Thankful Thursdays

For the will and the way.

Our family’s big on birthday celebrations. Coronavirus was not going to stop this one. On the contrary, it actually gave us a new way to party – – The Drive-by Caravan.

The Coronavirus social distancing requisite brought about this latest way to celebrate, and yesterday we had a chance to see it in action when family and many of Lauren’s friends drove by our home in a caravan of honking, music-blasting, decorated cars to make her 28th birthday one she is not likely to forget. With other friends and family joining in via FaceTime, we were quite a crowd.

Thank you to all who took time and participated to make this surprise celebration extra special for Lauren. And to the Lord, who ignites the will and gives us the way.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

Lauren: May God bless you with many more wonderful birthdays. We love you. 

“Today you are You;
That is truer than true.
There is no one alive
Who is Youer than You.”
-Dr. Seuss

“God gave us the gift of life;
it is up to us to give ourselves
the gift of living well.”
-Voltaire

Thankful Thursdays

For what I’ll miss.

Looks like I’ll be returning to my office building soon. The last two months working from home have felt…well, uniquely strange. But also surprisingly painless and quite pleasant. Although I’m looking forward to returning to the office, there are things I will miss immensely once this lockdown is over. Three in particular:

    • Extra hours with Ray, Lauren, Danny and newest addition to the family, Beni. Seeing them around the house and being able to talk to them during the day has been priceless.

    • The soul-soothing and teleporting scents of “White Tea and Sage” and “Sequoia.” The first puts me right inside the lobbies of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels. The latter, in the midst of that woodsy national park. And I would have to add the smell of air-fried foods. Only because we’ve been consuming quite a bit of chicken nuggets and pizza rolls.

    • Lunch time. As enjoyable as our 49th floor office café view is, and the company I keep there, lunching with my gang out on our patio bistro these sunny, breezy days will be tough to match.

These have been blessings of a quarantine I never expected or wanted. And some of the things I will miss the most about working remotely.

What will you miss when you return to the workplace? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.”
-A. Brandt

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.”
-Helen Keller

“Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what’s for lunch.”
-Orson Welles

[Note: In case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing.]

Thankful Thursdays

That He broke the mold.

God created each of us unique. While we may have similarities, there are no two of us alike. And thank You Lord for that! No one wants another one of me out there. Our unique blueprint means you and I will have different likes and dislikes, opinions, and beliefs. Let me break it to you gently: The sooner we accept that, the faster we’ll feel at peace and be able to go about our business. Especially during these trying times when we’re all a little on edge.

I think we should focus on how to improve who God created us to be, instead of trying to change others, and be thankful that He broke the mold after He made each of us. After all, to each his own, no? Or as my mother was fond of saying, “Cada loco con su tema.”

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”
-Jeremiah 1:5

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of
your mind.”
-Romans 12:2

“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
-D. Nevill

Thankful Thursdays

For motherhood.

As we get ready to celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, I think about mine. The powerhouse of a woman she was, and everything she taught me. Her example of strength and faith and unconditional love will live in me forever. I miss her dearly, and I thank God for the time I had with her.

Mostly, however, I think about my life as a mother. Through the trials, tribulations and triumphs of motherhood, I have experienced things and felt emotions on a level I cannot possibly explain to you. Except I can tell you that I would not trade any of it. I cannot envision, nor do I want to, life without Lauren and Danny.

For this blessing the Lord has bestowed upon me, today and always, I am thankful. I want to wish all the moms, grandmas, aunts, and godmothers a beautiful and blessed Mother’s Day.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”
-R. Browning

”(24/7) once you sign on to be a mother, that’s the only shift they offer.”
-J. Picoult

The sweetest sounds to mortals given
Are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven.
~ W. Brown

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

 

 

 

Thankful Thursdays

For my job and extended family.

I’m feeling very fortunate to be employed. Right now, millions of people are not feeling that fortunate. But I am one of the lucky ones who has a job that can be done remotely, and work for a company that not only allowed us to do that, but also helped us settle into our new working environment.

