Stay In The Game 8-1-17

Stay in the game”And it came to pass. . . .” — The Bible

We can’t always be sure that things will always work out, but we will always have the strength to make it through. We can trust that eventually both the bad and the good will come to pass.

I’ve had the good ripped away from me and felt sorrow until I could drown. But it passed.

All I’m saying is that sometimes the bad guys win and the good guys lose. Sometimes it’s the other way around. Sometimes nothing that we do seems to swing the decision one way or the other, but we can always come back tomorrow. There’s always another chance to play the game, dance, sweat, and cry. And maybe it’s the experience, not the outcome that is the true prize.

If you’re feeling a loss of strength or confidence, let go of the desperate need for a positive outcome in your life. Realize that this, too, will pass. Gain your strength from knowing that whether an event is good or bad, we’re enriched by our experiences. Only we can choose to learn from them or allow resentment and foolish expectations to destroy their value.

Dust yourself off. Pick yourself up. Step up to the plate and get back in the game.

God, give me the hope, faith, and courage to live my life today. – Author Unknown

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Feeling Stronger Everyday 7-27-17

I woke up this morning and as usual went through all of my emails. I follow many bloggers. This morning, one in particular caught my attention. This person was feeling down, depressed and feeling like a failure. She was even thinking death would be better. My heart went out to her. I’ve been there, done that on many occasions.
I posted the following comment. I’m sharing because she responded by telling me thank you. I thought about the many other women out there who might find themselves overwhelmed today. Feeling just like her or even myself many months ago. I’m sharing my comment in the hopes I can inspire someone else today. We all need hope sometimes. We all need a little inspiration. If my crazy life story can inspire a few women today then all the challenges in the world are worth it. Remember, I believe in you. Believe in yourself too!!

“I’ve been where you are on many occasions. I get it. Here’s what I know. You’re not a failure. Most people would’ve thrown in the towel a long time ago but you’re still hanging in there. You my friend are not a failure!!! You’re a warrior and a survivor!!! Remember that! Believe that!! I recall seeing my therapist some time many months ago. I too was feeling like I was better off dead. I was even thinking of ways to end it all however thank the lord I didn’t act on those crazy feelings. I’ll never forget what my therapist said to me. She said “Velma you are one strong lady. You have endured more than most. Despite the challenges you haven’t given up. Do you know what I think?” I replied “what?” She said “you haven’t given up, you haven’t ended it all because you’ll be damned if you give anyone the satisfaction of pushing you to defeat!” Wow! She was so right. I’d like to encourage you today. Don’t give up!! You are a survivor. Do not give anyone or any challenge you are facing the satisfaction of beating you!! You are going to make it!! Tomorrow is another day. I pray that today and all your tomorrows will find you feeling stronger every day!!! My song for you today is a favorite by the band Chicago. “Feeling Stronger Every Day!” That’s your mantra. I believe in you. You can do this.”

For more discussions on Depression visit:

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/10-depression-quotes-that-may-change-your-life/

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/how-to-deal-with-depression-tips-techniques-treatment/

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/

I Am The Warrior 5-26-17

Dictionary.com defines the word Warrior as follows:

“A person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier. A person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics.”

In my opinion, Velma Perez Dunkin should be listed in the definition.  I am a warrior!  Up until now, I’ve overcome so many challenges in my life. I have taken on those battles and persevered. I haven’t always won however, I’ve always made it to the finish line!  A warrior is a person who shows vigor, courage, determination while persevering through adversities in life. That’s me!! 

I’ve always loved the song “the Warrior” by Scandal. I can certainly resonate to the lyrics when Patty Smyth belts out “shooting at the walls of heartache, bang bang! I am the Warrior”. I’ve experienced heartache more than once in my life. I have the scars to prove it. I am certain I don’t stand alone. There are many of us who face adversity everyday however, as Warriors, we persevere. 

I think the real warriors are those who have been brought to their knees but have managed to pick themselves up. Dictionary.com doesn’t mention the warriors who have battled cancer, overcome addictions, persevered through divorce or custody battles. How about all the single moms out there who sacrifice and fight every day to provide for their children? Being a single mom is hard work. It requires tapping in to that warrior spirit that lives inside all of us. To me, that’s a real warrior. 

