Archive for love

Mother’s Day

Posted in Mom with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2017 by runmyssierun

Today I give thanks and honor to my mother and the many that mothered me.

IMG_2740

My mother – an amazing woman who managed to mold my perception of the world as one of love, happiness, and fun in all things, places and people. She had a brilliant mind, the voice of a song bird, the courage of a lion and the heart of a saint. She raved about how determined her own mother was in her eyes and in my eyes, I saw all that she said of her own mother. WORDS CANNOT CAPTURE HOW MUCH I MISS HER IN MY LIFE.

500282_850549ac40e3943o1izw14

My grandmother – a woman who was forced to grow up quickly during the war torn era of the Great Depression, she managed to help raise her youngest sister and paid for her to finish school by cutting hair and upholstering furniture while sacrificing her own education and opportunities. She was a fiercely determined woman of super human faith with a Sailor’s mouth that kept her family together, fed, alive, healthy… and adopted two more children because her heart truly was that awesome. And she managed to send all three children to private Catholic school, too.

China

My Aunt China (pronounced Chee-nah and not China like the country) aka Lucille Trevino – the first elected Hispanic woman in Hidalgo County, Texas, and the first woman who ingrained in me the love of costume jewelry and all that sparkles bold and dainty. China was a dignified, faith driven woman who stressed proper manners, vocalized her adoration of Pope John Paul II any chance she could get, was a staunch Democrat, loved a stiff drink occasionally and sweet chocolate bar or hard candy frequently. Because my Momma worked full-time, used her lunch hour to pick me up from school and drop me off at piano lessons, and used her nights to try to finish school, I spent the majority of my youth under the care of China… and Sissy, so I became much like them.

Image (116)

My Sissy – If anyone in the world would be considered a “cool mom” it would be Sissy. The duties of a mom go way further than simply giving birth to a child. If you have taught someone to LOVE and LIVE, then you have been a mom. Sissy mommed hard and dare I say harder than most Moms I know today. She even grandmommed and godmommed harder than any other grandmother or godmother I have ever known. And if you are a follower of this blog, you’ve read several times that I credit Sissy with saving my own life by forcing me to take up running for her as her last wish. I owe her my everything and am forever grateful.

Image (88)

My Dirty Gertie – always “mona” and a little bit off the cuff, this peleonera will not blink an eye to start a fight to defend the people she loves and she does not stop until she wins every fight.  Trust me, you don’t want to see that side of her. She will wear you down before she gives up and she NEVER gives up. For years I’ve heard of horror stories between women and their mother in laws. I am so blessed that this isn’t the case for me. Now, as I see myself as a new future mother in law, I see all that she has done to support me and her son and our little family in all that she did. I hope to keep her lessons in my heart and offer the same understanding and support to my future daughter in law.

11149450_1022414007788881_1602461852995671287_n

My Aunt Norma – she is a mom of boys but when I lost my own mother, she gracefully stepped in like a professional mom of a broken hearted princess and helped me heal as I watched the family I once knew and was so proud to be a part disappear. In matters of Real Estate, she was there to guide and discuss ideas and find solutions. In matters of family, she was there to listen and lend a shoulder to cry on. In matters of simple friendship, she was there to support. Moms are multifaceted super heros and she exemplified each part of being a mom even when she didn’t have to.

10178004_10204103018242274_4329594184468572789_n

Cyndi – probably my dearest and most treasured friend and relatively new mom who moms hard because this chick is a freaking awesome hot smarty pants know it all who can do it all – seriously no limits. When I worried and complained about having a baby at what I thought was late in life at 35, this girl had to one up me by having TWINS ten years later just to shut me up and prove to me it can be done AND show me that they are the cutest Gerber babies ever AND work full time AND have all her **** together… ok, well, most of her **** together and still jam out to awesome playlists.

