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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

SOMETHING MORE (part 5 of The journey of Journey Home)

Trying to face the world with a face that was injured, broken bones, pins and pains was more than a challenge.  Everyday was an endurance and torture but there had to be a reason for all of it.  There had to be something that I needed to do in this life.  I had no idea what my purpose in life was and little time to contemplate.  I was surviving.  I had to work to be able to walk.  With the back problems it was difficult but using my arms to and hands to work a walker was torturous.  The broken ribs were amazing and the foot was pinned back together.

Days passed into weeks and weeks into months and they were all very much the same.  I was surviving.  There were days that I cried and days that I prayed.  There were days that I almost gave up all hope but not quite.  Things were healing inside and out but healing better than we could ever hope.  Even my doctor said God had a hand in my recovery.  There is no way to say how blessed and lucky I am.  I could have died and nearly did die in that accident…but why do I have this time and what am I to do with it?  What use am I to others?

If you want the truth…I still do not have the answers.  All I can do is be thankful for the many blessings that I do have and try to do and be the best than I can. 

I used to walk.  If my nerves were bad I could go for a walk.  In the early morning it was cool and the air was crisp and cool.  There would often be the sweet smell of flowers blooming and the earthy smell of the wooded areas.  There often were deer that stood motionless watching with curiosity or they bounded back into the woods.  The little squirrels danced in the branches and from tree to tree.  Stress and worry would seem to fade with each step and moment by moment.

If I felt sadness, it was hard to continue to feel so oppressed surrounded by such peace and beauty.  If I was happy I could take delight in the day.   Walking helped me to stay in shape inside and out.

We had been on the internet for a short time but with all of the bills could not continue to have the internet.  The world and people in it is a busy place and I felt isolated.  The healing continued and my face was unbelievable. 

Using my hands was a problem.  They hurt to move and were stiff.  We had no insurance.  (I have been uninsurable except with exceptionally high premiums and pre-existing clauses) for years.  I had no physical therapy or rehab and live out away from town.  I would have to be my own rehab and therapy.  I got more play doh and began to try to make my flowers.  For many years I used to make tiny flowers and put them is shells.  I wrote a thought or two about what they really are.  I am going to share that thought because it helped me as much as it could ever do for another.  I often gave the little roses away and would always receive a smile in return.  I heard from a friend not long ago that the one he got for one of his family members is still in place on a shelf in their livingroom.  Here is Playdoh………

            You may hold and see and think this is a Play Doh rose in a shell.  Have you looked?  Have you really looked?  You may see the craftsmanship it took to create it and think it is, or is not so good.  If that is what you see and feel as you hold it in your hand---then I give up and it really is a Play Doh rose in a shell. 
            A year from now or five or ten, you may someday (if it is really well preserved.  Play Doh really is child’s play clay) look again.  It really is just Play Doh because, where is the child in us all?  Where did the joy and enthusiasm go at seeing a flower bloom?  I know porcelain, but Play Doh makes me feel.
            Winter can be long and cold and hard.  It can be dreary in winter and then a single flower blooms, or was it the only flower we took the time to see?  In your hand you hold the power, mystery, and changing seasons of the sea.   The strength of that shell cradles a flower, a bloom of many petals, each crafted and sculpted to form not only the sight of a flower, but a feeling.
            We all need a feeling of hope and rebirth.  The strength and passion of the sea holds the beauty and simple times in life.  If passed from one to another, what greater gift could one give than heart, soul, feeling and love that was crafted in each and every single petal to pass along a good thought, loving care and a good feeling?
It’s a good feeling.
May God Bless and keep you and let you feel peace.
Linda Nance

I wanted to be able to feel joy and hope again.  I wanted to be able to reach out in some way and live instead of just being alive.  I wanted to make my little flowers bloom.  Most of the time I make larger blooms.  They are easier for me to form.  Every once in a while I am able to make the tiny ones and was determined to see my flowers again with colors I blended individually. 

I worked and worked until I could hold one in my hand and close my eyes seeing the beauty of the ocean.  I could picture the sunsets and the waves.  I could hear the sounds and feel the fresh ocean breezes.  Winter was cold and hard and brought aches and pains and loneliness at times.  For that moment of memories it was warm in my heart.

I inspected each tiny petal for the way it curved and folded to form the flower bloom.  I felt the hope and peace of taking the time to look at the flowers.  I began to have a feeling of hope and rebirth.  It was time to do more.  I was very limited on time that I could be upright sitting and especially standing but every day I grew stronger and worked harder.  I began to get ideas for the book I had been working on and went back to writing.

I wrote for hours.  I thought and worked to make this story special.  I wanted anyone who read it to not only have an interesting story but one that they could feel the emotions along with the characters and see the sights, smell the smells, love some, hate some and fear some of the characters.  The more I wrote the more I wanted to write.  It was a dream to actually write a whole book.

Time passed and the story continued but it was slow.  We often take things for granted until they no longer work or are painful.  This was not only occupying my mind and giving me something special to do; it was working my hands too.  I did not give up.  Click, Click, Click, Journey Home was becoming real.

Time had passed and I had healed beyond our hopes and dreams.  I was still writing and clicking away as they end of the story neared.  I hoped that the reader would not piece it all together and know the ending before they read it.  So far everyone who has contacted me has said they were so surprised.  I loved the story but it needed more.  It needed to be more.  There were things that I had not accomplished….but I needed more.