I’ve had the privilege of serving those who are homeless. Words can’t describe what they have to endure. It takes a warrior to survive life on the streets!  I remember my friend James in San Francisco. He had been transferred to the Bay Area by his job. Suddenly the economy crashed. He lost everything including a place to call home. He found himself in a shelter. While in that shelter, he was stabbed and spent much time in the hospital recovering from the wounds. When he got out, he found himself living in a tent at a parking lot. His only friend was his chocolate lab.

He finally qualified for housing. However,  he was diagnosed with bone cancer. For those of us who have battled cancer as well as the treatment that goes along with fighting the disease, we can attest that it takes a warrior to persevere. James was a warrior. He fought cancer while living in a tent at a parking lot waiting for housing. That my friends is a warrior!!

There are men, women and children who are being abused every day.  Enduring physical, emotional and/or verbal abuse is tough business. It takes a Warrior to endure!! There are children being bullied at school. People overcoming PTSD, depression and/or anxiety. The list goes on. In my opinion these are real life warriors. It takes courage to persevere and overcome. 

Memorial Day is Monday. We honor all those warriors who have served our country and lost their lives in battle. For me, I not only honor those warriors, but I also honor and respect the warriors who are enduring their own personal battles every day. Life is hard. 

I happened to see a Facebook post one day posted by one of my best friends. She posted “Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates, You Never Know What You’ll Get”. I pondered that post for several days. After much thought and reflection, I had to disagree. While it’s true, life is similar to a box of chocolates you never know what you’ll get, but we’re talking about a box of chocolate!!! Who cares?! Chocolate is delicious! Who doesn’t love chocolate?! Life….Well it’s not always delicious!! In my opinion life is more like a box of jawbreakers with an occasional box of pop rocks. It’s tough and requires a lot of patience to get to the end while enduring the occasional surprises as well as unexpected explosions along the way. 

I’d like to encourage anyone facing adversity today to put your warrior gear on and keep fighting. Grab your guns and start “shooting at those walls of heartache – bang, bang!”  You’re a Warrior!  I’m a Warrior!!  If Patty Smyth is right the only way those pesky challenges of ours will win is “if they survive….the Warrior!”  That’s you and me! Today remind yourself “I AM the Warrior!! Victory is Mine!”  If you need a little motivation I’m sharing this video with you today as a reminder. I have used this song, among others, throughout the years as inspiration to remind myself “I AM The Warrior”. Face any challenge in front of you  today head on and kick some ass!!! 

Dating Sites…What Are They Good For?! 6-2-16

May 16th marked my one year anniversary that my ex and I went our separate ways. It’s no secret my relationship with him was nothing short of tumultuous. I’ve only blogged every detail for the world to read!!!  What was I thinking?!!! After four years with that lunatic and the strife he brought in to my life, I knew I needed to give myself some time to heal before engaging in another relationship. Relationships with the “Rons” of the world will do that to you!!   I haven’t been in any relationship since. And in truth, deep down I wasn’t ready. 

I left San Francisco on May 16th, 2015 with a u-haul in tote. I cried all the way home….and I mean the entire 14 hour drive while praying the rosary over and over again. I didn’t stop there. Oh no. I cried for months after that. In fact, I would lock myself in my bedroom and all I did was pray and cry. I slept with a night light. I still do.  The nightmares were overwhelming. I would even wear a scapula around my neck and sleep with a cross next to my pillow. Who does that?!!  Guilty!!! Me!!! Lol.  I have prayed profusely every single day. The good news is I had the support of my cousin and a dear friend, both in San Francisco who were very instrumental in pulling me out of a dark depression.  I also had the support of the ladies at my prayer group that I attend once a week and my girlfriend from Maui. I thank god for all of them. Prayer really does work!!! 

Breakups are hard. Especially relationships that cause so much pain and heartache. I saw a quote today on Facebook. It said “when people treat you like they don’t care….believe them”. I thought to myself “now you tell me!” I wish I had known. 