I feel for those struggling during this daunting economic crisis. I am grateful to be employed and to be part of the White & Case family.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Life is short…
Work where you’re continuously accepted,
respected, appreciated, encouraged, inspired,
empowered, and valued.”
-T. Howard

“In the midst of chaos, there is also
opportunity.”
-S. Tzu

“You may not always end up where you thought
you were going, but you will always end up where
you were meant to be.”
-Unknown

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

 

Thankful Thursdays

For normal days.

Let’s be real, pre-quarantine, many of us whined about our daily routines: “Ugh, I wish I could stay home today!” That was the number one response people gave when surveyed about things they think of on weekday mornings. Then one day that usual routine we complained about drastically changed when Corona came to town. I don’t know about you, but my days now feel like Groundhog Day stuck on an eternal Sunday. I’ve lost track of time. Strangely, the past month has felt like a slow motion whirlwind.

Although my family’s survival mode did kick in a few days into this craziness and we’ve adjusted so far to the current situation, part of me longs for a normal day. One of those normal days I whined about. It now brings to mind the kind of words that make you go “Hmm….”  Mary J. Irion had it right:

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure that you are.
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow,
or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want,
more than all the world, your return.”

I wonder what our new normal will turn out to be like. For now, I pray the Lord helps us embrace the uncertainty of this pandemic and focus on the positive things it has brought us. Let’s count our blessings.

Still, for normal days, today and always, I am grateful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“It has taken awhile, but I certainly do know it now – the most wonderful gift I had,
the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly
ordinary days.”
-K. Kenison

“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.”
-T. Fuller

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

Thankful Thursdays

For emotive journeys.

During our weeks of house arrest, we’ve all found ways to stay entertained. But, really, how much Netflix, board games, Animal Crossing, and walks around the neighborhood can one muster? To change it up a bit, at home we decided to inject into that mix a few short walks down memory lane. So, we’ve been watching bits and pieces of old home videos. Must tell you, that’s some kind of entertainment.

Our own personal archive is a life montage of hilarious, goofy, adventure-filled and milestone moments worthy of popcorn. Oh my gosh, we’ve been laughing so much. It’s one thing to tell the kids stories of their childhood, and another for them to actually see themselves in action. And if you’ve ever wondered what your adult kids really think of your parental abilities, have them sit with you to watch a video of you and them back in the day. Open season is all I can say. It’s all fun and games until you play an old video. LOL. All kidding aside, it’s been a lot of laughs.

But viewer beware: Watching family videos can be quite a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Not only because you’re watching yourself thirty years ago when your skin looked radiant, but mainly because you’re watching footage of time shared with loved ones no longer with you. Sadly, our videos contain too many of those characters. The other night, I was particularly moved by a short clip of my sister and me at the hospital shortly after Danny’s birth. At the time, I didn’t know Ray was recording us. I’m so glad he did. She’s by my bed holding my hand and chatting about the miracle that had just taken place: the birth of her godson. What a sweet, sweet moment. It warmed my heart. Enough for days. Old family videos should be on everyone’s must-see movies bucket list.

Family and friends, while on Corona house arrest, I strongly suggest taking a trip down memory lane. Especially now that we can’t really be taking trips anywhere else. Go through old photos and watch your old videos. Show your kids the reason you have so much gray hair now. Take advantage of this down time to reminisce a little and relish your amazing memories.

For emotive journeys we’ll want to take time and again, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“I took a stroll down memory lane today, not to be saddened by the people
that I have lost, but to be grateful for the memories that I shared with them.
I took a stroll down memory lane today to the hear the voices and see the
faces….I am thankful that I have their words to hear again.
I took a stroll down memory lane today. I have done it before and will do
it many times more.”
-L. Hitch

“A picture is worth a thousand words…and a video is worth a million pictures.”
-A. Subbarao

“Love one another with a little added tenderness for the days of life are short.”
-Author Unknown

[Note: In case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

Thankful Thursdays

For a season of heightened perspective.

