Category Archives: Articles

Reminisce and Resolute

Soon the vast internet will be filled with New Year’s Resolutions about hopes and prayers but for now there are some deep in thought. We are not pondering the future or the present like many would tell us to do. We are reminiscing in the past.

This year has brought many hardships and happy tears. People have moved on to the heavenly skies and others have fell below the cracks. Some have learned how to walk, talk and sulk. Others are struggling to be.

Each and every one of us have experienced those struggles as well as many accomplishments even those who have just been born. They surpassed many obstacles in the womb only for more to be thrown at them. Perhaps they haven’t even left one battle yet. Perhaps they are like those of us who are in a constant battle to survive.

But the fact remains that we have endured this year with all of its death, tears, scratches and bruises.

We need to remember this year, not forget it. And that means we need to remember those who died in battle and all of those who were left forgotten. They showed us how human we are. They helped pave the road towards our humanity and that is our constant war because as we are drinking away the pain, blood and deceit, the road turns into black ice where we slide and eventually crash head first into the metal guard rails. That can’t be our fate.

So instead of raising a glass of bubbly champagne to the new year, I will raise a glass of water to my past and honor what I have learned. I will remember all of the terrible, neglectful and hurtful moments as well as the beauty, the joyful and the cherished moments so that this new year will be like none other.

Happy New Year 2017 and Congratulations 2016 for a year full of rewarding memories.

© 2016 Jessica Santos

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2016: A Year for Health

This morning I awoke with the full intent to go to the mall and walk amongst the hundreds of people rushing around. They would think that I was like them doing some last minute christmas shopping but it’s not true. I actually would be there as a method of distraction from my own problems.

My day did not go as planned though. Instead, I went through fits of depression and anxiety. The only time I wasn’t crying was when I buried myself in funny little clips on YouTube. I could only be distracted for a few videos though before I began staring at the clock.

Watching the hands tick by, I was reminded of how slow and how fast time could be. It only seemed like yesterday was January but I blink and see that my phone flashes the code “DEC”. I look at the hour hand though and pray for it to spin around faster.

Meanwhile, there’s a stinging itch and temperature flux as my body reminds me of the ailments that afflict it. I call my doctor for some medication and as soon as we hang up, I burst in tears.

Then, before I know it, my fingers dial a number that is permanently seared into my brain, my mother. She answers and immediately asks, “What’s wrong?” But, all she hears are my quiet sobs as the realization slowly hits me.

At this point, I’m staring at the pill bottles lining my dresser drawer and the calendar on my laptops bright white screen.

Through the tears and desperation, I hear my mom’s clear voice ring out demanding an answer. She’s not the type who coddles or speaks all too kindly to one so damaged. So, I swallow the frog in my throat and as fresh air inflates my lungs, the truth spills out.

It’s a truth that I’ve been holding back afraid that the two closest people would walk away from me. As I pour those words out into the empty space before me, I realize how ridiculous my fear is.

For the entirety of this year, 2016, I have either been sick, in pain or tensed and ready for a new wave. I hardly received a break long enough to relax weary muscles or grow mentally. Even now, I’m fighting for my health.

No one should have to live like this where you can’t even remember the last time you were healthy and not in fear of some crippling recurring pain.

But, I’m not sharing this to gain any wishes or long overdue phone calls. I’m okay. I promise I’m taking my medication and actively seeking a solution. I no longer stare at sharp objects begging for it all to end.

I stare at the mirror now. I hardly recognize myself and I haven’t even started taking the one medication that is life altering. But, I know that I’ll be okay. After all, I have a mother who can be so distant  but when I need her she knows exactly what to do and instantly awakens from her slumber charging at any threat. And, I have my best friend, my partner who is busy working hard but never forgets to give me the constant patience and understanding that I need even in the darkest of storms.

My whole world is far from what I imagined and hoped it would be but nothing always goes as planned. You can fall and cry. You can even get lost and muddy along the way. No matter what though, you can’t stop. You’ve come this far and there’s still a whole lot more that is left unknown. So you’ll be okay and don’t forget those fighting alongside you. They’ve come this far with you too and that must mean something so focus on the road of recovery because they’re not going anywhere and neither should you.

© 2016 Jessica Santos

The Silent Killer is NOT (Just) Cancer

Lurking within me is a beast waiting for the right time. And like its prey, I have little to no warning of when it will emerge. But best be reassured that there is no way of escape. Like Cancer, there is no cure or way for peace; but, few seek a resolution and instead many must suffer.

