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Ann Best's Inspirational Journey!

 Today we have Ann Best sharing her inspirational Journey in life and to publication of her memoir!  Without further delay I give you Ann:

For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, this is the blurb that’s on the back of my book:

When Ann Carbine marries Larry in, she’s certain their marriage will last forever. Eleven years later, she learns he’s been having affairs with men. She wants to help him. She wants to save the marriage.  However, powerful emotions pull Larry away from his family; after nineteen years, the marriage ends. As a single parent, Ann is faced with four grieving children who don’t want to leave their father and their home in Utah. But Ann needs to start a new life in a new place. In the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Ann at last makes peace with the past.

My children are in my memoir.

These are pictures of them in 1976. Jen is bottom row, center.
They wanted pseudonyms (the past is still painful for them), but I told Jen I couldn’t see her as anything except Jen. She was okay with this because she’s lived with me through the many drafts of my book, listening to passages and correcting me!

She’s my middle daughter who was brain injured in a catastrophic accident in 1986. (Her younger sister also suffered a crushed pelvis.) Brain injury. Twisted brain stem. She has no balance. She can’t walk. But she isn’t paralyzed and I can take care of her. I’m her 24/7 aide--though we now have a sweet young woman who gives us thirty hours a week. Jen loves her companionship, and I love the time to write and blog, and sometimes visit my other children who live an hour and a half away.

I’ve told Jen she’s the star of my blog. So today I’m going to share an excerpt with her in it. Clarissa Draper and Denise Covey  have posted different excerpts, intense scenes that involve me and my first husband.

There’s also a brief review here that includes a few snippets from the book.

This is a scene that takes place eleven months after my daughter’s accident.

[excerpt]
Five days before Christmas, a Saturday, I felt that something wonderful was going to happen with Jen. But when Tom and I got to the hospital Jen’s door was closed, and the feeling I had vanished.
“Is something wrong?” I asked the cheerful receptionist.
“I don’t know,” she said.
Finally, Jen’s door opened. Carol, a motherly middle-aged nurse who loved all of her patients as if they were her own children, appeared in the doorway. I expected her to smile at me and Tom and wave us into the room, but she didn’t even look at us as she disappeared around the corner and returned with an armful of clean towels and a hospital gown. She closed Jen’s door behind her.
“Maybe they’re dressing her in something special today,” I said to Tom.
But when we entered the room, nothing seemed different. She wore the usual hospital gown, a fresh one, and sat propped upright in the bed, bright-eyed and alert with a slight smile on her face. I had seen her alert before. What was going on?
Carol stood by the bed with the young aide and the part-time nurse.
“Come here.” Carol motioned to me.
Something was different. I felt it as I stepped forward and leaned toward Jen. I watched her open her mouth. I heard her say, pausing a moment between each word, “I—love—you—Mom.”
The words were halting and a bit slurred but clear enough to understand.
“Oh, Jen.” I pressed a hand to my mouth.
“Tell her again,” Carol told her.
“I—love—you—Mom.” The words were louder this time and more distinct.
“You little sweetheart,” I cried out.
“Wait,” Carol said. “There’s more.”
With intense concentration Jen said, “You—are—my—mom—Allison—is—number—one—Megan—is—” She paused. “Number—three—Eric—is— number—four—I—am—number—two.”
Fumbling around her splinted arms, I pressed her cheek against mine and hugged her. “I love you, sweetie.” Tears blurred my eyes as I turned to the nurses. “I’m so grateful to all of you. You’ve all done so much for Jen.”
It had been eleven months since the accident. We can’t predict anything with brain injuries, the emergency room doctor had said. Now, through the grace of God and the skill of doctors and nurses, she could talk. It was a wonderful Christmas gift. 
Jen has come a long way. Here’s picture of her in the hospital shortly after the accident. The other picture was taken over twenty-five years later in Harrisonburg, Virginia where we’ve finally settled.

Home of GREEN trees. Green is her favorite color!
END

My youngest daughter was also in the accident with Jen. You can read about her, and more about Jen, on my blog: Ann Best

Here’s one more brief poignant scene with me and her father, who left me when she was fifteen. This takes place a few days after the accident. He has flown from Utah to Virginia to see his injured daughters.

[excerpt]
That evening in the hospital waiting room, Larry and I were alone. Beside him on the fraying sofa, I said, “I guess you know Jen might not get through this.”
“I just hope she knows how much I love her.”
I remembered how Jen had cried and clung to me and said she hated him the night he left me. I had hated him, too. But in the quiet hospital room, I looked at his pleading eyes and said, “She knows you love her. She loves you, too.” Turning away from the tears in his eyes, I went back to the intensive care unit.
[end of excerpt]

Here's another INTERVIEW of mine, where I talked about a little bit more. And fellow Blogger and friend Talli Roland shared her views of my memoir, IN THE MIRROR, here.

