Cb. ??? – Breakfast with Mom (Completed)

Towards the end of my mothers life I would take her to her doctors appointment. I think of all my siblings she trust me the most to talk to her doctors. It was never a problem for to make time for my mother. It actually gave me a good feeling that she trusted me me enough to depend on me in this way. After her doctors appointments we’d usually go to breakfast. Of all the things I miss this the most. We never had any profound conversations during this time, but still looking back I made a special conscious effort to value this time. I never in my mind thought she would dead in a few years, but I knew I would not have her forever so I thought I would make the most of the time we had together. Usually we would end up at a local Denny’s where she would order off the seniors menu. She’d take great pride in collecting her senior discount. No matter who you are your parents affect your life and the person you are, whether in a positive way or negative way they have an affect. I loved my parents and I sometimes wonder now that they are gone does this influence diminish. I still hear them inside my head, but I does wonder this influence or affect diminish over time? Would I make different choice now that they no longer have a physical presence in my life. Of course certain aspects of my internal dialogue have been shaped by their guidance. We learn certain things from our parents. Whether by example or through their advice, whether by their presence or even absence in some cases, we learn from them. My father died when I was 21. My mother died when I was in my mid-thirties. So I wonder sometimes where would I be, who would I be if my parents were still alive? Part of me thinks besides a few superficial things I would still be the same person at my core. We are who we are and that doesn’t really change. After my mother died I had a few rough years. I did not realize but I stopped caring about the direction of my life. I was just existing and not thinking about the future or the past. This might actually sound like perfect way to live, an almost zen attitude but there was nothing zen about my life during these days. I was angry, selfish, and lost. In the moment I didn’t see anything wrong with the way I was living, but I lacked purpose and drive. Coming out of this hole I realized something. We definitely can not just live for ourselves. We live for each. Our family, our friends, even the strangers we have not crossed paths with yet, we live for them all. In those days I felt I had lost so much and something broke inside. The part of me that cared for those around me faded into nothing. This is why I reminded of the time taking my mother to her doctor’s appointment. Sometimes it was hard to get the time off from work. Sometimes the selfish part of me would think why doesn’t one of my siblings take her since they live much closer than I did at the time, but in the end I always made the time for what ever my mother needed. She had shown me through countless examples over my entire life that you live for each. In fact both my parents sacrificed much of themselves and their own lives for their family and friends. I realize now that in serving others we find something we could never find by ourselves. We find a sense of comfort, a sense of purpose or direction, and a most importantly we find that we are not alone. Ultimately that is what allowed me to pull myself out of that self destructive hole I was in. I learned I was not alone. I was extremely lucky that the world brought someone into my life that proved to me that I was not alone. Just knowing this person exists gives me the strength and hope to over come any obstacle. Maybe one day I will be able to adequately explain why she gives so much peace to my world, but today all I can say is that she is my north star that helped me find home. My parents taught me well during their lives, but occasionally we all get lost and need to be reminded. Life is full of distractions that make it easy to stray from your true direction, and it is so easy to follow your weaknesses. I think or should say hope that we all have that special person in our lives to help us find our “north” when we need it. I pray one day I am lucky enough to return to the word all the inspiration, hope and love she gave me. If I am not I will die trying.

Chapter ??? – A New Beginning

Finding your center in troubled times is always hard. The last few years have been especially dark lonely for me. My mother losing her battle to cancer, and the financial disaster of her dying with no medical insurance. Then there was my relationship with Maria falling apart. On top of everything else there was me losing my home, and my dog dying. I admit I was lost for moment there. Lost in my vices. As someone close to me would eventually confess I was a “hot mess.” I wouldn’t say I had given up, but I was getting comfortable for a long drawn out downward spiral of self destruction. Once in a while, however, when you think the night will never end life takes an unexpected turn and suddenly light turns to dark. In an instant you are reminded of all the beauty in the world. For me this reminder came in the form of a woman. Her name was Ivy, and she will forever be my definition of beauty. I’ve been in love with her since we met, but I’ve never had a chance to give her all my love. I’ve never had a chance to have her fall asleep in my arms, and I have never known what it’s like for her to need me. Maybe I never will. She’s tried to let me down gently and in her most compassionate way told me she not capable of giving me the love I desire. Still something inside pushes me forward and refuses to give up. Maybe I am crazy for listening to this voice inside me that gives me hope against this impossible dream. I’ve tried to date other women, but that never ends well. They all somehow feel like a substitute. In a way all women are ruined for me.

