Your Mother Is Always With You

“She’s the whisper in the leaves as you walk down the street, the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick, the fragrance of life itself. She’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well, she’s your breath in the air on a cold. winter’s day. She’s the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow, she is Christmas morning. Your mother lives inside your laughter. She’s the place you came from, your first home, and she’s the map you follow with every step you take. She’s your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy, but nothing on Earth can separate you. Not time, not space…not even death.”

Mother”s Day is always a tough one for those of us who’ve lost our mothers. Several  of my friends lost their moms this year as well as over the last couple of years. And speaking from someone who lost hers 12 years ago, it never gets any easier. I often say that we simply learn how do deal with it, but  we never truly get over that vacant hole on our hearts.

Mother-daughter relationships are tricky. Some are stable while others are volatile. Some fluctuate and others are solid. Some are toxic while others are healing. Some are the things dreams are made of while others are a nightmare. Some are non-existent and others overbearing. Some seem to be “perfect” and others are perfectly imperfect.

There is no cookie-cutter recipe to what makes for a “perfect” mother-daughter relationship. And despite the range and types of mother-daughter relationships out there, mothers always fill a huge part of our hearts for better or worse…in life and in death.

Mother’s Day is tricky to navigate for us whether we like to admit it or not. Some of us don’t like to show our feelings, much less talk about them. Or we have shame around it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling your feelings -all of them- especially when you no longer have a mom around.

We live in a culture that is not comfortable talking about death, much less expressing our feelings around how much we may miss someone who is no longer alive. The love we feel for someone never dies along with that person, If anything, sometimes that love gets   even deeper and more expansive over the years. Yet, there is a preconceived notion some people have that they are expected to “get over” their grief in a certain time period. There is no timeline to grief, no magic recipe, and not one path that is better than another. We all grieve differently because we are all wired differently. As we’ve all experienced, grief just comes out of nowhere sometimes and it shows up differently for each of us. Oftentimes, it’s that unwelcome guest at our heart’s door that we need to allow in.

And when we open our heart’s door, and when we allow ourselves to flow with whatever arises, we are sometimes  unexpectedly surprised. Memories suddenly show up, or something that was so insignificant now holds deeper meaning and significance. Sometimes we struggle to remember something to no avail, but instead we are gifted with a precious memory that was long forgotten…perhaps even painful at the time but, with the passing of time, we look at it through a different lens.

Coming from a generation where our mothers tended to never speak about “family” situations, what I advise anyone who still has a mom around, is to ask them questions…all kinds of questions: about their childhood, growing up, experiences, traumas, ancestors, romances, challenges, successes, relationships, wishes fulfilled and dreams unfulfilled…you get the idea. Record videos and take lots of pictures of them. Interview them, have them interview you and record these interviews. Be silly, go deep and don’t leave any stone unturned. These will be some of the things that will comfort you and make you laugh when you are longing for their presence -even if it’s for one more day.

I’m a person who values rituals and enjoys celebrating a person’s life. So, on Mother’s Day, my day starts with a gratitude filled meditation and yoga practice. I usually have my customary white roses and my Mama’s journal that I write in twice a year.  Some years, I look back at what I wrote in years past. I like this quiet time to reflect . It also allows me to see how, with the passing of time, I am growing into being more and more like my mother. And I am owning it. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry. It’s all good though…I embrace it all!

My mama was all about love, generosity and service. She loved to dance, celebrate and laugh. She always ended her conversations with “Te quiero” and was very loved by all who knew her. Mama had a huge heart. As I look back, I can see how she felt all her feelings… maybe too much.  I have no doubt that she was an empath. She was compassionate, loving and kind to everyone. Don’t get me wrong, she could have a temper – that Cuban mother temper- but most times she’d end up getting over it- and herself- very quickly. Sometimes she’d even be concealing laughter while in the midst of an outburst. I just don’t think she had a mean bone in her body…it was all theatrics.

All I know for sure is that my mother is always with me. This morning I took out a box of old family pictures ,and l really took the time to look at them, look at the body language, the smiles, the joy and the sadness too. I even found myself looking at pictures of me when I was a baby and a young child and talking out loud to the little girl I was holding in my hands. Talk about powerful stuff! I also read through letters and cards that teachers had their students write and draw for my mom a few months before she passed.

