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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Gracefully Growing… 15 Years in the Making.

“Her Smile makes me smile. Her laugh is infectious. Her heart is pure and true.
Above all I love that she is my daughter”

As you may know by now, it has become tradition for me to write (and post) something about your brother (and you), on each of your birthdays. Although I haven’t sat and typed for my blog in about 7 months, I couldn’t sit back and not celebrate you through the words swirling in my mind while I think of you. However, while writing my emotions about you guys has always been an easy task, this time I have tried and failed, numerous times, to write down how I feel about you; my Jazzmenina. 

I can’t help to think that, in my prior life, I must have been so good to the world, to now be blessed with the two of you…
But you Jazzy, I credit you for teaching me how expandable and limitless love can be... When I was only your brother’s mom, I didn’t think it was possible to love any other child with the passion and fierceness that I had for him.  Throughout my pregnancy, I worried and prayed God would not let me fail you. When you finally – so quietly – joined us, my life got fuller, my heart stretched out and made room where I thought there wasn’t any, and my world dramatically got brighter.

You two have created an endless love inside of me, so unbreakable, so unending, which brings me purpose and joy, every day of my life.

During this last year, I have seen the most significant changes in you. Physical changes of course, I see myself staring at you when you are looking and when you are not looking and I can’t help to be marveled at your beautiful face. But what makes me the most proud is me witnessing how your inner beauty shines through. I am witnessing the growth of your mind, and of your heart. Since a young age you have always been confident and comfortable being you but not always willing to understand others. With the years you have learned to share yourself and show compassion and empathy. You have grown into an amazing young woman, you are that girl that I always wished I could be; beautiful (inside and out), confident, AND smart…

I am so incredibly proud of you because every expectation I set for you (and I know at times they are set very high), you have never folded and have always worked to achieve them. Know that I am your biggest cheerleader and I want all your dreams to come true. I never want you to feel undeserving of anything, because you deserve the absolute best that life has to offer and more…
I am so incredibly proud of who you are Jazzy. Dad and I have been pressuring you to let us know what present you would like for your birthday (or what you would like to do) and tonight on the eve of your big 15th birthday you couldn’t come up with an answer. Not because you couldn’t narrow down your options, but because you truly feel like you don’t need anything. THAT makes me want to give you the world…

As age is creeping up on me I can’t help but wonder what the years ahead of me will look like… How, and with what will they be filled with…? I can’t help but wonder who will be holding my hands when my steps become uncertain and less reliable…
Unbeknownst to you, my sweetheart, in your young age, you have managed to put my heart at ease and made those worries just passing thoughts…

The millions of fleeting hugs, kisses and “I love you mommy” you generously shower me EVERY DAY with, are engraved in my heart and soul. How you so freely express your love shows me that you know love because you have experienced love. That is the best gift from me to you and from you to me.

You are gracefully growing so…
Remember always how loved you are
Remember you will always be my sweet baby
Remember you will always be daddy’s little girl
Remember you will always be your brother’s heart
Remember how much you are important to our family

Happy, Happy Happiest birthday my princess Jazzmine….. Wishing you a million days that reflect the possibilities you know you are and that I see in you.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Forward to The Blank Canvas...

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, 
Whispering 'it will be happier'...” 
― Alfred Tennyson

Navigating through my experiences and along the way writing my story one book at a time.
Page 366...

I hold the pen, ready to complete the ending of 2016; the 45th book of my life’s journey...
While the thought is ironic (as I couldn't predict today or it's ending), relaying this feeling I have of needing to “Turn the Page,” or write "The End" and start my new book is just as real as today being 2016’s last day!

As I look back, mentally going through highlights of the past 365 days, I am pulled forward. Running away from the trials 2016 have put me through as if my life depended on the distance I covered before the ball drops…

However, I have grown tremendously over this year long marathon. 
Life challenged my health, both mentally and physically.
Life challenged many relationships. Some I had to let go of, some were organically preserved, and some I'm still fighting to maintain.
Life challenged my values, and what I know to be black or white.
Life challenged my beliefs, as if they were sand castles, bound to crumble.

I am going to sit this one out. I don't think I am able to celebrate the turning of this page. I’m not quite ready to celebrate the ending with a new dawn, as pain lingers from a past sunset. And although very wishful, 2017 is a ball of uncertainties...

Therefore, I'm going to sit this celebration out, let it end gracefully. However the chips fall, I have accepted, wrote, and directed all the actions up to this point in my life. And while I am happy to see it end, stepping into the first page 2017, I know I'll be bringing the usual. I'll be bringing perspective, experience, and the wisdom that have been recorded in this series called my life.

