Sunday, March 5, 2017

Aunt Sarah and Uncle Lewis

Aunt Sarah and Uncle Lewis. Coupled. That's the only way I've known them... coupled as one. These days we like to combine names to identify those couples we are supposed to be enamored with because Hollywood says so. We had Bennifer, Brangelina and many others. I wonder what combo name we should've given them because they are most definitely a combination to be admired. Saralew? Lewrah? Haha.

In all the years of my life; I've 95% of the time referred to them as AuntSarahAndUncleLewis as one whole name because they were rarely without the other. Just as one instead of two separate individuals. Aunt Sarah And Uncle Lewis.

The thought of marriage and the belief that you become as one could sometimes make the independent part of me uneasy. But I remembered a poem that eloquently describes dying into something as a transformation instead of the permanence of it's ending as we've been conditioned to believe. In John 12:24 it says "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." I believe this is the basis of what we've come to know and love about Aunt Sarah And Uncle Lewis. They died into one another many years ago creating a life that has and continues to bear fruit with their legacy of love and the mere mention of Aunt Sarah And Uncle Lewis.

My earliest memories are of going to the country to Aunt Sarah And Uncle Lewis' farm. Oh how exciting that whole experience was. The cousins would ride in the back of grandpas truck fighting to sit on the edge and feel all the pricklies of the fierce wind that came with his over-the-speed limit driving. Once we saw the dirt road we knew we were getting closer. It was a build up of excitement to get there. Once there, we would be greeted by our three fostered cousins. I was always curious about the how and why they were a part of our family. No one else had this dynamic and it made Aunt Sarah And Uncle Lewis that much more unique and special to me as a young child. To love and care for children who didn't come from your body...what an amazing gift. I watched enough Little House on the Prairie to know it was a beautiful thing. Our cousins were crazy, hyper and funny except Rosie. She was a sweet spirit. I always thought she had to for sure be their biological child because that's how they were...a loving sweet couple. Always smiling, kind, never mean or loud when any of us were misbehaving. But then it all changed during one visit.

Uncle Lewis was showing me around to all the animals but with a chuckle said "they dont have names" after I had asked. I didn't understand. In his raspy sweet voice he says "it's because we will eat them". Oh the pain in my young heart. Uncle Lewis doing his best to explain bacon and hamburgers was now the meanest man on the planet. I still remember him asking Aunt Sarah to explain it to me. Who are these people? They were just my most loving aunt and uncle and now they are killers. Haha. But their spirits are so genuine and pure that I forgave them quickly but I wasn't interested in visiting their breakfast and dinner anymore...haha.

I remember I didn't see my Perez family much but I could always walk into HEB and get quickly reminded of my family. Nine out of ten times Uncle Lewis would be right around the corner with a huge grin. In my young mind he was Mr. HEB. I was pretty sure he was the man in charge over everything because he just looked important or maybe it's because he was important to me. He was the one family member I could be sure to run into on a regular basis and those small frequent encounters meant so much to a little girl who didnt spend much time with that side of the family as a child.

The other opportunity was at the Flea Market. I'd get my full dose of Aunt Sarah And Uncle Lewis as well as grandma and grandpa. These four people together were nothing short of love and laughter. Grandpa pretending he was in charge while grandma reminded him he wasn't and the Salazars always having something to smile about while offering a prayer if things were tough in your own life. 

Aunt Sarah and Uncle Lewis were the epitome of Christianity. They walked the walk. They never pushed their beliefs on anyone. They just led by example day in and day out. They were and are a faithful family. They always put God first which shined throughout their life together.
Marriage isn't easy no matter how many years you put on the books but they made it known that love was real. Their simplistic style and quiet honor for eachother was and is very loud. I don't know if either of them know how much their relationship was admired by others. You have Aunt Sarah, who although is loving and kind, can be a little crazy and energetic. You have Uncle Lewis, who although didn't always say much or slept through conversations, could be full of jokes, sarcasm, a willingness to be embarrassed and an all around funny guy. Their existence didn't appear grand in the noisy world we live in but they were quietly loud in all they did.

Their marriage is solid. I don't remember a time when they didn't part ways lovingly even if going to the store. I cannot think of an argument ever witnessed between them...it was always a seemless compromise between the two. They did their best with their fostered children before having two of their own. I remember our entire family being so excited for little Luis' arrival...then BAM...another one...my Sasa...Samantha Salazar. Their family was/is blessed as are we that have had the opportunity to witness their journey.

They are the reminder of what God's love is. It's pure, disciplined, intentional, forgiving, gracious, faithful and abundant no matter the circumstance. They are giants; not in size but in action. They have been living and leaving a legacy for each of us who know and love them.

It is with great sadness that their time on earth as one has come to pass but we know this earthly death is just another transformation.

Aunt Sarah And Uncle Lewis may no longer appear the same in the days/years ahead but their example is forever embedded for generations to come. I pray that Aunt Sarah, lil Luis and Sam are comforted by all the beautiful memories without any regret. He wouldn't want it any other way.