As if by divine intervention, as I sit here finishing this blog, a friend of mine who  lost her mom a couple of months ago sent me a picture of a card she received. The front of the card was almost the same as the title of this blog, Your Mother Will Always Be With You. Go figure! Is that a coincidence, or what?

So….in honor of all of us who’ve lost our moms-whether physically, emotionally or mentally- especially if this is your first Mother’s Day without your mom, I will leave you with the beautiful sentiment expressed in the card my friend received:

“You’ll never forget her face, her voice, her love for you. You’ll never forget the traditions she handed down, the things she stood for… They are her gift and your legacy. You honor her every day in the way you live and the person you are.”

Sending you all much love and many blessings,  from my heart to yours!

Lead from the heart…always and in all ways, JTC


Let Go of the Clinging

“Dear Self…You can only lose what you cling to.” – Buddha

Throughout the month of September, I was (and kinda continue to be) on a cleaning out, clearing out, giving away, donating and purging spree. I’ve emptied every closet, kitchen and bathroom cabinet, drawer, rubbermaid bin, and had a shredding feast as well. The more I emptied and cleared out, the more things I found that needed releasing and/or discarding. What a metaphor for life, right? There’s most definitely a sense of lightness, airiness and freedom in letting go.

I think my latest project has something to do with the fact that I will be celebrating my 60th in a couple of weeks. That, and the fact that I’ve been thinking of my Mama since today marks 10 years since she left the physical realm. Mama was the queen of giving away things. It brought her joy and satisfaction. She always said that all she needed when she was ready to leave this world was a bed and a crucifix above it. Well, that was certainly the case since she resided in a nursing facility for the last 3 years of her life. All she had were the essential items for grooming and dressing. When I think back to those years, it was happiest I ever saw her. She was absolutely free! I guess her wisdom and life experience knew what I was only starting to learn at the time.

Reflecting on these times left me with the feeling of wanting to enter this new decade even lighter than ever.  I want even more expansiveness. More space. More freedom of all kinds. I do not want “stuff” weighing me down. Even things that brings me joy, and I’ve been holding onto, have had to go. Let these things bring other people joy.

We often find ourselves wondering why we are holding onto something even if we are not using it. Better yet, we question why we continue to buy “stuff.” That’s a big one for me. I cannot tell you how many filled shopping bags I have given away AND donated. And mind you, I do this a couple of times a year! Truthfully, I get sick to my stomach when I think of all the money I’ve spent on “stuff” over the years. Why do we cling to these behaviors?

Well, in speaking with various friends, I think it has a lot to do with growing up not having had much. Many of us did not grow up in an affluent home. Some of our parents came to this country with very little or nothing at all. Perhaps some parents were children of the depression, and they held on to everything out of fear because they lost so much. So naturally, they instilled that sense of “fear/loss” in their children. For others, it could be that they grew up in messy, disorderly conditions and vowed their own homes would be totally different. Whichever the scenario, I am willing to bet we’ve ALL accumulated more than we could ever need / use.

So, if we find ourselves in this scenario, the charitable and harmonious thing we can do is to pass these items on to someone who will get joy out of receiving and using them.  Allow others to feel a sense of abundance. Besides, it clears our spaces  and allows for more light and energy to flow in. After all, our homes are our Sanctuary, our Soul Spaces, and we should care for them as such. We should  be able to walk in our homes and be greeted with beautiful and peaceful energy. But first, let’s get clear on the whole “detachment” thing.

Detachment and letting go are often misunderstood. Many wisdom traditions speak to the concept of letting go of attachment. Detachment does not mean that we should own nothing, On the contrary, it means that nothing should own us. Yet, how many of us cling to something as if our lives depended on it?

Let’s get something straight here Darlings, detachment in no way implies we must renounce our desires and worldly possessions and live like an ascetic at the base of a mountain. On the contrary, it’s looking at the fears behind why we are clinging to some thing, outcome, or expectation of some kind and choosing to let go of the clinging. This also holds true for people and relationships. There’s freedom and transformation in this, and I think it’s because we are all energy…unbounded, intelligent, intuitive, beautiful free spirits. On a deeper level, we recognize this feeling even if we are unable to name it.

The following quote, by Deepak Chopra, really speaks to me:

“Detachment is a natural quality that emerges as your higher self becomes your internal reference point. You engage in life with joy and passion yet no longer get swept up in the ego’s fears. You are rooted in the knowledge that you are pure love and pure spirit.”

