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My Tribute to Dr. Verdi 3/8/36~12/28/07

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NIV)

"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him."

This morning I learned that Dr. Verdi, (the surgeon who performed my abdominoplasty a few weeks ago) passed away on Friday. Dr. Verdi was no mere surgeon, he was a kind hearted person and had become a dear friend. Words will not be able to express how much he will be missed. When I was in his office this past Wednesday, I watched all of the children, teens, men and women who were entering and exiting the office. You could tell that by the expressions on their faces, his work was not only changing people for the better on the outside, but on the inside as well.

When he examined me, he indicated that he had a doctor's appointment, but wanted to stop in and see me for himself. He commented on how well, I was progressing then took the time to tell me about his Holiday with his family. During my previous appointment, I had promised to bring in some before pictures (when I weighed 400+ lbs.) as well as my recent before surgery pictures. Since he was in a hurry, I didn't want to bother him so I just left my pictures stacked on my clothes (I was sporting one of those stylish paper gowns). He noticed the pictures on his own and asked to take a look at them. He was very complimentary and continued to talk to me about my final weight loss goals. As he was preparing to leave, he said that he wanted to see me in 3 to 4 weeks and thanked me for the kind note that I wrote to him in the Christmas Card that I sent to him. I thought WOW, out of the 1,000s of cards that he received, he took the time to read mine.

Later while one of my favorite nurses was removing my stitches, Dr. Verdi called to see how everything was going with me and he asked her 21 questions as to how things were going with the stitch removal. When the nurse hung-up, she commented on how thorough he was. I added that not only was he thorough, but he was thoughtful. I was amazed that even though he had his own doctor's appointment he called back to check on li'l ole me. But that's just how he was. The Saturday night after my surgery, he and his wife had dinner plans. On their way to dinner he asked his wife to stop by the hospital and to keep the car running while he ran into check on li'l ole me...WOW!

Dr. Verdi will be sorely missed. His work was not just a profession, but a ministry (his obituary is listed below). Even though I have been crying my eyes out, I don't weep as those who have no hope...I KNOW that I will see him again!

VERDI, GERALD, 72, passed away on Friday, December 28, 2007, at Suburban Hospital. Born March 8, 1936, in New York, son of James and Ann Verdi. Dr. Verdi graduated cum laude from both the University of Pennsylvania Dental School in 1960 and the Albany Medical School in 1965. Following medical school, he received a Navy commission and served in Vietnam from 1966-1968 on the hospital ship, the USS Repose. He received the Navy Commendation Medal, in 1967, for his performance as a surgeon. Dr. Verdi was a clinical professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Louisville Dental School and a clinical professor of Plastic Surgery at the University of Louisville Medical School. In 2006, he was recognized by Louisville Magazine as the area's best cosmetic surgeon. For many years, he was very active also as a reconstructive surgeon, performing thousands of cleft lip and palate procedures, both in the US and abroad. He organized the Louisville regional cranial facial anomalies team in 1977, which was then the 9th full service cranial facial team in the world. Dr. Verdi's professional accomplishments, outstanding as they were, were surpassed by his love for his wife and family and by his generosity, friendship, and courtesy he extended to everyone he met. Dr. Verdi was a proud member of the National Italian American Federation and of the Order Sons of Italy. He was preceded in death by his father, James Verdi. He is survived by his wife Charlene Verdi; four sons, Michael, Sean (Karen), Marc, Chris (Lizzet) Verdi; three grandchildren; mother, Ann Verdi; brother, Richard Verdi. Funeral services will be 1 p.m. on Monday at St. Boniface Catholic Church. Family will receive guests from 2-7 p.m. on Sunday at Pearson-Ratterman Funeral Home, 12900 Shelbyville Road, Middletown. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Home of the Innocents.
Published in The Courier-Journal on 12/30/2007.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANI_D 5/6/2012 5:28AM

  I just located this blog by searching for Dr. Verdi through Google. I wanted to show my daughters the man who changed my life. I was saddened to see that he had past away back in 2007. I met Dr. Verdi when I was only 9 years old. I was born with a birth defect called Hemifacial Microsomia. This caused me to have just a small piece of cartilage for my left ear and miniature bones in the left side of my jaw. I went to a clinic in Louisville that was called Commission for Handicapped Children, which later changed its name to Commission for Children with Special Needs (I find this more appropriate considering I have never felt handicapped). My mom and I drove 4 hours from Murray, Kentucky to these clinics about once a month for almost a year. This is where we met Dr. Verdi along w/ many other doctors who helped me through out the years. Dr. Verdi performed my first reconstructive ear surgery when I was only 10 years old. I had 3 others one every year after that. Dr. Verdi always took great pride in his work and had a great bed-side manner! The doctor and his staff always were there to answer any questions we had and guide us through it all! He also took any chance he had to make sure I knew I was beautiful and helped my parents to always ensure that I carried myself with a high self-confidence. I cannot express enough the gratitude and adoration that I have for Dr. Verdi. I know as I child I did not thank him enough for what he did for me. I also know that I am not the only person whose life he changed for the better!

