A Fight Within

Powerless encounter
I felt in my self.
I’ve realized
How frail life is
And how the mind
Plays insecure games.

Sometimes
It even dares to kill
Before one builds a barricade.
Even the steps
To stop every enemy within
Is hard to overcome.

A fight
Against my weaker self
Is to unfold.

Tired…
Even breathing
Is tiresome
But I want to live
So I breathe
And I dream
And make plans.

I tell myself
Come on
You can do this!
Just a bit more
Keep walking
Keep wishing
Keep longing
Don’t let yourself collapse.

Don’t…

Just don’t give in.

It might be the beginning
Of a long journey…

Maybe not that long…

Who knows
But don’t give in.

If you fall
Get up!
It doesn’t matter
how long it takes
As long
As you get up
Don’t give up!

Yes…
You are tired
But who isn’t?
Even though it hurts to live
It’s that feeling…
The feeling of pain
That echoes
That resonates
Existence itself.

Yes…
It hurts to touch
Yet to embrace
And be embraced
Can diminish the pain.
Maybe even
Goes away.

Yes…
It hurts to belong
And suddenly disappear.
But without forming warm bonds
Life would be monotonous and cold.

YES…

It hurts when you write
But don’t stop
Write until the pencil falls.
Trace that world
Don’t let it be lost
Into nothingness.

Don’t stop loving
Until your last breath.
Don’t hate
And don’t hesitate
Trust God
And trust in yourself
Give it your all!

This is just another trial
This is just another stepping stone
To a better self.
Hear that?..

It is the sound of
shackles smashing the ground
The sound of liberating yourself
Of shedding that weaker self
And opening your wings
Like being born again
You’re free!
To conquer
Anything you wish.

YES…
You can do this…

Warped Reality

By R.R. SuperNova

Hateful
My taste buds have betrayed me
Purified water to the sight
Yet laxative liquid
Running through my throat.
Just another day
Just another exam.

I’ve decided…
I’m the protagonist
Of a sci-fi film this time.
They are checking my pulse
And preparing me for the flight.
I’ve already given my autographs.


The crew came for me
To form the parade.
We are passing the big door
We are on our way
I say my greetings
And waves of goodbyes.

Finally
I enter the capsule
I’m nervous
Yet excited
I lay in that bed
They wrap me up
Secured
Infuse the contrast
To check my vitals.

They tell me
“Pull your arms above you
As if you are diving
And hold on to
The tube of life.
Hear the automated voice
And follow instructions.”

I see the white lights
In front of me
The tunnel above
Turning
Spinning
Resonating
The count
Is starting
Five, four, three
Two…
The sit starts to move
It’s taking me there
One…

An automated voice says,
“Breathe deep
And hold your breath”
I’m passing through
The light is disintegrating me
It’s taking me to another world
To another reality.
“Are you there”
I hear from far away
“Are you ok?
I hear another’s voice nearby
Then she says,
“Vitals are fine
The data is complete…”
My head is spinning
Everything turns black…

Hola, soy Rosalva

Hola, me llamo Rosalva y hoy me diagnosticaron con leucemia linfocitica crónica.

Hace unos meses mi vida fue cambiando poco a poco. En momentos pensé que era solo cansancio, que tal vez tenía depresión, que eran consecuencias del encierro de tantos meses. Pensé que era cansancio de ser mamá, maestra de diferentes grados, mas niñera del mas pequeño, réferi, ama de casa, enfermera, plomería, jardinera, chef, vaya todo lo que se les pueda imaginar.