I got an idea.  I would take a class.  I wanted to learn.  Surely there would be some way that I could take a class about writing and would do my best to learn all that I could.  I would write and re-write and re-write again until I could make it more than a story.  I wanted it to be a novel.  I wanted it to be the best that I could make it and was determined not to stop until it was something I could be proud of and satisfied with.  Journey Home.  It was almost there, but not quite.

Face the world, find a way and make each day filled with something more.         The Journey of Journey Home continues. 
With every sunrise I could begin to feel the hope of a new day.

My flowers may not be perfect but each one is and was special.  I began to get outside and begin to marvel at the delicate beauty of the tiniest wild flowers

Friday, July 22, 2011

NEA Writer’s Group July 21, 2011 meeting

NEA Writer’s Group
July 21, 2011 meeting

We hope that by gathering together and sharing we might offer and receive encouragement, support, information and individual growth assisting us to accomplish our goals and make dreams come true.  Through discussions, readings, critiques, and assistance we may share and receive, it is my desire that each person find something of interest and benefit from these meetings of friends reaching out to one another sharing a common interest and goals.  If you love to write, want to write, are published or write for your own pleasure or just have an interest or want to share with others, we hope to form an interesting group to grow, share, learn, and reach out.

At this time our meeting will be on the first and third Thursday of each month at at the Books A Million Store on
Caraway Road
in Jonesboro.

When you think about starting a writer’s group it is more complicated than you might think to try to organize something that will be functional and a pleasure to those involved.  The meeting last night was far from difficult.  It was such a pleasure and joy from the beginning to end.

There will never be a time when everyone will be able to attend all of the time.  The people in this group are inspired, talented and passionate individuals that gathered together sharing not only their projects and ideas but enjoying the benefits of such helpful ad insightful comments and perspectives of the others of the group.

There were some novel and unique ideas brought to the discussion.  One member is working on a cook book.  That sounds like something you might have seen before but I assure you this is special and will be an asset for more than the item prepared from a recipe.  This book will be an opportunity to not only find delicious things to share with our family and friends but an opportunity to open the door to communication and a way to help people to stop and think about what they eat and what goes into the things we might love. 

The one thing that thrills me is the idea that by designing a cookbook that has easy to prepare recipes and shows concerns about the healthy aspect of being aware of what goes into the food we eat it teaches more than cooking.  It can help to create a mind set that could affect the health and habits for a lifetime.  It can open communications and provide an opportunity for the teen or tween to succeed.  The instructions are simple and easy to follow allowing the individual to create beautiful and fun foods that they can share with family and friends.  think the "joy" found in cooking is when it comes out right and you get to enjoy your success. Makes you want to try another recipe and then another. And, then there is "it taste so yummy factor" Ha. I tried to hit every possible quick fix food group in the book: Dips/Dunks, Wraps/Frappes, Smoothies, Sorbets/Salas Ole, Milkshakes/Cheesecakes, Soups/Salads, Trail Mixes, the list goes on and on. No food is a bad food and the ingredients can be manipulated to control fat and sugars without losing flavor, I've shared that in the book. Also, the Whacky Paks are complete foiled dinners just ready to pop into the oven. Teens on the run can get a nutritous meal as quick as just eating junk. At least, this is what I hope to teach them.

What better way to inspire a young person than giving them something in their life that they can succeed in accomplishing, amaze others with their efforts and thrill will the unique or special things they have done on their own and by themselves.  As they learn about the ingredients and different foods it also allows them to show and share their knowledge and create a desire to know and be able to do more.  This opens doors of communication as well as educating, guiding and offering an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and ability to be the hit of the party and star of the moment.

We not only discussed what the project was but thoughts and experiences we have had or learned about in the aspect of publishing, cost, the issues involved in creating the cover, design, presentation and even promotions.

The thought of acquiring sponsors for projects was an idea well worth considering and of possible benefit for current as well as future projects.  Viewing our endeavors in more than one perspective allows us more opportunity and insight into other alternatives.

One idea flowed into another and grew as the members gained in momentum expressing multiple ideas to help others in the group with different aspects of different projects.  It was wonderful to see the excitement on the faces and hear the enthusiasm in the voices.  The ideas were insightful, creative and inspired.

This same writer has a fabulous novel released and available at Amazon.  The title is Sliver Moon.  I will be adding more information later about the individual projects but had to take the time to say how much I have enjoyed reading such a novel that is well written and touches the reader in a distinctively unique story.  There are stories that are filled with drama, family relationships, personal issues, romance, excitement, intrigue and danger but this book has it all and more than that.  It is written in such a compelling manner the reader feels as if they can see and hear and know the characters…people… of the book.  They become more than characters… you know them, love them, hate them or fear them but they are more than just a story and a good read.  I have to add that I think a man would enjoy this book as much as a woman and each find something special in it’s pages.

Another writer shared as she read such heart warming and touching poems she had created.  Her talent and gifts are evident as they touched the heart and stayed with all who heard the words.  They were more than words of poems, they were heartfelt and sincere.  They were written and crafted containing such impact that they were more than what they said they…. were the emotion they conveyed. The idea that such powerfully and far reaching things could be put into book form is more than a book of poetry.  It is more than poems shared.  This would be an inspirational project capable of impacting the hearts of the readers and reaching out beyond the pages.

The discussions continued to include such things as cost of production, and even the composition of the collection in a unique presentation instead of a traditional book.  The ideas flowed from all attending.

This talented writer has the ability to create special poems that carry a specific message for an individual person or persons.  Expressions from the Heart is a place to find custom poetry for all occasions.  She addresses herself as a word arranger because she uses her talent with words to offer a gift of feeling and emotion.  She is a poet, a writer, and a special person who knows how to share heart and soul.

