Things That Matter

‘Hamilton’ Star Miguel Cervantes And Wife Kelly Cervantes Share Touching Posts About Daughter’s Death

Miguel Cervantes, the man handpicked by Lin-Manuel Miranda to play Alexander Hamilton in “Hamilton,” shared the news of his daughter’s death. Adelaide Grace, his 3-year-old daughter, had been living with severe childhood epilepsy and was diagnosed with the disorder.

“Hamilton” star Miguel Cervantes and his wife Kelly Cervantes shared the sad news of their young daughter’s death.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

“The machines are off. Her bed is empty. The quiet is deafening. Miss Adelaide Grace left us early Saturday morning,” Kelly wrote on Instagram. “She went peacefully in my arms and surrounded by love. Finally, she is free from pain, reactions and seizures but leaves our hearts shattered. We love you so much Adelaideybug and forever after ????????”

Kelly’s Instagram is filled with photos of Adelaide surrounded by her loved ones.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

Adelaide suffered from consistent seizures and there was no cure for her disorder. While she was diagnosed with childhood epilepsy, the overall disease was neuro-degenerative, according to Kelly’s blog Inchstone. Kelly wrote the blogs to document and show readers the journey her family was facing every day with Adelaide’s deteriorating health.

Kelly detailed the decision to move Adelaide into hospice care earlier this year in a blog post titled “Dear, Adelaide.”

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

In the blog, Kelly reveals the work she and Miguel have put into Adelaide’s care. She admits that the focus of the family for so long was keeping Adelaide alive and in treatment but it finally became clear that things needed to change. In a heartbreaking decision, Kelly and Miguel agreed that it was time to move their daughter to hospice care and plan on making her remaining days as comfortable as possible.

“Becoming a parent is undoubtedly life-changing. But you, my dear, didn’t just change my life, you caused an eruption,” Kelly wrote in his letter to his daughter.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

“As the pieces have fallen these last few years, I haven’t been sure what to make of the remnants. The once-familiar landscape was charred and with each step, I worried the ground might give way beneath me. You have been stronger than me every step of the way. Nothing has come easy for you, fighting for some of the most basic and essential life skills, then losing them and having to fight for them all over again,” Kelly wrote to her daughter. “I think that is why this next leg of the journey has been so hard for me to accept. We’ve been standing at the precipice for weeks? Months? I’ve allowed myself to be comforted by denial asking you to wait until I’m ready. Though I realize now, I’ll never be ready and even more so, that the timing is not up to me. You’ve been fighting for your life for so long and I can see now that you are tired. It is my turn to be the strongest… and let you go.”

Kelly continues in her letter showering her daughter with love and promises.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

“I promise you, my angel baby, that your efforts, your fight, your life will not have been in vain. We will take the eternal lessons you taught us and continue to plant your seeds in the hearts of anyone who will listen,” Kelly wrote. “I promise you that I will never stop advocating on your behalf, raising awareness and money for research so that families in the future will receive their epilepsy, mast cell activation syndrome, dysautonomia, hypotonia or neuro-degenerative diagnoses along with a treatment plan to full recovery. I promise you that I will fight for science to catch up to the next child even though it could never catch up to you. I will fight so that you can rest, free from the pain this world couldn’t relieve. I love you so much, my Adelaidey baby. Your loss will shatter me in ways I never thought possible but you’ve provided us with everything we need to heal. When it’s time sweet girl, we’ll be with you, and forever after.”

The family is keeping Adelaide’s memory alive and raising money to research a cure for epilepsy.

Credit: cureepilepsy / Instagram

“I want a cure for epilepsy,” Kelly said, according to ABC7 Chicago. “I want the fear that people have of talking about it, I want that fear to end. I want my baby girl to live, and I don’t get that. So I’m going to fight like hell for the rest of it.”

Rest in peace, sweet Adelaide.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

Your mom and dad are doing everything they can to keep the promises they made to you. Rest easy, little one. Your story has inspired people to fight harder to find a cure to the disease that took you too soon.

If you would like to help the Cervantes family fight to cure epilepsy, you can donate here.