Los cambios al principio no fueron tan bruscos. Cansancio, mi periodo menstrual de 8 días cambio a 10 o 14 días, empezé con un dolor agudo en mi cabeza al acercarse mi periodo, tan agudo que me sorprendía que mi cabeza no estallara. Cosa hecha adrede, cuando ya sentía un estallido era cuando me empezaba a bajar mi periodo. Mis dedos los sentía hinchados y también sentía que me querían estallar y la sangre salir por ellos. Tuve muchos mas detalles que en su momento los tomé como exageraciones y me decía, estoy bien, es temporal. Solo que se me quite mi periodo volveré a lo normal y así era, con la exepcion de mi dolor constante de cabeza. Pasaron los meses y empezé a desmayarme, igual solo era cercas de mis periodos. Así que todo se lo atribuía a mi periodo; e igual que siempre, me decía no exageres, ya levantate no hagas un show. Para esto, ya tenia años que me salían los glóbulos blancos altos y los doctores me decían que tenia una infección y me la trataban con antibióticos y ya me sentía bien. Claro que era algo temporal, ya que cada mes tenia infecciones de garganta, oídos y también de mi parte. Estuve muchos años así. Hasta este Junio del 2020 que decidí dejar de tomar los antibióticos. Y sentí que mi cansancio era mas, que los desmayos eran mas seguidos, los dolores de cabeza estaban empeorando y sobre todo, antes me tomaba 6 horas en hacer limpieza general de mi casa y hoy me toman entre 4 y 5 días en poder llegar a terminar lo de antes. Claro, con esto se entiende que nunca pude terminar ya que en el proceso de medio día una casa con 3 niños pequeños es casi imposible que esté impecable. Ahora imagínense en 4 días! El constante sangrado de nariz, aunque era muy poco, aun es considerado fuera de lo comun. El hecho que me duelan los dedos al escribir o tocar cosas. No tengo seguro médico, estoy en Estados Unidos y mi única manera de ver a un doctor es ir a México. Caigo en el rango de muchos Mexico-americanos, así que es la única opción. Llegando a Noviembre le hice comentario a mi esposo (hasta con vergüenza) que estaba muy cansada. Recuerdo que lloré, parecía niña chiquita que le habían arrebatado un juguete y quejándose con sus papás. Mi esposo me abrazó y me dijo que solo de coordinarnos, que todo iba a estar bien. Por una o por otra razón no coordinábamos y se pasó el mes y el siguiente. A finales de Diciembre al estarme bañando, perdí el control de mis piernas y me caí. Recuerdo que mi esposo estaba muy al pendiente y como pudo abrió la puerta del baño y me vio practicamente sentada por no decir tirada con el agua callendome encima sin poder distinguir cual era agua y cuales eran mis lágrimas. Yo estaba quejandome, estaba enojada, demandaba respuestas del viento, de lo invisible, porqué Porque a mí Que me esta pasando!
Esa noche me derrumbé me pasé casi media hora ahí con el agua callendome, como si limpiando mi tristeza y mis inseguridades.
Decidimos ir con el doctor sin importar nada. Los siguientes días me la pasé casi sentada la mayoría del tiempo, claro sin dejar a los niños solos. Había momentos en que me sentía muy bien y en esos momentos hacia todo lo que no había podido hacer antes. Claro que el precio venía muy caro, despues de terminar tenía que estar sentada o de plano acostada, me sentía entre las nubes y mi cuerpo súper pesado, mis párpados eran difícil de abrir. Hasta me sentía temblorosa, como si hubiera hecho muchísimos ejercicios y ya no podía respirar de lo exhausta que estaba. Así fueron mis días hasta Febrero 8, 2021 que tenía la cita con la doctora, me pidió unos estudios de sangre para antes de tener su cita y seguí sus indicaciones. Entré a su consultorio ya con el sobre y empezó a introducirse y a hacerme preguntas cotidianas. Como a que se debe su visita, como se siente, ya saben las preguntas introductorias y poco a poco empezé a ver el cambio en su semblante al decirle mis sintomas. Tomó el sobre, sacó los estudios y me dijo, “Te voy a mandar con un hematólogo corazón, traes unas alteraciones en la sangre que ya esto es un caso delicado y necesitas una especialista.”
No lo voy a negar, si me asuste, también por dentro me decía, “ya lo sabia.” Como quiera me arme de valor y le pregunte, “porque doctora, que cree que pueda ser?”
Y también le hice el comentario que quería que me recetara algo para desparacitar a toda la familia ya que no lo hemos hecho hace mas de año.
A lo que me contesto, “No corazón, ahorita no puedes tomar nada, no puedo recetarte nada, el cuadro que estoy viendo aquí es de leucemia, claro, no soy experta así que déjame le llamo a una hematóloga que conozco para hacerte una cita. En estos momentos es muy importante que te cheque lo mas pronto posible.”
Y así fue, tenía muchas preguntas mientras sentía un peso apoderarse de mi serenidad. Traté lo mas posible de salir con una buena semblanza ya que mi suegra me había acompañado y no quería preocuparla mas. Mas tuve que decirle, como también a mi esposo y les pedí a mi familia por parte de mamá que pidieran una oración por mi, ya que me iban a hacer unos estudios y no sabíamos cual sería el resultado. No quise alarmarlos, simplemente les pedí una oración. Pasaron los días y me pedían mas estudios y a esperar una semana 2 semanas y a la tercera semana me dijo mi cuñada que porque no tratábamos otra opinión. Para esto ya me habían hecho varias pruebas de sangre, mis linfocitos estaban cada vez mas altos y teníamos ya una idea, solo que la hematóloga no nos daba algo concreto. Teníamos una idea de cual seria el siguiente paso, más la hematóloga nos seguía pidiendo otros exámenes de lo mismo. Así que decidí en decirle a mi cuñada que sí, y estoy muy agradecida. Consiguió cita para el siguiente día en Monterrey, nos fuimos muy temprano y gracias a Dios llegamos con bien. Ese mismo día, el 24 de Febrero del año 2021 me dió el diagnostico.

Porqué escribo sobre esto?
Porque somos muchas las mujeres que sentimos cansancio. No solo las mujeres, también los hombres. Y lo dejamos al estrés cotidiano, lo achacamos a la depresión, en nosotras a nuestra menstruación, a nuestros hijos o a algún conflicto diario.  Yo en lo particular tuve muchos detalles que fueron apareciendo poco a poco y decidí no ponerles atención por no verme exagerada, por no dar lata, por no cuidarme, por no amarme más, porque se me olvida que yo llevo el timón de mi barco y por llevar a todos a salvo a sus destinos, me olvido de mi persona. Me olvidé de que si yo, la capitana de mi barco se colapsa, se puede hundir mi tripulación. Claro que todos somos necesarios, mas no indispensables. Pero mientras alguien mas tome el timón, el barco va a estar sin destino.

Cuídense, chequense y no lo dejen al olvido. Es mejor tomar medidas al principio y atacar a este enemigo invisible que fluye entre las venas, a que estar invadida y que ningún armamento pueda detenerlo.

Cold To The Bones

Wintertime
Cold and blackout time
People are starving
Thirsty and without a dime.

Pandemic time as well
As panic time
No light to heat
Food in freezer
Has gone bad
Since yesterday.

There should be a distance
Between people
Covid is still at large
Yet forced we are
Abandoning our shelters
For food supplies
And anything
That might warm us up.
Since what we had is perished
Due to lack of light.

But…
It’s not just us
It’s the whole community
We are all suffering
The big board game
The untouchables are playing.
We’re mere pieces
To toss and turn
To give some light
Or to freeze to death.

Zone of disaster we are called
Yet I see all of those big houses
With brilliant lights.
They tell us to unplug everything
They tell us to keep a low temperature
In our thermostat.
They tell us is our fault!

Yet…
I see those big houses
With Christmas lights
I see the businesses
Having their best time.

Is it just me?
Or is this
Just another political gamble
Just another way to torture
The masses in order
To win some big bucks
The old way…

I wonder…

Dirty House

By Rosalva Ruiz (SuperNova)

Is it the lack of will?
As I take part of the couch
I see the kids running
Screaming
Throwing legos around.

My head throbs
Poisonous cheers
Thorns prickling
My already wounded mind.
Bombs echoing my soul.

I take a look outside
The palms dance
With the beat of the wind.
Like two lovers embracing
Acknowledging each other’s presence.
Bodies entangled
And moving with ease
Circling with poise
What a beautiful sight.
My heart aches
Don’t know yet
If it’s by the lovely sight
Or the rumbling inside.

Teachers bleed their knowledge
I tell my kids “eyes on-screen.”
After a while
They get annoyed
And start hacking the system.
Two screens are shown
One with the teacher
The other
A youtuber it seems.

They forget
I know they do
So I become
That security guard
That unpleasant person
That keeps them on a leash.
I try my best to block
Their indifference
Sometimes
To the point of defiance.
My throat hurts
My heart aches
I block my tears.
They seem startled
For the moment
And back down temporarily.

I see my house being unattended
I keep feeling the urge
Yet they keep looking for an opportunity.
So I sit in this lousy couch
Like a watcher
Feeling insecure
Feeling the pressure
Trying to stop
Screams of joy
So the scholars pay attention.

This feeling of loneliness
This feeling…

I avert my gaze to the window
Once again
I see
Those dancing partners
I’m starting to envy them
Such lovely freedom.

I guess it’s finally getting me

This isolation

This impotence when it comes
To the school’s electronic devices.

The attention I give
To three different grade levels.

At the same time making
Food for them.

Trying to stop words
Coming out from their mouths
I have never said
In front of them.

All thanks to youtube
Thanks to the lack of admins permission
On the school’s electronic device.

Then again
grateful for this device
During these troubling times.

The pressure of them
Making a B or better.

It’s all scrambled eggs
Including the eggshells
They keep hurting
every time I chew and swallow.

I guess
Just like a dirty house
That needs to be cleaned
My soul
Also needs to be cleansed.

A Piece of Mind

During these days of the month I tend to be an observer.  Not that it helps on my daily life. It’s just that there is no other choice, either I do that and sit or stumble on anything, or become dizzy and fall. It’s just those type of days. I give a big praise to the doctors and nurses and anybody that has to deal with blood on a daily basis. I can’t even fathom the idea of smell of blood from my own body, much less from other people. I guess it gets stronger as my age advances.

On these days, I’m so happy that I was able to give birth to boys only. They won’t have to deal with this mess during all their life. Well they might get to deal with their spouse’s period cycles, but at least they won’t have to deal with the change of emotions, the hammering on the head, the pulling and itching of your breasts, the swelling and almost bursting of your fingertips, the tachycardia, the feeling of an infection in your most private part, the extra feeling of smell and hearing… Oh, and to top it off with the constant nausea and colic before and during those days. Now some women have it easy, they literally bleed for 3 to 5 days. But not me, no Sr. it has to be from 8 to 14 days.

