Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Long live the King! Thanks Michael

Hi everyone,

I watched the Michael Jackson Memorial as most of the world watched yesterday. It was a beautiful memorial for a wonderful music artist that brought a lot of happiness and light into the world with his music.

For me, it was so much more than that though. You see, the past few years for me have been very rough with personal problems 2 years ago and just when I began healing from those wounds and scars, I began dealing with my mother's health last year. Then that continued to this year where I lost my mom in March and as you can imagine, its been a personal hell the past 2 years or so. With all that happening in my personal life, it should come as no surprise that I began slowly losing myself and what I am passionate about. My music and everything having to do with that aspect of myself began taking more and more of a backseat to all the other problems and issues I was dealing with. I must say that I have been a broken and lost man these past 2 years. Broken from all life had thrown at me and lost as to what I should do about my music. I am a very optimistic person by nature but all the negativity life had thrown at me and feeling let down by life and some of those around me led me down a very introspective path. I am a very giving person and I felt and learned that some of those that relied on me could not be relied on. By the same token, some that I barely knew became ones that I could rely on and that helped balance out my anger and frustration. It was very sobering and made me sad too. So I was broken, lost and sad. Not a good combination of feelings to have. My mother's death was the final straw that sent all the feelings crashing in a downward spiral of introspection but it also helped me to begin finding myself. Like I said, I am an optimistic person and had to find a positive from within all the bad happening in my life. I had many regrets over my mom not seeing me become the success I had wanted to be. BUT, I know she IS looking down at me and will see what I will do. She is the one that introduced me to music as a child as she always liked to listen to all types of music and never pushed any one style of music on me. When the time came that I wanted to do music, she not only supported me but also became my manager and pushed me until I took the reins and ran with it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had to go back to what I had set out to do with my music - I owed that to her. However, with so long not doing music - it becomes daunting to get yourself back into the mindset of an artist. All the doubts, insecurities and other things that come with being an artist can work a number on you, especially when you've faced so much adversity. I had friends that told me to use my music to work out my sadness and emotions but for a singer/songwriter like me that uses so much emotion in his lyrics and sings that way as well, drawing on these emotions that are still raw is very hard. Its very hard to revisit that pain. I slowly worked my thoughts back to that of an artist but was still finding it hard to make that final push. However, I was finding that peace within myself that I had long been missing.

Then Michael Jackson died. I have always been a fan of MJ's music. He has written and sung some of the greatest music of all time. I always felt a connection to him as an artist in that I knew how it felt to be shy and misunderstood and I can understand how he turned into MJ the performer once he hit the stage. It is something we share in common. MJ was an "old soul" which is why he was able to sing songs well beyond his years even as a child. I always felt that connection as well.

His death and all the recent stories of what he accomplished in music, not only in music but what he was able to do with his music combined with the introspection of my mom's passing made me more introspective as to what I set out to do and haven't done with my music. For those of you that have followed me for years (or have just read my bio ), you know that I had a rock band named Vogue's Rogues and a lot of our music dealt with societal and environmental issues. This is something I had planned to continue to a higher level with my new rock band Society's Soul but all that took a backseat as I explained above. Hearing songs that MJ wrote such as "Heal the World', "We are the World", "Human nature", Black or white" reminded me of the message laden songs I had wanted to write. Also, hearing of all his charitable works. Of course, I am not nor will ever be in MJ's class of what he accomplished but it made me sad and frustrated to see where I was at and all those emotions I had been dealing with but at the same time it started awakening something within me.

