Tuesday, July 8, 2014

4th of July, 2013

Kinda late, but I had to write about a date, a few days past a year ago that marked my life and though I now think back and feel absolved of most pain, the feeling back then was so much different.

It was a 4th of July in 2013, I was playing with my little niece, Julia. She was prancing around in her new pink bathing suit. She was ready to head out to the beach with her mom and Godfather.

I remember I took a photo of her and was about to post it on Instagram, but as usual, I scrolled my feed for any new photos. While I scrolled, I saw something, that pivotal moment that sank my heart and made me look at my niece for a moment, and back at what I was seeing.

There was a post from Kandee Johnson letting her viewers know about Talia Joy Castellano, the little girl who up to this point had spoken openly and fearlessly about her cancer, was suffering, in a lot of pain.
I knew that Talia had been battling neuroblastoma for a while now, but honestly, her condition, the way she carried herself, for being such a young girl, it all became a constant that just WAS. Back then, as today, I am a lover of beauty gurus on YouTube, and Talia, at a young age always represented all that was cheerful, vibrant, and talented.  That's all I saw. Up until that 4th of July, the baldness, the fact that this CHILD was battling such an aggressive disease had never registered in my head as something serious.

I remember seeing that post, and looking at my niece who was smiling, trying to pick up a wooden block with her tiny foot, being silly, being a child.  The sudden thought that Talia, not much older than my niece was on a whole different wavelength, than my child broke my heart into pieces.  That one post of awareness opened up a window of worry, doubt, anger, pain, and melancholy.  I then began to follow and spread the word and use the PrayForTalia hashtag.  I remember not being able to enjoy the rest of my fourth, it also happened to be my sister-in-law's birthday, but that one post had me anchored down to my phone.  I depended on that tiny device so much, constantly checking my Instagram, checking my Twitter, checking my Facebook in hopes of learning something new.  That night, and pretty much every night to follow, I remember always feeling incredibly sad.  I wanted to meet the girl, as if though my presence there would have made a difference, but I knew that having met her, so much as online, had already changed my life.  I prayed hard.  I prayed on my knees, I spoke out loud in hopes that a greater being, the universe or a very talented doctor heard my pleas and fixed everything.  I felt deep sadness for the weight laying on the shoulders of Talia's mother, her sister, her father, and those who had a deep bond with her.  I prayed for them too.

Ever since that fourth of July, I began to not let the little problems worry me, especially during this time.  When I had the chance, I would post a #prayfortalia post, but most nights, I kept my strong feelings about everything to myself.

And the world remained the same to me until early morning of July 16 2013.
I woke up feeling the rush that I had to get up, I was about to travel up north and my ride would be picking me up soon.  But first and foremost of course, feed my social media addiction by checking my phone.  Talia wasn't even in my head that morning.  I was simply scrolling when I saw the post; again by Kandee Johnson, saying that we no longer need to #prayfortalia but rather pray for her family.
Dumbfounded, still confused, I clicked on the tag and saw what everyone else knew.  She had passed away. I couldn't cry. I barely moved, but I lay in bed a little while longer. Not being able to understand. After about ten minutes, I finally sat down, and I thought I was gathering my strength to finally get up and pack my bag for my trip but instead I hugged my pillow and began to sob.  I'll get back to you on that in just a moment...
I packed my things and was quiet throughout my ride up north. It was another seven hours before I got to a bed in a Holiday Inn, I set my bags down and broke down again.

And now, the reason for my sobs.
Yes, I was saddened that the little girl who had fought so bravely in the face of that monster was gone.  But from the moment I found out, I didn't see it as a battle lost. At least a million people knew about it, at least half a million people had the ability to do something, to be proactive with this information, and although tragic, I was happy that word got out and that people were doing something, at the very least, letting everyone involved know that they were aware.

