Lightning's Flower

Striking Down Breast Cancer Through Awareness

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With Love

They say time flies, 2 years to be exact. Not a day goes by I don’t think of you or miss your hugs, your laugh. I’ve heard people say laugh to keep from crying. I don’t know about that, but I know I think of your laugh to keep from crying. Your love of life and everything about it. Your love of those you love and your fight, it’s my constant reminder not to be selfish and sulk in the loss of you, but to fight, hold steadfast, and maintain the legacy and memory of you in every waking moment. I’ve been building in many ways, ways I know you are proud. Soon to come, I will be building upon this and making sure that your life, as you wanted, will help someone else.

So though another year has passed, your closeness has not lessened. That red bird every morning, outside the window, near the car, I see you Mommy, and I know you see us and are here every single step of the way.

Always in my heart, I love you and miss you so.


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Running- A heavy heart, not just a celebration

I ran in the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure Saturday. The race was not like I remembered my first Komen race. That race had me tearing up from the supporters lined up cheering everyone along. This time, yes, there were people cheering, but I was kind of zoned out. As I ran I wasn’t sure what I was running for. I mean, I know I was running in support of breast cancer. I was running for Mommy and her memory. I was running for my family and my girls, so they wouldn’t experience anymore loss from breast cancer. I was running for a cure. But I wasn’t thinking about much of that while on the road. I was running to beat something. I don’t think it was breast cancer per se, but the anger of loss. Maybe it was the significance of breast cancer – in my life as well as the lives of so many. And maybe the celebratory vibe dulled me to the event. Someone’s shirt had a pin that said celebrate the survivors, support those battling, and honor those we lost. That’s the only thing that really stood out.

I support Susan Komen’s work advocating for funding for breast cancer research and keeping the issue in the spotlight. Nevertheless, I felt the event failed to capture how serious battling breast cancer is and the fact that some don’t survive. I do think its important to celebrate the survivors and those battling, but a moment of silence for those we have lost would have served as a needed reminder that we are still fighting and losing people in this battle.

The race ended in a wonderful reminder though, I finished and on the way out was signing the pink “In Celebration of” wall. I wrote “My Mom, Mable Rey – Always With Me.” As I walked away from the mall, Suavemente by Elvis Crespo started playing. My mom loved to break out her merengue hips, and sure enough she had been with me the whole run. She gave me a song to dance to as a reminder, “Yes, I’m always with you!”

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Still Changing

I have been feeling in a mode of change.  I am sure everyone has, as that is usually the product of the new year.  We all take on a “I’m making some changes!”  mantra.  I am usually one of those who dives into at least 10 new things with excessive fervor.  My husband warns me every year to pace myself and to take baby steps.  I listen, I truly do, but I don’t know if I can honestly say I heed his advice.  So here we are at the beginning of 2014.  In We Need Some Order Around Here, I mentioned I needed to organize it all, still haven’t done that other than taking over a notebook of my mom’s, which has 6 different color sections and she wrote on the first few pages of each section.  I guess my confusing method of order comes naturally.  Anyways, I proceed to use the notebook for project planning, but her notes are spread through as well as the scribble here and there of my daughter, who is quite a writer in the making.  I’m convinced she will be the new “Faulkner” the literary minds think of, with William taking a back seat. 

Anyhow, I have been looking through a lot of photos and noticing some of my mom’s changes.  I think photos make it a bit more noticeable since she was staying with us, I couldn’t tell from the day to day.  Nevertheless, it makes me think of how we tend to go through life and not always notice the little changes and ask the simple questions.  My aunt recently passed away, and though she was a Libra like my mom, they were very different types of Libra’s.  But they both were very giving people.  My method of mourning and missing people has changed.  I don’t feel so sad that they are gone, I rather think of the memories I have.  In fact, I remember a lot of things that just sit dormant.  Like the last time I called my aunt at work, which I can’t remember when I had before then it had been so long.  I called to talk to her about something and wanted to talk to my mom, but couldn’t so I thought to call her.  She wasn’t at work, so I called at home and talked to her and my grandmother.  I don’t even remember if it was about what I was thinking about, but it was nice to just chit chat. 

My husband has taken a few videos on his IPhone in slow motion.  It is very weird to see life moving slowing, almost like a movie.  It is also a clear reminder that time does not move so slowing.  So with the new year, think of how you can change to live and celebrate life and those around you.  Sit and notice with intention, and make it a habit.   Time moves too fast not to.

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Go Mommy, It’s your Birthday!


This is the second birthday celebration we haven’t been able to share together. I think last year I was still in a daze, so I think this year has hit me a bit harder. It seems like it has been a lot longer than it really has, and the reality is that this feeling will continue as it really will be more and more time passing.