You might ask why am I stuck on her? I know there are literally billions of women out there. Once you’ve seen perfection it’s hard to settle for anything less. My love for her is unconditional, self-less and pure. I guess it doesn’t matter if she looks at me and doesn’t see anything special. The insecurities inside me ask me why I think a woman like her would ever give me a chance. Why would she settle for me when I know I am so far from the man she feels she needs? Do I know what she needs better than she does? I’ve asked myself these questions a thousand times. What really kills me is I’ve seen her lie to herself and waste her time with men I know will never be able to love her like she deserves. I respect her wishes and let hold back the flood of emotions that fill my mind each time out eyes meet. It is exhausting pretending I’m not in love with her. I haven’t even mentioned the worst part. She has become my best friend. Yeah I know I should have ran fast and far when she told me she can return this love I feel. Now I’m in a tough spot. My heart is split right down the middle for her. Half of me is her best friend. I would even go as far and say her soul mate. The other half of me can’t help but get overwhelmed with desire every time our eyes me. So how do I get out of this trap I have set for myself? Sad part is I don’t feel trapped. I still love to love her. Despite this agonizing situation I still find inspiration in her presence.

Sometimes I feel like falling

Falling fast to the bottom, just a mess of self destruction. That was me on the day we met. With a few words and a laugh you woke me up and started this fire. How could I not fall in love with your name?

The natural state of my heart scares you. It scares me too. I feel the lies in each beat, and yet I find truth in its lies. Each day as the sun rises and gives me a million reasons to fall. It pushes me to chase the impossible.

Someday I will see beyond the clouds, beyond the stars and find your truth. Someday I will make you feel like falling.

The End of the Beginning

In your eyes there is no reason to be afraid, but beyond the limits of your love the world gets cold. Somedays I wish I knew why. Other days I feel I am blessed by this blindness.

My days and nights are lost in trails of endless dreams. Stolen moments of your love give me life as I try to find a way out. I try to find my truth but it always ends with you.

You say I’m crazy. I wish I was because then I’d know my heart lies, I’d know you aren’t the one, and just maybe I could fade into nothing.

I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring, but know that this fire will never die. There is nothing I can do to change my eyes, and I will never fade…

Loving without limits

There she was standing in the door looking as she always did. He did not have the words to describe what he felt when he looked at her. Pure silence was the gift. So much had change over the last few months within his own mind he hardly recognized himself these days. Looking back he wondered why it had taken him so long to get to this point. He retrospection had to wait because Ivy was waiting for him. She was singing a song as she quite often did. The sound of her voice will always be the sweetest sound.