Josh Jameson once said, "There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book." Well this time, I'm glad the choice has already been made for me. 2016 is coming to an end, with or without my consent. I will stand still, feel and listen to the ending. The countdown has started, and while this last page will write itself, my happy ending will be my trust in new beginnings.

To the potential of tomorrow...

Monday, September 5, 2016

Presumption, Assumption and Judgment, the Relationship Killers...

Louis C. K. once said, "Nobody leaves a good marriage."
This is certainly something I believed; until tonight...

Here I am in Las Vegas, proudly proclaimed "The City of Sin," during my second stop on my West Coast store visit trip, and as usual, I am hit with this overwhelming feeling of everything being too fast, too grand, too much and yes... Very sinful. 
I'm far from being a purist but it is clear (as I look around me) why and how the say, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." I also believe that statement to be partially true. Many people bring back lots of addictions, and may require penicillin shots to help deal with what happened! 

So after a long day of training and catching up with the stores, I finally sat down for dinner - alone as usual - in one of my favorite restaurants in Vegas. I ordered my drink, pulled my personal phone out and started to catch up on life, while waiting for my meal. 

A few minutes later, a gentleman was seated at the table next to me. He sat and shortly, two menus were put on the table, leading me to believe he was not like me... he wasn't going to dine alone. 

I tried placing the focus back on myself, but as he was seated directly next to me (and right opposite from me), my eyes couldn't help to be drawn to him and his nervous behavior. 

He was older, late fifties to early sixties. Balding, could afford to lose some weight and he was dressed not to impress... He got up a few times, looking left and right, as if he were waiting for the hitman to mark him as a target. My best guess was that he wanted to make sure his guest would see him. I looked down on my phone thinking, "How cute, he is probably waiting on his wife to come and join him!"
It's funny how your mind can so quickly (and effortlessly) conjure up someone's story, someone's life by just looking at them... 


Then I heard a voice. The "woman" I heard had a high pitched voice, nothing like what my mind had expected to hear, so I again took my eyes off my phone, looked at the person seated to my left and how wrong I was. 
She was young, very young. The makeup plastered on her face couldn't hide how young she was...
She started talking. They weren't related. Just barely knew each other. She just celebrated her 21st birthday.


I tried to keep to my "business", and enjoy my meal but the reveal of their relationship left this feeling of disappointment in me, as if I had any right to judge


She then asked the question: "So what's your wife like?"
The question stung as if... 

I was hoping he would at least set some boundaries. However, after a quick silence he said: "She has good days when she doesn't bitch at me and bad days when she always bitches!" 
That was the first thing he found to describe the woman who's shared his name for the past 28 years. "She use to be my best friend," was the last thing I heard. There was a hint of regret, pain and yearning in his voice... I settled my check and walked out. 

As a married woman, I always wonder how so many couples get to that point. How do you get to the point where what you've taken years to build with love can be summed up so negatively; how it can become so insignificant to your partner and vice-versa?
Who is the true victim in that situation? Is there anyone who is blameless?

The fact of the matter is, we are all responsible for the state of our relationships. The statement holds true that "For every action, there is a reaction”. But while we can summarize it at such, we need to remember that a reaction has to be thought of, weighed and communication needs to happen before any reaction. 

The truth as I believe it is, it starts with us. We want to fix the other person because they are the ones to blame for presuming, assuming and passing judgment even though we don't take the time to share why we are becoming strangers (not only to them but most of the time, even to ourselves). We don’t take the time to share the growing paths we get on and instead choose to stand by, all the while being offended at our partners who don't understand or follow. 

With every step in a relationship, growth is expected. There's a little luck but a lot of hard work that needs to be put forth for any relationship to remain fruitful and flourish. There's a lot of compromises but nothing I'm learning is more important than communicating during this journey. Communicating, not because it will maintain your relationship, no... Simply communicating because "bitching" becomes "sharing", "nagging" becomes "requesting" and "questioning" becomes "caring". At times you might be the one that loves more. The one who gives everything you can to your partner and your relationship. But don't see it as being done in vain, don't see yourself as being in a competition with your partner. Communication will establish respect, even in a failing relationship, and that respect will yield a different answer than the gentleman in the restaurant gave the young lady. It will create boundaries that no one outside your relationship could touch. It will create that invisible line in the sand. 
If you don’t feel like you can be the one that loves more, you may not be with the right person for you. Don’t be with someone that you can’t be your best self with and appreciate. 

So today I do believe that yes, many leave good marriages because somewhere along the way it has become harder to share and understand, thus letting go takes place... It has become easier to fake it and say its okay when you really mean, "It's not okay."