Little know or have even heard of this thing that will forever control my life. To some, it is considered “the Silent Killer” and to others it is much worse as some, like myself, considered death to be a relief. The pain alone becomes so strong so as to cause one to stare lovingly, longingly at any breakable or sharp object.

Then there is one’s diet. Remember all the foods traditionally savored and enjoyed, like ice cream, cake, cookies, candy, there are even more that one must deny the pleasure of consuming. All are a special case but all crave for a whispering taste of any deliscious morsel.

And I can’t forget one of the most fought for natural right of one’s womenhood. Because if we dare to consider the thought of children, then we must prepare for a long hard battle that many fail to ever win though some do. Yet, it is through many attempts, calculations, drugs and tears that such a feat is obtained.

Do not forget though that often those who are deadly end up become secretly passed along so as many after may suffer through similar difficulties.

A sure sign of such is the taunt and glances of many upon another whose looks are not entirely of the norm. Those, like myself, are all too familiar with the daily battles against one’s own hair as this beast enjoys to lay its tail like a mustache upon our upper lip. Its hair could also be shed upon other parts of our body so as to create an art peice of its own.

But who is this artist? this mastermind? this beast? It is none other than Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

If any knows of its slow death then it is well known that it not only gives physical torment but mental too. For how can one continue with life, when many only offer temporary aid. Is it not better to succomb to the beast’s ultimate wish? Is that the only way for relief?

© 2016 Jessica Santos

More to a Burger

He texted me in the middle of his class. I had just gotten off work and was already feeling pretty beat but the minute I saw his message, I smiled. It wasn’t just a small one either. It was one of those big ear to ear grins where you look up wondering if anyone saw you smiling at your phone. He had texted me asking if I was in the mood to eat a burger.

As ridiculous as that sounds to smile at, I feel no sense of embarrassment. You see, I barely ever indulge in something juicy and fatty, but the minute he offers, I am the first to tag along. Yet, truth be told, that day wasn’t a day for indulgence. It was a day to curl up and listen to him whisper sweet nothings.

But, what a woman wants translates differently. This could be because there aren’t many of us who follow the rule of being direct. No matter, on that particular day, I had mentioned to him how I wanted to curl up in bed with him.

Obviously though, he twisted it to mean something a little differently. Perhaps a guys way of solving those bouts of neediness is through food.

Either way, I could be completely wrong but at least I didn’t have to cook. Instead, I was able to sit back, eat, talk and NOT think about cleaning up afterwards.

When we had finished, I knew he was going to head home; but before he did, he took me by the hand and led me into the bedroom. He began to take off his shoes and belt before checking his phone. I took that as my cue to hang my own belt and turn on the lamp.

Not bothering to check my phone, I set it aside and crawled atop the bed. I laid like that for a second before my needs clawed to the surface and I reached out and pulled him down beside me. He could check his phone while holding me after all.

But, he was a smart one.

Immediately, he shut the screen off, set it beside mine and pulled me closer to him.

Like a puppy, I found the perfect spot in the crook of his arm and rested my eyes as we began to whisper back and forth. We didn’t stay like that for long but as I’m thinking back to that moment, I can’t help but consider the fact that he did more than answer my want.

He answered my need.

© 2016 Jessica Santos

Something About Summertime

It’s summertime for students and teachers alike. A time when everyone hangs out with their friends, significant others, and family.

I drive down the street and see several couples holding hands, kissing and laughing in merriment. Then, I get home and see my family and old friends who offer a sense of familiarity that you can’t get just anywhere. Everything seems to flow like the ocean that meets my toes.

Until, summer turns into weeks of repetition, stress for work, worry for tough classes and the inevitable question of “what am I doing with my life?” There’s just something about summer that everyone looks forward too but end up regretting their wish to be granted.

I’m currently in the middle of my summer and even though this is all hitting me, I still see the sun, sand and cool ocean water. After all, it is the little moments that one must hold onto. The hardships we face only heighten those brief seconds so that we may remember them as hours.

So as I curl up alone in bed missing the soothing warmth of my significant other as he is off at work, I smile as I remember the kiss he gave me when he said goodbye hours ago. It only lasted a second but it held a promise to love and cherish us the next time we met.

With that, I plan an outing with some friends to dump our worries in the ocean as we dive off a cliff and into its magical wonderful abyss.

© 2016 Jessica Santos