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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award: ME?

When I received notice that a friend and fellow blogger had nominated me for the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award I was thrilled to be thought of and then wondered what I had written that was irresistibly sweet.  In some ways sharing special things dear to us is something very sweet and as I have found the blog All Dressed Up by Joan Lane… one that is so interesting you never want to miss as she shares so many things in her unique and talented way.  I feel honored and begin to fulfill my part by sharing 7 things about myself.  I hope you enjoy not only the things that I share but those shared by Joan at

I am so proud and honored to have been nominated

I am supposed to write some little known things about myself….I only have two problems with that. 

  1. I just completed a book called “I Will Not Give Up…Not Today…Life Is A Journey”  That may not sound like a problem or little known fact since I have been trying to get the word out and proud to be able to share it with any and everyone.  The problem with that is that I tried my best to share things from my life in accurate and intensely real detail.  I did not tell every thing about my whole life but did discuss some things that were difficult to even put into words.  I wrote a book to tell all about me so… what could I think of to tell now?

  1. I do not want to be boring.  I think there are many things about me and my life that are so boring I could never find words to tell.  I have been thinking back…way back…back into time when???  We will have to see what all I can come up with.

I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s.  I would love to tell you how I jumped in and experienced all of the changing and wild times that those years were famous for…but….that would be a lie. 

When I was young I experienced many health issues and some were intense.  For a time I had to be admitted to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., and was there for some time.  I was not physically disabled, so often would get bored as children do and frustrated with all of the tests and needles and looked for other entertainment.  They had two programs that I especially liked.  Recreational and Occupational Therapy were the high points of my days.  Even as a young child I had always loved to do art related things.  I also wrote.

With my enthusiasm I could recruit other children in the group to participate and see what all we could make.  When you take the time to look around in life, you can see so much.  I had my own problems but there were those who had such illness, injury, and so many things including cancer that my heart went out to them one and all.  They faced so much, yet showed so much courage.  You wanted to reach out and make it better but all you could do is try to make them smile for the moment….especially if you too were only a child.

At that time I thought I was so grown up but now 11 or 12 seems like a baby.  As I sit here now and think back, it renews my feelings for those children all around the world that suffer…suffer from so many things.  At that time I was determined to become a volunteer in that program.  I was told that I was too young.  They have rules for reasons.  Some of the things you see have great emotional consequences.  You have to be able to have such control of your reactions when you see things distressing, so you do not upset the patient. 

One young boy had been burning trash.  He did not know that there was an aerosol can in the burn barrel.  When he brought out another bag it exploded embedding burning trash in his face.  I was 12 but still remember.  He was so distraught he would try to hide under his bed when anyone entered his room.  You could not show in voice or any other way a reaction to what you saw.  He was blind and if he did not come out and find a way to learn, do and live……

I do not know how, other than is seems children often will listen to another child before an adult…  but as I sat on the floor beside his bed, little by little he came out.  Visit after visit he began to learn to use his hands and trust others.

They allowed me to work as a volunteer.  I had my little candy striper uniform and was filled with enthusiasm to make a difference…Even if it was for one child… I wanted to bring a smile, a moment of relief from all they went through or just let them know someone cared.  I worked in the recreational/ occupational therapy area.  I loved it and could take almost anything you might throw away and make something else out of it.  The plastic caps from baby bottles they throw out became Christmas ornaments and a dozen other things with other everyday things. 

I will start the second thing even though it continues from above.  I loved to write poetry.  I did not keep a journal but many of the poems I wrote were a reflection of things in my life or thoughts, feelings or things that inspired me.  It was almost my own little code or record of this and that in life.

One of the poems I wrote when I was about 12 or 13 I will share. 

Blue Eyes

A bright little girl with eyes of blue,
Cheerful and happy with a spirit so true,
Was a joy to visit and a sight to see,
A warm friendly feeling to around her be.

The hospital bed was so cold and clean.
She radiated warmth to the dreary scene.
Not knowing her illness or the burden she bore,
Never guessing the anguish or pain yet in store.

My hospital work was a pleasure to me
New at the job, there was much yet to see.
Caring for many, there was so much they did need,
Just to lighten their spirits could be a difficult deed.

But the little girl with the bright blue eyes,
Was bright and happy and never did cry.
Surely this child must not be too ill,
Such a light hearted smile and indomitable will.

The days passed by and the weeks did too.
Her cheeks grew thin, but her eyes still blue.
She still smiled and laughed, and was ever so gay,
I asked what she’d be when she grew up some day?

The smile of a child, but one filled with peace,
Came to a face that time would not crease.
She seemed oh, so happy as she told me that day,
It wouldn’t be long before Jesus took her away.

I could hardly believe what had just been said.
She lay there so small in that big hospital bed.
A look of concern came across her small face,
To me she was special, a true spirit of grace.
But that she was to many, ask any who knew,
The golden curled girl with eyes of bright blue.

