Skinny Minnie Is Here!

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“Skinny Minnie” the book, that is! I’ve finally released my first children’s illustrated book on Friday, June 10th. It has been a long, tiring, sometimes frustrating, sometimes exciting journey, but I did it!

The book targets children age 4 years to 9 years and tackles the issue of teasing/bullying. Basically, it teaches children how to react to such social issues without becoming a mean girl or boy themselves.

I’ve noticed that people are often bullied for being bigger than the “average person” (what is average these days anyway?). However, no one seems to realize or brings attention to the fact that there are boys and girls who are bullied for the opposite, being smaller than the “average person”.

This is where the idea for “Skinny Minnie” comes in.

I was teased for years as a child for being thin or skinny. Even now as an adult people feel it’s OK to tell me what size I should be. As a child it can really mess with your self-esteem. A child with low self-esteem becomes an adult that looks for approval in the wrong places (at least from my experience). Therefore, I am on a mission to teach kids to be kind and to know that they are enough. Always love yourself and be yourself.

“Skinny Minnie” is a book that teaches children how to overcome teasing and just dance!

Get your copy on Amazon or Create Space today and join me on a mission to nurture happy, confident kids!

Oh, and while you’re there, please leave a review!

Until next time…



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The wind whistled through windows as the storm continued to shake the old house. Clara Swain pulled the covers tightly up to her neck. Her fingers dug into her palms through the cotton material as she held on, hoping it would protect her. The aged boards of the staircase creaked painfully. Clara’s heart sprinted at the sound.
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What Can I say…Things Happen

Yup, they sure do. Like not consistently writing 500 words a day. Like deviating to writing children’s books instead. Yes, that’s the thing that happened. I hate to start something and not finish it so I will definitely be writing a short story here as much as possible. However, I have taken a recent interest (3 months ago recent) in writing illustrated books for children. I’m actually loving it. It allows me to bring out the kid in myself and she was not so bad.

I was one of those children who spent their days outdoors, climbing trees, chasing birds and butterflies, skipping rocks on the pond or reading a book in the shade. I had a dreamy childhood if you ask me. So, being taken back to those times in my memories and crafting them in stories for children, warms my heart.

One of the perks for me with this genre is how quickly the story comes to an end. I’m writing for those early years at the moment, ages 3 to 8 years. So, you’re looking at a maximum of 1,000 words for illustrated books. Of course, I usually go over that limit but my editor has done a great job of bringing the word count down while keeping my story authentic and vision intact. I always get anxious when writing fiction for adults. The end always seem so far away and I want to get there. However, 80,000 words is no joke especially if you’re aiming for quality and a book that your readers can’t put down.

Anyway, I’m enjoying this journey and I’m excited about it. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t abandoned Adult Fiction. But I do believe it’s ok to take detours once in a while. You never know what you’ll discover. So please be understanding and keep a look out for the occasional adult short story for your viewing pleasure.



The End Of A Thing

Mindy stood up with Charlotte, and Summer who was already standing, as she finally heard the words leave the pastors lips.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. From dust we have come and to dust we shall return.”

She was better now at the cemetery and thankful it was all coming to a close. Everyone was now standing. Devoted relatives drew closer to the grave with white roses in hand that were to be placed on the casket.

If I had anything to do with the arrangements, they would all be holding hibiscuses, Charlotte thought to herself. Her grandmother loved those. She had a garden filled with them. The garden had become Charlotte’s responsibility to groom and maintain since she was 5 years old. The girl would tend to the garden each morning before she got ready for school. Plucking the wilted flowers and sweeping up dead leaves was a part of the chore. She actually loved it. There was pleasure in watching the new, pink flowers open with the sun as she tended to them.

The pastor carried on, “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord; 
he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; 
and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”

The mourners began walking to the casket, dropping their roses in one after the other. The theatrics started up again, making it all reminiscent of the church scene earlier. Cousin Donna was among them, throwing her head back and hollering like someone had murdered her first born. Charlotte had nothing. Then again she had more than nothing. She had peace.

“I know that my Redeemer liveth, 
and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; 
and though this body be destroyed, yet shall I see God; 
whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, 
and not as a stranger.” The Pastor was now shouting his lines above the weeping.

