Sunday, December 2, 2012


I was looking at myself in the mirror and it made me start thinking about time and how you always think you have more of it. Lives change in a matter of seconds.  You hear people say, "live each day like its your last with someone".  I always thought that was just a silly cliche people had a habit of spouting out.  Now, I see.  Now, I know what it is to have someone taken suddenly, unexpectedly.  You're left in shock not knowing exactly what to do or think.  Then you grieve. And grieving is interesting because some days you're fine and you think you're holding up pretty well.  Then some days, you're a crying mess.  I think of Mom often, every day, and keep saying things I think she would have said in given situations.  She was so funny all the time and loved telling her jokes.  That's when I remember to thank God for giving me 38 years with my Mother. I was blessed to have someone who I could always call at any hour of the day.  If I called my Mom in the middle of the night, she wouldn't get mad cause I called her late, she was concerned and wanted to help me.  There's not many people who wouldn't mind late night calls like that.

But I have all of my support in place.  I feel close to God.  I feel Him pulling me up, lifting me out of darkness.  Love and support you get from your family and friends is so overwhelming and much needed.  We all feel connected in some way and need to lean on one another to get through adversity.

Reading is my life also.  One of the books I've been reading is Jesus Today and its filled with inspiring bible verses and stories beside them. There are too many verses which I highlighted but want to list a few of them here.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7

"The Lord your God in your midst, the Might One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

"I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory." Psalm 73:23-24.

Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid." Matthew 14:27

"You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

Saturday, November 3, 2012


                                                                       Oralia G. Garcia
                                                                           1947 - 2012

Oralia G. Garcia, loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, went home to Heaven to be with Jesus on October 29, 2012 at the age of 65. Oralia was a strong, courageous, and loving woman who will be missed by all who knew her. She had a kind and generous heart and a wonderful sense of humor. She is preceded in death by her brother; Robert Guerra and step father; Frank Cruz. Survivors include her parents; Carmen Cruz and Simon Guerra, her husband of 44 years Jose M. Garcia, daughters; Cynthia Garcia, Laura Garcia Kakar and son in laws Dr. Raj Kakar and Joe Contreras, and grand daughters; Sophia Hope and Amber Grace Kakar. She will also be missed by her sisters; Delia Gonzales, Andrea Garcia, Herlinda Meneses and Rachel Avila, her brothers; Adolfo Cruz, Ernest Cruz and Bernard Cruz. She is preceded in death by her sister in law; Maria Stewart and brother in law; Felix Garcia.  Her surviving in laws; are Elodia Astran, Janie Ruiz, Josefina Franco, Jesus Garcia, and Santiago Garcia. She has numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.
Visitation for Oralia will be at Mission Park Funeral Chapel South, Monday, November 5, 2012 from 6:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. with the Holy Rosary to be recited at 7:00 P.M. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated 9:30 A.M., Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at St. Lawrence’s Catholic Church 236 E. Petaluma 78221. The interment will follow at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery.
For personal acknowledgment you may sign the guest book at in the obituary section.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Creed

    Recently, as many of you know, I contracted West Nile Virus and ended up spending a week in the hospital with meningitis. It was horrible. But God is great and brought me through it. It took about 4 weeks but I was healed and I'm back to normal now. Laying in the hospital, I started to think to myself, "What if I'm one of the 10% that dies from this? I just want to get out of here and have another chance to live this life. I want to take care of my kids, my husband. There is so much left for me to do.”
    As I was looking through old pictures and books recently, I came across something I wrote over 10 years ago while I was working at the VA. I had attended a Stephen Covey seminar and one of the assignments we did was to write our creed. A creed is a statement of beliefs or principles. I want to share what I wrote back then. I still believe all of these things and now that I have this second chance, it holds true even more today.


                                                                          My Creed

I will live each day with the intention that it will only be as great as I make it. To forget the mistakes of my past but also learn from my experiences. I shall fear God and no one else. May I always find what is the truth and avoid the untruths. And remember to have an open heart and mind, for they will lead me to the truth.

I want to indulge my family and friends with all the love I possibly can. They are the treasures of my life I will not take for granted.

In my profession, may I act with compassion, courage and consideration for what is best for my patients and myself.

I will do my best in keeping my principles at the center of my life, value life's experiences and enjoy the ride.



Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy 4th!

I recently saw the movie, Act of Valor. It was incredible. True stories based on actual events that occurred during Navy Seal Missions. It's always amazed me how much our military men and women (and their families) sacrifice for their country and for their crew who serve alongside them. It must take discipline, strength, courage to be so selfless and giving. So on Independence day 2012, I like everyone else, will be celebrating our country's adoption of the Declaration of Independence and freedom, with family, barbecue, and getting lots of sun. But, I'll also stop to remember our military and how much we all are indebted to them. God Bless our military, and our country. 
Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Half the Sky

When I read a really good book, one that changes how I see things, I have to talk about it.  In this case, blog about it.  Recently, I read Half the Sky, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn.
It's about how women and girls in other parts of the world are oppressed.  The authors take you through Africa and Asia and tell true stories.  Some involving sex trafficking, violence, prostitution, drugs, maternal mortality, and how women are not allowed to get an education in many cultures, societies.  But there are also stories of how it takes one person to care about them, and one by one, people help change these tragedies around and give hope to the seemingly hopeless.  It is so inspiring to read about women who are kicked so far down, but are helped and thrive when someone cares enough to give aid.

Some of it is hard to read, but necessary.  When I started to feel it was difficult to read because of the harshness of it, I thought to myself, "hard for you to read but imagine how hard it was for this person to actually live this."  That helped me push forward.  The stories also show, when a woman is given the opportunity to improve her situation, she doesn't squander it, she runs with it and thrives.

The title I thought was interesting too.  It refers to someone saying that women hold up half the sky.  If you have a chance to read it, please do.  For me, it is essential reading.  It’ll change how you view women in the world and how they are treated.  And it’ll make you want to do something about it.  More needs to be done about this crime against humanity.  Because it’s not just a woman issue, it is a human issue.  

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.  Please leave comments you’d like to share.  If you’d like to learn more, go to

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I have a friend in San Antonio that has given me so much great advice over the years. She is a true friend. We've had plenty of fun times but she always called me out when I was wrong, too. She would be honest with me. At the time I didn't appreciate it for what it was. I could be complaining about how I was wronged by someone, usually a boyfriend at that time. And instead of agreeing with me, she would explain to me how I was the one who needed to see it from a different perspective. I didnt want to hear it because the truth hurts sometimes. But actually she was trying to help me see the bigger picture and how I was letting my past relationships dictate my current ones.

Sometimes we do need someone to listen, but then we need them to be honest with us. It doesn't help to make the same mistakes again and again. If it is a true friend, they will be open and sincerely try to help you. They'll tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear.

One thing I've learned is the value of friendship. To my friends I say, thanks. My life is richer because of you.

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's Not About the Bunny

When I was about 19 in college, I had a classmate that was Christian and such an interesting and funny guy. I loved listening to him go on about religion, philosophy, current events or anything really. The week before Easter, he asked me, "So Laura, what does Easter mean to you?". What a simple question. But boy did I have trouble answering it. I studdered, "uh well, it's a special day I spend with my family. We go to my Grandma's, have a big barbecue cook out, an Easter egg hunt..." He shook his head and said slowly, "Girl, it's not about the Bunny." There are phrases, words of wisdom you remember people telling you. This is something that stuck with me and every year at Easter I always remember that conversation.

Now there is nothing wrong with what I said about having barbecue, Easter egg hunts, spending the day with family. But what he was trying to tell me was that I also needed to remember the true meaning of the day. God sent his Son to this world, to die for our sins. He suffered for us. He died for us so that we could have eternal life in heaven. Then after his death, three days later, he rose again! It's just mind boggling to me, how God loves us so much he would send his own Son to do this for us!

I wish I could tell my friend from that Chemistry class that I now know the true meaning of Easter. That I know it's not about the bunny! And how grateful I am that he challenged me way back then to have a closer relationship with God. I am forever changed. Have a wonderful Easter.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Change is everywhere.  It’s really the only constant thing that's going on around us.  For as much as we want things to stay the same, it doesn’t.  Time will continue to march on.  Our jobs may change, our friends change over time, relationships evolve, etc.  I posted on Facebook recently, “Sometimes we try to force things, but we really need to just let it go.”  And my friend, Katy, commented, “Best thing to do, yes….easiest, no”.  So true, I agree.  But we tend to torture ourselves over and over again (myself included), trying to will things to go in a certain direction.  Many times, things will turn out as we hoped.  Other times, maybe not.  Sometimes, we all have trouble dealing with change.
As I was thinking about this, I remembered a sermon from Jeff Jones, amazing pastor at Chase Oaks Church, who gave a wonderful sermon and talked about how we should pray to “journey well” in life.  It was a refreshing way to think and pray.  To not always pray things go a certain way, but to pray that you journey well.  He told a story of a friend who had been diagnosed with cancer and when his friends gathered around him, they prayed for healing of his cancer.  He stopped them and said, “Wait, when you’re not with me it’s fine to pray for my healing, but when you’re with me just pray that I journey well. I just want to journey well.”  

One of my favorite scriptures for dealing with change:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

We don’t have all the answers, and aren’t supposed to.  He does.  We need to trust in Him that he knows what’s best for us and will never give us more than we can bear.
Although change is all around us, let us know in our heart that one thing will not change. We will always be loved by God.  As long as we keep that at our core, then everything else will be fine, come what may.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

No Limits!

This month I wanted to discuss my book, NoLimits!.  For years, I wanted to write something meaningful for kids.  I believe the most crucial time to intervene and steer a child on the right track is as young as possible.  So I focused on the age group of middle school primarily.  Not to say intervening shouldn’t be done earlier, but the middle school aged child is the one I chose to focus on. 
No Limits! is basically six short chapters which talks about things like focusing on school, evoking willpower, faith, not letting tough circumstances keep you down, staying away from certain people and distractions and lastly some important reminders to tie it together.  One of the best things we can do for children is to guide them, be an example for them.  Mentoring is very important.  I’ve had many mentors along the way and am mentoring as many children and adults as possible.  Please give thought to mentoring a child.  You may be the only person who sparks interest in them.  You may also be one of the very few who reminds them they are loved and who gives them hope.    
I wanted to share that a friend told me she downloaded my book for her son.  She read it and wants him to read it because she thinks it will help him.  He’s been having problems recently in school.  Maybe it will help him think about school in a different way.  I hope it helps him take even a small step. 
Small steps are big wins. Taking a tiny step in the right direction is still a step in the right direction.   How often, I think about how things could have turned out for me.  It was only by the grace of God that I am saved.  I am grateful for so many people I have met that have inspired me, mentored me and just showed by example how to be successful.  Success is defined in the dictionary as “a favorable or desired outcome”.  Success can be defined in many ways.  My definition?  Success is the result of hard work and being happy with where you are.