There is a book you will not want to miss.  Risky Faith is the title.  You will not find dozens of other books that are similar.  This book is exceptional in not only the quality of writing but the impact and inspiration offered to all who read it.  It is heart, faith, thoughts and feelings shared.  This is a text of motivation, insight and encouragement to share from the heart.  It is a small book with a big message and available at Amazon.  The cover is the idea and creation of the author himself and amazingly it is him on the cover.  You have to see this.  You also have to know this many is more than 70 and setting an example in life and in writing.  There is no trick of photography involved but an amazing man with a message and gift to all who read his works. 

He is currently working on a novel with dedication to crafting the project with the utmost care, enthusiasm, talents and enthusiasm.  He is a professional writer of original inspirational style doing special things in the world, his life and his writing.

Another discussion that took center stage was from a member currently involved in the process of refining and defining the individual parts of his book.  He constantly amazes and inspires me with his ability to create a tale that not only holds the interest in the story but has surprising twist and turns and surprise endings.  He grabs your interest in the beginning and holds it to the very end and then does one more thing.  He can write a story that you think of long after the book is closed. 

 He is making a collection of ghost and haunted tales accentuated with poems to thrill and chill.  Each and every one in the collection will open the door to your imagination and leave you wanting for more. 

The group shared his enthusiasm and excitement offering ideas and encouragement.  He smiles knowing the twists and turns of the tales that are on their way.

At the beginning I stated what I hoped that this group could accomplish.  I said… 

We hope that by gathering together and sharing we might offer and receive encouragement, support, information and individual growth assisting us to accomplish our goals and make dreams come true.”  

   I have to say…  this meeting made me believe dreams can come true.  We have to be willing to work hard and not give up but there is nothing that can compare to the hope and encouragement from friends who are honest enough to be truthful and caring enough to want the very best for each and everyone. 

“Through discussions, readings, critiques, and assistance we may share and receive, it is my desire that each person find something of interest and benefit from these meetings of friends reaching out to one another sharing a common interest and goals.” 

I can not speak for each member of the group but personally left the meeting feeling renewed and inspired.  So many ideas from all of the different people sharing and caring about each other and their different, varied and individual projects created an enthusiasm and excitement within me.  The time flew by and I left with a smile.

I would like to list the books available from these talented members along with contact information to the authors and sites to share in their special projects soon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011



I am back.  As hard as it is to find words to write these things it was even more difficult to live them.  I have been able to talk about all of this before and even find humor at times.  There have been times that I pop off with some comment and people including me laugh weather they want to or not.  One time my husband looked concerned and asked me why I would ever joke or laugh about such a thing?  I do not remember what the comment or topic was but I know the reason.  I told him, “There are times if I do not find a way to laugh, I would cry all the time.”

After seeing my face for the first time after the accident I slept so soundly there were no dreams that I recalled.  The shot they game me made that possible.  I woke feeling drifty and almost fell back to sleep when I remembered what I had seen.  Such emotion welled inside of me it felt like a pressure from within and bearing down.  I drew in a gasping breath and knew tears would do no good.  With that thought, came the next.  What would help?  How would I survive?  How could I face life, family and the world looking as I had observed in the mirror? 

The medical care was so good they were there like magic any time I needed them showing not only care but compassion.  They explained how what I saw was not what it would be.  The swelling would go down and the bruising would heal.  There were amazing things that can be done with plastic surgery.  The doctor patiently sat and visited and talked with me explaining honestly that it might require multiple surgeries but I would not have to live looking as it was right then.  I will never forget him or the nursing staff.

I explained that without insurance I could not afford that and he assured me not to worry.  He made me promise right then to concentrate on getting better, healing and getting stronger.  I was so weak.  The bones in my foot were still broken and joints dislocated but there were other issues more important.   In addition to all of the other injuries we could not let my lungs fill up.  I had to get up.  I had to walk.

Just standing was a problem.  Walking would be a problem for not only me but the staff.  The danger of me falling was real.  I was weak, hurt, and on a broken foot.  They normally have a big strap they put around you so they can support and protect you from more injury if you go down.  There was no way they could put anything around me or pressure of any kind with broken ribs. 

I could do it.  I had to do it and I did do it.  One step at a time.  That is what I thought.  I refused to allow myself to dwell on all of the problems or what I looked like….just one step at a time.  At first that was all I could take.  Little by little I made it three or four and to the door.  The time came to go out that door into the hall.  The hall had many people coming and going.  The expressions on the faces ranged from shock, sympathy and those who had to look away and quicken their pace.  The staff and family were keeping a close eye on not only my physical progress but emotional too.  I was surrounded by love, care and compassion.

My husband and daughter came all of the time as they could.  Friends and family came and showed their love.   I was not alone but in some ways I was all alone.  No one could deal with the emotions and have to find a way to face life but me, and I would need more than any human could give.  I really do believe in prayers and the power of God’s love.  I do not believe we are puppets on a string or that God was punishing me.  I think it is his strength that helped me find my way.

I worked.  I worked as hard as I could.  It was amazing how I was recovering.  I was healing.  When I say amazing I do not use the word lightly or for a way to describe good progress…I mean amazing for the shape I was in.

At one point not long before I left the hospital, the doctor sat and visited with me.  I thanked him.  He asked for what?  “You saved my life.  From the time I hit the ER and you sewed me back together and all of the care since.  I would not have lived, let alone be doing this well if it were not for you and all you have done.  Thank you.”

He sat quietly beside me before he spoke.  “I did not save your life.”