Two nurses came in then to visit the child
My anguish must have shown, for my heart beat was wild.
It just wasn’t fair that this child must die.
I stepped out and asked the nurse, “please tell me why?”

“The why I can’t answer.  The what I am sure.
Advanced forms of cancer, as of yet there’s no cure.”
Her time was most over.  Her gold curls grew thin.
Her treatments were strong, but the cancer would win.

As her body did dwindle, her spirit stayed high.
I could not understand, so I asked the child why?
Your sickness grows worse, and so much you endure,
And I’m sure that you know they don’t have a cure.

Her smile was so warm, though her skin felt quite cold,
Her answer was cheerful and honest and bold.
“How could I be sad when I know what is to come?
I don’t have to wait long, not years as do some.

I’m leaving a life that’s nice enough here,
To go live with God and have nothing to fear.
It’s lucky I am to know Jesus, you see.
I’m ready for him when he’s ready for me.”

It was with such joy she faced what was ahead,
I knew when my time comes I have nothing to dread.
The sweet little girl we had all grown to love,
Was at home now with Jesus, up in heaven above.

They say that she died with a smile as she passed,
From the pain of this life to a new life at last.
What she left to us, was both precious and dear,
Knowing that God also lives with us here.

The little girl is gone from us left here below,
To a life filled with glory, because her Savior she did know.

Pretty Little Blue Eyes I’ll never forget.
The lesson you’ve taught still lives with me yet.

God loves you Child.

Linda J. Nance

As I share this poem it brings back the sights and memories from that time.  I did not exaggerate the strength and convictions of this child.  She was so selfless.  She had only one request.  The one thing she said she wanted was a wig so that when she did leave, her momma would not cry.  She thought about others even to the funeral she knew was soon to come. 

I had to leave the room.  I knew it was not allowed to show emotion but there was not way to hold the tears back.  I was not alone.  Everyone in the room glanced from one to the other with tears glistening in their eyes.  A collection was swiftly made and a wig that looked like her hair before her treatments was acquired days before it would be needed.

We may hope to live our lives in a way that does something for good or touches others.  She lived such a short time but her spirit and heart lives on in all who knew her and I hope to pass it on….

That brings to mind the Make A Wish Foundation.  If I had plenty of money what a wonderful thing it would be to be able to make wishes come true for children like these?  As it is, I think every dollar or penny counts.  There is no gesture too small if it is from the heart.

I have wandered from the point that I wrote poetry.  When I wrote I wanted it to have meaning and heart or in some way be sharing part of me.  I think one day I will write a poetry book and share the thoughts or times that went with each one.

A different outlook.  I went on to do volunteer work in a city hospital.  That may not sound unusual but I was allowed to work in the ER.  At that time, it was not done … especially at such a young age.  I was 14 and 15.  I understand now why there are such regulations.  You see too much.  I was so sure that I could handle it.  I thought I was all grown up.  There was an exception made and there I was.  The staff was fantastic.  I learned so much.  They did keep an eye on me and of course I was never allowed to do any direct care with patients.  I set up and cleaned in the rooms, but also visited and helped to keep relatives calm of those who were being treated.  I stayed with patients who could benefit for one reason or another to have someone there.  I could get a frightened child to smile and that may not seem like much but when they are afraid it means a lot to be able to treat them and ease their fears.  I did my best…but...

I saw many things.  I saw things that would make you laugh.  I saw things you could not believe were true.  I saw things that would make me take a break to go to the bathroom and…cry.  A few things I will not go into but …. I understand now why they are careful about whom they allowed to work in those situations and why they were so diligent in making sure I was alright or not overwhelmed.

I loved to learn.  I was learning a lot.  When you stand beside a mother or father and hold their hand knowing that there is nothing more that can be done…you hold their hand and they are dieing…  or visit after visit you grow to love a little girl like the one in the poem to stand silently by her bedside in the last days knowing that is ‘good bye’… or a boy who has lost his sight and face learning to face the world…

When you see abuse, violence, the darker side of human actions and the results in a city ER….

It was difficult as a child to relate to other children of my age.  I would hear things like  “I am just going to die.  Did you see ‘Johnny or Steve or who ever’ talking to her.  I want to die or kill them both”  or “Oh, my God…I have a zit right on my nose.  I can’t stand it.  This is so unfair.”  So many things that were such big issues to those around me seemed so sadly inconsequential.  I said nothing.  That is just it.  I said nothing.  I could not join in as I listened and felt so strongly that they did not understand what pain there really was by so many in life.