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TJOI214 1/1/2008 9:48PM

    D- you are so thoughtful and kind. Dr.Verdi deserved to have a 100+ patients like you. I will continue to pray for you during your time of healing. Even though I only met him once, I felt his true and genuine concern for you. Luv Ya.

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CIERAPOET 1/1/2008 1:39AM

    Another witness that you are saturated with the favor of God. What a blessing for God to have held Dr. Verdi back to take care of you before he went Home. Praise God for this great man who was used by God for many years. I pray God's Comfort and Peace upon his family and friends who loved him. Peace to your heart D.

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MKBROOKS2 12/31/2007 6:23PM


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BLESSED3061 12/31/2007 4:21PM

    I am sorry to hear the lost of such a wonderful doctor, but to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord, so let's celebrate.

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NEWMARILYN 12/31/2007 10:33AM

    My prayers are with you, Dr. Verdi's family, staff and other patients!

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MONTANAGAL 12/31/2007 12:10AM

    It's very rare to come across a Doctor like Dr Verdi, who truly care about their patients as people. You were truly blessed to know him. God Bless him and his family.

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MZPERSEVERANCE 12/30/2007 5:49PM

    Thanks for sharing.

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LASVEGASLES 12/30/2007 5:34PM

    God speed Dr. Verdi....

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LAUNDRYCHICK 12/30/2007 3:17PM

    What a special man! Thank you for sharing this positive piece and reminding that there really are doctors who care out there!

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NOEILAND 12/30/2007 12:39PM

    He was an exceptional doctor and an exceptional man...God Bless his soul....May he rest in Peace.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

As this year is drawing to a close, I am in complete and total awe at just how AWESOME GOD is!!!

First of all, my RECOVERY is going well. I am sore and swollen but not in pain. In all, Dr. Verdi removed 12 lbs. of excess skin from my stomach and back...WOW!!!! I weened myself off my pain medication more than a week ago, my stitches were removed on 12/26/07 and I have been approved to increase my activity, but I am NOT allowed to do any form of cardio. To be honest, that has been the hardest part of my recovery...IMAGINE THAT! But thankfully, I am allowed to do some in-home walking and light lifting.

Ocassionally, I find myself feeling a little blue, but my spirits are lifted when I journal/post about my REFLECTIONS for 2007. GOD has been sooooooo good to me and He continues to make a way out of no way. Listed below are just a few things that I am super duper grateful for...

1. Keeping and blessing my family (biological and SP family)

2. My sister's release from prison and our new more sister-like relationship

3. Forming and developing a bond with the members of DIVAs Gettin' Down

4. Being introduced to Spark by my niece NEWBEIN and the relationship that has been formed with her

5. Losing over 60 lbs. this year and over 180 lbs. in all (okay...Deondra hold on finish this posting...)

6. Upper management accepting my proposal to create a new job for me and being able to transition into the job before my surgery, which allows me to work from home...Ain't GOD Good!!!

7. Being selected as a testimonial in the Core Rhythms Infomercial and to further learn that it will air all of 2008 and will be shown internationally.

8. I am so thankful for the friendships that I have forged with the members of BBQ and the CARDIO CONNOISSEURS. I am also thankful for having more than one true friend and those TRUE friends have really proven their loyalty and dedication during my recovery!!!

9. Finally accepting who I am and learning that people love me for who I am on the inside

10. I could truly go on and on, but I am just thankful for ALL of the doors and windows that GOD has opened in 2007 and I am waiting with tip-toe anticipation to see what He has in store for ALL of us in 2008!

Which brings me to my RESOLUTION. In 2008, my main goal is to deepen my relationship with Christ. There are many "THINGS" that I would like to accomplish and acquire, but as it is written in Matthew 6:32-33 KJV

"(For after all these THINGS do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these THINGS. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these THINGS shall be added unto you."

Amen and Amen...Enough said...or Enough Blogged!!! (SMILE)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    God is good!!!!

Happy New Year!!!