I’ve come along way since those dark days only a year ago. Or should I say, a week ago!! Just kidding.  The truth is healing from breakups takes a very long time. As for me, I’m on the mend. In fact a part of me is ready to give love another try. 

A couple of months ago my cousin and I met each other in Las Vegas for a few days. We travelled there to see Santana. It was their reunion concert. The original band members joined each other on the stage. They hadn’t played together in 40 years. What an awesome experience. It was undoubtedly one of the best shows I’ve been to, with the exception of seeing Van Morrison. What made it even more awesome was sharing the experience with my cousin who is my best friend and the sister I never had. I love her very much. In my eyes, she’s the most beautiful girl in the world!!! 



While we were there my cousin encouraged me to begin dating again. She suggested trying a dating site. Her suggestion…..Tinder. Now I have never been on a dating site nor have I ever been interested in being on one, but against my better judgement I joined the dating site. 

For those of you who have never been on a dating site, my suggestion is you should. If nothing else for a good laugh when you’re home alone on a Saturday night. Now I’m not experienced on dating sites since Tinder is the only site I’ve ever  been on but my experience has been nothing short of a comical experience I can’t quite put in to words. 

Tinder is great. You log on and you are greeted by photos of single guys. You can swipe right if you’re interested or you swipe left if your answer is NOPE!  There’s a few photos with a brief bio of your potential partner. Age and first name only along with the their approximate distance from your location. I’m happy to report all of my potential knights in shining armor have been swiped to the left. “Nope, Nope….and that’s a hell nope!!” My gosh, some of these guys are creepy, some are married and others are so dweeby I can’t stop laughing!!! I don’t mean to come across as caddy but my gosh! “Really god?! And this is what you bring me?!!!” 

I know what you’re thinking….”is he wearing lip gloss?!”


“He is my match?!” “Seriously?!” 

I have managed to meet a couple of nice guys and have met them for coffee but other than that nothing good has come from being on a dating site. Dating sites…..what are they good for? Nada…..damn thing!!! 

Who knows, maybe I’ve been too selective, after all my list of guys I won’t date is bigger than the list of guys I will date. Maybe I’ve been single too long and I’m becoming accustomed to being alone.  I don’t know the answer. What I do know is I haven’t given up on hope that there’s someone out there for me. After all, there are three billion men in the world!  Surely, one of those three billion has got to be my knight in shining armor!!! 

I’ve decided I’ll just wait for the right guy to come waltzing through my door, sweep me off my feet and take me far, far away from here. Let’s hope back to my beloved city by the bay, San Francisco and let’s hope he’s sweet, smells dynamite, is dressed to the nines and  is wearing great shoes! He will adore me, flaws and all and will love me in the good times and in the bad and together spend the rest of our lives making each other happy, traveling and living life to the fullest surrounded by family and together making a difference in the lives of others. Until then, whatever it’s worth, a knight in shining armor does exist. You can find him at Cafe Sevilla in California. 😀 he’s stone cold, he has a heart of steel, he’s a little short but you can talk his ear off all night long and he will never complain!!!  

Loneliness 5-7-16

I was on Facebook today and a friend posted “my day was ok. I get lonely a lot”. My heart went out to her. I knew exactly how she felt. On May 16th of 2015, I packed up my things and left San Francisco. I left behind the city I love so much. I miss the city and I miss my church. However, I also left behind an abusive ex-boyfriend who brought so much pain and suffering in to my life at a time when I needed support the most. I was fighting cancer. Since then, I have spent many lonely days alone. I’ve gone to dinner alone, movies alone, vacations alone and I haven’t even dated. The good news is, I’ve gotten to know myself and become comfortable with the person I am. I’ve realized I don’t need an entourage of people or even a boyfriend to enjoy the life God has blessed me with. I don’t always have someone to talk to, cry with or even yell at but its been on those days I’ve drawn closer to my faith. I pray a lot, I talk to God a lot I even yell at him but no matter the circumstances I wake up every morning. Life is good. No one ever said life was going to be perfect. But If you take the time to enjoy the blessings you do have and less on what you don’t, you may discover that not only is living life and the beauty that surrounds us, (such as a sunrise or a beautiful sunset) a blessing…..but you are too. 

