Life can be serious business.

Absorbing The Past, In The Present.


As I sit here, on my last day of vacation, I have so much to absorb and reflect on. This wasn’t a “normal” vacation. This was life changing. I’ve experienced being around people that I am connected to not only by blood, but by unfortunate circumstances as well. The death of my uncle, my cousin’s father, and the death of my own mother, has created a bond that is palpable. It’s not only the passing of our parents, but the amount of unknown that surrounds their lives as well.

I had the chance to visit my grandfather’s home, where his widowed wife (not my grandmother, unfortunately she is gone too) still lives. My siblings and cousins hold fond memories of this place; however, I have none. My sister was with me and was shocked at how much of the house remains as it did when she was a child. I walked in to the room that belonged to my mother, adorned with the same wallpaper she looked at as a child, and became incredibly overwhelmed – not only by her presence, but also by the questions that began burning in my brain. I prayed that the walls would begin talking.

Looking in the back yard, I wondered, did she and her brothers climb the trees? Did they ride their bikes in this neighborhood? What the fuck went wrong here? How did a family crumble within these walls and why? There is so much I don’t know. The air was thick and heavy with sadness. I’d like to say I felt content just being in the space where she was, but I didn’t. If anything, it caused the fire in me to know more, to burn even hotter.

Fortunately, while there, we were given many items that belonged to my grandfather, including a binder full of letters and many photo albums. I can’t wait to dig in to those letters. My cousins nor I have much, if anything, that belonged to our parents. While rummaging through one of the boxes, one of my cousins found a letter that her father wrote. Words were not necessary to explain her tears. The connection of just holding something that her father once held is understood. I’m praying that somewhere in that stack of letters, I find my Mother’s handwriting.


My cousin Serina and I have shared many late night talks. It’s uncanny how much our thoughts and personalities reflect each other. It’s been therapeutic to be here. I’m not even sure that particular word describes how I am feeling right now. I’m hoping to process it all a little better on the very long drive home and in the days that follow.

For now, I’m grateful.

I have lots of comments and blogs to catch up on when I get home. Not to mention the overflow of my own stories to write about. I need to purge all that I am feeling and that is best done with a “pen”. Thank you to all that have dug in to my archives while I’ve stepped back from writing anything new. As always, you’re reads, shares and feedback is so very appreciated. And guess what, I’m about to reach a pretty damn awesome milestone… I’m only two followers away from 1,000 right now. I can’t even begin to tell you what that feels like.


I’ve enjoyed myself immensely while here. Reuniting with family and watching my little ones get to know their cousins has been amazing. All good things must come to an end and this adventure will be over at 6am tomorrow morning, as we pack up the car and drive away. Although we live on separate ends of the country, our hearts will remain close.

Much love to my family. And thank you Serina, Justin and Patti (the greatest big sis a girl could ever ask for). This trip wouldn’t have been possible without you.

This is such an accurate picture of who we are! Had to share :)
This is such an accurate picture of who we are! Had to share 🙂


Don't take life too serious.

We Were Set Up By Two Dead People.

Definitely up to no good.

They conspired to set us up. My Mother and her brother, who are both deceased, intervened, worked some sort of “other side” magic, and changed our lives forever.

To understand the impact of this story, I need to tell you just a little slice of my family history, involving myself and my cousin, Serina.

Serina’s father was my Mother’s brother. They both left us way too early – my Mother to cancer when I was 15 and her father to suicide when she was 8. Heavy stuff.

We didn’t grow up with each other, with the exception of when I was about 2 yrs old. I was removed from my parents care and thankfully, my aunt and uncle took me in. I only lived there for a little over a year, before my oldest sister (she’s 14 yrs older than me) moved me in with her and her husband.

Serina and I only saw each other on two other occasions after I left her home. The first time, we were around the age of 10. I remember vividly, stuffing little pieces of paper in to the holes on top of the cassette tape, so that she and I could record ourselves talking and singing. I still chuckle, every time I hear, “Got a little change in my pocket goin’ jinga linga ling” on the radio because for some strange reason, that was one of our songs of choice.

Serina and I circa '98
Serina and I circa ’98

The only other time, was when my grandfather died. We were around 18. We clicked instantly again. People might have thought we were best friends or perhaps sisters because we look so freakishly alike. From there, we lost contact again. She lived in Florida and I in New York. There was just too much space and time in between us.

And then there was MySpace. It was 2006 and I was jumping on the virtual bandwagon. One day I came across my cousin, Serina. Awesome! We chatted it up and were stoked about being able to keep in closer contact. Then a few weeks later, she responded to one of my posts about getting married in Jamaica.

Turns out, she was getting married in Jamaica! TWO DAYS after I was. It gets better. We were at the same freakin’ resort! How does that happen?? Of all the tropical places to go and of all the resorts to choose from, we end up at the same place, at the same time — both for a runaway wedding/honeymoon. Unbelievable.

Reunited in Jamaica.
Reunited in Jamaica.

We couldn’t believe this to be a coincidence. We never will. Some may say I’m crazy but I truly believe our parents brought us together. They knew how much we needed each other in our lives, because of their absence.

Serina still lives in Florida and I in New York. We have talked on the phone at least once a month (usually once a week) since we met up in Jamaica, six years ago. I honestly don’t know what I would do with out her phone therapy, small talk and big laugh.

We get each other because we know where we come from. We both battle with depression and anxiety and a family history that is a huge part of all that. Even though our lives have played out far apart from each other, they are incredibly parallel.

And so…I’m going on another road trip people! It will look much, much different than my drive across- country with my girlfriends. This time, I will be driving from New York to Florida with my sister, her adult daughter and my two young kids. Shit’s about to get real.

I can’t wait. The drive has me nervous but it’s worth it for the chance to visit Serina and her family. This is not just any cousin. This girl — was put in my life by no accident. Us reuniting, strickly “by chance”, confirmed my belief that sometimes, “someone else” is tugging a little on our strings from above. Be it God, our deceased loved ones…I don’t know, but it happened people. And I am so grateful it did!

Have you ever been reconnected with someone or had something happen in your life, that made you question your ideas on fate? Do you have any suggestions on how to survive a two day (22 hr total!) road trip with a 5 yr old and almost 2 yrs old!!!!!