Sharing & Caring With Friends

Finding Joy – Part I

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Today, I would like to share the very inspiring journey of a beautiful, middle-aged woman. Joy, who has gone through medical crises, has significantly overcome her health problems and lost over 100 pounds!  We will be sharing Joy’s Journey over the next 8 Mondays.  This is an unusual format for Life Ain’t Easy Street, but Joy has an interesting story to share, and we did not want to shorten her amazing journey.  Please share your comments with us and tell your friends to join us!  As always, if you miss a Monday, you can find past postings on the website under “A Healthier You” (Testimonies).   Thanks for joining us~


Although Joy’s story is certainly not over, here is Joy’s journey through better health and wellness to date.


Today is December 31, 2015 and though this story began some 44 years ago, it is today that I have chosen to share it with others.  You see, I was what doctors termed “Class 3 clinically severe obesity”.  Typing it hurts just as much as hearing it sounds.  Though I will give credit where credit is due, my wonderful team of doctors at the Mayo Clinic, here in Jacksonville, Florida don’t actually say it, they type it.  It appears in their online Patient Services “Notes & Documents”.  Here is mine:

Impression and Plan Assessment 

Class 3 clinically severe obesity

Type 2 diabetes mellitus, dx 1999




Lacunar infarct left lateral thalamus, 2013 (Stroke 11/27/13)


In order to understand what my life has become, I must go back to the beginning.  Back to before I was even born … Mom and Dad!  My dad, being 1 of 9 children and growing up during the depression, was always thin.  Mom was always very thin and weighed a mere “93 lbs.” at the age of 19 when she married my dad in 1954.  I have more of my dad’s side of the family’s features: blue eyes, hooked nose, not so perfect teeth and a short stocky build.  My brother got more of mom’s side of the family’s features: brown eyes, thin nose, straighter teeth and best of all, the “thin” gene. 


My mom was raised a good southern cook where everything was “deep fried with gravy on the side” so she started to plump my dad up in no time flat.  She’s one of the kindest, most caring and loving people anyone has ever had the pleasure to meet.  Her name is Ruby and everyone will tell you she is a true gem.  She is also a wonderful cook and baker.  She’s one of those women who could have a five course meal set before you and a decadent dessert waiting with a hot pot of coffee.  She made our birthday cakes from scratch, themed and all.  She could cater any party big or small and she’d even cater your wedding if you’d let her.  She “loved” people with her heart and with FOOD!  I realize now, this ended up being both a blessing and a curse as I was the recipient of her talents and gifts (food) and then followed in her footsteps to love others with food L  More about that later. 




We will see you back here for Part II next Monday, February 29, 2016.  Thank you for stopping by to read about Finding Joy.




Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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