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CIERAPOET 1/1/2008 12:39AM

    Aight Minister D. You always bring tears to my eyes because I feel and see the Love of God in and through you. This is only the beginning of your Year of New Beginnings. Look how your year of Open Doors (and Windows) has ended. (I think you need a "to be continued"). God is a good God. He loves us without condition. He is our example of love and grace. Jesus is all that we need and more. I love you sista with all my heart because you belong to the Family and because you have such a sweet inspirational happy spirit. Be Blessed and always remember that you are loved all over the world. Praise the Lord for His Goodness to the children of men!!


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NEWMARILYN 12/31/2007 10:26AM

    Praise God! He is such a good God! He loves us so much and never, ever, ever gives up on us.

God bless you, abundantly!

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THICKCHICK5 12/31/2007 10:18AM

    I have anxiously awaited your return, Welcome Back!!!

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ATR1983 12/30/2007 5:58PM

    You have done such a great job. I am glad your surgery went well. You are a great person and i am so happy for you. I know 2008 will be a great year for you. God is good. you are a inspiration. Keep on working it!

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LASVEGASLES 12/30/2007 5:40PM

    My hero!

God is GOOD and God is GREAT!

In HIS grip, always and all ways!!

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GODZDESIGN95 12/29/2007 7:40PM

    Thanks for commenting on my spark page. I wish you much blessings on your continued journey. I am sure God has much more blessings for you and God is good all the time.

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JANEYJAYE 12/29/2007 1:58PM

    I know that you will follow your heart and reach your goals. You have accomplished so much and you are such a good person. Your faith is strong and you will easily find that deeper relationship with Christ. I'm so PROUD of you! And so blessed to have you as a SparkFriend.

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GIRLINMOTION 12/28/2007 9:50PM

    Good things happen to people who believe in themselves and the power of God. You have had a truly blessed year.

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MONTANAGAL 12/28/2007 7:46PM

    Amen! We have all been truly blessed. Here's looking to an even better 2008 ahead for you! You look mahvelous dahling! So glad to see you're up and about and doing great..

Love ya!
Deb :-)

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NOEILAND 12/28/2007 7:28PM

    Amen! And I'm sincerely thrilled for you! You look gorgeous, by the way :=)

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LAUNDRYCHICK 12/28/2007 4:42PM

    God is SO good and He's using you to bless others through your testimony. Keep on doing what you're doing. You're an inspiration!

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M3NOMOFAT 12/28/2007 3:25PM

    Amen to the blessings which continue and to the WORD which remains! Glad that all is well! Blessings of GOD to you as we journey into 2008--The Year of New Beginnings!

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The ELEVATION of Faith...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's hard to believe, but in less than nine hours I will undergo surgery to have the excess skin removed from my stomach and back...WOW! And I have such a calm and peace about everything, even though within the past week I have run into one roadblock after another. Through it all I have witnessed God move in ways that have completely blown my mind...AGAIN!

Then this past Sunday, my Pastor preached a sermon entitled "I Bet on God." The gist of the sermon was about completely having faith in God no matter what the circumstances look like.

He went on to talk about the Exercise of Faith, the Evidence of Faith and the Elevation of Faith. At the end of his sermon he stated one promise and affirmation after another from the Bible then in his ecclesiastical closing comments he said, "I don't know who I'm talking to, but somebody has to go to the hospital this week and I want you to know that you will not die and all will be well." As TJOI214 would say, that was a wrap for me. Thank goodness my ponytail was secure otherwise it may have ended up in the baptismal!!! At the time, I so needed that reminder (God always gives you what you need when you need it.)

This has been such an incredible year and I really feel like I'm in the Elevation of Faith phase...and I cannot believe that I'm getting ready to have a real waist line...WOW!

Then I am so overwhelmed by all of the love and support that I have received, especially from my Spark Family.

For those who truly believe in the power of prayer, I ask that you keep the surgeons, anesthesiologist, nurses and me in your prayers. I will be offline for the next few days, but trust me I will be thinking about you guys.

This year is drawing to a close, so let's end it with a bang by ELEVATING to the next levels emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically!!! Like I tell the members of the CARDIO CONNOISSEURS team. Rest, Stay Hydrated, Refuel, and do something good for yourself GET IN SOME CARDIO!!!

I love you...yes YOU!!!
Deondra :)

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:6-7 KJV

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYD210 12/28/2007 6:36AM

    Hey gurl, The prayers of the righteous availeth much and though I'm late know God is always on time. I pray for your speedy and comfortable recovery. Be blessed and holla when you can.

