There are no words to express the love between a mother and their child.  And definitely harder to express the loss of a parent.  My mother’s name was Margareth Joseph, we called her Maggie for short.  Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death.  She passed away at 4:08AM, May 10, 2004…..on Mother’s Day.  As if losing your mom is not cruel enough.

My mother battled with breast cancer for five years…I was 28 when she passed – she had just turned 50 years old….twelve days before her death.  I had a 50th birthday dinner party for her at one of her favorite restaurants in Miami…the Rusty Pelican. I surprised her with her sisters and brothers who flew in town.  She was quiet most of the dinner…she spent the time looking closely at everyone as if she knew it would be our last time all together.  For her 50th birthday, I presented her with a book of notes that I had people in the family write to her – letting them know how much she meant to them and their favorite memories of her.  It was something she wanted to know…I remember a few weeks earlier, laying on her in bed and she asked me what was one of my favorite memories of her.  I told her it was when she would take me to her office after school and I would sit back and admire how busy she looked on her desk.  She had so many piles of paper and she seemed to multi-task so easily.  I remember saying to myself…”One day – I wanna be that!  I wanna be a SECRETARY!!!!”  When I told her that story, she laughed so hard, she had tears in her eyes.  She loved that story and I knew the gift of favorite memories would be a perfect gift for her.


My sister and I have always had a close relationship…we’re only 1.5 years apart – grew up in a home with parents who displayed love and affection…Married 32 years – we NEVER saw our parents raise their voice at each other.  My parents taught us to be strong, independent women, showed us the finer things in life – because they never wanted us to ever settle for less. So it came as a shock to me when my sister shared her story of being involved in a brutal, domestic violent filled relationship – for seven years.  And it all happened right under my nose.

To be clear, I knew something wasn’t right…I HATED the guy she was with…(yes, I know hate is a strong word…but I couldn’t find a stronger one to use.)  Anyone who was in my life during that time period knows that I was an emotional wreck…In 2004, my mother passed away, my sister was living in a different city with a guy that I didn’t like and I could not put my hands on what was wrong…and I was very scared for my nieces.  I would get phone calls from family members who lived close to my sister – they would tell me about incidents they witnessed that they felt was out of character for my sister…and when I would call to check in on her – she would always say that everything was ok.  In my heart and spirit, I knew this was not the case –  there was nothing I could do about it, but pray.  My sister and I grew distant during that time because to me, she just was not the same person I knew.


A week ago today….we found ourselves sitting on a couch, in an office, speaking to a marriage counselor. This is our normal.

Maria, a 50-year-old, Catholic – Hispanic woman – was the one who took us thru 3 months of intense pre-marital counseling. We loved her and we loved the process and we committed that we would continue to see her throughout our marriage. So on this night, it would be our 4th session for our married year, and her first question to us was:

“You’re about to celebrate a year!! How would you rate your marriage on a scale of 1-10; 10 being the highest.”

Bobby and I looked at each other and he says – “you take this one, bay…”

Not so fast buddy….I wanna hear what YOU have to say…you can imagine the squirming and thumb twiddling that was going on beside me…I was enjoying the uneasiness he was feeling – I was anxious to hear what he had to say…I already knew what my number was.

“I give us an 8!” he finally says….I looked at him and laughed….that was my number too…an 8. Maria was pleasantly surprised. Most of the couples she sees don’t make higher than a 4 in their first year. We were doing pretty good!

Thinking back on our first year, there are a few things that I believe contributed to our success, other than Maria and GOD:

1) Separate bathrooms

2) Separate closets

Those two are self-explanatory…having separate bathrooms and closets has accounted for about 80% of arguments we DID NOT have. Living with someone is tough…and taking that commitment means you have agreed to merge your lives, your families, your worlds – and your nasty habits…its written in my gratitude journal…that I am thankful for both of those things that truly are necessities – that most couples don’t have. If we had to share any of the two – this would be a different post.

There are some other secrets as to how we survived our first year of marriage…like trust and respect…but the most important to us is PRAYER. I grew up in a household where both of my parents served – the SAME GOD – together. And I’ve seen couples that are on two different pages when it comes to their beliefs and their spirituality. I am grateful EVERY NIGHT that my husband chooses to get on bended knee and take the lead in prayer, without me asking! There’s never an argument or a disagreement on going to church. It’s a given in our home. I feel safe knowing that he has his own relationship with GOD and puts him at the forefront of our marriage. I grew up hearing the term “equally yoked” in the bible – and after all of these year, I finally experienced what that meant for myself.

Then there is COMMUNICATION…there are things that happen in the course of your journey with another human being – that they don’t always share with you…something said that hurts, something not said that irks you….little things that may grow to bigger things. In my marriage, its hard for Bobby to communicate at times – he prefers to shut down and hold it all in (as most men are). I’m kinda black + white – let’s get it out in the open and deal with it – type of chick (as most women are). But I’m grateful that we have someone who can help us to talk thru any issues that we have – coming from a neutral place. Bobby wasn’t doing cartwheels when the idea of marriage counseling first came into play…he came in kicking and screaming, in his mind. Our very first session went pretty quickly….I did ALL of the talking. At the end of the session, Maria kindly asked that I stay home next time and that he come alone.

The sessions got better each time we went and Bobby was at the point where he looked forward to seeing Maria. Even just a few months ago – I knew something was bothering him and I asked him several times to tell me what’s on his mind…he resisted and said – “I’ll just wait till we see Maria.” I then asked “why would you pay to tell someone what’s bothering you – when you could tell me FOR FREE??!!!” We both laughed and he realized there was truth in that statement – and he opened up and we had a great conversation…that was a big step in our marriage because the reality is – all of the tools that Maria had been sharing with us – was put into practice in one conversation…and it was a success. Marriage counseling to us has been our form of preventive care.

So today we celebrate our FABULOUS FIRST…I’m thankful for a memorable and fun wedding day that I can reminisce about…But what I’m most thankful for is a fabulous first year of marriage – surrounded by friends and family who support and encourages us in our journey.

Here’s to year two…any many more!


Mrs. Metelus

Two Hearts…One Love…April 9, 2011


You know that line we tell ourselves “I’ll start working out again on Monday.” Well its Tuesday and I finally made it back to the gym after taking a month off…Decided I’d ease my way back in with my favorite gym past time – yoga!

And I quit…failed…just walked outta my yoga class…gave up 30 mins into the class cause I didn’t have one more downward dog in me. Mind you, I’ve been doing yoga now for over a year and a half and never walked out of a class…so as I looked around planning my great escape – I see bodies as flexible as rubber bands…barely breaking a sweat…looking like they were in an orgasmic state of onesess with the earth. Meanwhile, I’m already tired, outta breath, looking anxiously at the clock – and we were just getting past the meditation/breathing stage.

Not sure why I gave up…this was my big Monday workout comeback – on Tuesday…now I did take a zumba class before the yoga – but that never stopped me before. Either way – I looked at my sister, Donna who I begged to come with me and told her that I was ready to go…wrapped up my mat, threw on my socks and sneakers, held my head up high and walked outta the class. I patted myself on the back for my 30-minute breath workout.

Some days you have it in you and other times you don’t..I’ll start again on Monday.  Namaste.