Prayers For Vegas, Be a World Who Cares

Derek was home early today so I decided to get up and take Kiera to school so she could make it in time for second breakfast. That’s her favorite part. We get to the school, I put the van in park, lean my chair back and start scrolling on Facebook. We had 35 minutes to wait before they’d be opening the doors. Kiera was in the back hanging out, though I cant say exactly what she was doing because, to be honest, I wasn’t really paying attention. That is when I started seeing posts, not from different news outlets but from my friends “prayers for Vegas” and other similar sentiments. After seeing the third one I took to google to figure out what had happened. ’50 dead and 200 injured in mass shooting’ headline after headline popped up. I clicked on one of the first articles and my heart sank. I immediately thought of the Pulse Night Club shooting, the devastation, all the lives that were forever changed, and how it was happening all over again. A different
shooter, different reasons, different people but the same devastation. The same gut wrenching calls that were made then, would be made again, families torn a part. People would be losing their brothers, sisters, mothers, aunts, uncles, friends. People are losing people, forever. This isn’t the first time, this wont be the last time and it hits me hard.

I’m sitting there, trying to hold back tears, and Kiera notices. I wipe them away, and invite her to the front with me, I pushed my seat back and held onto her like she was a baby, because she is my baby and I cried. I cried because the world does not care that she’s my baby. The world does not care, that this girl loves with everything in her heart, that shes the kind of person who was being pushed around at school and told me “mom, he’s probably just having a bad day”. The world does not care. And every second she gets older, her world gets bigger and I can’t just wipe away tears and pretend like nothing has happened. I have three kids and a husband that I love with every part of my soul, who I would do anything for, and that’s who people lost last night. That’s who people were laying on top of trying to protect, that’s who people were trying to stay alive for. How do you prepare your children for that? How do you explain to children that there are people in this world that wouldn’t think twice about hurting them, about hurting the people they love? That is our reality, that is the world we live in now and tomorrow.

I can’t change the world, I can’t make the world love faces they’ve never met before. I cannot protect my kids from everything, and that’s every parents worst fear realized. But I can try to send them out into the world with caring hearts, listening ears, and mouths that do not stop when they see something happening. Kids that speak up for those who need it, who not only protect themselves but others as well and I can do that by setting an example, by being that example for them. Teaching them to love, in a world that has so much hate. We have to do better, we have to go beyond hashtags, and profile pictures and be that example for those around us. For the small ones watching us, for our families, for our neighbors, for every stranger we walk by because we are walking this world together.

And sadly no, that’s not gonna stop bad things from happening. Bad things will always happen but we have a choice every day to prove to people that the world can care. That we can care for each other and maybe just maybe that will at least make our journey here a little less frightening, when we realize, when we really live each day, knowing that we are all in this together. My heart is with Vegas, and my heart is with the world.


-Alycia Castillo

*This was originally posted on my Facebook page.



Don’t Take Normal For Granted

It’s a normal day, sitting in the drivers seat, I’m strolling in my news feed and my daughter is busy playing with our chihuahua in the back. Waiting for my husband to come, I just got off and he should be done shortly. I look up from my phone and see this man coming out. He’s got on nice black jeans, white T-Shirt loosely hanging from his chest, back pack slung carelessly over his shoulder, his hair is clean cut, short on the sides longer up top. He flashes a half smile, walking with confidence, that is one incredibly handsome man. I can’t help but smile like a school girl looking at her first crush. He walks towards my car, and I start to feel my stomach smile, and my heart racing. I look away, biting my lip trying to hide my excitement. The door opens and a strong arm reaches in grabbing my chin and pulls me in for a kiss. I turn and watch as he opens the back door and shares a hug with our daughter. He puts his backpack down, climbs into the passenger seat before finally asking “how was your day babe?.”

I don’t know about you guys but my normal is pretty damn awesome. I am lucky enough to be as in love with my husband now as I was when we first met. When I see him for the first time every night, I’m not just seeing my husband I’m seeing the love of my life! I love him and I love everything we have together. I never want to go through that moment and take it for granted. Every moment you have in this life is really a gift, you gotta appreciate all those things even when they’re happening every day. Just because they happen often doesn’t mean they’re not special. You give emotion to the moments, they’re going to be as good or as bad as you make them and I for one am making mine the best because that’s exactly what they are.



© 2014 Alycia Castillo

Am I The Only One Who. . .

Likes my voice better when I’m sick then any other time. I swear if I had a sore throat and a cough all year around I would totally make it big. All the times I was close to stepping on a stage, I was equally close to coughing my throat off. These last few days I have endured the pain of my chest burning and sinking into my back trying to give room to congestion, but I have also sounded like an angel. It’s kind of like how anyone sounds in the shower singing, but all the time. It’s great.

Who try’s to imagine what they’d do if the bridge they are driving over suddenly collapsed. I go through the motions in my head every time but the biggest thing I worry about is if I survived how would I get my daughter and I to shore without being eaten by a shark first. I am definitely more afraid of the shark possibility then anything.

Checked a drawer/cabinet or anything else that you know would absolutely without a doubt be too small for a murderer, but check it anyways just in case.

Wondered and speculated if there were cameras in the house you happened to be in. Then obviously after wards made silly obnoxious faces to a random corner in the room just in case that happened to be true.

Been in a crowded area and was sure there was at least one other person in the world that could read your mind and vice versa. Look around the room and think to yourself If you can hear this make a suddle glance at me, please I’m begging you, don’t give it away but I KNOW you can read my mind . I know I was absolutely sure of this as a child and can’t say I completely knock it as an adult.

Been driving down the high way, or possibly in the back seat of a car that was and wonder if one of the cars you were looking at had a serial killer in it. Or someone who had been kidnapped. How would you tell, or what would you do? I have definitely played that scenario in my head. Obviously I saved the day.

Still feel bad for stuffed animals when they don’t get played with? As an adult I have talked to the ones my daughter chooses to ignore to remind them they’ll have a turn eventually. You know you did this as a kid at the least.

Realized you’re absolutely crazy, so is everyone else and are kind of okay with it? Sadly this is merely the tip of the loony bin as far as random thoughts go for me.

I’m sure there’s gotta be some ONE person that’s had these thoughts aside from myself. If it is not you, well there’s your daily dose of insanity, and probably the dumbest thing you’ll read all day. You’re welcome.


The Last Call- Hug Your Mothers and Their Mothers Too

In Memory of my Great Grandma Edith, her husband Ray and my Grandmother Lori. May you all Rest In Peace.

Waiting for the phone to ring she sits patiently. They will call, they always do.

Her back binds with the wood of a custom made chair, slouching unintentionally. Her arms lay against the table and she is reminded that the heat needs to be turned back on. Her hands free from the gloves that help preserve easily bruised skin fall inattentively where years are shown like a geographical map, ridges from the stress of a shrinking body, lines of blue run from her elbow to her fingertips. The air embraces her with stillness, holding her body in place. Mug condensation fills her nose in a home as old as her. They tend to move the same way, slowly, back and forth, creaking at the joints. A home that once helped raise a family, now reminds her of their absence. Weight hangs on her shoulders like a favorite shawl, for years it has dressed her from the burden of digging a much too early grave, not once but twice.  No mother wants to see their child clothed in their Sunday best, falling deep into the ground and no wife wishes to kiss their other half, the person they shared every undeniably crushing moment of weakness, and brilliant moment of happiness, goodbye for the last time.  She gave so much of herself to them when they left, that breathing is the only thing she has left of herself. That and the gift of grandchildren she was given before her daughters life fell short. These events have turned into her own personal gravity, shrinking her over time-but do not let looks deceive you. This is a strong women.  She is strong in heart, and soul, fighting every day but even the best fighters grow tired at some point.

She waits for the call…. Nothing.

After some time she makes the familiar footsteps to her bed and holds on to her breathe. The weight is following her, tugging at her throat, dead on her chest, causing memories to run from the corners of her eyes. She moans along with the house, Guilt dehydrates her tongue, she wants to hold on, but her grip has weakened. She lays in bed and looks to see her family hanging on the wall, framed in faux wood. Smiling in a time when they were all together. She smiles and the memories begin to sew her eyes shut. She’s tired. She is very tired.

She takes a deep breathe, and thinks of the family that will live to share her memory, every phone call, and the many times spent together, she breathes deeper and smiles along with her husband, she breathes in even harder, straining her fragile chest and laughs aside her daughter.. She lets go of her breathe, and the house goes silent.

The phone rings. “Hello, grandma, I was just calling…..”


September 25, 2014

Daughters Remind Us Everything is Perfect

Dishes aren’t done. Laundry is, well it’s everywhere. Hair is falling from the bun I put it in sometime last night, makeup is rubbed off, contacts are flicked to the floor and my scratched up glasses keep sliding down the brim of my nose. I look down at my stomach rolling over my pants, my shirt has spaghetti sauce stains from last nights dinner, my sweats are trying its chances with my butt as I slouch down from the stack of pillows resting against my headboard, which is more to say for my bra, that hasn’t had a chance with my boobs since I got off work yesterday. Complete disarray and so much to do. My daughter runs in and leans against my bed, requesting for me to turn on¬†Snow Queen¬†for about the nth’ time this month. Shirtless, hair pulled in a messy bun she mastered all on her own, leggings she picked, and I’m going to hope she’s wearing underwear though maybe that’s not a requirement for the day. Grinning she hints at her hair,”How do I look?” I reach for her hand to pull her up “You look beautiful.” I smile. “I look like you!” she beams. I see her, delighted as I turn on Netflix. She simultaneously lets out a squeal, and leaps towards the TV at the same time. “I see it mom!’, and bursts into her phony laughter, digging her knees into the side of my leg. As the movie begins she sinks into my side and fixates on the screen as if its the first time she’s ever seen it. ¬†Untroubled, pleased, she sits. Blissfully unaware of everything needed to be done. I think back to the kitchen, the living room, dinner, how we need to do class for the day, look at the floor, a trail of clothes that don’t even begin to speak for the rest of what needs washed, empty water bottles at my side table, makeup strewn across the bathroom counter, endless amounts of things to be finished. She sits up, looks me right in the eyes, smiles, “You know what? I love you mom.” She grabs my cheeks and pecks me on the forehead, and looks at me one more time before belly flopping on the bed and falling into contentment once again. A moment that falls short of words, only to be described as ‘perfect’. She’s perfect, I think to myself. Moments pass and my chest falls heavy when I remember what she said about her hair. “I look like you!”¬†


Everything is perfect.


September 24, 2014




Picture by Sarah Moore.

© 2014 Alycia Castillo