Watching the MJ Memorial yesterday and hearing all the stories and accomplishments as well as all the love he had from his fans helped me find myself. Yes I was sad watching it and was moved many times to tears by the outpouring of love and respect BUT it also helped me remember that I have my own story to write and its time to getting back to that story and write some new chapters. 2 vastly different people - my mom and MJ helped me to find something I had been missing for so long. Its said that God works in mysterious ways and as long as you believe and are open to the signs, he will provide and I can attest that he has for me. I am ready to get back to where my passion lays, to doing music. That is why I say thanks to Michael, because in death he continues to inspire. Not only MJ but all the positive messages spoken at the Memorial of what he tried to accomplish with his music inspired me to get back to where my passion is. As for Long live the King - I not only am referring to the King of Pop who will live forever with his musical legacy and what he has given to charities but I also mean it for the King of Kings who worked in mysterious ways to help bring me back from the purgatory of the past few years to showing me that in going through this he was also helping me to find myself.

I'm back! Ready to get to doing and performing new music and working with artists and meeting all my great fans who have stuck by me and support my music.

Friday, June 26, 2009

R.I.P. Farrah Fawcett / R.I.P. Michael Jackson

Yesterday's double bad news of the passing of Farrah and Michael really saddened me as it did a lot of other people around the world. The passing of Farrah really affected me because it reminded me of my mom in how she fought so hard to get better and also her age of 62 which was the same as my mom when she passed 3 months ago. So I already was sad yesterday before the Michael news. Both are American Icons and will be remembered. Micheal's music will live on for generations and along with Elvis, I don't think we will ever see music stars like those 2 again. Having gone through a loss recently, I know the pain and send my deepest prayers to Farrah and Michael's families, loved ones, friends and fans.

Healing has been slow but almost back

My long delayed pre-production on my new album which will be titled 'El Camino Espiritual' (The Spiritual Walk) has obviously been delayed once again as I have gone through and struggled through all the personal issues that accompany the loss of a loved one but I am finally beginning to feel like myself. Have had a hard time since February (which was when my mom began getting ready to come home) with anxiety and its been rough but the bad moments are getting less and so is the anxiety. Hopefully I will be able to get back to my music soon. I would also like to take a moment to thank all of you who have shown me support because it really has helped and meant a lot for me to get and feel all those positive vibes and support. It's been so appreciated and I love hearing from you all!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thank you to all for all your kind words of sympathy

It has indeed been a rough time for myself, my daughters, my stepdad, brother and my wife but we are supporting and helping each other through this as a family should.

We had her remains cremated and had a wonderful memorial service for her this past Monday.

Have my good days and have my bad moments but I take comfort in that she is no longer suffering after having suffered through so much the past 8 months. I also take great comfort and satisfaction in that I did everything I could for her from taking care of her bills to making sure that everyone was attending to her and her needs at the nursing home and hospital all the way until the day that I brought her back to her home. She fought hard to make it back home and although she only did wind up being home for a little over a week when she made it home that one final time, she did make it home and I helped make that happen for her and I take great comfort and satisfaction in that. I know that she went off to a better life knowing that I was taking care of everything and would continue to take care of my stepdad and brother which I am doing and will continue to do as those would be her wishes."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sad news regarding my mother

My mom finally returned home on Tuesday 3/3 after being in and out of the hospital and nursing home and not home since Sept. '08. She was rushed back to the hospital Friday afternoon 3/13. We lost my mom Monday morning 3/16 for 10 minutes but thank God that the doctors were able to bring her back to life. She was in ICU in critical condition but unfortunately never regained consciousness and passed away this Saturday morning. She was 62. Rest in peace mom. I'll always love and miss you.

Thank you to everyone who sent their support, love, prayers and warm thoughts all these past months and recently. It helped so much through some rough and dark times. I'll always appreciate it from the depths of my heart. Thank you.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

When it rains it pours...

As I had posted before, my mom finally returned home on Tuesday 3/3 after being in and out of the hospital and nursing home and not home since Sept. '08. She was rushed back to the hospital Friday afternoon. I was feeling very sick with a bad flu that I've been fighting all week, almost was hospitalized myself last weekend, and with yesterday's news I really felt worse. Am very stressed and depressed now, on top of feeling sick. Please say a prayer for me and my family.