The book is available on Kindle and Nook. A paperback copy can also be purchased directly from the publisher. Shipping and handling for the paperback is less this way than on Amazon, and fulfillment is faster.

Kindle:

Nook:

The Publisher:


I think I’m one of the few bloggers active on Blogger. I’m seventy-one. Published at age 71. It's never too late! And I hope to write another memoir before I die.

28 comments:

  1. Heart rending excerpts, Ann. Your life has certainly been challenging.

    Thanks for inviting Ann to share with your readers, Nas.

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  2. Hi LP.

    I was moved to tears when I first read Ann's story. Even now whenever I read excerpts from her book I'm moved. Thanks for coming by.

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  3. wow, what a moving excerpt. This memoir sounds special.

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  4. Hi Lynda,

    Thanks, it is moving, isn't it?

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  5. Hi Ann,
    What an amazing story, You are pure inspiration. It must have been very tough for you to move on and help your children have a normal family life - but it seems you more than succeeded.

    Thanks for having Ann as your special guest, Nas.
    Hugs

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  6. Now I have tears in my eyes. Tell Jen she is one of my favorites too. I don't get by much, but I love seeing her art and hearing about her.
    Nancy

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  7. Thanks for your comments L.P., Lynda, Serena, Nancy; and thank you, Nas, for profiling me today.

    It sometimes spooks me a bit to see those "old" faces staring out at me from the book's cover. Sometimes it feels like the experiences I had are from another life, on another planet. The past is ever with us, this I've learned. And I'm glad my readers are enjoying the book. It's intense. But The End is that having lived through it all and survived, I'm now in a calm place and am greatly enjoying the friends I have met and keep meeting, online and off, because of this book.

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  8. Hi Ann!
    Very powerful excerpts! You and your daughter are an ispiration!

    Good luck with the book.

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  9. I was near to tears reading Ann, this is a wonderful book straight from your heart, I hope I will be able to get a copy here in the UK.

    Yvonne.

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  10. Nooooooooooo!! I'm not reading the excerpts! I have the book!! And it's really really amazing - I am LOVING IT!!! Awwww thank you Nas Dean for hosting the ever so adorable Ann and Jen! Take care
    x

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  11. This is such a wonderful & inspiring scene. I was so happy to read about Jen's improvement.

    I highly recommend this book & think it will have a large audience.

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  12. Whew! I just started Ann's book last night. I can tell by the snippets that it's going to be powerful. thanks!

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  13. The relationship between you and Jen is amazing, Ann.

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  14. I've read Ann's memoir and I was blown away. It's a wonderfully written book.

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  15. So much to be inspired by! Thanks Ann and Nas. I look forward to reading your memoir, Ann!

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  16. Nas- Great hosting post! Ann- These scenes are very moving, I can't wait until I can read the book. You are an inspiration!

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  17. Hello friends,

    Thanks for coming along and being with Ann and her daughter, and for all your comments.

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  18. Such a wonderful excerpt, Ann Best is the best!

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  19. Thank you for the fantastic post..I really enjoyed it....

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  20. Thank you for hosting Ann today, Nas. I knew a little of Ann's story, but it was great to learn more.

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  21. Ann's book is a must read. It is an incredible story. She inspires me with her courage. Thank you for hosting such a wonderful woman, Nas.

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  22. Wow, Ann. I can't wait until I can get my own copy to read. The excerpts brought tears to my eyes.

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  23. Yay, so exciting to see Ann here!
    Thank you for sharing the excerpts. Gosh, you've made me cry.

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  24. Ann,
    I closed my kindle last night after finishing your book and I sat in silence with my thoughts of your marriages and your children and your struggles. I flip-flopped back and forth between some similarities of our first marriages. You are 71 and I am 81. We shared those years of change. Your book drew me in and I didn't want to put it down until I saw "The End." Quite a life you are having.
    Love and peace
    Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

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  25. Ann is definitely one of the most active Bloggers, and that's a good thing. Her story is very inspiring.

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  26. Hi all my lovely friends!

    Thanks for coming by and reading about Ann Best's inspirational journey post!

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  27. Wow Ann. The little I read here is powerful in itself. I've read the review of In The Mirror and I am just in awe. You are a true inspiration to all.

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  28. Hi Ann .. gosh that must have been a wonderful Christmas present when Jen started to talk again .. and the other excerpts reflect the incredible challenges you've come through.

    Hi Nas - so good to read some more snippets from Ann's book here ..

    It will be such an interesting read ... thank you - Hilary

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