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LATONIA38 12/26/2007 10:54AM

    A new waistline...I can't wait to see your pics. You're already gorgeous.This will only enhance your beauty!~~~~~Tonia~~~~~

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CBRANCH76 12/17/2007 1:53PM

    D7 I am waiting to see a picture of that waist. YOU GO GIRL!!!!

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GOTTHATFIRE 12/11/2007 7:53PM

    D7, I heard that your surgery went just fine. Glad to hear it and know you will be fly :~) GTF

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~SUNSHINE1~ 12/10/2007 7:01PM

    Just stopping by to wish you a Speedy and Blessed Recovery. Stay Blessed my Friend. Best Wishes and Happy Holidays.

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LOVEABLELULU 12/7/2007 4:01PM


Deondra is doing fantastic! Her surgery lasted 7.5 hours yesterday, God is so good. Everything went according to plan, the doctor was pleased at the amount of skin (12 lbs to be exact) that he was able to remove. She is resting comfortably.

Please continue to keep her in your prayers. I'll keep you all posted until her next blog.


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LAUNDRYCHICK 12/7/2007 3:44PM

    I'm so proud of you for all the success you've had. I am praying for a quick and complete recovery for you. I hope you feel as fabulous as you already look very soon! God bless you today!

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M3NOMOFAT 12/7/2007 2:02PM

    Oh LORD! My sister is gone to surgery and I didn't even know it !^i^ ^i^ Deondra ^i^ ^i^
Angels, watching over you...
Girl, I love you and I am believeing GOD for your miraculous recovery and return to those who love you...especially me..
Praying GOD's best for you...

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THICKCHICK5 12/7/2007 10:07AM

    Can't wait to see the new you!! God Bless.

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GODZDESIGN95 12/7/2007 8:53AM

    I have followed some of your journey by your sparkpage. You have been so graticious with your success. I love how you always give God the praise he deserves. He has brought you a long way and he will NOT let you down now. Keep the faith and I will pray for your surgery, and a quick recovery. Be blessed.

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LUVNGOD 12/6/2007 6:27PM

    Glad to see God has proved Himself again. It reassures us all that He is faithful. You made it!!! I am so proud of you and happy for you. Can't wait to hear the testimony of this phase of your journey.

Be Blessed.

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MONTANAGAL 12/6/2007 5:05PM

    Wishing all the best for you dear friend! I KNOW you'll be okay, and you'll be one step closer to "Operation Janet Jackson". You're truly "gettin' skinnified".

Love ya girl!
Deb :-)

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LASVEGASLES 12/6/2007 1:40PM

    "So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10

We love you too, girl!!!

God Speed, always and all ways!!

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JANEYJAYE 12/6/2007 12:52PM

    We're with you every step of the way! xoxo

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POCOHANTAZ 12/6/2007 12:38PM

    WE love you too Queen...May God continue to embrace you...My thoughts and prayers are with you now and always...Much love

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LILSHINE 12/6/2007 11:28AM

    I thank God for your recovery and good health. I know He has not left you!! I look forward to seeing the end result - you're AWESOME!

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BLESSED3061 12/6/2007 11:08AM

    I praying and may the angels of the Lord go with you!

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NEWBEIN 12/6/2007 10:07AM

    Ok..Not in the baptismal..I had to cry on that one! But seriously, I love you, am proud of you, ALWAYS pray for you, and you will be even more phenomenal than you already are! To God be the glory!

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NOEILAND 12/6/2007 9:43AM

    May God be with you always Deondra...I'll keep you in my thoughts and send you my prayers and blow you kisses! You'll be well in no time . -Noei

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    You are in my thoughts and prayers.....He said he would never leave us or forsake us......

Take care of yourself!!!! The CC's will hold down the fort while your gone!!!

Be Blessed.

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KAYEREADER 12/6/2007 9:09AM

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you the best and look forward to hearing that everything went smoothly!

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GIRLINMOTION 12/6/2007 9:05AM

    Our prayers go out for a speedy recovery. I know it will be hard to do much physically for a while. I hope you don't get to bored while you are recovering and not able to do much exercise till you recover.

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2008LYNN 12/6/2007 7:58AM

  God does always send you what you need. And he sent me, you! God Bless, WE LOVE YOU!!!

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IMENOUGH 12/6/2007 7:42AM

    We're praying for your speedy recovery girlie! Also, keeping the surgical team in our prayers!

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QUEEND1969 12/6/2007 6:33AM

    To God Be The Glory. Keep the faith, and let us know how it all goes and how you feel. Healing process etc. God is truly good. Stay Blessed in The Lord.

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SUNPANTHER 12/6/2007 6:31AM

    Holding you in my heart - you will be fine...

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SNIKWAD 12/6/2007 2:07AM

    We're praying for a SAFE surgery and a speedy recovery!!!

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ATR1983 12/6/2007 1:14AM

    I am so happy for you. You deserve it! I will say a prayer for you that all goes well with your surgery. You are such an inspiration to me. Keep up the great work.

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DAYDREAMER_VM 12/6/2007 12:05AM

    I wish you the best of luck in your surgery and everything will go great.

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The THRILL of a Lifetime!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Where do I begin? This past weekend in San Diego was SUPERCALIFRAGILICIOUSEXPEALIDOCIOUS a/k/a the THRILL of a liftetime!!! I'm still pumped and am trying to stop jumping around long enough to type this blog, but get ready because this is a long one (smile)!

First of all, every single member of the production team was absolutely incredible. Not only were they good at what they do, you can tell that they have a passion for what they do (i.e. the gifted hands of Doris the make-up artist...that girl is bad!!! [she is pictured on my left]).

Out of all of the THRILLING moments that took place this weekend, there are three things that standout that I just have to blog about.

THRILL #1. Meeting Jaana and Julia.
When I arrived on Saturday for my interview and photo shoot, I had my one of my favorite DVDs (Salsa Blast) and Sharpie in hand. Now oddly enough the cover of the Salsa Blast matched my red dress, so I already had my photo opp' in mind for my Spark Page (smile). On the trip over to the studio Melissa (my Core Rhythms Angel) informed me that Jaana and Julia had previous commitments and would be unavailable, but she promised to hang on to the cover (I can't afford to be separated from any of my DVDs) and would have them to autograph it for me...Well, that sounded like a plan to me. I just felt blessed to even be there.

The next day (Sunday) I was scheduled to do a shoot of me doing an "in home workout". Out of the four testimonials I was selected to do this second shoot, because I had lost the most weight (AIN'T GOD GOOD!!!). So anyway, we start doing some practice shoots of me welcoming the production team into my 'home'. Then it was time to do the actual shot. So they knocked on the door, I answered and guess who was standing there?


So me being the analytical person that I am in less than 10 seconds this is what ran through my mind and the events that took place after I had opened the door:

* I stopped breathing
* I said to myself, "this isn't Steve (the producer) standing here, there are two women standing here"
* Not breathing
* "And they look like Julia and Jaana"
* Still not breathing
* "This can't be Julia and Jaana, they are both out of town"
* Nope, not breathing yet
* "But this must be Julia and Jaana, I'd know those abs anywhere"
* Deep Breath
* Scream and Seizure-Type Shaking all over the front porch, followed by a huge group hug with Me, Julia and Jaana!!!

Then they touched my abs and commented on how small my abs are and how good I looked!!! AIN'T GOD GOOD!!! Then they said, "Wow she does look like Oprah!"

Once we came into the house and got settled down we started doing the taping and it was incredible. They had seen all of my pictures and had read my testimonial. We started talking as if we were old friends. Julia and Jaana are such beautiful people both inside and out!!! We got to dance together, took pictures together, almost cried together (we had to get that under control...our make-up was too flawless [smile]). Then they said that I inspire them and wanted to know if I was a motivational speaker or was a part of a support group...hence my opportunity to spread the Spark! I told them about my local support group (DIVAs Gettin' Down) and Spark, which they thought was amazing. They asked for pictures of the DIVAs and I will be sending them a link to my Spark Page as well...IMAGINE THAT!

Then I learned that the Core Rhythms fever is spreading like wildfire (of course I'm not surprised) and is a big hit abroad, especially in Japan. So not only will the infomercial air from January through December of 2008, it will be shown here in the States and internationally! Again, AIN'T GOD GOOD!

THRILL #2. Fulfilling one of my Goals and meeting a FUTURE Spark Friend.

So on my Spark Page one of my goals is to "motivate those who I love to lead a life full of healthy habits." So that basically includes anyone I meet. I will NEVER forget how I felt when I weighed 407 lbs., so anytime I get a chance I try to encourage someone to get on this journey with me.

Hence me meeting a future Spark Friend.

On my last day (Monday), I decided to have breakfast in one of the hotel's exclusive restaurants. I bypassed the omelette bar and decided to just get some of the regular stuff. Then "Something" told me to go back and so I did...and I'm glad that I did (plus that omelette was DA BOMB!). So, I got in line and struck up a conversation with the chef (which just so happened to be a beautiful full-figured woman, my guess is that she's probably a size 24).

Although her lips were smiling her eyes weren't.

While we were talking she asked me if I was there on business and then of course I started sharing my Core Rhythms THRILL of a lifetime experience with her as well as a brief snippet about my weight loss journey. From there we began to talk about her exercise and weight loss frustrations...well, some other people got in line, so we cut our conversation short. I promised her that before I left I would give her some information on my program....this was my chance to SPREAD THE SPARK...Imagine That!

So before leaving, I wrote down a few words of encouragement, told her where she could buy the Core Rhythms program, gave her the link to the SPARK people website then gave her all of my personal contact information and asked that she keep in touch and let me know how she's doing, which she said she would. I've been praying for her every since and anxiously await the day to get the email message that she has added me as a Spark friend.

THRILL #3. The airport experience.

For this thrill, I'll just have to explain it with a gratitude list. While flying I was thankful and thrilled that I...

a. could fasten my seat belt.
b. only sat in one seat.
c. could get in and out of the bathroom on the airplane.
d. was able to run up the escalator stairs to catch a train for my connecting flight that I was running late for.
e. my hip was not hanging off the edge of the seat and that the flight attendant didn't keep banging my hip with the service cart.
f. that I had a window seat on the way home.

As I gazed into the atmosphere I could not help but to feel overjoyed. I remembered the time that I was so miserable I wanted life to be over, but the one thing I held on to was my faith. From there I began worship God for EVERYTHING that He has done and is doing through me.

Plus, I weighed in today and I have lost 2.4 lbs. since last week. I now weigh 222.8 lbs. That's 63.2 lbs. lost this year and 184.2 lbs. overall....AIN'T GOD GOOD!

Psalms 92: 1,4 ~ It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to the Most High. You THRILL me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DESANDTREYSMOM1 12/3/2007 8:58PM

    God IS good!!! You are an amazing individual and I am glad you are using the gift of encouragement that God has given you. Thank you for all you do and all you share!

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APPLEBOTTOM4 12/3/2007 5:05PM

    Girl, once again you made me cry. I'm back!!!! I am down 52 lbs. I have just been too busy to keep up with Sparking but I am now BACK!!!! I have continued my plan and the pouds are melting off. Of all the people that have touched my life you are one of the most. I can't tell you how much you motivate me. May God continue to bless you!! Love ya!!

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MJBANNISTER 11/24/2007 10:20PM

    Thank You for sharing your wonderful story. You are very inspirational. Marleny

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HUNGRYBIGGIRL 11/24/2007 1:08AM

    How wonderful your experience's and even better that you were able to spread the Spark and potentially help someone else, I hope she contacts you soon. Keep up the great work. :O)

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LATONIA38 11/23/2007 12:30PM

    What an awesome testimony! Thanks for sharing it~~~Tonia

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GETTINGSERIOUS 11/23/2007 8:44AM

    Thanks for sharing your story. You are an encouragement to others. You are doing awesome. No turning back now. Keep enduring it is worth it.


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CIERAPOET 11/20/2007 2:28AM

    I rejoice with those that rejoice! Praise the Lord girl! He is so good. Look at His Favor! I tell everyone to smell that sweet smell of favor all over them. It's the sweet smell of God's Love that draws men to Jesus. You kept others on your mind as you experienced God's blessings in your life. You are a true example of God's love. I need to get that DVD. I picked it up just Sat and I put it back. Before I read your blog, I looked at your picture and just noticed that you do look like Oprah. Your story is so amazing and to think there is more to come. I wait for the continuation of many more thrills from God. Thanks for that testimony!! To God Be The Glory!

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WORKIN4ME 11/17/2007 3:33PM

    Wow!! What a testimony!! I've never heard of core rhythms but you definetely have me wanting to try it.. You look great queen.. I'm so inspired..

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BEAUTYASISEEIT 11/15/2007 10:08AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this experience and your weight loss journey with everyone. You are a true example of what God can and will do for his children. I pray the chef at the hotel will begin her journey and lose weight. Even if you never hear from her I'm sure you made an impact in her life and her journey.

I love watching exercise infomorcials and I look forward to seeing this one because you are in it. It is good to know they use real people and it really does work.

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LASVEGASLES 11/14/2007 11:53AM

    “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 4:6-7

And so it is . . .

Love you Sis! Les~

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GIRLINMOTION 11/14/2007 10:52AM

    That is so exciting, and I am glad you spread more spark around. As others said, you look like Oprah, but younger (don't let her know I said that when you are on her talk show, lol). You have worked very hard to be where you are now. Wishing you continued success.