Como yo escribi antes, mi mama por fin regreso a su casa en Martes 3/3 despues de estar en el hospital y centro de terapia y no en su casa desde Sept. '08. Ayer por la tarde fue llevada de emergencia al hospital otra vez. Yo me sentia muy enfermo batallando una mal influenza toda la semana, yo casi fui hospitalizado esta fin de semana que paso, y con las noticias me senti mucho mas mal. Estoy muy deprimido y con estres, encima de sentirme enfermo con esta influenza. Por favor de decir una oracion para mi y mi familia.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jorge and Jasmine go home! Kelly sings!

The show started with the new Judges Save rule designed to save an artist that the judges think is wrongly being voted off on AI by America's votes. They can only use it once before teh Top 5 is set and then the next week, 2 will get voted off. I like it. Adds a twist to the show that probably would've saved Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson.

So, I was almost right about who was going home - the real shocker was Jasmine being voted off. I didn't think that she was ready to go home yet. I don't expect for the judges to use their save until much later in the season so I didn't expect them to save her. She was lucky to make it in as a wild card and I wish her the best. She's learned a lot during this process and I hope to see more of her. I like that Ryan was speaking to her after she was eliminated and giving her brotherly words of support. I've always liked that about Ryan and that while he's trying to get a good cry out of them for the TV cameras as he's told, he's there for them as well. That says a lot about him as a person.

Jorge looked so sad, he knew his time was coming to an end. He didn't even enjoy the very good Kelly Clarkson performance. She looked and sounded great. I wasn't crazy about her outfit but its Kelly so she still looked great! Sorry to see Jorge go but not surprising. Hopefully he'll go onto big things too. He seems like a very nice guy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

American Idol Season 8 - Michael Jackson night!

Good 1st night of singing. No one was bad and a lot of the performances were very good to excellent. The judges upped the ante right off the bat by saying that 2 would be voted off today. I knew that this would be inevitable since American Idol is only signed for so many weeks to be on FOX, I just didn't expect it right out of the box.

Simon was in his typical brutal form, Paula seemed in mid-season over the top and tipsy form, Randy was on point as usual with his advice and Kara was kind of in between all of them. Still undecided how I feel about her as a judge.

Lil Rounds opened the show with a very good performance of "The way you make me feel".

I really liked Scott MacIntyre's performance of "Keep the faith". I thought he really shined behind the piano. I felt that Simon had somewhat of a point of picking a song that wasn't one of Michael's huge hits to do but at the same time, Michael is not Scott's style of music and his interpretation of the song was very good. Simon's comment that American Idol isn't about being artistic had to be one of the most stupidest comments I've ever heard on a music show. That feeds right into what critics have wrongly said about the show. What a dolt to say that.

Danny Gokey got the crowd on its feet with an interesting performance that showed off his excellent vocals and interpretation of "PYT".

Michael Sarver's version of "You're not alone" was very good. Nice, solid performance.

Jasmine Murray finally lived up to what I want to see from her with her performance of "I'll be there". Nice vocals and she looked great too.

Kris Allen's performance of "Remember the time" while playing on the guitar reminded me of Jason Mraz. Of course, Randy mentioned that as well. Good performance and the female audience really loved him.

Allison Iraheta was up next and wow, am I fan of her voice. Love the flaming red hair too! Allison is the 1st rocker girl on AI that has it all. I think she's top 3 at least.

Anoop Desai's song choice of one of Michael's biggest hits "Beat it" was a poor song choice. You stay away from the monster hits because you risk sounding inferior if its not beyond superior. Anoop is definitely in danger tonight.

Jorge Nunez' performance wasn't bad but it wasn't a standout performance either. Jorge is in danger tonight as well. Simon's comments to him were uncalled for.

Megan Joy Corkrey's performance of "Rockin' Robin" was cute. I really like her and think she has a lot of potential but she's really in over her head on AI, never having done anything more than school choir.

