Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tomatoes and Terrible Talk

Sometimes all it takes is a 15 minute conversation with someone to reinforce how fortunate you are.

I met a lady, a very nice lady, a while back as I shopped for fresh melons in a suburban supermaket. I have the uncanny ability of attracting strangers and having conversations with them as if I've known them all of my life.

After telephone conversations and lunch outings at cafes with patios, she invited me to her home. I didn't see the 80 year old as a threat so I went.

Her home was immaculate. As I walked through the foyer and the various sitting rooms and dining rooms, I told myself that a small third world country could live in these digs.

The home was off the water and as we sat on her back deck, I saw boats with fancy names pained on the side bobbing within eyeshot. Nice. I was sure happy when she brought out the food. That's always a bright spot in my day. We had small portions. If you know me, you already know how I felt about that. Don't give me a couple slices of pumpernickel lady, gimme the whole loaf. Lord, help me to hold my greedy tendencies together out here on this nice deck.

I noticed that the deck had inordinate amounts of paraphernalia to block the sun. I mean this lady had all kinds of things to block UV rays. I told myself that I needed an arsenal like this to block the rays to avoid summer lupus flares. Just as I was finishing this thought, she dropped a bombshell; she also has lupus. My eyes bucked but by then she was off and running.

"This disease is the worse. I can't do anything that I want to do. My family doesn't understand-actually they're the worst-with what it means to have lupus. They call and actually get attitudes when I tell them there are many things that I can't do. Need some more Grey Poupon, honey? Some of my friends are just as bad and instead going through my bad days with me, they would rather just stay away. Need more ice cubes for your iced tea, baby? Oh and let's not get started on the extensive bloodwork that my doctor's require. My right arm has been poked so many times that my veins have collapsed. Some days it's not even worth living."

After hearing all of that, I didn't even want to tell her that I was suffering from lupus. She had taken me from 0 to 60 in 26 seconds flat. I never saw all of that coming. She almost ruined my appetite. Almost. I ate everything except the yolks of those eggs.

I listened to her go on and on and on for a little while longer. I rationed in my head that it was important for me to reveal my identical health issue. So I did and she thought she had a partner in her "life sucks" rant. No ma'am, this is a good lunch but I did see a Panera Bread on my drive here. I will not stand for negative talk coupled with a good lunch.

Needless to say, I was plotting my exit through those immaculate French doors.

On my way home, I got a Chicken Salad sandwich from Panera Bread. Yum and deelish. Evenmoreso because I had positive vibes and convo going on. I can't control what other people say and do but I can darn show control what I say and do. And sometimes my controlling what I say and do may involve me saying 'adios' and bidding someone farewell keeping in mind that I am my first defense in my own preservation.

Good people we already know that it is important not to have negative people or vibes around us. Now let’s consider what goes into our ears. Just as we guard our hearts, we should also guard our ears. Not everything is worthy of being heard. Let’s think of it like this. Our ears are physically the closest thing to our hearts. It’s always been said that an action starts with a thought. Therefore, let’s not let wicked things into our ears because negative thoughts that can lead to damaging actions. Let’s be careful with whom we let bend our ears. Let’s also be careful with the music that we favor. Foolish “musicians” are being made millionaires from music that can potentially damage our souls.

My mother has always said, "Sherri, you can't eat with everybody." Prior to this experience, I would tell her that she sounded like a drunken woman. But as usual, mother knew best, just as she always does. You can't break tomato sandwiches with everybody, no matter how ripe and appealing they are.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

TEAM Cakesy

I know that a lot of people have been wondering what in the world TEAM Cakesy is.

Months ago April approached me and said that she was going to participate in a Lupus Walk in honor of me. After we decided on what walk she was going to do she thought it would be an excellent idea to solicit pledges. I thought so too. So we enlisted the help of Cherish to get the a blog started. Thus, TEAM Cakesy was born.

Cakesy is a nickname that my mother gave to me as a child. She doesn't know from where it was derived and so clearly, I don't know either. But decades later, the name still sticks and so we just roll with it.

We are participating in the Alliance for Lupus Research Walk that will be in Detroit in September. All money raised will go solely to research to help cure this devestating disease. Our team is so fortunate because we have raised more than $1,500thus far. I'm glad that my loved ones see the bigger picture in that they are not just helping me but thousands like me. It is a sad situation but like most things in life you make the best of it.

I am so fortunate to have such pro-active loved ones. If it wasn't for Cherish and April I wouldn't have my beloved job at the Lupus Alliance of America. It was Cherish's idea to have a photo shoot so that we could have images for blog. This prompted me to go to the Alliance to buy a T-Shirt and in the midst of me buying a T-Shirt, I came out with a job. I hate to call it a job because it honestly doesn't feel like work. It feels like my calling. I laugh to myself about it often. God knew that He was going to have to work a miraculous work in order to keep me here in the metro area. He opened up a Public Relations position for me and now I never want to leave. As you can see, God is going to get His glory one way or another.

I helped with my first event two weeks ago. It was a lupus walk in Grand Rapids and we raised $5,000. My mother was able to go and we had a blast. That's what it is about helping and giving back. My Alliance's website is I have posted pics from the walk on the FaceBook page. Search "Lupus Alliance of America Michigan Indiana" and become a fan. That way you can keep up with all of our updates and fabulous photography.

The blog for the September Walk is
Check us out and pledges are always welcome. Click the link on the right side of the blog.

These are photos of me and my best buds, Cherish and April, at the site of the Walk. Watch out for us. We make things happen!!

Here we are doing our "LaVerne and Shirley" walk. "We're gonna make our dreams come true. And we'll do it our way, yes our way..."

Peace and Blessings...