Category Archives: Chicago

July and February 

Dammit Nashville. You done gone got me all in my feelings tonight. It’s funny.  I realize that when I reach the point of the “ugly cry” that I’m more aware of the different emotions I’ll feel throughout each of my days. The popular ones lately are anxiousness, anger, irritation, and unconditional love, which mostly emerges on the weekends.

Nashville has that ability to stir up thoughts about meeting a character or a person for the very first time, watching how they live their lives with you in it and then BOOM! It shatters your heart into a million goddamn pieces by tossing grief into the mix. 

Grief. Hello darkness, my old friend. I think what astonishes me the most about this emotion is the capability it has to reach different levels. Hell, it’s deadly in itself. 

I have to say that my strongest relationship with grief comes from the bond that was broken between my Grandpa and I on February 28, 2013. That firecracker of a man was born on July 4th and I’m the female version of him, down to the abrasive words that come out of my mouth.

I have this liberating ability to not give one single damn about someone or anything. But if I love you, I have the powerful ability to do my best to protect you, respect you, and make you laugh while doing so.

I loved and respected that man on a level as high as my father. I took his words to heart and I’d be damned if I disappointed him. I would even brag as a child about wanting to marry him when I got older. Now I’m older, and I dwell on him not being around to watch me get married.

Ending on a spiritual note, I believe that there is an afterlife. I believe that he is in my car every time I get in it, with damn good reason.

I just wish that heaven was a phone call away, because he’d want to FaceTime and I’d give anything to see his face. 

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New Beginnings

I really didn’t want to write this, especially during my lunch break, but since it’s official and I’m still reeling, here it goes. 

Early last month, after being on a 15-year waiting list for Misericordia – a home for disabled adults and children – my brothers were called upon 5 years early to live there. This meant we were blindsided by overwhelming emotions and one hell of a tough decision. 

You can never prepare for a phone call like that. When my mother sent me a text message to tell me about it, all I could do was cry. We (mom, dad, my fiancé and I) knew what our decision had to be, but we aren’t the slightest bit ready to let them go. 

I always said I wanted to move out before they did, because I couldn’t and still can’t imagine coming home from work everyday and not seeing them where they belong. Now I think, what would be the difference? And I can’t really find an answer for that. 

I’ve always been the voice for my brothers and for once, I am speechless. Sean can adapt anywhere, but what I fear the most is that Jason won’t be happy. 

But all we can do is try. We can bring them home when we want and we can visit them as much as we want, the only difference is that nights in their own beds will be slim. 

I understand we have to look at it as if the boys are going off to college and living in dorms for the rest of their lives. But that doesn’t make it easier. I am grateful for Misericordia, because it will allow my brothers to thrive. They promise that once the boys feel comfortable, they’ll love it so much they won’t want to come home. Which is understandable, because they have concerts, pet therapy, swimming, and a bunch of other fun activities for them to participate in. 

Jason and Sean will be under the same roof, but not in the same room. They will be separated, so they can blossom as individuals and not be dubbed as the brothers in wheelchairs. 

There’s so much more I could say, but for now, this is all I can process. 

I just want to spend as much time with my brothers as possible. 

Reflection

I have time to write now, and of course it’s about food. SURPRISE!

I’ve been seeing a nutritionist for 3 months now, very helpful, but this only helps to reach my point.

I’ve done some reflecting over the past week, (in Miami nonetheless) and while I consumed my weight (guiltlessly) in pizza pot pie, hearty breakfasts, and Cuban food, I had a breakthrough. 

My binge eating disorder stems from reflection. Reflecting on memories of spaghetti dinners at my Nana’s house, or that one time at the Taste of Chicago when Jason knocked a slice of Eli’s Cheesecake out of my hand. Birthday dinners with my grandpa, holidays with family. Food is comfort to me. Food is nostalgia.

For the next 6 weeks I will be cutting back on foods I enjoy most. Bread, cheese, pasta, beer…carbs. I will be working out 3 times a week, while weighing in weekly to track progress. On September 14th I vow to be stronger, I vow to be healthier, but most importantly…I vow to not be afraid to be fit.

In my past, being “fit” came  with heartache. Today, I am the happiest I have ever been. I challenge myself to change, to say no, and to learn that I can maintain a healthy lifestyle while being HAPPY. 

Let the games begin. 

A Grilled Cheese Sandwich for the Soul

It’s not chicken soup, but you catch my drift.

I’ve been experiencing some life changes lately and I thought I’d do some reflecting. Nothing drastic, just pondering old relationships and fresh ones while trying to grab a brand new nutritional lifestyle change by the horns. 

Yea, that’s right. I’m buying zoodles, (zucchini noodles), dairy-free milk, and reducing my flour intake…god help me. 

I’ll just cut the shit and admit to you all, that for years, I’ve been lying to myself about having not just a passion for food, but an addiction toward it. This addiction also involves (only) binge eating. 