Adam Lambert's over the top performance of "Black and White" was very good in some parts but way over the top in other parts. I don't know what was up with Paula practically crying over his performance but at least Adam came across as humble and modest this week. I hadn't gotten that sense from him before. Nice to see.

Matt Giraud's performance of "Human Nature" was good.

Alexis Grace' performance of "Dirty Diana" was good but trying too hard.

So, who goes home tonight? Hmm, I definitely think that Anoop and Jorge are in big danger tonight - as well as Alexis, Megan and maybe even Michael Sarver. I like this all the singer's in this year's group but I think that Anoop and Megan go home. :(

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Come join me on Twitter!


Would you like me to tweet you?

I just joined Twitter and would love you to come on there and help build my following and receive my daily updates on what I'm doing, planning to do, etc. Hope to see you on there!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

American Idol Season 8 - Night 4 of the semi-finalists (Wild card night!)

Interesting show to say the least!

I was pretty happy with the judges picks although it sucked to not see Norman Gentle get one more chance to entertain America in only the way that he can!

So we got 3 singers from Night 1 - Ricky Braddy, Anoop Desai and Tatiana.
4 singers from Night 2 - Jasmine Murray, Matt Giraud, Megan Joy Corkrey and Jesse Langseth.
Only 1 singer from Night 3 - Von Smith.

I didn't think that any of tonight's performances were especially good.
They were all rather solid but uninspired.

Matt got picked based on his bluesy performance but I found Matt's singing not relevant to what would sell today so I don't know why they picked him since they are always talking about the singers doing things that are current and relevant. Matt can sing, no doubt - I just don't know how well the audience will relate to him if he continues in that style. They didn't like his more contemporary style either so Matt's got a lot of figuring to do.

I did not like Megan's performance or singing of KT Tunstall's song tonight either. She has a good look and this is a TV show after all so I think she got in on that, she also has a lot of work to do!

Jasmine Murray did much better than her disappointing 1st performance but she still has to put it all together and make it consistent. She certainly has the looks of a pop/r&b star!

I was disappointed to see that Anoop didn't make the Top 12 but was shocked when they announced that they were making it a Top 13! Very cool! He deserves to be there and he was my happiest choice of the night.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

American Idol Season 8 - Night 3 of the semi-finalists

Tonight's show was kind of karoake-ish. Not too many very good performances until the end of the show.

Von Smith opened up the show with a good performance but something about this Jesse McCartney look-a-like doesn't do much for me. He is talented and is passionate about music but there's just something missing that I can't place my finger on.

Taylor Vaifanua shouldn't have done an Alicia Keys song. It wasn't the right song for her.

Alex Wagner-Trugman - I like this kid but the judges were all over him for trying too hard. I liked his performance and thought the growling vocals were good and fun.

Arianna Afsar picked a really bad song to do. I felt bad for her as the judges were telling her how bad she did. She seems like a really nice girl.

I really liked Ju'Not Joyner's interpretation of "Hey there Delilah".

Kristen McNamara was good as well, although she should've picked a more uptempo song rather than make a slower song fast.

Nathaniel Marshall's choice of a Meatloaf song was rather strange. Not a fan of his though. I found him as irritating as Tatiana.

Felicia Barton got her 2nd chance to do her thing and again, picking an Alicia Keys song is a tough act to follow. Not a good choice although she didn't do it half bad.

I'm a big fan of Scott MacIntyre. He's very talented and with his combination of talent, overcoming adversity and being a genuine nice guy - he will go very far!

Kendall Beard had the unlucky task of following Scott but did pretty well with her version of a Martina McBride song.

Jorge Nunez was very good! I was very happy for him and found it cute when the judges were talking to him and he couldn't translate fast enough in his head the words he wanted to express. Paula and Kara seemed to love that!

Lil Rounds was the performance I wanted to see out of the all the performers tonight and she didn't disappoint! Great performance!