READ: Puerto Rican Art Groups Are Getting A Leg Up Thanks To This Foundation Created By The ‘Hamilton’ Family

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Jada Pinkett Smith’s Mom Opened Up About Losing Someone To COVID-19 While On The ‘Red Table Talk’

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Jada Pinkett Smith’s Mom Opened Up About Losing Someone To COVID-19 While On The ‘Red Table Talk’

Jamie McCarthy / Getty

Updated December 19, 2020.

*Trigger Warning: this piece discusses domestic violence and rape and may be upsetting for some.*

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at1-800-656-4673. Or do an online chat.

If you’ve yet to have someone in your life personally affected by COVID-19 count yourself lucky. After all, since the outbreak, there have been 77,307,971 COVID-19 related deaths.

In a recent interview Gammy, AKA Adrienne Banfield-Norris, revealed that someone close to her passed away from COVID-19.

During a recent episode of “Red Table Talk” Adrienne her personal experiences with heartbreak.

“This year has really been the passing of my mother-in-law. It was [due to] COVID. It was very painful. And then not being able to gather and celebrate her life the way we ordinarily would,” Adrienne revealed. “I have had [a lot of romantic heartbreak in my life]. This one particular failure in one of my marriages that I really built up in my head that this was my one true love and I’ll never love like this again. It wasn’t a divorce that I wanted but at the end of the day when you really, really look at the relationship honestly it’s like, ‘This one’s going nowhere but to divorce.’ I really feel like you have to kind of take some time and be honest with yourself.”

Adrienne has been open about her relationship with her ex-husband in the past.

In an October episode of “The Red Table Talk,” Adrienne Banfield-Norris revealed that she had been raped in her marriage to Pinkett Smith’s father.

Rape by a spouse or a partner is an act of physical violence that is often overlooked and under talked about. While there’s been a growth in international attention regarding marital rape it is often widely considered a “gray area” subject even in the many countries where it is illegal. Actress Jada Pinkett Smith learned a hard truth about marital rape affected her parents’ marriage this week in an exclusive clip on the Red Table Talk. Speaking with her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and her daughter Willow Smith, the actress spoke about non-consensual sex with partners.

“So, Gam, you feel like nowhere in your history in regards to sexual intimacy have you felt like you had a sexual experience that was not necessarily consensual,” Pinkett Smith noted.

Banfield-Norris admitted “I have, I have, but it was also with my husband. Your dad, actually… So that’s really gray.”

Taking a moment to process, Pinkett Smith paused and that asked her mother to clarify “You’re basically saying you had non-consensual sex with my father,” she replied to her mother.

Banfield-Norris has noted how she became pregnant with Pinkett Smith in high school and married the actress’s father, Robsol Pinkett Jr soon after. After several months of marriage, the two divorced. In 2018, Pinkett Smith revealed in another episode of Red Table Talk that her mother had endured domestic violence from Robsol.

“I knew that my mother and my father had a very violent relationship early on,” Pinkett Smith explained. “She has a couple scars on her body that, as a child, I was just curious. I was like, ‘Oh, Mommy, what’s that? What’s that?’ … This will be the first time that Willow’s actually heard these stories about her grandfather who she knew.”

At the time, the three women talked about a scar on Banfield-Norris’s back which she received when Pinkett Smith’s father threw her over a banister.

“Not to make this like an excuse … but he was typically in an altered state when he was abusive like that,” Banfield-Norris said. “He was typically drunk… “I think women stay because they think that they’re in love. That’s what it was for me. I thought that it was love.”

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Users On Reddit Are Speaking About Enduring Eating Disorders During The Holidays

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Users On Reddit Are Speaking About Enduring Eating Disorders During The Holidays

Heritage Images / Getty

*Trigger Warning: The accounts and pieces of advice in this piece are related to eating disorders and might be upsetting for those struggling or in recovery.*

Just about everyone knows that the holidays often bring an increase in food consumption. With that can come quite a bit of anxiety. After all, just around the corner comes the new year which brings diet and weight shaming season. Advertisers make us feel as if we have to rectify the “wrong” food choices we made at the end of the previous year. This undoubtedly can poorly affect the way we see ourselves at a time when we should feel excited about the new year. In some cases, this can be particularly hard for those who are or have previously suffered from anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder, or more generalized disordered eating.

Users on Reddit who’ve endured eating disorders are sharing tips and stories about getting through the holidays.

Check out some of the tips below!

