Laurie's Story: I Have Risen From The Ashes
I am a Beautiful Disaster because I was raised by two loving parents, but my father had diabetes and lost his eyesight just about the time I was born. He then lost his kidneys and had to have a transplant after years of dialysis. When I was in high school, he lost a leg then, his arm and after my 18th birthday, he lost two fingers off of his remaining hand. He was in the hospital when I graduated, but was able to check out for the day to be there. December of that same year, he gave up the good fight and passed at the young age of 45. I was pregnant at the time and felt I really let him down. Three years later, I was married and had my son. When he was just 8 months old, and my daughter was 3, my daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia. It was Easter Sunday when we heard the words "your daughter had cancer". Her birthday was just a few weeks away and we left to St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. By her 4th birthday, she too became diabetic. By May 23rd, they had her in remission!! My marriage didn't survive and we divorced.
Years later, I remarried and my husband adopted my children, but I let them maintain a relationship with their real daddy. Fast forward to when my children were teenagers and my husband had a heart attack, but survived. But our marriage didn't, he wanted something or someone else but we tried for several years to make it work. Then my mother got sick, we never found out exactly why her liver failed, but 5 hospitals and 6 weeks later she passed, I was devastated.
Within 2 years, I was also divorced a 2nd time. I met my current husband when I wasn't trying to fall in love, but it happened and things were going great. I became a grand mother (Gma) and we were remodeling our home into our dream home. Then cancer struck again, this time with my husband! We found a massive tumor on his brain, he had a 6 hour surgery to remove it to discover it was from lung cancer, but the doctors had a hard time finding it in his lungs. They tested everything and after a biopsy of a small spit on his lungs it was confirmed that it was stage 4 lung cancer. He was on immunotherapy for about 9 months, but it was causing deadly side effects, so they took him off it and said that since his brain and lung scans looked good he didn't need to do anything else unless things start to look worse. That was 5 years ago!
I identify with the brand because I have used playing flute and piccolo (starting flute whe I was 10 and piccolo when I was 14) as my way of bringing myself peace. But, my life has always been wrapped around chaos and one disaster to another. I now have stage 3A kidney disease, but I am not letting anything stop me from accepting my Beautiful Disaster of a life and living it!! My husband and I moved from Indiana to Tennessee and we try to do some sort of adventure every chance we can, from concerts, motorcycle rides, kayaking and exploring Tennessee to speeding time with our kids and grandkids every chance we get (they all still live in Indiana).
Life had never been easy but I will keep smiling and keep living every moment. My father taught me to keep smiling and keep doing. My mother taught me that every day is a gift from God and music has giving the peace I need when things are stressful.
Life still isn't easy. We had to declare bankruptcy and we struggle financially, we rent a home, so it's not ours to make our own, and I worry about everything. But, we still go out a d explore every chance we get. I give back by riding my bicycle every September for the Great Cycle Challenge to raise money to fight children's cancer and I still play my flute and piccolo in a community band.
I love the Phoenix sweat shirt, I have risen from the ashes when life was burning around me and my grandson's name is Fenix!