Dancing to the music at the Haley Funeral Director’s tent at the Hope UMC Carnival July 13, 2013.
Local seniors enjoyed a day at the carnival when Haley Funeral Directors hosted them in the HFD tent at the Hope United Methodist Church’s 3rd annual Southfield Festival of Hope. HFD invited local senior apartment communities out for a day at the festival. Although the seniors weren’t too keen on taking a spin on the carnival rides, they did enjoy Soul Food Alley, the many vendors, local entertainment and of course the sunshine.
The response back from The Fountains at Franklin Activities Director, Robin Whitley was that “…they enjoyed the carnival fun and look forward to next year”.
Not to forget the youth, Haley Funeral Directors also sponsored 8 young women from the Judson Center, a human service agency located in Southeastern Michigan to help children, adults and families improve their lives.
Stephen Kemp II engages HFD guests in a round of Bid Whist!
In my chapter of Victorious Living for Women, I talk about how we can never predict exactly where our blessings will come from. In fact I detail how my difficult period of kidney failure and dialysis was, at that time, the worst thing that had ever happened to me. My kidney transplant after seven months of dialysis then became the reason I was eligible for a pancreas transplant. And what a pancreas transplant meant was that I no longer had to follow a diabetes regimen.
As I reflected back to the time of my diabetes diagnosis at the age of seven, I recall that my grandfather and pastor told me that we would just pray that [diabetes] away. You can imagine how my parents felt about my grandfather instilling hope into their daughter that they were talking to physicians about how to prepare me for a lifetime of diabetes management. While both my parents were Christian, they didn’t want me to be confused and spend my life waiting for a miraculous cure one day.
I didn’t spend my life waiting for that cure, and instead pushed forward to live a normal life. It wasn’t until after my pancreas transplant that I reminded my grandmother of my grandfather [now deceased]’s prayer. Could it be that he did pray it away? Why do we think that when we pray, God is somehow on the clock? That He has a timeframe in which to answer our prayer. Not only does he have a timeframe, but a manner in which He should do it. “To pray my diabetes away”, somehow seemed to me and my parents for God to perform some miracle and I would somehow be cured. A simple prong on the head and diabetes would be gone!
Who would imagine that He would use physicians and technology and achieve essentially a cure?
It is with that realization that I am careful not to predict and plan where my acts of kindness go, because I never know where my blessings will come from. In other words, I don’t decide to do nice things for people that I expect a return of good fortune. The idea of paying it forward is not finding a trading partner or deciding who is worthy to receive your gift. It is passing on a gift to someone in need or deserving, without expecting anything in return.
I recently had such an opportunity. At a Writer’s Expo, a young woman, before performing a song told the story of her intent to relocate to Georgia in order to donate a kidney to a long time friend of hers. What’s the chance that I was in that room of authors–both fiction and nonfiction–to hear this story. I was in a place to tell my story and experiences of being a two-time organ transplant recipient to someone who really needed to understand the process. I was stunned, even paralyzed to listen to her. I knew immediately that God had placed me in that place to hear her story and provide information and guidance for this transplant procedure. I wasn’t even sure why I attended this Expo; it wasn’t necessarily an event that I thought I would sell many books. But I received a blessing beyond what selling several books could provide: The blessing of knowing that my story mattered.
- Yoga Poses
I used to lead a very sedentary life of writing and blogging, walking from my computer to the refrigerator, with the occasional walk to the garage door to let my dog have at it within the Invisible Fence. That’s it Lizzy, exercise yourself! How much lazier can you get, when you don’t even walk the dog.
My diabetes has always kept me with pretty good eating habits, so I sought to exercise more to lose weight, strengthen my upper body and gain a better range of motion. A good friend (ok, the ring bearer from my wedding—boy am I old!) is a personal trainer, so I signed my husband and I up to work out with him 3 days a week. We did well for about six months, but we didn’t lose much weight. Indeed I felt stronger, and my upper body strength and stamina was improving. My husband’s stamina improved as well, but his schedule seemed to get in the way and he eventually quit and I was traveling out of the way to meet him there and he no longer went, so I quit.
Well, I stopped the personal training sessions, but I continued to do the routines he outlined for us at home. I even bought a stair stepper to maintain an everyday exercise commitment. But again, no weight loss—felt well, but no weight loss.
A fellow author and registered nurse who lost over 80 pounds offered a weight loss e-course that I signed up for. Although I knew I was eating relatively healthy, there were some key components that I was missing, which hindered my weight loss. Shelita Williams (www.shelitawilliams.com), through her e-course helped me to do 3 key things that lead to a 10 lb weight loss over six weeks: 1) Calculating the daily caloric requirements we need to exist; and targeting a 500 calorie reduction through a combination of diet and exercise; 2) Keeping a journal of everything I ate, exercise I did, water intake (not a real issue for me because of my transplant water requirements); and 3) Operating within the tips she offered throughout the sessions like, the green smoothie meal replacement or fast to shrink our stomachs in order to reduce cravings; don’t eat anything for two hours before bed (I cut off eating at 7pm, regardless of the time I turn in.
This helped me to lose 10 pounds, however maintaining interest in daily exercise has been a challenge. But I continue to search for that perfect complement. I recently bought a Groupon for 10 yoga class sessions. I’ve been twice and I love it. Not only is it a good workout, but in just two sessions I can feel myself more limber and strong. Those sets of planks Corey started in my personal training sessions gave me a heads up for this yoga thing. But I miss the cardiovascular workout from Corey (firstname.lastname@example.org). In a perfect world I could do yoga 3 days a week and train with Corey 3 days a week and like God, rest on the 7th. Maybe I will try easing into that schedule.
I wasn’t proud of where I was, and I know that exercise (even if you are the perfect weight) is important to maintaining good glucose control, circulation and bone density—all key for diabetics and transplant patients.
The key is not to give up, but to keep trying until you reach your health and fitness goal and can maintain it!