We were discussing Mommy’s birthday plans in the earlier part of 2012 because she would have turned 60. We talked about a cruise, a party, some sort of gathering…but nothing concrete. I think because she could throw together a knockout bash, it didn’t seem like something that needed a whole lot of planning since I know she was leaning towards the party. Mommy was always down for a big party! Last year we celebrated with cupcakes, I put a cupcake aside for her like she often did for egun, or our ancestors. The girls kept trying to sneak the icing, so I had to move it. This year, my oldest is aware of birthdays and the whole celebration thing so how will this year go. She will ask about visiting Grandma, which she always does when she comes up. I usually just tell her we can’t visit Grandma, but she loves you and protects you. At some point she will probably expect more of an answer, will she want to call her and tell her Happy birthday? Well, we will cross that bridge when we get there. But we will celebrate!

I realize my Mom meant something to a lot of people. She was a friend, sister, second mother, but for everyone, she was an example of courage. She fought hard and was positive the whole time. I remember her stories about her sharing with other women at chemo. She knew all her nurses by name, and was always offering to have them over for a meal.

So to everyone who will be thinking about their dear loved one and friend this October 6th, instead of saying I miss you, which I know I do, say Happy Birthday and set aside a piece of cake or a glass of wine.

Love you Mommy and Happy Birthday!!



I was putting up my daughters’ exam paperwork from their pediatrician visits a couple days ago. In the same folder I have the notes from one of my mom’s doctors from her CT scan. Mommy had them fairly regularly to see what was happening. At this particular time she wanted me to talk to her doctor because there was a lot going on and she wanted me to ask the doctor any questions. (As I mentioned before, she did that often) Plus, in general, it is always good to have someone else talk to your doctor- extra ears in case you miss something. Well, there were a lot of things that needed to be done. I try not to bash medical professionals because many do a great job, but there are so many pieces to the puzzle and so many actors that things get confusing. When you or a loved one is going through things, it can be a bit frustrating. We were supposed to make appointments with a cardiologist, a neurologist, and of course the oncologist. Meanwhile, every call to schedule resulted in the same rundown of questions, confusion on what was needed, and of course many many minutes on hold.

I must admit that I can’t share some ah ha moment, or some simple solution to how to deal with this. I can say that if possible, have someone other than the patient handle the calls and questions. Also, get a medical power of attorney. In a world of privacy and strict procedures it is very important. And just be prepared for a bit of frustration, but remain persistent. It will seem like a lot because it really is. And in all the stress, try to be nice. Yes, some people will not deserve it, but being firm and friendly are not mutually exclusive. My mom always said you get more with honey than vinegar. Sometimes I wondered why she would give people so much unnecessary information, or at least I thought it was unnecessary – but she was building relationships and often got that quick call back or extra something in a maze of craziness.

I’m not the most open chatty person, and maybe you aren’t either. But sometimes I think, What would Mommy do?” It’s usually the last thing I would think at that moment, but when it comes to someone doing that little something extra, Mommy sure knew how to have that effect on people. Probably because she was always doing something for someone else too. That’s another post all together, but stay tuned.

So again, WWMD, What would Mable do? Give you a long shpiel (or however that is spelled) and make a new friend/ally!



For You Mom!

imageI caught the end of a program on Veria Living last night. The host had traveled to Mexico and the episode ended with him getting a massage. The massage was very similar to a spiritual cleansing like the one’s my Mom performed many times before, using incense, prayers, flowers, and cleansing herbs. This one included some time in a sauna room, which was accompanied by more herbs. It seemed the massage was the final part and even that reminded me of a cleaning. I immediately thought- Mommy would have loved that. It was an ancient Native Inca practice. The show’s host also quotes Hippocrates as saying, “Give me a fever and I can cure any disease.” It is true that the body heats – a fever- to rid itself of toxins and bacteria, etc. many of which cannot survive in high temperatures. I wonder if cancer is the same- unlikely, but maybe it would interrupt something. Of course, I have no basis for that thought- it is just a thought. My mind can’t help but think of how my mom spent many an hour of her life in a sauna. She loved it- it is as if she was immune to the high temperature, she would sit literally an hour. I always pointed out the warning sign suggesting 30 minutes max, but she of course ignored me. The sauna does have significant health benefits, see how it might improve your health, and cleanse toxins from your system.

Well- today marks a year now since my Mom passed away. This site will be full of her life, so feel free to check back often. For now, enjoy your sauna. It’s hot outside, so that’ll be my sauna! I never could take the high heat like she could!