When we seek refuge in this knowingness, I think we put things into perspective. We see through a clearer set of lenses. Instead of seeking something / someone outside ourselves to bring us peace, security, happiness, validation, etc., we come to realize that we no longer have to cling to these notions. The more we let go of our “stuff” (whatever that may look like) and attachment to it, as well as our attachment to outcomes and expectations we set for people in our lives, the freer we become. We have license to soar. In addition, I also believe we have more space for love, wealth and abundance of all kinds to enter our lives.

Darlings, there is freedom in our choices. Even when we pause to take notice of how/why/when we are clinging to something- a thought, feeling, expectation or outcome- and we choose a different behavior, is a moment of expansion. It’s an evolutionary moment. A moment to celebrate. A moment to witness our growth. A moment where we realize where we once were and where we are going. A moment we see who we were and who we have become (and are still becoming). And for some of us, it’s recognizing that we have arrived!

Conversely, some of us have not arrived- yet. We are still clinging, fearful, holding on to dear life and believing we are in “control.” As Maria Shriver notes in her Book, I’ve Been Thinking, some people view holding and hanging on as a sign of strength. However, it takes much more strength to know when it is time to let go, and then do it. Hmmmmm…..powerful, or what?

The act of letting go comes more naturally for some of us than it does for others. If letting go is something you are strugglling with and finding it tough to do, perhaps the following simple prayer from Ms. Shriver’s book can help soothe your soul:

Dear God, letting go is hard for me, because I want to hold on and be in control. That makes me feel safe. Help me to realize that I am safe, even when I let go of the way things are and allow them to unfold in the new ways there supposed to. Amen.

Note to self: let go of the clinging!

Inhale Love & Light…Exhale Grace & Gratitude, JTC


Cherished Memories

“Cherish your beautiful memories for sometimes these are the Blessings that you are left with.” 

While writing my Father’s Day Blog, My Honey-Honey, I came across pictures of my dad and his brothers when my Honey-Honey was only 4 years old in 1918. Alongside that picture was another one of them as adults with their mother. It must have been taken sometime in the late 1950’s-early 60’s. Seeing these pictures got me reminiscing.

It got me thinking about the memories I have from when I was a little girl and the obvious love these 4 sons had for their mother. A mother who essentially raised them without a dad (because he left them) and how she was able to sendher boys to the US to boarding school. Once reunited again, the family dynamic, as I saw it, was one of closeness, love, caring, unity and family. Everything was centered around the “hub” of my grandmother’s house.

We all lived just blocks from each other, with the exception of my uncle Eugene and his wife, Juanita (who changed her name to Joan), and who lived downstairs from my grandmother. My uncle Henry (the perpetual eccentric bachelor who I am saving for another blog), lived with my grandmother in the upstairs apartment. These four grown men cared for their mother until the day she died at 102. And, as a matter of fact, my uncle Henry followed her 6 months later. I am convinced he died of a broken heart.

As I was preparing to write this blog, I came across this little 3×5 gratitude book I had purchased about six years ago. It’s called The Gratitude Book – 50 Prompts to Keep the Grateful Feelings Flowing. As I was flipping through the pages, I came across an entry that dealt with an experience from my childhood for which I am grateful. What perfect synchronicity!

The experience from my childhood years that I was and still am grateful for, was having a sense of family beacuse all my aunts, uncles and cousins were an active part of my life. As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, I guess the fashionista in me was groomed by these individuals, for they were impeccably dressed at all times. Regardless if we were out, with company  or just lounging at home, it would not be uncommon to see my uncles and my Honey-Honey in a sports jacket and sometimes even sporting a tie or bow-tie. They definitely knew how to dress to impress!

The women were always fashionable in their dresses, skirts, suits, shoes, hats, gloves, etc. My mom was the only one who ever dared to wear slacks when they came into fashion (Mama, like yours truly, was a little rebellious in her younger times).  Oh boy, when my grandmother saw her… and me sporting bell-bottom pants!?!?!?!?!?!?  I thought she was going to fall off her chair. She could NOT conceive of a woman wearing pants or even wanting to. It was all pretty hilarious at the time!

My aunts and uncles all stuck together. I am sure they must have had their disagreements or arguments, but it was never public or in front of the children. Yes, they’d squabble, but only about little “stuff” or “annoying” habits. And it was usually like a comedy act. Overall, I liked the sense of “rituals” that were established. On Sundays, the grown ups on my father’s side would gather at my grandmother’s house for cake, coffee and canasta. On Saturdays, we typically went to one of my maternal aunt’s place for amazing meals. Unlike my mother, her sisters LOVED to cook. Thank the Lord I inherited that trait from them. I may not know how to make Cuban food, but I can cook, and I’m damn good at it!

