May 31, 2015


You left the earth at 35 years
Starting in 2014, a girl you'd never know would stand at your grave
She married a grandson you never knew
It strikes her as profound that someone who died at 35 so long ago
still has young people paying respects.

When does it end?

I still feel so incredibly immortal.
It will never be me.

But when it is…who will come?

People are connected in ways I could never imagine.
When will it run out?
Eventually the line ends.

So what's the point of being buried?

Where would I like to go when it's time?
Is there a reason to save me?

I don't like any of my options.

I'd rather dissipate then lay low preserved, or face the flames.

When I tell my husband this, he says, he'll decide for me.
"We're going to be buried."

Suddenly it's all okay. He'll be in the earth with me.
And I'm comforted,
and it strikes me as the most romantic thing I've ever heard.
I want to freeze time,
and I'm more sure than ever that one human lifetime with him
is not nearly enough.

Only eternity will do.

~Deena Marie

May 27, 2015

Grief, three years later.

Today is the 27th. That number is burned into me, but I manage to survive it okay.

I wonder why I can, if I should be something other than okay, but I remind myself to let go of a should or shouldn't. I am where I am, how I feel, today.

Today is okay.

I woke up next to my husband, did the dishes, sent him off to an interview, hopped in the shower. My mom came over, because it's the 27th, and we talked in my living room while my pup took turns sitting on our laps.

My husband came home, I made him something to eat.

We worked from home, we ran errands. We laughed. We ate. We kissed. We said I love you. We spent the evening playing nintendo.

That's what I did on the 27th, three years later.

I haven't cried. I don't know that I will. I feel healed. I feel whole. I have to know that it's okay.

Time is so surprising. Three years ago today I remember leaving my house in the morning to get back to my aunts, where he and his hospital bed had been set up in the living room. I thought I'd still get to see him. I pulled up mere minutes too late. My dad out front to meet me, "he's gone". "What?" Feeling everything sink. Purple pajama pants, blue flannel shirt. Running in. How profound. The first death is the most profound thing a person can go through. His bed surrounded. A spot now taken by me. His things at his bedside. What becomes of things? You can't take them with you. How he looked. He was, and yet he wasn't. We are not our bodies.

The reaction of my grandpa when he came in and realized he was also too late. Three years ago, I also still had a grandpa.

The blanket that had been keeping him warm. A kids blanket. Navy blue, with clocks. The time was frozen around the 10 o'clock hour. Very near the time he left.

At some point, he left us, entire. I don't know what happened then.

Three years ago tonight I sat in my backyard looking at the moon and questioning everything. Everything was new, and open, and vast, from the moon to my heart. I was reborn. I drank three big red cups of vodka and soda to drown out the world and cried myself to sleep wondering why I should get to sleep in a bed if he couldn't.

Those are the most vivid memories of the most surreal day.

Time blurs from there. I will always remember spending that spring and most of 2012 shattered. Before that, and after that. For so long, so terribly broken. I still carry that weight with me more than I'd like to, and find myself angry at times I ever had to go so low.

Crushed. Heart smashed.

Sad, sad, sad.

I did everything I could to keep moving and continue the rebirth. I shaved my head. I was so open. I read everything. I expanded. I learned. I saw omens. I saw heaven. I saw him in the form of animals. I ran. I ran, ran, ran. Anything to keep moving. I was afraid if I sat still something awful would happen to me.

I thought I was dying. I also had nightmares and began to feel sick all the time. The losses piled up and I could barely breathe.

I thought maybe I too, wanted to die.

Get me out of here.

I kept digging, I kept being buried alive.

I am mad at that time.

Mad, mad, mad.

But yet here I am, presently. So whole. Parallels exist at any given time. Extreme opposites. Both are true. I learned this then, and it still holds today.

Today the number 27 is burned into my brain. The contrast from three years to today feels like it might as well have happened to someone else.

I don't feel guilty for my happiness. I don't know how I should behave, or pay tribute, or not, on this day. I haven't cried, but I still feel it all. It happened, and left its mark all through my insides.

I still don't know what to make of it at times. Sometimes it's still not real. Sometimes a wave rocks me for no reason, death it sayshe died, and the permanence takes me over for just a second. My brain can't process it for long, and my soul goes into protection mode.

It's another heaviness that simply is. Inside.

I thought of asking him for a sign today. Just like the first Christmas after he left I asked him to throw me a snowball on Christmas eve. "Make it hit the window outside", I said. Nothing. Today? Nothing. But today I also feel like I'm too closed off to it to see it anyway. Because if it happened, if it really happened, I think deep down I couldn't take it.

So that's it. That's today.

The third of these 27's so far.

And I have to stop now, because if I go on I think I might cry.

And I think what I need today, is to let myself be okay.

P.S The views on this post are quite high. I'm not sure why, but I'm glad people are reading. I find I am most comforted by words. I am so thankful there are writers, bloggers, and people living with open hearts who are willing to share their words. We all teach each other. I hope this entry is comforting to you if you have experienced any kind of loss. I have so much to say on the topic of loss, lessons learned through loss, and rebirth. If you go back to May of 2012 here on my blog and read up through about the first part of 2013, you might find even more that can hopefully be of comfort as I went through my journey of losing myself, and finding a new normal. Things turned out better than I ever could have hoped, but I had to go through darkness first that I never dreamed was possible. 