We will miss his ease, his soft raspy voice, his midget pregnant wobble walk (haha-my opinion anyway), him falling asleep even when the entire crew in the house is loud and his silliest of moments. We will miss his young at heart attitude and all around loving sweet soul. He was and is an amazing gift that we are honored to have been given.

Fly high Uncle Lewis, we are lesser without you but greater for knowing you. We will forever celebrate all that you are! 


Friday, December 30, 2016

Reflections of Change

Reflecting on co-worker retirements, family relationships, my son’s constant change with the stability of his mind, the economy, our freedoms, religion’s hold on unsuspecting souls, world history, conversations, everything really…

Ever get tired of the “Change Is Good” proclamation? I know I have. In my opinion change is not necessarily good or bad…just inevitable.

Life is full of experiences. We grow physically, mentally and spiritually. We gain-we lose.  We enjoy-we are disappointed.  We create-we destroy. We attain-we give away. The list goes on.

Many times when I would hear the “change is good” speech; I would stop and try to convince myself that it is in fact true.  I tend to analyze these types of proclamations because they don’t feel genuine in spirit or truth. It seems to be a reflex response in our society today.  I believe the underlying intent of whoever is making the statement is to lessen the discomfort of the loss of “what once was”.  It’s easier and feels better to give a good ‘ole pat on the back with that line instead of saying “damn this sucks” or “sorry for your situation”.  On the surface it appears to alleviate any raw pain that comes with the perceived loss. I say perceived because nothing is ours to begin with…another time/another post. ☺

The truth is that change is inevitable. There is absolutely no way around that. Our world is structured so that there is nothing of permanence.  NO-THING.  Every creation under the sun is designed for natural and unnatural alteration. Nothing remains the same. We are in constant change.

So in those moments of reflection of “what once was”, we have to be clear and cognizant of “what IS”….NOW.

Right now in this very moment is all we truthfully have. Unfortunately we live in such a fast paced regretful world; that we are either always looking toward the future for empty promises or remembering the past (good/bad and sometimes both).

I’ve come to the conclusion that “change” by design is imperative. We can be an ungrateful and complacent species. Change is that constant reminder that NO-THING is of permanence - requiring us to stay in a grateful spirit if we are to truly appreciate the many gifts life offers us. We tend to appreciate the things that “no longer are” because we have the knowledge that our perceived possession of them no longer exist.

Remember it’s the NOW…Be in it at all times. Love, appreciate, celebrate and live from where you stand, not from a THEN or THERE…but from the HERE.  It will save you from the sorrow of regret. We will all experience the pain of change, but knowing you were in it when “it was” saves you the regret of the perceived loss. No-thing is for us to keep…it’s all to be honored, celebrated and loved when “it is”.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Challenge

These past few years have been a time that my awareness of self has increased tremendously and the ideas/beliefs that have conditioned both my internal and external world are no longer viable for what I desire next.  I have set some priorities and will be editing my life as a whole along the way. As I continue this path that I've chosen for personal growth, I have decided to challenge myself in various parts of my life. One is social media. I am by nature a social butterfly ;) however the greater part of me expands in solitude.  I’ve come to realize how much and how strong social media has an impact on each one of us….good and not so great. This is not news…we all know this to be true; however my desire to “keep in touch” and to be “in the know” has drastically changed. I choose to live with specific intention and with purpose. I do not want my days wasted on the mundane and unnecessary. My existence is dependent on growth and not stagnation or mediocrity. Our time is limited…and that’s not a negative…it’s just a fact…in physical human form anyway. So my challenge to self (for social media) is to eliminate anything that does not serve me or that I do not have a place in. This is no indication of anyone’s value to me in the past or present. It is only an awareness (for myself and to myself) that it is not necessary to extend myself or make myself available to everyone “just because”. I value my family and friends…but I also must value this journey that I’m embarking called Life.

I will be deleting every single friend. Yes EVERYONE! My challenge is to invite INDIVIDUALLY those that have played a role or continue to play a role in my world as it pertains to my goals in life.  That may sound easy….the key is that I have made it a requirement that I have to reach out to whomever individually and explain my desire to have an “FB friendship”.  This will be hard for me, but ultimately it requires actual thought and contemplation on the “WHY” do I want to be friends and “HOW” does it serve in the greater scheme of things.  This process will take quite a bit of time and I’m short on time daily, so I may be friendless for a while… haha. I only make this announcement so that I am accountable. Many times we do things and there is no one or no procedure to keep us accountable.  This post is mine!


#ChallengeYourself #IntentionalLiving #AllShadesG #Defragmentation2016


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dayenu

With my attention in about ten separate directions at any given moment, I haven't been able to write as I would like these past few months. I feel trapped inside myself without my usual outlet of putting my thoughts down with pen and paper. So as I'm taking a quick moment to just read "something", I come across this article. It's perfect. It's me today!! I could've written it myself except for the fact that I'm still in transition...but it's still perfectly me. It's nice to read about "me" instead of writing about "me" even if it's in someone else's words. :)


This morning, I woke up with my blood boiling.