Chapter 8 – Lost and Found

Once Gregory discovered the location of Ivy’s desk he would find excuses to walk by just to catch a glimpse of her. Even it was just a momentary glance of the back of her head it would make his days brighter. Just knowing she was there. Seeing the physical manifestation of what was the center of all things beautiful. Sometimes he would walk the long way to his desk in the morning just to steal a glance. Today he needs more than a stolen moment, he was determined to talk to her. Ivy always started work several hours before anyone on Gregory’s team, so today he woke up 3 hours early just to make sure he’d catch her alone at her desk. Needing an excuse to talk to her he stopped at the local star buck’s and ordered two latte’s. A latte, he thought to himself was safe. The plan was to say that they made a mistake on his order and they gave him an extra cup of coffee. It seemed simple enough and he know from his observations that she drank a morning coffee on a regular basis. Today the day he was going to ask her to lunch. Walking in the door he took a big breath of confidence and proceed to walk down the first floor hallway to her desk. Clearing his thought he said,”Hi, Ivy right?” She replied,”Yes, good morning.” “Would you like a latte, the trainee at Starbucks messed up my order and I ended up with an extra latte this morning.” “Yes, that would be awesome. Thank you,” Ivy quickly responded. “So how’s your week going?” Gregory inquired. “It’s going,” Ivy said as she slowly took her first drink of the latte. Gregory tried not to stare at her lips, but it was a losing battle he was fighting. She was beautiful and the closer he got to her the more real this beauty became. He started fantasizing about her lips, wondering what it would feel like to kiss them. He didn’t want to make his infactuation obvious so he quickly cut to the chase. “I going to try out this new sushi restaurant down the street. Would you like to join me?” Gregory inquired. “Thank you but I brought my lunch today,” Ivy responded. “Ok well let me know if you change your mind,” he said trying to mask his disappointment. Walking back to his desk he consoled himself thinking at least he broke the ice and establish his existence in her mind. She really was quite attractive, maybe too attractive for someone like Gregory. He didn’t really care. He knew this is what most people would think, but he was ok with it. Still despite being a far reach he had to try. He really didn’t understand at this moment why, but he was compelled to get close to her. Once back at his desk it was impossible to stop thinking about her. He was falling fast and they had only shared 20 or so words.bb


Somedays it kills me that I care so much about what you think, and I hate going to bed right after you upset me. I’ve been up off and on throughout the night thinking about this weekend. I couldn’t finish writing my chapter because I kept dwelling on the fact that you feel I will never reach that 100%. I’ve made a lot of changes in my life and you are the catalyst that triggered all of this change. The one thing that makes you different, the one reason I love you beyond anyone else in this world is the fact that you believe in me. You believed that I am better than what I’ve been and you refuse to accept anything less than my full potential. I know you are right in thinking I am better than what I have been. I will reach that 100%. I know you didn’t mean in a cruel way when you said you need to find balance with me, but it hurt to hear you say that. It makes me feel that the one person in my life that really believed in me has lost faith. Maybe I am dwelling too much on your words. Maybe I love you too much. I definitely know I love you more than you want me to sometimes. This will never change, and you know I will never love anyone the same way I love you. I will never fully explain where all it comes from, or why I have loved you from the day we met. You’ve taught me that somethings do not require explanation. Please understand there is nothing in my life more powerful than the inspiration and love I get from you. When I think of you, when I look at you I am always reminded of who I am, and suddenly everything is so simple. Don’t take that away from me and please don’t start accepting me for less than who I should be. I know what I am capable of achieving and I will make it all happen. I will prove to you I am capable of achieving consistency. I will show you I can reach 100%. Also thank you for being “inflexible” or “difficult.” These are you words, but I realize it’s one of the thousands of reasons why I do love you. For the record I don’t see you as any of these things. You just require exactly what you give, and most people don’t care or give as much as you do. I beg you don’t start caring less. Don’t start giving less. It’s what makes you special. Do not let that die. I would rather die than to see you change. It’s almost morning. I can hear birds singing and cars starting. Time for me to start my day. Today I promise you 100% and each day I will renew this promise to you and myself. Thank you for being my never ending source of inspiration, and thank you for being the whirlwind that has become the center of my universe. I love you.



