The Achievement

Yosemite National Park
Atop Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

This summer, my family and I took a trip to this beautiful place. There, I had the opportunity to take many wonderful photos and hike some of the trails inside the park. That of which, the most challenging, was this one…and here is my true story:

The mountain was miles high. The person was broke. Broken back, injured knees, shoulder, neck, and arms. With all sorts of nerve damage, all left from the war. The challenge, to get to the top and back down.

The journey was agonizing. The path, steep and rough. So many slips and tears along the way. Midway up the mountain, she could barely take another step. Unwilling to give up, she pushed on.

Her legs collapsed dozens of times. Her arms gave out several times, too. Her mind couldn’t imagine finishing the hike. Her body didn’t feel like it could make it to the top, much less back down. However, her heart could not quit.

No one knows how, but she found herself atop of the World…finally.

She rested. She enjoyed the views and a rock seat next to a beautiful river fall. But, she couldn’t stay there forever. Thus, the journey wasn’t over. Even though the rest was an hour long, it was not sufficient. Time to return. The challenge continued. Down the mountain she went.

Still in pain and with all sorts of muscles failing, this is how she took the hike down.

One slip of a hand, here. One collapse of a leg, there. Arms and legs shook the entire way. She stumbled and slipped many more times. She even twisted her ankles just as much. Hitting a rock with her leg, or up against it with her body, was common.

But, she could not stay in the mountain throughout the night, so she forced herself to keep going, as she imagined herself stumbling down the rocky mountain, hitting trees along the way.

The journey was tough. The destination, amazing. Yet, she found herself in regret, as she realized that she was only half way down. When she had only a fourth of the way to go, she couldn’t believe just how far it still was.

With only a few thousand feet left, she wished to stop, for she couldn’t go on anymore. Then, she still would have to walk on level ground for a half of a mile to the car. In her mind, there was no way she could do it. No way would she, even, make it to the bottom.

A few steps more. This was the last bit. Every step was painful. But, she finally could see the bottom. Would she actually get off the mountain?

As she took her final step off the rocky path, she wondered if she would have to be carried to their parking spot. Point-Six miles, the sign read. That’s about how far the car was away, but not quite.

In victory, she sat. Oh, but it even hurt to sit. She never gave up. No one had to carry her or haul her in an Emergency Vehicle. Though, now, she cannot walk, or even stand, she can stand tall and proud of her achievement.

Who would have ever guessed that this little, broken woman could accomplish such a feat?

There must still be a Soldier in her!

Let no one ever claim she is weak, for she has shown her true strength.

My First Breath

Being a mother and an aunt are the most rewarding titles I have.

When I started my blog, I started it with a poem I wrote for one of my nephews. Today, I dedicate this birthday poem to all of my nieces and nephews, but I have wrote it for the birthday boy, another of my nephews. In it, his name. Happy Birthday, Babys! (This is not a spelling error: it is what I call them individually and as a whole)

My First Breath

A simple heart that touched my soul…

Nephews and nieces are the breath that first gave me life.

To know my smile, is to know them.

Hours of pain wiped away with one moment with them.

On this day, one celebrates his birth.

Nothing more to say, except: I am who I am, thanks to…

YOU!

Summer

It’s been a long summer. You may have noticed my absence through it all. I’m sorry for leaving you without warning. I will probably not post starting anywhere from late May all the way to as late as early September time frame, on any given year. This is because it is the busiest time of year for me and I find it difficult to set aside the time I need to post. I have still been writing, though, and taking pictures. I am also considering doing reviews on movies and restaurants or other places I visit. If you are still here with me and are ready to see what comes next…Thank You!

NOTE: When I do post, it is on Wednesdays.

Now or Later?

Before the sunsets, think of those whom you would miss…if they were gone by sunrise.

Where there is pain, there is much anger; where it continues, it cannot end.

Those who give without expecting versus those whom take without appreciating.

Where is the value in being so dependable, if one hasn’t the right excuse to falter, ever?

Something earned that is not given, might as well not have been earned.

Do all good deeds go unnoticed? Or, are they simply forgotten with a quickness?

Perhaps, the good that one does, matter not…not until the very end, or past it; mattering, only, once it is too late.

Why must we choose to value what we have lost? Yet, we treat what we have as if it were nothing.

The thought I have, today, is simple…easy as:

  1. Learn what you will miss.
  2. Enjoy it and Appreciate it.
  3. Right Now!

Alone in The Dark?

Hospital in Iraq
Dedicated to a friend in need.

Loneliness is but a void that cannot be filled. Surrounded by many, but never fulfilled. Alone in your thoughts; alone in your heart.

When you feel lonely, it is not the absence that drowns you, but the presence that cannot satisfy you.

Maybe, you’re misunderstood. Maybe, you’re different. Perhaps, you simply can’t be pleased, because no one knows what you need. Perhaps, nobody really knows you. Whatever the case, you are left standing alone. You may feel forgotten; you may feel uncared for, or not wanted. Even if you aren’t alone, you feel it so.

You seek what you need, looking forward and back in time, for any glimpse of company. You can’t see it in the present, it was never in the past, but the future may not be any brighter.