My heart was on fire. I’d had enough. Yesterday, I listened to yet another woman put herself on the back burner.
Let’s start reciting, Dayenu, now. Dayenu means enough. Enough is enough. It’s time to stop enslaving our hearts. It’s time we begin listening and acting accordingly.
I write a daily inspiration on my Facebook page, and this is what I wrote from my blazing heart to every woman on the planet:
Do you know what makes my heart hurt?
Listening to others tell me they are okay ignoring and neglecting what their heart is asking for, screaming for because they are scared of what will be, and terrified of leaving the comfort of the agonizing discomfort they are surviving in, day in and day out.
Yesterday was the last straw for me. I haven’t felt anger in a while, but it made me angry to hear yet another sister, bargain with herself. I sat across from a lovely, strong, complicated, self sufficient woman who turned to a puddle of weakness in front of me as she made excuses as to why she should remain unhappy, misunderstood, unappreciated and imprisoned by choice, in a life, with a partner who no longer fulfills nor desires to listen to the needs of her heart.
So, this morning when I woke up, I decided I’ve kept my mouth shut for long enough. I need to say this out loud—
I’ve listened to one too many women make excuses and attempt to rationalize why they remain in a life that’s violating their spirits and trampling their esteem.
I’ve been there, in that place, defending why I’m staying in an environment or with a person who has become a stranger to my soul.
I am fully aware that there is no amount of inspirational dialogue, support or encouragement that could have dragged me out of there. Nothing was going to change, until I was ready, and then, one day, it became unbearable—my heart, my body, my mind was searing with pain and I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t concentrate on anything, but my misery. The distractions I created weren’t enough to squelch my burning needs, any longer.
I know this may be an extremely socially inappropriate example, but it helped me, and was an appropriate visual of my heart at the time.
I will never forget the images of September 11th, of the people who jumped from 100 stories high because the smoke and heat became intolerable. The only option was to leap. It came from a primal place, a protective place, to save themselves, even though death was their fate.
Death is the absolute.
We are all going to die. So, how do you choose to live? Even with death impending, you have a choice to live without the inflicted suffocation of containment in a life that will without a doubt destroy you, from the inside out—or you can fling yourself out of the window, into the open air and free of the destruction.
If you’re waiting for the right day, the right time, the right amount of money, the right age of your children to be, the right momentit will never come. You are going to have to do it knowing you can’t go back. Trust.
Our world is in desperate need of all of us right now. We are being called to embrace our strengths and contribute to the world by doing our work.
Just remember, every single moment you remain coiled in a ball of fear, our world fractures just a little bit more because your heart is breaking, aching to be acknowledged, by you. Listen, and then take action.
Be brave. Save yourself, save the world.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/02/the-facebook-status-that-every-woman-should-read/

Monday, April 6, 2015

Faith Transforming

Maybe there's confusion on my faith. Maybe others feel as though its been taken...shaken...or it just never was. But that's a mistake in thought. Its not that my faith is no longer....it's that my faith has transformed. It does not consist of a man in a robe with a judgemental pen or even one of destiny. For me if you believe in that then at many times there are no winners or receivers of that coveted favor. Why is it necessary to put God in a box of ideas set up by man? I do not wish to be in this lot of idealizers. My faith is that love in its purest form can reach any crevice in the universe regardless of our perceived "right" outcome..that our suffering isn't in vain but for ultimate spiritual growth. This includes all suffering everywhere. Eternity is not playing in the clouds...eternity is part of the here and the now. Its all I consciously have. Why wait for greatness when greatness is at your fingertips through choice, action, love, compromise, etc. and is readily available in THIS life. Don't just plan for eternity...live it daily!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Giving It Away

It was over 4 1/2 years ago that my life took on one of it's changes of direction. I had recently come out of a loveless marriage of 4 years. My two oldest children were out of my home. It was just me and my little man Brian who was about 12 years old at the time and our time together was well spent. We enjoyed our day to day with no crazy drama or outside influence.  We were active in his baseball activities.  I cannot think of another time during my life when it was any more peaceful and filled with so much contentment. Then I heard this song and began praying. I prayed that my life would be used for whatever was necessary and in a way that was of service to God, Creation, the Universe, whatever you choose to call it. The words resignated in my soul. I cannot explain how they just took me over in a way that til this day is still unexplainable. I was just so deeply grateful for all the grace and love that I had received throughout my life. I had taken some time to look back over my days on earth and even with all the circumstances I had to overcome, I knew I was blessed. There were so many different people that were placed in my path to assist me in building a solid foundation within me. And there I was standing tall in the absolute knowledge of knowing that I was a child of the most high and I was loved from the depths of grace to the highest point of  abundance. Oh how whole I felt. How completely full I was. I continued to pray this song. And then I got the call...