For the love of a mother

Yesterday I received some disturbing news regarding my mom.  A kidney lesion was found, about an inch long, and her gallbladder findings were suspicious to also suspect cancer. As her eldest child I, of course, was devastated and feel a deep sense of responsibility for her.  I wished she lived closer so I could visit her more often, take care of her as she did me.  However, mom is of the type she does not like to “interfere” with her married children and thus seeks independent living.  With that being said, I seriously doubt after this diagnosis she will be able to do that.

Thankfully, according to my sister, the nephrologist is quite confident he can remove the lesion by taking part of her affected kidney leaving the rest to prevent future renal failure.  She also has the choice to remove this kidney entirely and she is seeking the opinion of her children to make a decision.

My mother has always been the center of my world. Good or bad, meddling, and always loving….she is my mother and I love her dearly.  She is also the very typical Latina mom who dotes on her children, spoiled us when we were young, and loves us like no other.  My mother taught me what unconditionally love is.  No matter how irritated we got with her (because Latina mothers are infamous at striking that last nerve) she kept on loving us, fiercely protective of her young.

In the face of all of this I know I have to be strong for her, for myself.  Since this cancer was caught early she should have a good survival rate.  My prayers are with her and our family during these times.  Am sure God is watching over her and will lead us in the right direction.

Though sometimes our mothers can drive us crazy who knows us better than them? My mother has given us kids and grand kids her sweet unconditional love. Sometimes life can get in the way and force us to take pause. If you ever wronged your mother or felt she was too meddling, remember she did it out of love.

 

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Baby cravings

I love children. I always wanted to be a mother. My only child turns 26 next month. Of course she is no longer a baby, though she looks very young for her age, (a blessing in disguise for I too suffered from this “malady.”)

Sometimes I see babies and I crave to have another. However, at 45 that would be an unwise decision.

When the kid reaches 18 I would be 63 and my husband 68.  Not fair to the kid and to us. It would have been nice to be able to have a child with my husband. My first pregnancy was most difficult and I handled it alone. Raised my kid in a single parent household and never knew the joys of having a “complete” family. However, the experience made me stronger and I’ll never regret my prolife choice. My daughter gave me that singular opportunity to be a mother and I was able to create wonderful memories with her and my family.

Perhaps as I reach the later stages of life and I know I will experience a sense of loss once “the change” is complete, I can come to terms with not having another child.  I heard many women experience what I am currently going through. It’s a emotional roller coaster ride. However, am quite lucky that I have a man whose right there beside me through this change.

 

The following study was conducted on a group of Chinese women experiencing menopause.  It seems my genetic and lifestyle predictors indicate my “time” will be later in life:

Reproductive history
Evidence suggests that women who have never had children will experience menopause earlier than those who have.10 The timing of babies also influences the age at menopause. In studies of Chinese21 and British19 women, those who had their first baby at a younger age and those who had their last baby at an older age, experienced menopause later in life than women with other childbearing patterns. Duration of breastfeeding was also found to influence age at menopause in these women; those who breastfed for longer experienced menopause slightly later than other women.19,21

Age of first menstrual period also influences the age of menopause. Amongst the Chinese women studied, those who began menstruating when they were 16 years or older experienced menopause later than those who began menstruating before they turned 16 years old.21 Women who experienced short menstrual cycles during adolescence also experience menopause, one average, earlier than those who don’t.18


Contraception use
Use of contraceptives (including oral contraceptive, an intrauterine device or tubal ligation) slightly increased the age of menopause amongst Chinese women.21 A study amongst women from the United States also reported that oral contraceptive use was associated with an older age at menopause.23


Other factors
A higher level of education appears to protect against the early onset of menopause,23 as does being married (compared to widowed, single or divorced) and employed (as opposed to unemployed).23 However, it is not clear whether these relationships are direct or are affected by other factors. For example, the relationship between education and menopause timing may occur simply because better educated women are less likely to smoke.10 Being widowed in associated with almost twice the likelihood of early menopause compared to being married, as is poorer general health.10

(source)

It all begins with the 1st step

“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

We’ve all faced our fair share of arguments whether this is with a significant other, family member, or co-worker, we find ourselves at our worst at some point in time.