I think that Lil Rounds easily wins the top female vote, while Scott takes the top male vote. I would like to see Jorge win the 3rd spot but I think that Ju'Not and Von have a good chance to get in as the 3rd performer.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My mom is finally home! :)

Man, I wish Blogger had some smileys I could use in here! Maybe if someone else knows how I can get some smileys on here, you could let me know! ;)

Anyway, after not being home since September of last year with hospital and physical rehab stays - my mom is finally home today!!!!

What a relief to say the least! Not that I am not stressing her health anymore (far from it since she is still not and will never be 100% healthy) but its just a nice feeling to know that she's finally back where she belongs. This has been such a long journey for my family that it almost doesn't seem real but I'm sure glad it is!

I just want to say thanks to everyone for all their thoughts, prayers and warm wishes for my mother. myself and my family. Thank you for all your support. It will forever be appreciated. :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Stress and snowstorms

Sounds like a potential song title ;)

Well, stress has gotten the better of me. The stress of coordinating everything for my mom's discharge today and other things I've been working on has really affected me hard the past weeks and has run me down into the ground. Have needed a few days to recharge from 2 weeks of stress-related insomnia (not helped by early morning calls dealing with everything). Its even made driving hard to do and I love to drive! Am trying to take things easy but stress is a bitch! LOL!

My mom's discharge will have to wait one more day as NYC just got hit by a major snowstorm. We're expecting 14 inches by the time its all said and done tonight. Its for the best as the roads, sidewalks and stairs are all too dangerous and slippery today. A fall because of that combined with the dangerous cold would be very bad so better to postpone it one day and be safe rather than sorry. In the meantime, I'll take it easy and rest up for tomorrow.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

American Idol Season 8 - Night 2 of the semi-finalists

Well, Night 1 results went as I pretty much expected so I'm off to a good prediction start! :)

My thoughts for Night 2:

Jasmine Murray - This girl has it all - looks and talent so that made it soooo disappointing to hear how she sounded and the song she picked. I think she made a big mistake with her song choice.

Matt Giraud - This guy can sing but also picked a bad song for his voice. Not a good start to night 2.

Jeanine Vailes - Don't remember her from any of the opening week shows but she didn't impress me and I wasn't and am not a fan of wearing shorts for performances.

Norman Gentle!!! Big fan of this guy! Honestly, he CAN carry a tune and his entertainment value is off the charts. I was hoping for Norman to show up and not Nick. Was very happy to see Norman posing at the top of the steps to begin the song. Loved the way out there performance!! Would love to see him on the show because he would add life and personality to a show that takes itself a little too seriously at times. I would much rather watch Norman with one of his off the wall performances than hear Simon making crude remarks to Ryan or the dumb question and answer with the fans that doesn't really do much to add to the show.

Allison Iraheta! Wow, can that girl sing!! She has such a mature sound to her vocals at such a young age and her phrasing and vocalizing is way beyond her years. This girl is for real and she served notice to everyone that she is a real threat to everyone. I don't agree with Kara that she doesn't know how good she is - I think she does and she hasn't shown Kara everything she can do yet.

Kris Allen picked the perfect Michael Jackson song that you can do something with. He sounded really good.

Megan Joy Corkrey was very good vocally and the camera really loved her. She looked great. Her performance was a little awkward but at the same time it was cute as the little rocker chick tried to dance, that will get better with time though.

Matt Breitzke was good but I agree with Randy that if he was going to do a rock song then it needed the edge a rock song should get. I agreed with Simon that his performance was good but boring.

Jesse Langseth was good and she's really pretty but her schmoozy attitude put me off a bit to her.

Kai Kalama disappointed me as he picked a very safe song that seemed easy for him to sing.

Mishavonna Henson suffered the same problem as Matt Breitzke.

Adam Lambert will have to show me more to win me over. His over the top performance of a Stones song would've been laughed off on Rock Star. Its hard to tell whether he wants to be a rocker, emo or Joe Jonas wannabe! He hasn't convinced me of any of the above but he definitely has the Broadway star down and that's not a compliment when being on a show such as AI.

