A Magical Night of Disney

Published July 7, 2014 by lwayswright

Disney rehearsals are well underway and wow what a show it will be. The magical night of Disney is happening at Community of Grace Church in Peoria, AZ on Aug. 3, at 7 PM. It is completely free, and open to all who want to come. But don’t forget to bring your cameras to get those pictures of you, your kids, grandkids and friends with all the special guests who just may make an appearance at this big event.

Everyone loves disney! Just listening to some of the great music from the movies and broadway shows that have come from the hearts and imaginations of the many great musicians and writers can turn a horrible day, week, or month into a better brighter time! We all need a boost of that positive happy feeling that we used to have when we were little. And what better way then listening, singing along and laughing a long with the Princesses, Princes, Villains and side kicks that all make up the Disney world. So I hope to see you all there.

 

 

 

 

So many questions…..

Published July 6, 2014 by lwayswright

I am going to be a grandma.  I think I have already mentioned that in a previous blog or maybe several of them.  But it bears repeating…I AM GOING TO BE A GRANDMA!  I am so excited on so many levels.  But the thing I am most excited for is the filling of a void.  Yep, that’s right…there is a void in my heart.  Divorce is a difficult thing no matter what the circumstances.  It takes longer for some then others to get over.  I have been without a husband for 2 years now…actually a little longer then that.  I still get as lonely now as I did the very first day I left.  Will that ever change?  Will I ever feel fulfilled in my life as a person, as just me, without that other person beside me?  I don’t really think that it is “the person” I was married to that I miss as much as it is all the things that go a long with marriage.  I miss the companionship, I miss cuddling at night while I’m falling asleep.  I miss the random phone calls during the day just to check in.  I miss intimacy, not just the physical but the emotional, the spiritual.  Am I going to miss all of that forever or will I get over it, and be able to be completely and wholly happy on my own?  That’s where the birth of my grandson comes in.  I cannot wait to wrap him in my arms, to hold him and cuddle him, to kiss his tiny cheeks and count his little toes and fingers.  And the hope is that he, this little miracle that is coming into my life, will help me fill some of the void I feel in my heart.

 

I do understand that because I have lupus there will be those times, as in everything else in my life, when I won’t be able to see him because I am ill or he is ill and I am very vulnerable to illness, but he will be there for me to snuggle when I feel better, or when he feels better.  And no one can take this grandbaby away from me.  

I am so so happy for my daughter and so proud of her life and marriage and how she has become the woman she is.  Sometimes I look at her, at all my kids actually, and wonder “How did they turn out so amazing after all they went through in their lives?”  I realize I wasn’t a bad mom, and I did the best I could and knew how to for my kids.  Some of my choices, if I could go back, would have been different, but I think I did an okay job.  Their dad and I even get along great now.  WE are like good friends who have these amazing kids in common, we are going to be grand parents together, and the both of us can hardly wait.  It’s truly a miracle!  And in that I know my kids are really happy.  And I want to share this experience with him.  I want to be a grandma with their dad and watch him be a grandpa.  He will be a good grandpa!  In some ways that has helped to stifle some of that void in my gut and heart, that is, knowing that he and I will be grandparents together and we will actually share in that role as people who genuinely love one another because of the bond we have with our kids.  

But, that doesn’t help me when I wake up alone in the middle of the night.  That doesn’t help when I am feeling really sick from this horrendous disease I have that sometimes threatens to beat me to the ground.  It’s those times when the void opens back up and tries to swallow me whole.  This all may sound fairly dramatic, but anyone who has gone through a divorce, who ended a marriage to someone they were still admittedly in love with, will know what I am talking about.  

The one truly awesome thing that has happened in the last couple of months is that I have a new roomate.  And she knows exactly how I feel.  She also shares the bond of grandma hood with me…she is my son in laws mom.  Two grannys sharing the same apartment, awaiting the arrival of their first grandchild.  We have been planning, plotting shopping, dreaming hoping, wishing and praying for this little bundle since their wedding day.  And as grandmas often do, every baby we see, every toy aisle, every commercial that has a baby in it, we oooh and aaah over with anticipation of the new little one who will be entering this loud, funny, loving, amazing family.  She has been through similar stuff to me, she gets what that feeling is, the one where there is just something missing and ya don’t know if you will find it again.  In some ways she is completely different from me, but in other ways we are very much the same.  We are weaving our way through this labyrinth of a new life with hopes and dreams of the future.  Talking is something that she and I can’t do enough of.  Get us started and it is hard to shut us up.  It’s so great to have someone who understands “the void” like I do. 

