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Showing posts from March, 2012

Incomprehensible Loss

As a parent, your child is your world.  To lose a child is like losing your heart.  Today, my friends are marking the tenth anniversary of the death of their first born child, Nick.  I have been fortunate enough to get to know this family as our children have gone to school together for the past eight years.  I see them frequently at school, around town, and at social functions. They are always happy, very loving, and gracious.   One would not know the pain and sadness living in their hearts and souls. Nick Their first-born child, forever 2 1/2 years old, died from a tragic accident.  He pulled open the dresser drawer and was climbing the dresser.  His weight was too much for the piece of furniture and it tipped over on him.  I t takes very little weight to tip a dresser when the drawers are open.   He was asphyxiated; the weight of the dresser was too heavy to allow him to breathe.  Who would think that could ever happen? Many questions starte

The reason why I wrote "Out of Status"

We don’t really know what we’re missing until it’s been taken from us. We wake up every morning thinking that our soft and cozy bed will always be there waiting for us at the end of the day. There are things we take for granted because we never thought such things would cease to exist. To look up in the sky and see the sun shine and the stars at any hour of the day seems a constant gift that is always readily available – until you are not even allowed to step outside without barriers and restrictions. It’s important to keep one’s mind focused on the good in one’s life. To make the hours in a day seem shorter, writing about one’s day has always been therapeutic, especially when there’s no one there to talk to face to face. There are experiences that will fade and be forgotten. However, there are those that will always remain vividly in our hearts and minds… This is my brother's journal. He was only 13 years old when he first came to America. For almost 20 years, our

Marriage is a contract

Craig and I were sitting side by side on a bench in the middle of the American wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Before I had met Craig a couple years earlier, I had not known such beauty existed. So the first time I visited the MET, I felt like a newborn learning new things about life – and about New York . We were colleagues turned best friends; that was how our relationship evolved. Within a year, our bond became more profound. Cupid really did a number on us! Still, when Craig asked, “Do you want to make it official?” I was astonished. The setting was perfect. I felt like I was dreaming. The atmosphere made me feel as if I had been placed in one of Claude Monet’s paintings. It was a beautiful autumn afternoon. Outside the room, the sky was clear and the leaves on the trees were a potpourri of colors – orange, green, red, burgundy and yellow – and it all added to the magic of that dreamy day. The sun’s rays illuminated the atrium. The open feel of the ro


My friends who know my daughter and have had conversations with her call her an old soul.  At times, I feel like I am having a discussion with a 40-year old, not a 10-year old. At dinner recently, she claimed that being a kid was hard because she is not allowed to make the "big choices" in her life.  When asked by her dad what these "big choices" are, she responded that she would like to vote.   Yes, vote. For some of us, the opportunity to vote causes some apprehension.  I have always made it a policy not to discuss who I voted for and am very reluctant to discuss politics with anyone. I thought about this comment for a couple of days, mulling over how I could include her in this year's Presidential Election process.  After much consideration, I offered my vote to her, on the condition that she needs to watch the debates and research the candidates (with our help).  I wanted her to make an educated decision and explain to me why s


When I told my friends I was getting married and asked those who were overseas to come home for the wedding, there was no moment's hesitation on their part to say "yes". When I told a couple of them if we could get together when I had a chance to visit the States, they were only too happy to oblige. So when Jen asked me to guest write on her blog, it didn't take me even a second to say "yes". Good friends are not easy to find. You know, the ones who stay not only when things are well but also remain for the long haul. These are the kind of friends who we may not see everyday nor talk to regularly. We may even lose touch with them at some point for various reasons. But the bond remains as strong as the last conversation we had.  I'm lucky I have friends like these. None of us live in an airtight room where we have everything we need. Throughout our lives, we encounter many circumstances that are made easier, possible, or even better because of

Me and My Reinvention

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."  - Wayne Gretzky I am a 43-year old stay at home mom of two, ages 10 and 7.  I did not return to work after my second child was born.  My career as an environmental engineer had been at a standstill for five years.  So when my second turned three, I returned to the work force. I accepted a part-time position, working three days per week, so that I could be home with my children on the other two days.  It seemed like the perfect situation.  I would be at home for my children part-time and be contributing financially to the household, in hopes, that someday my contribution will allow us to improve our home and visit places we've always dreamed of visiting.  Additionally, it would get me back into the workforce and I could start building my career again.  After all, I did not go to college and spend my parents' hard-earned money for nothing! I quickly acclimated to the position, building trust with my sup

Life Coaching, Listen To Your Mother and Goosebumps

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." - Neal Donald Walsh   I always believed, as my parents reminded me, that I can make a difference. I would scribble Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote, "Be the change you want to see in the world." on my journals to inspire me that in order for me to change the world, I have to be that change! The past 3 weeks, I stepped out of my comfort zone, in order to tell a story. I didn't think I could have a voice, let alone go on a stage or be on television. I was so conscious of how I would sound, or whether my message would get lost because of my accent - or whether I could even construct a sentence in front of an audience.  I voiced these concerns to one of my closest friends, Sonia, who is training to be a Life Coach . She has such natural talent and abilities that she was able to get me focused on the reasons why I wanted to share my story, and made me realize that what I perceived as imperfections are act

To Life

We sometimes go through our days wishing we had the new Apple IPad, we were as pretty as Julia Roberts, we drove a car like the neighbor next door....  It takes a short line like this to make us realize Life is more than any of these. I’m healthy I could run and enjoy the morning sunshine I could walk to the supermarket and back even with my grocery bags in tow I could indulge on some sweets a little without feeling guilty I could work all day, feel tired and yet feel accomplished.

Journal Writing: Choosing a space

Now that you have your customized journal, binder or notebook, the next step to journal writing is choosing a space that suits you – where it’s quiet, and you can be alone. In order to put your thoughts into words, you'll need a place where you can focus and concentrate. Or a place that will help you see beyond the obvious. Your special writing spot should be clean, neat, free of clutter and comfortable. Let me know where your special writing corner is.

My first interview about Out of Status with Telly Award-winning journalist Don Tagala for TFC

In 2009, I thought of writing a book about my family’s immigration story, and on February 16, 2012, I officially hit the  “publish” button. Since then, I had been busy promoting the book. The feedback I’ve been getting so far had me crying – with pride and joy. Last Thursday, I met TFC award winning journalist, Don Tagala. The night before the interview, I was scared. I wasn’t sure how I’d react. I mumbled a little, sounded a little off, but after 40 minutes of various Q&A, I felt good. I did it! An important message that was not aired or mentioned in the interview was the importance of faith, love and support of family. The past few  weeks had been a reminder of what it is like to have a dream. Hope you can help spread the word, so that every household will learn of the story and the importance of family, faith and values.

Women I admire

March 8 is International Women's Day. This day has been observed since the early 1900's. It was a time of expansion when people saw the growth of industrialization, population and radical ideologies. At the time, there was a lot of debate about women’s oppression and inequality which pushed a number of women to be more vocal and active in pushing for change. No, this is not a history lesson. Rather it’s a post I’d like to dedicate to the women I admire. Some are well-known and famous while others, perhaps not so. All however are equally of great strength and are sources of inspiration. Photo from First on my list is Rosa Parks, the African-American civil rights activist, who refused to give up her seat for a white passenger. Referred to as the “first lady of civil rights” and "the mother of the freedom movement”, Parks was a TENACIOUS lady who knew her rights. Far from being intimidated, she stood her ground and did not give up. I may