It was Charlotte’s turn. She did not linger, but released the lone flower and continued on. Walking away, she glimpsed her mother and stepfather who were seated at the front. Her mother seemed to be in a trance, eyes red with sorrow. Her stepfather was…well he was her stepfather. With his arms wrapped around her mother’s shoulders, he appeared to be a pillar of strength as he consoled her.

If only he supported her that well behind closed doors, one wouldn’t have to dream of waking up in a different house each morning. Charlotte communicated with her soul.

Her stepfather had a way of making outsiders envy their marriage. Charlotte learned quickly after moving in that the grass isn’t always greener. Everyone just needs to water his or her own lawn.

Now coming to a close, the Pastor continued, “For none of us liveth to himself, 
and no man dieth to himself. 
For if we live, we live unto the Lord, 
and if we die, we die unto the Lord. 
Whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”

Charlotte stood off to the side of the tent. Someone released a flock of white doves. They took off in flight, each one on it’s own air path it seemed. Charlotte envied their freedom and wished she could ascend into the skies with them.

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; 
even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors. The Lord be with you. And with thy spirit.” The pastor concluded.

There was a resounding Amen from everyone in attendance as the casket made its final descent into the earth. Char was both doleful and thankful for the end of a thing.

The Church

Charlotte landed heavily in the pew, thankful for it’s support as she was certain, had she been on her feet any longer she would have passed out from the events of the journey there. These events, all of which are bits and pieces of movie clips in her head, had all happened in slow motion. Now seated amongst her family, that scene had ended and another sure to begin. It was inevitable. With her family there was always no telling what would transpire but you could bet your last dollar that someone would not disappoint.

Charlotte felt amazingly at peace now. It was as if all the pain and emptiness from her loss and been loosen up by her tears from where they had been stuck to her chest like mold, poisoning her without knowledge. Then they were washed away in the downpour with every sob and heaving of her chest as she tried to catch a breath between each release. Now she felt weightless and fully cognizant in the moment.

The building was a traditional cathedral with stained glass windows with a mosaic of a white man’s Jesus sporting a long blue rob and a sunny halo. It was one of those holy edifice where one look of it’s towering steeple with a hoisted cross on top and statues of angels guarding every gate, you were sure to find a holier-than-thou pastor inside spewing condemnation. She had attended a service there with her mom on one occasion and was certain by the end of praise and worship that she would never return. She hadn’t, until now. Her grandmother wouldn’t have liked tis place either. Marie Bond had spoken of churches like this where people were quick to point out the splinter in another’s eye and ignore the two by four in their own eye.

“It’s those kind of God forsaken folks that give Christians elsewhere a bad name. All they do is go up on that pulpit and throw jeers at their neighbors when God himself helped thief and watchman.” Her grandma once retorted in response to a claim that the pastor had preached one Sunday how people can get up and go on the farm everyday, but cannot find their way to church. She had been certain it was a direct hit made on her.

“Who the hell does he think he is?” she had spat out, near fuming. “Arthritis may keep me from trotting that long road to church but God knows the content of my heart.” Charlotte was waiting for her to get up, put on her best gown and march right up to the church to confront him.

Marie Bond wasn’t afraid of anybody.

“How bout he bring his damn congregation behind his close door and let them see how he beat his wife from sunrise to sundown! Poor woman would wipe his ass if she had to but nothing is ever enough to satisfy him. For heaven’s sake he goes under the gown tail of his own daughter! What manner of man of God is that?”

Charlotte and her cousin Trina had begged their grandma to let it be. Calming down eventually, Marie had decided that she was a woman plagued with hypertension and shouldn’t be getting her pressure up with such nonsense.

“I can’t study that man. He don’t wake me up in the morning and he sure as hell won’t be getting no tithes from me to give to his young sweetheart.”

Then just like that she was over it. Since then Charlotte was always wary of Pentecostal pastors ranting and raving, doing everything but sharing and teaching the word of God. So she went to church when it seemed fit. When she didn’t go, she made sure to spend time alone with the Lord. If one thing her grandma had made certain, there is a God and he deserve at least some of the time He gives us.

