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“It’s never the changes we want that change everything.” — Junot Diaz

I’m fresh back from a trip to Mexico City this past week in my home base of Miami for a few days before flying again. Not every trip is for play and fun, and this last trip to Mexico proved it. After the recent Earthquake that hit the center of the city, my husband, Javier (a native to Mexico City), weren’t really sure what we would encounter in the streets after hearing so much on social media and in the news.

What we discovered is both exaggeration of certain media, and stifling of other. That there are heroes that emerge and never given TV time or public credit, but act in such brave manners without the need for the recognition. Also, you can have great intentions for helping, yet it needs to be received as well for it to be effective. Further, that there needs to be a greater focus on the post-effects efforts for such natural disasters, rather than just the week after something occurs and the news has already moved on to “what’s fresh and next in the world to cover.”

In that sense, natural disasters and those mostly effected, in a way, remind of cancer. This past Friday I celebrated my 14 year anniversary of being cancer-free (see post above and link here for my reflection), which is a HUGE milestone in the cancer survivor world. I remember that day, my last radiation treatment, with a sense of relief, happiness, joy, yet fear, anxiety, and feeling lost in a world that had moved on in the time my world stood still.

The real work from recovery, whether it’s an addiction, a disease, or a natural disaster, occurs far beyond the point of impact. The weeks, the months, and some times even years, after the transformation is when we need to keep the belief, shine the inner light brighter, and be more determined than ever to pursue past the muddy trenches.

What doesn’t kill us, well, you know the saying—makes us stronger. How we can learn from the heavy experiences of our past to be better for our current lifestyle, and how we can share what we experience in a positive way to inspire others is what determines our future life—not the past or the present. What we can see, take in, and experience along the way is LIFE—which, is nothing more than a string of choices we create between the points of birth and death, our existence. 

Below, enjoy a private gallery of images from the gorgeously green and cactus-filled garden of a family friend, Liliana Pérez Como. Please check out the the inspiring foundation she is a co-founder of, UnidosSomosIguales, dedicated to transforming lives through the interaction of people with and without disabilities through experiential experiences to achieve a more empathic, inclusive and sensitive society.

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