Me and All Six of My Kids – 17 Years Ago

Me and All Six of My Kids – 17 Years Ago


My family is so full of diversity and have been the greatest blessing in my life. Nearly three years ago most of us were all living together in a huge double townhouse which was 2,300 square feet. All of us except my yogi son Aaron, who will turn 30 on Earth Day. This includes all three of my grandchildren, so there were nine of us living together for a year. When we decided to move, our landlord thought we should move out one month earlier than we had planned, so this created quite a bit of chaos and we went through some rough times. Oddly enough, we ended up living in three different apartments in the complex I’m still living in. The management placed me in the middle with my two youngest sons, my daughter and her three kids in the southwest corner, and my oldest son and youngest daughter in the northeast corner. They have since moved out.

We lost a lot of our mountains and mountains of things during this crazy move, most of which is a relief to be rid of, but I had thought most of our old photos were gone. Then a whole box of them were just found by my yogi son at the top and back of my youngest son’s closet this week. I found a picture of all six of my birth children with me standing behind them and wanted to share it. There aren’t very many photos of all of them together because my oldest is twenty years older than my youngest. I also helped raise three foster children, whom I also love with all my heart.

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Long Quiet Day

Long Quiet Day

Being under the weather is always easier when my grown kids stop by and bring me food. And right now I have a new kitten to foster – an abandoned female Calico about six months old. When I got her day before yesterday, her meow sounded broken and she didn’t even seem to want to eat. She was just curled up in a ball, very traumatized. But over the last three days we have bonded, I have given her a bath and combed the fleas out of her fur, got her to eat more and drink more water, and have been keeping her by my side or on my chest nearly constantly. Her name is Sweetie Bell (my 5-year-old granddaughter named her) and she is very snuggly and sweet.

My sweetheart made it safely to his home in Michigan after driving over four hundred miles through a snowstorm. Without windshield wipers. He does have water repellant on the windshield,though. We miss each other so much, and it’s only been four days. But this too shall pass. He’s been calling me several times a day and we both wish I could be there. But when duty calls, we have to do the right thing. His step dad has been in the hospital twice in the last ten days and he needs help. Bless his heart.

On the bright side of things, I am going to be able to buy a car in the next few days after one of the longest car-less stints of my entire adult life – nearly three years. What a relief! Luckily, after having devoted such a great portion of my life to being a devoted mom and nana, my kids have helped me get to the places I need to go whenever they can. So have many of my dear friends, and of course my boyfriend too. But the freedom of being able to go places by myself again is such a wonderful blessing!

This really has helped me have a lot of compassion for those less fortunate than me. I even managed to finish my Bachelor’s Degree in English Writing during this time. Being able to graduate at all considering the extenuating circumstances at the time was one of my biggest accomplishments besides being a parent and grandparent. Especially since smack dab in the middle of junior college I had major neck surgery. Then last June, eight years after the surgery, a CT scan revealed that the fusion had failed. So I am waiting to go to graduate school until I’ve had enough time to heal sufficiently.

Relaxing isn’t easy for me as I have always been quite busy. I am a woman of many hats. Over the years of raising my six kids I spent ten years doing medical transcription, which my mom trained me to do, but I hated that so I went to massage school and worked first at a spa, then for chiropractors, then went out on my own. I still do an occasional massage, and right now my 26 year old daughter is giving them. Now that I will finally have a car again (which is a long and unnecessary story, lol) I am going to give weekend chair massage workshops once a month. There are several young people in our community who wish to participate. One of the things I have been able to do over the years is donate massages to new mamas and also for raffles at the Universalist Unitarian Church.

I am looking forward to taking my granddaughter to the library and to the park, and also to attending all of my youngest son’s football games, as he is the most valuable player on the team at his high school. He towers over me now – it’s so hard to believe he once was so small he fit inside my womb.

When all my kids are in the same room, it’s quite an event nowadays. Christmas was the most recent time, and it may not happen again for many years. Two of my sons just moved away, and my yogi son may be moving to northern Washington to be a kayaking tour guide at the Puget Sound. He’s nearly 30 and is currently an archaeologist, but his boss is quite disorganized, so their digs are not dependable enough for him to have the stability he needs.

Obviously I am proud of my kids. My oldest daughter is a single mom, and I am especially proud of her and empathize with her situation, because I know how hard it is to be a struggling single mom. Things are much easier for me right now than her, which is why I help in whatever way I can. I am so thankful that she’s reciprocating in this manner, because it will make all the difference in the world. I love the community I live in and am so excited to also have a chance to join the yoga in the park group. Norman is one of the most progressive and artistic towns in Oklahoma, mainly because the University of Oklahoma is here (and I am an alumni of that school now). We’re known as the City of Festivals and have free music festivals during Spring, Summer, and Fall.

As I wrap this up, Sweetie Bell just began to purr and to clean herself a bit. This is such a good sign! Since I rescued another malnourished cat before, I know what to do. I may even adopt her myself as I am falling in love with her right now.

May your evening be blessed and your dreams just how you wish them to be, my friends. I will be quite busy car hunting the next few days, but hope to find time to share some more poetry. I am so happy to have finally begun my blog. I plan to keep improving the format and will update my template as I learn more. I’m quite impressed with so many of your blog sites and honored to be part of your community.

Rainy Days

Rainy Days

It’s raining here in Oklahoma, and this happens to be my day off. No babysitting my bubbly and loving little granddaughter, just my two cats and me, enjoying the sound the rain makes as it splashes off the roof and onto the sidewalk below. My young cat Smudge is scratching at the door because he wants to go outside anyway. He has a whole group of friends with whom he hangs out with. He’s black and white and eighteen months old in human years and his voice is changing. So he meows a lot. There are several young Comcast in the neighborhood with the same condition, and they meow all night long. I frequently mistake one of them for Smudge, but he always jumps onto the living room window to make sure his meow projects all the way through my flat. My nearly nine year old (in human years) tabby Mila only goes out when the weather is to her liking, so she’s contentedly licking her paws by my feet. She’s assigned herself as my personal protector. When I go through rough times she stays right beside me, or even lies on my legs, purring away. She knows better than to jump up on window sills or furniture, and wears a little cat smirk when Smudge does these things, causing me to snap my fingers and make a loud, “Sssssss” sound at him (they hate that noise). My boyfriend laughs and says I sure showed him, but Smudge really is learning. He just figured out I have learned how to tune his persistent pleading meows completely out today. He is not going out in the rain. He just got back home about four in the morning drenching wet. So now he’s resigned himself to taking Mila’s place and curl up on my legs as I write this. She cleaned his ears for him first as she seems to love doing. She actually listens for him when he’s out running around. We live on the south side of town in a large apartment complex which has huge lawns, bushes, trees, and is right next to a golf course which has a river running through it. It’s a cat’s paradise.

Right before one of the full moon’s last Fall, two of Smudge’s little friends came by. They are twins, both completely black and look like Siamese cats, slender, female and very friendly. They climbed onto my balcony from the adjacent low lying roof. I was watching the moonrise and they came right used to me. I called them Midnight and Moonshadow. They actually smelled all my plants and my two fairy gardens, then I opened my door. They came inside and each ate about two bites of food, drank a bit of water, peed in the litter box, let me pet them several times, and then they left. It was so funny. They came over one more time, but their owners probably stopped letting them out. Since female cats begin multiplying at such a tender age.

I have always loved cats. I’ve taken in strays too many times to count. Helped terminal kitties cross over, too. Last year a neighbor brought me a tiny black cat who seemed certain to die of starvation. I gave her many energy healings, and despite her tiny size, she was already able to eat solid food, and little by little she put on weight. My boyfriend said she looked like a Dingo, and he was right, but I called her little D, short for Defiance. And she sure defied death. I had her four months when one of my daughter’s friends called me up to see if I had any cats up for adoption. She adopted her on a Wednesday and named her Wednesday Adams, perfect for a black cat with just a smudge of white in the middle of her forehead and right below her chin.

The purring of cats is one of the most calming sounds in the world. And the rain has muted the usual daytime sounds of the neighborhood, has either stopped or slowed most outdoor activities and the earth is soaking it up. The air needed a good cleansing. The wind is blowing with a bit of northern bite to it, letting us know winter is not completely done (although we haven’t had much of a winter this year at all).

The Moon was full last night and my crystals are all in my window sill, so they could soak up the energy of the moon all night long. The alignment of the stars and the planets in our solar system along with the frequent solar flares have awakened more of my inherent DNA. This has been accompanied by a lot of physical symptoms. I have been drinking lots of purified water, eating lots of fruit and vegetables, and working on balance. Lots of meditation and working on my shadow. Learning to let go has been a huge part of this, and as I let go more and more, my now grown kids blossom more and more.

I look at my cats and see how well balanced they are. They are now lying right next to each other, as contended as can be. They know when to rest, when to play, when to eat and when to stretch. Of course we have to be active a much higher percentage of the time than cats, but we can learn so much from them. They certainly are great companions to have during this earthly journey.

Christmas in My Almost Empty Nest


 

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January 24, 2015    Kami Velasquez

As the mother of six and grandmother of three, Christmas has been wonderful on so many levels throughout my life, but has also usually meant an immense amount of stress and extra work. When my youngest two, who are now nearly 18 and 20, were still nursing, my Santa work tired me out so utterly that Christmas mornings I felt like I needed toothpicks to hold my eyelids up. I couldn’t tolerate caffeine back in those days, not to mention the fact that it can pass through the milk and affect the milk supply.

One of the reasons I would end up so exhausted on these special mornings was that my biggest character defects is my perfectionism. I also had troubles delegating household chores. And when my kids did their chores, I frequently did quite a bit of touch up work afterwards, not realizing how self-defeating that is. It also makes the kids figure it’s pointless to even bother, if their mom is just going to do it over anyway.I excused my behavior by thinking I was giving my kids the gift of growing up with the time and freedom to be kids, participate in extracurricular activities, and play. I see now that this was a control issue. It was also because I wanted my kids to have the opposite sort of childhood than me when it came to chores.

But we did have many great times, sleepovers were frequent and fun, with my two babies enchanting my then 9 year old daughter and her friends. The friends of my then teenage sons enjoyed seeing my little boys as well. Babies have a way of enchanting everyone they meet. I had trouble saying no to requests for sleepovers, and even though I worked myself to exhaustion, I have always loved being a mom. Except for a few moments here and there, on those days where nothing seems to go right. But then that always passes.

My now ex-husband and I practised attachment parenting with my youngesttwo babies and found that quite rewarding, albeit it tiring at times. This may have also contributed to my Christmas Eve dilemmas. And at the time, I had taken a break from medical transcription and was just being a stay at home mom. I literally attempted to do everything for everyone. My oldest was already 20 years old when my youngest was born, so she had already moved out, but she still lived nearby, so naturally spent Christmas with us. Back in those days, I never had enough energy to take any family pictures. After working so hard to help pull things all together, I myself was barely holding it together. So regardless of how awesome those times were for the kids and how adorable they were and how rewarding their excitement was, I am relieved to be in a new phase now.

My oldest daughter made me a grandma two years after my youngest was born and has been the only one to become a parent so far. Her youngest, Loralai, is know 5 years old, and is sitting on my lap in the above picture. My 29-year-old son is sitting next to me, my two grandsons, ages 15 and 12, are in the background. This was taken on Christmas Eve, and the happy and relaxed look on my face is a reflection of how much more peaceful the holidays have become for me now that nearly all my kids are grown. For the first time in my life, I actually am the only adult on my lease. None of my kids live with me, but most live nearby and I see one or more of them pretty much every day. My youngest is absolutely wonderful and happens to be a star on the high school varsity football team. I also have a boyfriend of nearly three years who visits many times a week. His family lives out of state, so he was with them for this holiday. He has four grown kids of his own, plus six grandkids, so together we have a huge tribe! And that’s not to mention the stepkids we have helped raise along the way. We both have a certain way with people and are blessed to have found each other. Love is grand! We both love and are loved by many people and both have full lives, which makes the time we spend together ever more wonderful, because we are both hole and therefore not broken when we have to spend a few days apart. A few weeks is hard, though.

This last year may be the last Christmas all of my kids and grandkids and I are able to gather together for many years to come, so I treasured every moment, even the time out one of the young adults had to take when communication between a few of them got tangled and some feelings were temporarily hurt, but they all sorted it out. I was gifted with the role of being detached yet loving peacemaker. Focusing on Loralai’s excitement pulled us all together. The young boys are now too cool for jumping with glee and oohing and ahhing over their gifts. They do smile and their eyes twinkle and they do express their gratitude. Loralai shrieks with her enthusiasm and begins playing with her treasures right away.

I did still spend a decent amount of time buying and wrapping presents, decorating, cooking part of Christmas dinner (which we ate at my oldest daughter’s house on Christmas Eve so that we can kick back on Christmas day, my grandkids wake up and open presents at her house and then come to my house where all the rest of my kids come to exchange gifts. But now the pressure has lessened by at least 75%. No wrapping all night long anymore. No spending all night assembling bicycles. Instead, there is more time for enjoying our rituals. We have a family tradition of opening one gift each on Christmas Eve. I also love to read the story of the birth of Jesus from The Book of Luke and sing a few a Christmas songs.