“Who did, the nurses?  I know how close I came to leaving this world.  Dieing was easy.  Living is hard.  You will never know how hard it was to come back.”

I could see how serious he was.  “I did all that I could do to help you.  I worked and tried my best to save you.  You needed more than any and all of us could give.  The man upstairs is who saved you.  He is the one we need to thank.  I did not do it.”  He pointed upward toward the heavens as he spoke.  “It is unbelievable how well you are doing.  It is more than that.”

When I left the hospital, my face was still a mess.  They did not want me to leave but I was adamant that I had to go home.  I had to.  I had been there for so long and assured them that I would have round the clock care.  They told me I could not do it.  It was too soon, but I was so sure that I was tough enough.

I had not told the whole truth.  My daughter had to go to school and my husband had to go to work.  I thought if I had water there and what ever I needed I could do just fine.  I would stay still and take the pain meds if I needed them and I did need them.  The foot would have to wait to be fixed.  I had lost too much blood to go through a surgery for another month.  The ribs were unbelievably painful.  Everything on me hurt but that was nothing compared with the muscle spasms that set in.  The back felt as if it would bend me backwards until it broke but the muscles around the ribs nearly killed me.  I could not breathe.  I found out later the hospital was so sure I would be back that they had even kept my room for me.

I hurt so bad the thought of riding or moving to go back was the only thing that kept me from returning.  I had to keep working to recover.  I could not just sit.  I did work and try.  When I first saw my face it was not just depressing it was shock.  As the shock wore off the fear and depression set in.  Life goes on and one way or another I would have to find a way to deal with it or it would destroy me.  I thought, I prayed, I cried a lot and then I decided to make a plan.

I would face life.  I had always dealt with stress by walking.  I loved to go for long walks and for a while was walking 3 to 4 miles a day.  I would see deer occasionally or the birds and squirrels at play.  I would see the clouds drift lazily across the sky and feel the gentle breezes and warmth of the sun on my face….my face…..

I would never be able to walk like that again.  I had to use a walker to walk at all shuffling along.  I did not even want to think about facing the world with my face.  If I smiled at anyone would they even see the smiles or would they only look at the scars?  We often see what we look for and they might only look and see that and never see me.  I would have to find a way to find me and then deal with the world.

The time finally arrived for the surgery to try to rebuild my foot.  They had to take out one of the joints completely and put in pins, reposition the dislocated joints and hope for the best.  I will go ahead and tell you now it did not work.  The bones are too damaged and fragile and they broke back apart.  I can still walk but it is with pain and a limp.  I am still able to walk though.  I may not go far or fast but I will not give up.  I have heard many times I should ride in the carts at the stores but I believe if I give up. I will end up in a wheel chair.  Use it or loose it.  I use the baskets that you push as a walker and a shopping cart.  The more I do, the long and more I can do.

I was taking one little step at a time.  I remember the first time I did go anywhere in public.  It was one of those times you never forget and a time that made an impression allowing me to adapt a new outlook.

We stopped to get gas and I was determined to go in and get a soda.  There were other people there in the store but I was determined to face the world no matter what.  As I hobbled in the door with my walker, there was no way to miss the sight.  I was crippled and appeared as if I might fall in the floor.  My foot was encased in a special thing with pins sticking out of it after the surgery.  My face was better but still did not look like a human.  My hands had been sewn back and were bruised and discolored but healing well. 

I could do it.  A small child stared at me with mouth hanging open and his eyes wide with shock and fear.  It was fear in that child’s eyes so great he seemed about to break into tears.  Instantly he clung to his mother’s leg trying to hide behind her and said,  “Momma, Momma…IT’S looking at me.”  The tone of his voice was almost hysterical.

She looked horrified.  The sight of my face may have shocked her but she understood that I had suffered some kind of horrible injury.  She was upset with her child’s reaction and words. 

The child was not trying to be mean or bad.  He was so frightened he literally shook.  I did not try to get closer to him.  He would surely have broken into tears.  The thought that the sight of me could evoke such a response was enough to make me cry but there was no time right then.  I could cry later.
As I was trying to squat lower the mother instantly reprimanded the child saying,  “Be quiet.  That is a lady.  Just be quiet.  I am so sorry.  I am so very sorry.  He did not mean it.  I..”

I interrupted her.  “He did nothing wrong.  He really is afraid and I have seen my face and it scared me.  Trust me…it scared me a lot.  It is all right.”

I looked at the child and took my hands to cover as much of my face as possible.  I spoke softly.  “I want you to look only at my eyes.  Only my eyes.  You can see me now.  I am just an old lady that was a little ugly to begin with and got hurt really really bad in an accident.  You don’t have to be afraid.  If you understand… it makes it better… and I am not near as scary anymore now, am I?  Just because someone is different does not make them bad…just different.  You have to look and see the real person inside.”  As I said that I was slowly removing my hands. 

He still did not want to come closer, but he no longer appeared to be ready to cry.  In helping him to find a way to look at me, I had found a way to face the world.  I could do it.  Life was not over.

I chose these pictures to share because it remind me that as the with the end of one day and new day will begin and we have to look for the good in life to find it.  Albert and I were so happy there.

Friday, July 15, 2011


I had to share one of my paintings for this part of the blog.  It deals with a very traumatic time.   Seeing that path to lead me on, was in my heart... now here to see.  I had to stop writing but will be back soon.  It is titled I CRIED and I did...then  and now, but Life really does Go On and I am alive and living life to the best of my ability.


