And, She Was Set Free

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       It is safe to say that I had a tumultuous past year and what not. It has caused me to wall myself up, become a little more recluse, and definitely more outspoken. Those all sound like bad things, but I do not necessarily think so. It has made me learn to depend on myself a lot more and to be a stronger person. Maybe some think I have pushed away but I just want to be independent. It has also taught me the value of my relationships with my friends and family. Needless to say, this past year has been an eye opener.

I have found that I need to be happy. No more putting everyone else in front of me. I have to take care of me before I can take care of anyone else. –But none of that will happen unless I speak up…some times YELL to be heard! After all, the way we treat ourselves bounces off of those around us and I do not want my loved ones to feel the way that I some times feel. Nor do I want them to bare the brunt of my negative behavior. This was an a-ha moment, but a constant challenge that I am learning to practice daily.

I have learned how to love differently and that the extent of my love is unreal. I have gained a new perspective for love and in being able to love. It has taken my whole appreciation to a new level and has heightened it. Love absolutely feels more amazing now when I connect with my relationships. I cannot help but to look at my loved ones faces and think, “damn, I just love ’em!” –and truly feel every word.

One of the best things I gained is the value of life. We live it, but most of us do not really LIVE it. We do what needs to be done, but do we bother to understand that we cannot get back that moment our child asked us to read them a story while we were cleaning up? Some things can wait. Life passes by too quickly. I want to savor all that I can and try to remember all of the little things. All too soon my little ones will be grown men and I do not want to look back and feel I could have done more. I want to know I did all that I could do and beyond. No regrets.

In a sense I found qualities in myself I would have never thought that I possessed. I found that I need to strengthen areas, destroy other ways, and evolve. No matter my faults and insecurities, I am worth it all. I will be damned to settle for less.

I have seen the lowest of lows in myself and suffered tremendous heartache. A heartache I wish on no one and one that will never be mended. A permanent hole. Yes, those do exist. Time does not do any thing. At least at this point, it has not for me. To me, it feels like time is taunting me. i hope people are right and that with time it eventually gets easier.  All I know is that I discovered my strength even when I thought I had none because of this tragedy. I seen for myself that I am tougher, more resilient, and one hell of a woman.

I have dived head first into a fire and burned for it, but it was in that fire I was forged, and out of that fire a phoenix was born…I found me.

The Family Bond that Feeds

While growing up, my mom taught us kids many things. Her motto was “never depend on any one for any thing.” Basically, do it yourself. If you do not know how, learn how. She taught me to sew, to quilt, do my own laundry, iron, clean, and on occasion I would learn to do some handy man work. I was surprised at the many people I have come across that never learned to iron, or to even cook basic things. To be honest, I hated when she made me cook. I could not stand the sight of raw meat. I mean come on! Hamburger meat looks like a bunch of maggots mushed together. The smell of the flesh, just yuck! Do not get me started on the slimy feel of it all. –But I did it any ways.

For the longest time I did not eat meat or poultry. It really turned my stomach at the thought of it. Eventually, I met my husband at the ripe young age of sixteen. He is Hispanic just as I am–partly. They loved meat. If you do not eat at a Hispanic event it is like a major sin. Needless to say, I ended up eating meat again. I believe what changed my perspective on cooking in general was watching his mother cook. I saw that the family gathered around her food. I saw the love it brought to the house. I saw the importance of her role as the provider of such wonderful meals. I wanted to have that for my family one day. Not that my mother did not cook, she did. It just took me watching an outsider to teach me this different aspect on cooking.

Now, I cook a lot and I love it! I absolutely adore making food especially from as close to scratch as possible. I get major joy from hearing it was delicious and an even greater pleasure when my picky little eaters love it, too. Whomever said, “the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach” was not lying. I see the way it helps keep my family together around the table. Even some of my fondest memories from growing up are of my family eating together. It makes perfect sense.

I cannot wait until my three boys are old enough and not so picky to enjoy most of my food creations. I am sure they will eat me out of a house and a home, but I hope they understand I do the things I do as a mom, as a wife, with love and intentions to keep our family bond closely knit. After all, as I have said I learned meals do feed the heart and soul of a family.

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