My thoughts are that Allison easily gets the most votes as Top Female. Unfortunately, I do think that Adam will get in and I hope to see Norman make it, if its even just to piss off Simon. LOL!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

American Idol Season 8 - Night 1 of the semi-finalists

Season 8 of AI is underway and as you already know, that's time for my family to get some quality couch potato time in front of the TV!

Some thoughts on the auditions and Hollywood week. The whole bikini girl thing was ridiculous, from Kara's catty exchange with her to Simon and Randy putting her through. What drama during Hollywood week!! Wow! It was good to see how passionate some are and were about their music and big shot at making it. I so felt for Rose and Lineesha, I would've liked to see them both go through. I'm a big fan of Danny Gokey and I totally admire the friendship and support that his friend showed throughout the whole process. I'm not one that has a lot of close friends so I always admire true shows of friendship such as he showed to Danny. I'm also a big fan of Norman Gentle. The shoutout to Ryan while doing his song was priceless! LOL!

Last night was the 1st round of the semi-finals and I like that they've brought back the old way of voting people in with the highest vote getting male and female voted in along with the 2nd highest vote getter of the night. I also like that they have brought back the wild card round because that is how Clay Aiken and Jennifer Hudson got a 2nd shot at getting in and deservedly so.

Well, here are my thoughts on the 1st round semi-finalists:
Jackie Tohn was pretty good but I'm not too fond of her. Seems to try too hard to be a rocker chick and last night was no different. That outfit was horrible too! She looked like Olivia Newton John at the end of Grease!

Ricky Braddy was very good.

Alexis Grace was also very good and I loved her look. Love the pink highlights! Very cool.

Brent Keith was good and will make a good country artist. I like that he played straight for his intended audience and didn't make apologies for it.

Stevie Wright sounded overwhelmed by her moment to sing. I felt for her and didn't like Simon being so harsh with her. Shocker I know. By the time the judges critique had gotten to Simon, she got the point and didn't need him piling on. I'm glad Kara called him out on it.

Anoop Desai was very good.

Casey Carlson picking a Police song to do was a bad idea before I even heard her sing. The song was WAY too big for her. I agreed with the judges criticism and Simon seemed to learn from his bashing on Stevie Wright and at least gave some helpful criticism. Now that's not too hard, right Simon?

Michael Sarver was good but I had wanted him to be very good.

Ann Marie Boskovich was good.

Stephen Fowler was disappointing. I really wanted him to do well but doing a Michael Jackson song? What was he thinking? Anything Michael sings works for Michael and pretty much Michael only. Stephen has a lot of potential, he's just dropped the ball twice already in showing it.

Tatiana Del Toro... the audition and Hollywood week drama queen. Honestly, I didn't want her to make it because of all the dramatics and over exposure on her antics but I must say that she can sing. Sing she did last night, I must say that I thought she was the best female singer of the night. I see she toned it way down last night. It seems that she saw how she came across and was portrayed during the auditions and Hollywood week and if indeed it wasn't her as she mentioned last night, then I can see how she would be embarrassed by how she came across. As much as she loves attention and boy does she, I think she's also smart enough to see that she needs to tone it down and not come across as so whiny and annoying if she wants America's votes.

Big, big fan of Danny Gokey. Honestly, I predict him as this season's winner already. This guys sings with heart and emotion and gets into the heart and soul of a song's lyrics, reminds me of me in a lot of ways. Of course, his story is one of deep despair and amazing triumph in the face of adversity so who can't love that? I agree with Simon that his performance wasn't his best but it was very good.

