Conversations with my Daughter: fundraising

Recently Karymar and I were talking about our plans for the summer and the rest of the year. For a 5-year-old child, Karymar is a very articulated child who can elaborate to some detail what she wants and where she would like to go.  Since Karymar’s first birthday, our family goes out on a cruise trip  to celebrate and we chose the Disney Cruise line as our all in one family vacation.  We were talking about this year’s cruise plan when she told me about an idea that occurred to her. She said ” well Papi since you have not had much work this year, I want to help you”.  I asked her how and she replied ” I want to do a lemon stand to raise money for the cruise”. I was stunned by her idea and asked  how she would  do it.  She went on telling me how she will do it, what she will sell, for how much and where she will set up the stand. I listen intently, admiring her ingenuity  and determination to raise money for the cruise. I could  see her  potential as a young entrepreneur and wonder what more can I do to encourage her.

She found a large box she keeps as her multi-purpose fun house and put it outside so she will be visible from the street. She decided not to offer lemonade because she wanted to do something different. Instead, she had grape juice, water and milk.  She made up a banner with a piece of cardboard where she wrote the items available and the cost of each item. Initially she was charging $10 for the grape juice and $2.40 for the milk. I was happy to see that the water was free however. I did a little business consulting with her, asking why she was charging so much for the grape juice and recommended to lower the price . She insisted in leaving the price as it was and giving grapes for free with the purchase of grape juice instead. Her claim was that if she lowered the price , she was not going to make enough money for the cruise. I just couldn’t say anything more at that point.  She recruited me to go out to the street with the banner to get the customers. I stood outside under the sun for  a considerable time while she waited for customers under the shade. I was thinking on her unfair labor practices but did not complain.

The wait paid off when we got customers coming in, looking for something refreshing to quench their thirst. I saw how my daughter attended her customers, giving them choices and felt very proud of her. We close the business for the day and I congratulate her for a job well done. We talked a little more about what she had done and the deeper meaning of it but that was a little too much for her to comprehend. That was for me to take in; to absorb and appreciate that despite of how things go in life, there is always a way to do more to reach our goals. If I am ever doubtful what to do in life and how to do it, I know who I will turn to for help. Kary is full of ideas!

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Life Goes On, With or Without Us

I saw a horrible motorcycle accident a week ago. Two riders on sports bikes struck the back of a tractor-trailer suffering major injuries.  I was one of the first people on scene; I saw motorcycle parts scattered everywhere as panic and disbelief started to set in.  Everything happened so fast yet it felt like in slow motion. The surrounding noise was suddenly muted and I could not comprehend what people were saying. My attention was on the two bodies on the ground and they were not moving.  I have seen accidents before but not like this, not so real, so vivid. I remained on scene until both bodies were picked up by the paramedics; their hands working like clockwork attempting to revive them. After talking and consoling friends and strangers, I decided that it was time for me to go home. As I rode , the tragic scene  replayed in my mind over and over and I just could not shake it off my head. I didn’t know any of the men, but it felt like I did all this time. I felt the pain and the thought of losing someone you love or care for  and it haunted me all the way home.  I wanted to go to the hospital that night but it was after midnight and I thought it was too late already. So I went to bed but could not sleep well  that night, still thinking about the two guys.

I woke up and the first thought in my mind was the accident scene and the two bodies, still in disbelief of what had happen just hours ago. I searched the news channels to find out what happened with the victims and learned that they both died later at the hospital. I felt the pain of losing someone as if they were one of my own and realized how much this whole thing had affected me. I knew I had to bring some closure to this horrible chapter in my life one way of another.  I learned later through a friend of mine that one her friends was the stepmother of one of the victims. How small is the world I thought and how close we are of each other without even knowing it. Couple of days later my friend calls me again to tell me about a memorial ride in honor of one of the victims. As I rode to the meeting place, I was joined by other bikers unaware of our common goal for that evening until we arrived to the meeting place. There I saw the people present the night of the accident. I hugged them as we were no longer strangers but united as one like a big family that just lost one of ours.

Hundreds of bikers took off riding together, side by side to the funeral home to pay the last respect to a fallen biker. The service was beautiful; I could feel that this man was loved by all. He was an Armed Forces veteran, a devoted fan of the New Orleans Saints  and a biker, loyal to his group. I was sad to learn that he left a wife behind, pregnant with an unborn child. Being a Dad myself that was very hard to take.  I remained there until the service was over and people started to leave.  I rode back home feeling closure. May they rest in peace.  Now I can put this chapter behind me and move on with my life with an understanding that despite we don’t know why God let things like this happen, there is a reason for everything and even if don’t like it, we cannot question it but take it as it comes, accepted, grieve it, learn from it and move on with our lives. Life continues with or without us, so we better enjoy it while living as we never know when will be our last day in this earth.

Las Cronicas de mi Abuelo: Los Sueños

Dice mi Abuelo: Los sueños influyen en vuestra vida mas de lo que pensáis.

El sueño es el recuerdo de lo que haz visto en vuestro espíritu mientras dormais. Pero recordad, observad que no siempre soñais por que no recordaos siempre lo que habréis visto. No esta vuestra alma en todo su desarrollo.

El sueño de Juana de Arco, el sueño de Jacob, de los profetas Judaicos y de algunos Indios adivinos, el del Rey que soño con siete vacas gordas y siete vacas flacas, siete espigas de maíz seca y siete matas de maíz hermosas y verdes. Un señor, (apóstol) Jose, creyente y especializado en sueños,  interpreto el sueño al rey. Entonces el rey se preparo( almacenando alimentos) y así  libero a todos lo habitantes de su tierra para que no murieran de hambre y sed. Nombre del rey, el faraón de Egipto (historia de la Santa Biblia).