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KAYEREADER 11/14/2007 10:04AM

    Thanks so much for sharing! I'm so glad to hear that your experience was all that you hoped it would be and more. It's wonderful to see someone having such a wonderful adventure and giving glory to God throughout it all. You are an amazing woman and a great inspiration!

God's blessing to you today and always!

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DIRECTION 11/14/2007 9:27AM

    What a fabulous experience for you!

I am so happy for you

God is Good!
Bless you for spreading the Spark

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BLESSED3061 11/14/2007 8:37AM

    This is great!!!

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IMENOUGH 11/14/2007 7:24AM

    GOD IS SOOO GOOOD!! I'm sitting in my office smiling like it was me on the that just did the video shoot! I'm SOOO overjoyed for you! Even in the midst of your excitement you stepped down off of your cloud to reach out to someone in need. Imagine what the world could be if we all simply slowed down and noticed the person in front of us. Imagine what that would do to the depression and suicide rate. I applaud you my sister!! You are truly a blessed woman!

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ATR1983 11/14/2007 2:38AM

    God is good. I am so glad you had a geat trip. you deserve everything that come your way. i am so happy for you. And you doo look like Oprah!

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~SUNSHINE1~ 11/13/2007 11:56PM

    Congradulations D I'm so overjoyed by your success May the almighty God continue to bless you so you can continue to be a blessing to others. You Go Girl your Our Celebrity of Spark People. I wished that there was some type of reunion, gathering , conference or weekend retreat that we could attend to meet and greet other members of spark people where we could weight in, excerise, share some receipes, share our stories, take pictures, and just have a plain ole celebration. Congradulations again Deondra Your My Motivator.

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MZPERSEVERANCE 11/13/2007 10:50PM

    That is awesome and GOD is Great!!!! He said he would reward those who diligently seek him (that tells me something about you)!!!! ...and the amazing thing is -- he is not a respecter of persons, so what he did for you he can do for others.....My pastor always says, "Don't get jealous when God is blessing your neighbor, because that means he is in the neighborhood". So I am believing he is on my block, at my door,knocking...just waiting for me to open it.

You do the thang Giiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrlllll!!!

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NOEILAND 11/13/2007 8:40PM

    AND you DO look like Oprah!

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NOEILAND 11/13/2007 8:39PM

    Ain't God Good! Bless your heart D- You are an amazing person!

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GODSBEST 11/13/2007 8:33PM

    You look great !! And yes, God is definitely good !!

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CBRANCH76 11/13/2007 8:24PM


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2008LYNN 11/13/2007 8:17PM


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No More TEARS...and I mean it!!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

There's an old expression that says something like the ones who are closest to you can hurt you the most...HOW TRUE!!!

So, with all of my recent breakthroughs, I cannot help but to be ecstatic and just plain ole' happy! Even in the midst of my excitement, I am careful not to brag and am quick to give all of the credit to God for everything that He had done and is doing in my life.

Well, tonight I visited a CLOSE family member to get this person's opinion on one of my outfit selections for the Core Rhythms shoot this weekend. The producers have requested that we wear a clingy outfit (which I am not accustomed to wearing clingy clothes, especially since I'm so self-conscious of my excess skin).

Anyway, boy was I sorry that I made that visit!

What should have been a decent visit turned into a "Jill Scott, 'The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3' , Track 3, Hate On Me" Moment!!! I got one negative comment after another and I won't even try to describe the facial expressions I got!!! And the kicker is that the negative comments weren't even about the clingy dress!!! YEESH!

Anyway, I tried to dismiss it and release my hurt feelings on the elliptical machine and stairmaster when I got to the "Y". Well that worked for at least 55 mins. BUT when I got in the car, before I realized it the tears began to roll.

Well here it is several hours later and I finally pulled myself together (thanks to prayer and "Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings" by Aretha Franklin).

And I have made a decision: I REFUSE to give ANYONE that much control over my emotions ANYMORE.

The ones who are closest to you can hurt you the most...but only if you let them!

I know who I am and I know WHOSE I am. Plus, I need to recognize that the enemy is crafty and will attempt to use anyone or anything to discourage God's people. I need to pray about EVERY decision that I make (the big ones and the little ones) and trust that God will guide me. In the meanwhile, I am trusting God and believe that everything will go well this weekend. He has not brought me this far to leave me.

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3: 5,6

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LASVEGASLES 11/13/2007 7:38PM

    The RED dress in question?

You lQQk A W E S O M E in it!

Wooooooooooooooooo to tha hooooooooooooooooooooo!

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POCOHANTAZ 11/13/2007 1:28PM

    Chin Up Queen!!!! People can only do to us what we allow them to....If GOD can take you too it....HE can take YOU thru it...

It is amazing how busy the devil is...YOU go DO YOU!!!!!

You look AMAZING!!!! And GOD gave you just what you needed when you needed it the most...AMEN??

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ROSEMARIE1965 11/11/2007 7:33PM

    Don't ever let anyone bring you down! You have come such a long way! you look beautiful girl!

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NOEILAND 11/11/2007 3:13PM

    I'm hoping that you are having a ball in SD! No more tears....you are such an amazing person and don't deserve that kind of treatment. You are on your way to reach for your stars....Enjoy the moments.
Much love,

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SNIKWAD 11/9/2007 9:13PM

    I can stop by and give this 'CLOSE family member" a good groin kick ... we did about 100 of those in Krav Maga tonight ... ???

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MOMMATAURUS 11/9/2007 2:49AM

    That's right sweetie! Don't you let anyone hurt you anymore! And why did you need their opinion anyway?? Don't tell me you don't have a mirror?? Girl your looking fabulous! You feel fabulous! Your proud of yourself! LIVE THAT MOMENT Sweety! Don't let someone take away your pride. Be you. Be confident. Be proud. You want a real honest opinion about how you look, always ask the employee who is selling the dress. They will tell you exactly how you look everytime! (That's how they sell dresses.) When you leave their, you'll be feeling like the supreme diva!

As far as excess skin, girly, that can be taken care of but the jerk who hurt you, nothing can be done about his or her flaw! Its with them for life!

Congrats on this exercise thing your doing. I didn't get to read all of it but it sure sounds exciting!! Your an inspiration!

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LILSHINE 11/8/2007 4:24PM

    Although you went through a process in getting to where you are right now - it was a process that taught you something and more importantly will allow you to heal and be delivered too. It was ugly - it reared it's ugly head - you're still beautiful, sexy, attractive and all the positives and even one more your heart is full of love for self and others! While we must pray for those who make us hurt we must understand that they were just not in position to allow God to speak instead of allowing the devil to use them.

I know you can feel the love we have for you here on this board - you've arrived at success that's why you're wearing a clingy dress to a photo shoot that's about your accomplishments - YOU GO HUN AND HOLD YOUR HEAD UP PROUDLY! You're wonderfully made!

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LASVEGASLES 11/8/2007 1:51PM

    "Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." -- Romans 8:37

"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." -- 3John 2

~D -- My heart aches reading what happened. Stay strong girl..stay strong!

In His grip --


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GOTTHATFIRE 11/8/2007 11:24AM

    D-DANCE, once again, I can fully relate to you. Not only will relatives make these kinds of negatives statements, but also so called friends. I agree with you 100% that they can only hurt if you let them. I had to take it one step further and stop providing myself for sacrifice to these people. In my mind, I've been nice to them, I've been good to them, surely they will responded differently. The reality? They respond the same or worse. You're right, it's hateration. People have their own issues and that's what ultimately causes their responses and remarks. I refuse to allow their stuff to make me feel less than I am. I'm glad you're going to do the same. GTF

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MZPERSEVERANCE 11/8/2007 10:41AM

    "D" you know better than anybody else that hurting people, hurt others. Jesus was rejected in his hometown, by his own people. Often times those closets to us can't or refuse to see the move of God in our lives. The bible speaks to ENVY, it happens to us all, but when ENVY goes unchecked it causes strife and division. That battle is not yours its the Lord. I will be praying for you and your family.

Congrats on your accomplishments. I

PS: I shared your success with my husband and some of my lines sisters. You are truly and inspiration!!!

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GIRLINMOTION 11/8/2007 9:06AM

    I admire how you handled yourself after feeling so hurt and "betrayed" by someone close. Instead of going out and eating to cover your feelings, you went out and exercised and prayed. In the past I am sure that is not what you would have done. God bless you.

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CBRANCH76 11/8/2007 8:23AM

    You are blessed and highly favored.

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2008LYNN 11/8/2007 8:14AM

  The "hate", though directed toward you, is more likely related to what they feel about themselves. I can deflect and ignore my fears about my own shortcomings and inabilities if I make myself busy belittlng you and pointing out your's.

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FOXYLOSE30 11/8/2007 8:02AM

    Don't allow the devil to steal your joy..pray for that person and move on. You have come too far to allow someone to bring tears to your face.

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BLESSED3061 11/8/2007 7:22AM


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IMENOUGH 11/8/2007 7:19AM


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