Little did I know on that Wednesday morning when I received the holy ashes, that down the road our family would not be in church for Holy Thursday Mass. For us, traditionally, one of the most meaningful observances of the Easter weekend. This has been, to say the least, the strangest Lent I have ever experienced.

Typically, this is a very chill 40-day period of reflection, renewal and fasting, and of beautiful Masses and celebrations. Typically. But, deaths by the thousands and the scarcity of toilet paper have made it anything but chill or typical. Add the fact that the Eucharist is absent from our lives at the moment and, yes, It’s all beyond mind-boggling.

Then there’s the irony — a time during which many renounce alcohol or chocolate and give up social media for the sake of spiritual growth (yes, I said spiritual growth), has turned into a time of consuming alcohol and chocolate, and living on social media for the sake of sanity. Too surreal for Lent. Too surreal, period. But here we are. Weeks into this pandemic and on Holy Thursday. Tonight my family will attend a livestreamed Mass. Different feel, different platform, same God. Thankfully, He is everywhere. 

As this Lenten season nears the end, I rather not think about what we’ve had to give up or what this unexpected and disruptive season has taken from us. I’m trying to focus on what it has provided those of us who are still breathing: much time to spare. For more praying, for more loving, for more hoping. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” That thought is my hope and my sanity, now more than ever.

For the most profound Lent ever, and a season of heightened perspective, today and always, I am thankful.

Wishing all of you a very blessed Easter.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.”
-F.J. Sheen

“In life we live a mystery, not a formula.”
-Father J. Huard

[Note: In case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

Thankful Thursdays

For silver linings.

Hello, friends and family. I hope you’re all hanging in there. We will get through this! Remember: Peace over panic; faith over fear. I know, I know, but even if through clenching teeth, just keep repeating it in your heads. Lots of people out there in worse situations. Let’s keep perspective on the front burner.

These unsettling times are scary because this virus is relentless and it does not discriminate. It has turned the world upside down (more than it already was, if that was possible). But we must look for the silver linings in challenging and uncertain times. We must look at the bright side to the kick in the butt Corona is inflicting:

-So much has been learned from it.
-Many people helping others and so many random acts of kindness.
-We’re living in awareness like never before.
-We are more prayerful.
-We are more grateful.
-We’re spending more time with one another than we’ve had in a long time, either via virtual gatherings (FaceTiming, Zooming, Skyping, etc.) or under the same roof. Although I’m loving the round-the-clock home together thing, it can get a little hairy from time to time, I admit. But, how often is that going to happen post-Corona? So let’s embrace that now.

I’m sure you have many other examples of good that are coming out of this dark time. Folks, this monster imprisoned our bodies, but not our minds and certainly not our spirits. And for that silver lining, today and always, I am thankful.

Here’s a dose of hope: Nunca ha llovido que no haya escampado. Never has it rained that it hasn’t stopped. Stay positive, keep the faith, and stay healthy!

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“I am thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon my strength.”
-A. Elle

“The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser in case you thought optimism was dead.”
-R. Brault

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
-Romans 8:37-39

Thankful Thursdays

For our powerful intercessors.

These days, we need all the extra help we can get. I want to remind those of you who believe in the intercession of saints that they, who reign together with God, offer up their own prayers for us. As most of you know, St. Jude (the patron saint of desperate cases) is my go-to guy. Many of you have stickies with your supplications and petitions stuck on my St. Jude board at the office. At home, currently, I have a candle lit and one sticky with one petition for all.

May the saints in heaven continue to intercede for us here on earth. May they appeal to God on our behalf to stop this pandemic and help those afflicted. St. Jude, pray for us!

For our intercessors, and the power God has bestowed on them, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“The nation doesn’t simply need what we have. It needs what we are.”
-St. Teresia Benedicta

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
-St. Francis

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].