was time that she came home. She then said looking at me, “but you are not going to leave me alone right?”. I looked at her and said, “no mom, I promise you I will be by your side, I will not leave her alone”. October 5th, that night God claimed my mother. She took her last breath, opened her eyes and died right in front of me. She died with a smile on her face. I can imagine her just so happy to meet her creator.
After she passed, I couldn’t see her pictures or talk about her. All I could do was smell her. I didn’t want to forget her scent. I couldn’t even go to her grave. I just didn’t want to see her as dead or in that form. I wanted every part of her to stay alive within me. Every time I sat next to her, or every time I hugged her it was her scent that I loved the most. Then after packing her things and going through them, her scent just began to just drift away. I used to be able to go through her belongings and I would hold her sweater and just embrace it as if she was in my arms.
Today now January 2019 as I go once again through my mother’s belongings I notice her scent is gone. I was sad as I once again took her sweater out and nothing, pure nothing. All I can smell is my basement. I put her things away and make sure they are safe from water damage. I look at her pictures and still cannot remember her scent. Sighing.
Today Sunday, snow hits our city and our church service was canceled. I wanted to go to the store to buy few things for dinner and start to get ready and took a shower. Funniest thing, when I went to dry myself there was the scent. The scent that I had forgotten. Truly the weirdest thing. I smelled and smelled the towel and I hugged it just as I remembered in times past and all the thoughts came flooding back. The times she held me in her arms and told me she loved me. The times she would whisper in my ear. Sighing. Yes of course I cried, well what else could I do, happy tears of course. Mom I remembered. I still remember your scent and if I forget for a time, I know some how some way God will bring it back to me. Mom, I still remember!
As I mentioned before one of my favorite things to do is photography. I love to escape into the view of behind the lens. My last pictures that I took well it was after I was released from the hospital. A friend of mine brought me flowers and within the bouquet there it was. The perfect rose. I couldn’t wait to get home to get my camera out. Finally after four days in the hospital I was sent home. Why was I in the hospital? Well since you are thinking it, my husband and myself went to of course my favorite beach in Cape May, NJ. I told my husband I wanted to take some photos, long exposure. The day was perfect.
My husband figured he’s taking advantage and do some beach fishing. So we went our separate ways. My husband about four hundred feet away from me and I struggling with my gear just marched in the sinking sand in the opposite direction. Man I thought I would never make it to my favorite spot. Finally I sat on the large rocks to rest. I started to snap some pictures and I didn’t understand why I felt the way I did. I felt weak, no energy whatsoever. I could see my husband, but it felt like he was hundred miles away. I started to go into cramps and I began to think, “not now!” I felt like I needed to use the bathroom Urgently. Here I am with my large camera bag, a folding chair and my tripod. To be honest I felt like a mule carrying everything around. I’m sure you’ve never experienced anything like this. My cramps got worse and definitely had to use the bathroom. So I start my march and the more I walked the more it felt like these bathroom smelly porta-potties were getting further away. I was trying so hard not to fall and just as I thought that, there I went falling forward. My camera bag which weighed a ton on my back and there I went, I fell on my hands and knees. There I was trying to catch my breath and my strength hands down in the sand looking like a turtle. Funny now, but not then. I felt even weaker and couldn’t get up. I really didn’t want to scream for help but didn’t because in all honesty I didn’t want to look like an idiot. My husband nowhere to be seen and I alone away from everyone. I took my folding chair and put it in front of me, opened it and used it as support to pull myself back up. Here I am facing down on the dirt, I looked like a turtle. Covered in sand and I didn’t care what I looked like. Finally I see the bathrooms. After using the bathroom I looked for my husband and see him walking over to the area where I had just come from. Why can’t things be simple? So I started back struggling to where my husband was. No energy sweating up a storm still with my camera gear. I finally made it to where my husband was. I attempted to take some pictures but not at all what I wanted. I didn’t tell my husband how I felt, I thought it was the hot peppers in my 7-Eleven hotdogs that I ate earlier that day for lunch.
Once again the severe cramps and nauseas feeling came back. I told my husband I have to use the bathroom again and at same time told him that I was going to put my camera gear in the van. So here I go again with my camera gear on my back walking back to the bathroom. After walking around 50 feet away, I hear my husband yelling for me. I turned around and I see my husband waving and pointing to the trail exiting the beach to where he was. I really thought he was telling me to move the van and park it by the trail to where he was. Continued weak with my struggled walk. I again finally made it to the parking lot to where the van was and find out the van was not there. Boy was I heated. I again rushed go to the bathrooms. I felt really sick worried thinking what in the world is going on with me? I was much weaker and in severe pain. I didn’t know what was going on. I thought maybe because I have MS, this is a new symptom arising. Once I finished using the bathroom I again began walking those 400 feet back to where my husband was.
I made it three quarters of the way and I texted him begging him to come get me because I was not feeling well. I felt like such a burden to him. I didn’t want to bother him. I really was trying so hard. All I could feel was weakness, nauseas and lots of pain. My husband asks me what’s wrong but I couldn’t not even explain. All I told him was please lets go I’m not feeling well. He looked so disappointed. I thought “Never interrupt a man and his fishing.” We packed up and left and on the way home, it truthfully felt like labor pains. I thought it was my appendix. I begged my husband to find a bathroom and we pulled into a gas station to use the bathroom.
Once done, I told my husband to help me to the car. I have to say that was the worst drive of my life. Soon as I made it home, I ran to the bathroom screaming in pain. What I thought was diarrhea, was blood. Yes blood. I told my husband and he advised me to keep an eye on it and if it continues to schedule a doctors appointment. Every time I went to the bathroom there came out more blood and I got weaker. I called my son since he was hospitalized before with stomach issues I just wanted to ask him about his experience. Since I couldn’t get ahold of him I called my daughter in law just to see if she remembered my sons past experience and what they did. I explained to her what I’ was going through and she encouraged me, well she scolded me and told me to go to the hospital. To make this long story short, I went to the hospital and they told me that I had a bacteria infection in my intestines and they admitted me. After pumping me with antibiotics for 4 days I was able to go home.
Back to the picture of the rose. So I took my last photo of my rose (below) and I put my camera away. I was so sick that it took a month to get myself well and back to normal. I haven’t done much photography and right now It’s winter and freezing outside. Soon it will be spring and just can’t wait to work on my photography goals. So I’ll spend my winter months reading, writing and working on my art skills. So photography and camera I’ll most certainly catch up with you later.