Wednesday, April 28, 2010

He Has Smiled On Me

 am more tired than a one-legged man in a cock fighting contest. Now that’s tired. That’s also an improvement. There was a time when I wouldn’t admit that I was tired. That’s probably because I never took time to access myself to truly determine how I was feeling. Now I perform self-assessments often. I have to. My life depends on it. There’s nothing like a lupus flare to get you on the good foot, I tell ya. Rest will have to wait though because May is Lupus Awareness Month and lupus events are in overdrive. I guess it is true. Whatever doesn’t kill you make you stronger. With all May’s activities, I had better have Popeye-eating-bags-of-spinach strength.

Speaking of strength, I get tickled so easily thinking back to a year ago when I was feeble and weak. So weak that my little cousin would have to pick me up and take me to the little girl’s room. Now, I’m strong enough to make it to the restroom by myself and evidently, strong enough that God has entrusted me with a powerful work.

Lupus is a disease that is more prevalent that multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia and cerebral palsy combined. COMBINED yet it is the least known of all of the diseases. Nine out of 10 people who have lupus are women. Furthermore, African American women are three times as likely as white women to get lupus and tend to develop lupus at a younger age and have more complications. When I read those statistics it truly humbles me to think that I was spoke out to do something about this disease. Me, who every third or so word out of my mouth is probably a curse word. Me, who if it were left up to me, would laugh and giggle all day. Me who, contrary to popular belief, likes being in the background. Remember my life’s goal was always to be a published author (anonymity) and live quietly and in peace with my wealth and a Dairy Queen. That’s all. I don’t ask for much.

Clearly, my man-made plan wasn’t productive enough for God. Now He has positioned me to be the so-called Face of Lupus for the Lupus Alliance of America. It is my big head that’s the dominant photo on the website. Last week, I hosted a televised show introducing the Lupus Alliance of America to everyone that watched. As I drove to the taping of the show, I prayed that if just one person watched and got the help that they needed, we had done our job. Lo and behold, we had quite a few callers who said they were so glad to see someone doing a television show about lupus. Callers were so interested further clarifying there is a need for lupus education and awareness.

Upon the show’s completion, I called my mother from the studio. Just hearing the joy and glee in her voice somehow made being sick as a dog all last year made it all worth it (in some deranged sort of way). She said she saw her deceased mother and sister all through me. I asked her if I looked dead. She said no and that I just looked like them on television. She added that she was proud of me for doing a great job. I’m a thug but that made me tear up. I had to turn my back and collect myself. Just a little background about my mother is that she isn’t the most emotional person. She is as sweet as pie but “I love you. You love me” my mama is not. The last time she was this happy was when I got a scholarship to college. Even at college graduation, I think she was like “Thank you Jesus, I kept her off the pole (stripping), she isn’t strung out on drugs and she doesn’t have 5 kids by seven different babies daddies. Glory to your name, Lord!” She probably thought her work was done and she could die at that moment. But anyhoo, that day in the studio she was so proud that it even shook my composed self. I took her a copy of the show and she went in my bedroom and watched it again, like it was her first time watching it.

his Sunday, I will be a guest on the ‘Girl, Bye’ show at 7pm on WJLB, FM 98. Since May is Lupus Awareness month, they were gracious enough to include a lupus segment in a health related show they are planning. The following week, I will tape a segment for the Street Beats show to be televised at a later date. The following Saturday, I am a panelist for the SHE’s (Sisters Helping Encourage Sisters) Empowered Butterfly Bash. Someone actually wants me sit down and encourage other people. Who would’ve thought that one? I’m on the panel with local radio personalities and women are who are really doing it big. Like Pastor Lewis said, “it’s better to be called upon versus someone telling you sit your so-and-so down.” Okay, I threw in the so-and-so but you get the gist of what I’m saying.

