Church Bells Reminds Me of Her

You are my church. When I see the church, it reminds me of you ~he said to me today. When I hear the church bells, it’s how I hear your voice; it reminds me of you since the first day when I knew you.

When I travel abroad, I look for the church buildings that make me feel closer to the pretty girl I know. Because they are a symbol of the faith my loved one holds very dearly. ~he continued.

Today the church bells sing of your name. It showcases in my mind the warm memories we share—years of hoping, wanting, and waiting. You seem so far even now when we are so near. Let me walk in the path where she walked, even if she is forever gone. ~he confesses to crying out to the clouds one day.

I want to see the sites that adorn the town she called home since I met her in that particular room of the web. But will I ever hold her in my arms and caress the face I grew to love so much? I don’t know; the wait is so hard. So, I keep the souvenirs that life allows me to hold in my hands when I visit Paris.

I have the dreams of a young love that didn’t blossom into a full flesh Rose. There is no ocean in between us anymore. What’s the hold? Timing has never been on our side; probably, the church bells need to sound a little louder!

I plan to call you my wife forever, the one I loved. I will accompany in my guitar the bells sound that makes me tear up every Sunday morning at the square while I call in prayer the name I long for, Mariaan.

The Lake House

I want to give honor to the ones who where forced to left their dreams behind.

I cannot stop thinking about the previous owners while I make their little lake house mine. As I am cleaning, I picture the couple in my mind, she was up in her 80 years old, I believe. Her husband was gone for three years while she stayed behind in the rural lake community they shared since 2004.

She was too fragile to do the minimal upkeep of this tiny 860 square feet home. It seems that it was hard for her to let go of the memories she created with her late husband. She stayed by herself as long as she could. I had so much respect and reverence in every step I took to restore the house to it’s potential.

I found little gadgets she left behind. I will forever treasure them. They will become permanent fixtures in this cute place we love so much already. My husband came to the house. He was up in the garage, cleaning, and organizing. It seems he had a well-organized workplace once. The husband was sick for a while before he passed. Everything he owned was still there, covered in dust.

He was a handyman. You can see it in the many tools he owned, the ledge to prevent water intrusion through the doors, the French drain to divert water from the driveway, and in the way, he kept the yard. The neighbors said he had a green thumb. Flower beds all around, now full of weeds. I hope the tomato plants, Irises, Butterfly bush, and even a Fig tree still bloom in the Spring.

My husband was having the same feelings as he enters the house and approaches me with sorrow. He explains the sadness he was feeling thinking about the beautiful couple. We saw pictures of them on the coffee table. She left and took with her all her memories. He said, dear as them, one day it will be us. We will also leave this house and the memories we built.

We are Real Estate Agents, you see, but this was not just a transaction. We inherited the precious home someone left for us to treasure. I keep the sweet lady with whom I briefly shared some of her memories before she left for a retirement center in my prayers. I believe God will grant her many years and abundant health.

No puedo dejar de pensar en los dueños anteriores mientras hago mía la pequeña casa en el lago. Mientras estoy limpiando me imagino a la pareja en mi mente, ella tenía más de 80 años me parece. Su esposo ha estado ausente durante 3 años mientras ella se quedó en la comunidad rural al las riberas del lago donde vivían desde 2004.

Ella era demasiado frágil para hacer el mínimo mantenimiento de esta pequeña casa de 860 pies cuadrados, pero parece que le fue difícil dejar ir los recuerdos que creó con su difunto esposo. Se quedó sola todo el tiempo que pudo.  Sentí mucho respeto y reverencia en cada paso que daba para restaurar la casa a su potencial.

Encontré pequeños artilugios que dejó atrás. Los atesoraré por siempre. Se convertirán en accesorios permanentes en este lindo lugar que ya amamos tanto. Mi esposo vino a la casa, estaba en el garaje limpiando y organizando. El garaje parecía haber sido un lugar de trabajo muy bien organizado alguna vez. El esposo estuvo enfermo por un tiempo antes de morir, todo lo que tenía todavía estaba allí, pero ahora estaba cubierto de polvo.

Definitivamente era un hombre hábil, se puede ver en las muchas herramientas que poseía, la repisa para evitar la entrada de agua a través de las puertas, el desagüe francés para desviar la lluvia del camino de entrada y en la forma en que mantenía el patio. Los vecinos dijeron que tenía habilidad en la jardinería. Macizos de flores alrededor, ahora están llenos de pasto. Espero que todavía florezcan en primavera. Plantas de tomate, lirios, arbustos de mariposas e incluso una higuera.

Mi esposo estaba teniendo los mismos sentimientos cuando entró a la casa y se acercó a mí con dolor. Explicó la tristeza que sentía al pensar en la hermosa pareja. Vimos fotos de ellos en la mesa de café antes de que ella se fuera llevándose todos sus recuerdos. Dijo,”querida como ellos algún día seremos nosotros, también dejaremos esta casa y los recuerdos que construimos”.

Somos agentes inmobiliarios, estamos acostumbrados pero esto no fue solo una transacción. Heredamos la preciosa casa que alguien nos dejó quizás con la esperanza de que la atesoráramos como ellos lo hicieron. Mantengo la frágil señora con la que compartí un poco de sus recuerdos antes que se marchara a un centro de retiro en mis oraciones. Creo que Dios le concederá muchos años y salud en abundancia.

To my school with love

“When I crumble, a stronger version of me rises from the ruins”


We spend four years of building memories. I remember the old classrooms, the chairs, the blackboard, and the windows across the wall. The door faced the yard where we all played during recess and lunch breaks.

Our First and Second grade teacher was the same lady. So pretty, and serious about the way she taught. She was not as serious or tough as the third-grade teacher, who was her sister. Ms. Garcia, the Fourth-grade teacher was genuinely nice and sweet. It is funny because from her I do not have many memories.

Our minds tend to create a file of the negative impact someone leaves in our heart. It is not often the same for the good of interactions.  The damage from negative thinking is all too frequent. Being tough, too serious, too rude or intolerant tends to stick often in our brain.

Nothing is more vivid in my memory than the students from my classroom and other grades that made my life at school almost impossible to bear. I was too skinny, and that made me a target for rude jokes and cruel comparison with cartoon characters with similar looks. I often was not allowed to play with others because the color of my eyes. They were different color somewhat uncommon. Those words and the rejection wounded my self-esteem for years. 

I did not know at the time but a boy across the ocean in a different country and a different school was experiencing the same ordeal. Not because he was skinny, quite the opposite. Name calling and rejection hurt him while he was growing up. He kept the anguish to himself to avoid embarrassment.

It wasn’t your fault, beloved schools, you sheltered and keep us from the rain and the storms that bring the beautiful rainbows.The hurtful memories are from those ignorant, mean, and mischievous kids that turned the new words they were learning to spell into weapons against others.

Life brought that handsome, blue-eyes, tall and now trim boy and me together. I still look almost as skinny but not quite like then. My eyes are still green, I get compliments, I am loved, and accepted. We both succeed in life and love. We have beautiful children and a house full of joy.

School years are tough.  It is okay. Those circumstances make us the strong adults we are today. We do not remember you with regret or pain, but we are happy we don’t have to go through those years again.

My husband always points you out when we visit with his family in the countryside. I may come visit you one day. Bitter sweet times!

Stay there in our memory, for now.