The reason I wept so much that day was because the people that loved her the most, her family had to live with a physical dent in their formation moving forward.  I wept because even though Talia had come to terms with the idea of a sooner than later death, her family, those older than her, had to come to terms with the idea that they would not go before her.  Not just that, but the cruelty of life, forcing everyone that loved her and everyone that knew her to watch a child struggle, give her body away to the disgustingness that is this disease, and to watch her be consumed by it without being able do a thing but be by her side.  Nothing else.  I wept because it wasn't just her, many others, so many innocent lives had gone before her, and many more have gone after, and to this day, many more are lost in the same manner. I wept because Talia Joy could have been my niece, Talia Joy could have been me as a child, it could have been my sister, my only sister, and in the future, it could just as likely be my future children who are the chosen of this atrocity. And never have I cried at such an injustice.  But I did.

It did take a few months for me to accept it.  I can't even imagine what the days thereafter was like for her closest family members but to this day, my deep and utmost sympathy and admiration goes out to them.  I remember thinking of Talia a lot during this time last year.  In the days prior to her passing I prayed and pleaded, hoping that she would maybe wake up and be clear and absolved of all cancers and live a normal life, move on to become one of the greatest human adults that the world has ever seen, and live until she became old, and pass like normal old people do.  In the days following July 16th I remember saying a prayer for her family every time I thought of her. In the months that followed I began to realize that her purpose here was to make a difference and to bring out the meaning in her middle name, Joy.

I wanted to write this because this fourth of July I had a sinking feeling in my heart, and this is probably why.  I wanted to write this to let that little girl's family know that I still think about her and I am grateful to have known about her existence and to have experienced everything, even the bad because it has changed me as a person.  Come July 16 I will still think about her and will continue to pray for her, for those past, and for those hanging on that same thread.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'll Try to Keep it Short and Sweet

It's been a few weeks since I last posted.  This one project I was working on went STRAIGHT TO HELL, I thought that as far as that subject goes, that's as much as it deserves to be spoke of.

Moving on, I started a new job last week, and so far... I LOVE IT.

I'll be using my lunch hours to post on my other blog which is just sitting there... collecting dust. So sad.  I'll mostly focus it on daily journal entries, beauty and fashion related. I'm also deciding that as a posting requirement, I'll have to have an image to add to the post to make it visually worthwhile.

Not so much other than that. I succumbed to lavender (what-what?) nail polish... ItsJudysLife told me to do it... subliminally. I looked for the OPI version of it, and after realizing that while everyone may consider it affordable... I decided to buy the very cheap and cheerful version at the dollar store. I got it for 99cent store. After two coats, the color payoff is darling.  So ready for spring.  (Lol, spring has been here for how long?)

Last but not least, I'm heavily investing in CD's because the commute to new job is a good hour. If there's a down-side, it's definitely the commute.  The shitty commute.  But the music makes it totally worth it. I bought a Donna Summer (mind you, most of these are "Greatest Hits" collections because I need to determine if I like their overall sound), Better Than Ezra, Outkast, Billy Idol, and Johnny Cash.

I've listened to all, except for Johnny because his turn is tomorrow and Friday. Mmm.

That's all. I love you.  Be good and be careful.  Not sure if I told you I had a dad that was never around?  I found him... well, his death certificate.  It bummed me out more than this sentence would like to admit, but it's as much of a closure as I'm ever gonna get.  I guess I'll never put a face on it... and my daddy-issues will carry on until I become a full-grown-ass-adult.  Also, I found my sister... on my dad's previous relationship... her name is Erika, and she is lovely, a cat lover (eek!), and she still doesn't know I exist.  I'm following her on IG, but I don't have the guts to tell her who I am and why I'm stalking her account and amazed at the fact that we have a lot of the same interests.  Haha.

That's my attempt at making light of the situations.

Suckit. #winkyface

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Better Days

Happy new year!

Granted, it's already February, where did my January go?!!

Well, a lot of things happened, enough for me to be distracted day by day where it didn't give me enough leisure time to write.  Jot and write and journal all of my thoughts.