She took in the rows of pews with their varnished wood frame and padded seat covered in pink fabric. Each aisle, from the door all the way t the pulpit, was covered with brown carpeting. Ceramic tile flowed from under the carpets and covered every other space. Sitting just in front of Charlotte was her aunt Shirley whom her grandma never came to love as she was certain the rumors that she had cheated on my uncle, Marie’s favorite son, was the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

To the right of Charlotte was her cousin, Trina. The girls had grown up together with their grandmother. When Charlotte went to live with her mother they were both devastated. However, Trina was not one to show much emotion and had dealt with it better. Over the years they would spend the weekends with each other. Then Charlotte had made new friends from her new school and ended up spending more time with them instead. Before long they barely saw each other. However, their relationship was one where no matter how much time had passed, whenever they saw each other it was as if they hadn’t lost a day. The girl always had a way of making her laugh and in the worst way. When it came to making a sport out of people, anyone was fair game to Trina.

The moderator announced that there would be a musical rendition from Ms. Eva Dean.

Trina leaned over and whispered to Charlotte, “I bet you she’s going to sing, Oh What A Sunrise.

Aunt Shirley looked slightly over her shoulder indicating that she had heard Trina who could care less. Then as the woman opened her mouth, that’s exactly what came out. Charlotte tried to hold back a giggle and avoided looking at Trina, as she knew her cousin would be waiting with her mischievous, I-told-you-so look on her face. The woman had sang the same song at every funeral they had ever been to, whether family, or family friend.

Charlottes mind and eyes wandered around the church, waiting for the singing to be over. There were many familiar faces from where she lived with her grandma. There was Marvin the gossiper whom everyone swore would never grow up to take a woman, because he had to be one himself. In the very front left pew was Ms. Lauren, her grandma’s best friend who she never ate anything from. She would take the food whenever it was offered as to not offend her friend, and then feed it to the animals. The woman must have never heard that cleanliness was next to godliness because she treated her toilet and kitchen all the same. Ms. Lauren’s idea was that since her bladder couldn’t make it to the toilet on time, she would keep a bucket in her kitchen in case she needed a release while cooking.

Suddenly a commotion drew Charlottes mind from its travels. She looked ahead to see that the pallbearers were preparing to close the casket. This cued a performance from her cousin Donna, just a couple pews ahead. Donna made a spectacle everywhere she went. Whether church, wedding or party, something was going down.

“Leave my grandmother! Don’t take my granny!” The young woman was shouting and swinging her head from side to side. The only thing left was for it to spin all the way around like a scene from The Exorcist.

“Granny Marie don’t leave me, please don’t leave me!” Tap, tap, click, clack, clack pinged of the ceramic tile floor as the girl began stomping her feet and swaying her body from left to right. I looked at Trina who looked at me and shook her head in response to Donna’s antics. A few ushers rushed over, holding Donna and fanning her in hopes that she would not faint. Mourning and low weeping could be heard from other family members.

Charlotte looked on as the casket lid came down.

“Goodbye, Granny,” she whispered. There were no more tears. She was all emptied out.

The Funeral

The white open sided tent that housed chairs for the family and other mourners at the cemetery appeared to trap the heat instead of provide shade. Charlotte recalled what her grandmother would say on similar days. Days when a friend or family member was laid to rest and the sun seemed to be measuring its strength against the wail of the mourners.

“My God, ain’t it hot? She must’ve bust hell wide open,” she would say absent-mindedly while fanning herself with a programme booklet.

Surely that was not the case with her grandmother. Charlotte tried to block the thought from her mind. The woman took every word in the Bible as law. Calling the Lord’s name in vain was a sure sin that would guarantee you a seat next to the devil. Not to mention speaking during a thunderstorm.

“Girl shut your mouth? Don’t you hear the Lord speaking?” She would scold.

Grandma was certain that the good word said you hear the voice of the Lord in the thunder and saw him in the lightning. So when that thunder cracked and that lightning flashed, the entire world should be silent before him. Charlotte could actually hear her grandmothers warning like it was just yesterday that it all happened.

