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Tuesday, February 24, 2015



By Silvia Uribe

Yep. I'm the very proud mother of 2 young, smart, educated, independent women. I'm in my 50's, and I have devoted 30 years of my life to giving these human beings my very best with all my love, effort, time, advice, and most importantly, with my example. During these years, I watched them like a hawk, hovering over them, but not only to protect them – although no one would have been allowed to hurt them on my watch – it was more for guidance. It was very important for me to teach them about life, and about the art of making intelligent decisions; a handy skill that they would use all their life.

True, 30 years is a long time, but for responsible parents, as you know, time means absolutely nothing. They are up early, go to work, come back to cook and clean, and at night, if need be, they are ready to take care of an ill child. Do parents complain about this? All the time! However, if someone would offer to take care of our little one while he/she is boiling in fever, so we could have a good night sleep, most of us would have not taken the offer. Why? Because parenthood is an arbitrary and self-imposed control of our hearts, minds and bodies. However, for it is self-imposed, we simply assume it.

That’s exactly how I experienced it. My family and I went from one day to the next, with lots of love, laughter, enjoyment of life, and collectively, we took all the lessons that life gave us, and we moved right through them, until just a few months ago.

Last November, my oldest got married, and moved to a different city. Her wedding was perfect! The guests were the most loving guests. The bride and the groom couldn't be happier, and both families were walking on clouds. Everything was so perfect, that it was a rather surreal experience. When I finally touched ground again, in December, our youngest daughter made the decision of living independently, and moved out. She had contemplated the idea for a few months, and she did it.

After cleaning what was left behind, I found myself looking at the empty rooms like I have never seen them. They seemed bigger, lighter, inviting. But their rooms were not the only think that changed. All of a sudden, almost magically, my husband and I had more time to spend with each other. Go figure! Good thing we kept our love intact after all these years, right?

People ask about our empty nest. They wonder if I am doing ok with our new state of life. They say things like “Take it easy” and  “You’ll get used to it” – Hell yeah!

I’m finding out that as much as I enjoyed raising my daughters, I am enjoying the fact that I am back in possession of my freedom, my time, my house.  So, if you are anywhere near, or already at this stage that I’m in, here are five tips that may help you go with the flow faster. I'm sure you'll think of more:

1    1) Start thinking about what YOU like!  Find an interest – or two – for yourself. Whether work related, or volunteering, or doing something artistic.

2    2) Make whatever you like for dinner, or don’t. Cooking is a free ride for you now. Make it when you want, IF you want.

3    3)  Move furniture around the house, or change some pieces if you can. You are in/at a different space in your life. Make your living space reflect it.

4    4) Treat your children as the adults they are. You are now an advisor.  The fact that they don’t “need” you as they did before means that you did a good job raising them.

5    5) Redirect your energy. Time spent with our kids will always be time well spent. But, as their priorities have changed, your priority now should be yourself and your spouse or partner, if you have one.

So, it may be an empty nest now, but being able to savor our liberty again, is not only a welcomed surprise, but also a satisfying way to live life after fifty.

Monday, February 2, 2015


And we can come together to serve a greater purpose
By Silvia Uribe
This is a tale of a beautiful young woman and her family, her church family, and a caring community, and how they (we) all came together in a time of crisis.

During her birthday party, in December 2014, 17 year old Grace Fisher suddenly began to feel alarming sensations in her body. Her hands were numb and her neck sore. She insisted they call 911, and she was rushed to the hospital.  After getting to the hospital, she gradually lost all mobility. Grace had to be intubated, unable even to breathe on her own.  This came as a shockwave that hit those who know her, including her friends, and her schoolmates and teachers at Santa BArbara High School.

Due to an unknown reason Grace contracted acute flaccid myelitis, a polio-like, paralyzing syndrome that has impacted 107 children in 34 states between August of 2014 and January of this year; Grace is only the 101st child patient to be diagnosed in our country.

Although Grace had medical insurance coverage, after a month in the hospital, the medical out of pocket expenses for her family were exponentially mounting. The idea of a fundraising event was brought up. This idea resonated with the Missions Committee at the First United Methodist Church, which already had a fundraiser planned with Via Maestra Providing the food. When they learned about Grace's family situation, it was decided to make Gracie the beneficiary, instead. From that, an outpouring of love, compassion, and positive energy emanated. 

The Moiso family, members of the church, and owners of the well-known restaurant Via Maestra 42, prepared and donated food for all those who would be willing to pay $25 for a meal. Many church members, rapidly RSVP'd and signed up to help with setting up, waiting tables, dish washing, and with clean up.  Other people advertised the event via Facebook, by email, and in any other possible way. It was widely announced that 100% of the proceeds would go directly to the family. The media, KEYT3 and Santa Barbara NewsPress played a crucial role informing the greater Santa BArbara area, in a compassionate and socially responsible way.

The rest is history.

Over five hundred people, from all walks of life in our community, gathered to achieve one single purpose: To support one child and her family during this crisis.  It was refreshing to see strangers interacting with each other, greeting each other, like old friends would do, except this was probably the first time they had ever met! My self-imposed duty that day, was to clean up tables, and although my intention was not to eves drop, I couldn’t help but listening to some of the conversations. One woman said “there is something for all of us to learn out of what has happened to Grace, and it is that we are still a community and we can come together to serve one greater purpose, no matter where we come from, what we do, or who we are. We sometimes forget about that”  Totally agreed!

The results? More than $34,000 were raised, at the event, and more donations are still coming in.

You can still make a donation:
Gracie Fisher Fund
308 Paseo Del Descanso
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Grace was air transported last Wednesday, and she is now at the Craig Rehab Hospital just outside of Denver, Colorado. For updates on Gracie’s progress, see web site:  

If you are interested in sending Grace and her family a note of hope you can do it at:

Hospital Address: Craig Hospital
c/o Grace Fisher
3425 South Clarkson St.
                                Englewood, CO 80113