Dear Special Needs Mom

The ASD Episode

 

This Chiqui Pineda Show Episode 22 was originally posted back in March, 2015.

Fast-forward to today, 2018, I received this touching message in my Facebook inbox recently.

It made me fill up with joy and gratitude beyond words. Thank you so much, M. And thanks for letting me share your message. Your words are most touching and truly inspiring. ♥️

Hi Miss Chiqui,

I came across your radio station when I was Googling you, Miss Chiqui Pineda. I am your fan. I love your song “How Did You Know”. The reason I started to Google you is because you were in Miss Fe delos Reyes’ Show, “Fency Comedy Show”, here in Milpitas, CA, yesterday, May 18. Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch it because I have to babysit my kids.

Okay, so, while I was listening to your songs & browsing, I came across this episode, TCPS Episode 22, For Special Needs Moms. It immediately hit me. I am a special needs mom. I have two kids in the spectrum. I have three sons & two of them have ASD. My 2nd son, 18 yo, now a freshman in a university, diagnosed with Asperger’s, high functioning, super smart, was mainstreamed in school, also has Tourette’s Syndrome, anxiety & depression.

My youngest son, 7 yo, diagnose at 18 months, in special needs class, has ID & Tourette’s Syndrome. In 2012, I have to quit my job so I can attend my youngest son’s numerous appointments. He started attending Early Intervention at 18 months. Therefore, I can very well relate with Maria, Charina, and the rest of the moms in the stories. While I was listening to your interview with Maria, I felt like she was describing me and my family. My youngest was the first to be diagnosed in 2012.

My 2nd son, because he was very smart & we were never educated on Autism, was diagnosed in 2013. I agree with her, & I believe all autism parents, especially moms, as well, that the first thing that I felt is GUILT. I asked myself many, many, many times what I did wrong. I got angry & cried a lot. Why? Why did it happen to us, why my kids, & why two of them? Until now, I still have those moments.

To tell you the truth, I have depression myself. So, to know and to hear those words from a special needs mom herself, is very comforting. You see, Autism does not have a cure. It is a life long condition. That is why, the fear of all autism parents, is, what happens to our children after we are gone? I agree with Charina, I can also relate to her. We have to take care of ourselves. I gained a lot of weight, I have hbp, depression, etc.

I work full time now as well and work is also very stressful and demanding. I used to attend Zumba classes 5 times a week but in the last three years, sadly, I cannot attend anymore, I sometime feel like I have no more energy, I am feeling a lot of pains and aches now, etc. Three weeks ago, I decided to start being active again. I told myself, how can I be a good mom to my kids if I cannot function properly, emotionally and physically. Being a special needs mom requires a lot of physical and emotional strength. I apologize if this is long. I wanted to write too so I can share it with other moms. (Not long at all, Ms M. It’s perfect in its sincerity and vulnerability.)

Thank you so much for your God-given talent. Good luck and may continue to be angel to more moms.

From M, in California, USA.

🌹🌹🌹

Jeanette AKA Maria and Wruddy Chawing, look at your gift that keeps giving! Love you both so much and thanks again for sharing your stories with me. Three years later, still touching hearts. ❤️#specialneeds #specialneedskids  #ASD  #specialneedsmom #autism #disability

Below is the Pinoy Radio Episode 22 Mom M. was referring to. Enjoy!

 

 

 

pinoyradioIn celebration of all the tireless (but very tired!) Special Needs Moms all over the world who are patiently and lovingly caring for their special children! 

Courage in Creativity and Special Caring,

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When I first fell in love with one Jack Azimi 15 years ago…

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Royalton, Punta Cana, Feb2015. Azimi Family Holiday

 

Today, as I write this post on Family Day here in Toronto, I honor and raise a glass to both my Azimi and Pineda families.  Join us at 6PM, Eastern Time, 7PM Phil.Time on PinoyRadio.com for the replay of The Chiqui Pineda Show featuring these lovely peeps, my family (and Albert! ^_^)

When I first fell in love with one Jack Azimi 15 years ago, I didn’t get to meet any of his family right away.

