The Heart of a Dancer..A Queen Remembered

Good morning ladies and gentleman, as October comes to a close for the month, we remember those who have fought for their lives and are still fighting to this day to find a cure for a disease that comes in many forms. This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and our job is to be educated and aware of the early signs and stay united in the fight for the cure. Breast Cancer is not just a women’s disease but also a men’s disease.

I want to tell you a story about a daughter, mother, wife and accomplished dancer. Her name Sonia Vargas.

This is her story told by my dear friend Valerie Padilla, her daughter.

Sonia Vargas, 23 years ago never knew that simply taking a bathe would change her life forever. She worked as a secretary, was a dedicated mom, wife and she loved to dance. She taught her daughter Valerie, everything she knows about dancing, which I have witnessed first hand, from the Salsa, Tango, Fandango, Bolero and many more. Sonia was around 39 years old when she discovered a lump under her arm during a routine breast exam. Monthly exams of your breast are very important for early detection.

After discovering this lump, she immediately went to the doctor and had a mammogram done and they discovered a mass in the early stages. They were able to start her on chemo and began her fight. Sonia, a beautiful woman, lost all her hair and like most woman, the depression started and she felt she was no longer attractive. The family did everything they could to help her regain her confidence by buying her wigs and telling her she was beautiful everyday to keep her spirits up. Positive prayers and proper treatments made the cancer go away….so they thought.

One year later, the breast cancer that once was a distant memory, came back more aggresive. Sonia was given not alot of options accept for a masectomy. Women who are faced with the prospect of losing their breast, it is not an easy decision. We pride ourselves on how we look and in making this decision she decided to do nothing. Of course, the cancer decided to spread and it invaded so aggressively that it grew out of her body as a 3rd breast on her chest and became a part of her everyday life. She, like many women loved to look and smell good at all times and to have to live day by day with a growth on her chest, losing her hair and feeling sick all the time, it felt like she lost a big part of herself.

Her daughter Valerie, said that as her mom became sicker, she had to take care of her bathing and feeding her regularly. Valerie accounts that the growth smelled like rotten meat to everyone and people stared at her all the time. As the months went by, she became thin and frail and was admitted near Fathers Day of June 1998. The hospital she was admitted to was where she worked and she had the best care around her family and friends. When she was in the hospital, her doctor told her that it was so aggressive that chemo was not working and there was no cure.

She had to make another decision and she decided to keep it from her kids. Valerie was a teenager and being the oldest of 3 children, she felt helpless, pain and she wanted to do everything she could to take care of her mom. Her mom was her inspiration and hero growing up doing the dance group together and she just wanted to help her mom. After awhile, Sonia couldn’t speak but she could hear everyone. All her family, friends and co-workers did a prayer chain and sent flowers to lift her spirits.

October 24, 1998, Sonia Vargas got her wings at the age of 42 and left behind a spirit in her family that will last forever. It has been 21 years and Valerie celebrates life everyday for her.

Valerie and the women of her Empowerment Group just recently took a trip to Puerto Rico October 11, 2019 and we celebrated Valerie’s 43rd birthday!! Chapter 43 for Valerie was important to her and sharing her moms story touched all of us.

Her moms angelic looks, spirit, heart for dance, her love and caring for others and beautiful personality inside and out shines through her everyday.

Below is a chart of what to look for when you do your monthly breast exam. Early detention is the key.

I want to give a big thank you to Valerie Padilla for allowing me to share her mom’s story and to educate other women about the importance of early detection and treatments.

“Living my birthdays not just for me but for my mom’s life” Valerie Padilla

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My life as a mom…making it easier on myself

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Moms lets face it we have way too much to do everyday and we think there is no way to make it easier…actually, I have found alot of ways to make things easier on myself. Meet me and my teens…