She slumped down in the chair and took her own programme booklet and began to fan herself furiously. If they didn’t get on with the “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” custom, they’d be burying her next. She was sure she’d passed out any minute from heat exhaustion. All of the theatrics from her family and her grandmothers friends at the church, mingled with her own downpour of tears had left her spent and emptied out by the time they got to the graveyard. As if reading her mind, her friend Summer handed her a bottle of cold water.

Earlier at the church, it was not until she had left the casket, heading to her seat, through fits of tear jerking sobs and a vision blurred by sheets of tears swinging from her eyelashes, that she noticed her two best friends, Summer Saint-Claire and Mindy Rogers. Summer gave a quick wave of the hand. Mindy displayed one of those, I-wish-there-was-something-I-could-do, smiles. Charlotte admitted to herself that she had the best friends ever. She thought it odd that she felt embarrass that they saw her in this moment of weakness. She surprised herself even.

Charlotte hadn’t cried during any part of the two weeks leading up to her grandmother’s funeral. She had watched Alzheimer’s disease take the woman, who once nursed her bruised knee and walked her to school on her very first day, and turned her into a 5’7” baby. However, when she saw the shell of the woman who acted as mother to her for so many years, lying lifeless in a casket that would close to take her out of sight, leaving behind only memories that she could not touch, it was too much. It was more than she could bear. The weighted emotion in her chest and the pressure of a lump in her throat produced a slow leak. First it began to fill in any space they could get into under her eyelids. She tried to blink them away but they worked their way to the hinges of the door of her tear ducts. Doors that had been rusted shut for years to shut in any sign of weakness. Crying was a sign of weakness and she was raised to be strong.

Against all restraints Charlotte lost it. As far as she could tell she was the only mourner there. Everything else became obscure, a haze. She could barely see her way to the casket on display ahead. Someone held her hand. Then more bursts of sobs, some whom she didn’t recognize. She looked for her mother in the crowd ahead of her but couldn’t make her out.. There was a shriek and what seemed like a howl.

“Oh Lord, Marie gone, Marie gone!” Someone wailed.

A hand was gently rubbing her back. She had no idea who it was. She must’ve arrived at the casket because she had stopped. Wiping her tears away with the back her hands she looked down. In that moment it was evident to Charlotte that things would never be the same again.

In The Mirror

Charlotte stood in front of the floor length mirror lying slanted against the wall instead of hanging from it like it should be. She fussed with her once wooly hair, which were now limp brown strands on her head from years of straightening. It never looked right to her and seemed to look thinner after each chemical process. She was in 7th grade when she begged to have it relaxed. All the kids would tease her for having “baby hair” and she didn’t realize how much she needed to fit in. Her grandmother was a stickler for presentation. She always made sure all of the kids were clean and well dressed before they left the house. Even now that she was no longer with her, Charlotte felt the need to be just right at her funeral. Impeccable.

However, some things could not be changed. Like the cocoa bean shade of her skin, which always seemed to work against her. It was the first thing all of the other kids pointed out to make her feel small in an argument. It was the last thing all of the boys looked for when they chose a girlfriend. Here now, standing in the mirror, it was the one thing overpowering the thin image, adorning a white, jeweled Ann Taylor shift dress. Choosing pearl earrings from the green mosaic jewelry box her mom had passed down to her, Charlotte watched herself in motion as long, bony arms reached up to touch her ears like a tree branch void of life, but still moved by the wind. Sitting down on the bed, she slid her feet into a pair of black Nine West sling backs.

She stood to inspect herself. I love my legs, she accepted of herself in thought. They were skinny like the rest of her but long, falling down like waterfalls from under the dress, which highlighted them by stopping short of her knees. Weren’t men supposed to love long legs, she mused, and wondering why no one seemed to like hers? Her grandmother thought she was too skinny also. However, she never made her feel ugly for it. She especially loved Charlotte’s smile.

“Oh child, you have a pretty smile. You’re a beautiful dark skinned girl,” she would say with tenderness in her eyes whenever she caught Charlotte in a wide grin. She always wondered if grandma only said that to make her feel better about herself. How could anyone love her smile? She’d always have to be careful not to show her crooked bottom teeth when she smiled, to avoid giving anyone another imperfection to use as a dart.

“Char! It’s time to go! Her mom yelled. “The limousine’s here!”