When you suffer a serious injury or trauma or even illness time is experienced differently.  The staff was not only capable, knowledgeable, efficient and competent, they were caring and compassionate.  They were exceptional.  I had the maximum amount of pain medication and excellent care.  A person could not ask for any better, but still the pain was almost unending…except when I had drifted away completely.  The problem was that it was all so hard.  I hurt so much and was so tired.  Just to be awake was an enormous effort but to drift away would be so easy.  I believed there was and is a place waiting that is so wonderful there are no words to describe…or stay here in pain with a future I chose not to think about.  I did not need a mirror to know that a broken windshield could do a lot of damage but living with it would be something I would have to think about later or I just might be too tired…..Every breath I took hurt.  Everything on me hurt.

My family and friends came to visit and I could not leave.  I had to keep trying.  They kept telling me they loved me, believed in me and knew that I could do it.  Everything would be fine….It would NOT BE FINE…but it might work out.  I had no idea how to make it work out but then again I was to sick and hurt and tired to do much of anything.  I just put it in the Lord’s hands and then drifted back away where it hurt no more.

The first thing I said was about time and time did come and go.  Time also passed and I grew stronger and more alert.  At first I puzzled that there was nothing in the room that could reflect an image.  As I became more alert I understood they were protecting me but I had to know.  I was so sure that I could handle it no matter how bad it looked.  I had to know so that I could try to find a way to work it out in my mind and begin to deal with it.

I demanded a mirror.  The staff dealt with it beautifully explaining there was nothing to worry about…a lot of the bedside trays were the same as mine and I should relax….and so on.  I understood that there are medical orders and they could not discuss or do anything that might cause a severe reaction or cause me to become distraught. 

I told my husband I had to have a mirror.  He tried to persuade me not to worry.  He finally told me no.  He did not feel like it was something I should worry about.  I should worry about getting stronger.  He was not going to budge an inch. 

I tried to explain that I could not deal with what I did not know.  If they want me to find a way to deal with all that had happened then I had the right to know the truth.

“The truth is that you do not need a mirror.  It will not help you right now.  What you need to do is get stronger and know that we love you.  Everything will work out.”

Before he could say much more a visitor was outside the door talking to the nurse and getting the usual instructions not to mention my appearance or show shock.  The woman assured her that she had seen things about as bad as they could be and it was not problem.

Now I admit that I was hurt beyond description especially if you try it from the inside out but even I had to keep a bit of a sense of humor.  There had just not been anything I found too funny at that point…until….then and for some reason the situation struck me funny.  Maybe the stress and all played an emotional factor or maybe I am just a little bit warped.

I need to explain about the art stuff.  I have always loved arts and crafts.  I like to make sculptures and even playdoh flowers.  I like to paint a path and sunsets.  I might take a piece of charcoal from the bag for BBQ’s and do a sketch.  At Halloween there were dozens of people that would come by the house and ask me to do their makeup.  I can do
a great witch face.  This woman had always compliment my little art projects.

I had my glasses so I could actually see her.  She strolled into the room full of love, enthusiasm and a mission to cheer and show she cared.  Stopping midway her mouth fell open with a gasping sound as she clutched her chest and staggered a step backward.  I thought for a moment she would actually pass out.

Finally drawing in a deep breath she spoke softly almost like a person suffering some great shock.  “Oh my God, it even knocked off her eyebrows.  Her whole face is gone!!!!”

She did not intend it to sound mean or hurtful at all.  She was so shocked she could not contain the emotion.  My husband instantly reacted with a protective and almost angry outburst….but before he could even get started……..

I started to laugh.  It was the first time since the accident that I had laughed.  It struck me funny even though it was so sad.  She was so sure she could handle anything, but this must be really something…it knocked my eyebrows off.

I told her not to worry.  “It will not be that bad.  After all these years messing around with art I will just draw them back on.”  She regained her composure somewhat.  She saw no humor in my statement but realized the intense look from my husband showed his protective nature.

After she left I explained I was not trying to be stubborn or difficult but I had to be able to see for myself.  He became angry at the reaction and comment from my visitor but I told him it had done me no harm.  She was upset because she cared about me.  She was shocked by what she could see that I could not.  It was my face and I had the right to see it.

He would not give in until I threatened to climb out of bed and go until I found a mirror.  He knew that there was no way I could climb or get out of bed with all of the tubes and all but he did not want me to try.  He calmly explained that he did not feel that I was ready for that yet and because he loved me he wanted me to give it more time.

After talking he realized that I had to see or it was all I could think about.  He agreed to bring a mirror the next time he came because they had orders not to allow anything that would show my reflection in the room.

During all of this time I have to say that the nursing staff was so diligent and caring.  I never needed to call a nurse because there were there.  Maybe it is always like that in acute care but they were outstanding.  The doctor was the same way.  He was so patient and there in and out at all different times.  It was not the daily visit.  He cared.  He was and is amazing.  He also is very good at avoiding the discussion of a mirror.


Albert came into the room looking depressed.  He silently sat in the chair with shoulder drooping as he stared at his hands.  I knew what it was.  He had promised to bring me a mirror and did not want to.  He wanted to protect me.  He also had promised.

I asked and he handed it to me.  I did not use it right then even though I wanted to grasp it and see what was left of me…see what had happened…see it all.  I did not want to risk getting upset and have him see it.  I reassured him since I had a mirror I was satisfied.  I would look later when I was ready. 

We had a nice visit but strained as I wanted to use that mirror and he wanted to snatch it back and take it away.  When the time neared he would have to leave he finally told me that he had to be there when I used the mirror.  He was not leaving me there alone to see something that he was sure would get better and he thought I should quit worrying about.

