"Listen to the words that others can't speak; speak the words that others can't hear."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Alayda Raquel Torres.

     I've never been a mother so I can't say that I have personally witnessed that bond between a child their mom. Although I've never carried a life within me I know what it's like to hold a baby and feel the love that stems from deep within them. I know that looking into a precious child's eyes there is nothing but true innocence and undeniable purity, love.

     Above is Alayda Raquel Torres a little girl whose story will break your heart. I write tonight with great sorrow knowing that I never got to meet this child of God but hoping that someday I will. I can't tell you her birthday or really much about her, but I love her. Looking at her eyes in the picture above I know that she would have loved me back, she wouldn't have known me but she would have trusted me, because she was innocent and loving, and that's what loving children do.

     I don't have many details on the situation simply because I haven't had the courage to sit down face to face and ask for the details. What I've heard from others has torn me to pieces inside.

     To clarify things a little bit, I believe it was actually on Christmas Eve when the Torres' house caught fire; nothing major started the fire just a simple short in wall while the family was asleep. The three year old boy woke up first and realized that he needed to get his little sister out of her crib, a crib already engulfed in flames, the little boy saved his sister as well as his parents before the entire house went down in the fire.

     The doctors said that 70 percent of Alayda's tiny body was burned in the fire and her brother's arms and hands sustained some pretty bad burns as well. We all know the Parkland has one of the best burn units around, but even for them this case was too much to handle. Alayda passed at around 1:30 this after noon.

     As news of this family's pain and difficulty got around, more and more of us have wanted to get something together for this family. A friend of a friend offered up some stuffed animals and for the first time ever I saw a grown man tear up telling me, "Yes, of course I'd love to take them to the hospital for her!"

     Alayda will have all the Teddy Bears and Christmas presents she could ever dream of in Heaven, but it's going to take some time for this family to get back on their feet. A couple people have donated gift cards to give them, but no where near enough what they're going to need for even just a week's worth. This is the one and only time (no promises here!) that I'm going to use this blog as a means of reaching out. This family needs your help. If there is anyway that you'd like to help, please let me know.

     They're currently divided up and staying with family members. They have little to no clothing as it all burned in the fire, no phones, basically nothing. The best we could think of would be gift cards or clothing donations to get them going again. This is a low income family and the family members they're staying with are as well.

God bless you all and God bless Alayda and the Torres family.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Live simply so others can simply live.

     When I think of how things were living in Puerto Rico, I don't remember full days or stories, only short bits and pieces stick out in my mind things that I put together to make an overall experience. I was born there of course, but we all know that the first several years don't count and even after that it's all iffy.
     I do remember that in first grade I was asked to come to school dressed as someone I admired and for some reason or other I decided to dress as Agnes Gonxha Bonjaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa or as of late Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
     I don't know what it is about her but something has attracted me to this woman since before I even knew who she was or the things she did. When I was little I told my mom that it was because I liked the way she dressed, the three blue stripes on her veil were my favorite color, I'd tell her.  I told her that I wanted her to make me a "costume just like the one Madre Teresa wears." Well, needless to say I was best dressed at show and tell that day, but she knew something bigger was growing inside of me.
     Skip ahead thirteen years, and as I opened the door to my closet to put away the last of my Christmas presents and finish up picking up my room so I could vacuum, a quote from Mother Teresa popped into my head, "Live simply so others may simply live." And I kid you not, as I looked at the clothes in my closet I cried. I took shirts off hangers and threw them in a pile and a bunch of jeans I hadn't worn and took them downstairs and without thinking twice about it I took them to a donation drop box.
     Maybe it was a Britney Spears moment of insanity or maybe it was the right thing to do, I'm nowhere close to running around naked so we're safe with that and I'm hoping that someone out there will be a little warmer this winter with a couple more layers added on, but something inside me tells me that I own too much. Why do I need all these things? I do want them, I certainly do not use them, so why keep them? We all do it, too. There's a four-corner foldable chair in the corner of my room that's been there for at least three years; I vacuum it weekly because all it does is gather dust. I keep it telling myself that maybe one day someone will come in and need to sit down and I won't have a place for them to sit. I'm thinking that maybe I should rethink that thought.
     If none of this is making sense just hang in there with me for just a little longer. There a lot in my mind that I'm attempting to get out and it's just projectile vomiting itself out of my brain, my fingers can't seem to type as fast as my brain can think.
     The reason I said all that is because I've been trying to find a way to say all of what I'm about to say... If you thought all of that stuff up there was crazy, take a deep breath because it's nowhere close to over yet.
     About a month ago, I woke up and could tell it was going to be a day where I'd end up closer to hurricane than harbor, I went mass early that morning and knelt down, closed my eyes and began a prayer. Out of nowhere music began to play. It was beautiful, beautiful music. Piano like I'd never heard before, I wanted to open my eyes to see where it was coming from but I couldn't, then I wondered if I was dreaming. I told myself to wake up, I could not fall asleep in church; screaming at myself to wake up, shaking myself from the inside out but nothing worked, it felt like I was paralyzed, this music was just so beautiful!
     A man walked towards me but now I was sure that I was dreaming because he was walking but there was no floor, no ground, nothing. Still he walked a straight path towards me never missing a step, never taking his eyes off of me and when he was close enough to reach me he extended his arm and without speaking he said, "May I have this dance?"
     I did not have a choice. I did not speak. He hadn't spoken but I knew what he had wanted to say. What was happening? Why could I not open my eyes?  As I danced with him, I saw myself kneeling down on the pew and I saw who was playing the beautiful music that I was dancing to and my inner struggle seized as the man, again with actually saying a single word, told me not to worry. He told me that He is always with me and to follow His lead.
     I tried to look around but I couldn't take my off of Him. He was telling me that I was beautiful. He told me that I need not worry about anything because He had made the way He wanted me to be. Then He spun me around, dried my one tear on my right eye and told me, "Be at rest my dear."
     I opened my eyes soon after that as Cindy finished the song and Father John asked everyone to stand.   I know it sounds crazy, but I have never felt a peace like the one I felt that morning. If Heaven is even half as peaceful as that, I will definitely take it!
     I want to say this was an out of body experience, but I've never had an out of body experience before so I don't know for a fact. The only thing I know is that I saw myself in two places at one time. I saw myself up high above everyone else and I was scared but at peace at the same time and I was dancing! God it was so beautiful! All I could think of the rest of that mass was my poem: Sitting in the Silence.

     Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this or am I just crazy?

     You guys have a Merry Christmas! There's at least one more post coming before New Year's!