I will have more and better pics in a bit.. my battery on my camera needs charging. But, here is a portion of the awesome box I received yesterday from The Grassroots Manager at the Arthritis Foundation!!!! Even though I did not make it to DC this year and be awarded my plaque in person, I hope next year to go one way or the other... I was so surprised and honored to receive this!
- I am going to post a photo a bit later of ALL of my incredible things I received from the Arthritis Foundation. I was so thrilled when it came yesterday afternoon! I received my "Official Plaque" for being a 20014 "Platinum Ambassador", a new T-Shirt from the new Summit, several buttons I can wear, a "stress" ball, an awesome "reusable" bag!! This one has zipper pockets, and is lined very well in heavy plastic, with the whole logo on it from the summit. It is really awesome! I also got the brand new 2015 Ambassador "Too; lit", which is so nice. I have it downloaded onto my computer, but this one is so cool. It is in a beautiful bound booklet, with all of the "colorful" logos etc used this year for the Summit. By the way, it is "green" this year and so it my new T-Shirt! I am just so happy I received it with a beautiful note written by the "grassroots manager" who is just a real sweetheart! Laura has been almost like a "mentor" to me in so many wonderful ways. Also, last year along the way, we became "friends". I learned a great deal about her on more of a personal level and we shared things back and forth over the year about the Arthritis Foundation, but also what we had going on more about our own lives. I have truly been blessed to have her kind of take me under her wing. She was the person that helped to get me home, in the last years Summit of 2014, when Jim had the severe and very bad car accident at the last of the Summit. Her and Chris Nieto will always remain extremely special to me on many, many ways. I thank the Lord for them each day, and all of the help. compassion, support, and so much more they gave to me during that "trying time". Those times when life can all of a sudden within a breaths space throw a curve ball at you 90 MPH, & hit you right in the gut with full force. I am so indebted to both of them, plus the Arthritis Foundation; along with several others that gave me the support I needed when literally my knees buckled under the weight of way too much "life tragedy" when I least expected it. Pam Gill from the Central AF also was a huge help, and so many of the advocates, and my "family here on FB" were here day after day during those trying times when he was in the hospital for over 3 months. I never thought our lives would ever see anything
"normal" again. As I said before, and we continue to see it, a "new normal" whatever that might be in our lives now. Denise Tekell you have also been here to listen, encourage, support, & be such a very dear, dear friend even though you are going through a very difficult time in your own life. I admire you so very much, for the strength you show, for your tenacity to find your way through such again a time when life seems to be so turned upside down for you and your family. Yet, you always have a smile on your face, no matter the amount of pain, and of fatigue, & all kinds of health issues you are dealing with, you have a kind word for us no matter what life is also pitching at you also, at a pace so fast, sometimes we find ourselves almost unable to "dodge" it. So many of you here have lifted myself and Jim up in thought, positive light and prayers. I hope EACH and everyone of you (and you know who you are) always KNOW and TRUST we are so blessed and so very grateful to have you on our fighting side of life, when it decides to deem a rapid punch when you least expect it. As I finish up "HOPEFULLY" over a YEAR of the NIGHTMARE from the Sjogren's and Losing ALL OF MY TEETH to that horrid disease, and Hope for these "mini titanium pins" will continue to help give me the added support I so desperately need in order to hold these bottom dentures in place, only to now fight another battle of a "new pain" - well it is not so "new" but much worse than it had been in my lower back, hips and legs. I am still not so sure my hips are also a part of the problem. In fact I am going to call my orthopedic surgeon and make an appointment to see him hopefully ASAP and see about having my hips injected again very soon. So, once again I face a "new frontier" in this battle of autoimmune illnesses. They can cut you down much faster than you can get up all too often... more later...
