Mothers, We All Have One…..

Mom has called to say she was flying in for a mini-break.  Nana travels by plane to reach us because we don’t share the same zip code.  ‘I want do some shopping in the City,” she tells me in a rush, “I arrive at 10:20 on Thursday morning in Oakland.”  Click.  (None of the people in my immediate family says good-bye at the end of a phone call.  It is assumed after the final sentence the conversation is over, followed promptly...more

SPILLED MILK… cont. “Canela Finds Love in America, and a Husband”

“I didn’t mean to be gone for so long in America,” Canela would later tell young Dulcenia and Little Fredo, apologizing for her delay in the U.S.A... But many years later, when her children were old enough to understand, she would also tell them everything, about [why] her trip to the United States with her brother Armando was so important, and of her unhappy marriage to their abusive father, and of her very sad and lonely childhood, growing up in San Salvador, El Salvador....more


8th April 2005 Simon sent another message through Genes Reunited letting me know what his email address is – I’m not surprised though that he didn’t think to write straight to my email address. Let me know he has chatted to Anthony on msn messenger who seems to have left a good impression on Simon which has been a relief. It seems strange talking to Simon about Anthony though as none of my family ever talked about him so am relieved that Simon is so accepting of him....more

Contact with cousins

7th April 2005...more

Family tree

6th April 2005...more

Family Traits

How many times have you heard someone say, "you look just like your mama?" or, "You have you dad's stubborness?" Comparing ourselves to our families have been a tradition handed down through African-American families for generations. I have photos atop my computer desk of my deceased mom and younger brother. Although they're both are in what I envision to be a heavenly place, I find myself sitting at times, studying their profiles and wondering what is it of herself that mom left me/why do people say my brother and I could literally pass for twins, when I was and am his elder......more

I HATE THAT LIFE’S NOT FAIR, and what I’m going to do about it.

I don’t handle not getting my way too well. I know I’m supposed to be an adult about it. Plus I’m a parent, and I need to set an example for my child. But when I don’t get my way, I suffer from simmering anger, I give the cold shoulder or I hand out heaps of condescension to whoever I’m mad at.  I sometimes boil over with frustration.  Why? “IT’S NOT FAIR” says my childish reaction, repeating itself over and over in my head like a broken record. I admit it. I still HATE life isn’t fair....more

Doula Work Hours : Finding Balance

Doulas are known to be extremely accommodating. We commit ourselves to staying at births no matter how long they are. That means slipping from our beds at 3am, without knowing as doctors, nurses, and many midwives do, when we will be home. If the birth is 3 hours, 30 hours, or 3 days, so be it. We are there....more

Prioritizing having fun - can I do it without feeling selfish?

My cousin said to me Sunday about my midlife sabbatical from working: “If I were you, I’d just have fun and do stuff you haven’t been able to do all these past years.” It hit a chord. I’d been prioritizing volunteering for charities as my next step. I’ve been feeling a need to “do good” for a long time. But I’d also been depriving myself of pursuing having fun for myself. Why? Do a lot of moms do this? All I know is I’ve been putting my daughter, family, and job’s needs above my own for a long time. But I immediately I heard conflict in my head. It felt self-centered....more

ain't nobody happy, right? :)

Seriously, though, I think it's vital that everyone has time ...more

SPILLED MILK… “Like Mother Was Treated, So Daughter Too” Part 2

Because Dulcenia had again wet her bed, she was punished, like a common criminal, to kneel on the hard marble floor in the hallway; and with little hands she balanced a washtub filled with water atop her head. And even though the tub was made of mere tin, filled with water, it was 100-pounds to a small child of seven. She trembled with exhaustion, desperately trying not to move lest she spilled water. For spilling, even a drop, meant a stinging blow with a twig to her buttocks....more