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How My Mother Taught Me to Love

In Blogging, Contributors, Family, Giving Back=Paying It Forward, Health, News, Relationships on May 30, 2016 at 09:35

The following piece was written by Lia Seirotti, Writer and Blogger at A Girl in Her Thirties

Lia

Lia Seirotti

Some people come into our lives and we feel instant chemistry. With little effort we form a friendship that is not easily broken. Others, require time and effort, and with great difficulty we work to build those relationships. Still, in the face of rejection, if we counter with love, we can create strong bonds. That is what my mother taught me.

My mother says I rejected her almost immediately when I was born. It could be because I was dealing with the pain and symptoms caused by a slight birth defect; but I suspect my real defect was being born with a tendency to be less affectionate than most humans. From then onward, I’ve continued being somewhat cold. To this day, I prefer not to have unsolicited skin contact, I rarely ask for hugs, and I am extremely uncomfortable when strangers touch me. I am perfectly content this way. Deep down, however, I know this personality trait has always bothered my mother. In fact, my mother might well be the exact opposite of me, she is more open about her emotions and is not afraid to let her feelings show. Perhaps these are the reasons we didn’t have that instant chemistry the day we met. Rather, our bond is the product of a resilient effort made by my mother to win my affections over time.

It was with courage, through the worst of times that she single-handedly built our relationship. When I was hospitalized at the age of two, my mother dropped everything in her life to advocate for me. With much hardship, she traveled great distances in a developing country, in order for me to receive the best medical care. She stood up to doctors and demanded that I be treated the way she instinctively knew was best. Later, at the age of eight and immigrants in this new country, I was hospitalized a second time. My mother spent every night at my bedside. She comforted me through the physical pain and the fear I felt. Despite the fact that I was not very communicative or affectionate, she stayed with me. Then, when I was diagnosed with different disease at the age of twenty-one, she took care of me once again. My mother knew it was important for me as a newlywed to conserve some dignity. So, for almost a year she came to my house weekly to inject my medications, so that my husband wouldn’t have to see me that way. When I soiled myself in my own bed, she cleaned me. When I lost more weight than I expected, she took my dresses in so that I didn’t look as sick. And when the suicidal thoughts left me debilitated, she cleaned my house and cooked for my husband.

Ten years have passed since my mother last took care of me; but when my older sister called me recently to tell me my mother was in the emergency room, I dropped everything. It was the middle of a workday. Hardly thinking and without packing any clothes, I shut my computer down, got in my car, and drove six hours to be by her side. To be honest, all those moments in my life in which my mother had taken care of me didn’t even cross my mind. I was driven by pure instinct. It was almost a sixth sense that I felt. I knew exactly what my mother needed, and knew that I was the only one who understood the proper way to care for her.

I knew she would need someone who could advocate for her, because that was what she did for me when I was two. I knew she would need someone who would stay by her side every sleepless night, because that was what she did for me when I was eight. And, I knew she would want dignity and privacy because that was what she gave me when I was twenty-one. Immediately upon arriving, I organized and cleaned her room, because that was what she meticulously did for me every week when I was sick. I asked her if she had eaten and taken her medication, even when I knew she hadn’t. I knew I had to make small talk and pretend we weren’t all scared. I knew it was my job to downplay the entire situation as if it were normal, because I have learned to never let the fear of chronic illness show in your demeanor as caregiver.

Now that my mother is recovering, we hardly speak of illness, she knows I’d rather not get emotional. But now we both know now that I am capable of caring for her and that I will when she needs it again. In fact, I don’t remember if I hugged her or kissed her, but I know I cared for her and loved her.

Doctors say there is a vital moment immediately after birth in which a mother and child should have uninterrupted skin to skin contact. They attribute this to being key in any mother-child relationship. While that may be true, I have learned that if you missed that chance you can make up for it with resiliency, compassion, and consideration. Without realizing or intending to, my mother taught me so many invaluable lessons about love. She has shown me that even if you feel you already deserve it and shouldn’t have to, you can work to earn someone’s affections. She taught me how to nurse someone you love. She modeled what unconditional love looks like and taught me that it can triumph over unrequited love.

About Lia:

Lia is a writer, blogger, and art-lover. Ultimately, just a girl in her thirties blogging about Miami’s lifestyle, her travels, and growing up in general on her coming of age blog: www.agirlinherthirties.com.

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Making the Best Out Of the Worst

In Career, Lifestyle, Quotes, Relationships, Spirituality on October 16, 2014 at 09:18

Remember that post where I told you everything about my 32nd birthday?

It’s been almost two months. A lot has happened since then. 

Some great moments: I enjoyed the enriching and humbling experience of volunteering at TEDxManagua. After a long work hiatus, four exciting projects with brands that I love came my way. Had a quiet but nice celebration for our 5th year anniversary. I reblogged a beautiful and touching post by Edna Medina. Thanks to a dear friend, I managed to sell my ticket to the Oprah Life You Want Tour to a person that will benefit from it a lot more than me, therefore I am now 100% guilt-free to attend my cousin’s wedding abroad next week.