I responded with the following post to my friend. I’m not sure if it was the right thing to say but My hope is it was the best thing to say. Being lonely sucks. The good news is we are not alone. We have a God who loves us and thinks we are “all that”. If he can love us, then why shouldn’t we love ourselves too. Enjoy life. There are no promises for today. Live life to the fullest and when your only friend is “me, myself and I”, enjoy it!  Me, myself and I will always be the best friend you’ll ever have!!

“I get that! I too am lonely a lot but sometimes being lonely is a positive thing. It helps us to get to know who we really are and truly become to understand that we are awesome. I’ve spent the past year doing things alone. What I’ve discovered is the best traveling companion, besides my cousin who I love so much, is “me, myself & I”. Embrace the loneliness, hard as it may be and remember, you will never be alone. You are a child of the most high God. He’s always with you and he loves you so much. Have a better day today my dear friend. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and if you’re reading this, you’re above ground. I met a guy last year while going thru treatment. He was fighting cancer for the second time. He said “everyday above ground is a great day!” He was right! Go out and make today the best day ever and when you’re only friend is “me, myself & I”, you can do whatever you want. Love your friend……Velma D”

Everyone Is Facing A Battle 3-12-16

On March 12, 2014 my ex and I were on our way back from Scottsdale Arizona after spending five days at spring training. I’m a huge fan of baseball and even huger fan of the San Francisco Giants!!! We had spend the week cheering on the Giants.  I posted this story on Facebook. It popped up as one of my memories today. I remembered this flight and the impact this young woman had on my life. I am sharing on my blog today as a reminder you never know what people are going through until you spend a day walking in their shoes. Be kind. Be compassionate and always try to bring joy in someone’s life, especially when they’re having a bad day. 

  
On the flight home from Scottsdale we had the same seats w a view of the engine as we did on the flight there. To the right of us was a young mother who was trying to console her screaming baby. It was very annoying to many people on the plane. I’ll admit I too was a little bit frustrated. I could see the young mother was frustrated so I finally got up and asked her if shed like some help. She was so appreciative. I sat next to the young girl. She was 21 years old. I was able to finally console the baby and he fell asleep. I decided to sit next to her for the duration of the flight. I didn’t want to wake the baby so I just held him for his mom. 

Sometimes in life you never know what the person next to you might be going through. At times we don’t stop to ask. As it turned out this young mother had moved to the Bay Area a few months prior after her son was born. Her baby was born that October. This young moms name was Stacy & her sons name was Jaiden. Stacy was returning from Arizona where she had gone to visit her daughter who had a birthday that week. She would’ve been 3 years old. The previous July while Stacy was pregnant she took her daughter to the pool. She turned around for a brief second. Long enough for her daughter to run off & fall in to the kiddie pool. Stacy’s daughter drowned. It was an accidental death that was not just caused by drowning but her daughter had asthma. Stacy shared how the paramedics had tried so hard to save her daughter. Like any mother she was devastated. 

The trauma she endured was hard on her pregnancy. She shared that her baby experienced colic & would cry  for hours. She had been told that the trauma not only effected her but possibly affected her baby. She moved to the Bay Area to stay w her godparents in the hopes of healing. She was in counseling and her family had been very supportive. 

As we began to land baby Jaiden woke up. He was screaming. For some reason I prayed & asked god to please console this baby. You’ll never believe this but the baby stopped crying. Stacy and I talked to him, rubbed his back until we landed. My heart went out to this young mother.

After we returned home I found  I couldnt stop thinking about Stacy and her baby. I certainly prayed for her & hoped she would overcome. 

I decided to share this story because often times we all become frustrated w other people. We don’t take the time to listen to the real story. Next time you encounter a frustrating situation take the time to ask the person if everything is ok & be sure to listen. I know I will do the same. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind always and take the time to listen. 

