It was my mom’s 7th year anniversary of her death yesterday and for the 1st time in seven years, I didn’t cry my eyes out; which it felt great for once. My brother surprised me, and came up from Atlanta, Georgia; I’m sure that helped and influenced my whole mood and attitude towards the day itself. I am the happiest when he is around; I feel complete. I miss him so much, it’s very hard not to have him and mom around anymore. I believe his move made moms lost even harder to deal with; I felt as if I lost both of them all at once. It has been a long time since we spend a special day like today together, seven years to be exact.

To honor my mother’s memory, we decided to bring flowers to the cemetery. Before she died she always said to me how important it was to her to always have fresh flowers at her grave. As crazy as it may sound my mom always spoke to us about death and about the day she would leave us behind. One day she went on saying, how she always wanted her grave to be watered; She always had this fear of being thirsty (lol). Therefore, she asked us to promise her to always bring her flowers and water her grave; and of course, we would say yes (Not knowing how hard that would be years later). Sometimes we commit to things that we don’t actually understand the meaning of. It sounded so simple at the time. But it isn’t. It takes everything out of me to go and see her. It’s easier for me to talk to my mother on a daily basis without having to go physically to the cemetery. When she first passed away, I would go more often and I would be traumatized for weeks. I had nightmares all night and cried myself to sleep for days after visiting her. Being in my early twenties and without my mother was hard. There were times where I visited her grave at night and asked her to come back. People often judged me for not visiting my mom as often as they thought I should. People find it extremely easy to voice their opinions on other peoples struggles and life. The truth is that they wouldn’t even visit her as often as they wanted me to themselves. It’s so much easier to point the finger when you’re on the other side.

It was nice to be there with my brother. Since he moved so many states away, we really don’t get to do that as often as we would like. To be completely honest, my brother hates to visit mom at the cemetery, like any child would. I think he prefers to talk to her through other ways, just like me. But, enough about him and let’s get into today’s reflection. Which is how nice it felt, in a weird way, to visit mom while living in a different chapter of my life. So many times, I went to her crying for help and mercy. Usually, I was running on my last breath; defeated and just tired of life. for the first time, it was different. It felt nice for once; I wasn’t going because I needed her, but just because I missed her. I can’t deny that I was a little excited to share this me with her. It just felt great, to be and to feel ok with my life and to finally share that with her. I didn’t feel any anxiety while driving there, I felt calm and I actually enjoyed the drive. I was mentally preparing myself for what to say to her. I can’t even describe the feeling I felt; standing there over her. It was as if everything that I had cried about and prayed for at her grave, while on my knees, has started to finally happened. This time I was on my own two feet standing there saying “Thank You” and “I miss you” without asking for anything and without tears running down my eyes; for that I am grateful.

Today I can understand that even though my mom has left the physical world, she is still here spiritually.My mom has never really left me nor my brother. She stands here with us and has been protecting us every step of the way. She has made sure that we’ve become the best versions of ourselves. She’s been tough with us, just like any mom would. We have questioned life, God and even her at times, because it hasn’t been easy. It’s been hard, very hard. The things me and my brother have had to deal with, without her, are unbelievable. The reward has been beautiful. To see him and see the beautiful strong human being he has become makes my heart skip a beat. That’s what my mom would have wanted. For both of us to be the best version of ourselves; to represent her. I believe the best gift of all it to know she is happy with both of us. I know we both aren’t perfect. But a mom doesn’t want a perfect child. A mother, will always understand a child’s heart; and to me that’s all it matters. Everything we have been through has prepared us for what’s to come. I am grateful to be able to see the world from the perspective of a survivor and a warrior. I believe life it’s about perspectives, I wish I knew this years ago (lol) but let me share what I wished it would have been taught to me as a child, not through life. Throughout your life you will encounter many people drowning in a cup of water. The same cup of water you will thankfully pick up and drink off. Some will drown, some will float, and then there will be me…drinking it! I’ll be one of the few people to be grateful to have had water to drink off.

Life isn’t perfect, and I know it will never be. All I want is the strength and patience (lol) to be able to handle and accept the things I can’t change. I pray every day for the strength to bare what I do not think I am capable of handling. Breaking my ankle, it’s the perfect example of this. Even though it has connected me to God in ways that I never thought possible. I can’t deny that I’m scared. I never felt the feeling of being disadvantaged in life. Sometimes, I question my strength and my perseverance. Every day is a constant struggle. I had never experience constant pain like I have in the past year. As soon as I wake up, and put my foot in the ground, I feel pain. It’s hard to wake up. At times I don’t want to adapt to what has transitioned into my reality. This has been a long journey; a year to be exact and I still don’t feel better. It’s a frustrating feeling. But I will get better, maybe not to where I wish. Mom and god will guide me and give me the strength I may lack. I fear for my future, because I am no longer the same Marcel I was a year ago. I wonder if I will ever get to chase my kids down the backyard, if I will ever get to go to Disney world with my kids and walk a whole day carrying unnecessary heavy items, I wonder if I will get to dance the whole night on my wedding day and I wonder if I’ll be able to enjoy a day without feeling any pain. All these, are questions that haunt me and keep me up at night. However, these same questions are the ones that have made me become closer to the faith that my mom had instilled in me since at early age.

Surprisingly, with all this uncertainty in the works, I still feel lucky and happy, which I didn’t expect. Not being the Marcel that I once was, works in my favor, I am a stronger and a wiser Marcel. And that’s something to be thrilled about. Things can always be better and they can certainly be worse. We have to learn to appreciate the small moments that God constantly gifts us. On 03/28/2018 I felt grateful for all of them. I am grateful to have overcome the many obstacles where I didn’t think I had the courage to do so. I am grateful to stand here today, in front of her, proud of who I am. I am happy to be alive, when there were so many moments when I wasn’t. I may not be physically where I wish to be, but I want to believe God and mom have a bigger plan for me. With that being said, I am better than I was seven years ago, with a broken ankle and all. And I owe that to everything I been through and to the outlook I choose to have on life. Everything in life is about perspective and attitude. So, make sure to review your past years and analyze the attitude and perspective you have chosen to have. check what you can improve; what you have done wrong? If anything, choose to grow. I believe it’s a choice; choose to be better! Choose to have a positive outlook towards life regards of what doesn’t go your way. And always remember, everything happens in its time.

                                                                        Life is not a sprint, it’s marathon!

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