School Days……Our high school was so over crowed we had to attend in shifts.  The school was filled with the first shift and then they went home and the next shift was sent in.  So many in my class… I never got to know.  I could blend in the background.  I had enough credits I had wished that I would have gone to summer school and got one more.  I would have graduated at 16.  My senior year I was allowed to go to the local college and take classes to be certified as a Nursing Assistant.  That is a nurse’s aide.  I had to wait to go to work until I was 16 to have a driver’s license. 

My senior year I had one class and the teacher was so sweet.  She understood that I was tired.  I got a job at the same hospital where I had done the ER work.  The class was not even close to the level of study or training I had already completed at the college, so if I held an A/B average, did not snore or fall out of my seat she let me sleep when that occasionally happened.  I was working the night shift in the hospital in the area where most of the terminal patients were and occasionally pulled to the comprehensive medical unit.  (many called it the psych ward)

I was active in the church, working in the hospitals and missed the usual experiences that create so many memories we can look back on and fondly say…I remember back then, when I was young…..  We did this and that……

In my own way I felt a desire to do more.  I was never pushed into any of the things I was involved in.  Many tried to discourage me and asked that I wait until I was older but I was never one to wait.  When I had seen children die…we never know what tomorrow will bring.  I had seen that first hand at a young age as a patient and seen it repeated in many ways in life.  I wanted to live life and make a difference.

I could talk to doctors and nurses and even understand the things discussed with medical issues.  I could talk to patients and their families or at church but did not feel close to very many of my peers.  I often felt apart from others in school. 

Take a step back…..  When I worked every day with terminal patients I could not separate feelings from the services and care provided.  There were so many that as they aged became so alone in life.  Others were busy and might come as time permits, but their lives had demands and the patients often were so alone…they knew they would die and they lay in the bed feeling alone.  I could not smile and forget the feeling from them.  I often visited.  I would even come in early and spend time with this one or that one that really needed just a moment with a friendly face that was not just there doing a job.  They needed to know someone cared.  I did care.  Then when they died… I was low in seniority so I got the jobs others did not want.  I got to bag and tag my friend.  Too many times I did what I had to do with tears running down my face.  I prepared them to go to what ever funeral home would arrive to get them, or for the family to come for their last visit.

 There were other things too that broke my heart or deeply distressed me.  It was too much.  I gave notice and got a job at an insurance company.  My knowledge of terms and procedures made it perfect for me to be able to screen claims and even teach others.  I was finally 18 and thought I was so grown up.


Years pass by…..
I will skip ahead as I wander through memories.  There came a time in life I had been married and divorced.  I had two children and was trying to survive in life and find my way.  I have always tried, but at times felt so lost.  I had lived to do what was needed.  I have tried to explain that in many ways but often felt as if there was no real me…only what was needed.  Who and what was I? 

I understand the definition of depression and am sure there are many times I qualify but that is not what I am or will allow my self to be.  Depression is a dangerous thing to body, mind and soul.  What I wanted was to live life.

By that time all I concentrated on was surviving.  I wanted to provide, protect, and build a life for my children and myself.  I had given up on finding that so called soul mate or someone special in life. 

That is when I met Albert.  He was and is so different from me.  He would be more what I would call a free spirit.  He can be one of the best hearted people you could ever meet.  We all have more than one side to our true selves but this man made me feel special.  The children loved him and….he made me smile.  There are times he still makes me smile.

He had long hair, did construction and opened a new world for me.  We laughed and smiled and I felt alive.  I had never got to go dancing.  I did not know how to dance.  I did not know how to just go have fun.

We got tickets for a concert in Memphis, Tn.  I had never been to a concert either.  You would think someone in their 30’s would have done all of those things, especially in their youth but to me it was all new and…exciting.  I loved the concert.  When we went outside my back was bothering me.  I have and did have trouble with that so we sat by the retaining wall next to the street.  A horse drawn carriage stopped and Albert talked to the woman driving it.  The next thing you know we were off on a carriage ride.  You normally went a certain area around the Pyramid but she took us all the way through town and traffic to
Beal Street
.  Part way through, she stopped allowing the horse to rest and turned asking to take our picture.  She gave me a copy of it saying she thought we had magic.  She told how she sees so many people and everyone is having a good time but there was just something special about and between the two of us…Magic. 

It was magic.  It was a time to remember.  We danced, we smiled, we laughed and we made memories.   We still have magic.  His son, my son and daughter and the four grandchildren are magic.  They warm your heart and make you spirit soar at the sight of them.


A New Day

Through the years I have collected many things that I have written.  I hoped one day to see some of it published, but as I have shared in other blogs… time seemed to be of the essence to make that dream real. 

Now as I grow older I do not feel that things are coming to an end in my life…I feel as if I am on an adventure of a journey.  I have only just begun.  I have so many things and ideas I want to bring to life.  There are stories and more yet to become books.  There are places to go and people to meet.  There are adventures I never thought of that I am sure waiting for their day to come… and I will go and do and be there.  My newest E-Book tells that and so much more.  I Will Not Give Up… Not Today… Life Is A Journey and that it is.  That is only the first book of it’s kind too.  I would tell you what there is to come but who knows what all will be….it is an adventure.

