Nearly Dying

Okay, I’m hoping I can do justice to this week. So, you see…five years ago I went to bed, not feeling terribly well and woke up three days later in the hospital. Seems I’d fallen asleep and my heart sped up, lost rhythm and then stopped.

My husband, attentive man that he is, noticed and started CPR. Most people to whom this sort of episode happen, especially if in bed, don’t survive.

I did. Now, five years later…I have an interior cardio defibrillator, a sort of personal emergency medical technical device that lives in my chest, with leads directly in my heart. It keeps track of what is going on and if my heart goes dicey again, it will deliver a shock, saving my life.

Modern medicine is phenomenal, what it can do.

My life, prior to April 21, 2007, was simple. I wrote constantly. I didn’t submit, I didn’t think about publishing…I was too scared at the idea of being rejected. Funny, how that all changed after I did the tango with death.

The one year anniversary, I was at my first Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, taking a class from dear Judi McCoy. The second year, I was returning from my second Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, having taken the follow up class from Bobbi Smith and pitched to agents and editors. Got requests, too.

The third year, I was with a friend as we left our third RT, having met the woman who later became my agent. The fourth year, I was signing my first printed book.

The fifth year? A week home from my fifth RT and signing my second in print book.

I know have six titles out, two in print.

Now, modern medicine made this possible. My husband being attentive made this possible. A very good therapist made this possible.

And I made this possible.

Life wasn’t ready to let go, neither was I.

Challenges, like mine, are difficult to see as a blessing. They can be a turning point, as mine was. A kick in the ass, as mine was. A sobering thing…like mine.

How is my life different now?

Well, I am not scared of rejection anymore. Didn’t happen overnight. I am still extremely superstitious. My faith is still the same, probably stronger. (I’m a pagan.) My house is messier than it ever was, my yard was in the process of going wild…it’s now completely wild.

I woke up fast to the hunger to create and dove into stories, editing, learning my craft. Not to organize or clean.


Now, I sat across the table a few days ago with a talented young woman, with two younger children. She writes. And just discovered she may lose her sight in the next ten years.

I wasn’t sure what to say, other than to offer my experience. You never know the gifts these challenges will eventually gift us with.

I do know one thing that is very true. Sometimes, you have to let people help you. It is a gift you give to them.

And that is my wisdom for the day.

And thank you world, for letting me leave that dance and return to life.


  1. Tell your husband thanks from me. I can’t imagine the madness of RT without you. <3

    (And your new friend is in my thoughts.)

  2. Yup, he is my forever hero! And I hope to bring him to RT next year…knock on wood!

  3. A dance with death has been the way my life has been for so long, I feel like I’m on a first name basis with him. It is wonderful that you shared this because so many of us hide in the dark and don’t want to tell the world about our struggles as if the world might judge us.

    I’ve lived with a number in my head for the last ten years, an age I might never reach and for me, each year now is my little celebration. So celebrate we shall and who knows maybe when Death dances with us again, we will lead him right off the dance floor. 🙂

  4. I can’t imagine my life without you! You were meant to continue the
    Journey of life to friend people like me. You have much work to do my friend,
    Pit on that smile, hold your head up and say ” I have conquered death,
    I can conquer ANYTHING!”

    I am so proud of you my dear friend an love you
    With all my heart!!!!

  5. Melissa, it’s a truth of life, that every day is a step onto that particular dance floor. The longer we waltz, it’s inevitable. And it’s okay.

    Glad you are hanging onto each day, each song and celebrating that instead of standing at the wall, watching life go by, too frightended to take part.

  6. Jane! Thank you, dear friend! So many things still scare me, but few to the point of not doing any of them!

  7. Thank dog for an attentive husband and the wonders of modern medicine!

    Here’s to many, many, many, many more years of…you!


  8. Yeah, Pat…he was really there for me that night! Still sleeps with an ear cocked at me, even now. Hard to relax for him. Which I wish would go away. It’s better, but he still has some issues with being super-sensitive to noise at night. Or lack of noise…

    My ICD still amazes me sometimes…

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