12801193_10156586239275068_5219426571895052823_n

The Moms of PNO – taught me that as different as we all are, we share similarities in that we really love our children at a level that seems so different than so much of the rest of the world that surrounds us. They have taught me to love fiercely and fervently with a big stick, soft loving tone, chic style, proper grammar, a box of kleenex, belt busting belly laughs, everything thought and done under the eyes of God after a two mile jog, an hour of Mom-Fit, a glass of wine and a monogrammed matching sun hat kind of life. You just can’t get any more fabulous than these women that I am blessed to call my close friends. Each one is a treasure to me and offers a unique lesson to my heart that I hope to extend to my own children.

assumptionvirginmary

Mother Mary – for years I struggled in confusion over the love and adoration that my own mother had with Mary. It wasn’t until recently that I have come to understand it (thanks to ACTs and an epic epiphany) and hope to grow it. While all the other women written about above this name are incredible pillars of strength and ideals to me, Mary is who I hope most to emulate. If I struggled for so many years to understand her, I imagine it will take even longer – if ever even possible – to purposefully live my life like hers.

14715022_10209340814591832_5159074100860077830_o

My sons and husband – these are my everything. They are the keepers of my heart, my source of joy and meaning. I’ve messed up a lot in my life and they have patiently loved me anyway. I’ve done some pretty awesome things in my life for them and for myself, and they loved me anyway. Whether selfish or selfless my actions or absence of actions were, the love is always always always constant and I am always always always seeking to improve on the way I mom because they deserve the absolute best mom from me.

I know I mentioned a lot of people but honestly, so many are missing from here. Teachers, God parents, friends, neighbors, bosses and co-workers….

You have all mommed me hard and loved me unconditionally. Thank you. Celebrate your day today and every day. Your love does not go unnoticed nor uncherished.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Advertisements

Stranger stories

Posted in cancer, training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2016 by runmyssierun

Last night a young man and his wife asked if I was “Missy B”. They shook my hand, hugged me and asked for a picture with me. “I’ve been following your Instagram and blog for years” he said.

Both he and his wife had lost loved ones to cancer. They spoke to me about their stories and how they had followed my story for hope and inspiration. They renewed my passion and sense of purpose.

Not too long ago, my family and I went bowling and a woman whom I’ve never met did the exact same thing.

I have to admit, it gets a little scary when a complete stranger comes up to you out of the blue and asks if you are you. I’m certainly not a celebrity because occurrences like this don’t happen EVERY single day.. but often enough to know that I must be on guard, observant, cautious yet caring, compassionate and true to my promise.

So many of us struggle with hardships. It’s difficult to speak about them. One of the things I have learned from this is that once you get over that first step of difficulty – you know, admitting it – letting others know that this is a tough thing you’re going through. It releases you from it. Saying it allows you to let it out, let it go. And it gives permission to others in pain to do so, too. This little blog of mine has given me that power and permission to let others let go of their pain, struggles and suffering.

Whether it is about cancer, achieving a goal that was once thought of as impossible, proving yourself to others or yourself, becoming healthy, fit, happy or just simply becoming a better, kinder person… if you have found a connection here through my silly journey, then that brings me great joy. We all go through ups and downs and although I truly believe in my heart of hearts that any one person can get through it by themselves, trust me when I say, it’s so much better when you have support of others who sincerely understand and help you and others through it. Together we are a stronger, kinder and more effective force.

There are many, many more stories out here. We all need to hear them, feel them and do something about them. TOGETHER. Tell your story. We can all help each other and sometimes when we least expect it.

 

Triflare Tribe

Posted in training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2016 by runmyssierun

Triflare is an incredibly amazing company that designs colorful stylish workout gear that not only looks like it could take over the cat walks of Milan but can also accellerate  performance levels to place you on a podium! So when they surprised me with a feature on their blog…  I was BEYOND honored!!! Here it is 🙂

triflare-blog

 

http://triflare.com/blogs/news/triflare-tribe-member-myssie-cardenas-barajas

Triflare Tribe Member Myssie Cardenas-Barajas

September 20 2016

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0447/1533/files/missie2_large.jpg?v=1474397154

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0447/1533/files/missie1_large.jpg?v=1474397103

Meet Myssie Cardenas-Barajas Triflare ambassador from the great state of Texas!