“It’s no problem.  I am sure no matter how bad it looks it will be a lot better when all of the stitches are out and swelling.  I can handle this.  I have to.  It is my face and I have to wear it the rest of my life.”

Before he could answer or argue, I opened the mirror and held it before me.  At first I felt confusion.  I peered into the mirror but could not find my face.  I could not see any face.  There was a mess of horrible colors similar to a modern art horror piece with eyes filled with pain, confusion and sadness that gazed back at me.

I could not breathe.  For long moments I could not breathe.  I realized that Albert was watching with concern waiting to see what would happen.  “WOW….I….ah..ah…wow.”  Emotions were building with such intensity I could barely hold them in let alone act as if all was going to be fine.  He looked as if he was ready to call for medical back up.

Breathe…breathe…a little deeper…long…slow…breaths….I can do this.  “I understand now why there were no mirrors.  I understand why you worried, but I am going to be all right.  I may never be fine, but I am glad that at least now I know.”  The eyebrow thing did not seem quite so funny anymore.

He stayed for a little while longer watching me closely.  When he was finally convinced I was as good as I might be expected to be he kissed me gently and told me he would be back as soon as he could.  I think he went straight to the nurses’ station.  I could hear people outside my door and knew they were there if I needed them.
I held the little mirror in my hand but did not feel the desire to look again or any closer.  What I had seen was etched in my mind and heart.  It was so horrible and it was me.  It almost seemed to be someone else….with sad frightened eyes.  I can still see those lost eyes looking back at me in that mirror.

I cried.  It poured out in gasping tortured sobs.  The nurses came in and it was time for my meds and I slept.

I can write no more right now but will be back soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011



I am back.  I have been unable to leave comments but will figure that out eventually.  I thank each and everyone here and on the Fan Page.

Trapped in a car after a head-on collision is not a memory one wants to relive and in part there is no memory.  I faded in and out even with the best efforts of those helping me.  I do not know how they got me out and have not asked. 

I remember the paramedic asking me if I was on drugs.  I thought that was silly…I do not take drugs.  You also are not thinking clearly.  He seemed emphatic and asked several times if I was sure I was not on any drugs.

I could no longer see but I could hear.  It sounded as if he was talking on a telephone and I heard him say “dad.”  I was so confused.  I thought I was dieing and he is making a phone call…until more words penetrated the haze that threatened to consume me.  “I think she‘s going to be a bleed out.  I’m doing everything that I can but she has a real problem and will need the best that she can get if I can only get her in.  Would you take her if I can get her there?  I’ll meet you there.”

I was still confused.  Why would his father meet him there and why would he want to take me to his father?  BLEED OUT!  I had worked in an ER years ago and knew what that term meant.  It was bad and they were talking about me and then I remembered…

I have had problems with my back and arthritis for most of my life.  I live with the pain but take BC’s which is powdered aspirin.  Later in life I developed a heart problem and they wanted to put me on blood thinners.  Some in our family have had some severe side affects so I chose to continue with the aspirin since it was a somewhat high dosage everyday for years.  I was able to manage to say BC’s.  I remember only brief sensations of the trip to the hospital.  I could hear the siren wale and feel the sensation of speed in our travels and then it all faded away.  There was nothing.


Far away I could hear voices again.  There were many voices.  Tones and sounds of urgency but I could not focus to listen to what they said.  They were still so far away.  It was so hard to hold on to even be that close but then I heard another voice.  I knew that voice.   I had to come back from my far away place to reach that voice.

My husband’s name is Albert.  He was talking to me.  He did not yell or shout to me.  He spoke with more than his voice.  He spoke from his heart and I could feel his words and hear him.  He told me what I wanted to hear.  He knew what my question would be.  My daughter was doing fine.  She was going to be all right.  She may think that she is grown but she will always be my little girl.  I wished I could hold her, comfort her and let her know momma says it will be ok.

He continued to speak to me.  He was there and would not leave me.  He would run back and forth between my daughter and I but would not leave me.  I had to hold on.  The doctor was working on me and sewing me up and they needed me.  He said that he loved me.  He told me that the children loved me.

I was hanging on.  I was trying.  I could see a glimpse through all that was left of my face and the doctor was sewing me back together.  Oh what a nightmare.  How could it all be true?  It was true.  I had to hold on.  Then they all faded away.

The paramedic that worked to save my life took me to the hospital where his father waited.  His father was and is such a talented and good hearted doctor.  My life was in his hands and the good Lord above.

I could hear Albert’s voice.  There were undoubtedly others talking but I could only hear Albert as he comforted, reassured me and explained what was going on.  Then I heard a loud voice filled with its own authority demanding that Albert leave.

Before anyone could answer the doctor replied curtly “He’s not going anywhere and you need to leave…and leave now.”

The police officer said that he had authority and he decided Albert needed to leave the room.

“I am the authority in this room and the only authority.  He will not be going anywhere.  He is her only link right now and if he leaves we could loose her.  Her death would be on your hands and I would see to it you get the credit.  Now, get out!”

The voices were gone again.  I could hear Albert now and then, but was at peace and far away from all of the trauma.


I do not know how long they worked sewing and doing all that they could to save me.  I could hear bits and pieces, here and there.  I must have been in a room but still could not see.  I heard Albert explaining to someone that it would be hour by hour.  It could be several days before they knew if I would make it.  I drifted away for a while.  How long??? I do not know. 

I could hear Albert again and he was telling me that he loved me and I could do it.  He explain he understood how hard it was but they needed me.  They needed me.  The words echoed in my mind.  The kids were grown.  He said they needed me and loved me.  You can hear songs sing about love can carry you through or make the world go round or a dozen other things…but they loved me?  They needed me?  I could do it?  And then it was all gone again.

Time is a relevant thing.  It is relevant to the one experiencing it at the time.  That may sound strange, but for me time would stop and start.  I was not having dreams or even felt a sound sleep.  There was nothing.  There was not even the void of nothing.  Time stopped and then resumed again.  I came and went.

I do not know how much time passed but I was able to be there more.  I was able to hear more and then see some.  My glasses were broken and I can never see much other than light and dark and blurs of color without them.  I complained I needed to see.  What had happened to my face?

My hands were damaged and sewn back but I found shredded tissue and glass shards with every touch of my face.  Pieces of my face were like ground beef.  My family became concerned as I frantically pulled bits of glass and other things from my head and face.  The nurses assured them if I did not seem overly upset to let me work things out in my own way and that it would hurt nothing to remove as much as possible.  They mentioned it would be years if ever before all of the glass was out.  They were right.  I still have bits and pieces work their way up.

Albert brought me glasses so I would not feel so helpless and blind.  The room was always so dim.  I asked for them to open the curtains but he said they were supposed to leave them closed.  Little by little I began to notice things.  There was no mirror in my bedside table.  There was no mirror over the sink, but there were holes where there had been one.  There was nothing in the whole room that would reflect an image. 

I did not realize that they were protecting me and allowing me time to gain in strength to survive and endure not only the broken bones, cuts, and pain but the loss of something very personal…my face as I had known it.

They were allowing visitors but they were approved and cautioned before they came into the room not to discuss my face or show a reaction to my appearance.  I had not seen my face but in my heart feared I no longer would even appear human.  I had a small pile of pieces of pink shredded flesh in with the broken glass.

I would like to find words to explain what I felt at that time but there is such an intensity and confusion mixed with fear, and pain, and morphine there are no words.  I kept hearing things though.  I heard they loved me and needed me and that they believed in me and I could do it.  I was going to be fine.


This next part will undoubtedly be something debatable.  To some it will be explained away by realizing the traumatic and stressful situation of enduring such an accident and the consequences to body and mind.  Some will mention the medication for pain.  Some will say it is just wishful thinking but even realizing all of the things that it could be I will tell you that to this day I believe with all my heart it was more.  It was so much more.

From the beginning as I drifted in and out I could feel a presence in the room and near me other than the people that were there or came and went.  I felt protected and comforted.  I felt a helping hand or force….there are no words.  If you ever thought about the possibility of an angel at your side….I did not see a glowing person or flowing white robes.  I did not see….I felt…..

I did not say anything because I did not understand or have the words or desire at that time to tell or explain.  It just was, but it was... for more than me.  There were at least 6 of the people that had worked with me that later told me they though they were crazy because they really did feel the presence of someone or something in my room and there was no one there…or was there?

What I really found amazing was when my sister-in-law visited holding her small grandson.  Babies will often reach out to be held or picked up.  This child was very shy and clung to his grandmother until he looked beside my bed and reach out as if wanting to be held so abruptly she almost lost her grip on him.  He smiled happily as if he were seeing something or someone that no one else in the room could see.

I believe that God reached out to help me in my darkest hour and there was someone there with me.  Did I have an angel at my bedside?  All I know is what I believe.

I would need all of the help that I could get.  I will be back again soon and continue sharing the journey of Journey Home.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Journey of Journey Home…How long did it take? How far did it go?

The Journey of Journey Home…How long did it take?  How far did it go?

Journey Home had been special to me but it grew into something real.  It was no longer a short story written just to see if I could competently do the things I had explained to my daughter.  It had become a story with depth and characters that were becoming people.  They had pasts and present and futures if only I could figure it out and find a way to tell it. 

I believe in trying to be realistic even if I do at times tend to believe in hope and good things in life.  That way of thinking can open a person to experience let down, disappointment, hurt and betrayal but it can also open doors to show that the only limitations we have are those we impose on ourselves.  It can allow us to discover good people who really do care and those that are there for us when we need them the most.  It also allows us to continue to try and grow in our own lives.

I want to learn.  I want to try.  I do not want to give up.  As I wrote the story I often rewrote it and it began to take shape.  I got online to have access to the internet and found a chat room for writers and read as well as researched as much as I could.  I hardly know or knew how to even use a computer but I could read what others shared.  One writer in particular took the time to discuss some things and was very encouraging.  He took the time to talk to a stranger who wanted to write a book.  The odds were against me ever completing a full length novel let alone being able to create something that might be of interest to others or professional enough to enable the reader to even tolerate reading what I wrote.  I did not want to give up.  I believed in my story and that if I did not give up and tried my best, it would someday be a book. 

Someday…..  I had a dream in between cooking, cleaning, laundry, family, friends, and life in general.  I have said many times if you asked who and what I am I really do not know.  I have always been what is and was needed.  In a lot of ways that is what I will always be but I want to be more and learn more and do more.

I was so excited and often typed late into the night or even the early morning hours.  I knew that I would probably write and rewrite many times and need to learn all that I could learn to make this what I wanted it to be.    I did not want to just write a novel or make it a book.  I wanted it to be the very best that I could do.  I wanted it to be special…so special that is was proof that there is no limit to what we can do if we are willing to work hard and never give up.  I wanted my family and children to be proud of me.

Life does not always go according to plan.  I think it rarely goes exactly as we plan and we may not always know the reasons or understand why things happen or how we will ever manage to endure let alone go on.