During the week of May 23rd until the 29th, some PBS stations but not all of them because as I understand it, local PBS stations select shows at their discretion, will air A Wider World, A Show about Abilities and guess who will be profiled in a segment? That’s right, the one who just thought she was going to write books and live happily ever after with the Dairy Queen as her neighbor. The show will air in my hometown on Channel 56 at 5:30pm. It will be uploaded to their youtube website once the show has aired. My mom, cousin, God-sister, God-mother and best friend were interviewed. I wonder what dead family members my mom will unearth to say that I look like on-camera. “You look like your great, great, great aunt who worked on a plantation.”

Also, the Lupus Alliance of America has a commercial!! Yay! We were able to get it underwritten by the good folks at Sinai-Grace Hospital and the Wholesome Smiles and the Traveling Tooth Station Mobile units. I can’t figure out exactly how to post the link but here Just cut and paste this link and viola. That’s me in my spring color, mellow yellow.

I’ve been humming this song for the past couple of days. Look beyond the writing across the video and listen to homegirl’s rendition of “God Has Smiled on Me.” Ya’ll we are so blessed and fortunate. Please take nothing in this lifetime for granted. Until next time…and in the meantime, please, pray my strength. The kid is a little tired!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Flyin' Above

It's amazing when things turn around, people start to have problems with you.

It's amazing when you are percieved to be down and out, folks flock to you with their hands extended and a cheshire cat grin on their face offering their unsolicited assistance.

It's amazing when life starts turning around in your favor folks start to get a little different. The girls get catty and the boys get intimidated. Just amazing.

One thing that I have always prided myself in is being able to rise above the fray. I don't fuss with the boys and I don't do the catty thing with the girls. In fact, I have always made it my business to avoid situations like that. I hate catering to stereotypes like the one that says women can get along. I absolutely abhor that!! Ugh! My girlfriends and I get along. I think that is largely due to the fact that we have 10 other side projects going on that keep us busy and productive. We go for sometimes weeks without hearing each other voices but when we do, it's like we have never missed a beat.

So color me surprised when word got back to me that a particular person had a whole lot to say since God has decided to use me to do some pretty great things. Now mind you Alex (I figure that's a nice name that could be either masculine or feminine) was my "friend to the end" when lupus was doing marathon laps around me. Everything was all good when I had more month than money. Our relationship was groovy when lupus drugs had me camatose.

ell, well, well, how quickly things change. To be honest, I was not going to blog about this but I figure I blog about the hellish depths of lupus so why not this? I hate the word "hater" and I think that it has been taken to an extreme. I never wanted any "haters" because I think that "hating" is not condusive to maximizing one's own potential. I decided to dedicate a post to my scenario because we all experience the same situations in one form or another and it is important to know how to manuever and decipher them when they arise.

That main thing that got a bee in my bonnet is that Alex had nothing to say about my character. Alex was unable to fix his/her mouth to say that I was unkind, unresourceful, slothful, lazy or anything of the like. Alex has a problem with where God is lifting me from and taking me to. How nutty is that? Alex loves to proclaim that s/he is a believer and wears crosses and speaks about "believing" pretty often. That just goes to show that a donkey with a load of holy books is still a donkey. Judge people by their actions and not by all that mumbo jumbo that escapes their lips.

Always know that when something is from God, those who have proclaimed to love you will for life could possibly be the first ones to "put their mouths on you" as my pastor calls it. Unfortunately, some folks can deal with you better when they perceive you as needing help or needing a hand. Those folks aren't your friends. I wouldn't even call them your foes. They are instead your step stools thrusting you to where you need to be.

Awards attrack attack. It took me over 30 years to experience this personally but honey, everyone isn't for you. No matter how deligently you tend to your garden of doing well, weeds will still sprout. Never cease in doing well and letting your light shine. We have too many people tucking away their talents because of what others think. Don't extinguish your light for anyone. No one can offer the world what you have to offer. As for me, my Sherri Blaise Bus is going to roll on. I have never been a drama queen and therefore refuse to be that gal. I always strive to maintain an aura of tranquility surrounding me and a few misguided weeds will not stop that. I implore you to do the same.

Oh yeah, I'm also Twittering now. I'm on there a bit more often than I blog. I know that's not saying much. Follow me: @SherriBlaise Be well and stay encouraged!