  

Sleeping Angel 1-19-15

I’m not sure where to begin as I write tonight. Today my friend Lola reached out to me from New Jersey. She called and offered me so many words of encouragement and more importantly she encouraged me to use my gift of writing in a positive way. Lola is a woman of God. She is filled with so much love and is a powerful prayer warrior. I’m so grateful to call her my friend. Lola prayed for me and encouraged me to put all my faith in the Lord, trust him and pray, pray, pray. After we hung up I found myself feeling hopeful. I have to admit, the challenges of cancer and my life in general has really brought me to my knees. More often than not, I feel defeated and hopeless.

This afternoon Ron and I had an argument. It was ugly and I felt sick about it. I didn’t have anyone to talk to so I got in my car and drove to St Dominic’s Church. Somehow going to church felt like the right thing to do. St Dominic’s is so beautiful it takes my breath away every time I walk through the door. I always feel a sense of awe when I’m there. At times, I’m in such awe, my eyes begin to fill with tears. It’s such an emotional experience. I lit a candle when I arrived. I got on my knees and prayed. As I talked to God, I found a sense of peace come over me and for the first time I felt as if the Lord had actually heard me. After I prayed, I sat on the pew and just stared at the altar. Finally, I stood up and left.

As I drove home, I found myself feeling peaceful. I wasn’t worried about going home and being greeted by the wrath of Rons volatile behavior. I trusted everything would calm itself and things would work out eventually. I prayed asking God for a small sign that he had heard me, even though I knew in my heart he had. When I got home, Ron was still angry. I opted to stay in peace and trust the Lord would take care of everything. Ron was still behaving irrationally, so rather than allow him to make me feel bad about myself like I usually do, I got my sweats on and went to the gym.

I love to listen to music when I’m at the gym. I have a very extensive playlist on YouTube. Tonight I pulled up my playlist titled “Cancer Bravery”. This list consists of songs that have somehow offered a sense of courage as I’ve fought cancer these past few months. As I went through my list of songs, I noticed a song by Stevie Nicks. I didn’t recognize it and truthfully, I don’t recall ever hearing the song, much less recall how it even made it on my list. I clicked on it and as I listened to the lyrics, the words began to resonate with my own personal struggle to trust in a power higher than myself to work things out for me.

I believe in God, as I refer to him. I believe he exists. Trusting him is another story. I think I’m not alone. I believe many of us are believers, however trusting in something we can’t feel, hear or touch can prove to be a difficult task. As I listened to the lyrics of this song, I knew in my heart God had heard me tonight. The lyrics describe my thoughts and feelings that have prevented me from letting go and trusting things would work out according to Gods plan, on his time and not my own. I’m continually on this roller coaster of “trying to believe you. I’m learning all the time”. Like the song, I know I need God in my life because without him I wouldn’t be able to breathe. However, I have this “love affair” with the him that’s as dysfunctional as my current and past relationships with all the men in my life. At times my relationship is up, while other times are down. I want to believe that God loves me. I want to believe he has a plan for good, but it’s hard.

Earlier this morning, my friend suggested I write a letter to God expressing how I feel. I couldn’t express my feelings better than the lyrics from this song so here it is….my letter to God.

Dear God (as I call him)

Take me if you need me, but never hold me down. You’re asking me to trust you, well there’s little of that around. I’m trying to believe you. And I’m learning all the time. Two-part personality, the flower and the vine.

Take me, sleeping angel. Catch me, when you can. Real love affairs are heavy spells, for a woman and a man.

I need you because you let me breathe, well you’ve taken me away. But never take me lightly, or I can never stay.

Someday, when we’re older and my hair is silver grey. Unbraid with all of the love that you have, like a soft silver chain.

Take me sleeping angel, catch me when you can. And unbraid with all of the love that you have, like a soft silver chain.

I’m a work in progress, Lord God, but I pray that you won’t give up on me yet. I’m a work in progress but I’m ready and willing to give you my best shot. Thank you God for believing in me and thank you for never giving up on me even on the days, I’ve given up on you.

Love always,

Velma