Imagine yourself seated across from "temptation", at that table and being asked, "So what's your partner like?"  

What will your answer be?


Friday, June 17, 2016

Thursday June 16th 9:23am... Not Your Typical Thursday...

 FEAR… God in heaven… No one (and I mean no one) ever told me about that feeling that grows simultaneously in you, with the conception of your child. It develops in your womb with your child, grows alongside your child and, as I understand, leavethe pit of your stomach only when the time comes for the eternal goodbyes. 

Rational, normal… I promise I was both of these before I had my babies

Yesterday I woke up early, got myself ready, as I was to spend the day working in our Natick store. I was looking forward to this day. We were finally going to launch the first pilot store with our new POS system which I’ve been working on for the past 2.5 years.
Left my house at 8:30am and made my way through the morning traffic on the Massachusetts PikeAt around 9:18am I received a call from the London team. I told them I was on my way and should reach the store in less than 15 minutes. We chatted a bit and then agreed on me calling them as soon as I arrived.

A few minutes later, my work mobile rang again. I was driving a little faster than I should, so while keeping one hand on the steering wheel, I held the phone high enough to gaze at the screen. The number didn’t jog my memory; it was an international number. I decided to pick up the call… 
“Hello,” I said in my most professional voice.
“Rose, listen to me and listen to me well, we have your son and if you don’t follow what I say, you will never see him again! Do you hear me? You will never see him again, we will kill him!” 
quickly moved the phone away from my ears and remember looking at it as if it was going to give me an answer to the question I couldn’t ask. There’s no way could not have just heard what my brain was trying to comprehend. I heard the voice shout my name, so I got back on the phone and screamed back
“What are you talking about? What do you mean you have my son? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?”
“Shut the F… up and Listen to this,” he said
“Mommy, mommy they are taking me mommy. Tell them not to hurt me. I don’t know where they are taking me mommy. I’m scared mommy, help me” As I am writing this, I can’t stop the tears from pouring down my face. It was my baby’s voice, I recognized his voice, that particular intonation when he says the word “Mommy”. I had just left home, leaving him instructionon what he needed to do today as he was going to be home all day. I had just said goodbye to him, telling him that I had cooked dinner early this morning as I wouldn’t be back until the evening, and to make sure he didn’t eat everything during the day, to save some for his dad. Why my son was asking me to help him… he was supposed to be asleep…
I started screaming, crying his name, “Jayson, Jayson! Where are they taking you? Who is it?” Jayson please…
“I said shut the F… up, you stupid bitch. Listen to me, you are going to stay on the phone with me and you better not hang up, try to call the police or anyone else. If you hang up we are going to kill JAYSON. Do you hear me? As I was still screaming, he then proceed to say, If you don’t shut up and calm down you will regret it. I am going to countdown and if in 10 seconds you don’t calm yourself down I am going to hang up and he is done!” He started to countdown 10, 9, 8, 7 …
“Please, I just want to talk to Jayson” I said…
Bitch I know you don’t have a lot of money, so you think I am going to let you tell me what you want? You are going to listen to me and do what I say. You are going to stay on the phone with me and go straight to your bank. You are going to pull all the money that you have if you want to see your son again. Where are you?”
All my mind was thinking was that I needed to talk to Jayson.
In between my sobbing, I told him I was on the highway and he needed to give me time and to not hurt him. He continued to yell at me, calling me derogatory names and while he was going on about how he was aware of all my finances, I grabbed my personal phone and dialed Jayson…
He answered “Hello? Hello?” I couldn’t talk, I didn’t understand. I didn’t know if they had allowed him to answer is phone. I didn’t want them to hear me talking to him or anyone. Jayson hung up.
I remember feeling like being in an out of body experience…
I was on I90, driving way beyond the speed limit, managing two phones and clueless of everything that surrounded me. He was still yelling… I needed to talk to Jayson, I decided to hang up.
I knew I only had a few seconds. I dialed Jason back, he answered right away
“JAYSON! Where are you??? Are you okay? Are you home?” I was screaming. He confirmed that he was home and okay then asked me what was wrong. My work phone was again ringing… the same number “Jay, I need you to make sure all the doors are locked, all the windows are closed. Don’t answer the door for anyone! I will call you right back”
I picked up the call on speaker. And while I was pleading, he went on about having warned me not to hang up, that now I needed to give him street by street location of where I was and make sure I was going to the bank. I dialed The Hubby’s number with my other phone. He didn’t pick up. I redialed. He picked up. I put the phone next to the receiver so he could hear clearly this man, yelling, cursing me out. I was pleading still. All I could think about was if he didn’t have Jayson, I didn’t want him to go and get him… I was so confused… The hubby started yelling, “What is going on? What is this?” I finally got off the highway and hung up on that evil voice.