The sense of cohesiveness was of great impact on my life. Perhaps that is why I love entertaining so much and hosting gatherings. Over the years, my friends have become my family. I’ve always loved having parties where everyone was included…. it’s never  mattered to me if someone was married or single, everyone has always been welcome. Even friends of friends are always welcome. The more, the merrier!

If there’s anything I know how to do, it’s throw a great party. My party planning somehow always turns into an event. What can I say? I can’t keep it simple in this arena- a theme here and there, props, activities, entertainment, delicious food and drink and most times even complete with party favors of some kind. I can’t help myself. It’s all about living, loving and celebrating life!

I love the sense of belonging, camaraderie, unity of purpose, intention and overall gratitude for being able to bring beautiful people together to celebrate their presence in my life. We are all gifts in each other’s lives, and it’s important to celebrate the privilege and honor of being alive yet another day. These memories are the blessings that you are left with when someone is no longer here in the physical world.

While my parents, aunts, uncles and even some cousins are no longer physically alive, their memories, habits, gatherings, rituals, and love live inside me every day. I honor their memories by doing what I do best….celebrate life! And as my Honey-Honey taught me: live each day to the fullest and lead from the heart.

Do you have any memories that you hold near and dear? Well, I will leave you with the following prompt from The Gratitude Book: What is one experience from your childhood that you’re especially grateful for? Write about how it felt at the time and, in retrospect, how it’s affected your life.

Stay tuned to my upcoming blog, where I will share some other prompts from the book. Happy reminiscing!

Inhale Love & LIght…Exhale Grace & Gratitude, JTC


My Honey-Honey

“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”

My father, Julio R. Carricarte, was born in Cuba on October 1, 1914. Just 3 months before he turned 80, he suffered a massive stroke that left him unable to speak or walk. Essentially, he was trapped in his body. Since he was non-ambulatory, and needed total care, we made the decision to place him in a nursing home…..and that’s an entirely different blog all together! He crossed over on July 7, 1999 at the age of 84. I was 40 at the time and can now look back and see everything I didn’t know that I didn’t know!

My dad and I always called each other “Honey-Honey.” It’s something he started when I was very young, and I just followed along. It was our special “something-something.” To be honest with you, I have no recollection of how or when it started, but it’s a nickname that I held onto until the last day I spoke to him: the day before he crossed over. The day I gave him permission to let go, because I was going on vacation three days later, and I told him so. I told him that if he wanted to let go, he had to do so BEFORE I left, because Mama could not have handled that on her own. He passed the next day and looked as beautiful as ever and just as I had left him the day prior (unlike two days before where he was distressed and on oxygen). That’s a call I will always remember getting!

Over the years, there were many calls: he fell, he hurt himself, he pulled out his feeding tube, he was being sent to the ER, etc., etc., etc. But that Wednesday at around 7:45 on  the evening of July 7th, I had a fleeting thought of going to visit  him but decided against it, because I wanted to remember him glowing, sparkling and present (should something happen while I was away). I got “the call” shortly thereafter within a half hour. Now mind you, I never worried about getting a call from the nursing home. Over the years, it’s something one becomes immune to. This call was different: the nurse asked me right up front if I was alone or had someone with me. In that instant, I knew! As a matter of fact, when I told her I had someone with me, and asked if it was finally over, she responded, “Yes.” My body exhaled like never before. Ironically my body felt like Jello, so I’m glad I was not alone. I took deep breaths, collected myself, called Cousin Al and made the decision to tell Mama the following morning.

At the time, I literally lived about 20 minutes from the nursing home, so I got there in no time.  I remember how warm his body felt. I remember cleaning his hands and under his finger nails. I remember him looking as if he was sleeping, I remember him at peace…finally! I remember being grateful for giving him permission to let go. At that point, he was a shell of the man I knew as my Honey-Honey. He had withered away. He had given up the fight years earlier. It was time, and I am blessed to have had him in my life as long as I did…even though I didn’t know what I didn’t know at the time!