It's been stressful.  Luis and I have been looking for that little bit of sunshine that comes the day after the storm... but it looks like the storm is still ongoing.
It's okay though, for some reason, every year since we moved in (we moved on in February of 2012), February, and then September-ish have been our most difficult months to overcome.

Despite the fact that I'm giving you a sob-story, a lot of good, and enjoyable things have happened in the month of January... and I feel like I'm rambling, but that's because it's more time I get to spend here... in my little crawl-space of a blog, so bear with me.

January, we started off the year with me getting horribly sick.  It was bad, my voice sounded manly, I couldn't talk without encountering phlegm in my throat (blegh), and I had fevers that wouldn't go away with plain TheraFlu.  But it shook itself out and I was good after the first seven days.  Yeah, it was no fun.
From being sick one weekend at work, I totally forgot to clock-out, and me, in my demented fever head, thought that the best thing to remediate the situation would clock out when I remembered... from home... and that I would clock in that much time later the next day.
Well, it got me in trouble.  I got a speech from the pres. and human resources that even though I expected it, I didn't wanna be there.  But things took a turn for the worse when I was suddenly accused of having clocked-in from home on several occasions.  I freaked out, even second-guessed myself, but the dagger in the back (I'm exaggerating... in case you didn't get that...) came when the lady lecturing me told me that if this occurred ever again, she would FIRE ME!  Gaaah!  As quickly as I was accused, I was able to recover the tidbit of memory that reminded me that on two occasions I had clocked in early because I started earlier (duh, but the fever, remember the fever).  Anyway, that was straightened out, but I don't feel comfortable there anymore... and I don't think I ever will.  I'm sticking it out until... I can find another job where I don't have to make eye contact with the world.
Early in January, I took my Charlotte to get spayed.  The procedure took place on a Thursday, and I was told that I'd be okay to pick her up first thing Friday morning... but come Friday morning, I got a call from one of the assistants where Charlotte was and was told that Charlotte wasn't waking up from her anaesthetic.   We rushed over to the animal hospital where she had been taken to where we found my poor little black-no-fur-in-her-belly kitten stumbling around as if though trying to recuperate from a roofie.  The people at the animal hospital went ahead and shaved the fur from her left front leg and put her on an IV and she was well enough to be picked up on Saturday afternoon.  After many days of using a cone, the check up went much better and now, she's back to normal... still taking medication that will be completed when she runs out (10 more days!).
Aside from that, we (Luis and I) got a letter being mandated to pay the sum of $7,500 for the expense that a lady had put her and her dogs through when a dog we were walking early last year attacked her dogs.  Oh gees... well, I don't know where to begin here.  But I can say a few things.  I was really angry at first.  I wanted to confront with anger but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is something that can happen to anyone.  And perhaps it's something I too would have done if I looked as bad as the lady did.  However, we only agreed to help her with the vet bill (the rest was for pain and suffering), and paid her for half of that.
My birthday was spent alone... probably like that poor dog we walked on his last day of living... we found out he was later put down for being a repeat-offender.
My birthday was also a sad day since we experienced a not-so-sudden but not looking forward to death in the family... he died peacefully in his home in Mexico at the young age of 101 years of age.  Last Sunday when we went to church, his name was honored in the list of the recently deceased and it's probably the best sendoff anyone could ask for- for someone so far away.

So this upcoming month, WE ARE BROKE.
I've started looking for a second job.  I don't know if the extra income will be coming in soon, I'm barely making $400 in my taxes this year (more or less, I really don't remember) and that should help me pay off some debts as well as get back on track with my Roth IRA.
My best friend from back in eighth grade leased the empty apartment in our complex and he actually moved in today... I couldn't be happier for him and his girlfriend of six (maybe seven) years.
Last month I was given the chance to work more hours at work, and maybe that made all the difference this past month.
Also, I'm 24, and I don't know anyone cool that is 24... but whatever.  Why is life making me so old?!!

Last things last, I have another blog, and I will begin to post neat things there when I start school at FIDM.
Yes.  FIDM.  I am so EXCITE!

Peace out!