This month on RiseUP with Dawn Ennis, meet a longtime lawmaker who is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ causes and her constituents here in Connecticut, as well as a new Air Force recruit, a country music lover, a man who races sailboats and a gay journalist who is helping raise awareness of long-hidden racism in his hometown.
Activism, advocacy, service, song, and sailing: they’re very different experiences, for sure.
But what each of these folks have in common is their passion.
My passion for 34 years has been storytelling. I’m at a crossroads right now as I post this, but I can honestly say that even if I were to never ever publish another word, I’ll still pour most of my passion into the most important work I’ve ever done: doing the job of mom and being a dad to my three motherless children.
One of them makes a cameo in this episode: singing is her passion. I hope you’ll watch and share!
Links mentioned in the show are below the link.
If you’re interested in getting involved in civic government, reach out to the League of Women Voters. In Connecticut their website is here.
For more info on Philadelphia’s inclusive flag and efforts toward greater equality in Philly, check out the More Color More Pride campaign.
You can also read more about Ernest Owens and his work at G Philly magazine where he is the editor.
Thanks especially to Meredith West who left WHC-TV last month for Atlanta. I wish her the very best!
My latest YouTube video is dedicated to the wonderful women of my widows group, who have helped me to feel human again by getting me out of the house and connecting with them outside our biweekly sessions to explore our grief.
We all went out recently, had a few drinks, had a lot of laughs at a local comedy club, and bonded. I’m so grateful to them for including me and making me feel welcome and a part of their sisterhood.
Not one of us would give up a chance to have those we lost back in our lives, but since that’s not possible, we have each other. And my video this week is really for every person who feels cut off, and alone. It’s important to get out, make new friends and find connections. To find time for ourselves to grow and be with other grownups once in awhile.
I’m very glad my friends found me!
On a recent family road trip, I dared to be “that woman” who refused to wait on the line to the ladies room! It’s a lesson for my kids about meeting individual needs.
And I really, really felt the need, at one very crowded rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Exactly three years ago today, my children met the real me, and as I’ve mentioned, it’s about six months since we lost their mother. Some might say my kids lost both their mom and their dad. And I say, no: that’s not the case.
That’s because they have what I call the DadMom: a woman called “dad” who does the job of “mom” and brings the best of both worlds to bear to raise my strong, smart children.
The focus of my “Life After Dawn” now more than ever is to meet their needs, lift them up, and dry their tears.
Grief is not our state of being but it is something we are dealing with, every day, each in our own way. And not one of us is handling it in the exact same way or on the same timeline.
Here’s a video about how I help my children cope with their grief. I welcome your comments and questions, here, on my YouTube channel or via email at email@example.com
Thanks for watching!
A trust has been established by Wendy’s brother, Robert Lachs. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund may send a check, payable to “Ennis Family Scholarship Fund Trust” to Robert Lachs, 1729 E Prairie Ave., Wheaton, IL 60137, or click here to donate via GoFundMe.
Six months ago today our world changed. I woke up to a text from Wendy in the hospital:
“I think I’m going home today.”
It’s also my late father in law’s birthday. My hope is they are together in paradise.
Above, a photo from the last time she did come home from the hospital. Miss her today and everyday.
Part of my “to do” list today is to order her headstone. The inscription is something we worked together to compose; her mother, brother, and of course our children wrote the words, and I am as always the copy editor. I’ll share those words when the time comes for the unveiling this fall.
PS our struggle continues… and I’m not ashamed to ask for help for our kids to reach our goal of funding their education. As for day in, day out, we get by on my meager salary and federal and state benefits, which is enough to buy groceries and kids clothing and pay bills. I’m a regular at Goodwill and our town and temple’s food pantries, and I firmly believe there’s no shame in accepting help when it’s offered. To those who’ve already given so much, thank you.
A trust has been established by Wendy’s brother, Robert Lachs. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund may send a check, payable to “Ennis Family Scholarship Fund Trust” to Robert Lachs, 1729 E Prairie Ave., Wheaton, IL 60137, or click here: https://www.gofundme.com/zc4q96x4