“I’ll be right out! She yelled back. Her mom had a way of making her anxious. Everything always seemed to be hurried with her mom and meticulously planned out.

She took one last glance in the mirror. She felt like screaming. “Why can’t I look like, like…someone else?” She said through gritted teeth. Sighing, she left her room and headed outside to join the rest of her family who had now assembled at her house before heading to the church.


Water is a sign of life. It is just one of the reasons why Charlotte Robb love rainy days. She pulled the blanket closer and listened to the rain falling lightly outside her window. Charlotte was jealous of its fluidity and freedom. It fell and landed wherever it pleased, leaving not a trace of wetness after a couple of days of sunshine. Yet it’s presence was everywhere. It left its mark on every living thing. The green of the leaves, the strength of a tree trunk, the musky smell of the earth, the brow of a man…it was everywhere. It could change the world and that’s what she wanted to do. Or at least change lives, just like her grandmother.

Marie Bond was undoubtedly one to be admired. She was certainly admirable in Charlotte’s eyes. Some may say differently. Hopefully out of my ear shot, she thought. All some people saw in her grandmother was a farmer raising nine children without a husband. They never saw how she taught her how to fight with her words and not her hands. Or how she would give her last to a stranger in need. They didn’t see her fight through arthritis, waking up before the sun showed its face, to till the soil all day to feed her family. Neither did they see the loneliness behind her smile, but Charlotte did. She would miss that smile. A wet lump began to birth in her throat, nourished by her memories of her grandmother. She shook her head as if to empty it and prevent the lump from giving life to a downpour of tears.

Charlotte groaned as she rolled onto her back, stretching her body to its limit. Her arms outstretched across the bed, legs spread wide until her toes peeked their head out from under the sheets. She wiggled them until they cracked. It felt good. She felt awake. Staring up at the ceiling, she could still hear the rain tapping on her windowpane. Her mind began to drift again. There were times that she couldn’t help but wonder if her leaving led to her grandma developing Alzheimer’s. She had overheard her Uncle Ted talking with her mom once.

“Since the first day you took Char away from Marie, she began to lose her mind. She lived for that child. She had nothing left after she was gone so she gave up.” He pointed out with certainty.

Her mom had said nothing. Charlotte remembered every detail of the day her mother said she could not live with her grandma anymore because she wanted her to go to a private school. The school would be closer to where her mom lived. At first she thought it would be exciting to move to a new place and go to a new school. However, she was sure that the emptiness she felt being away from her grandma and her friends those first few months was her first true heartbreak. She had cried and begged her mom to let her move back to her grandma’,s but she said she’d get over it. She did…eventually.

Nonetheless, she always wondered how her grandma truly felt. She would call her often. Sure she told Charlotte she missed her but mostly gave words of encouragement and reminded her not to keep bad company. Now she could hear her grand mother in the fall of the rain, her voice strong with wisdom and sure of herself. Suddenly this was a rainy day Charlotte had no love for.

Just as she glanced at the clock there was a knock on her bedroom door.

“Char, it’s time to get ready for the funeral. You’ll want to get something to eat first.” Her mom suggested.

The Challenge

I dislike being controlled. I like to do my own thing. However, a writing challenge is just the type of control I need to bring some discipline into my creative space. Look at the date on my last post. Go ahead, take a look. Say what?! More than a year ago? Exactly. I need a challenge. I need discipline.

Am I the only writer who rarely writes? That is how I’ve learned that intentions are pointless. It’s all about seeing it through to the end. Commitment. Since the last post, I’ve had some adventures. I traveled to Switzerland again and made new friends and discovered new things. All the more reason I should have lots to write about, right?

To be truthful, my desire for this blog was short stories only. However, I’m going to just simply write. If not the ideal short story on a regular basis, I will give you whatever is on my beautiful mind.

The challenge was inspired by one of my new favorite artists, Jeff Goins. The goal is to write a minimum of 500 words a day, everyday, for 31 days ( I plan to start May 1st ). No concern about editing, just write. I’m hoping that this will really get me going in being discipline in regards to my craft. So, if you’re in this boat with me, the one where you have lots to say but never write anything down, lets change. Write something!

Follow, read and comment. I’m always open to opinions. I’m all about growth.