The Hubby wanted an explanation. The more I was trying to explain what I had just went through, I became more and more hysterical and irrational. I just needed him to hang up get to our son and make sure he was safe and okay… “Just save Jayson!

I made it to the Natick Mall parking lot; it was empty. I called the store and told the assistant whom answered to ask the manager to come and meet me outside in the lot. I was crying… I just needed someone, a familiar face next to me… I just needed someone. I started to hyperventilate. I couldn’t breathe, I was feeling like the car was closing up on me

It took me hours to let sync in, all that had transpired was a scam. I had been victim of the worst scam that could’ve happened to me…
In retrospect, I realized that while they did know my name and phone number, my brain must have shut down or was in auto-pilot mode focusing solely on my son... That kid voice I heard asking me for help... I guess it wasn't his voice but... And maybe, I might have been the one tipping them off with Jayson’s name as I was screaming it…
I called State Police and they said “Call Boston Police!
I called Boston Police, they said (while cutting me off as I’m trying to sharing the story) “Your son is okay right? You haven’t paid anything right? There isn’t a thing we can do with those phone numbers, they are paid numbers. We don’t take reports unless you paid them some money… Go to your local Police station and see IF they will take a report. OK? Bye”
I didn’t bother to go to the local police station…

I Heard Evil, Experienced Evil and Left Scarred By Evil…
This had been the longest 8 minutes of my life..Yes 8 minutes that felt like a lifetime…
How had I left myself so vulnerable? What did I do to allow this to happen to me? My paranoia had taken the face of reality, and for that moment in time the “what if” had become reality
Have you ever found yourself wide awake (at any given moment or in an environment), having scary thoughts or "worst case scenario" endings? Do you have nightmares during the day? I do..... Most of the time it has to do with my children, their where-about and their well-being. I like to take the philosophical approach to understanding why my mind dwells on certain questions; questions like, "What if my kids get kidnapped?", or "What if my kids get abused?" Then there are the worries that include my hubby, like; "What if they get into a bad accident?", "What if I don't show them enough love?", or "What if they're not happy?" However, no matter how rational I try to be, I can't seem to understand the random dark thoughts. Neither do I understand why they seem to surface at the oddest times…”

Reading this give me the chills… Those were what I called (in a blog post I wrote back in 2012) my ‘elusive’ fears. Fears which at times, were overwhelming in their randomness but remained manageable because while I’m unable to conquer my fears, I have learned to control them… I knew they were just that…elusive. So I thought!

I found my story in so many testimonies online that I am still in shock of how clueless I was about this scam.
I sit here wondering why this world is the way it is, why people are so mean. Mean to the point of not caring that somewhere out there, they are ripping out the soul, the life, the innocence of human being… Mean enough that for the small, temporary gain they are getting out of their actions, they are leaving a lasting scar on a stranger…
Last night I shut down all my windows. Tripled checked that each door was locked. I went to my son’s room 3 times before I finally laid down around 4:30am this morning. 

As I thank God that my daughter is away on an end of year school trip, I ask him to also give me the strength to forget the potential that situation could have been and to take it for what it was… A virtual kidnapping scam.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

My 45th Moment in Life...

45 is a solid number; a number that demanded to be celebrated. Or so I thought…

I planned in my head how grandiose I wanted it to be (after all, it needed to at least exceed my 40th celebration). 
April 30th, 2016 in my world, needed to be all about me. It needed to be about what I thought was a milestone in my life. 
And then things changed. Life happened...

The Hubby’s work obligations were going to take him away during my weekend. Upset, was putting mildly how I felt. So when work obligations started to modify my schedule to accommodate projects we've been working on, I let my availability remain open. After all, things were no longer unfolding the way I imagined. 

I don't know about you but I tend to assume milestones are universal... That for each and one of us, they are the same… But are they really? 

Births, certain (or all) birthdays, engagements, marriages, graduations, job achievements, job successes... These are most of the times labelled milestones or “rites of passage,” but are they really? 
Shouldn't they be referenced as expected moments in life, rather than milestones?

I've come to realize that WE, not society, determine what our milestones (our check points thru life) are, and their timing...
We forget that they are personal (to who we are and who we are meant to be). 
Milestones, when reached or achieved, will redirect slightly (or juristically) our life's course, unlike given "moments in life" throughout our journey. 