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My kids are now teens and I thought it would be easier as they got older…nope…it just gets more difficult to communicate to your family that you need help. I have a disability, so everything I do daily centers around making sure that things get taken care of around the house. Every once and awhile, my teens amaze me and do something without asking. I love being a mom but I am so tired all the time.
I am getting a lot of request from moms about how I come up with all these ideas to make things simpler in my household. So I am going to share with you 5 tips on how I manage my daily maintenance with 5 grown people in the house….
  • Tip #1 Everyone knows that laundry is a pain and if you could do less of it you would, right? Everyday, I heard from the kids “Where are all the towels?” or “Every time I go to wash up there are no towels?” Someone would be assigned to them and wouldn’t do them so I got frustrated with them using our whole inventory of 15 towels in one day so I reduced everyone to a lovely beach towel cloths. My husband loves Star Trek so special ordered it, I have the Tiger because I love them, Briana has a doggy because she loves animals, Devon loves wrestling so I special ordered the All-stars WWE and Jr. has the Patriots, which is his favorite team. These do not absorb water and can be reused over and over until they are dirty. We only do the wash cloths and hand towels which is so much better.FB_IMG_1558746059035
  • Tip #2 Writing notes around the house…very important!! For some reason, saying it and writing it gets two different results. From air conditioner settings, to trash and recycle to driver safety. We are recycling now to use less trash bags and it saves a lot of money. If anyone has teen drivers, the S.M.I.T.H method will help in guiding them in checking the right things when getting in the car. I came up with this when my oldest started driving 5 years ago and now I use it for my daughter.FB_IMG_155874606473120190523_112835[1]
  • Tip #3 Cleaning supplies have gone down to bare essentials. I have found that the chemicals are too toxic to me, pets and the environment, so I only use Vinegar, Water and for tough stains baking soda. To clean messes off counters we use the towels given to us from the Florida Tropics soccer game we go to. Make sure you keep Clorox wipes to clean off phones since they have more germs than a toilet seat.FB_IMG_1558746069653
  • Tip #4 Kitchen cabinet organization is a must! I had to redo all the cabinets because I could never find anything. It helps when putting groceries away.FB_IMG_1558746074875
  • Tip #5 Last but not least…please have monthly family meetings. We set up who does chores and talk about what is going on the next month. Communication is important in a house with many people, always include the children’s input. Chore charts for reminders and schedule times for work and activities are marked down.FB_IMG_1558746080218

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We Got This!!!

Here are some books available online to also help moms with making their lives a little easier….

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Blessings to Success……with Anjie

About the Author:

    Anjie Williams-Brown is from Nashville, Tennessee.  Her background and specialty is organization. ​ She lives in Nashville Tennessee but home is Birmingham Alabama. Anjie has three children and six awesome grandchildren, the youngest is two and the oldest is 15. She is married to an awesome man of God. She is the proud owner of Phoenix Rising, specializing in handmade candles and glass etching.  She also enjoys reading, writing, and crafts of all types.
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*To find out more about Anjie on Facebook by clicking here Anjie Williams-Brown

AGAINST ALL ODDS by Anjie Williams-Brown
 Imagine what it would be like if everyone allowed life’s obstacles to slow them down. Just think how stagnated life would be if we allowed two little words to control our lives. Those two little words are “I Can’t”. I can’t causes several domino effects:
1. It puts our minds in a defeatist state.
2. It causes us not to accomplish our goals.
3. It is contagious; it tends to affect everyone around you.
There are a few things that come into play if those two words take up residence in our minds:
1. We sell ourselves short. 
2. We will not allow ourselves to reach our peak potential.
3. We exhibit a negative opinion ourselves.
Think for a moment—what if………
1. Justin Timberlake was afraid to sing.
2. Daniel Radcliffe had never stepped out to be Harry 
Potter.
3. Howie Mandel didn’t start out on St. Elsewhere.
4. Jay Leno never told a joke
5. Keanu Reeves, Whoopie Gold berg, Sylvester Stallone 
and Danny Glover all stuck their heads in the sand.
If they used the “I can’t” theory they would have never been successful. Justin Timberlake has a combination of ADD and OCD. Daniel Radcliffe has dyspraxia –a neurological disorder that affects his motor skills. Howie Mandel is ADHD and OCD. Keanu Reeves, Whoopie Gold berg, Sylvester Stallone, Jay Leno and Danny Glover are all dyslexic.
There are so many ordinary people with extreme dysfunctions, the Vietnam vets who lost their limbs, but never stopped striving for a better world. The banker with Multiple Sclerosis. The lawyer with the scars of Polio or the quadriplegic mother of three. Yet, they never stopped realizing their dreams or reaching their goals.
  Each of us are reasonably healthy, but yet we constantly use the words “I can’t”. Can’t is such a helpless word that it needs and apostrophe to hold it together. As women of faith we should never put I and can’t in the same sentence. It has been said that God has blessings stored up for us and all we have to do is ask. If we constantly say “I Can’t” we will never be in a position to receive them. Remember, some of our best accomplishments are the ones we obtained against all odds.
Anjetta (Anjie ) Williams-Brown

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