Keeping your cool, especially when you know you’re in the right and they are wrong can be most challenging. You want to prove your point and sometimes quite vocally I may add.

However, with that being said, there are most definitely times when silence indeed is golden and we must carefully choose our words so as not to offend (though they have offended us), and become the bigger person, keep the peace.

Am pretty sure most of us at one time or another have held grudges. Such a dark, negative emotion festers deep within us, where no one can reach. And how does that make you feel? Carrying such a burden, day in and day out until you no longer recognize who and what you are?

 

Learn to forgive, it’s the 1st step towards a better you. A difficult journey indeed but living with the alternative is not living.

“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.”
― Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile

Letting Go

Sometimes it’s the best thing…the only thing….however difficult that first step must be, it is part of what you eventually become:

Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.
Stephen King

No matter how much suffering you went through, you never wanted to let go of those memories.
Haruki Murakami

Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.
Steve Maraboli

Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.
Ann Landers

Love your spouse as you loved no other….

“If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more. If I knew that this would be the last time I would hear your voice, I’d take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again. If I knew this is the last time I see you, I’d tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it already.”
Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

 

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Game of Thrones

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I don’t follow too many series except a notable few.

Game of Thrones is one of them.

My husband got me hooked (damn him)  :) (with their nod towards Medieval Europe), while we were at the lake a few weekends ago.  My daughter has also come into the fold and I find it far better than Once Upon A Time (one of her favorites)…though the nudity and sex scenes remind me of True Blood (minus the vamps of course), it’s still an overall good serial and I look forward to watching some of my favorite characters coming into their own including the Stark family.

 

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Getting older + Losing Weight = one frustrated lady

Going through “the change” is no picnic. There’s the hot-flashes, weight gain…oh yes the weight gain, mood swings, and overall “blahness” when you’re experiencing the middle-age rite of passage into the next stage of your life.

No matter how I’ve previously tried slewing off the pounds, it does NOT work. Not the way it used to at least.  Before I could cut down on my calories, go to the gym, and watch the weight just slide off.

Not this time.

This time it’s much more difficult.  I find myself wishing for some magic pill to simply give me the energy (which the change does robs) to get through the day, to not crave sugary sweets and carbs so much…to find the motivation to work out.

Having a partner whose 100% on board helps.

Having a gym partner helps.

But we don’t always get the latter and we must find the fortitude to push forward and do it ourselves and at this rate if I continue on this path I’ll weigh 200 pounds in no time.

Not good.

The Mayo Clinic has a good article for women like me who are going through this different lifestyle change (or for you curious men who want to find out why your wife all of a sudden is not your sweet love any longer):

What causes menopause weight gain?

The hormonal changes of menopause might make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen than around your hips and thighs. Hormonal changes alone don’t necessarily trigger menopause weight gain, however. Instead, the weight gain is usually related to aging, as well as lifestyle and genetic factors.

For example, muscle mass typically diminishes with age, while fat increases. Loss of muscle mass decreases the rate at which your body uses calories, which can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight. If you continue to eat as you always have and don’t increase your physical activity, you’re likely to gain weight.

Genetic factors also might play a role in menopause weight gain. If your parents or other close relatives carry extra weight around the abdomen, you’re likely to do the same.

Sometimes factors such as the stress of children leaving — or returning — home, divorce, the death of a spouse, or other life changes might change your diet or exercise habits and contribute to menopause weight gain.

 

(source)

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In summary, it’s simple as the article states, move more, eat less and find support. Simple.

Sometimes but it takes the right frame of mind to change.

“See if you can catch yourself complaining, in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.”
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

 

Indeed, if you applied this philosophy to your every day relationships imagine how much better you’ll feel including having meaningful conversations instead of nagging/knit-picking your spouse or significant other.  There’s enough stresses out there which will trigger our negativity. Don’t bring it home if you can help it.  Of course we’re only human but if we can catch ourselves before we spiral down that hole perhaps, just perhaps, your life situation will improve and trust me, it can create a wonderful domino effect within other areas of your life:

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