Deanna's Story: I Am The Phoenix
What makes me a Beautiful Disaster? I am the Phoenix that continues to rise up. Each time, I come back better and more beautiful than before!
I am a Military Brat. While some think that the constant moving is brutal, I believe it taught me to survive!
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 1970 at the age of 14 but the doctors feel that the disease had started 4 years prior. Because of the Crohn’s, my growth had been stunted. When the doctors finally figured out what was wrong, I was 4’ 8” tall and weighed only 59 pounds. When I graduated high school in 1974, I was 4’ 9” but grew 4” after graduation. After 2 surgeries because of the Crohn’s, I went into remission in 1995 after the last surgery and have been there since. Doctors don’t understand why, I just thank God everyday as I know that can change in a heartbeat.
In 1982, I was beaten and raped. I am blessed to have a family that supported me in every aspect through it all.
In 1985, I married into a family that I found out later has addiction issues. While I should have walked away when the issues first surfaced, I was 7 months pregnant and wanted the father of my daughter to be there for his daughter. I saw how screwed up my sister’s 3 kids were after they had a number of men in and out of their lives and I didn’t want this to happen to my daughter. While my alcoholic husband never hit me, the mental and emotional abuse went from occasional to constant. After 34 years of marriage, I was ready to file divorce papers once he found out if his prostate cancer was treatable. On May 14, 2019, forty-eight hours before the oncologist appointment, I came home from work to find that he had passed away. I believe the God was closing the door, so I would have to move forward. I thank God every day because I had tried so many times to move on but allowed my husband to talk me into staying with his lies.
The same week that my husband passed away, my dad finds out that he is stage 4 prostate cancer. Eight months later, my older brother whom I was very close to, is diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
In the midst of my family’s illnesses, I am being told by my dad and brother, that I need to go live life that they will keep my apprised on how they are doing. July 2020, I head out in my motor home with my furry kids for 2 ½ months. This is my first trip out and I am having a blast. I am seeing some beautiful country and seeing friends that I had seen in 50 years.
My brother and my favorite uncle passed away December 2020. I am in AZ to help my dad through my brother’s passing, this was his first born and his namesake. My other uncle passes away March of 2022. My dad passed away July 2022and I was by his side. I have lost a number of loved ones including our mother in 2012 and my best friends of 30+ years in 2017. What I have learned from each of their passing is that God is not done with me yet, that I have more to do in my life. Yes, I still grieve over their passings, but I look at how many people I have waiting for me when it is my time to leave this world. I made a promise to those that have passed ahead of me that I will live every day as if it is my last because tomorrow is not promised to any of us!