Monday, March 31, 2014

Sweet Child of Mine

A few minutes after putting you to bed tonight you came into the office, stating you could not fall sleep. "When I close my eyes, I hear people yelling and fighting about me." I shushed you away, as I tend to do, brushing it off as an excuse to stay up past your bedtime. You turned around disappointed, walking out the door saying, not so under your breath, "You only care about the old people you work with!" I kept working, trying to cram a weeks worth of undone notes into a Sunday night. Not ten minutes later, I went into your room feeling you might still be awake. You laid there, staring at the ceiling, sheet up to your neck, clenching your Mr. Alf. As I approached your bed, you moved over slightly making space for me to lay down next to you. I obligued, then you happily and sweetly curled up under my arm. Immediately I was transported to a time, not so long ago, when my baby would not fall asleep unless I laid next to her. As I laid there, giving you piojito and cosquillitas, Rockabye Baby's rendition of Guns-N-Roses Sweet Child of Mine came on, further adding to the nostalgia.

Where do we go now, sweet child of mine? With today's sunrise we argued in frustration, at sunset we cuddled restfully. Our relationship, although new, has been an emotional whirlwind. A love, like and not-so-much mother-daughter bond. There in the darkness of your room, on your tiny little bed it was the former. You moved Mr. Alf from in between us, "I don't need him, I'm not lonely anymore." Catharsis, in the smallest action, by a small child. I know what it feels like to feel lonely, while not being alone. I know what it feels like to hold on to a memory, a trinket, a stuffed animal, a lost soul with a glimer of hope. 

The past year has not been an easy one for us. It hasn't been the first, although your recollection believes the contrary and it will not be the last. The decisions that I had to make are not yours to understand now. There will be a time, maybe sooner than later judging by how fast it tends to pass, when the reality may become more clear. It may be until you are more than a daughter, a woman, possibly even a mother when you will fully understand why choices pertaining to you, yet out of your control were made. Why sometimes what appears to be contentment is ruined, followed by a less than favorable transtion to an eventual new norm.

I have been known to say, I would have gotten my PhD by now and it would have been easier than being a mommy. I won't lie and say it isn't true. Even so, I wouldn't trade you and your sister for anything, even the fancy Dr title I so covet. The lessons I have learned and continue to learn about all that I am and strive to be are inspired by the two small, great people in my life. Your sister and you have taught me more about myself, being a woman, a daughter, sister, aunt, mother, human, than anything else ever could. The birth of you both changed me forever. Strength and courage I had no idea existed were also born with you. But it was the toughest decision I had to make that drew out that internal courage, strength, maternal instinct to change the future. It was that decision made for the greater good of all I love, myself included, that will make the people yelling and screaming in your head a faint memory. 3/30/14 RR.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Low Fidelity

Head in the clouds
Forgot to keep 
Feet on the ground
Heart on a sleeve
So green and naive
Rose colored glasses
Disguised red flags 

Hindsight is 20/20
Vision crystal clear 
Auditory too, can 
Drown out the noise
Eliminate distortion
Distinguish the bullshit
No longer fall for 
Gaslight tactics

Twisted truth
Deflected behaviors 
Denied the obvious 
Disguised friendships
Minimized flirtations

Countless, faceless
Objects of affection
"Innocent messages"
Feeding lines 
Filling preconceived voids
Stroking more than egos 
Texting, sexting, cybersexing 
Made up, dreamt up
Erotic fantasies 
-It's not real
Just harmless words

Monogamy isn't just a flesh embodiment 
When you mentally fucked each and every one of them. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Last Week

I want to remember the week of 3/17/14. Second week of my kids 2 week spring break, road trip planned for Thursday to Albuquerque, NM. Visit family, the zoo, aquarium, etc. By Tuesday, the trip would already have to be pushed back a few hours, maybe even a whole day. Working in home health, flexibility is key and this particular week was no exception. A days worth of not locating patients, several with medical appointments, on the same day, left me frustrated, flustered on the verge of a full-blown temper tantrum. A couple days later, a flat tire, and with no other therapists to cover for me, I somehow convinced the kids to have a stay-cation instead. Luckily, Grandma, who was coming with us decided she'd go ahead and take them along with my grandmother. 

These events weren't particularly important on their own, but together they made for some interesting reactions and interpretations. The one important event was my grandmother's 85th, on Wednesday the 19th. She is my only living grandparent, whom I've been the closest to. In the days leading to her birthday, I spent time talking with her and in a way interviewing her. I asked if she'd let me record our conversations, she agreed. She is the epitome of strength. I admire her and love her dearly. One day, I'd like to write her story, a best I can and hopefully as close to her recollection taken from the recordings. It won't be for anyone other than myself and more importantly for my kids. God willing she will be with us long enough for them to remember her later in their lives. She at 85, they 6 and 8, it is safe to assume the opposite. Even so, I hope to share the amazing life she lived. Not a fancy life but a humble and hard life, by our standard that is. It was she who sacrificed so much, leaving Mexico to provide for her children that allows me to sit here, a Mexican-American woman, writing on a fancy iPad, in English, putting to use the education accessible to me based on geography and legalities. The rest we will leave for another day. 