Myssie first got involved in athletics because of loss in her life. In 2011, Myssie lost three family members to cancer. It was during this painful time that she found comfort in running with Team in Training. She needed a way to work through her grief, while at the same time desiring to raise money for cancer organizations. She not only found comfort by surrounding herself with those who had survived, but she found her love of swimming, biking and running.

She bought her very first pair of running shoes and ran her very first block in 2011. By the end of 2012, she had run 2 full marathons, 6 half-marathons, and countless 5k and 10k’s. Unfortunately (or fortunately!), she injured herself during her second marathon. It was this injury that propelled her into the world of triathlon. Because she was limited in running, her coach recommended swimming and cycling. Of course, she needed to overcome one obstacle – she didn’t know how to swim! With the help of her son, she learned and 10 weeks later, completed her first triathlon!

One of Myssie’s favorite ways to stay motivated when training gets a bit mundane is to create powerful playlists. She loves music and finds that creating a playlist that matches the course elevation helps prepare her for race day. She knows by the songs when a hill is approaching or when she needs to pick up or slow down her pace.

Myssie’s favorite race thus far is not a well-known race. In fact, if you aren’t from Texas, you have likely never heard of it. It’s called “The Hell of the South: HOTS.” And here is why – it’s a 56-mile road bike race along the fence of Texas/Mexico border. The trail consists of asphalt, caliche gravel, sand pits and dirt! But, that’s not even the worst of it! The race is held on July 4 – the hottest time of the year in South Texas. Myssie said, “It was special to me because when I raced it, I was the only female that did this event among many other local and state elite men.”

Myssie hopes to continue inspiring people to get involved in sports. Her advice to newbies is powerful. She said, “I know you’re scared. I know you don’t think you can do it. I also know you’re wrong and you have yet to experience making the impossible possible. You are stronger than you know. Join a team, get a coach, sign up for a bucket list event and just go out an amaze yourself.” She also believes that growth happens when you are pushed out of your comfort zone so, she recommends training with people who are more experienced and better than yourself.

Before each race, Myssie jams out to the Foo Fighters and replays voice messages from her mother and brother. She credits them, Sissy and triathlon for saving her life when she was struggling with grief.

We are so thrilled to have Myssie on our team. She has been through many hard times, and yet she still finds ways to inspire those around her. She definitely inspires us!

When you lose someone you love

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2015 by runmyssierun

I’ve been a fan of Sheryl Sandberg for years and never knew it. One year ago exactly to this day, I read her book Lean In and immediately felt empowered, revived and brought back the old Myssie that I missed for so many years… you know the girl… the one who thought she could do it all and be awesome at it no matter what.

Yesterday, she posted this… (I have copied and pasted it below) and again, I feel like she really nailed the emotion of losing someone you love – at least, she nailed what I felt during that time.

Am I better now? Does the pain go away?

Years have gone by and yes, I am better… today. There’s good days and bad days and you keep moving forward because as much as you want to just sink into the bottomless rabbit hole of depression, I know I don’t have the luxury of time for a mental meltdown. I have children to raise, work to do and a life still yet incomplete of my purpose.

My sympathies, condolences, love and prayers go to Sheryl and her loved ones.

Read on.

Sheryl Sandberg  and her late husband, Dave Goldberg.

Sheryl Sandberg and her late husband, Dave Goldberg.

Today is the end of sheloshim for my beloved husband—the first thirty days. Judaism calls for a period of intense mourning known as shiva that lasts seven days after a loved one is buried. After shiva, most normal activities can be resumed, but it is the end of sheloshim that marks the completion of religious mourning for a spouse.

A childhood friend of mine who is now a rabbi recently told me that the most powerful one-line prayer he has ever read is: “Let me not die while I am still alive.” I would have never understood that prayer before losingDave. Now I do.

I think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice. You can give in to the void, the emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even breathe. Or you can try to find meaning. These past thirty days, I have spent many of my moments lost in that void. And I know that many future moments will be consumed by the vast emptiness as well.

But when I can, I want to choose life and meaning.

And this is why I am writing: to mark the end of sheloshim and to give back some of what others have given to me. While the experience of grief is profoundly personal, the bravery of those who have shared their own experiences has helped pull me through. Some who opened their hearts were my closest friends. Others were total strangers who have shared wisdom and advice publicly. So I am sharing what I have learned in the hope that it helps someone else. In the hope that there can be some meaning from this tragedy.

