A Trail of Glitter

This is the post excerpt.

Welcome to my first blog post.  I originally thought that I would start this blog as way to talk more about my business and the various other professional things I am involved in and probably I will.  However, most importantly I discovered in starting this blog that it is more to express that “I Have  A Point of View!” and thought that it was important to share it with the world.

A little bit about me; I am a mother, a wife, an entrepreneur, an art and music lover and I love, love, absolutely love poetry.  I am originally from the DR (Dominican Republic), and I have a unique trajectory which I will share with you from time to time.  I am open minded, brutally honest, and insanely loyal to those I love.  I dance to even the songs in commercials and some would say that I am bit of a free spirit.  I love the sound of laughter.  I always try to follow my instincts and can at times be a bit of an oxymoron.  I am a woman in all her glory with contradictions, curves, and courage.

I invite you to follow this journey and lets see where it takes us.

Just follow the glitter, I promise you won’t be disappointed……..

The Legacy of Grandmothers

grandma pic

Someone asked me the other day what was my favorite recipe from my one of my Grandmothers and I could not think of any which then got me thinking as to what I had in fact inherited from my Grandmothers.   I was raised being very close to both of my them and I realized that neither one ever tried to teach me how to cook.  Hence, no recipes.  They also did not teach me how to sew.  Hence no scarves either.  It seemed like I did not inherit the more traditional things that Grandmothers pass down to their Granddaughters.  Instead they both were vested in ensuring that I would be a break from the norm.  They wanted me to be an independent educated woman.  But after a deeper look I realize that I inherited something much more powerful than a recipe.  From my Grandmothers, I inherited prayer.

My maternal grandmother, Abuela as I liked to call her, died almost 2 years ago at the age of 103.  She was an amazing woman.  I remember her always being a small woman of few words.  It never seemed like she ever had much to say except when it came to prayer.  She had an amazing sense of faith.  I remember her insisting on writing down prayers that she would come up with for me and then having my tech savy cousins email them to me in the US.  The prayers always seemed to address the things that were ailing me at the moment.  It was like she had a crystal ball.  She lived her entire life in the Dominican Republic and I have lived in the US since I was 7.  Yet despite the miles, she was always in tune with my spiritual well being.  She just always seemed to know when I was troubled.  Like cherised family recipes, my grandmother gave me prayers;  a prayer for when my business was slow, a prayer for when my kids were sick, a prayer for focus and peace of mind.   Till this day, I keep those prayers close by and always go back to them when I feel that I need a little extra help.

My paternal grandmother, Mamaro, who raised me like I was her daughter and who pushed me to equally learn two languages at age 7, was also deeply rooted in her faith.  She also believed in the power of prayer.  I remember going away for high school and loosing one of my favorite hoop earings on a rainy day at the local mall.  I had called her upset and she said that she would pray to the image of the Baby Jesus (El Nino Jesus) and then about two days later I found the missing gold earing at the mall.  Mamaro also prayed for me at all times.  From her, I learned Novenas and how to do a Rosario.   She is responsible for my affinity to the Virgin of  Guadalupe (my patron saint).  She made sure I did all the Catholic rites of passage.  She died during my junior year in college and it was like the rug had been pulled from underneath me.  She was my number 1 cheerleader.  She wanted me to be a “Profesional.”  I still keep one of her Rosary beads by my bed.

Like treasured family recipes, I keep the prayers and faith I learned from my Grandmothers close to my heart.  I hope to be able to pass such an amazing legacy to my sons and future grandchildren.


The Meaning of a Year

scarla BD photo

I recently celebrated my 43rd birthday and in so doing I reflected on the things that happened in my life during the past year.  In retrospect it may not seem like much; ups, downs, houses sold, houses that didn’t sell,  one kid at a new school which he hated at first, the other kid getting older and more wiser.  But this past year, I did undertake to be kinder with myself.  Every failure, every moment of self doubt, every disappointment, I reminded myself to be gentler and kinder.   And it made all the difference for me.

I have always been too self critical, always believing that I can do better, do more, be more efficient, work harder.  If I were to lay out the list of expectations on my daily goal sheets you would think that I am crazy.  Two businesses, multiple properties, 2 kids, 1 husband and 1 household, you would think I am bionic or have super powers.  Which I clearly do not!!!!   All these expectations lead to self disappointment when things don’t go as planned.  What I have learned this year is to say “Its okay Scarla, tomorrow you can try to be superwoman again.”

To anyone reading this, it’s okay to fail.  It’s okay to wake up tomorrow to try again.  Just be kind to yourself.  We are only human after all.

Things You Didn’t Know………

I write this in memory of my mother, Estela, who died 41 years ago this month.  This is the only picture I have of us together.

I was born in the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo City.  I was primarily raised by my paternal grandmother, Doña Maria.  My mother, Estella, died when I was only 1 years old.  For most of my life, I was told by my family (on both sides) that my mother had died from a cerebral hemorrhage  (or a stroke).  However, I recently found out that my mother did not die from a stroke as I was led to believe but instead she bled to death from having an illegal abortion.  (My father still to this day doesn’t know that I am aware of this tragedy.)  Shortly after my parents were married, my father Luis, left the Dominican Republic and went in search of a better life in the US.  My mother, who came from a very poor family, felt abandoned and alone.  She lived in a 1 room house and relied on my paternal grandparents for financial support.  Her older sister, my aunt Elida, was a domestic worker in my grandparents house.  As the story goes, my mother had an affair with a man and became pregnant.  Then, a few months later, when my mother was already 3 months pregnant, my father called to say that he had secured visas for my mother and I.  In fear that my father was going to leave her, my mother went to a “curandera” (witch doctor) and had an illegal abortion performed.  A day later she bled to death. She was only 21 years old.  It was a big scandal at the time because abortions were illegal in DR and because my father’s family was well known. It was even headline news in the national newspaper.

No one ever dared mention this to me but I always had the sense that there was more to my mother’s story.  It was present in the way people would look away when I was introduced as Estela’s daughter.  I never paid too much attention because both of my grandmothers and my dear aunt Elida made sure that I grew up knowing that I was loved and wanted.  They made me the center of their life and gave me attention and unconditional love.  They never allowed anyone to speak ill of my mother.  Even after I moved to the US and lived with my Aunt Magaly no one ever spoke of how my mother had died.  I have to say that I was very lucky.  I lost 1 mother but gained 4 amazing women who helped to mold me into the super woman I am today.

Nowadays when I think about my mother, I think of how scared she must have been.  She took a great risk and lost.  Access to health care and a woman’s right to choose are things that we take for granted.  I had an abortion in college and I had it because it was my choice!   I went to a doctor and had the procedure done and that was it.  My mother did not have the luxury of choice or access and she paid the ultimate price.