Honey-Honey was a character! Ask anyone who knew him, and they will attest to that. His humor, the glint in his eyes, “the look” he’d cast with that smirk on his lips (strabismus eye and all – it would take a while for you to be able to focus on the eye that was looking directly at you). He had a sense of humor that would bring you to tears and the biggest heart that would give you his last penny and make you feel like everything was going to be OK. He was gregarious, outspoken, a spokesperson for others,  and deeply loved and admired by all who knew him.

My Honey-Honey LOVED life! As I may have mentioned in a blog long ago (or I’m totally making this up), I asked him what words of wisdom he had to share with me on the occasion of his youthful and vivacious 79 years of age. How ironic that this conversation took place just days before he suffered his devastating stroke and was never able to form a sentence or articulate a feeling other than a vehement “No” or a few choice curse words. This from a man who never cursed in front of me!

I do recall his eyes during those times…..oh those eyes! They were like daggers to my heart. Oh, and the way he would hold my hand, fingers interlaced, and place it on his chest as he looked at me with those damn eyes! My heart would break. I couldn’t handle when he would break down and cry sometimes. I didn’t know at the time, but I could feel his entrapment, his pain, his frustration, and his embarrassment as he lost his independence and needed someone to care for his most basic needs. I felt his desperation in wanting to be free as well as his exhaustion when he gave up the fight.

So, back to the question I asked him about his words of wisdom. In retrospect, where did I even manage to pull that question from? I mean yes, I was on some path to self-realization, but not nearly the “spiritual” path that lay ahead of me and that evolved over the decades. What was Honey- Honey’s answer? Take one day at a time and live it to the fullest.” Then he went on to tell me and my husband at the time, Jorgie, how he would never be able to get a good night’s sleep if he worried about what the next day would bring. Furthermore, he said that was why my mother took so many “pills.” And of course he cast Mama one of his mischievous looks and silly grins as he said it!

At that point in his life, he wouldn’t even take an aspirin! Actually,  he had a little “incident” and was taken to the ER a few week before his stroke. He was prescribed blood pressure meds, checked himself out of the hospital, and he decided not to take the prescribed medication. So what did he do with them? He flung the blood pressure meds out an eleventh floor window when my Mama was hounding him about taking his medication. That was my Honey- Honey!

Honey-Honey had a “strong character” yet was loving, funny, giving, and the epitome of “service.” Oh, and did I mention he was the forever “poster child” for living life out loud? He was vivacious, cheerful, a jokester, a prankster and the best dressed, best smelling, Dapper Dan in town! As a matter of fact, my mom (Ms. Fashionista herself) used to tell me stories of how he would get his suits custom-made in Cuba. Seriously!?!? And if that wasn’t enough, he would have two pairs of slacks made for each suit! Wow! Honey-Honey had come a long way!!! Of course, this was well after he first came to the states as a child and then went back to Cuba as a young adult (where he eventually met my Mama and got remarried).

Allow me to digress for a moment. Before Honey-Honey married Mama, he was married to a Jewish woman named Josephine. For some strange reason, I have their divorce decree. Weird! Apparently, he broke her heart (a trait I obviously inherited, and not proud of…wink, wink). By what my mother told me (because he never spoke about it), she died very young…leukemia or cancer…something like that. Don’t even ask me why I am sharing this, but I guess it is a story I want my nieces and nephew to know…family history!

So back to Honey-Honey’s childhood. He was one of four brothers born to an amazing mother named Angela Ramos (with too many surnames to even recall at this point in my life). I used to get a kick out of reciting all her names when I was a young child. My grand-mother, aka Nany,  was a school teacher in Cuba in the early 1900’s and would have to travel by horseback to teach.

I can’t imagine how uncomfortable that must have been! Dresses, layers of undergarments, corsets, boots and coiffed hair-dos. I remember as a child looking at the old, tattered, sepia photos and being enthralled by them. Nany taught the children of “the help.” Class pictures looked like a scene out of The Little Rascals! Oh the eyes on those children, their expression, their mischievousness, their light, love and probably adoration for this beautiful human being who taught and loved them was visible to the naked eye! I believe her spirit lives on in my niece, Megan.

However, at some point, my grand-father (whom I never met) left my grandmother with four small boys (Louis, Henry, Eugene and my dad). My grand-father fled to Mexico (hence, the Carricarte families I learned of back in my running days upon seeing who made it into the NYC Marathon). As adolescents, my dad and his brothers were shipped off to boarding school in Virginia. The Virginia Military Academy to be specific. My Honey- Honey was eleven at the time (I believe he was the youngest of his siblings). It is there that he got a taste of what it was like to live in America. His experiences at the military academy shaped who he was to become as an adult,  how he would choose to live a life of service and the legacy he would ultimately leave behind.