So, back to my question….will I always feel it?  Will it ever go away? Or, will I miss that part of my life for the rest of my life?  I guess the only way I will know is to keep living my life, continue dreaming of a true Prince Charming to come along and sweep me off my feet…and who knows, he just may be a little bundle who weights 7 or 8 pounds, has soft pink skin, and coos when he hears that familiar voice of grandma!  Only time will tell I guess.

 

 

Father’s Day, old dads and new dads

Published June 14, 2014 by lwayswright

I miss my dad.  I’m just gonna lay it out there.  My life has not been the same since dad passed away.  My dad was a force greater then life.  He was loud, and boisterous, he was funny and very strong in his views on how the world should be run. And he loved Jesus. And, he loved his family.  I never ever doubted my father’s love.  Never questioned if he loved me or my siblings.  I knew he did. I knew he would die for any one of us.  And I knew he adored my mom.  I wanted a life like that. Don’t get me wrong…mom and dad had their issues through out life.  They were far from perfect.  But they did love.  

And now my daughter will be having a baby of her own, my grandson, her dad’s grandson, and her husband will be a daddy.  I have no doubt that he will be an amazing dad who will had down incredible memories and legacies to his son.  In fact I am very proud to say that he will be my grandson’s dad.  I’m so excited to see them become parents.  It is going to be a joy to watch.  

Father’s Day is often underplayed or overlooked which I think is really sad.  In this day and age it is difficult to find a good dad out there, and I think the true amazing dad’s should be celebrated, loved on and totally made to feel honored at least on this one day a year.  

So, here is to all you dads, who work so hard to make ends meet for your families, who help with homework, help putting kids to bed, the dads that cook dinner and read books, the dad’s that play baseball and run with the dogs in the back yard.  All you men who go the extra mile for your families to keep them together and happy.  I applaud all of you.  Happy Father’s Day!!!

Lupus, medication, fear, healing

Published May 31, 2014 by lwayswright

I haven’t written about lupus, and the fact that I have it, in quite some time.  It’s actually what this amazingly scintilating blog was intended to be about in the first place, but I find that talking about my family, kids, upcoming grand baby etc is much more exciting and uplifting.  Today, however, I thought maybe it was time for a dose of reality.  Lupus stinks first and foremost.  May is Lupus aware ness month and if your facebook page is like mine you have gotten some information about lupus and the affects on one’s body.  There are so many varied and different symptoms and issues that happen from person to person with lupus.  For me it is pain, a lot in my joints, migraines, rashes, sores that show up if there is infection in my body, lots and lots of fatigue, depression, and sometimes even the desire to live like this for the next however many years of my life does not even seem appealing to me.  Not that I would ever take my own life because believe me I in no way want to leave my family, my kids or life.  But, living like this is sometimes not really living.  

The other issue that is really annoying a lot of the time is the lack of understanding of this disease.  Even in the medical field becuase it is so varied in how it affects people doctors don’t always understand, emergency rooms certainly don’t understand, which makes it difficult for family and friends to understand. Now, don’t get me wrong, my family is awesome.  They work their hardest to understand what I go through on a daily basis, but until you have really lived in constant pain, day after day, had to worry about just going outside for fear of gettting sick or breaking out in a rash or both, never know when you will get sick…it’s really hard to know how to handle someone in your family with this illness.

Medications is another one of those dreaded but necessary evils of lupus.  No matter how hard you try to stay off them, or limit them to only a few that are or seem totally needed, they can wreak havoc on your body, system and quality of life.  For most lupies prednisone or steroids of some sort are an necessary evil.  I have tried my hardest to only go on them if I am in desperate need.  Like now, for instance. I have sores all over my face from some sort of infection and I reluctantly went on them to help heal.  But once this dose is done I will not go back on them again until absolutely needed.  Other meds include methotrexate, plaquinel, muscle relaxers, pain meds, blood pressure meds, anti arthritus meds, injections of medication for joint degeneration, gabapentin for nerve pain, anti depressants, and the list goes on.  Now, granted we are not all on these same meds, some are on all, some are on only a few, but whatever a lupie is on can greatly affect their life.  It’s a balancing act and I will admit to have gotten out of that balance and ending up in the hospital because I have not been watching carefully enough what I take and when.  I have gotten so much better with the help of my kids and the help of just realizing it was time to get serious about medication care and control and scheduling.  I want to be clear here however that people with Lupus are NOT drug addicts.  And, a lot of the drug problems happen because doctors just don’t know enough about it, and one doc gives this drug that interacts with that one and it causes a big ole mess.  Not that I haven’t felt like a drug addict at times, or wondered if I am better off not taking anything and just dealing with the pain…been there, tried it and guess what…the pain is unbearable…unlike any pain I have felt in my life.  

There are certainly days when just getting out of bed, just taking a shower causes so much exhaustion, so much fatigue it is better to skip the shower in order to get other things done in the day.  AT the same time there have been times, in the middle of the night that I have sat under the hot water in the shower to try to relieve some of the pain i feel and cannot manage.  

So, why am I writing all this now?  Maybe it’s because I am going to be a new grandma soon.  Maybe it’s because I really feel it’s high time more people know and understand this illness and that it is one that so many people fight and those people are often looked at as hypochondriacs, and emotionally unstable.  It’s real.  It’s not a joke.  So, if you know someone with lupus, give them a break, a helping hand, understanding, love, let them know you are on their side. And, if there are days they want to give up talk them through it.  Because no matter what there are beautiful things in life that deserve to be enjoyed, and lived.  Most of all they need encouragement that on those bad days tomorrow will come and hopefully tomorrow will be better.  

And to all you lupies out there….carry on!!!!!

 

 

Nervous thoughts…positive attitudes.

Published May 30, 2014 by lwayswright

I am going through a time in my life where there are many changes going on all at once.  My daughter has moved in with her sister and now my amazing son in laws mom is going to be moving in with me.  I am actuallly excited to go through this transition, have the two perspective grandmas in one home…it will be fun.  I am also trying to figure out what I want to do dating wise.  I was on a dating site, met a nice guy on there, thought maybe it could be something and then bam out of the blue he just dropped me like a hot potato.  ANd it isn’t like I had fallen in love with him, it just made me really question if I want to go through all this dating nonsense again at this age of life.  Now if God could drop down a nice guy who could love this woman with all her faults and issues, I would go for that.  But the other way is so much work.  

Here’s what I miss from relationship…I miss cuddling at night.  I miss holding hands.  I miss talking at the end of the day. So, maybe all I need is a nice pillow…hmm there’s a thought! LOL  Actually the right attitude, the positive out look is a must once you hit this age and you have no other person.  It’s not easy to find that guy or girl when you are a little bit headed toward the other side of that hill.  And for me, I already know the three perfect guys are already married, and they are related…my brothers.  They don’t make em like those guys any more.  

So, I will continue to try to be postive, try to think happy thoughts and dating…I will be nervous but maybe one day it will all work out!

Searching for Tom Sawyer

Published April 23, 2014 by lwayswright

Over the last couple of months my life has been evolving probably more then it has in the the last 2 years. I feel like I am entering an entirely new phase of my life, the phase somewhere between “I thought my life was done” and “I am just beginning to live, on my own terms”. And here is how all that happened.
I lost my job. I know, millions of people have lost their jobs over the last several years. The economy is horrible, jobs (at least good ones) are hard to find, and the search and rejection can be depressing and dehumanizing at best. I was afraid, scared to death to be exact. I didn’t know where to turn, what I was going to do and how in the world could I go through yet another disappointment in my life. After all I hadn’t been divorced that long, I had an apartment to pay rent and utilities for, things that already scared me because I was used to having a husband, my partner in life, to help pay for that stuff. Now, I’m a lone. I didn’t want to be back in that place where I am asking my kids for money all the time. I was getting used to being somewhat independant, and I was feeling proud of myself for that. It wasn’t the perfect life, nor was it where I had anticipated being at the ripe young age of 50 years old, but it was where I was at. I was embracing it and moving forward not back. Then, whamo, I lost my job and I felt like I was not only walking backward but I had taken a huge step off of a ledge that led right back to square one. I was depressed and ready to give up. Then I started asking my family if they had any ideas for me.
Guess what..they did. Now, I am not saying that I am getting tons of moolah for any of what I am doing at this point. And, yes I am still putting my resume out there, and applying for real jobs. However, I have begun doing things for my siblings that make me feel so good, like I am really achieving something and by helping them, I have found I am really helping myself.
My brother, Pastor Tim Wright, has written a new book called “Searching for Tom Sawyer, How Parents and Congregations can stop the Exodus of Boys from Church.” It is an amazing look into why boys and men seem to be leaving the church in huge numbers and what we can do to stop it. Author Dr. Tim Kimmel says this about the book; “If we want strong men in our churches in the future, we need to make radical shifts now. Tim Wright has a sure fire cure for you, your family and your church.” Tim has been a pastor here in the Phoenix area for over 30 years. His ministry has been nothing short of extraordinary, and he has so much to share and teach. So, for him I am working on getting him on radio shows, some TV shows, churches to talk about this exciting book. I have found that radio and TV are not the quickest at getting back to anyone about interviews, however, once they do get back they are some of the nicest folks around.
And then there is my sister. Lise is a vocal coach and founder of Redhead Music, a performing arts business that provides voice, guitar, keyboard and drum lessons. She also is the director of a vocal performance group called the Noise. The Noise is a group of teens who do a show every year that focuses on the things that youth go through these days, i.e. bullying, peer pressure, friendships, depression, broken homes. We take these kids on a summer tour and share it with adults and kids alike. (I write the show and direct the drama portion) This year I have been more involved in the actual booking of the tour, booking shows, finding airplane tickets etc. It has been so much fun. This summer our tour goes to Nashville and Indianapolis. I am also helping Lise do some of the leg work to try to get her Performing Arts School off the ground. I have been doing some Grant writing, setting up meetings with realtors to find locals for the school. This has also been a joy and pleasure for me to do, and hopefully has taken some of the load off my sister.
Here is what I am learning. First I really enjoy doing all of these things. None of them are things I have done before, so it has definitely been a learning curve for me. Second, I have learned that no matter what I do Lupus follows me everywhere. Those days when I can totally forget that I have lupus are not many, but when I am really busy, and my mind is active and on other things I do find that lupus takes a back seat to other things. I may get home at the end of the day and be in tons of pain, be physically and mentally exhausted, but it is worth it to me to feel like my life has purpose.