It was about a year later when I got to meet, first, his brother and bestfriend, Mikee, then my biyenans, Momoni and Babajaan shortly after that. They all came to Manila to visit us and get to know my side of the family.

Upon migrating to Canada after our eldest son, Sol, was born, I met the rest of the Azimi clan, a verrry BIG clan.  It was overwhelming to say the least. Them being Muslim, there were a whole lot of differences in culture and practices (3-4…sometimes 5 kisses on the cheeks? Every single time?!? What the… :D) not to mention the shock of moving to a different country with a tiny human being in tow.

As all family adjustments go, we went through our share of ups and downs, y’know…bumpy grounds. My Afghan family, if anything, is passionate and intense with everything: from showing affection to expressing all types of emotions, sharing opinions and preferences…let’s just say they’re not a shy bunch, no ma’am.

I am a Filipina, born and raised. Although my Mom and Dad will say I am a tigre, more feisty than finesse and not so much your typical Binibini, I am still steeped in the Pinoy cultures, a more joyful Bahala Na systems: even-tempered/mahinahon, patient, sometimes to a fault and quick to turn the other cheek as taught to us by the Catholic church. Pero wag ka. May balik yang cheek-turning na yan…that when my In-tseek, gengis khan ancestry rises to the occasion, I may just karate chop and smash your family jewels to smithereens if need be. And yes, there are times when this practice is necessary.

As for the more traditional Pinoy ways, these are the complete opposite of what Jack believes. Yes, we have many similarities, a big one being a very strong connection to our families, and a deep faith in God – yes, there is only One.  But our shy, makimkim ways are not his ways. He believes in “putting it out there”, the good, the bad, the ugly, the glory.  All or nothing.

As the years went by, him and I have had many learning moments. Ooh, we’ve had our world-wars, trust me! but we overcame, time and again with lots of love and patience and a deep respect for each other, and God-willing, for as long as we live. One of the best lessons, for me, is this:

We can definitely learn from, live with and grow because of each other’s ways, different as they are.  

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Photography and Direction by Rony Rodriguez, Royalton Resort’s Photo Studio. Notice the look of utter disgust in the kids…obvious kahit profile siya! LOL

 

Jack has taught me to be bolder with my expressions. To stand up for what I believed in and yes, even if it meant fighting what he believed and battle it out til ours heads hurt and throats got sore. (Love takes Work, right, Liezl? ;))

The Azimi family, as a whole, have shared with me their affectionate and caring ways, this I will always and forever cherish.

Jack has, admittedly, learned, among other things, to listen more and practice our Pinoy style patience instead of exploding and going para (from the word, paranormal, a word we use when one goes berserk-y) at every other argument.

You know what? I feel most deeply blessed because, as the years went by, I’ve come to see for myself that this intensity and passion was also ever-present in the loving and caring and watching out for each other. There wasn’t a favor too big, a need too much or a problem too heavy for Jack and my Azimi family not to come to my aid at the drop of a hat for, and I mean that literally. If I needed something, no matter big or small, someone from the family would be at the door not more than a couple of hours later, be it something as small as garlic for my adobo (thanks, M. 🙂 or a life- changing shoulder to cry on moment. (thank, B.) <3

Yes, they were overwhelmingly, too in-your-face, especially in the beginning. That was only because I was used to my family’s more of loving-from-a-distance way of being. My Pineda family didn’t lack for love and support either but it was, as most fellow Pinoys would have it, more of a per occassion – bdays, holidays, graduations, atbp. connection as opposed to a daily, morning-noon-and-night huddle/phone-call/home-visit ritual, Afghan style. Ok, I may exaggerating a bit but only a teeny-tiny bit. :p

After over a decade of being surrounded by my Azimi family here in Toronto, I see and honor the wisdom of the tightly-wound and closely-knit as it gives one a sense of real comfort during the hard times.

Not one family’s way is better than the other. Different, yes. I welcome and cherish both styles. What a great balance I’ve got and I am so very grateful for this.

