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Imagine if You Can

Saturday, April 18, 2015

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Imagine if you can, some of you don’t have to imagine, the first ribbons of sunshine making their way through your bedroom window. You, roll over and look at the clock, there’s no more time, you have to get out of bed and face another day of fear and uncertainty.

Slowly sitting up, wiping the dried tears of the night before from your eyes, dread and oppression fill your body. You know you have to face the day, you know you have to face people, people that don’t understand you and people that you don’t understand.

Every movement you make to ready for the day is in slow motion. Your innermost being screams out, “Please God, not today.” As the words echo in your mind, you know the encounters you’ll find on this day will be no different then those of days past.

Enter my friend, and director of photography for our TV Series, “The Biker Diva,” Andre Khrul. I've also asked Andre to do my next photo shoot, and he does amazing wedding photography

My first impression of Andre Khrul was how awesome he was, down to earth. He had the “look,” an incredible, welcoming smile, he was easy to speak with and he definitely knew his craft inside and out. To me, Andre is one the coolest, most talented, people on the planet. He's also an incredible family man, with a beautiful wife and picture perfect children.

A couple of weeks ago Andre and I were speaking. To my shock, Andre was born, and lived until the age of 9, in Russia with his family. I asked why his family made the huge decision to make such a giant leap to another Country a half a world away, another culture, another life.  

His reply,“When communism existed in the former Soviet Union, it was hard for anyone who believed in God. So my parents fled. I remember when my dad asked if I wanted to go to America, I was really excited. I replied,  'I want to go and see the world.' And so we went."

I can’t imagine such a move, not only to another country, but culture, food, language, and alphabet. Andre spoke no English. Imagine how scary that had to have been for a 9 year old Andre to face hundreds of faces that could not understand a single word he said, or for him to be in such a state of fear of not being able to communicate with a single person.  

Andre’s family was poor. His clothes were out of style, and different. Andre was super skinny, wore glasses, and was artistic, not into sports, and he was the only Russian kid in school. He was the perfect target for bullies, and bullies pinned a bulls eye on him.

Having a child myself that was continually bullied through school I can empathize with Andre. I know a lot of what he went through, although with the language barrier things had to be so much worse for him. Andre developed strategies that helped him cope, something school systems rarely do as I found out. 

He put the strategies he learned in a book you can download for 2.99 from Amazon.  Andre realized that those that have low self esteem choose victims so they, themselves, can boost their own egos. They never realize they leave scars, some seen, some not, but none forgotten. 

What Andre conveys, through his book, I Was Bullied: My Story And Advice: How To Stop Bullying,  to the person being bullied, is how to help themselves. Bullies will always be around, even through adulthood. So those of us that have been in the situation Andre found himself in can have tools, tools that work from within, to get through situations when you think there is no way out. 



There is a way out, it lies within yourself. Andre does an incredible job of offering how he learned to survive the constant harassment he, and many more, encounter.  

If you, or your child, are experiencing the terror Andre did I strongly encourage you to download his book. It's a decision you will not regret. 


Andre Khrul working on the Biker Diva Project

Neico giving Andre a helping hand

Neico, Me, Andre....what a team

 

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The Biker Diva Opening Theme - Found a Better Way

Friday, February 27, 2015

This is is the beginning of what we've been working on! Hammerz Down is the band, and Dave Kennedy wrote the theme song for our new TV Series, The Biker Diva.....I found a Better Way! 



Head over, check it out, and stay tuned for segments from the episodes to be released.



I'll be filling you in on the project in the next few days.










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Oh, How Life Has Changed

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Yes, with life changes new ways of doing things come along.

I've learned to wash clothes.

I've learned to wash dishes.

I can write again.

I live out in the country.

I've learned to make coffee...haha, with a Keurig and I get to drink it from my grandmother's cups. They're around 50 years old and so very cool!

Life is good.


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Well, Yeah, I Told You

Friday, February 6, 2015

So close, so very close!

We shot more footage today and I think it's going to be perfect! More next weekend, and then, excitement!!

I said I'd post a few pics of our shoot on the coast. Here are some!


















You may be wondering what this car has to do with the shoot. This is a 1977 Lincoln Mark IV.   My grandmother bought one brand new off the showroom floor the year she died. I turned the corner, heading home after the shoot, and I saw this car. I haven't seen one since her's was sold. She was with me.

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Yowzers!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

It seems as if we've been moving for weeks. Boxes are everywhere, problems are always cropping up, and my body feels every day of it's 52 years on this Earth. I know I need to stay focused, if I lose it, I'll crash for a week or two, and that cannot happen now. Not only filming, but starting a new business, have to come first right now. 

But I am tired physically. Emotionally, I had been a yo-yo for months, but feel much better now. I realize I must walk a very fine line to keep that in check.

It's weird knowing now that I don't suffer from Bipolar 2, but rather "severe PTSD." Those of you that have followed me for all these years know the valleys that hit one after another in my life. The treatment, however, is the same, and I'm doing pretty well.

It's a much different experience, for me, to feel more physically drained than emotionally drained. As I type this, I glance around the living room and look at our dogs. They are all sleeping, and I find myself envious of their ability to lie there, close their eyes, and instantly drift away into slumber land.




Then I look up at the numerous boxes scattered about my home and breathe deeply. After posting this I shall begin, once more, unpacking, putting things away, washing clothes, and doing my best to make this temporary house feel like a home.

Some incredible news though, we've got the rough cut of the editing finished for the show. It's amazing! We'll be filming more tomorrow, here in the town small town we've settled in for now, and then I think we're rolling. It's exciting, scary, and therapy all rolled into one. 

