On Suffering and Love

Life never ceases to throw you a curveball now and then. My curveball, which almost struck me out was getting Covid-19 a month ago. Not only did I get it but so did my Fiancée. She started with symptoms first, and I began a few hours later. Before we knew what was happening to us what began as a cough, in a day turned into bronchitis and then a few days later finally double pneumonia.

Now I am healthy, and I would say 99.5% recovered. The lingering effects of the virus, fatigue and a general malaise seem to hit us on and off on occasion, but I would say we are not going to be one of the minority that are in it for the “the long haul”. I expect we will be completely healed in another week.

This experience came a month and a half before our wedding date. Since we have been together, we have had so many good times it is hard to count. We just live in a state of constant happiness. Thinking about the timing, I know we are happy it happened when it did.

Before the virus hit, I lived at my mother’s house. Then because of the virus and my mother’s poor health I began to stay with my fiancée to avoid exposing her when unnecessary. As of March 2020, I have been working out of the apartment and at the that time she was too. We lived and worked together non-stop for six months. I know that for many relationships this was difficult but for us, it was like a fast-forward of what our life was going to be together. It was, living 10 joyful years in one year’s time.

We have had some struggles. Not with our relationship, but with those issues that life typically throws at you. Managing legal and financial issues, dealing with family and health issues of other family members.  And of course, handling our own work schedules and making time for each other which is typically a difficult part in the active lifestyle of 50+ year old adults.

Then came Covid-19 which took us down to the mat. We were down for the count. Somehow, we each picked ourselves up when it was our turn to push ourselves to keep things moving and not give up. She was always there for me and caring for me though she was sick. When she needed something, I would get up to do what was needed. She took me to the hospital to get antibodies and then a day later I had to take her to the hospital because of her low oxygen count, and she spent two days there.

During our illness, friends sent us food and drink which was a real blessing that we will never forget. But in my amazement, we also did our chores. We did the laundry and kept the place clean. We wanted to defeat the virus and part of doing so is maintaining cleanliness. Hence, we did what had to be done, even though we probably could have just laid in bed moaning for days.

It was then that I realized that we were living love in action. Because love is something you do, not something that happens. We made every effort to take care of each other while doing work that was difficult for us in our condition. Not a sour note was sounded the entire time we were suffering.

I look back, and I thank God that I was with Aymee. I don’t know that I would have survived this with anyone else. Likewise, I truly believe that real love can conquer all things. One of the things I noticed is we never despaired and that I believe was because we have an abounding love for each other and faith in God that could not be disturbed.

The primary thread of thought here is that suffering is what often reveals love. To avoid suffering is not a solution for any case. Life is full of times of suffering, and we need to accept it and deal with it head on. If you do not, you will likely miss revealing and enlightening moments in your life that bring great joy on reflection.

Healthy Diet ….the constant struggle

You would think that a person that wrote a book about dieting would be slim for life. Well, not me. I fell off the wagon. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a matter of years. Little by little, the struggles of a divorce and difficulties at work just piled the stress on me.

I would meet people in business and socially. They would never know how tired and hurt I was. I am a positive person but sometimes it is difficult to put a smile on your face when deep down there is serious pain. Yet, I still did it. I smiled and laughed when deep down inside me, I knew things were not right. Not at home and not in my interior life. I was a boat without a rudder.

This stress and anxiety over the years expressed itself through the seeking of pleasure in food and drink. Yes, this would give me some pleasure but in the end I pay dearly for those years of neglect and abuse of my own body.

Overweight and deceptively happy!

Here I am bloated, obese and in poor health. But do not fret! I am rising from the ashes. I have joined Noom to force me to be honest with myself. I am on the right track and with Aymee’s support lost 3 pounds in two days. Ok, its not significant yet, but persistence is the key.

Stay tuned my friends and pray for me while I battle my own weaknesses with the help of God and your prayers.

By the way, bigger clothes make you look thinner than you are…..

I’ll update you soon.

I love you all! 🙂

PS: When I say I am unhappy, I am directly talking about my weight. Actually 2020 has been a good year otherwise.

Why Black Beans Matter!

It has been quite a long time since I have blogged. It seems I did not believe I had anything worth saying. But for the first time in a long time I do have something that needs being said.

Recently, the CEO of Goya foods was attacked by the intolerant socialist for praising the President of the United States of America for creating an environment where his company was able to flourish. This is a company created by immigrants serving the immigrant Latin American community and employing them. This company gave my father, a back then recent escapee of the intolerant communist dictatorship of Cuba and destroyers of free speech, his first decent job in the USA. It was that job that enabled him to get into the food industry and have success with Progresso foods. It was that ability given to him by the hand of the company of Goya Foods that enabled him to later on also become successful and found the money transmittal company RIA ENVIA which after being sold, many years later has become RIA Financial Services.