I have also learned that when I feel successful and like I am doing something worthwhile that my perception of being a mom and soon to be grandma has changed. I am working on things that my kids could be proud of their mom doing. I am not just “the mom with lupus” I am the mom who is doing something with meaning, and who feels proud of herself. And that is a good feeling.

Now granted, I still need to find a job that will be steady and a continuous paycheck, but this little turn of events in my life have made me feel like maybe I have more options of things I could do. Just maybe being 51 doesn’t mean that my life is over, that I am too old to reinvent myself. Maybe I am just beginning. Maybe I am going to be okay!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIfe’s little surprises

Published April 16, 2014 by lwayswright

My life has taken so many turns over the years that it is often confusing to keep track.  Single to married, married and a mom, divorced, single mom, dating, married with step kids, divorced again…and now I am dating again..although this time much more selectively, more carefully and I definitely don’t want to repeat my past mistakes again.  And, I am searching for a job.  I am doing odd jobs here and there for friends and family, but I really do need something permanent that will make me an income.  I don’t want to be afraid anymore.  I don’t want to worry about what tomorrow will bring.  In fact I want to enjoy my life this time around.  I want to feel joy and excitement at what the future holds.  It has been such a long time since I felt like that.  

I think deep down we all want a sense of being needed, of being appreciated for the things that we do, big or small.  It’s also important to feel like we have contributed in some small way to this planet.  So, the last third of my life I am going to try to make a difference, even if it is in just one person’s life.  I just had another birthday, so to mark the day I worked at “Feed My Starving Children” which, if you have never done and you  have the chance I highly recommend it.  It will be a life changer for you!  And then I celebrated 51 years of amazing life with my good friend and adopted brother Tony.  It was a great day..a celebratory day.  A new beginning day.  Shouldn’t every birthday be a new beginning? Shouldn’t every day be a new beginning?

Don’t get me wrong, I still have days, moments, hours when I wonder what in the world is going on with my life.  Lupus is no joke.  Divorce is no joke.  It’s all hard.  Not knowing what your next paycheck will be…that’s hard.  However, God has never let me down even when I have felt so far away from Him it’s a wonder that He knew I existed.  But He did, in His grace and wisdom, he knew exactly where I was, what I was thinking, feeling and what I needed.  I have never gone hungry, or been without a home to go to.  And I have friends that are more amazing then I deserve and a family..well don’t even get me started on how amazing they are.  And, I am going to be a grandma, which is just icing on the cake for me.  I know there will be days, or moments when I am a doubter, an emotional wreck, all of those things that I don’t like about myself.  I am determined though to  work harder to make less of those days.  To smile more often.  To live life in a joyful way.  

I have written a show for a group of teenagers to take on tour this summer.  They are going to Nashville and Indiana and performing the show in some amazing venues.  When I wrote the show I had no idea what it was going to turn into at the time, but it has become something very unexpected.  I have gotten to know these kids and have made their stories a part of the show.  Some of them have lived through such trauma and sadness it is a wonder they can keep smiling.  But they do!  They are amazing kids that have overcome unbelievable obstacles and come out stronger in the end.  I am so proud of them.  I am so proud of their overcoming spirits.  It inspires me to be better.  

So I guess my challenge to you is to try to be stronger, be happier, hang on tighter, love more.  That’s what I am going to do!

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