I also hope you subscribe here, bookmark, or look around through other posts. This is the place where I pour my heart out. 


May 20, 2015

Dear Hawaii...

Fourteen years ago I spent a few weeks in Hawaii. It changed my life. I'd forgotten the impact as the years went by. I just got back from my second trip there. A gift for my husbands graduation. I can't stop dreaming about the ocean. I felt like I was in / on the water for days after. I can still smell the air.

I forgot what that place does to me. Two moments in particular my heart swelled, seizing me. I was so open. So present. So filled with our essence of love and happiness. I thought I would truly burst.

Hawaii is magic. Filled with simplicity, purity, and healing. It healed me in ways I didn't even know I needed to be healed. It teaches me. I bring back knowledge and new happiness each time. I am gently reminded of the essentials I've forgotten.

This time:

There are so very many ways to
Raise a child
Find what home is

There is no wrong way to have a life
Be it in a desert
On the sea
In any country

The world is wide
and small
we are all connected
you are me, I am you

Slow down
Stop and think
Take your time
Just be
Be present
Get out of your element
Find your element somewhere new
Put yourself in different weather
In new air
Breathe it in

I will hold out
I will not be made small, by myself or others
I will make the scale bigger
I will not be scared
I will remember that I can trust the journey

I wasn't ready to say goodbye.

"Sometimes you just can't take one last look, and feel satisfied to leave. Not ready to come home. Not even a little bit. I was in Hawaii only one other time, 14 years ago, and I remember feeling exactly the same. There are moments here where your heart is just so completely wide open, and then it's a little bit broken at the goodbye."

May 7, 2015


It's just one of those days. I'm not even sure what that means, because they don't happen often, and it's not the most familiar. And when I hear the expression "one of those days" I think of frequency and or familiarity. But nonetheless, here it is.

Everything is going to make me cry. Everything. I feel like I might be in need of a good cry, although there's no specific reason. Maybe it's just my extreme sensitivity. Sometimes just existing and being and feeling adds up. I think there's some goo I need to cry out. I'm sure I'd feel better if I did, but I just don't want to. I'm on a walk, and I don't want to cry right now.

I should have known. I should have known I was a little overloaded when I began this walk and I started wondering if you can be truly present while moving. Could I tune in and check in as deeply as I might need to while on this walk? There it was. The call to check in and just be.

I stop to take a picture of some yellow flowers I've been meaning to get a shot of all week. I keep walking. I am trying to figure out what way I'm going to continue home. I realize I can't go around a certain block after all, this needs to be a straight shot home. For some reason, the thought of going around a this certain block and approaching home from a certain angle pierces me. Something is triggered, and I am gulping down a sob, and I just can't. I don't know why.

When I get home I still want to be outside, so I grab my purse and I decide to take a little drive to get a coffee. When I pull up to the window I know I can't linger long and I hope this goes quick. The girl that greets me is so young. So, so young and happy and perfect. Again, I want to cry. I don't know why. Was I ever that young? And happy? And perfect? She's so brand new. I'm pierced deeply for the second time today, but I can't stop looking at her and wondering what it's in store for her and who I used to be when I was that age, and how magic and fleeting and easy it all is when you're still a kid.

Maybe I'm a little bogged down today. Life adds up, doesn't it? Each year. Each trauma. Each experience. Each day. Some days maybe it just weighs a little heavier. Some days maybe you just want to be five years old and not be responsible for one damn thing.

What's bothering me? Am I creating something out of nothing because we tend to do that when we're happy? Because our tiny human brains can't fathom for too long that it's okay to be okay and so we start to stir up when we should let all be still? Or do I have a bit of sadness deep down inside that I haven't quite worked through yet? The kind that has been on pause while I've been busy with life. All of the above, I guess.

I saw a patio chair on my walk that also made me sad. I recognized it from a past life, and there was only one and there was nobody in it and when I made another loop and saw it a second time it hurt even more. I briefly let myself consider what the other me's chose in other timelines, where they would be now. Just briefly, though. I just can't linger today.

I'm not sure what else to say, I suppose I just wanted to get some of the goo out. Maybe now I'll feel a little lighter. So that's me. That's me today. Here I am. And here are the flowers.

May 5, 2015


I've been getting some new traffic over here, so I wanted to do a quick intro if you're new to my blog. I'm Deena Marie Manzanares, professional actor, model, TV personality, writer, and social media chick.

For my full bio and resume, click here!

Find me on social media below:
My Agency 

Important facts:
~Watch my weekly entertainment segment, "Deena on the Local Scene" on KUTV2 every friday at 5:15 am. Or record it. Or find it online. And send me press releases about your upcoming events. 
~I love unicorns.
~I never met a treat I didn't like.
~I'm a mom to a five pound male chihuahua, Noodles.
~I'm wife to the man of my dreams.
~I'm an only child and an aries. I know, I know.
~I'm a UT native, but lived in NYC on & off for 5 years.
~I'm funnier on my other social media, this blog is a little more serious. So, find the link that floats your boat. Or if you like a variety, follow me everywhere!
~I'm half spanish.
~I'm really good at nintendo,  obsessed with Legend of Zelda, and Ocarina of Time is my favorite game.
~Below is a picture of me meeting my birth mother, obviously.