I have lived thirty years in these thirty days. I am thirty years sadder. I feel like I am thirty years wiser.

I have gained a more profound understanding of what it is to be a mother, both through the depth of the agony I feel when my children scream and cry and from the connection my mother has to my pain. She has tried to fill the empty space in my bed, holding me each night until I cry myself to sleep. She has fought to hold back her own tears to make room for mine. She has explained to me that the anguish I am feeling is both my own and my children’s, and I understood that she was right as I saw the pain in her own eyes.

I have learned that I never really knew what to say to others in need. I think I got this all wrong before; I tried to assure people that it would be okay, thinking that hope was the most comforting thing I could offer. A friend of mine with late-stage cancer told me that the worst thing people could say to him was “It is going to be okay.” That voice in his head would scream, How do you know it is going to be okay? Do you not understand that I might die? I learned this past month what he was trying to teach me. Real empathy is sometimes not insisting that it will be okay but acknowledging that it is not. When people say to me, “You and your children will find happiness again,” my heart tells me, Yes, I believe that, but I know I will never feel pure joy again. Those who have said, “You will find a new normal, but it will never be as good” comfort me more because they know and speak the truth. Even a simple “How are you?”—almost always asked with the best of intentions—is better replaced with “How are you today?” When I am asked “How are you?” I stop myself from shouting, My husband died a month ago, how do you think I am? When I hear “How are you today?” I realize the person knows that the best I can do right now is to get through each day.

I have learned some practical stuff that matters. Although we now know that Dave died immediately, I didn’t know that in the ambulance. The trip to the hospital was unbearably slow. I still hate every car that did not move to the side, every person who cared more about arriving at their destination a few minutes earlier than making room for us to pass. I have noticed this while driving in many countries and cities. Let’s all move out of the way. Someone’s parent or partner or child might depend on it.

I have learned how ephemeral everything can feel—and maybe everything is. That whatever rug you are standing on can be pulled right out from under you with absolutely no warning. In the last thirty days, I have heard from too many women who lost a spouse and then had multiple rugs pulled out from under them. Some lack support networks and struggle alone as they face emotional distress and financial insecurity. It seems so wrong to me that we abandon these women and their families when they are in greatest need.

I have learned to ask for help—and I have learned how much help I need. Until now, I have been the older sister, the COO, the doer and the planner. I did not plan this, and when it happened, I was not capable of doing much of anything. Those closest to me took over. They planned. They arranged. They told me where to sit and reminded me to eat. They are still doing so much to support me and my children.

I have learned that resilience can be learned. Adam M. Grant taught me that three things are critical to resilience and that I can work on all three. Personalization—realizing it is not my fault. He told me to ban the word “sorry.” To tell myself over and over, This is not my fault. Permanence—remembering that I won’t feel like this forever. This will get better. Pervasiveness—this does not have to affect every area of my life; the ability to compartmentalize is healthy.

For me, starting the transition back to work has been a savior, a chance to feel useful and connected. But I quickly discovered that even those connections had changed. Many of my co-workers had a look of fear in their eyes as I approached. I knew why—they wanted to help but weren’t sure how. Should I mention it? Should I not mention it? If I mention it, what the hell do I say? I realized that to restore that closeness with my colleagues that has always been so important to me, I needed to let them in. And that meant being more open and vulnerable than I ever wanted to be. I told those I work with most closely that they could ask me their honest questions and I would answer. I also said it was okay for them to talk about how they felt. One colleague admitted she’d been driving by my house frequently, not sure if she should come in. Another said he was paralyzed when I was around, worried he might say the wrong thing. Speaking openly replaced the fear of doing and saying the wrong thing. One of my favorite cartoons of all time has an elephant in a room answering the phone, saying, “It’s the elephant.” Once I addressed the elephant, we were able to kick him out of the room.

At the same time, there are moments when I can’t let people in. I went to Portfolio Night at school where kids show their parents around the classroom to look at their work hung on the walls. So many of the parents—all of whom have been so kind—tried to make eye contact or say something they thought would be comforting. I looked down the entire time so no one could catch my eye for fear of breaking down. I hope they understood.