So I now understand…
With years, life becomes exponentially more complex and harder to decipher. Our expectation level of what's important and meaningful also heightens with each year; hence milestones become far, few and in-between as we grow older. Those will most likely be celebrated in private, unless you chose to share their occurrences as they unfold.

April 30th 2016, marks my birthday, and that of many others. And while it is certainly not a milestone in my life (the course of my life has not changed to the slightestJ), I love how the people in my world/life are making me feel specially loved through it. 
Thank you for having taken the time to think about me, bless me with so many well wishes and to have simply reminded me that no matter where, no matter with who and no matter how… life moments happen y’all there to cheer me on!

Thank you!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

These shoulders were never made to carry the world…

“Sometimes not sharing your worries, the load everyday life occurrences leave on your path, is a gift to others but a disservice to yourself.
Remember even if sharing your burden won’t change a thing, your shoulders were never made to carry the world”

When your whole being, (your appearance, personality, etc.) makes people see you as this "strong person" that can withstand anything life throws at you…

“Maybe they get shaken, get offbeat but in a split second I know they will be back on target, they have all the solutions… They are it and that is what they do… they carry the world!”

The personality or the appearance of someone never makes them who they are. It definitely doesn’t make them stronger; even if they seem to always stand strong against life's many trials. 
We all have a weakness. 
We all have a soft spot that can be greatly affected, especially when we least expect it. 
There's always that helpless (blind) side to us that needs support… It may be something that might not challenge us now, today, tomorrow or for a long period of time but it will affect us some day.

Maybe taking a step back will help people see the shoes that they wear, are very similar to the ones they are wearing.
Maybe… Yes maybe, the one you consider to be the strongest link in the equation is actually only as strong as the team that surrounds them. A link is something that holds a collection of things together, like in a chain and a chain is made with several links...

We all need to remember that our castle is only as strong as the quality of bricks we use…

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Rosiesandz Guest post: Understanding and Harnessing The Void... by Jayson Sanderson

My son...

Jayson Sanderson
Kloman C - American Literature

Jayson Tyler Lukengu Sanderson…
A seed planted deep within the soil,
Watered and Nourished by Family, Education, and Principle.
What a way to be remembered isn’t,
What a way for your legacy to start and blossom and thrive into the being you dreamed of being.
Optimistic, maybe… but should you be thinking any other way.
Is there any other way to look upon yourself as you move towards the future?
To look in the mirror, and not see the sexiest being alive.
Optimistic, maybe… but there is no other way to look at yourself and expect progress.
Big dreams lead to goals then plans then work then fantasy will never feel so real.
Jayson has big dreams.
However they're constantly replaced with projects, papers, assignments, as if they purposefully want to keep you within the system.
Purposefully want those dreams to remain dreams.
Claiming to help you reach those dreams by following their plan for your life so you can play a part in their growth as a unit rather than your growth as an individual.
Ironic isn’t it…
Ironic isn’t that those big name, athletes, singers, dancers, entrepreneurs, etc., took a chance on their dream and became something of legend.
Ironic isn’t it that they don’t want us to dropout of school or turn so much attention away from our occupation that our dreams become a stupid idea until we’re too old to realize it was more a possibility than a fantasy.
Oh, the irony is too tantalizing.
I am the one and only Jayson Sanderson.
And they surely don’t make ‘em like me anymore.

There is a recurring image whenever I think of who exactly I am at this present moment,
An endless space, speckled with dots as far as the eye can see.
That void is my unknown, my identity, my essence.
It gives me direction telling me where I should put my attention,
It gives questions and puzzles to unlock the next part of myself.
Each day passes and another dot appears, another aspect of myself is found.
However the with each dot, darkness disappears, and there are less possibilities in terms of who I'll be in the near future.
A feeling as sweet as candy, but you'd never take into account the after taste when you chose that candy.

"That darkness, it needs guidance...
My unknown, needs guidance...
However in order to guide I must know the destination.
I want to live simply.
I want to sit by the window when it rains and read books I’ll never be tested on.
I want to write because I want to, not because I’ve got something to prove.
I want to listen to my body, fall asleep when the moon is high and wake up slowly, with no place to rush off to.
I want not to be governed by money or clocks or any of the artificial restraints that humanity imposes on itself.
I just want to be boundless, endless, and infinite"... ~Author Unknown

I will be limitless and tremendous.
It's a celebration, alright.
And my present is only the beginning.

Teacher grade and comment:
Never one short of self-esteem, you wonderfully walk the reader through the wonder of who you are, what you dream, and the tribulations along the way.  There is a general abstraction in your word play and word choice that connects with a reader and compels a reader to join in your thinking!  

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