Wish me luck tomorrow with the filming. I tend to have the ability to put everything aside, and allow my personality to flow, when I'm in front of a camera....with no freaking teleprompter! I can be silly, it lifts my spirits, and I also realize my future pretty much depends on this show flying. I cannot wait to show you some of the footage, the pics, and tell you all about it. Soon, very soon. I'll look back to see if I posted any pics from the last shoot, if not, I shall very soon.

Wearily,

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Boxes

Monday, January 26, 2015

I've been unpacking boxes at the new house, beginning my new life. Last night I came across things that transported me back to the time when my children were itty-bitties.

There where head shots of when they modeled, a baggy of one of my boys hair from when I cut his pony tail (the hair tie still holds it together), I'm thinking it's Cole's hair, Michael's tap shoes, and his little slippers, the news paper from the day my oldest daughter was born, and a newspaper article of me when I was two. My glasses fogged as my eyes filled with memory packed tears.

Today, just now, I unpacked another box. The power that overtook me was more than I could handle at the moment. After I regained composure, or that of which I could muster, I was able to read important words written to me from my father on July 24, 2002.

"What if there were no tomorrow. Am I looking at the scenery with all the colors and contrast, or am I looking at the bumper in front of me and thinking, "What a jerk?" Do I wake up thinking of all the things I have to do today, or do I say, "what a nice blue sky," and after some coffee I will decide what I can do to make things right.

Wow never noticed the flowers on that hill, glad I'm here to see it. We are what we are, where we are, and nothing more.

Help if you can, back away if you can't. Worry is not a part of my vocabulary. Treasure the smile of a little one and dismiss the whine. I hope I have the time to appreciate what I've dismissed in the past.

Take it easy and enjoy the present. Teri I love you. Do what you can, dismiss what you can't. Enjoy the present. Anticipate the future. But live for today.

Dad"

Those words were written when he was 64, five years before he died. How very appropriate they are for me today, at this moment, during this day.

Words of love, and advice, from my Dad are with me. I can touch them, I can read them. They are tangible, not a mere memory. It was the first time my father wrote the words, "Teri I love you." He never said those words to me while he was sober until after my mother had been killed.

My Daddy is touching me, walking with me, advising me, from the world beyond. What a treasure, what an honor, he chose to write his thoughts for me. My breathing is labored, my nose dripping, my make-up smeared. My daddy will never leave me, neither shall his words, his advice, or his love.

I also found the little leaflets, that are handed out at funeral services, for my Mother, and for my Father. The front of my Mother's pictures the flowers she loved. My Father's pictures the planes he loved, and flew. My brother wrote the words inside my Father's, in my Mother's I'm not sure.

Moving is difficult, making a new life is a challenge, and so very scary, but the words of my Father mean more to me today than I think they ever did. Did I mention my Father never wrote me anything before? I'll keep my Dad's words close, I'll remember them, and I'll hold close to my heart the message he was conveying to me that very special day, when I was on his mind.





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Don't Say Tomorrow

Sunday, January 18, 2015

It was an urge, a heavy tugging in my spirit, that caused me to pick up the phone today and make a call I had been meaning to make, but with the rockiness of my road of late, I kept telling myself, "tomorrow."

As I held the gold iPhone in my hand, memories, wonderful memories, played in the theater of my mind. Remembrances of a meeting, too long in the making, made me laugh, cry, rejoice, and thank my Creator for His graciousness in allowing me to meet my aunt Joan. They made me smile with gratitude and appreciation. 

My father's mother had five children, three girls, and two boys. The girls she dropped on the doorstep of their father, my uncle was left with my great grand parents, and my father, well, my father's fate was much worse. She kept him.

My dad grew up basically on his own, in Catholic boarding school in New Orleans, and kept, much of the time, from his family.

One example of how that woman "cared" for the child that was to become my father, was horrific. What she revealed deepened my understanding as to why my father was a very hands off parent, for the most part.

When she went to work my father was left in a play pen. A neighbor from downstairs would come up every four hours to change his diaper and give him a bottle. It's scene I can't bear to imagine, and I attempt to bury it in a section deep within my soul from which it cannot easily emerge.

My dad's four siblings were only flashes of memories, here and there, for him. As he spoke of the sadness he felt my heart was crushed for the broken man that raised my brothers and me.

I met his sister, Joan, several time as a child, but came to know her, to bond with her, as an adult when my Dad and I took off on a road trip to see her.

She was crying when we met that hot August day in South Carolina, with tears of joy. She was beautiful, kind, smart, funny as heck, and broken as well by the tearing of her family.

I watched my Dad's eyes as they welled with tears when his older sister spoke, as she told us story after story. A bond formed that day, walls were removed, and the longing of the hearts of siblings to be together melted.

I pressed the icon on my phone for my Aunt Joan. As expected, she didn't answer. I've changed my phone number, and had not yet given it to her. Minutes later I received a call. It wasn't my aunt, but my cousin, her son.

I instantly began to cry, not a tear here and there, but a convulsive, overwhelming cry. I knew the words he would speak would not be words I wanted to hear. Through my tears I begged him, pleaded with him, to tell my Aunt, when she is lucid, of my undying love for her, and the joy our relationship had brought into my life

My Aunt, now 80, is incredibly sick and has been hospitalized. With respect for her privacy, I won't write of the afflictions she faces. Reality is reality. I know from our conversations, she has wanted for years to be with my uncle rejoicing beside him in the Heavens.

As I type this my phone is at my side. I'm waiting for my cousin, that I've only seen once, to text, or call, me with an update. The longer I wait, the more heavy my heart becomes.

But with the sadness I feel, there is also a wonderful feeling of excitement growing within my heart. It's a feeling of being able to finally connect with my cousin, one I was never allowed to meet.

With my eyes constantly watching my phone, and my mind wandering, I can't come up with a way to end this post except to say, "Make that call." Don't allow time to steal what you could have had all along.


With much love,

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