Mi Tio Favorito

my Favorite Uncle

When I think of you Tio Carmelo the image of your soft brown eyes that expressed kindness and love, along with your gentle smile that exuded compassion and warmth.

Tio Carmelo you are and will always be this humble gentle soul, your quiet presence was always welcomed by me.  You were one of my role models in our home that demonstrated kindness, compassion, love.

I watched you demonstrate your love to all of my eight siblings, along with all our extended family. 

Tio you were a man of few words, however I witness how you were present with everyone you came in contact with.  I watched you make eye contact with everyone you met, along with your soft smile. You demonstrated your love with your quiet reassurance.   

When every I would see you,

I’d hear, “Mira Jojo.” 

It wasn’t the two words that you uttered that were memorable,  but the love that exuded when you expressed them.

I have also witnessed the love you have expressed to your four children, whom you have raised as a single father. Watching you with your children and shower your grandchildren with love.

Deep down I wish I had you as my loving father.   

Tio Carmelo you have taught me what a true fathers love can look like.

You also were the one that helped me learn how to drive, even though I startled you at times.  When I would drive to close to the car in front of me and break really fast.  You would calmly tell me I shouldn’t drive so fast and break so suddenly.

I am grateful that you had calm disposition when I was starting to learn how to drive.  I can appreciate even more now that I have been in the passenger side when my oldest daughter was learning how to drive. 

What I am thankful for the most is you Tio trusting me to drive your car and supporting me with your calm deposition.

Tio Carmelo you are kind, generous and loving man and you will be greatly be missed.  I am so truly blessed that you were my uncle.

I have watched you with the relationship with your oldest sister, which is my mother.  It didn’t go unnoticed when you sat next to Mamí, when she lay on her hospice bed.  You sat next to her and held her hand. I watched you exchange a few words to one another. I wanted to sit next to the both of you or be a fly on the wall and listen in to your conversation.  I witnessed Love, Compassion, Kindness permeated the room and if  two souls that were very similar, it was the both of you. 

Your light will shine on for every and you will never be forgotten.

Here is a quote that I know to be one of your souls purpose on this earth.

“The light remain

There are some who bring a light so great to the world, that even after they have gone.  The light remains.”  author unknown.

Also, you are the reason I titled my book Como Coco.

When I was reading my mother’s eulogy at the church that I wrote fifteen years ago it read as follow…

I know without a doubt in my mind that you are in heaven because your purgatory was here on earth….Y ahora Mamí puedes desir ques eastas..Como Coco, and now

Mamí you can say…  Como Coco”.

I looked up after saying “Como Coco” and I locked eyes with you Tio Carmelo, and you were gently nodding your head up and down with a smile confirming exactly what she said and you know to be true.     

So, I say to you Tio Carmelo…that you are in a better place and I’m happy that you are not suffering with cancer anymore. 

I know without a drought in my mind that you are in heaven because your purgatory was here on earth.  Y ahora Tio puedes desire que estas

  “Como Coco.”

And now Tio you can say “Como Coco.”



“The light remain

There are some who bring a light so great to the world, that even after they have gone.  The light remains.”  author unknown.


Como Coco

“Como Coco.”  Two Simple words. A Puerto Rican expression for saying you’re strong and robust.  If the juice of the coconut is sweet inside that means life is sweet, because if it isn’t you woulds say Como Coco Rancio,” Which means the coconut juice is sour inside.

Joann DJ Ehlman,

Intuitive Life Coach, Intuitive Reiki Master Practitioner, Author & Speaker

Author of Como Coco -The Journey 


Como Coco and Como Coco Rancio (bitter and sweet) all wrapped up, in my life moments.

When I was in high school and found out I got the role of Glenda, the good witch, in the Wizard of OZ; I was thrilled to have the opportunity to have a lead role. What an incredible Como Coco moment; however, my mother didn’t come out to see me perform because of her religious beliefs. She felt (or the church felt) it was worldly, not a religious event so she wasn’t allowed to attend. It was a sour moment for me…a Como Coco Rancio moment; however, I had my oldest sister come to see me perform along with her daughters… a Como Coco moment.

I was nominated homecoming queen… a Como Coco moment. I didn’t tell my mother that I was nominated because I was bitter that she didn’t show up for any other school event…many Como Coco Rancio moments. I finally told my mother that I was nominated for homecoming queen. She did show up at the corner of the street to wave at me, while I rode by in the limo… a sweet moment, a Como Coco moment. I also won Homecoming Queen… another Como Coco moment.

I went into preterm labor and ended up in bed rest with my first child. That was a difficult time for me because I didn’t know if my baby girl would make it. It was a Como Coco Rancio time for me. I had it in my head I would be healthy. The baby would be healthy. I would be active. I would continue at my job working at the bank. I’d continue working out at the gym all the way to the very end of my pregnancy. I struggled many times to keep my spirits up. I had many sorrowful moments thinking about the outcome. All those thoughts came tumbling down until I gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby girl… a wonderful Como Coco moment.

I’ve recently been awakened to something traumatic that happened to me when I was a baby. I have a lot of bitter sweet moments in my life, but I try to hang onto all the Como Coco moments in life. Don’t get me wrong, some of my Como Coco Rancio moments were and still can be very challenging when I think about what happened to me. I still think about it now and again and I have emotional wounds that I’ve had to release in order to heal. I’ve released a lot of pent-up, harmful emotions just recently. I still have them bubble up now and again. With my faith, I’ve gained strength. I’ve gained wisdom on how to heal myself.

Embrace whatever tools you have to help you through the emotional and physical pain. Do what you love doing! I do Zumba because I love it. I meditate when I can. I practice yoga when I can. I pray often and write often in my journal. I try to eat well. I use all the positive tools available to me to help me. Once again I want to stress, use positive tools that are available to you to get you the through the tough emotional pain. Sing in your car loudly when you’re driving alone. Dance in your kitchen by yourself or with a loved one. Go for a walk. Take a hike. Talk to a good friend or a trusted family member that will support you. Hug your children and your grandchildren. Play with your pet or pets. Listen to music you love. Soak a warm bath with sea salts or Epsom salt. See a Holistic Counselor. Get a massage. Visit a Chiropractor. Receive Acupuncture. Receive Reiki. Get a mani or pedi or both. See an Energy Healer. Use all the healthy tools to help you release the emotional pain that’s pinned up inside. 

Life is constantly changing. I’ve grown and I’ve learned so much, even after I published Como Coco-The Journey. I’m currently working on the next book subtitled Spiritual Discovery. I can’t wait to share my newer experiences with you soon. Until then I leave you with: 

Embrace all the precious memories. All the good that has happened in your life. Give thanks every day. Count your blessing every day. When I count my blessing.  My life is Como Coco.