His Royal Highness (HRH)

In Honor of the Royals

on guarded watch
for His Royal Highness
to grace us with his presence
ruled by Time
we, his parents,
wait with bated breath and whispering humbleness
for His Royal Highness
to be our Crown Jewel

Dedicated to our fellow parents-in-waiting for their princes and princesses.



A. and I had looked forward to getting away this past long weekend.  Our offices were closed this past Good Friday, and I took off today for some well-deserved renewal and restoration along the not so distant South Jersey shore (but far enough from New York City) along Galloway's Bay.  We are blessed to be creating our own family traditions.  Last we were at Seaview was for Thanksgiving holiday a few months after my Dad died, and we stayed in Smithville with Mom last Easter.  We were pleasantly surprised by our AAA and A.'s Stockton alumnus discounts which made our stay at Seaview (where Princess Grace Kelly celebrated her sweet sixteen) in addition to Easter brunch in Seaview's main dining room so worthwhile.  While we savored a bit of everything, my personal favorite was the clam risotto along with multiple mimosas. 

Before arriving at Seaview late Friday afternoon, A. nostalgically walked through the pine barrens of Stockton College's campus which boasts a newly constructed state-of-the-art student center.  "An environment for excellence" and home of the ospreys, Stockton's serene surroundings, including Lake Fred, provided a most restful start to our weekend.  Friday night, we enjoyed a mellow dinner at Seaview's in-house pub. 

The local Shea's Cafe just down the road featured a lovely family brunch atmosphere, and owner Lou enamored us with his neighborly and inviting persona along with his wife Wendy's culinary and no formal training skills.  How wonderful it is to sit and relax at a place where the owners know the folks who walk in and out and ask the crowd to sing happy birthday to those celebrating that day!  The highlight of our weekend was Holy Saturday.  We attended a two-and-a-half-hour Easter Vigil that began with an outdoor bonfire, which made us even more thankful for the next morning's brunch festivities.  And we managed to get in more than one visit with more than one Easter bunny throughout the entire weekend, all of whom seemed to be hopping around Smithville and Galloway.  

We look forward to sharing our family traditions with our unmatched child as we continue to await her/his arrival. 

Back at home before back to work tomorrow, the pier is my backyard sanctuary where I can walk along the bay, say nothing, and be in Spirit's presence.

May you experience renewal and restoration 
as Spring's tides wash away winter's writhings.  
May you rise and shine like the glorious sun 
which emerges from the limitless wild blue.


Spring's Galloway

Galloway's Bay
seaview's solemnity soothes our weary souls
as spring's muted silver senses 
our somber contemplation
across the oyster-toned horizon

Autism Awareness Month

My brother, M., turned 42 yesterday.  We didn't celebrate his birthday.  I have not sent him a birthday card since my schoolgirl days when my Mom would ask me to make him a card and tell him about myself.  M. was diagnosed with autism as an adult just eight years ago when the medical world finally has a vast vocabulary for Asperger's and Autism -- so different from the early 1970s when the terms were "retarded" and "no choice except to institutionalize."

While born and raised in the States for four years, M. left to live an uninstitutionalized life in the Philippines when I was a year old.  It has been a challenge for me to connect to a brother whom I have never known, yet has had such a tremendous presence in my life.  Sure, there have been visits to the Philippines.  But we certainly never grew up together, and as my life has been separate from M.'s for most of my existence, his birthdays have gradually become for me --painfully less meaningful.  

While the movie Rain Man is on a loop for the rest of the month, I'd like to wish M. a belated happy birthday.    


Thursday morning's broken

thursday's first smile greets me
through a streaky window
her sunny embrace keeps me company 
on my morning ride
her light is a canary post-it
that inaudibly whispers,
"it's a new day."


Save Child Care, Save Our Children

Save Our Children. Salvemos Nuestro Niños.
Rally number two today. Parents and their children from all over the New York City rallied near City Hall this afternoon in a unified effort to voice their outrage to the Mayor about his proposal to cut child care subsidies for low income, working families. Sadly security limited the number of people allowed on the City Hall steps, and the press never showed. The en masse overflow of crowd surrounded the periphery and center of City Hall Park.  Jewish, Black, Latino, and Asian American families chanted together, "Stop the cuts, stop the cuts!"

Eliminating day care does not lend itself to economic recovery.  One toddler wore his backpack with a sign tacked on that read, "Don't balance the budget on my back."

It's truly frightening how decisions are made in the name of balancing the budget.  For low-income, working families, most of whom are headed by single mothers, the child care cuts will mean having to depend on unregulated and unsafe child care whether with unfamiliar neighbors or extended family members. Or worse -- leave their jobs, go on public assistance, and enter homeless shelters.  The Commissioner on Homelessness has said that with the economic hardships about to hit the most vulnerable New Yorkers, he proposes to build 70 new homeless shelters, not figure out how to help families put together a plan for work and permanent housing.  With such financial stresses, children are more likely to experience neglect and abuse and enter the city's failed foster care system.  All much more costly to the city than child care subsidies which help to keep families working, children safe and on a path toward educational and economic success.  

Why is it that when budget needs to be balanced, the first to be hurt are poor children?  

For 4-year-old Marchella
innocent one 
may she rest 
in peace and bask 
in joyful reunion 
with her twin soul


The men in my life

We've decided to participate in our second annual 2011 Run for Dad this year.  It's a challenge to push for donations to find a cure to prostate cancer when Japan's tsunami has devastated the entire Pacific as well as the Japanese American community in the NYC area . . . along with the budget cuts that advocates fight against locally, statewide and federally.  My cousin, K., and her family will be in from Georgia at that time and will be running as part of Team Ka Dad (together with our friends, for our dads).  If you'd like to run, walk, StandUp! to prostate cancer with us on Father's Day - June 19, please join our team.  This upcoming June 4th, Dad would've turned 72.  Sometimes I can't believe it will be three years this August that Dad died.  Then other days, I still grieve as if it were yesterday.  Now, Dad is my guardian angel who keeps me company in my effortful meditations to center myself.   

The man in my life.  My husband, A., is much too wonderful.  After a stressful work day and commute, he has a home cooked meal waiting for me and at least twice a week, a couple of my favorites.  A. patiently listens to my work angst, shows compassion for my family woes and woos me with his unconditional loving actions.  While he amusingly describes me as an outgoing activist with lesbianic tendencies (mostly for my fierce womanly independence and camaraderie), I am truly aware of how blessed I am to have him as my life partner.  Having been together almost eight years, we have survived milestone experiences -- rebirth with an open heart and renewal at death's cancer door.  Both sacred journeys in their own rights.   

A sacred moment
to be centered
rooted in Spirit
like Spring's first bloom