Black beans are a staple foods of many Latin Americans. They are the food shared by the Cubans when they fought for their independence. They are the food that united Blacks, Whites and Mulatos as they fought side by side to their death against the Spaniards in their war for independence. They are the food that sustained them through hardships and freedoms hard fought for and eventually won. They are the heart of the real and recognized ending of slavery and creation of an unprejudiced independent people that are called Cuban.

Even now across the gap from the USA to the island nation of Cuba there is a love that never ends. The Cubans that make it to this free country work hard and send money back to the Island nation to support family and friends. Meanwhile, the cruel criminal dictatorship, which robs the people of their freedoms and ability to earn a good living still exists. The system has been able to continue to keep the people under their oppressive feet by the help of external funding, though now some of that is beginning to falter.

The Cubans here, both born here and recently arriving still dream for the days we can be reunited with our fellow islanders in a free Cuba. Where we can go and enjoy a real Cuba Libre with breaded steak, black beans and rice. It is a dream I always had hoped I would be able to share with my father but sadly he passed before it could come true.

My Dad

Now, in this great free country of the United States of America there are those that want to continue to try the failed experiment know as socialism, or rightly known as communism. Well, I for one will not stand for it. I will fight if needed to protect this great nation from the evil that has persecuted generations of Cubans with poverty, imprisonment and death for speaking their minds.

In search for food

I have great respect for Robert Unanue for standing his ground. I have great respect for the company which brings pride to many Latin Americans such as myself. And I say again that Black Beans Matter because they are a real symbol of our unity as a people representing freedom and love.

All the Diets Under the Sun – Chapter 6 – Settling Down

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-eb9j4-af58a2

In this podcast I discuss the dramatic changes in my life and how it leads me to my all time highest weight. Which sadly I am not to far from again except things are worse now. I am more that 20 years older, the struggle becomes more difficult.

I hope you enjoy it!

Guillermo

The Decline of Honor and True Love

Woman deserve honor and respect. This post discuss the sad state of modern society’s treatment of women.

I grew up in a time that some often call the sexual revolution. It was a time of anything goes experimentation with sexual encounters. There was a new disregard for any respect for the other person. The goal of the revolution in my mind was nothing unique or new. Why it is called a revolution is beyond me.

The new, so called revolution was not about freedom of expression. It was not about the liberation of inhibitions. It was not about “love”. The truth the new mentality was nothing but the absolute success of the aggressor to be a selfish as possible. It is about persons entering into an arrangement that is devoid of responsibility or regard for the other person. It is about pure and utter selfishness and uniquely grotesque behavior.

The cause of this selfishness derives plainly as the nose on my face from the advent of contraception. This mentality believes in no responsibility in the sexual act of intercourse. They view the act as a form of pleasure seeking. However it is obvious from the simple fact that in the act of intercourse, that is natural, a woman may become pregnant with a living human child. It is not simply for pleasure. But our modern society discounts human life as the Romans had. We have not progressed we have declined to a barbarity not seen in centuries.

The modern mentality now sees human life as a commodity. It does not respect the gift of offspring if not planned. It wants intelligent human beings to believe that the child now living in a woman’s womb is something other than human life. This is absurd and an insult to an intelligent person.
adolf-wissel-kalenberger-bauernfamilie-1-1
The selfishness of our society wants to do away with human life as we would an unwanted pest. We want to kill that which we cannot see. Since it is out of sight it is out of mind. We can lie to ourselves but we know it is no other than murder. The ultimate in selfishness is to kill for one’s own pleasure. The destruction of one life for our own goals is clearly the way criminal organizations work.

But this revolution used the guise of Women’s Liberation. Women can now work unencumbered by the male of her species! Interestingly the effect has been the opposite. Men have been liberated from the responsibility of a relationship with the female. He can easily disappear while the woman is now left alone to raise a child or even worse he will use all his evil guile to pressure a woman to kill her child.

Oh, there are woman out there that claim this is liberating and they are proud of having had a child aborted. Yet the truth speaks louder that the evil lies these women profess. There are armies of women who have survived this horror to realize they have wronged their unborn child and their own bodies. Sadly in many cases woman have also died in the process, making it two deaths in the fell swoop of the abortionists propaganda and pressure.

Contraception if looked on rightly is not a successful form of birth control. It often fails and puts men and women in a position they never expected to be in. Even worse is that it is a lie. It is not pleasurable simply because it is an empty act devoid of meaning. It has no love behind it. There is no commitment to one or the other. It is simply put the act of mutual masturbation. It lacks love because the real product of an honest human love is the willingness to receive each others inner being in an act of joining together to create a unique life.

This way of thinking our society has seen it keen to turn our woman into tramps. Our woman young and old are constantly being told they have to sell themselves to the opposite sex to have value. All you have to do is go to any newsstand and read the covers of the woman’s magazines. It is the utmost degradation of the female of our society and one that is now sadly ingrained.

Recently I was speaking to a young man of my acquaintance whom had told me of recent trip he took to Boston with a lady friend. I am no fool and I know that they were of course sharing the same bed. Later the same week he told me he wanted to meet a friend of his. I asked whom would that be? He gave me the name of the same young woman he had traveled to Boston. I was confused, I said “Oh, your girlfriend”. But he denied that she was his girlfriend to the point that it was obvious he did not even value her as a friend, only as a valueless acquaintance. She was simply a tool for his pleasure even though they shared the most intimate of acts. She was his prostitute though she may not realize it. He is simply put, using her to fulfill his sexual needs.

A friend would risk his life for you. A friend would have concern for your well-being. A friend makes sacrifices for the other in any relationship. I have friends both male and female and I care for them all and where ever possible I will go out of my way for them. Most of all I would never deny the relationship I have with any kindred spirit.

I sadly believe woman have been fooled to believe they are better now than their ancestors. The truth is exactly the opposite. Women were held in high regard and with respect. Woman held high and powerful positions. Women and men together raised a society based on real intimate love for one another. They shared their pains and sorrows and came out the other side. Men adored them whether wife, mother, sister or Queen. Mostly men would lay down their lives for their women in the past.

Sadly, now men run from women. They don’t want commitment to a woman and even worse they have no respect. They may smile and make a woman laugh but when he takes her to his bed he is not saying I love you. He is saying thanks for relieving me.

I only wish to end this rant to say I despise our recent history in regards to the human sexual relations and most of all the times I grew up in. I was misled and lied to and in the process it made my life very difficult. If possible I would go back and correct the actions of my youth. Without the ability to do that all I pray is that real women take the lead and put selfish men back in their place. They must change society so that a woman is respected for her mind and skills. So that the males may come to once again respect woman’s honor and his own place again beside a good strong woman.

There’s no snow*

The weather outside’s delightful
No reason to be frightful
No matter where we go,
There’s no snow, there’s no snow, There’s no snow

It was raining but now is stopping
We will all go outside hopping
Christmas lights are all  aglow
There’s no snow, There’s no snow, There’s no snow

When we finally kiss goodnight
We’ll thank God that there isn’t a storm
I will pray that you hold me tight
Even if in the car we’ll be warm

And the party is slowing dying
And our family is still good-bye’ng
As long as you love me so
I’m grateful….there’s no snow, no snow, no snow

*An Original NJ Parody for 2015  Christmas

Copyright 2015: G. Miguel Perez-Santalla

There's no snow

 

A Soul Apart – In Loving Memory of Karina Acosta

Heaven

This poem was written on the news of the death of the young and beautiful Karina Acosta a few years ago. She gave birth to her son in New York City and unfortunately for this world had contracted an infection while in the hospital and died a few shorts day later. She was a professional in the precious metals industry and was working at Mitsui Precious Metals at the time. She was a member of the IPMI and her name is never forgotten. I wish I had a picture of her to include with this to share with the readers. I hope for the readers that somehow the poem imparts the force of presence that was this young woman’s smile and personality.

I knew her,
Too few years
Yet my heart
Is filled with tears

News of her passing
Shall take its toll
On those she touched
With her beautiful soul

Always smiling
A beautiful face
She brought happiness
To any place

From Metro Mexico
She did come
To New York City
She brought the sun

At Peñoles and Mitsui
She was hired
Her gracious presence
Raised them higher

The precious metals
Were her care
They now lose their luster
Without her there

A family’s love
Is left behind
Also left,
Hundreds of friendships
Which she did mine

Before she went
She left a present
Alonso, a beautiful son
Her loving intent

A word,
That comes to mind
In thinking of her
Is love divine

Her loving grace
She gave to fill our hearts
Where it hurts,
Bring it in to mend
The tearing part

Dear Karina
You left us too fast
But you’ve touched us all
A true blessing

That will never pass

(C) G. Miguel Perez-Santalla

A Couple of My Favorite Chesterton Quotes

G.K. Chesterton“According to most philosophers, God in making the world enslaved it. According to Christianity, in making it, He set it free. God had written, not so much a poem, but rather a play; a play he had planned as perfect, but which had necessarily been left to human actors and stage-managers, who had since made a great mess of it.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

“An abyss of light”

There is at the back of all our lives an abyss of light, more blinding and unfathomable than any abyss of darkness; and it is the abyss of actuality, of existence, of the fact that things truly are, and that we ourselves are incredibly and sometimes almost incredulously real. It is the fundamental fact of being, as against not being; it is unthinkable, yet we cannot unthink it, though we may sometimes be unthinking about it; unthinking and especially unthanking. For he who has realized this reality knows that it does outweigh, literally to infinity, all lesser regrets or arguments for negation, and that under all our grumblings there is a subconscious substance of gratitude. That light of the positive is the business of the poets, because they see all things in the light of it more than do other men. Chaucer was a child of light and not merely of twilight, the mere red twilight of one passing dawn of revolution, or the grey twilight of one dying day of social decline. He was the immediate heir of something like what Catholics call the Primitive Revelation; that glimpse that was given of the world when God saw that it was good; and so long as the artist gives us glimpses of that, it matters nothing that they are fragmentary or even trivial; whether it be in the mere fact that a medieval Court poet could appreciate a daisy, or that he could write, in a sort of flash of blinding moonshine, of the lover who “slept no more than does the nightingale”. These things belong to the same world of wonder as the primary wonder at the very existence of the world; higher than any common pros and cons, or likes and dislikes, however legitimate. Creation was the greatest of all Revolutions. It was for that, as the ancient poet said, that the morning stars sang together; and the most modern poets, like the medieval poets, may descend very far from that height of realization and stray and stumble and seem distraught; but we shall know them for the Sons of God, when they are still shouting for joy. This is something much more mystical and absolute than any modern thing that is called optimism; for it is only rarely that we realize, like a vision of the heavens filled with a chorus of giants, the primeval duty of Praise.

G.K. Chesterton— Chaucer (1932).

One of the most beautiful things I have ever read

In an email exchange today I asked a friend who retired two years ago how he was doing. below was his response and it was absolutely beautiful.

 

Hand in handI’m loving retirement. I learned to play tennis and get to play golf a lot more too. And I walk 6 miles per day. I’m in the best shape of my life. But the best part is I get to spend everyday with my wife after 30+ years of travelling most of the time. We were both a little nervous about that but it’s really worked out wonderfully. She was my best friend and now she is again. I’m a lucky guy. 

2006- Revisited

From: January, 2006

It was about one year ago I made a difficult change in my life. It didn’t affect many people. It was simply that I had decided to befriend and get to know a homeless person. I felt like St. Francis, I had an aversion to the destitute of society and I needed to break that association and come to know them as children of God.

It so happened that there was a colored woman who every morning would sit in front of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral gift shop on 51st street (right over a grate where heat would come up). I remember before the first day I approached her I used to look down at her. I remember there was always crumbled food next to her and I thought it was disgusting. I always averted contact with people like her believing that many are drug addicts, alcoholic etc. and that I should not give them money because I may be supporting their habit. So though I knew in my mind they actually have the same gift of life from God that I have, I treated them like lesser people.

Then I made the effort. It started at first I would just give her a few dollars a day, which made me feel better. However I truly did not change until she asked me my name. Her name was Ann. She had a beautiful smile when you spoke to her. The crumbs she placed on the ground where there to feed the birds. She was an avid reader and enjoyed science fiction. She smoked cigarettes, but only two or three a day. Every day I saw her brought me great joy. She would ask me about my family, my children, my weekend, and my business trips. I would ask her about her health and if she needed anything. She always said she was fine.

Then one week she was not in her spot for a few days. I was concerned and hoped she would come back soon. On Thursday morning she was back. She told me she has a heart condition and had been in the hospital. I told her I would pray for her recovery and I asked her to quit smoking. That was a few months ago.

Recently, I went to mass with a coworker who I had gotten a Mass said for his departed grandmother. I saw my friend enjoy the mass and feel close to his grandmother a year after her death. We came out of the cathedral and went across the street; I was sharing with him my morning routine and so I introduced him to Ann. Ann said to me, “You’re really happy this morning.” I said I was because my friend Gerry was with me. Gerry said hello and I gave her some money and we said goodbye. It was a special morning.

The week before Ann told me one of her favorite book collections is “The Lord of the Rings”. I was planning on bringing her the full collection in paperback as a gift. Then sadly the day after I spoke to her with Gerry she was not at her normal spot. It has now been almost three weeks since I have seen her. I looked for her at lunch time in different buildings with public parks where she told me she is often found. I did not find her. I have been praying for her everyday hoping that she is well and that I may see her gain.

Sadly I fear that she may not be coming back. I know she would have good and bad days with her heart condition and she often talked it down. Now I am thinking that I may not have done enough to help her. I should have tried harder. I know that I did not give to her as much as she gave to me. She opened my eyes and my heart to the love of God. Her concern for me, a person in a much better state in life, made a significant impression on me. She truly cared for me as a true friend. She had love, the kind of love that we should share and have for all people. She had a truly Christian heart and I will strive to be like her.

I still hold hope that she may come back. But if the good Lord took her I am certain that she is in the bosom of his love. I will continue praying for her everyday not knowing for sure what has happened to her. And if she is in Heaven I know that she prays for me to our Lord.

With love in my heart I say God bless you Ann wherever you may be.