Danny easily is the top male vote getter and Tatiana should be the top female vote getter but if there's a voter backlash against her then I see Alexis Grace being the top female vote getter for the night. The second highest vote getter also going in IMO will be either Anoop or the roughneck Michael Sarver. Should be an interesting night.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Very happy but cautious

I just came back from seeing my mom at the physical therapy rehab place and got some great news, it looks like we'll have my mom back at home by the end of the month or the 1st or 2nd of March at the latest!! Wow!! Its hard to believe its almost over and that we'll have her back home. Almost 7 months of hospital stays, setbacks, sadness, frustration, tears and more is almost over. Its so hard to explain all the feelings but they all end in being very happy, just still very cautious since a setback can ruin it all. Been down that road a lot throughout this journey but I'm optimistic and have faith in God that the worst is finally over.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Back to doing what I love!

My mom's health has stabilized and we hope to have her home this month or next so now that she is close to coming home, I am getting back to doing what I love ~ working on my new latin pop/rock album to be titled "El Camino Espiritual" (The spiritual journey). The past 2 years have been very hard on me with personal problems with my wife in 2007 and just when things were getting and feeling normal and I was finally back mentally and emotionally to where I wanted to be to begin work on what I love to do, then my mom's health situation began and threw me for a loop again. It has indeed been a spiritual journey for me these past 2 years and I have a lot to reflect on and let out through my music. It will definitely be the most personal album I have recorded to date. I have always been a very introspective songwriter and singer and you can learn a lot about me through my music but I think this will be step beyond all I've previously done. It should be quite the experience for me.

My fans have always been so important to me and I've always tried to reach out and let them know, you can see that especially on MySpace. I've posted on my MySpace blog for my MySpace fans & friends to give me their opinion on which is their favorite song from my first 2 albums "De un corazon a otro" and "Rockero soy". If you haven't already and are a MySpace user, stop by my blog and give me your opinion. It's always cool to hear what my songs mean to my fans.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A not so merry Xmas and not so happy new year

Well, my mom's health issues have continued. Since my last post about my mom in October, she had 2 hospital stays while in rehab. She had one in November that set her back a bit but she came back from that hospital stay more determined than ever to get her health back and not lose any of the progress she had gained to that point. It was good to see, it made us all optimistic. However, in December she developed a cold (probably from visitors seeing their relatives) and it got progressively worse until she was admitted back into the hospital again, this time on Xmas eve. It was a very sad day for my family because we had all, my mom included, planned to have my mom home for Xmas. Indeed, she had even been told that should could get a day pass for 2 days to spend Xmas at home but with her health not good, my mom had decided against it. Still, we rather she had been at the rehab place than in the hospital! Needless to say it was a very sad and bittersweet Xmas for my family. I did my best to put on a brave face but I had my breakdown moments in private. Thank god for my kids and seeing their happiness at getting their xmas presents. Their smiles and happiness made me forget everything for a little while. My kids can always do that for me.

My mom was back at the rehab place before New Year so that was good. She was back at the rehab place on the date of my grandmother's (her mom) death, and I must say that December has always been a hard time for me since her death over 20 years ago. This December has been especially hard and I've been even more reserved and quiet than I usually get this time of year. Also making it hard is seeing that people I thought I could count on weren't as there for me as I thought they were. Lesson learned I guess. I must say though that people that I barely knew, at least in person, such as my MySpace friends were extremely amazing in how they showed they cared, supported me and showed that for my mom and me through their thoughts and prayers. Really amazing and meant so much to me. However, back to what I was saying... having my mom there on New Year's was hard. On New Year's I usually look back on the year and evaluate what I've done, haven't done, what's gone on throughout the year, etc. and just thinking of my mom still not home as the New Year began and the old year ended made me really sad for her. My family has a tradition where we all call each other within minutes of the New Year's ball drop and not being able to call her and not hearing her voice really made me sad and I had to retreat in private to compose myself. My stepfather has had it especially hard through all this so we spoke to him for a bit on New Year's and I think it really made him happy. That's all I can ask. I've gotten very close to him through all this with mom. Gotten closer to my brother as well, its been tough on all of us.