I am sure (Jim and I in fact talked about this yesterday) that at times people probably wonder If I have lost my mind.... Well, I didn't have a whole lot to lose, since over the years many things have certainly waxed and waned me in life. At one time, before I got into the "advocacy" work, and before I got "chronically ill"... my "voice" in my writing and some volunteer work was for "battered and abused" women (men kids etc)... but mainly women. Due to a couple of events that happened to me as a teenager, that I never spoke of here in this town at all, along with the living hell of an extremely abusive marriage that I stayed in WAY TOO LONG, before I finally decided to leave the entire state of TX behind... and find "peace" somewhere else.. which at first I thought was Lancaster CA, then things happened, I had to move back to TX, and again put up with the mental, emotional and physical abuse of someone who was "supposed to love me".... I had a knee operated on... and when it was well enough, I moved to Seattle WA... there of which I thought I had found my "life"... and I did in many ways. I loved my job there, and I was basically more "healthy" that I had been in years and years. Then I was struck down with yet some more abuse, that I got out of very quickly. It was not long until I began to I am sure now have the sign and symptoms of what I now know is the Lupus, RA, Sjogrens and so forth ... so due to life's changing path, just as a river can change course my life led me back here, to where I grew up... and at first I was angry... I was ANGRY AND MAD AS HELL! To be quite honest. That was the last thing I wanted to do. But I did miss my Mom and kids... thus coming back was a good thing... As far as the "abuser" he wound up in jail for a long time right after me moving back. So, that kept him out of my life... and after that, he has left me, (us) alone for the most part. Thank goodness. Back before I moved to Seattle, due to mainly "hiding" to keep from being abused (I was 40 at the time) many thought I was the one insane, on drugs, etc... no one was ever told the truth at that time... i hid it, kept it inside because I knew no one would believe me then. They would assume and did, that I was the one with "the problem". Later it all came out, and when that happened it stopped many years of gossip, pain, and others thinking I was nuts. Anyway, My advocacy, writing, poetry and so forth for many years had always been about the abuse, how to get out, how to get help, and so on... then it took a new twist after I became so chronically ill. During my "research" of what all of these "diseases" were doing to my body, I saw much that "called me into" the activist work. I wanted to TELL THE ENTIRE WORLD that I, THAT WE... all of us NEEDED ASSISTANCE.. we needed a cure, a reason why, MORE RESEARCH, more of everything, and I so wanted to be a part of that change.... thus my own illness led me to this road of being an Ambassador... and the challenge of trying to "make a difference"... but when the ordeal with Jim happened a year ago, things truly changed again... what many DO NOT SEE, are the days, times, moments, sometimes a week or two, that I DO FALL APART... I do want to just say to hell with it and quit... I don't want to make another step, see another doctor, take another pill, and at times I am truly SICK OF BEING SICK FOR ONE... AND #2 i am SICK OF ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT BEING SICK!! So, I like you try to hold onto one moment, one hour, one day, one month... and step forward sometimes to an abyss of the unknown... and allow "faith" to lead me where I need to go... Even now, I know in my heart, if I ever intend of being SERIOUS about WRITING my BOOK, I am going to have to "cut back" on some of my other advocacy work... as much as I never wanted to even think that, much less have to honestly deal with it. I am under way too much "pressure and stress"... I've always been a "yes" person... someone asks me to "help" and of course I am always willing and ready to step up to the plate and do whatever it takes... but between my own "all terrain" keeper of our domain, in other words, taking care of the WHOLE HOME, all of it... and then so much with Mom, that she honestly cannot do on her own... and my own illness, I am still way too overloaded to find the time to write, to blog, and to do the other things I feel that are also my "calling"....So, as much as I don't want to, I am going to have to back out of some of the activism for now. I can always pick it back up later.... but for now, I feel my work on my book, our home, and Mom's things... as well as my own health has to take precedence over some of the other things I have been participating in... So, as in the next couple of days, I make that decision of what to "hold onto" for now, and what to "bow out of" for now... pray I am making the right decisions and I am doing what "His" Will is, not just my own... so this is a perfect "holiday" to "roll away the stone"... and find out what is "truly meant for me to do over the next year or so"... I pray and hope for guidance, because Lord knows I may mess it up on my own.... Hugs back and much love.
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