I will tell you that I am a foodie. This is because I am fascinated by what other cultures eat and the ingredients that fuse so well together when paired. But behind my passion for discovering new dining spots, I struggle with a balance. I don’t have a healthy relationship with food. 

I don’t need to dig down the rabbit hole and bore you with details, but I will say that it is so hard to break bad habits. It is so hard to let go of something that has comforted you for all of your life. It is hard to say goodbye to the routine.

Just writing this makes me realize why I binge. Because it’s so easy to reach for the one thing that has always made you happy and you are certain it will never let you down. (Except when the jeans don’t fit).

Since February of 2013, I have gained 35 lbs over the course of three years. Why? Because I suffered a loss from 3 of my closest grandparents and great grandmother that I seeked comfort for. But I need to realize that I am ok.

I am ok to lead a life without them, knowing that they will stay with me wherever I go. I am ok to thrive, in my career and in my personal life.

I am ok to say no, if it means taking time for myself. I am ok to live a healthier lifestyle that I deserve. 

And I am ok to let go of all of this weight.

Why I Cherish Every Moment

I’m laying in bed right now, trying to fall asleep. So naturally, I start having a full blown conversation with my conscience. 

At this very moment. I lay here in my warm cozy bed and appreciate everything that I have and don’t have. The reason why I feel this way is because life is too goddamn short to worry about petty bullshit. I have a pulse right now dammit and I will do what it takes to make it thrive. 

Over the years, I’ve lost people I’ve had close relationships with, long relationships, that were abruptly ended by death. I miss these people every day and would give anything to give them an update on my wellbeing. There is no worse feeling than not knowing when your last goodbye to someone will be. I’m sickened by the thought. You can go from being on cloud 9 and thinking that you’re the happiest you’ve ever been then boom, your world shatters into shards and you have to put the pieces back together. 

What I’m saying here is, whoever you’re close with, hug them tight and count your blessings. Make that person laugh so hard that they cry and admire the expressions on their face when they do. 

Most importantly, appreciate what you have, because in the words of The Eagles, “We may lose and we may win, but we will never be here again.” 

Furry Unbreakable Bond

Because of my brothers disabilities our dad never allowed us to have a dog or a cat. The only animal I was ever allowed to own was a hamster. I had two over a period of time and my bond with each one of them only lasted two years since they had such a short life span. 

I’ve been dating my fiancé for a decade and I am fortunate enough to not only fall in love with him. I fell in love with this precious, gentle, little lioness. She’s a 14-year-old Calico cat that I call my Fur Child. Her name is Baby, and she’s my baby. Words can’t explain how much I adore this creature and how much I miss her when she’s not around. I could only hope and pray that she lives to her prime, because I’ve never been as attached to an animal as I am attached to her. 

And to think, that’s only me. Julio has owned her since she was a palm-sized kitten. 

BUT enough with the emotions. Here’s my Baby. 

    
 

 
 

Hello, It’s Me.

I was wondering if after all these years…just kidding, I wasn’t. 

So what’s my excuse this time around for not writing a post in damn near forever? It’s simple. I write every day. 40hrs a week I write for a web design company. Our clients are podiatrists, chiropractors, optometrists, and dentists. I’m not complaining, but dear lord am I learning a little too much about health conditions and the human body. It kinda puts a damper on my passion for creative writing. Especially when the weekends roll around. 

On the other hand, I feel blessed every morning while driving to work. My coworkers make the 8 hours tolerable and because of them it’s much easier to wake up in the morning. I actually look forward to sitting in my cube some days. 

When I’m not working, I’m trying to live in the moment. I’ve lost a few dear family members/friends lately and find myself thinking that when I look up from my phone one day the people around me won’t be here anymore. It’s a sad thought, so I try to cherish every good and bad moment that I experience. 

Things are pretty steady at the moment and I’m thankful for that. 

2016 Is Off to a Great Start

This year has already brought me so much joy. On December 31st, I received a personal message on Facebook that confirmed a number of 2 families who contacted me in 2015 with sons who have been diagnosed with Bcap31.

After being told by their neurologist that Jason and Sean were the only diagnosed case in the US as of December 31st, 2015, we recently learned that there’s actually another case that has developed here.

I haven’t been aware of any support/awareness groups for this genetic disorder which is the reason why I decided to start my own and share my family’s story. I also would like to encourage these families who’ve reached out to share anything about themselves and I want to let them know that they always have a friend in me.

I’m very excited to see how things evolve this year and I’m even more thrilled to build new relationships.

If you or anyone you know has a relative that was recently diagnosed with this genetic disorder, please comment on here, or message/follow my Facebook Page.

 

Bcap31 Awareness Page

A Night On The Town

My mom has been obsessed with Hootie and the Blowfish since the 90s, so when I heard Darius Rucker was coming to Chicago I wanted her to see him.

I was in charge of getting tickets and it turns out that when we got there we were sitting closer to the stage than I thought.

We sat 9 rows back and enjoyed the concert from behind the hockey boards. He put on an amazing show and I was happy to enjoy a night out with my parents, but more importantly I’m glad they enjoyed a night out.