La Flor Manor Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

 

Lizette Montclaire, a thirty-four-year-old attorney, had left her home in Colorado, to escape her job, cheating boyfriend, and hectic life. She traveled to a small town in Mexico in hopes of hiding away for a month or two, to figure out her life. She had the world, or so she thought, and in one day she lost it all. She was a very successful attorney working at her dream job, she was on the verge of making partner, and engaged to her college sweetheart. She began working at Carmichael’s Law Firm as a bright-eyed intern while she was still in law school. After ten years with the firm, her hard work was finally paying off. The firm had announced a few days earlier, that they were adding a partner and given the impression that Lizette was top in line for the position. She had the clientele, experience, and success rate with the firm. The announcement came, and in a matter of minutes Lizette’s dreams turned into nightmares. Her dream position had been given to her fiance Bradley. Bradley and Lizette had dated through college and both interned at Carmichael’s. Bradley however, had gone to work with another firm after law school, saying he could not work at the same firm as his girlfriend, because it would just cause problems. Four years ago, he had finally proposed, and then decided to go to work at Carmichael’s, to have more time with Lizette. He used the hectic hours of work as an excuse why he needed to work closer to her. He really was a great attorney, but Lizette could not understand why he got the partnership she rightly deserved. After demanding answers from Mr. Carmichael, himself, she found the final shards of her life shattered into sand. She wished now, she could forget the conversation she had that day. The one that destroyed her dreams and changed her life forever.

“But Mr. Carmichael, I do not understand how you could overlook me like this. I will admit Bradley is a wonderful asset to the company and a very competent attorney, but I have a longer history, with more clients, and have been successful and loyal to the firm for the last ten years. I deserve to be partner. I at least deserve an answer as to why with all that you chose Bradley.”

“Lizette, this is nothing personal You are one of our top attorneys and greatest assets. We are very impressed with your work and abilities. You have proved yourself capable of taking on whatever we throw at you. We just decided we wanted to keep the firm in the family.”

She stared at Mr. Carmichael in a confused daze. “Then why Bradley? He is not a Carmichael.”

“Not yet my dear, but very soon. He has finally made it official with a proposal.”

Again, confused Lizette stumbled through her next question. “A proposal…what do you mean?”

“I am sorry dear, I thought everyone knew. Bradley and my granddaughter Christine have been dating for about three years now and last week he finally asked the question. Of course, we had no problem accepting him, he is a great man and has shown a lot of ambition and we know he will go far. Who better could we ask for? So, when we started talking partner, we decided that he would be the perfect person to carry on the family business. My granddaughter has no interest in law, so naturally we turned it to him. Has the husband of my dear Christy, he can carry on the family business and she won’t have to be bothered.”

Lizette stared at him as if he was a ghost that just appeared. Horror and disbelief filling her face. Her knees went weak and she found it hard to stay standing and even harder to move. Then the room went black.

“Lizette….Liz are you okay? No, don’t try to get up. The doctor is on his way.” Mr. Carmichael was looking down on her from the side of what she found to be his office chaise. Her head ached terribly and her vision was a little blurry. She fought hard to wipe away the daze she was in and get up, with no success. “Don’t get up dear. You hit your head pretty hard when you fainted. It is best to wait for the doctor to check you out before trying to move.”

Lizette heard the words, but did not quite process them. She was trying to remember what had happened and brought her to this place. As she began to remember the horror began to fill her again. Again she tried to rise, she managed to pull herself to a sitting position, against the wishes of Mr. Carmichael, who insisted she wait for the doctor. At that moment the door opened to reveal the doctor, followed by Bradley. Panic set in and Lizette knew she had to escape this scene before any more damage was done to her already fragile emotional state. As the doctor accessed her head injury, she kept her eyes closed, hoping nobody would obligate her to talk or look at them. She was unsure of her ability to do so rationally. When the doctor had finished Lizette, rose and left the room, assuring the men that she fine. She half stumbled to her office, quickly gathered her purse and jacket and escaped before the men had finished talking with the doctor. Outside the bright sun shot pain through her head, but she pressed on. Starting her car she pulled out of her spot just in time to see Bradley exiting the building and headed her way. She drove away, avoiding eye contact, knowing she would have to stop if she looked at him. Racing away she drove to her condo. Half running, she took the stairs in twos. Fumbling to unlock the door and re lock it once securely inside. Not taking time to think she entered her room. Opening the closet,, she threw a suitcase on her bed and started filling it with clothes. She was on autopilot, her body was making the moves with no thought from her mind. Her thoughts were still frozen on her conversation with Mr. Carmichael. She went in the bathroom and gathered the essentials, then did the same in the living room and kitchen. Closing the suitcase and grabbing her purse, she headed back to her car. With everything loaded she started it and backed out of her space. The phone rang. By the ringtone she knew it was Bradley. She pulled back in and put the car in park.

