Puerto Rico’s Resilience Teaches Lessons

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This year, we began our trip in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  We have been to San Juan and always love it!  We had not returned since Puerto Rico was hit by the hurricane and it was different.  As we approached landing, we saw the blue tarps covering homes as roofs and the destruction that was left behind.  With that said,

It is a magical place that screams resilience, history and strength!

Throughout our days there, we spoke with an electrician working hot long days on reestablishing electricity while working with generators.  He was touched by the locals cooking him lunch and was happy to be helping. We spoke with our cab driver who seemed grateful for the United States assistance.  As we entered a local restaurant, we were welcomed by a local couple simply saying, “Welcome to our island!”  After such devastation, we found the Puerto Ricans to be as lovely as ever!

Here’s the lesson learned in Puerto Rico:

As we explored the city (and prior to coming) we told our children how it had been hit by a storm.  People lost everything!  At home, we often discuss being grateful and how lucky we are to have the many luxuries that we take for granted.  Puerto Rico was able to put our words into real life realizations.

As my mom walked hand in hand with my son (5years) she was talking about how much people lost.  He, very maturely, looked up at her and said, “That’s why we donate.”

When we returned home, without having a discussion, my son looked around our bathroom and said, “We are so lucky to have running water.  Not everyone has that.  We are so lucky to have pjs to sleep in and a bed.  Not everyone has that…..”  He then went off on a preschool tangent listing everything in our house and reminding me that not everyone has that.

The amazing thing was, I knew that he was referring to Puerto Rico.  I have always talked about gratitude with them (and why we donate) but seeing it stuck with him in a different way.  As a teacher and a mom, I can tell you that my words can only go so far.  His visual of the homes and experience of interacting with locals having smiles on their faces was powerful.

Previously, I have written about taking my children out of school for vacation.  My children are still young and I don’t plan on putting them at a disadvantage academically, but I see benefits beyond school when traveling…..

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Thankfuls to remember and add to


Thank you to everyone who participated in sharing your thankfuls during the month of November.  Here are a few that I hope to look back on during the year to be remind of how much there is to be grateful for!  Please feel free to comment and add on to our list.

“I want to thank you for opening up about your journey.  To find you and to know you can function as a mother, human being and to love life even after 25 years has been so encouraging.  I have not found this before.  But when I have read your blog I feel there is hope as a mother, a nurse and wife.  Thank you in many ways!”

“I’m so happy you made this post!  I think you have the most amazing positive attitude by always seeking out the good things in life despite the pain!  I am exceedingly thankful for the love of my son and two little bunnies who cuddle with me when I need to be touched.  I am thankful that I am able to live near the ocean and travel there to feel the healing power of nature when I need it most.  And I’m thankful for the empowering influence of woman like you on the internet!”

“I am thankful I found your blog!  I think you may be my migraine twin.  As I read your posts, it is like I wrote them.  I am a year older than you but have not had a baby yet, mostly because I am terrified of migraines during pregnancy.  It is encouraging to hear your stories.  Thanks for posting!”

“Thank you for sharing this!   I can relate 100%.   I am thankful for my pain and who I have become because of it.”

“I opened up two gifts this morning, my eyes.  I’m grateful for that.”

“I’m thankful to be alive.  A dear friend is in her final days….each moment spent with her is a reminder of how precious life is, even when living with pain.”

“I am thankful I have great friends that are here to celebrate with me even though we only see each other a few times a year.”

“I am thankful for a full day here and there without a migraine.  I cherish those and makes me more grateful for a pain free day.”

“The roof over my head.  My family and friends that I’m able to advocate for myself and others.”

“I am thankful that I still have my mom alive at 91.  And I am very thankful for my grandchildren.”

“I am thankful for a peaceful room and my medication when I have migraines”

“Bless you for your kind caring heart!”

I am thankful for:

“Loving partner, family friends, warm bed, and migraine awareness spread.”

“My fiancé, my family, good doctors (there are so few).”

“Food!”

“Your blog posts that make me cry”

“Waking up and eating”

“Food, husband, kids, best friend.”

 

“Sow gratitude. Reap. Joy”

What are you thankful 

for?

 

 

 

Help Hannah get a service dog

Help Hannah Get a Service Dog http://www.gofundme.com/n5pjpo

When I first started blogging I wanted a creative outlet that allowed me to tell my story in order to better understand myself and hopefully teach, reach, and help others.  It’s always been easier for me to give help than receive it and when I ran across the Shelton’s story, I jumped at the chance to spread the word about this family.  I relate to this family a lot and know that I am not the only one who will feel this way.  I am a lifetime chronic migraine sufferer along with being a dog lover and a mother. If you’ve read my post  about my dog you know that she is part of my treatment.  She is not a trained therapy dog but she understands the cues I give when I’m in migraine mode and supports me emotionally.  Hannah and her family are raising money to get a service/medical alert dog.  Her dog will be trained to read her body chemistry so the dog can alert her that a migraine is going to spike.  When Hannah’s migraines spike she loses feeling from her waist down causing her to fall.  Her falling is obviously very dangerous and frightening for everyone.  Her episodes last anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes and happen somewhere between 8 and 10 times a week.  Along with this comes depression, anxiety, and panic attacks that her dog can also help her cope with.  An alert dog will drastically change her life.   Hannah has suffered from headaches most of her short life but since 2014 she has been hospitalized and in an infusion center for weeks at a time.  Her migraines last more than 72 hours at a time and cause her to vomit violently.  They have yet to find an effective medication to control her attacks.  She is 16 years old and on homebound schooling until the end of the school year.  When the doctor suggested that Hannah get a medical alert/service dog, Carol (her mother) set up a page to help pay for the dog, vet fees before getting the dog, and the travel and stay for the intense training.  Carol has a very close relationship with her daughter and naturally will do anything to stop her suffering and give her the better life that she deserves.   Please go to “Help Hannah Get a Service Dog”  to donate and read more about Hannah’s story.  Even if you are unable to donate, it will be helpful to share the page or my post to spread the word of the Shelton family.  Your donation will help change a girl and her family’s life!

Help Hannah Get a Service Dog