  1. Think about what holiday-specific triggers you might run into so you can put some coping mechanisms in place.
  2. Make a plan ahead of time with your therapist, physician, nutritionist, or whoever else makes up your support team.
  3. If you are worried about there being “safe” foods available, offer to bring a side dish you feel comfortable eating.
  4. Let go of the notion that the holidays mean you should be happy.
  5. Tell your family what comments and phrases make you uncomfortable.
  6. Do all your favorite self-care activities in the days leading up to the food-centric holiday.
  7. Come up with secret signals with people who support you in your recovery to alert them when you need some time or are triggered.
  8. Make sure to eat breakfast and lunch as you normally would before a holiday dinner.
  9. If people start making annoying comments about what you’re eating, just smile and don’t reply.
  10. Text someone who knows what you’re going through so you can support each other.
  11. Throwback to the non-food-related holiday activities you enjoyed as a kid.
  12. Plan reasons to leave the room ahead of time so you have an excuse when you need a breather.
  13. Pick a seat at the table where it’s easier to exit without drawing attention to yourself, just in case.
  14. Focus on nostalgic foods that remind you of happy memories.
  15. Wait until the people who comment about your eating are gone to enjoy your favorite parts of the meal.
  16. Find a way to give back or support others.
  17. Journal your thoughts and feelings before the meal.
  18. Ask someone to keep you accountable in whatever way you need.
  19. Concentrate on socializing and enjoying the company of others.
  20. Forgive yourself if the day is hard for you and doesn’t go the way you want it to.
  21. And finally, don’t push yourself — if you feel like you can’t be around certain people or food in order to stay in recovery, then don’t.” –u/autobuzzfeedbot

Bring your own food.

Most likely at least few people will be contributing dishes on the day – make and bring something along you absolutely know is safe and you can eat if everything else is too scary.

Our safe foods are all different but a few ideas would be:

  • Platters. Fruit, cut up veggies, crackers, cheese, hummus, dips, anti pesto, meats, whatever you’re comfortable with. Easy to chip away at and sustain your energy throughout the day without feeling like it’s too overwhelming.
  • Salads. You can have a big plate full of salad and no one will bat an eye. Lots of veggies, but you can also add things like strawberries, boiled eggs, beetroot, dressings, nuts, cheese, croutons, meats/faux meats, tomatoes, pomegranate, onions, etc (probably not all together but some interesting combos are really good)
  • Veggie bakes. I’ve made huge veggie lasagnas that were incredibly delicious and seemed super normal. You can use things like low fat cheese or vegan cheese alternatives or even cashews/potatoes blended up with nooch to make a cheesy sauce to bake a bunch of veggies in. Add in tomato sauce and pasta/pasta sheets (I use GF ones) (or layers of starchy veg like potato and pumpkin) and you’ve got yourself a pasta bake/lasagna without oil, cheese, gluten or meat. Of course it’s not the same as the real thing but with a lot of strategic herbs and garlic, almost as good!
  • Desserts! I’ve made so many nice and ‘safe’ raw vegan brownies/cakes/etc, but also things like meringues (egg whites + sugar/sugar alternatives), healthy cookies and cakes, parfaits, apple crumble and sugar free soy-custard, the possibilities are endless!! Just make sure you try it before offering it to your family, because some recipes really don’t work.

Wear something nice but also comfy

Everyone eats more than they usually would on days like this. One day will not significantly affect your body or weight. One day of overeating and not compensating will NOT make you gain pounds and pounds of fat.

So wear something forgiving. Wear something you feel confident in and also has room to move in. Skinny jeans, bodycon anything, tight waistbands – all no nos.

I’m in the Southern Hemisphere so it’ll be warm on Christmas Day. I’m wearing a beautiful flowy dress that covers my legs and belly and makes me feel great.

Previous years I’ve worn: T-Shirt dresses, Maxi dresses, rompers/play suits, knitted stretchy high waisted pants and a boob tube, flowy high waisted pants and a matching crop top, stretchy high waisted skirt and a light knit baggy sweater.

If it’s winter where you are: Perfect! Rug up and get cosy in clothes you love. Or wear a big ugly sweater and look cute as hell doing it.

When people offer you food you don’t want

Smile and politely say “No Thank You.” And return to conversation. You don’t need to justify why, just leave it at no.

If you receive food presents

Don’t freak out, you don’t need to eat it in front of them to show your gratitude. If you think it will trigger a binge and/or purge, you can later re-gift it to someone else over the next couple of days, or give it to another family member the next day. But I strongly recommend allowing yourself to enjoy it in moderation. One year I got a box of 30 beautiful artisan dark chocolates. I had one every second or third day until March the next year. It was lovely to have a gift for that long and to always have something to look forward to in a day or two. I liked it so much that dark chocolate is something I’ll still treat myself to every other week and I’m able to do so with moderation and genuine pleasure.

If people comment on your weight/looks/what you’re eating or if someone gives you the “you look so healthy/good and your brain twists it negatively

1st option: if it’s malicious/negative – ignore that person and move to someone you like. Don’t give them power over you.

1st option part 2: shut them down with full force (there’s always at least some drama on family get-togethers)

2nd option: for well-meaning comments – this one is up to you. Remind yourself that most people do not get eating disorders and meant whatever they said from a place of love, encouragement and caring. They love you and honestly just want to see you live your life fully. They don’t want you to suffer.

Looking healthy is a compliment. You’re glowing, you’re radiant, you’re bright and alert, you’re warm and affectionate, you look beautiful. You look beautiful for more than what a camera can capture. Our eyes see so much more than the physical.

General Hecticness

A lot of us thrive in routine, habit, structure. This disturbed can be extremely scary and stressful.

  • You can give yourself structure to the day by writing out what’s going to happen, roughly. Things like:

{wake up 8am, shower, wear x and x, finish wrapping presents, 10am drive to Mums. 11am-4pm Lunch at Mum’s. 4pm-5pm Drive to Dads. 5pm-9pm Dinner with Dad and family. 9pm Drive home. 10pm cuddle with [pet/partner] and organise my gifts.}

  • Give yourself time outs whenever you need them. Go to the bathroom or sit outside for a few minutes and re-group. I carry essential oils to smell whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, find what works for you.
  • Hang around your favourite person. Could be your same-age cousin or your quite old grandpa. Could be your dad or mum or bf/gf or your aunts cat. Your little niece. Whoever you need it to be.

I know some of these won’t apply/won’t help some people because we all do different things and have different familiars but I hope it helps someone, or just prompts someone to have a think about how to prepare themselves for the day and hopefully a bit of harm reduction too.” –u/traumabroccoli

“This year I had managed to break out of the binge restrict cycle and stop binge eating. I had lost all the weight I had gained and have been eating out and exercising consistently.

The holidays are absolutely triggering me. I keep eating “junk” food and eating too much and all the guilt has started to come back. I’m scared I’ll gain all the weight back and I still feel just as big as before and have the strongest desire to lose weight but I keep eating too much.

I know I can’t be too strict on myself as that triggers binges, but this feels so hard. I feel so big and ugh I’m obsessed with eating and the only thing that makes me feel better is if I exercise. I’m going to try to stick to my 3 meals a day and snacking when hungry no matter how huge my desire to restrict is. I’m so scared of weight gain but not as scared as I am about falling back into binge eating.

Wish I could make a meal and exercise plan and fast forward my life for 3 months and just wake up feeling thin and not have to deal with over eating or any thoughts about it. I’m not even a “fat” weight, it just feels and looks “fat” on me. One part of me feels like if I lose weight and gain muscle and hit a certain number I’ll feel satisfied but another part of me is scared I’ll never be happy.”- u/narkreturn

“I would really suggest looking into intuitive eating. It sounds counterintuitive, but the more guilty you feel for bingeing, the more likely it is to keep happening. You basically have to accept however your body wants to eat for it to even out.” –momunist

“You’re not alone. I struggle with my eating less now, but I still struggle. And I’ve been in support groups, and heard recordings of support groups, where people talk about doing everything under the sun with food. I know from experience how terrible it feels to lose control, but really, no matter what you do or have done, someone else has been there too. I don’t know if this will help but thought it could.

People have so many reasons for bingeing, and so few, in a way. For me it is like a drug, but I don’t think it’s that way for everyone. The other posts have covered some likely reasons. I think it’s usually the best solution the person believes they have to whatever challenge they are facing at the time. It may feel ungraceful or illogical, but it’s completely human.”-Coeurahge

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