“Hello.” Her voice was shaky and she tried to control it.

“Honey, where are you?” His words made her cringe. “I tried to catch you before you left so I could drive you home. Are you alright?”

He obviously didn’t know of the conversation she had with Mr. Carmichael, or he was just playing innocent. Either way, she was not going to tell him she knew. “I am fine. Just have a headache and need to rest. I am outside my house now, getting ready to go in.” She lied.

“I will come over and check on you as soon as I finish up here at the office. Do you need anything?”

“No I am just going to rest, I am fine.”

“Okay get some rest and I will see you in a little while. I love you.”

His words caused a lump to swell in her throat and she knew she was about to cry. “I will” she choked out and hung up the phone, before he could say anything else. As she drove down the road the tears filled her eyes. Reality started to take hold. She went from anger to devastation back to anger and settled into determination. She knew that she had to leave and she was determined to do it before anyone could change her mind. She drove to the airport and asked where the next available flight was going. It was going to Acapulco, Mexico. She paid the ticket, checked her bags and found a quiet seat to await her boarding call. She grabbed her phone and began searching hotels outside of Acapulco. Having been there before, she had no desire to be in the hectic tourist life right now. She found a hotel in a small-town North of Acapulco. Surrounded by mountains and trails it seemed like the perfect place to escape and rethink her life. She made a reservation for thirty days and settled back in her chair to rest.

The Journey to a Better Me

Good morning all. As I am sitting here recovery from surgery I thought I would share some thoughts with you.

The road of life is filled with ups, downs, and about a million curves. We all traverse the obstacles along the way in our own unique manner. I have watched many both glide through, as well as crash into these obstacles. This always leaves me wondering about the path my life has taken and what the future may hold. I have followed everyone else’s dreams for me. I have been led and told which way to go. I have followed my own dreams and they have led me to what I am currently doing. I have a wonderful life, get to write every day, and watch my children work towards their own happily ever after. This last path is the road for me.

I want to encourage you all to follow your dreams. Make your own path. Live for the love of living. Only by believing in yourself and listening to your heart can true happiness be achieved. Our dreams change along this path of life, but that is what makes it so great. We can have more than one dream, and realize them all. Follow you and believe in yourself.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you find inspiration in everything you see.

Sharing Me

Benjamin Franklin aptly wrote, “Time is Money”. Little did he know that these three words would become the motto for most American homes and companies. I myself have fallen under the curse of these words. We all have bills to pay and goals to reach. But at what cost?

I have come to the conclusion recently, however, that while time is money, time should also be family, friends, dreams, and hopes. While we are earning our money and dredging through our daily lives, we all need to take time to share ourselves, as well.

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We need to take the time to show our loved ones that they matter. We build our homes to live in with our families. However, how often do we take time to live in our homes with our families? I mean really live. To laugh and share a movie, or play a game. To really enjoy each others company. This is what we all work for, so why do we never take time to do it?

Many claim to have dinner together, to spend time together watching tv. But let’s be honest. How much of that time is spent on your phones, computers, social media and the likes? We need to put all of these vices aside and make time, not only for ourselves but for those we love. If we miss out on the times now, when will we ever have the time to get it back? I too am guilty of these vices. I work and clean and very seldom have time just to sit and watch a movie with my family. The other night I made time, yes I should have been doing something else, I made time though to live with my family. To enjoy the laughter that filled the room while we watched a movie together. It was not a long time, but it was quality time. This small gesture renewed our family spirit. It gave us a connection that while not broken, becomes quite frayed from lack of emotional connection. I loved this time and so did they, and honestly the time I lost working was easily made up the next day.

So this is my challenge to all of my friends, family, and readers. I want you to turn off your day, so to speak for at least 2 hours a week. Find the time, make the time, whatever you need to do. Take this time to do something meaningful with your loved ones or friends. Make this time count for more than money. Then share with us memories you have made.

Remember as always stay inspired and live to inspire. I hope to hear all of your success stories soon.

 

Mary

Letting Loss Propel Your Life

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Moving Through the Loss of a Child

Losing a child is one of the worst possible life events to imagine. It is even harder to live through it. The pain and guilt you feel is unbearable or feels that way at least. Finding a way to move forward, becomes a daily struggle. Before you know it years have passed and looking back what do you see? If the answer is anything other than survival and or success, it might be time for a new approach.

