ATTN: To my offsprings boss~

Dear Trudy,
I want to Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the beds that were donated; what a beautiful gift; you have no idea how much it means to another person to have something so nice; they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to have.

I know for me personally, having to start over from scratch has been really difficult; and my family has learned the importance of finding pleasure in simplicity; being grateful to simply having a home again.  I never imagined I would find myself in a situation where I would lose everything and have to start from the minimum essentials; like beds, towels, etc, but it has happened to me twice in my life; once after divorce; and the more recent due to health issues.   It has been very humbling and while I know 100% how blessed I am, I can’t deny that inner struggle of feeling like a failure as a mother.  Slowly but surely we are picking up the pieces; and today is another step in finding comfort in feeling wonderful in our little home.  It is a definite lift to the spirit having an actual bed <3 that isn’t on the floor, the beds have so much character and are the start of our move into our own cozy nook.  Miley and Jay are appreciative; and excited.  ~Little steps I told them maybe we can paint soon and then small pieces of accessories here and there.  We aren’t materialistic at all; but somethings are just so important to make you feel like it really is your own safe spot.

Gus was working at Allstate as an insurance agent and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, which is not something the company wanted to try and understand.  When they saw his episodes it put fear in them.  I was so angry as he was such a hard-worker and took pride in his job; but corporations don’t want to deal with that; so after hospitalization and medication he returned to work the day back from his leave on FMLA they fired him. Yes it isn’t legal, and it isn’t fair; but not too many fight for the mental health issues; it is mostly shunned.  This last time losing this job was difficult because we had come to terms that the workforce can be very stressful for those with mental health issues; and stress is the huge culprit that sets everything off.  Gus had such a difficult time coming to terms,  he felt it was a huge blow to his confidence as a “provider.” We have all learned to adjust and roll with the punches, we concentrate on learning to work in other ways that are less stressful; and we have all learned to always always make sure we are having fun with each other in this life; and try to laugh more than anything.  We have learned that we can’t rely on support and love out in the world; but we can rely on it in our home.

My health was affected due to all the stress, but I found the time to write which I love and time to work on rebuilding.  I hope one day I can find an awesome income in writing; I would love it; it would give me the opportunity to assist/ care for him  and my family but still make a difference in this world with inspiration and insight.  I am huge on coaching, supporting, and motivating people; I think my years as a social worker have allowed me the opportunity to really fall in love with it; but also give me a compassion not many have to others who have “different” lives.  God will send me where he has planned and I will follow. 🙂

I wanted to write you a small note 😉 LOL I am writer, this is small 😉 to tell you that I think you are an amazing person, and I am a very honest person LOL who says it like it is. Since the beginning when Marisa first began her journey at Bahama Bucks I was excited that she would work for a company whose owners were actually real-life wonderful role models.  When God had set her path there at Bucks  he knew exactly what he was doing.  Marisa was led down to a path where she would find a job she truly loves, enjoys; and so much more, she found an extension to her family.  I am so proud that her very first job has given her so much back and she has a genuine strong love to work. I am extremely proud of the woman she is and it is completely due to all the role models she has had in her life, including you and Brooke.

I could never express my gratitude enough for all the opportunities she has been given and I don’t think as a mother,  there are enough words that could completely come close to painting a picture of how appreciative I am to you, Toby, Brooke for believing in my daughter, Marisa.

When Marisa speaks of you, her face always lights up; she can feel the strong love that radiates from your heart for her and others.  I have always reminded her how important continued learning is, and you live that example always looking for recent and updated education to educate yourself & your employees, not just job related~ but being a responsible member in our community who gives back.  It is amazing to know that you live the strong examples that I have always tried to instill in her.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy life and making time to give to others, in every way you can conjure.

Marisa beamed when she told me about the “Kids Time” that Benevolent Bucks spends at the Strong Foundation.  I enjoyed hearing about all the experience she gained while giving of herself, it strengthened her love and understanding;  how her life isn’t the only life that has been different and at times difficult.

My San Antonio has a conversation with Toby and Trudy Leal

I admire your intellect and your strong drive to always increase your and those around you~awareness …on all those important issues that so many other people just don’t take the time to even think about.

I struggled a lot in my life, but I have always felt the blessings were stronger; and God continues to send the people to me and Marisa who need us just as much as we need them. Thank you for being a selfless example to the younger generation in the way you love; you love with no strings attached.  I have seen so often your previous employees wanted a different opportunity for a new found drive; you have always encouraged them, cheered them on, and assisted in anyway possible; even if it means losing a benefit to you.  Over the last couple of years I have completely developed a strong respect for you beyond measure, beyond the skies… because you not only care but you do something with your compassion.  I am proud that Marisa is able to see a living example of someone who never stops when she sees the opportunity to support another.  We are blessed, you are one of the few that reminds us~ if we are breathing, our time here on earth is never complete, it doesn’t reach an end…  to that place where we are done being successful; we just reached a new level 😉

Love you and I am blessed and ecstatic that I am finally able to call you a friend too.

Michele <3

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