Mission Moment

In 2010 my mother died of multiple myeloma. She had actually been suffering from it for over a year, but unfortunately it wasn’t properly diagnosed until a few weeks before her death. Her health problems actually started a year prior. She was on a trip in Monterrey visiting family when she started complaining of hip pain. Her cousin took her to a chiropractor, but this just made it worse. The pain just got worse when she returned home. A few days after she returned home I received a call at work from my sister. My sister informed me that my mother couldn’t even stand on her own any more. We knew we had to take her to the hospital immediately. My Mother was always the strong one, she was never sick and she never complained about anything, so for her to admit she needed to go to the hospital I immediately knew something was really wrong. After a long night in the emergency room the doctor on duty finally informed us it was a broken hip. That was June 25th 2009, it’s easy to remember the date because it was my birthday. This was the same hospital where I was born, so I joked with my mom that it had been over 30 years since we both spent the night in the hospital. She was release from the hospital a week and a half later after a successful hip replacement. Unfortunately, the multiple myeloma went undiagnosed. My mother went through physical therapy and seemed to improved over the next few months. It wasn’t until about 9 months later her health started to decline again. At first it was minor things like her forgetting stuff, but her physical and mental state declined over the course of a few weeks. I knew we had to do something so we took her to the emergency room on a Friday. After another long stay in the emergency room they admitted her to the ICU. The next day they informed me and my sisters that the scans showed her several areas where her bones we eaten away. Her right arm, hips, jaw and spine were all affected. They couldn’t comment on the cause until the Oncologist officially diagnosed it as cancer, but I already knew this was some form of cancer. After 3-4 days they admitted her into the oncology ward and officially diagnosed it as multiple myeloma. We spent the next few weeks in the cancer ward. Her kidney function continued declined, which started affecting her memory. As I started to research the disease suddenly everything made sense. Her broken hip, her forgetfullness, everything that had been going for over a year finally had a cause. As soon as she was stable they wanted to discharge her. At this time she couldn’t walk or even stand so my family finally reluctantly agreed to admit my mother into a nursing home. This wasn’t an easy decision, but she needed a full time caregiver. My mother didn’t have the best medical coverage and because of this we were limited to our selection of nursing homes. The one we found in Highland Park was barely acceptable, but we had no choice since all my siblings worked. After 2 days we decided at the nursing home we could do better on our own, and decided to move her back home. We weren’t sure how it would work out, but with the help of our family we knew we would manage. She never wanted to be in the nursing home and was happy to hear she was going home. Before releasing her from the home the doctor ordered one more blood test. This test showed her red blood cells to be low. The doctor told me she needed to go back to the hospital for a blood transfusion. So the ambulance we thought would be taking her home ended up taking her back to the hospital that day. Regardless we were still happy she would be home soon. That night in the hospital before I waited for the nurse to check her vitals. Her blood pressure was a little low and her temperature was down. I didn’t think anything of it, and the nurse told me it wasn’t anything to worry about. So I said goodbye to my mom that night and told her I loved her. I didn’t know this was the last time I would talk to her. The next day at work my sister called me and informed me that my mother had developed sepsis. The chemo had destroyed her immune system and there was nothing left to fight this infection. She slipped into a coma and the doctors told us we had to make a choice whether we wanted her on life support. She already had an advanced directive and we knew if we put her on life support the chances of her coming of it was very slim. So we decided against the life support and let her die peacefully. I only had a few weeks to learn about this disease before my mother died, but through each of your stories I have learned that there is hope. Your stories give me hope that we will one day beat this disease. I see the progress that has been made over the past few years, and it makes me proud to contribute to LLS. I’ve never been a runner, I’ve never liked to run, but over the past 6 months I’ve actually started looking forward to our runs. So I just want to thank you all for the opportunity to contribute to the fight against this disease, and for introducing me to the world of running. It’s not always easy to be here so early, and the first few long runs were painful but when I think about why we are here, when I think about my mother in that hospital bed wanting to get up and walk so bad, suddenly the pain goes away, suddenly I look forward to the run. So I just want to say thank you for this opportunity to run with all of you. Go Team!

Chapter 13 – Sleepless Nights

Most nights I sit in bed thinking of life past, future and present. I think of my life’s path and the things to come. Eventually I fade into thoughts of Ivy. I meditate on the inspiration she brings to me. I’ve never denied what she makes me feel, and I’ll never deny the fact that she is truly the most beautiful women in my world. It almost hurts to look at her somedays. The beauty I see in her is almost too much to process.

Looking Away

Thank you for the silence. I see the world as you want me to see. I can look away and learn to live, that was never a question.
The question that runs through my thoughts day after day, why can’t you look away. You understand more than most, but you have never seen it all.

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