Living After Dying

This Happened…


How DO you live after dying? Especially when you’re not expected to return from death, generally. At least not in this age. Yet, this was a question that plagued me for weeks when this happened to me. You’d think one would know right away what to do, how to live. Of course, live life to the fullest, right? You see that would be all about me! How do I live like I’m suppose to after January 18th, 2014? Ok, so lets back up for a minute. And I promise I’ll give you the edited version to make this short.

On January 17th, I lay prepped and ready to go, for a surgery that should have been very simple. After all, I had one five years ago so I was totally prepared for this one. I had suffered for over a year and was ready for some relief and to live a “normal” life. At about 11 am after a series of questions and me pointing out where on my arm I wanted the IV and what vein should be used (I promise, I am not controlling), I was sedated and wheeled into the Operating Room. I expected to wake up groggy from a successful surgery and well on my way to recovery. However, I was awakened, groggy nonetheless, but with my doctor in squinted-eyes-view saying that they couldn’t perform the surgery because I had become very unstable. Their plan was to close me back up and try to stabilize me before attempting the surgery again. Realizing in my foggy mind that this was not turning out to be like my previous surgical experience, I gave him permission to remove the entire organ if necessary stating that I would be ok with that. I was once again put into that sweet sleep where nothing exists but rest. My next memory will be the most lasting of my life to date.

I opened my eyes. I am on my back propped up on my elbows under the glare of the most bright, pure, amazing light. I still cannot not find words accurate enough to describe this light. I’m alive and well, SO well. Two extremely happy people all dressed in white then captured my attention. Beaming down on me they said, “Charmaine, it’s time to go. Are you ready?!” There was nothing spoken of death but I just had this knowing of things. I knew that I was not where I used to be and that if I went with them, there was no coming back. Most of all I sensed that none of the people who I cared about most was there. So, in short, I told them that I could not go because I wanted to go back and encourage my friends and family to follow Jesus so that they could be with me again one day. To which they replied, “But you could’ve done that already.” Well I couldn’t argue with that statement so after what seemed like forever of me back and forth with them insisting I couldn’t go, I did what I do when nothing else works. I called on Jesus. Screamed more like it and fought with all of my might when they reached down to pick me up. During this struggle, I recall the two people and the light beginning to fade out. Actually more like being sucked in somewhere. As they went out, in came this impenetrable darkness that swallowed me up with it.

“Ms. Smith you’re awake!” Announced a nurse surprisingly amidst a lot of hustle and bustle around me and whispers of shock at my consciousness. A doctor rushed in and exclaimed, “ Charmaine you’re a miracle!! You died TWICE! You’re a real miracle and don’t let anyone tell you any different.” I’m also made aware that it is no longer January 18th (when I should have woke up from surgery) but rather Wednesday, January 22nd as I had been in a coma in the Intensive Care Unit. After they left the room, my mind immediately thought of The Light and my conversation with those two cheerful people and I thought to myself, “That really happened?”

Now I‘ll be honest. I have tried to discount this experience for a while but I cannot forget the realness of it and that LIGHT! I’ve had dreams that seemed so real. You know the ones where someone is chasing you and you actually fall out of the bed in reality? Well maybe it’s just me. This was not one of those dreams. I felt like I was there. I WAS there and I was different, felt more like the real me. I can’t fully explain but I wish I were skilled enough to vividly pen my feelings or the experience for you.

…But Why?

 For years, after I decided to commit my life to the path of Christianity, I prayed and asked God to use my life to glorify him. I just wanted to live a life worth living, one more purposeful and not all about what I want. Well, be careful what you ask for because I can say without a doubt that God was glorified in that hospital through my experience. The next few days in there I’ve had doctors and nurses come to my room day after day to tell me how amazed they were by what happened. Day after day they came in and told me they never expected to see me leave the OR let alone be in ICU and then walking around so quickly. They all exclaimed it was an act of God. Several nurses told of how when they saw the state that I was in, they went to the chapel and prayed for me. My own doctor, who is voted the best among his peers and was practicing since I was a baby, sat at the foot of my bed saying how afraid he was because he had never experienced that before. He sat there with his Buddhist pendant hanging from a chain around his neck and told how me being alive is an act of God. “A miracle…” he said. Yes, I believe God was most certainly glorified through my life (and death). This may not be a big deal for some persons and that’s ok. For weeks the gravity of the situation hadn’t struck me also until I sat at my friends dining table, my entire body tense and soaked from head to toe in sweat as I read my medical report. I had to know exactly what happened.