Be it helping take care of the kids during the early years, moving homes and doing the heavy lifting – both literal and figurative weights – and helping Jack and I navigate the turbulent formative years of our marriage and helping us emotionally, financially, spiritually with powerful prayers and novenas – both my Pineda and Azimi families are my heroes.

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My Babies. Now and forever and ever and ever. I love you three soooo much!

To my Mamay and Daday, Thank you.  For giving birth to one Pinay tigré and teaching me loving patience and as my own Daday always said, Chikay, you’ve got resilience.  Buti nalang!

And tashukur, Momoni and Babajaan, for having your lionhearted Afghan man, My Man, Jack; bold and brave and always there for me, no matter what, with whom I am now raising our own growing family.  Our children are so very blessed to have all kinds of love and care from both sides of the world.
Cheers to the all my families, be they mixed or pure, blood-related or not, all over the globe and may the mysterious and marvelous circle of life go on and on and my prayer is for our children to have the same beautiful and rich experience when their time comes.  Bakhire/Bathala na!

In the end, there is indeed, only One.

 

Courage in Creativity,

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 Join us tonight, Wednesday at 6:00PM, Eastern Time, Thursday 7:00AM Phil.Time on PinoyRadio.com for the Replay of The Chiqui Pineda Show (TCPS) featuring these lovely peeps, my family (and Albert! ^_^)

TCPS is live every Sunday, 5PM to 6PM/EST and every Monday 6AM-7AM/Phil.Time only on www.pinoyradio.com.  ChikaBlessings!

 

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My Beloved Azimi Family, Momonijaan, Babajaan and the whole gang creating fabulous memories together in Punta Cana.

 

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Thank you, Punta Cana, for the beautiful memories! Thank God for my wonderful and loving families!

 

How does one go from feeling unforgettably lost to finally feeling found? The First 2015 Post. 1/52.

Searching for Answers

I feel so lost. I’ve been feeling this way for a few days now. Even weeks. It all started when the cold started. Like the creative gung-ho sure-footedness of September and October just all went down the dark and endless wormhole of things lost and gone forever. Why the F does this happen to me every winter? I keep thinking to myself year after year: This is it!  This is the year I kick the nasty winter blues and the intense holiday homesickness.  Since it’s now Year X (I’ve been living this Canadian experience for over a decade now) I know I can handle this like a champ this time around.

Well, I couldn’t be more wrong. Again. Because I feel more like a chump.

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Yup, a foolish or easily deceived person.  I have deceived myself one more time.  Hopefully, the last time.  Or I may just thump my chumpy head with this thick lump of wood they speak of!

I’m listening to Unforgettable on my 100im.perfect.song project as I type. By chance, I found it again. I was just bouncing about pages, researching ideas, websites, searching…for what, I didn’t know anymore and ended up here.

Then I thought to myself: Not bad. Not bad at all, Chiquiness. I recorded this version in the spring of 2013, May 19 to be exact and there it is. Scratchy yet something sentimental and singy-songy-i-sang, damn it! Yes, I did. No matter the weather…in my body, mind, in my then-very sore throat! The feat was somewhat unforgettable, if I may brag a bit.  To me, it is.  And 9 people did “like” it and a sweetheart bonafide artist “Ganda!!!”-hearted it.    Self-talk mode: No matter the approvals, woman.  YOU enjoyed it and that’s what really matters.  Also, as bad as you felt then, you’re still able to come up with songs, not just any song, Unforgettable songs!  Do remember that, will you?!?

For the past three months, Oct-Nov-Dec, this writing hour was The Chiqui Pineda Show time slot. It feels strange not doing the work at this time. I have a very strong missing and longing feeling for the show and my PRC family. Yes, even if the show has been giving me sleepless nights and more white hairs and eyebags than I care to share about. I hear Liezl’s admonition once more: Love takes Work.  Amen. And The Work has moved to Sundays. 5PM/EST!