Aside from my grandmother turning 85, this week I discharged two of my oldest patients 93 and 98. I enjoyed their company so much. It is my job to help patients regain as much independence as possible, yet I can't help feeling I take more away from working with the elderly and infirm. I love what I do, but there are times when it is "a job", which is exactly how this week started. With things not going by the schedule I envisioned, my job was getting in the way of my personal life. And on the day when this sentiment was at its peak, I found myself in the presence of a person who's whole life did not go as planned. A mind in tact, imprisoned in a non-functional body. Legs that can't walk, arms that can't reach, hands that can't grab, a mouth that can't chew or speak. There I was, standing on my two legs, in front of this man in his wheelchair, when just a few minutes before bitching about how my whole day went to shit, my trip would have to be pushed back, I was hungry, had a headache, blah, blah, blah. I wish I could discuss in detail what, in essence my signature can provide for this man. What I can say is it will slightly improve his quality of life and the thought of it brought him so much joy. His face lit up, eyes widened and in his unclear, mustered voice, annunciated "Thank You".

I couldn't help but feel the days events happened as they did for a reason. It wasn't how I would have scheduled, it wasn't my plan, it wasn't on my terms, or my time, but it was the right time. An eye opening time. A reminder of what my purpose is, a reminder of all I am blessed with, of all I am capable of, a reminder to be grateful for having a job, a job that allows me to provide for myself and kids. A job that allows me to provide services to people who cannot care for themselves entirely. That allows me to witness the resiliency of people society deems less fortunate. A job that allows me to witness unconditional, undying, love and devotion. A job that provides opportunity for humility and reflection. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Open response to anonymous comment on my blog

"you say that of every guy you've ever come across" 

If you know me, as confidently insinuated in your anonymity, you would also know that your statement is in fact an exaggeration. If you don't know me personally let me clue you in. I was married for 8yrs, separated September of 2012 and single thereafter until 2014. During that time any guy I came across was exactly that, a passerby and if anything shook my hand to introduce himself.  

As this blog states in it's introduction this is MY outlet. What I write includes what I think, feel and maybe, just maybe things that have been said to me. Follow me on this one, on more than one occasion I have been told that "we are meant be". I believe that people have strong bonds, make connections throughout life, even past lives. I believe I have and have had more than one soul mate, my friends included. If I in fact said this about you, to you, then I meant it. It's not my style to talk for the sake of it, especially something this deep. 

If I said this to you or you to me and we are not together - I'm sorry for your loss. Clearly it bothers you that this was expressed in the post dedicated to my current beau. Who in fact says and firmly believes that we, he and I are meant to be. What's more, since we reconnected has not let a day go by without showing how much he cares for and wants me in his life. 

If you and I, Mr. Anonymous, had a connection don't worry, we were meant to be. Whatever impact we had on each other served it's purpose. Every person we encounter plays some role in our life. Some good, some bad, but all are lessons. Having said that, and I hope my advice doesn't offend you or in anyway cross a line. Let this also be a lesson. From this point on, if you ever feel you are meant to be with someone and you truly love them - don't wait for it to happen, make it happen. Love requires action, not just feeling, otherwise it's just infatuation. 

Friday, March 14, 2014


Bit my lip one too many 
Til scar tissue grew numb
Swallowed my pride
Til there was none 
Just a stomach knot 
Tip toed on eggshells 
Til the ingrowns were more than I could bear
Avoided rocking the boat
Til it flipped over on its own
5 foot 4 inches deep in emptiness
Drowning in a self deprecating existence 
The ultimate sacrifice 
Self-respect, dignity, confidence 
To feed your insatiable madness
They say it's a thin line 
But hate is too strong a sentiment
Instead I gift you indifference  
                                      - raquel 

Image credit: Stephanie Moon @moonpiedesigns

Saturday, March 8, 2014

International Women's Day: More Than A Muse

Living under a fallacy
Made up and force fed by society
The pretense a knight in shining armor
Will love and provide unconditionally

Be dainty, be proper
Don't swear, cross your legs
The list is long and goes on

Save face, give it and don't say nothing
Do as I say, not as I do
Sit pretty and breath ever so
Slightly, tread lightly
Be polite
What's mine is mine
Don't mistake it for yours

Your man turned out to be mean?
A liar, womanizer, a drunk and a cheat? So it be
Chin up, smile, look the other way
Sugar, spice and everything nice
Be patient, "love" will prevail

You're a Mexican woman
It's your job to endure
Whatever he gives you
Be it good, bad or ugly
It's what men do,
In our patriarchal society

He gets home late, if at all
Out drinking with his friends
It's ok mija,
He was thinking of you
Taking shots in your name,
Playing rancheras again,
Singing verses he wrote just for you

Don't worry mija, He loves you!
It's true, asi son todos
It's how machos do
Just like his papá,
His grandpa and his tios too

It's part of our culture
It's who we are
Women who stand by their man
Til death do us part

Leave him?
No! That's not even a choice
How dare you!
A woman have a voice?

The time is now
To thine own selves be true
To speak our minds
Be second to none
To break down the walls
Tear down the facade

Stop expecting our daughter's
To live in such misery
By no longer upholding
The mystery of iniquity

We must stand up tall
Show them how to be strong
Demand equality
As a basic necessity

We must no longer
Accept the status quo
Letting go of the guilt
For our own accomplishments
Stop apologizing and enabling
Men's inferiority complex

Rise above, break the silence
End the circle of distrust,
Abuse and violence
Expect more from our boys
Teach our girls what it's like
To be on their own
To build themselves up,
Know their worth in gold
And never, ever settle
For being
Merely a muse