In the OR, when they cut into one of the fibroid tumors they cut an artery and I bled out. They couldn’t get it to stop so I bled to death. The rapid response team came in, pumped 6 pints of blood into me and was able, after a while, to resuscitate me. My doctor decided to take another route and remove the entire organ. When they attempted this, I died again. After another resuscitation they decided to leave the organ in and proceed to remove the tumors. After surgery, I was taken to ICU where after hours of being there someone noticed my blood pressure was almost non-existent. They rushed me back to the OR, re-opened me to find that there was another severed artery. I had bled out again and was given another 6 pints of blood after catheterizing this artery. Now back in ICU I suffered from a damaged lung, liver, kidneys and upper digestive tract caused by the rapid blood transfusion. Your organs just can’t deal with all of that blood and anti-biotic coming at it so fast. There at the foot of my comatose body, my doctor told my family that I would be in the coma for at least a month and that I would most likely have extreme brain damage. Well, I was in the coma for four days, when I came out of it I could answer all of their questions that checked for brain damage and by the time I left the hospital that following Saturday (another shocker) all of my damaged organs had completely recovered and functioning normally. Glory be to God? Yes indeed!

How DO you live after dying?

 It’s embarrassing to reveal that I was a Christian for years and didn’t believe that God truly loved me. Despite the fact that he had shown me in so many ways over the years, too many to tell of here, I couldn’t accept it. And yes, I believe John 3: 16 but my wicked flesh would say, “but he did that for the WHOLE WORLD, He didn’t want his creation to be lost. It doesn’t mean he loves YOU.” Even with my death experience, I didn’t see Gods love. I know, it’s crazy. But what that showed me was GODs GRACE. I never understood grace until then. I didn’t deserve another chance. I had so many years to do what I asked to come back and do. Yet, he granted me His favor and gave me another chance. That’s grace, available to those who ask, even in death!

I was sitting in my friend’s living room one day going through all the details in my head. This was about 4 weeks post surgery. I thought of all the little things that happened. There are so many of them like family and friends near and far ( I’m from the Bahamas, surgery was in Florida ) dropping everything and going out of their way to be there and help me, the many people and even strangers praying for me, a few people who went the extra mile at the hospital during recovery, God answering my prayer to restore my sight when it started to go in one eye (another damage from surgery), countless ways where I saw things coming together to make the process bearable, there’s just SO many things that may not seem major but felt major to me. And as I pondered it all, the most AMAZING feeling in the world came over me. Every hair on my body stood up and my heart was never so filled as my lips whispered, “Wow, God loves me. He loves ME.” I cried. I had never felt love so strong and so sure. I vow never to doubt again.

So, how DO you live after dying? I struggled in so many ways post surgery but the spiritual struggle was worse than the physical. For weeks I felt morbid. I died! I hated that it happened but reminded myself that God was glorified through it. Then for weeks, even still occasionally, I wished I hadn’t come back. I mean what was I thinking? No more sickness, no more struggles, only peace! When those days rear up, I remind myself that I am more useful to God alive than dead. Therefore, I live like I should have been living before I died. I make every attempt to live without regrets and to the full. Even if some days are uneventful, I make it full by banishing any negative thoughts from my head. Everyone on this planet gets ONE life to live. I’ve known people who died and weren’t ready yet they didn’t get second chances. They got one. I got TWO. To whom much is given, much is required. I desire to live this life loving God, loving people and being kind to everyone.

I’ve had a tiresome journey with rugged terrain through life. The climb, most times steep. My body is achy and my soul weary but I still hear it say,

 Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

(Oceans by Hillsong United)

At times I think I’m crazy and like suffering but that’s not so. I’ve just learned so much through them and desire to keep growing and learning. Honestly, I look forward to more highs than lows moving forward. The journey continues and I’ve been prepared to climb so GIVE ME MY MOUNTAIN!

Until next time…