I think my mom came up with the early present opening to help calm my siblings and me down, or perhaps it was because she couldn’t contain her own excitement. At any rate, it stuck, and will most likely continue for generations to come. She loved Christmas and always went overboard whenever she had the means, and she would cook at least ten to twelve different side dishes for our feast. The first few Christmases after she passed away seventeen years ago were very hard, but my kids wouldn’t let me just hide in a cave. They needed me and I needed them, so I willingly allowed them to pull me back out of myself, even if I happened to have done myself in with working too hard at making things perfect while not making sure I got enough rest myself. I learned over the years that taking care of myself first is essential, for otherwise I can’t function properly. I have had a few injuries to my spine, one while sliding down a short concrete waterfall in the Pecos River (part of a fish hatchery, and I slipped over a protruding metal pipe which crushed my tailbone) and one while on the ride Magic Mountain at Disneyland, and another while being given an epidural during labor. These injuries ricocheted into chronic pain and other physical challenges not worth listing, other than the fact that by the age of 45, I had five ruptured disks in my neck. So they took out three and put in a metal plate. Last summer I finally had the CT scan which showed my surgery failed. Two of my vertebrae are not connected at all and my spinal cord is compressed. So I have to be very careful and be mindful always of my posture, the amount of weight I lift and how much I do. Certain heavy tasks are out of the question. I had to mostly stop doing massages. But luckily, I was able to make it all the way through college and got my degree in writing a little over a year ago. I think it took so long for this condition to be discovered because I was so caught up in being mom and was stuck in survival mode. It took all that until I realized that full healing of my body, mind and spirit is not only essential, it has to take priority in my life.

So for the past year I am taking a break from formal education and also a sabbatical from practicing massage, and while healing I have the blessing of helping look after my darling Loralai. She is the sunshine in my family’s life, she brought all the extra sparkle and excitement to our Christmas. And despite all the attention and the special position of being the youngest in our family, she is well behaved and gracious, not spoiled at all. So the months of helping look after her while her mom is at work have been delightful and healing. And this woman is finally learning to put some self care in the fore front and now that I finally have some alone time, I have started my blog, and I feel it’s a great step in the right direction towards putting my writing degree to use and move towards getting into a good Master’s program.

Another thing that made this last Christmas less stressful was being on a tight budget. When my kids were younger, this would have created more stress. But now that they each have their own incomes and are all wonderful and generous human beings, they all took care of each other. And of me. I am loving this position as matriarch right now, and as two of my sons moved away during this last month and others may be moving away later this year, I feel like it’s a Christmas definitely worth documenting. For time passes ever so quickly, and looking back on our memories is such a rewarding experience. It’s so much more enlightening than collecting mountains of things. It’s such a great gift for our stories to be passed on from generation to generation.

Right now the still full looking moon is shining through my window on me as my crystals charge on the windowsill. This is my first night alone in several nights, and it’s very peaceful. The train is chugging by, tooting its horn and is just far enough away to sound lovely rather than overwhelming. I’m preparing for a busy week, with one of my goals being to complete my physical therapy exercises every morning. Little by little, I get stronger and stronger, and notice all the things each day brings us to be thankful for. Our families are the greatest blessing in this life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healing and Spirituality

Healing and Spirituality


Spirituality can be of great assistance during any healing process, and can enhance the quality of every day life in a multitude of ways. Mystics like Rumi, St. John of the Cross, St. Theresa of Avila and many others reached a point in their personal spiritual journeys where they left religion behind. This doesn’t mean they left prayers behind, for prayers open up our hearts and help us connect to our Higher Self. It doesn’t matter what religion the prayers originate from – as long as they increase the Love in the Universe, then they are worth cherishing, repeating aloud and silently, many times throughout the day. I personally use prayers to help find parking spaces, and it always works as long as I get a five minute head start before reaching my destination.

Right now I’m healing from a failed neck surgery which was performed eight years ago, and due to the busy nature of my own life wasn’t discovered until a few months ago. Spirituality has been of so much comfort and assistance to me during this rather lengthy process. Every experience in life offers new opportunities to be of service, so to keep busy while going through the healing process, I am babysitting my wonderful 5-year-granddaughter. I have always kept myself extremely busy and was introduced to spirituality as a child. So facing several months of not going to school or working at massage or medical transcription gave me the opportunity to self educate about spirituality and healing. Spending time with my granddaughter is very rewarding, and one of our favorite activities we share is coloring mandalas. This is very calming and uplifting, as is kundalini yoga and many kinds of meditation I enjoy. My mom taught me how to meditate as a young girl to help my stomach aches. At the age of 11 she took me with her to a spiritual retreat held by The Holy Order of M.A.N.S. Our family attended services with this church, considered Paulean Catholic, for several years. We learned a lot about the mystical aspect of Christianity, especially the white light of Christ, but eventually left when my parents figured out there was a great deal of dogma included, something they wished to avoid during their journey.
Later on, when I was 19, my mom took my sister and I to a seminar in northern California, at Campbell Hot Springs, led by Leonard Orr. This was close to Mt. Shasta and the energy was quite intense. There were dozens of healers from around the world gathered there, and after a series of rebirthing sessions, many of them in the naturally hot mineral springs there, my kundalini rose. My heart was filled with bliss and love for all humanity. I also felt like I was walking on air, for I hadn’t learned the art of grounding yet.
This experience changed me forever, and despite many rough times along the way while raising six children and doing medical transcription, meditation always helped me to overcome the obstacles which inevitably crossed my path. As they say, we will keep having similar problems until we learn the lesson intended for us – the lesson we asked for before returning to earth this round. Through my years of studying and practicing various types of spirituality, I have done past life regression and regained  memories of many of my previous lives. I had certain memories of past lives within me since I was about two years old. As I became more practiced at rebirthing, I was finally able to return to my golden self, that self which is without error, the perfect yet individual perfect body each of us inhabits before returning to the third dimension. As I witnessed my own birth, I visualized my mom receiving the support she needed which she hadn’t actually received. I did this particular session last September, right become the Blood Moon total eclipse, and following this spectacular session which I did by myself, all sorts of healing events in my family began to happen. My brothers and sisters and I began to connect frequently and lovingly. We live far apart from each other and when our mom passed away seventeen years ago we seemed to gradually drift away from each other, caught up in the whirlwind of life and each of us our own personal sacred healing journeys. For quite some time we hadn’t been communicating often at all. Reconnecting with them has been incredibly beautiful and inspiring. And we are all feeling the guidance of our mom so much more strongly now. What a cosmic coincidence that we all opened up and had spiritual epiphanies right when the planets were aligned and the amazing eclipse happened.

I was blessed to attend a local Groovefest festival (hosted by Amnesty International and sponsored by local businesses) the day of the eclipse, and many friends who were aware of some of the hardships I had been going through came up to hug me and tell me they love me. We watched that eclipse following Groovefest and sang, danced and drummed while completely honoring the magic of the moon and extremely visible eclipse. We live in a wonderful community in Oklahoma, and having lived here for 22 years and having been born here, our family has connections everywhere. One of my sons practices yoga and Qi Gong, teaches yoga, and has lots of friends in our thriving yoga community. He also does Thai yoga massage, another great alternative healing method.  I also trained one of my daughters to do massage, and she is quite gifted. The healing touch runs in the family. I have found that a combination of naturopathic and allopathic medicine to be the best healing plan for me right now, with a strong emphasis on good food, herbal teas and lots of filtered water and giving thanks every day for every blessing.

My Bachelor’s is in Writing, which I acquired a year and a half ago. I realized I wasn’t going to be able to keep doing massage full time because of the injury to my neck, so I went back to school. I love writing, and especially love reading about mythology and folklore and seeing the spiritual messages portrayed. Poetry is also one of my gifts, and I will be setting up my poetry page here pretty soon. This is my first experience blogging. I have been following some other bloggers and am a quick learner. I’m looking forward to contributing helpful and inspiring blogs during this journey.

In the meantime, healing and spirituality are my main focus. This is such an exciting time to live in, because during that cosmic eclipse a huge wave of energy hit our planet.It came from the black hole at the center of our galaxy and was called Wave X. At the same time, solar flares also bombarded the planet. And even though wars, corruption, greed and so many other atrocities still exist, this is because the darkest hour is just before the dawn. All that is unlike Love must come to the surface in order to be blessed and released. So keep shining, beautiful people, for every awakened and illuminated heart shines brighter than the Sun.