Nailed It

This, folks, is my version of the Nail Story that Amanda Palmer’s mentor shared with her and her with me from her book.  (Yes, grab the book. FAST. It’s worth every centavo, my fellow ever-reluctant artist. You’re welcome. 😉  I added the audiobook link because  I think AP is 100x better heard than read.)

You know the story. To those who haven’t heard it yet, here it is, just for you ~

Story goes, there once lived a farmer and his farm dog on their farmland.

They were a happy farmer and farm dog for the most part.

One day, the farmer’s BFF visits the farmland and hears this unforgettable howl out of the barn where the farm dog likes to hang out.

What in the world…* says the BFF. *What’s going on with FarmDog?

Oh, that’s just FarmDog howling his pain howl, says Farmer.

Why?! wonders BFF, alarmed.

He’s sitting on a nail. Again.

What?!? Why the f…

And another more unforgettable howl ensues.

WTF?!? half-yells BFF. What’s going on now?!!

Oh, that’s just FarmDog howling his bigger pain howl. says Farmer.

What now?!! wonders alarmed BFF.

FarmDog’s still sitting on the nail.

The F…WHY???

*dramatic pause*
.
.
.

It don’t hurt enough yet.

 I’m imagining the farmer’s from good old Tennessee so pardon the tenses, ma’am-sir. 😀

So.  Back to the proverbial Nail.

This winter’s proverbial nail and my ass meet yet again. As I sit on it…well, the holiday hoopla moment’s passed so I kindda got off it already and am now back to life and reality as are all of us here and there, I make the commitment, actually there a few of them. I boldly spell them out here for you, dear wruddy and readers here, so you can help me remember!  Gad, please help me remember and if I do forget, I give you full permission to boink me on the head with a proverbial hammer and nail.

My 2015 Commitments (to saving my sanity) are ~

1) To go home during the holidays. This is non-negotiable. Get it, Chiquita? Get it already that there is no need to sit on this nail yet again.

2) To save up for this trip because it is an expensive trip having 5 of us traveling across the ocean.

3) To dedicate part of my life’s Work to saving up for this trip and make sure that it feeds the work as the work feeds it. Ahhh, the yin and yang of living the artist’s life.

4) To remind Self of this weekly, if not daily.

5) To continue The Work and allow it to nurture Self and Others as I do the same for It.

Unforgettable. We all strive to be such. Yet we fail over and over again. Once in a great while we, umm…nail it. :p

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And here’s my Chiquiness for today ~

We simply need to remember that it is in the striving (towards our soul-goal) and not the sitting (on our sorry ass) that we get the most of life’s rewards. 😉

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And now, let me ask YOU? What nails are you still sitting on, my dear fellow creative?

What kind of nail-sitting would you like to stop already? What kind of striving are you going to commit to this 2015?

Sharing is caring and I thank you, sincerely, for choosing to keep the CP company.

Do SUBSCRIBE if you haven’t yet!

Salamat!  And here’s to YOU finding your shimmering Self over and over again and to soul*full Striving in 2015!!!

waldo finds himself

Courage in Creativeness,

Chiquiness

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A gentle reminder to keep me company on TCPS, this time, every SUNDAY, 5PM on www.pinoyradio.com.

 

Featuring | VEHNEE SATURNO | With Me On TCPS This Saturday

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*He is the genius behind Martin Nievera’s “Be My Lady,” Ariel Rivera’s “Sana Kahit Minsan,” and Ella Mae Saison’s “Till My Heartaches End.”…and proud to add, my personal ‘discoverer’, mentor and producer of my first and most successful album.

Indeed, Vehnee Saturno has come a long way since he first entered the country’s music scene in 1982 via the prestigious Metro Pop Music Festival.

The son of a carpenter and a housewife, Saturno struggled with poverty along with his nine other siblings. He claims in interviews that it was the plain hardship of living poor that inspired him to create songs that appeal to the heart of the masses.

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Stick it…and shine!

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“There’s always going to be bad stuff out there. But here’s the amazing thing — light trumps darkness, every time. You stick a candle into the dark, but you can’t stick the dark into the light.” ~ Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart