Christmas Stories From the Staff at SPC


My Christmas Wish

            My name is Maria and I have a 3 year old son. My only wish this year is to have another child. I know there is only one person in the world that can make this happen, but as a mother who has lost a child before, this is all I ask.

            I was very unfortunate 2 years ago. I was 4 months pregnant and to an uncaused illness I lost my child. I realized that one morning when my stomach was hurting more than usually and the pain was not going away. My husband and my mom took me to the hospital to get me check out. That’s when I got the worst news in my life. The doctor told me that I had lost my child. My heart was broken and then there was a new pain, but nothing that I had felt before a pain that you can only be felt by a person carrying a baby inside you for four months and then loosing it. But I was lucky that I had my family to help me through the pain. The pain slowly goes away but it never completely.

Now I am pregnant again and having a daughter hopefully. My only wish to God this year is to have my daughter healthy and safe. That is my Christmas gift for this year. So if you’re out there please make my wish come true.

Maria Velasquez

Christmas Wish

My name is Margarita and I have a story I would like to share with you.  It’s a story of hope, unconditional love, and a Christmas wish.
I was born in Mexico City in 1940 to loving parents, and 4 older siblings. We were a close family, yet I always seemed to maintain an extra closeness with my parents.  As I grew from a toddler to a teenager I continued having a close relationship with them, little did I know that this special bond was important because it was preparing me for my future role as their caregiver.  

As part of our culture and beliefs the youngest child is responsible for their aging parents. Siblings may play a role in helping here and there but the ultimate responsibility falls on the youngest.
As I grew up I watched my brothers and sisters get married and move away. My life took a different path. I worked, and lived at home with my parents.  I admit that occasionally I wondered if I would ever get married someday. Then I would remember that despite how wonderful of a thought that was I had a responsibility that I was expected to fulfill.
In 1980 my parents and I attended a friend’s party on Christmas day, during which time the most handsome man I had ever seen approached our table. He was an American man with the most beautiful blue eyes and curly brown hair. He introduced himself as Robert and joined our table. My parents and I spent the entire evening talking with Robert.  When the evening came to an end Robert explained that he would be returning home to San Antonio the next evening, but wanted to take me to lunch before he left, I excitedly agreed. After a wonderful lunch, he took me home. While standing at my parents’ door he asked me if I believed in wishes and suggested that we make a silent Christmas wish. We did.

After that day, I never saw nor spoke to Robert again, nor did my parents ever mention him. I was hurt and disappointed, because my wish to see Robert again had not come true.  I vowed to never make any kind of wish again. My parents were in their late 70’s in 1990 when my father began having serious medical issues. However, in August of 1990 my mother suddenly died of a stroke – this came as a shock, and devastated my father. Two months later he passed away. It was one of the saddest and most difficult times in my life.  I was 50 years old and suddenly alone. 
That same year on Christmas day my life changed. The phone rang early Christmas morning.  A gentleman asked to speak to my parents.  I sadly explained that they had both passed - there was silence.   Suddenly I realized that the man’s voice was Robert. We spoke briefly he asked if he could see me and flew to Mexico two days later.  He told me he had never forgotten me, but realized that he could never take me away from my parents. He understood the role I had inherited as the youngest.  He proceeded to tell me that he had spoken to my parents every Christmas since we had met. However, he never asked to speak to me because he knew it would be too difficult to hear my voice.

We were inseparable from that day forward, and married within 6 months.  We moved to San Antonio, built a home together and have lived a wonderful life. I love him more each day, and cannot imagine my life without him. Today, Robert is in his mid-eighties he suffers from Parkinson’s disease, and mild dementia. However, he knows that I will always be by his side to take care of him as he has always taken care of me.  We still make a silent Christmas wish every year. Although, Robert may not know that I have nothing else to wish for because Christmas day 1990 he made my only wish come true. 

This is a true story told to me by my Aunt Margarita. I believe her story can be an inspiration to all during this Christmas season.  Today as people are facing hard times, missing family members, or have just lost confidence in life, it is important to remember to keep faith and hope in our hearts, because someday when we least expect it things will work themselves out and get better.

Grace Demeri

My New Year’s Resolution: Let Go and Soar

     This past Thanksgiving was a turning point in my life.  I fulfilled a long time desire and went zip lining.  My boyfriend, Patrick, and I drove to Athens, Texas to visit my sister and her husband for the weekend.  Their home in the piney Northeast woods of Texas was a spectacular autumn display.  One cool afternoon, we drove through foliage covered hills to check out a newly opened resort featuring zip lining through the trees.  I had heard about this sport a few years ago.  You put on a harness which is fastened onto a cable.  The cable is stretched for hundreds of feet over the ground  from one tall tree to the next.  There is a small platform station for each tree landing and launching for your next zip along the cable. 

     “I want to try it!”  I announced as I looked out over the red and gold hued hills.  My sister and brother-in-law gaped at me, astonished, “Really?  You want to do it?”  They admitted that they were too chicken.  My boyfriend declined, as well.  I think I heard him enquiring about life insurance as I harnessed up.  I had to join a group of eight strangers as my teammates.  They welcomed me and cheered me on, shoving me to the front of the line when we marched up the steps to the first platform high in a tree.  “Okay, I’ll go first,” I thought to myself.  “This was my choice.”  I repeated like a mantra, trying not to look across at the hundreds of feet expanse from this tree to the next one.  Was I crazy?  I’ve always been a scaredy-cat.  I don’t like heights.  I don’t even like looking out of windows in tall buildings.  And now, I was about to go zipping from tree to tree high in the sky like some flying monkey.

And then, I was off.  Zipping through the air.  Hundreds of feet above the ground.  It was like space travel.  I was barreling towards the next tree, but everything seemed to be in slow motion.  Maybe I was having a near death experience.  I saw my life flashing before my eyes.  It was very interesting in a detached feeling sort of way.  I watched experiences in my life come and go.  Happy times.  Painful times.  They all sped by.  The last several years of my life were probably the hardest, going through a painful divorce.  Sometimes I felt like I was going to die from the pain.  “Let go.” Now became my mantra.  You have to let go.  There was no point in hanging on—to pain, to fear.  If you want to enjoy the ride, you have to let go.  If you want to enjoy life, you have to let go.  Now, I was soaring.

     That evening my boyfriend proposed marriage to me.  As I gazed into his sky blue eyes as he kneeled on bended knee, I saw flashes of my life.  Former lovers—good ones, bad ones.  “Let go,” I breathed.  “Yes, I’ll be your wife—for life.”

Sometimes in life we are scared.  We are afraid to move forward.  Let go.  Life is an adventure.  Let go and soar.
Happy New Year!

Jan Yoshida-Hartmann



“Under the care of Leo J. Borrell, M.D. since December 2001, I have seen a remarkable improvement in my mother’s condition. She is responding dramatically to the new regiment Dr. Borrell has prescribed”

- Beth Rose


Feb 3, 2008

The Interdisciplinary Team; The Role of the Psychiatrist

by Dr. Leo J. Borrell, featured in Assisted Living Consult for November/December 2006. A HealthCom Media Publication