  1. My Books
This part is an invitation as well as a fact about me.  I invite you all to share my journey.  I have written not one type of book but each book a special creation. 

‘Life Goes On’ Shares the drama of a family in crisis.  They do not always make the right choices in life but life tends to be that way.  Hopefully we learn as we live and….life does go on.  It is not a how to live your life but sharing the story of a family with the tests and trials they endure.  So many are suffering such hard times it helps to know we are not alone but we can survive.  We can not only survive but find the strength to go on in life.  I chose that to be the first novel published.

‘Journey Home’ is a novel that I hope keeps you guessing to the very end.  I have heard from so many that they never saw it coming and loved it.  This is a story I think will be hard to forget.  When it gets dark outside….do you have your doors locked and curtains closed…if not….what might lurk outside looking in….and why?  If she does not find answers will she even survive?

‘The Pumpkin Field’ is a children’s book that was and is one close to my heart.  I have told about it too so many times that would not be new to share.  What I will say is that this little tale has delighted so many children through so many years and still has it’s own magic.  I say magic because it seems to stimulate conversations with young and old.  I wanted to write a tale that lived in the heart of the reader.  What can you see no matter your age in the words and dual meanings?  It has helped some young to see that even in the dark of night there is beauty and light in the heavens above.  Life can seem that way at times.  No matter how dark it is we have to look and find the light and our own star to guide us.

My fourth book is ‘I Will Not Give Up…Not Today…Life Is A Journey’.  I have written an autobiographical account sharing not only parts of my life but thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, and more.  In sharing things that I have written and an insight into my dreams and goals for the future, I offer a glimpse inside heart and soul.  I hope to have been able to share many things including the feeling that we can not give up.  That is exactly what I am doing…not giving up.  I am reaching out beyond the pages and hope to make a difference. 

The book has religious aspects because the beliefs I have and hold are dear to me and very much a part of who and what I am.  There have been moments and events in my life that reinforce beliefs I have always had.  I have tried to find words to convey so many things.

Some instances shared were very traumatic times.  If I share the truth of the past, it might help others to see and feel that no matter how difficult things may be, we can go on in life and find hope for our future.  I hope it touches the hearts of anyone who has or is having problems that feel insurmountable and offers them hope.  I hope it reaches the heart of those who have no idea what such devastating illness or injury might be and feel like, allowing them a deeper compassion or understanding of others along the way in their lives.

I did not dwell on the negative attitudes in life, but just as I said in the book, we have to be wary of what we look for…they are there too… from the youngest children at play on the playground teasing a playmate to the workplace or everyday life and at times in our own relationships.  It is easy to see prejudge by appearances or differences or other things.  We are naturally attracted to beauty and the enthusiasm.  Can we look past appearances to see what lies deeper in the heart of another? 

I have been able to turn all but the children’s book into E-Books and will figure that out soon too.  I am learning so many new things.  I even did a youtube thing of me reading the story to children.

I do my own art work.  I did paintings and wrote blogs and about it on the fan page as they progressed.  I have shared many things.  Even that I still play with playdoh.  I make flowers.  I love to make playdoh flowers even though I can do art in other mediums because it keeps the inner child alive and well and exercises my hands.  I have even written about that too.  I will try to add pictures here and links to many things.

I will continue to work with the writer’s group I started locally and on line for people to help each other.  It is amazing to be able to share with one another and see each one as their own special projects come to life.  I have learned so much and thank all who take the time helping me and we helping each other.

I will also add the thought and hope that you have bright days ahead and never give up.  I wish you each happiness, hope and love in your lives.  May your path in life lead you to a place a peace and joy.

For those I have nominated, the rules, as I understand them are:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the Award on to some of your own deserving blog friends.
4. Contact those friends and let them know.

I thank Joan once again and am happy to pass this on to others who do so much with the things that they write each in their own way.  Helping with words and sharing with others I invited you to stop and enjoy the different things they present.

Deb Hockenberry  Deb’s Book Nook

Fran Lewis

Dellani Oaks

DJ Weaver

Pat Bertram

Kenneth Heard   Love, Life, and APBA Baseball 

Sarah Butland

Kelly Moran

My blog is called More Than Just A Story In A Book.  That is true of each book and of all this that I write.

My Fan Page

The Writer’s Group


AmazonAuthor’s  Page

Linda Nance  linkedin 


LIFE GOES ON   $4.95   and  $12.99

CreateSpace eStore  $12.99

Amazon E-book     $4.95  

JOURNEY HOME     $5.95   and     $16.95

CreateSpace eStore: $16.95

Amazon paperback    $16.95


CreateSpace eStore: