Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August 3. A Celebration of a Sister

August 3, 2016 would've been Lisa Empanada's 55th Birthday.  Had she lived.

(I write about Lisa a lot.  However, if you don't know who she is, click HERE or HERE or HERE.)

Her Last Birthday Cake

Lisa killed herself on September 16, 2013.   Her body was discovered the next day, which was her wedding anniversary.  As I said above, I've written about this a LOT.  As well I should: aside from my Wife, Lisa was my Best Friend.  We were Sisters- we were going to transition together; sharing the pain, triumphs and heartaches.

But that would never happen.

August 3, 2013 Lisa's relatives threw her a birthday/affirmation party.  Lisa glowed like the Angel on Earth that she was.  Her relatives, most of whom I had never met, were amazing, accepting people. I have said many times that this day was a turning point in my life.  As I thought it was in hers.

Lisa tells a story at the party.  Alexis Lake stands nearby.

One of my many problems has been getting past her Death.  She was such a strong, positive force in my life that when she was gone, my life collapsed.  Since that time, I have been picking up the pieces.

Since that horrible day in September 2013, many new people have entered my life.  Among them is my bestie and roomie, the gorgeous Linda Lewis.  In many ways, Linda has kept me alive.  Her common sense, practicality, and genuine Goodness have kept me from the succumbing to the Darkness several times.

August 3 is a day to celebrate Lisa's Life.  It is a day to remember the Joy and Hope she brought so many people.  It is a day to remember her laughter, her dancing, her hugs.  It is a day to wonder how someone her age could pull off looking so amazing wearing outfits that women half her age couldn't pull off.

51 and rocking this dress!  August 2012

It is a Day for  Dreams.

And so it is that today, on Lisa's birthday, that I announce that I have found a new direction- a new possibility in my Life.

Lisa's soulmate, Sandy, has asked me to write a book about Lisa's life.  She told me that four people (amazing writers all- she told me their names) have asked to do it, but she turned them down, because she wanted me to write it.   "My only thought was you doing Lisa's story...You were bestie sisters."

And so, I am going to do it.  My next book will be about Lisa's life, death, and legacy.

(I wrote a book that was never published, and started a second that is still embryonic.)

The Night we met: January 15, 2012

So.  There is a lot to do.  I will have to find out who her parents were (she grew up in foster care.)  Army records.  So many people to talk to- people who loved her; people whose lives she touched.  There are pictures to be found, police records (was there a police report filed when she was found?)

And, of course, there's her family.  Especially her soulmate, Sandy.  I mentioned to Sandy that this would not be easy for either of us.  I told her it would be painful for us both, but she said she can handle it.

So, soon I will be contacting people for their memories.  However, I can't do this alone.  Lisa was known and loved the world over.  She touched people's lives.  So I'm asking for your help.  If YOU want to contribute a memory or information to this effort, contact me at

I would really appreciate any of your thoughts.

Photo montage at Lisa's Funeral

I have referred to Lisa's death as an unhealed wound on my soul.  And so it is.  I have also said that I hold the promise I made to her at her funeral of transitioning for us both fulfilled.  But now maybe I can do more for her- I can share her memory with all who would care to know it.

Today is Lisa's birthday.  Today, we who loved her celebrate the Life of an amazing woman.  Today we raise our glasses to her, share stories and laugh, and remember the Angel that God lent us for such a short time.

Happy Birthday, dear Lisa.  I will always love and miss you!

Lisa and I, September 7, 2013.  Our Last Time Together 


  1. Very well written as usual I think a book with you as the author would be epic and then introduce your friend to all of us. Love yang! Dorlen

  2. Sorry for your loss, healing take along time. I know she has a big place in your heart.