Patient and Caregiver: the main characters in a drama that started in 2007 and is still unfolding for Evelyn and Wayne Hausknecht. In 2007, Evelyn was diagnosed with an aggressive, recurrent type of non-Hodgkin’s T-cell lymphoma. Although in Unseen Arms Evelyn and Wayne are as medically accurate as their memories and blog allow, the greatest purpose here is to tell the story from a patient’s and caregiver’s perspectives.
Recently, while having an in-depth conversation with a lung doctor when Evelyn was in the hospital with pneumonia, Evelyn was thanked by the doctor for what she and Wayne were doing. She was in awe of his excitement for the book. The doctor saw the need for future patients to learn from experienced patients. Evelyn and Wayne were peer volunteers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for years. The goal of that program was the same: an experienced caregiver and patient walk beside a person entering the transplant program to make their path smoother. Even though each diagnosis and circumstance is different, every patient has the same questions, fears, and needs. The greatest need is for someone understanding to talk to. When Evelyn was diagnosed, it was easy to find medical information, but caregiver and patient perspectives were limited.
Evelyn and Wayne had three purposes for writing this book. One was to give God the Glory for His faithfulness during this process. The second was to give hope to the patients and caregivers of today and the future. The third was to give some limited insights into the stem cell transplant process. The medical part of this process is rapidly changing, but the patients and caregivers still have the same needs.
Evelyn and Wayne Hausknecht have spent most of their careers in education. Evelyn has taught different subjects and ages in public and Christian schools. Wayne, a wood engineer, helped build the largest sawmill in Brazil and has managed mills in Michigan and North Carolina. They both enjoy motorcycle riding and rode their Harley Davidson Road King to Glacier National Park in 2006. Recently, they traded their motorcycle for a Model A truck and now enjoy going to car shows. They have two married children and six grandchildren and reside in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
“‘Travels with Maurice is a gem of a book that just sneaks up on you with its greatness. While the title makes you think it’s a travelogue or road trip book (and we’ve all read enough of these), Travels is so much more.” – Michael Berman
“Every Women Wanted to Be with Him Every Man Wanted to Be Him”― Gary Orleck
A simple “thank you” led to the trip of a lifetime, along with an unbreakable friendship of two opposites. See them come of age while rubbing elbows with the rich and famous like the Shah and Queen of Iran, The Who, Paul McCartney, Brigitte Bardot, and even Shirley Temple Black. An unbelievable story, yet it’s true because nobody could make this story up. Find out things the rich and famous do not want you to know.
I grew up in Lincoln, R.I. which is a blue-collar town, went To Babson University School of Business, and graduated with a BSBA in 1966. I worked my way around the USA for six months.
Two years later, I traveled with the son of the richest man in the world – covering 19,988 miles, twelve countries, and ten weeks.
Then, I went to work at Broadway Tire Inc. Twenty years later, I bought the business. I then owned and operated it for thirty more years before retiring in 2016!
In Between, I met and married my wife Ronna and had two beautiful children, and now I have five grandchildren!
The love of travel remained with me, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited 75 countries – each in a unique style – all my own way, using much of which I learned in my travels with Maurice in 1968.
“Lisa Lucca weaves the past and present into a vividly written and important story with many layers: family secrets, fathers and daughters, love and sexuality, and at the core, forgiveness. What touched me most was the call to action to become the love of your own life. Read, learn, and become!”— Laura Munson, New York Times bestselling author and founder of the acclaimed Haven Writing Retreats.
