The Sandbox Writing Challenge

weathered storm

The Sandbox Writing Challenge 2018 — Exercise 17
What is one of the worst emotional storms you’ve
weathered in your life?

This challenge brings me down memory lane, all the damned weathered storms that got me kicking and screaming until I let go, accepted, worked with what is, coming out the other end, sometimes damaged but wiser for it.
Escaping death too many times has left me a bit fearful yet, as I count my blessings, I am still alive through it all, still here today, writing for this challenge. Hey, not bad even with the physical scars and emotional trauma left from those experiences.
It probably was worse than it would be today since I am an antique….75 years young right now.  When life’s dire challenges came, it was basic care and so much ignorance.
Well, the car accident, my husband pulled me out just before the car blew up in flames. I was unconscious then so I had no fear at that moment. When I finally woke up in a hospital bed many days later, they had me strapped into a pulley for my neck, sandbags on each side. I could not move an inch for a whole (1 month) or else I might paralyze completely from the neck down, or just die, period. I did mention blessings at the beginning of this writing….after one month, my legs were like noddles and I learned how to walk again. Funny thing is I have never had neck pain since. My spine healed, baffled the doctors. I had nightmares for a long time after that but it finally passed. Fear of being in a passenger seat of a car exists, but I do it anyway. Sheesh, when I came out of the hospital we took a 200 miles bus ride back home…that left me in tears but we got home unscratched.
The other is finding out I had cancer when I had just gone to see a doctor about a new pain that was bothering me. Within a few days, after an ultrasound to investigate the pain, I was on the operating table going through major surgery for ovarian cancer. Totally lost, emotionally falling apart, I never guessed that an innocent pain felt just a few days before and, never felt previously, that this pain was a major aggressive cancer, with the prognosis of 1 month, maximum to 3 months to live. After one year of chemo, (doctors could not remove all the cancer with surgery) I was sick as a dog, depressed to the max.  I told doctors to stop the chemo because I felt it was literally killing me. The chemo had already permanently damaged my heart and bowel. The doctors were furious with me saying I would be dead within a few months. I told them all to go to hell, no more chemo. So here I am 25 years later, heart still ticking, cancer free to this day as far as I know. Blessings….
I cared for my husband for many years, dementia, broken hip, this and that and finally had to let him go to a nursing home. Yes, this is like a death of a spouse, I grieve, though I visit him and we have great conversations, I am now living alone for this past 1 year. I love the freedom as I did not have the energy for the care giving he needed anymore Though I miss him dearly, this was a painful separation. Still difficult when I think too much, I cry, let it out, but it is as it is.
This is more than one emotional experience that the challenge asked for, oops, just a few of them in a nut shell. Miracles do happen.

Hélène ©willowpoetry


  • Wow, Hélène. I’d say you’ve had a virtual storm system running through your life. (And NO, it wasn’t too long.) I can so identify with that ongoing fear of riding in the passenger seat and what not. Right after I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis I collapsed outside and my son had to call the paramedics. Now I have this horrid fear of falling. And the fact that I have MG is always at the back of my mind whether I am actively thinking about it or not. I wonder what it takes to move past them. Living on your own must have been a life-changing experience, too. Not only did you move your husband to where he could get additional care, but giving up that role of caregiver is like hard, as is learning to live alone. You’ve had a traumatic last year… ❤ Oh, and thanks for playing. Come round whenever you want! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Calen, we all seem to have our share of challenges. No wonder you have the fear of falling. How do we get pass it all? It happens one step at a time. No big instant eureka!!! Feeling it as it goes is the best healing. Then acceptance, which took me so long to give in to, but when I found myself smacked up against the wall, you might as well get on with it. Thank you so much for sharing some of you here with me. I much appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Our narratives change so much as we get older, don’t they? I just left this comment on That Little Voice so I’ll leave it on here, too. I was speaking about his nibs, Arn.

        He is one of those people who gets so depressed because he played by the book and expected to get from A to Z with no deviations from his plan. Now, after my diagnoses with an autoimmune disorder he is majorly depressed. All he wants to do is pull the PAST around him to enfold him like a warm blanket, and it has puddled around his feet so much he can’t even begin to walk. In the meantime, I’m trying to look toward the future, trying to visualize what that might look like for us now. I want to clean out closets, sort and get rid of, rearrange furniture (I’ve already had to rearrange everything in the kitchen to be accessible), anything to make life easier, fresher for us. If we don’t do those things, how will we know what our future could look like?

        I guess, as you said, we just gotta hang in there…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh goodness, what a trauma it is when a partner ignores it all, turns within himself and worsens our pain by doing so. Supporting us at such hard times is more difficult when someone next to you is sending those depression vibes.
          Not wanting to hijack your situation here but would you believe that my dear other was depressed and bucking me all the way through during my year of chemo. I had to fight him all the way through while staying on top for my own life. Holy Molly ♥️


  • Pingback: The Sandbox Writing Challenge 2018 — Exercise 17 | Impromptu Promptlings

  • Oh dear Helene, you’ve had a long emotional storm, and I admire your remarkable courage, I’m so pleased we’ve found each other. I look forward to reading your site. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  • I’m sorry I wanted to write more, but hardly slept at all tonight and it’s 5.30am here in Geelong. I’m quite restless,, I’ll try for more sleep now.

    Liked by 1 person

  • What stories of endurance. Like you I have been through much in this life. It makes us who we are.
    Your sorrow at your husband’s condition must be very difficult to bear. Dementia is a such a terrible condition to bear witness too.
    Your resilience and strength of character is inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Suzanne. You are kind, I appreciate your words. For the fact that I can’t do it all for others, I had often felt “what’s wrong with me”? Of course now we all know we can’t fix it for other…..silly to hold on to such illusion.


  • Your courage and what you have been through is impressive…I admire your decision to go against medical advice about the chemo.

    Liked by 1 person

  • You called the hard shot and it worked for you! Not an easy call to make against the Almighty Medical System. You have had more than your fair share of tough times. And still battling. Dementia robs us of those we love, leaving an empty husk. I remember reading somewhere that they gift us with opportunities to care for them with love and tenderness. It made me stop and think. Both my parents died of dementia related complications. We just recently buried my brother-in-law. And various others in the past. It’s not an easy road to travel. And the grieving is never-ending until the end. When it becomes a relief and a release. Bless you and yours 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Soul Gifts for your warm comment. I still feel grief but of a different kind. Difficult to explain what it feels like to be separated not by choice but due to his too great need of care, we could no longer continue as is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My sister went through the same thing. So hard to put her husband into care. Her whole life revolved around him and his needs. She did not resent or regret one moment of it. Now, that phase of her life is past and she is blossoming. I watch in amazement, having expected her to crash. As did everyone else, herself included. Each person travels the path in their own unique way, and it is all good – Raili xx

        Liked by 1 person

  • So much strength in this post. More power and love to you Helen!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments appreciated

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s