As a mother who has lived this devastating event, I know the struggle to find that one thing (or many things) that will help you cope. Although we are all different in many ways, we can all come through this tragedy. Some use faith, family, medicine, therapy or any number of coping methods. I personally chose inspiration, and let my grief inspire me to become more.

Let me start at the beginning, not to tell my sob story, but to show a path to success. In 2008 I was a single parent of four children, aged 6 months, 2, 3, and 14 years. My children were and still are my world. I had not finished high school, I had a minimal education, so I was working as a bartender at night to pay the bills and let me be with my children, in their awake hours. This is when my world ended, and my new life began. Ten days after my son turned 2, I returned home from a night at work to find he had passed away during the night. Coroners best guess a cardio arrhythmia. I thought my world was over. My little boy was gone and I couldn’t make it better for myself or my remaining children. I won’t lie, I still have moments when the feeling seizes me today, but only occasionally. I went through all of the emotions, I think any mother experiences with this type of loss. First came overbearing grief, that changed into denial, anger, and guilt. Guilt was the one that changed my life though. Though I know now that this tragedy was not my fault, nor could I have changed the outcome in any way, during my time of grief I was convinced I should have done better. So that is what I did.

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With three other children who needed a mother who was not shattered, I used my grief to inspire me to be better. I wanted to be sure that my children would have a mother to be proud of and that they would always be protected. Now if you ask my children (especially my 13-year-old daughter) I go too far in the protection department, but that is my job. Holding to my faith and the belief that my son and I will see each other in our next life, I set out to give him someone he would be proud to see again. I enrolled in college, (taking most of my classes online) and through the support of the great man I married in 2009, I have earned my Associate and Bachelor degrees. Through all of my schooling, I have thankfully been fortunate enough to be home with my children. Not only have I been able to support them through every step they have taken, they have supported and inspired me to continue to be more. My journey is far from over and I look forward to what the future holds for all of us.

My son is still and will forever be in my daily thoughts, however, instead of feeling grief, I feel hope and happiness. I know that when we meet again, he will be proud of his mommy and who I have become. I still have days when I am sad that he is not here and I will forever miss him, but knowing that I am making him and my other children proud inspires me to keep moving forward and always aspire to be the best I can be.

We all deal with loss in our own way. Each of us has our own battles to overcome. Through our differences though, we all have one common thread, love. Letting this love for our lost one inspire our future, can propel us to achieve great things. Not inspire us to be rich and famous, just to be our very best and always try to be more. More than we were a year ago, a month ago, yesterday, it doesn’t matter, just more. Too many times people are told to move on and let the person go, to get over it. Well, I say get inspired and in such be inspiring.

 

I hope you all have an inspired day, and every day to come is filled with immense love and inspiration for the future. Get inspired to inspire my friends.

 

Finding Time For Me

Every person needs time to breathe. Unfortunately, in the fast paced world we live in, many don’t experience this time near enough. That is the topic today. Finding time in our chaotic schedules, for ourselves.

We all have our schedules, whether we actually stick to them as planned or not, we have them. Most days in our house start out with breakfast and getting ready for school. Then comes cleaning and cooking, while the masses are away. After school are groups, homework, sports, chores, dinner, baths, and bed. So, where in there is rest or time to think about ones own desires. As a mother, this thought often seems selfish and indulging. However, I have come to understand, that without this time, mom is a little grumpy. Not because I am a selfish person, just because we all need to feel like we matter, and this is the time we can get that.

We spend our lives worrying about what everyone else needs to succeed and be happy. It is only natural that we should do the same for ourselves. Nurturing our own desires, does not have to be a day where we do nothing but self indulgence. It could be as simple as taking 10 minutes out of your busy day, to really enjoy a cup of coffee and think about the things that make you happy. Or maybe you could just relax in a bubble bath, and listen to your favorite music. You know the music that your children always tell you, sounds horrible, or makes no sense. The activity is not the important part, it is the giving yourself a small amount of time, to be important to yourself. This small release can stimulate your mind. By giving you a boost of confidence, it gives your whole mood a boost. Thus lifting your spirits and brightening your whole outlook. This in turn is portrayed to those around you, and can substantially lift the mood of any atmosphere.

So my challenge to all of you is to take “me time”, every day for a week, then leave a comment about your results. Share with your friends and family, the successes of your week. Let us know what worked and didn’t work for you.

No matter what else you do, stay inspired, and strive to inspire others. Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.

Mary

Raising an Adult

So today I need a little advice from my readers. All parents have been through or are going to go through my current situation. I am speaking of the transformation of ones child from child to what they consider adulthood. (To us parents this would be the teenage years.) With this joyful time of their lives comes dating decisions, like how old should they be, what requirements should be set and what are the ground rules. While, I have been through this already, with my oldest child, he is 24 now and well into making his own decisions. I started out telling my daughter when she was like 10 (and asked for the first boyfriend), that until she could give me the definition of love, she was not old enough. I figured this would give me until she was about 30 or so. No such luck. Now 13, she has decided she is old enough for a boyfriend and that love is different to everyone, so there is no definition per se. So dad tried the, “well when you show responsibility and do your chores without being told, you can have a boyfriend”. Well, guess we need a new tactic or we start entertaining the idea of a boyfriend hanging around. Not that either of us are ready for that, but a convent seems a little extreme (or maybe not).

So my question to all my fellow parents out there is: when should dating start, and how do you decide? Please leave comments with your ideas. I think this is a good topic for discussion amongst friends, family, and every parent out there.

Stay inspired all, and have a wonderful week. Hope to hear all of your views.

Mary

The Mommy Do List

Today, I decided to write something a little more fun. Many of the women I know are mothers, so I am sure you will be able to relate.

We all hear about the honey-do list, well in my house we have that, however we also have the mommy-do list. Which unfortunately (for me at least), is referred to far more often. With 5 children, ages 2, 7, 10, 13, and 24, there is never a dull moment in my house. Or time to sleep, for that matter. Most days start out wonderfully. They go something like wake up, check the whether, drink a cup of coffee, wake up children. That is where the peace of the morning normally ends in my house. From the time their beautiful eyes flutter open, the, mom I need and mom can you, begins. Mind you I wouldn’t trade these moments for the world, because I know far too soon, they will be gone. Still though, maybe say good morning first.

After the morning routines are over and I am getting ready to play taxi, the new list starts. Mom I have soccer, or don’t forget practice after school. Then, of course there always comes the days when 3 of the 5 have an event at almost the same time. These are the days I wish I had a storm shelter in the back yard. It starts out, with one politely (or so they think), telling me not to forget his or her game at such and such time. Then the other 2 chime in, (in stereo, with the bass and surround sound definitely kicked to high), with but mom you have to be at my game. I try to breathe while I wait for the storm cloud to dissipate, (let’s face it, this might be my only chance to breathe until they go to bed), and I remind them that I will be at one game until it is over and will rush to the next and so on. Then there are the days when games are at the same time, so without fail, mom is now the enemy because, she chose the other persons game. Thankfully, this rarely happens, because having 2 of 5 children mad at you at the same time is hard to keep up with.

After, sports they all come home and start the routine of, Mom, I’m hungry, what’s for dinner, and did you get my uniform washed? Then of course, while I am making dinner, one of them always asks, if they can have a snack until dinner, oh and by the way will you cut it for me too? Then five minutes later ask me if dinner is done yet. Well no honey it is not, between cutting your apple and making your sandwich, I haven’t had time to cook it yet. Come on, do I look like a machine here or what? Of course I would never say that, but think it, definitely.

Well after dinner is done and homework is checked, one would think there would be time for relaxing for five minutes right? Of course not. That’s when the next day’s list starts. With the oh yeah, I have a game tomorrow or I have a choir concert, so can you help me find my clothes? (You mean the ones I washed, folded, and put in your basket to take to your room?) I will help you look for them, just give me a minute.

All this chaos leads to my favorite part of the day, bedtime. Yeah, I know that sounds mean, but it is not for the reason you think. Bedtime is the one time during the day, when we do hugs and kisses, blessings for a good night and sweet dreams. We have five minutes of calm, where love can be seen in the eyes of each one of my precious little monkeys. Then the two year old, snuggles next to me and falls asleep. These are the moments that make the mommy-do list all worth while.

So I am sending a great big shout out to all the moms out there, and dads too, who complete this list daily, with a smile (and maybe a glass or two of wine) and treasure every moment of it. Enjoy them while they last, and treasure the young adults they become. After all, one day they will have their own lists to be completing, then they will look back and say, “Wow Mom, you did a lot. Thank you.” Of course we will reply with, just doing my job, but deep down you know your mental self is smiling ear to ear.

These are the victories in life that are worth celebrating and never letting go of. I hope your day is full of memories for tomorrow. Stay inspired and enjoy the ride.

Mary