During one of our conversations, Honey-Honey shared with me how impacted he was by the generosity and compassion of the family members of his fellow cadets. So much so, that he would never forget it. You see, during holidays, everyone would return home to their families. Obviously, that was not an option for a kid from Cuba with no family in the states. He was embraced and taken in by his fellow cadets’ families during these times. That generosity of spirit is something that he always remembered, and I guess that is why Honey- Honey became the man that he became and left behind the legacy that he did!

Back in 1999, on the eve of his passing and when I started to ponder his eulogy, (as I recorded Frank Sinatra music to play at his funeral), I  started to think about the words to say. I thought, “What tribute can you pay a man whose whole life was a tribute?” A tribute to goodness, kindness and generosity. A couple of weeks before his major stroke, he received the highest tribute and honor which he felt he did not deserve: He was given the Hudson County Senior Citizen of the Year Award! And he was up against a nun! He could NOT wrap his head around that (especially since he was not a church go-er). I’ll always remember how humbled he felt.

At his eulogy, I shared the following: ‘There really was no need for words. For my father’s life spoke loud and clear. He lived life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Julio, aka Honey-Honey,  was a man who was always there to lend a hand or solve a problem for friends, family, neighbors or perfect strangers. A man you could call on at any hour of the day or night, and believe me, people called. A man who did not acknowledge the powerful word, “no.” It simply did not exist in his vocabulary when it came to helping, lending a hand or somehow serving. As a result of his illness, we’ve already missed this man and have paid  numerous tributes to him over the years. This one, however, is the final tribute.”

I went on to share some of my favorite memories of Honey-Honey: grocery shopping with him as a child on Sundays after he picked me up from church; our yearly trips to Florida and how he always got lost because there was “always a better or quicker” route to take; the array of “fix-me-upper” cars he would get at auction and put them back together again (always having parts left over) – this is true – Cousin Al, the family historian, will attest to it; the hearty appetites and needing to eat steak even if Mama made chicken (according to him, chicken was bird food); the gusto with which he ate his food (a foodie for sure even though the term didn’t exist back then); the hearty servings of cantaloupe (get this- filled with vanilla ice-cream and pancake syrup); the loose bills he always had in his pocket (which sometimes he lost, and sometimes my mother just helped herself to); his pockets filled with coupons for Shop-Rite and his multiple weekly runs to redeem them; indulging in Aramis soaps, cologne, aftershave, body lotions and potions (so that his skin would be as soft as a baby’s behind); his joy for spoiling  and buying things for his grand-children (even buying bags of groceries filled with their favorite cookies, ice-cream and other treats). Obviously, I had to stop somewhere, or I could have gone on and on. We would have been there for days!

My intention was to give you, as I did with everyone present the day of his funeral, a snapshot of my fondest memories. Yet, my fondest and most heart-warming memory of my Honey-Honey was his zest for life. His joie de vivre. His exuberance. His ability to take live his life as if it was his last day on earth. In his own words, “If I was to worry about tomorrow or things to come, I would not enjoy today nor would I be able to sleep at night.” These are the wisest of words, my darlings! Remember them…I sure do!

My consolation at the end of his physical life form here on earth was that, prior to his stroke, Honey-Honey did live each day to the fullest. His words of wisdom will forever ring in my ears and in my heart. I can’t tell you how many people I have spoken those word to and and with whom I shared his sage advice.

Honey-Honey was loved by everyone who knew him. I can now clearly see and appreciate his big personality, his loyalty, boldness, braveness, tenacity, relentlessness, joyfulness, resilience and fearlessness, as well as his ability to detach, accept, forgive, surrender and let go. Julio R. Carricarte led from his heart. He taught me to do the same.

My greatest desire at this stage of my life is to leave behind a legacy of love and service, like my Honey- Honey, and to inspire others to do the same- especially his grand-children whom he deeply loved and great-grandchildren whom he never met. It is my hope that both our legacies will live on in the hearts and minds of generations to come.

Thank you, Honey- Honey! I hope you are proud of how I am filling those big shoes you left behind. I love you! 

Inhale Love & Light…Exhale Grace & Gratitude, JTC