And then, the inevitable hurt showed up without the request of its presence. My entire life has been shaken. Some of my wildest nightmares have given me a taste of how it would feel if they ever come true. “Wake Me Up When September Ends” became my mantra. Contemplating my fears, choosing love while fighting the impulse to make decisions based on conventional wisdom, pride or the wrong fantasies.

Would you like to know the best part?

It’s been all worth it. 

I am grateful for having the mindfulness, self-awareness, imagination, will, and strength to look for and pick the right tools to deal with pain.

I am thankful for the love and support that come from the cherished usual suspects and thankful to find the same as well in the least expected hearts.

I am amazed to confirm the healing powers of giving back. Even in our saddest moments, we can make somebody happy and that itself will make us happy back. God is in the details.

I realize that I have received so much love in my life that I only have love to give. And that makes me humble and better, vulnerable and strong, at the same time.

Quoting one of my wisest friends: 

recite-27085-393588819-o5gy9u

Thank God for everything.

Always blessed,

Laura

P.S.:  Do you relate to any of these feelings? Have you ever felt like this? Opening up your heart and sharing what’s inside helps wonders too. I would love to hear from you, just comment below and encourage your friends to do the same!

Also, please share this post and invite others to subscribe to our blog! Just send them to http://www.laurasgroi.com, where they can enter their email address on our home page. 

Please feel free to forward our posts, but please forward in its entirety. Thank you so much!

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“Hey there, Sexy Mama”

In Career, Contributors, Family, Health, Lifestyle, Relationships on May 11, 2014 at 11:40

Written to and by:

Veronica Barrios-Garcia

Veronica Barrios-Garcia

Dear Self,

You think you are pretty awesome, right? Of course you are, you are twenty-eight years old. You look amazing. You think you are fat, but, really, I wish I looked like you. The future is bright; you’ve finished college and have begun your career. Life is an image of ambitious, filled weekdays and debachorous weekends. You’ve had your share of late nights, spontaneous trips and wreck less decisions. Risks seem thoughtless, but incomparable to the obstacles ahead. Your biggest responsibility is paying the rent and your monthly budget is 40% nightlife and alcoholI miss you!

I’m here to tell you that you’ve made some admirable decisions:

College degree-awesome, that’s helped us a lot.

Husband – good choice, he’s a keeper.

I know you are in your honeymoon lovey duddy phase, but he’s truly amazing. In ten years you won’t want to jump his bones as often, but you will always be happy he’s by your side. You are a better woman with him and, yes, you guessed it, he’s still around and going strong. Just please make sure he gets into the habit of trimming those nose hairs; it’s a real turn off.

You think you’ve experienced stress in college and in your career but really it’s been a cakewalk. Wait ‘till you experience your first anxiety attack, which naively you’ll mistake for heart failure, asthma or diabetes.

You will have gray hair, but only a small patch ala Rogue from the X-men.

Good news, that mysterious single thread of hair you periodically find on your neck only when it’s grown three inches is gone. Bad news: it now shows up on your boob (Sorry). However, your body is still a fearless vessel full of energy, longevity and capable of great durance, but these days you rather take a nap than do anything too physical. Don’t be too disappointed it’s only because we’re busy working and caring for our family. Yup! We’re someone’s mom! Scary, I know, but surprisingly we’re pretty good at it. You’ve never been very maternal but trust me that you will be a good mother, maybe not a model parent but loving and very patient.

Motherhood has brought us great happiness in our thirties although we still struggle with the transition, it has been a blessing. I’m sure you are curious about work since career is your biggest priority these days. Work was and still is a great part of our lives, however balancing it with our family has been a challenge. Our professional choices have brought us great joy, we’ve had the opportunity to contribute to many amazing projects, and some not so amazing, however our greatest accomplishments are from the choices we’ve made in our personal life.

I hope this letter serves as a guide as you enter into your thirties and gives you a bit of perspective about the choices ahead of you.

Continue to follow your heart, stay close to family and friends because they will last and don’t lose your sense of humor, it’s your best attribute.

By the way, you are pregnant! So lay off the vino you sexy vixen!

Oh, and one last thing, dye your hair black; it really brings out the green in our eyes.

Best,

Your Future 38-Year-Old Self

About Veronica:

A professional Writer, Producer, Entrepreneur & Proud Mommy, Mrs. Garcia began her career as a music journalist and has produced many projects for film, video and the World Wide Web. The child of Argentine immigrants born in New York City, Mrs. Garcia was raised in the multi-cultural city of Miami. Being the only female in a middle class family of five has contributed to her keen sense of intuition and self-confidence. Veronica attributes her always optimistic disposition to her immigrant mother, who always encouraged her to see the good in all people and situations. You can read all about her adventures in motherhood, marriage, TV production & cooking on her blogs: http://dwfsupperclub.tumblr.com and http://myhyphenatedlife.tumblr.com.

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