“In this raw and gripping memoir, Lisa Lucca has perfectly captured the unique ripple effects of life with a gay parent. With little representation in popular media, people who grow up with (or find out about) LGBTQ+ parents/caregivers are often left to wonder if there’s anyone else who really understands. Ashes to Ink is proof we are not alone, and that love truly does win.”— Jordan Budd, Executive Director of COLAGE, National LGBTQ+ family organization
“Fresh, warm, sassy, and smart… Lisa’s voice is a delight! I was enchanted by this book.”— Alexia La Fortune, Author of Sex, Love, and Spirit
“Ashes to Ink… a power punch of a book written by the glorious Lisa Lucca. Filled with rage and anger and sorrow and more unleashed anger…and much humor and love…human emotion in each chapter. Lisa’s memoir is all about LOVE, the wanting, the needing, the longing, the acceptance, the fear of love, the need for love. From a parent whose lifestyle flattens her to the seeking of love with men who challenge her (unconsciously) to finding the right one. This is a memoir about family – the down and dirty – about love, about searching… and forgiveness. This book is filled with so much truth, so many untamed feelings, so much rawness… a memoir that gives you ample time to hold your breath and exhale. Read it, devour it, allow yourself to creep into the uncomfortableness. Life is filled with discomfort and unease – Lisa gives us all the rare opportunity to see ourselves in the dazzling, and magnificent mirror she holds up for us.”— Amy Ferris, Marrying George Clooney, Confessions from a Midlife Crisis
Acceptance struggles to emerge from a cocoon of family secrets . . .
After her parents’ divorce in 1974, Lisa Lucca’s idyllic Midwestern childhood is shattered when she learns her father is gay. Sworn to secrecy, she begins carrying the emotions of her family like a cracked bucket, making a mess as she embarks on a life of rebellious choices.
Decades later, faced with the aftermath of her father’s death, Lisa revisits the complicated relationship she had with him, delving deeper into the stories she’s held about love, sexuality, and the family she comes from with a shimmering clarity that arises from her grief.
A story of heartache and the power of forgiveness, Ashes to Ink shines a light on the challenges of living true to who we are, especially for single parents.
Lisa Lucca’s work has been published in several publications and anthologies, most recently in Crone Rising. She is the co-author of the epistolary memoir, You Are Loved, with her partner, Mark Mathias, a love story she will continue telling in her next book.
She shares a home with Mark in the high desert of southern New Mexico where she continues her work as a life coach, and hosts a weekly public radio show, Live True, bringing insightful and engaging interviews to her listeners. The show streams globally at lccommunityradio.org where the shows are available in the archives.
Stephanie took part in Veganuary, the month-long global challenge to try veganism, for January 2019. In Finally a Vegan she describes how her changing attitudes to animal welfare and exploitation led her from staunch omnivore to vegetarianism in the preceding years. She recalls her excitement at taking part in the challenge itself and shares her daily food diary, failures as well as triumphs.
Drawing on her post-Veganuary experiences, Stephanie then responds to the common questions But isn’t it expensive? But surely it isn’t healthy? and But what about my boots? before honestly asking herself How vegan do I want to be?
Ideal for vegan-curious readers, Finally a Vegan is an insightful memoir inspired by one life-changing month.
10% of Finally A Vegan profits will be donated to vegan projects and charities.
Stephanie Jane has been an avid reader for as long as she can remember. She loves discovering new authors from all around the world and is happiest when engrossed in a compelling novel with tea and cake to hand.
Raised in Sussex, England, Stephanie developed a wanderlust in her late twenties. She spends her time exploring the UK and Western Europe with her partner, setting out on foot or bicycle from their almost-vintage motorhome, and firmly believes everywhere has something worth seeing if we slow down enough to appreciate its smallest details.
Stephanie has been vegan since 2019 and strives to incorporate zero waste ideals into her life. She enjoys browsing vintage clothing shops and would collect antique kitchenware if she ever again lives in a house with enough space.
Content Rating: PG+M for bad language, anger, and suicidal thoughts, clinical depression, and assault
“What if that someone was you?” Shannon had been so quick to blame others for her anger. She knew she was drowning in darkness and pain; being born with a learning disability made her feel defeated by life. She tried drinking heavily in order to quiet the demons. After being kicked out of college, Shannon took a leap of faith and started working in a nursing home. That’s when her angels appeared and the miracle began. The insight and wisdom she gained from those elderly new friends led her on an inspiring journey of discovery and self-acceptance. Each of us has our own path. Some of us just need angels to help us find it. This is her story.
Bio: Shannon was raised in a small town in Eastern Montana, where you leave your car keys in the ignition and your front door unlocked all the time. The kind of place where sunsets and sunrises can be seen for miles on the horizon. Where the spring crickets and frogs resting in the irrigation ditches helped transition the days into a calm resting night. Where the winters can get so cold, air can freeze.
It was only after she was academically suspended by the college she was attending, that she became a Certified Nurses Aide (CNA). She did her training in Billings, Montana and it was there she learned how to take care of others and bonded with the geriatric population.
For over five years, Shannon worked in the same nursing home where she received her training. The work was hard, but it grounded her and helped her find balance in what had become a deeply unbalanced life. It was not until she was a CNA, at one of the hospitals that she had a dream-three nights in a row-that she was going to become a nurse.
She currently resides in Tampa, Florida, where you may hear her laughing with her husband of over 10 years, scuba diving in the ocean, taking walks with their rescued pit-bull dog- Darby, or dancing together to life’s music.
In your book you wrote how disappointed you were when you found out you had Poly Cystic Ovary disease and that you had always wanted to have 4 boys. Did you ever think of adopting?
Yes, I did. However, I knew for some time I could not take care of myself. How was I going to be able to take care of children? I was not put together yet, and it took many years for me to feel like I was able to care for myself. I did not have the money to work with a fertility specialist. It was something I had to come to terms with and accept. It was not in God’s plans for me to become an actual mom. So, I am a mom to my rescue dog, Darby.
What is your pet peeve?
One thing I learned from my time in counseling with Tom is to be truthful. I found that if you are honest in the beginning, everything really will turn out okay. There is no reason to lie. Lies start a domino effect and people get hurt. Sometimes you cannot take back what was lied about. Saying “I am sorry” after a lie is owning up to the action, and it changes everything. I learned you only are as strong as your word.
There are many memoirs out there about people’s lives. What makes yours so special?
Like so many other memoirs, mine is about finding myself and finding a balance. I write about how I was trying to survive; I had darkness all around me. Counseling helped me shine the light on the darkness, and really helped me own up to my insecurities, anger, and hatred of myself. I realized I never was a victim of life. I just needed help; I denied myself for many years. My hope is my book will help others get help earlier and live their best life and not wait so long to get it like I did. I hope others learn that mistakes are not a life sentence, and you can get better. But first you must admit you need help. That is the first step. I hope I make it easier for people who are struggling to find their way and let them know it is okay. And, let them know their lives can be SO much better.
Tell us more about your rescue dog, Darby.
Pit bulls have such a bad rap. I have learned a lot about the breed from watching Pitbull’s and Paroles and reading up on them on my own. We wanted to help. We were on a web site, Pet Finder, and we saw her. She looked like she had road rash on her right shoulder, and scars all over her face, but she was still smiling. We made an appointment to go meet her, and she was lovely. She had healed stab wounds all over her body and her tongue needed to be surgically put back together. She was found when police did a raid on where she was living. Jimmy’s Angels rescue center took her in, cared for her, and brought her back to life. We fell in love with her. They came out and did a home check. She has been with us for a little over a year now. She is living proof what a little bit of love can do to change someone’s world. She goes everywhere with me. (And she snores louder then my husband.)
Tell us more about your favorite resident. What drew you to her or him?
I have so many favorite people I have taken care of over the years. But I guess the 2 that I truly bonded with were Betty Ann and Phyllis. I talk about them in my book. I guess because they were once broken also, and both shared it with me. They shared with me their stories and how they got through the tough times and struggled with addiction (alcohol) as well. I guess what drew me to them was the rawness of how they were. They too had one-night stands, got drunk at parties, lived by the seat of their pants, did what they needed to do to get by. They helped me realize mistakes are not life sentences. It is just life. They helped me stop taking things so seriously and being so hard on myself.