I have learned gratitude. Real gratitude for the things I took for granted before—like life. As heartbroken as I am, I look at my children each day and rejoice that they are alive. I appreciate every smile, every hug. I no longer take each day for granted. When a friend told me that he hates birthdays and so he was not celebrating his, I looked at him and said through tears, “Celebrate your birthday, goddammit. You are lucky to have each one.” My next birthday will be depressing as hell, but I am determined to celebrate it in my heart more than I have ever celebrated a birthday before.

I am truly grateful to the many who have offered their sympathy. A colleague told me that his wife, whom I have never met, decided to show her support by going back to school to get her degree—something she had been putting off for years. Yes! When the circumstances allow, I believe as much as ever in leaning in. And so many men—from those I know well to those I will likely never know—are honoring Dave’s life by spending more time with their families.

I can’t even express the gratitude I feel to my family and friends who have done so much and reassured me that they will continue to be there. In the brutal moments when I am overtaken by the void, when the months and years stretch out in front of me endless and empty, only their faces pull me out of the isolation and fear. My appreciation for them knows no bounds.

I was talking to one of these friends about a father-child activity that Dave is not here to do. We came up with a plan to fill in for Dave. I cried to him, “But I want Dave. I want option A.” He put his arm around me and said, “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.”

Dave, to honor your memory and raise your children as they deserve to be raised, I promise to do all I can to kick the shit out of option B. And even though sheloshim has ended, I still mourn for option A. I will always mourn for option A. As Bono sang, “There is no end to grief . . . and there is no end to love.” I love you, Dave.

— with Dave Goldberg.

Say what you want

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2013 by runmyssierun

I spent all of my early adult life in pageants and training for them and training others for them as well. I was pretty good at it. I won a good share of them and taught others how to win, too. We called each other the “Rhinestone Mafia”. We are a great group of women.

My forte was interview. One question that came up over and over again by judges in personal interview and on stage interview (which usually meant the final question) was “Do you regret anything in your life?

Pageant coaches have always told me to NEVER say I regretted anything in my life to judges.

But honestly, I do have regrets.

I regret not learning to speak Spanish fluently and often.

I regret not paying attention in school as much as I should have.

I regret not asking what Sissy’s favorite color was or what flavor of ice cream she liked most.

I regret not putting my foot down and taking Donny to LaHa.

I regret not speaking up for myself to bullies throughout my life.

I regret all the time I spent watching TV (except for MTV when it showed videos)

I regret not telling the people that I love that I loved them. I regret not taking that chance to hug them or making that opportunity come around. I regret not saying what I wanted to because I was too scared of what they would think of me.

I regret a lot of the choices I’ve made. I’m paying the price for them now.

I regret not spending all those last moments with the ones I loved.

Say what you want. Say what you need. Say it all to me, to them, to yourself… but say it. Let it out. Let them know.

I’ve conquered so many of my fears these last two years and it’s such a shame that I got to realize the biggest fear of mine was the fear of not being loved back.

Crossing the finish line taught me so many things. It got me out of my stagnant comfort zone. It took me past my fears. It made me re-evaluate myself, my true self. I have many regrets.

I just told them to a judge (you)

A big no-no in pageantry.

But guess what? I was once told by someone that this world is made up of women who are either princesses or queens. I think I just realized I’m on the queen list. I have regrets. I have fears. I still can’t say everything that I want to… but I’ll try harder.

I don’t want to regret any more.

Momma after her fall IMG_4235 the last family photo with Donny MD Anderson Cancer Center IMG_4293 stained glass angel Momma and her crown before her surgery Momma getting skinny Momma made tuna casserole the day after 9 tumors were removed from her brain IMG_4301 IMG_4302 IMG_4305

Gifts with meaning

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 22, 2012 by runmyssierun

20121221-201327.jpg

20121221-201424.jpg

20121221-201653.jpg

20121221-201944.jpg

20121221-202310.jpg

20121221-202442.jpg

20121221-202818.jpg

%d bloggers like this: