The morning of February 5, 2006 my team the Seattle Seahawks were preparing for their very first Super Bowl Sunday game as I prepared for my first hosting of my teams visit to the big games by throwing a party at my home.
Before the game could even start, as I hurried around preparing for the Big Day my phone rings. My Dad calls to say “Good Luck Today” “I’ll be routing for your Seahawks” we chatted and I said, got to go Dad. Still lots to do. Less then a hour after I hung up the phone, the phone rings again and the words uttered at the other end of that line dropped me to my knees. My dad was found dead when they went looking for him because he didn’t return from a walk he ventured out on with his dog.
As people showed for the party my husband shared the news and people graciously left as I sat by myself in tears for the better part of the day. Several
Super Bowls past before I even watched again as it was a reminder of all I put off that now could never transpire.
The one day I realized if it weren’t for the Seahawks making it to the Big Game on that very day, I wouldn’t even have had the opportunity to share the conversation we had that Morning. So looking at the glass half full, I was blessed to at least have that.
So I’m back to watching the big game but it’s still a reminder of all that was lost. A reminder that tomorrow is not promised. That putting off until tomorrow what should be done today is a risk that sometimes can’t be undone.
If you were here today Dad, I’d call you to say, Rhonda is better today then I’ve heard her be ever in my adult life. I know you always worried that she’d never find a path to some sort of wellness.
I’d call to say I love you, just because..
So if you love someone make sure you let them know. If you need to be someplace, get there.. because putting it off could very well mean it will never happen.
There has just been a few times in my life I’ve opened up publicly about all I’ve been through. All I’ve walked away from and all I’ve turned my back on. I never look back or use the past as a crutch. I always keep moving forward. I don’t dwell on all I’ve been though even though at times I have to push it back down when the pain from the past starts to creep out of my inner soul.
Sometimes there seems to be no reason for the memories that cause the anxiety to shows it’s painful way to the surface and other times people whom chose to not put the abusive and violent ways behind them try to come at you and in some ways as if to try to guilt me into their failures or lack of strength to walk away like I did. They treat me like I was given a “break” to make it out of the viscous cycle I was born into.
The only break I got was a broken back.. literally.. No one handed me anything, not even a reached out hand.. I made the choice to find the path that took me out of that past I have worked so hard to put behind me.When I think about it though I have to give credit to one event. A event that shaped the beginning of the process of me changing and choosing a different path. It was the Day I saw Jesus. I know. You think I’m crazy. It was a day Like so many others.. fighting, yelling, beating in a trailer we lived in that was 10 ft wide maybe. The bedrooms very small. A twin bed along one wall that took up almost the entire width of the room, but there was just enough for my little body at 11 years old to fit between the wall and the end of the bed. I hid there repeating to myself ” I don’t want this life. God please help me” I remember saying it over and over and then I heard a mans voice speaking softly but firmly “This is not the life you have to have” I heard him say “I will always be by your side if you always hear me I will Lead you out” looking up from the corner of the floor where I was hiding, towards the door, I saw a light in the shape of a man.. I remember sitting there and a peaceful calm came over me. It was from that moment I knew to listen intently and I will find my way out. And that has been what I have done. For nearly 42 years now that’s been my roadmap. I talk to him daily and many times I get caught. People say, are you talking to yourself and I just say yes. But I know I’m talking to him. And I know he listens.
Years can go by and all is good and then something comes up that brings it all back.
Then I’m trapped in this spiral of feelings .. yes it’s family, but it’s family that if I stayed anywhere near them, their addictions, abusive behaviors and unlawful activities would have drug me down with them. Multiple prison terms for many of them, years and years and years of drug abuse and drug trafficking, prostitution for some has caught up to them. One in the Hospital tetoring at deaths door, another one homeless but still choosing to use and abuse .. and somehow it comes back to me as “My Fault” or “My Responsibility” to make life better for them, yet never, not once did they ever set out to make a better life for themselves.
What I needed today as I woke up to this was the day God provided for me. A day with what I know is most important. A day that is hard to make happen as my kids are adults. But today out of know where it came together and it was so needed. A reminder to me why I took the path I took. The path that led me to a loving husband and two beautiful kids that love their family. Kids that unlike me never saw the ugliness I saw as a child.
I stopped the cycle of abuse. I broke the odds. Today was a reminder to me that I did the right thing. And I’m not done. God put me on this path of strong and virtuous life to change this World where I can and I know I’m not done.
Tonight I’ll go to bed thankful for today and prayful for tomorrow. To know what direction or path to take as one life could be coming to a end. I pray that somehow God has been on the same path with them too.
If your out there and you think you want to break the cycle of abuse. Please trust God and find your strength to do it for you and for those you can bring into this world because you did.
Once again, another sleepless night. Seems to be happening more frequently again..
You see, the way I can understand it for me is when you’ve endured abuse and live through it and gotten out of it, like I have because I fought back and I chose a different path. At a very young age I made that decision that it wasn’t going to define me.. and I won that battle, but where I struggle is seeing it all around me.. Abuse, it takes on so many roles: emotional, verbal, sexual, financial, elder, power.. I’m that person who will speak up and speak out all the time, the disheartening and let’s say exhausting part is watching so many Just Look the other way as if it’s becoming the Normalcy in the world we live in today.
Have we become that nation that so many will take the time to record the abuse rather then step in and stop it.
How many times have I heard, “it’s none of our business” or “it’s not your place” when in Turn I’m saying “It’s not right” or “what if that was you, wouldn’t you want help?”
So for social acceptance am I just supposed to sit down now and except that this is the way it is? If only just one person could feel in my heart and see in my head what I feel and see, I wouldn’t feel so alone..
Somewhere out there someplace there is someone that gets what I’m saying. Someone that is going through what I’m going through. Someone, Someplace, Somewhere… I know I’m not alone in this battle.
THIS IS A REBLOG FROM A POST FROM ANTONIO PEREZ ON LINKEDIN NEEDS TO BE SHARED AND SHARED.. ORIGINALLY WRITTEN AND POSTED BY ANTONIO PEREZ ON NOV. 9, 2015 BUT SO RELEVANT NOW.
This post is intended to spread awareness about Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals. Please consider sharing and if you know someone who is a recipient of DACA, please direct them to my linkedin page. Thank you.
What is DACA? On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would stop deporting certain undocumented migrants who came to the United States as children. I myself am a recipient of this program and it has transformed my life. I had very limited opportunities and although things are not perfect as they stand, I’m very fortunate to be where I am today. Under this directive, us youth may be granted temporary permission to stay in the U.S. called “deferred action.” The Obama administration calls this program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
How did this impact the Recipients? I think I can speak for many others when I say that DACA has empowered me to be comfortable with who I am. December 25, 1995 was the day my life would change forever, but i was not old enough to comprehend what was going on. My mom, three sisters, and myself were on our way to the US after my father saved enough money to eventually hire a coyote to bring us over. My dad and older brother had already made the journey a year earlier and realized how much better the standard of living was in the US. Who wouldn’t want a better life for their family? For starters we have socialist schooling systems, prior to coming to the US most of my Dad’s salary went towards my siblings tuition and the rest for food and miscellaneous living expenses. I was always told to keep quiet about my status and how we got here; I was always afraid and felt like a black sheep. When I became a DACA recipient all of that changed. I finally felt like I was an American and could work anywhere I wanted if i worked hard and set my mind to it. I was lucky to be in a state where I could already have a driving license although I have to renew it on a yearly basis; Along with drivers licenses many of us were finally able to seek new jobs, open bank accounts, obtain credit, obtain health care, and increase in our job earnings. This opened my eyes to what’s really out there and not to settle for less.
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced an expansion of the DACA program. However, on February 16, 2015, a federal district court issued an order to put the “expanded DACA” program on hold. People cannot apply for expanded DACA at this time. However, people who believe they are eligible for DACA under the pre-expansion guidelines may still apply.
Who Qualifies for DACA? To be eligible for deferred action under the DACA program, you must:
- Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.
- Have lived continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
- Have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and on every day since August 15, 2012.
- Not have a lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012. To meet this requirement, (1) you must have entered the U.S. without papers before June 15, 2012, or, if you entered lawfully, your lawful immigration status must have expired before June 15, 2012; and (2) you must not have a lawful immigration status at the time of your application.
- Be at least 15 years old at the time you apply for DACA. If you are currently in deportation proceedings, have a voluntary departure order, or have a deportation order, and are not in immigration detention, you may apply for DACA even if you are not yet 15 years old.
- Have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces, or “be in school” on the date you submit your DACA application. See below for more information about meeting the “be in school” requirement.
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense. A felony is a federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
- Have not been convicted of a significant misdemeanor offense or three or more misdemeanor offenses. See below for more information about offenses that may disqualify you.
- Not pose a threat to national security or public safety. (DHS has not defined what these terms mean but has indicated that they include gang membership, participation in criminal activities, or participation in activities that threaten the U.S.)
Why should you consider hiring Deferred Action Recipients? We are Dreamers! We are first generation immigrants who come from hard working families looking for a better future. We have everything to gain, and nothing to lose. Things still aren’t where we need them to be but it’s getting there. Although I’ve been able to comfortably seek jobs, things don’t always go my way. We are still unable to join any military program, but we are able to sign up for select service. Before going through the lengthy hiring process with the United States Postal service, I asked if they would hire DACA recipients which they said they would. I don’t think the public fully understand how this program works as we are not granted residency, but are permitted to stay nonetheless. I went through the interview process and the required tests, driving all over the state only to be denied while handing in my W2 and other paperwork because of my legal status. We put our hearts and souls into everything we do because we know the sacrifice our parents gave us in order to put us in a position to live the American Dream. At the end of the day we’ve spent the majority of our lives in the US and are just like other Americans, but don’t have the same opportunities or benefits that others take for granted. I didn’t choose to come here, but i’m choosing to stay.
J. Antonio Perez
Please click ‘Follow’ if you would like to hear more from me in the future. Please share with anyone you know who is a DACA recipient or if you are one yourself, please connect with my on linkedin. I would like to establish a group on linkedin to network and share ideas. Dream Act Group
Dr Rajen, CEO of a company I've become very passionate about, iGalen International, asked us to share this beautiful story with you. Enjoy…
I never tire reading this story many times over coz it touches the soul. ❤️
An eight-year-old child heard her parents talking about her little brother. All she knew was that he was very sick and they had no money left. They were moving to a smaller house because they could not afford to stay in the present house after paying the doctor's bills. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and there was no one to loan them the money.
When she heard her daddy say to her tearful mother with whispered desperation, 'Only a miracle can save him now', the little girl went to her bedroom and pulled her piggy bank from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully.
Clutching the precious piggy bank tightly, she slipped out the back door and made her way six blocks to the local drugstore. She took a quarter from her bank and placed it on the glass counter.
"And what do you want?" asked the pharmacist.
"It's for my little brother," the girl answered back. "He's really very sick and I want to buy a miracle."
"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.
"His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my daddy says only a miracle can save him. So how much does a miracle cost?"
"We don't sell miracles here, child. I'm sorry," the pharmacist said, smiling sadly at the little girl.
"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I can try and get some more. Just tell me how much it costs."
In the shop was a well-dressed customer. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does you brother need?"
"I don't know," she replied with her eyes welling up. "He's really sick and mommy says he needs an operation. But my daddy can't pay for it, so I have brought my savings".
"How much do you have?" asked the man.
"One dollar and eleven cents; but I can try and get some more", she answered barely audibly.
"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man, "A dollar and eleven cents – the exact price of a miracle for little brothers."
He took her money in one hand and held her hand with the other. He said, "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."
That well-dressed man was Dr Carlton Armstrong, a neurosurgeon. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long before Andrew was home again and doing well.
"That surgery," her mom whispered, "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost."
The little girl smiled. She knew exactly how much the miracle cost … one dollar and eleven cents … plus the faith of a little child.
Perseverance can make miracles happen! Miracle can come in various forms – as a doctor, as a lawyer, as a teacher, as a police ,as a friend, as a stranger and many others..
A river cuts the rock not because of its power, but because of its consistency.
Never lose your hope & keep walking towards your vision.
Somewhere I felt it has closely touched my life…… there's a message for us all…..This kind of message has to be shared and please share this beautiful one. …👏