When people as me how long it took me to write the book….I have no exact answer.  It took me a lifetime and yet my life is not over and it is a book.  I thought my life was over at one point.  That has actually happened to me on more than one occasion for more than one reason but those are different stories for another day.

The day I have in mind happened long ago but is still in my mind so vividly that there have been times I could see and hear it all over again.  WOW…This is not going to be easy to find words. 

I think I will try to tell it as a story would be told.  The day was so beautiful.  The sun was shining and we had the BBQ grill fired up out back.  Family was there visiting and the kids were laughing and talking.  It was a beautiful day.  What could go wrong?  Things were even progressing so well with writing the book that I could hardly wait for the times I had to work on it.  The family was supportive and encouraging me.  They believed in me more than I did.

We needed some things at the store and my daughter offered to drive me.  We approached a major highway with 4 lanes of traffic traveling highway speed.  When she stepped on the brake the car did not stop.  She turned to avoid going into traffic on the highway but it was too late and put us head on with a full size van that had no way to stop.

My daughter hit the steering wheel so hard that her teeth cut completely through her bottom lip.  Her entire rib cage was bruised and she would hurt almost everywhere that she could hurt.  It shows how lucky we really are how much we should realize that the good Lord does look after us because if you could see and really know what was involved in this crash and what could have been it sends chills through me as I sit here and type.  If you want to talk about pain….she had pain that no pill or shot could cure.  The emotional pain breaks my heart.  She was driving and it was an accident but she felt responsible.  She was trapped in the car with me.  There are no words to tell what it had to have been like for her.  She is a kind and caring person who was hurt, hurting, scared and in shock.

I did not have on a seat belt.  The impact was so intense that the car motor was pushed back and pinned my left foot to the floor of the car.  As the car flew out of control it must have spun and twisted every way.  The first time my head hit the windshield, it broke into millions of little squares of broken glass.  There was actually a concave impression bulged out of my face in part of it.  You could see by the glass, that I hit really hard at least 3 or 4 times.  Each time I hit my face was raked across the broken glass and gashed and shredded.  The car motor pinning my foot held me from going out onto the hood or roadway but had a whiplash action and I was the whip. 

I hit the dash so hard that it broke the dashboard of the car…with my ribs and chest….I was broken too.  My hands were crushed.  My forearms were crushed.  My hand had been cut so deeply that it appeared almost bisected on the right side and the left was very deep.   The foot that had been pinned to the floor of the car of course was very broken.  Blood was everywhere.  We were trapped inside and bleeding.

I have to stop now at this point.  I have said that I was going to try to tell many things and do it as honestly as possible, but right now it is not that I am having problems remembering….I can feel it.  I can see it.  This part may sound silly or overly emotional but I sit here with tears in my eyes.

I want to take a moment to describe some other things.  When there is an accident such as this one especially on the highway I have heard many times about all of the onlookers.  I have even heard of how there will often be so many people there and no one lifting a finger to help or they just drive on by.

That was not the case.  From all that I have heard there were many who stopped but people were anxious to help anyway that they could.  There are some times there is nothing that you can do but this was amazing.  When you say that people would give you the shirt off of their backs that was more than a phrase.

I was trapped in the car and two women who were dressed and on their way to work crawled inside of the car with me.  They worked to protect my neck and keep an airway open.  They worked to try to keep me alert and help me to live.  There was so much blood.  Most of my face had been shredded beyond the appearance of any human.  From the center of the forehead was a gash that went to the skull.  My right cheek was deeply cut through.  Nose, eyes, and almost every surface of the face was cut, sliced, gashed and gouged.  My hands were deeply cut and gushing.

They desperately tried to slow the bleeding as I faded in and out, trapped in what could have been thought of as a twisted metal coffin.  One of the bystanders actually stripped of the very shirt that he was wearing when he dressed to go where ever it was he was traveling and gave it to them to use. 

I can not imagine all of the emotions, fears and thoughts my daughter suffered as she was also trapped with me seeing such a sight and knowing it had been her mother only moments before.  What was left of me was no longer recognizable…..

The two women that to this day I do not know or have ever met….stayed with me, worked with me, helped me and did all that they could do to help me live.  I wish I could meet them.  I wish I did know who they were.  They did so much more than they will ever know in their care, actions, and concerns.  All of the people who cared and tried to help did help just by their attitudes as well as their actions.  They cared and they tried. 

One man offered his cell phone to my daughter when they got her out of the car so that she could call anyone she needed to call.  911 had already been called.  She was covered in blood that would get on his phone but he did not hesitate.  She called my husband..her dad with news he was not prepared for.  We were not at the store asking what else he might need for the cook out.  We were in a nightmare.

I will be back as soon as I can.  This may be a bit more difficult than I thought to actually share.  When I talk about my books I have explained that they are a part of me.  I set up a facebook fan page and did not title it author or books ….I just said the Linda Nance Fan Page.  It may be unprofessional to put all different things on it.  You will find a little of this and a little of that.  You may find pictures I posted of play doh flowers that I sculpted or paintings that I painted or many other things.  These things are all a part of me.  I want to put a part of me in all that I do.  It is not a fan page to sell books.  It is my voice and my way to reach out to others.  It is just a part of me.  That is what I intend to try to share with all of this that I write and the books that I have worked so hard to create. 

Each and every book is more than the story between the covers.  The story is something that I am proud of and hope will be special.  The real story is to never give up.  The cover is more than something to catch the eye and sell the book.   I hope that every book is special and every time someone gazes at it or holds it in their hands that I can share something special I created from front to back and all that is in between. 

I will be back soon.