So yes, it’s not justa a single itty bitty thing, it’s a conjunction of things that leaves no room to be happy, much less enjoy an active life during these days.

Hence, I do as much as I can before these days, since I know that during these days I will be like a lazy animal. In fact, I have instructed my kids on what to do during these days if by any chance I pass out in a dangerous place. The eight year old knows that he needs to call his dad first, and if it’s necessary, after calling his dad, he needs to call 911. The 5-year-old knows that he needs to take care of his 3-year-old little brother, you know, not getting things that might harm them or things like that. The 8-year-old is in charge, so he needs to take care of his 2 little brothers. Unless that his dad, grandma or aunt comes and pick them up they can’t go with anybody else. Otherwise call immediately to his dad, or his aunt and follow instructions from them.

I know it’s a big responsibility for an 8-year-old, but unfortunately life doesn’t give us a heads up. It just comes and gets what it wants when one least expects it and boy if I know.  If it weren’t for my sister’s information when we were in an accident several years ago. I don’t know how much time longer would we be in the hospital without a family member; and she was only 9. (Just in case, if anyone is interested I wrote about that accident a while back. It’s called “Angel with a gum.”)

Since I know that  this happens to me every month, I am in a way training them like how the schools do a fire drill. Is best to let them know ahead of time, than for them to panic and god knows what might happen. Wouldn’t you agree?

Strand

There was no God
To be spoken to…

Broken

No miracle
No magic casted…

Broken

Just one strand
That one freaking strand
I hung to…

Clung

No matter how beaten…

Desperately

No matter how deep into soil…

Brazenly

Even when crumbled…

I clung

Clung to that
one shining strand…

And I

Depended of
That one and only…

Sanity

Today is a broken day…

Faith

Yet tomorrow will be
another page…

Yes

This one insignificant strand…

Sanity combined with faith.

Hanna and Covid19

Cold breaths whisper in my ears
Friends and family have disappeared
It creeps under my skin
Loneliness and fear
Yet here I am
Dwelling on my troubling
Stupid and insipid sentimental being
Without knowledge of your presence
I was paralyzed.

Unlike your flowery name
You swept all my flower beds away
With them and the grace of God
You came to clean the unseen
Although, you are also the One
Who made all come
Together as it seems.

As we prayed through the night
The sight of your wings
And the blow of your strenght
Kept us awake
All through the night.

*something I wrote during Hanna hurricane. I’ve lost many friends during this pandemic that I dare not count anymore. Hope you all and your family are doing good. God bless

ANGEL WITH A GUM

By Rosalva Ruiz

It was back in 1986 when my family was involved in a car accident. There was a bus full of people who helped us get out of our truck and laid us on the road. Although my vision was blurred by red stains, I saw her, my angel with a gum.

She may not know that she and it kept me mentally stable while watching my unconscious mom on my side covered in blood. On my other side, my sister trying to cover her pain with her arm on her eyes, biting her lower lip, laying there, as her legs were covered in blood as well. People surrounding us, whispering in disbelief as if we were some freak show from a roadside circus. And my red blurry eyesight that stung as I was watching it all.

She may not know that with this little piece of gum, she showed me the empathy from a stranger that I thought was long lost.

She may not know that thanks to this little piece of mint, I was able to breathe while my headache lessened and washed the iron taste in my mouth.

She may not know that it was thanks to her that I let the police officers take me and my sister into their car. It was thanks to that gum that I sat without a fuss while the doctor stitched my forehead.

And the most important of all, it was thanks to that gum that I did not despair when a doctor took me into his arms to see my shocked mom screaming, “Where are my daughters?!”
This invisible me in her eyes understood her state; yet I still cried while chewing that gum.

I have always wanted to say thank you; however, I don’t even know her name or where she is. The only thing I know is… The bow in her blouse made me think of angels wings.

Hopefully this time with this anecdote I can finally say,
“Thank you, my angel with a gum.”

* This is an anecdote I wrote for the “Mcallen Public Library Anecdote Day Contest.”

It will be held on July 5th, 2020 If anybody is interested on participating here is the link.

Spring break of March

Back when the day stopped
In March our world had a break
We stopped and breathed
And others stopped their breaths.

A march was on the way
Of no hugs in display
The love was in the air
Yet disease was also there

Unconscious walls were built
The unseen were feared
Robbed we were
Violated as well

The gods were no where
The scientists were busy
The teachers were learning
The kids were struggling.

It was left open
Our lady is broken
Her flame is gone
Nowhere to be found.

Alone in distance
In distance we face our whole
And the earth is healed along.

The extinct are now seen
There is a new color to the eye
A new horizon is in sight.