The company you wish for, may never be found…unless, you set your sights within.

So, be your own best friend; give yourself the love you crave; praise your own accomplishments. And, when you feel lonely, remember that loneliness is temporary. It might come and go. It might seem to linger forever. It may even be killing you. But, it won’t last.

If none of these words are enough to get you through…there is always someone out there. An angel, a hero (whatever you call it), that can fill that dark hole inside you. If you ever forget who that is, remember those whom truly love you. If you can’t think of any…

I am always here!

Congratulations

As I recently celebrated another year with my significant other, I wrote these thoughts down. Hope some of you can relate. To all of you out there, celebrating an Anniversary…Congratulations!

It’s been a long road to where we stand, from the path we chose so long ago. Though times are tough and it has been rough, here we are again.

From bad, to worse, and now the worst, we always find the good.

When I think about our struggles and what we still have ahead, it seems impossible that our journey is still united. And, even when things seem hopeless, I put my faith in us.

Together we have done so much; together we have come so far. Together we have conquered all that we know how. And, even though we’ve come to a fork in the road, in which we know not the path to take, I really think we’ll be all right…with an accompanied step in the same direction.

Here’s to the love we share. May we continue to succeed together, or may we find happiness apart. No matter what…we have made it this far.

Happy Anniversary!

Missing

This is my old dog, that I lost so long ago. Figured this was the perfect picture to share for the following poem.

For those missing in your life, whether they have passed away or are still out there…somewhere.

How I count the days until the moment you are in my life again.

You left me without warning, I didn’t even get to say goodbye. Gone but not forgotten. Awaiting until I die.

In this life, in the next, or in eternal life…I shall share a laugh with you again.

The Creek

Upon the creek I came and wept, as those whom have before me, for the people who bring both joy and pain since the day they come into our lives.

We gladly give our hearts and souls to watch them grow, and would give our life in exchange for their’s; for nothing is more important than the people we carry inside.

I shed my tears into this creek, tears of sorrow and of joy; and add to it the love that keeps these waters, the waters of a mother’s soul.

(Dedicated to the people we love so.)

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Power of a Teacher

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I saw this video and it made me think of all my teachers, both good and bad.

First of all, I have to get this out of the way…

I have had some horrid teachers. Teachers who were verbally and emotionally abusive. These teachers, I feel, kept me down and made it harder for me to succeed academically. I will not mention their names, but I think we have all met teachers whom we felt shouldn’t even teach.

Now that that’s out of the way, I want to thank some of the best teachers I have known:

Ms. Tamayo and Mrs. Durham.

These teachers were there for me emotionally, in and out of class. They helped with simple things, that meant a lot to me.

Mr. Klinert.

Perhaps the most important teacher in my academic success. Dare I say, the single contributor of it.

In order to understand this statement, you should know that I was not your average student. Other than in science and P.E., I couldn’t get an A to save my life. In fact, I struggled to get D’s in most my classes and, even with all my efforts, I couldn’t even get a D- in a single math assignment.

Obviously, math was my weakness. Oh, and guess what subject those two abusive teachers I spoke about taught? You guessed it! Math.

So, I had failed math, yet again, my 9th grade year. With the believe that I was stupid and incapable of learning if it wasn’t science, I found myself in summer school. It was here that I met him. At the end of the first class, and without any real hope, I spoke to him. I explained how I just didn’t understand a thing. I expected for him to do as all my other math teachers had done in the past; at best, try to explain it again, then give up on me when I said, “I still don’t get it.”

He was different. No matter how many times I said that, he was determined to actually teach me and he did so patiently. He tried every angle he could think of, asked me questions to figure me out. Eventually, he found the key to my understanding and my learning, in general.

It took minutes. That’s all. I was amazed. I didn’t just, all of a sudden, get the problem we were attempting to solve, I got math…and I learned how I understood. From then on, my academic life changed so much. I was getting A’s and B’s, and not just in math. I rarely needed to ask a teacher anything, and I was even helping my peers with their work. By my last year of high school, I was a straight A student and graduated with honors. I truly owe this teacher my brains.

I’m going to pause here for a bit, to acknowledge some of the good teachers my children have or have had.

Mr. Dufour and Mr. Watson.

These guys have made me feel like they care about my children’s success. Perhaps, it is a point in their lives they don’t understand the value of a good and caring teacher, but I’m sure that, one day, they will. Thank you for caring.

Back to my teachers, I have one more teacher that I want to talk about. This teacher has saved my life, literally.

Fast forward to my college years, at a low point in my life. So low, in fact, I was ready to give up on life. He helped me out of it. He continued to be there for me, offering advice and helping wherever he could. He helped me grow, as a person, and taught me the importance of me.

To this day, his wisdom helps me be better, smarter, wiser, and it helps to find my way back whenever I feel lost. I would love nothing more than to give him all the credit he deserves. Unfortunately, I do not have permission to use his name. So, let’s just call him Mr. Superhero.

I wish I could thank all these teachers in person. No matter where you are, you have made a difference…Thank you!

And, to all the great teachers out there: Someone owes you the World. You are loved and appreciated. Keep up the good work.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!!

Here’s a little student humor.