Back From the Brink of Death


Clothing cut off – Shoes Survived!





My dull eyes rolled to the side of my immobile head, burdened with the hot wetness of the forced oxygen pumping through a C-2 pap mask. I mustered enough strength to raise my hand to my neck and describe a cutthroat motion toward my hospital companion. He simply moved his head slowly left to right, right to left. “No. It’s not your day to die.” And he continued to sit bedside holding my hand for hours.

It was July 3, 2019. I had a horrible car accident. I didn’t remember anything after the crash on June 23. I was told I was helicoptered to the Sant Clara trauma center where they performed life-saving surgeries and procedures. 

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t imagine not saying goodbye to my children before departing so I held on thinking I could tell them and then make my grand farewell on the Fourth of July. But that didn’t happen. A strand of strength returned to my body on that day and I was able to eke out baby breaths. In my mind’s eye, I was the shriveled greyish-white cocoon of ET at his low point. 

The temptation of sweet release was in my mind but I had no way to execute the desire. My ICU nurse, Solomon, greeted me with a gentle smile every time he caught my eye. I was able to choke out a few words telling him I couldn’t go on. He said, “You must. And you will.” 

Fighting for breath only made it harder. He told me to breathe in slowly—in through the nose, out through the mouth. I listened. By the morning of July fourth, I had made it over the hump. I wanted to live. And I had to fight for it. Man the battle stations!

My children brought my will back. My daughter made a flow chart with color-coding on what day it was and where the kids were. Loving friends visited and brought food and flowers. Some cried at the sight of me. I had no tears, no feeling, no anger or happiness. I was in a state of just being. I saw images of gossamer, lovely vivid colors, dancing color patterns, images of Cheshire cats and dancing teapots. I was floating in viscous animation. I had no judgment or animosity—just love and peace.

I opened my eyes and saw my beautiful goddaughter sitting beside me and I didn’t know if it was real until she spoke. I had no feelings or emotions for two weeks. Silent tears of caring slipped out of my eyes and rolled down my cheeks at the sight of her. That was a good sign…I was returning to life.

Snippets of phrases ran through my mind. I could hear my son saying, “You have to make it to Baby Judah Man’s high school graduation.” Baby Judah is only ten months old. I have a ways to go, but I’m aiming for that.

My beautiful and talented daughter put on a dance party with Baby Scarlett, just over a year old, to one of my favorite Paul Simon songs. She entered the lobby of the hospital ward with a joyous rendition complete with sparkle britches and sunglasses. We must dance! And rejoice in our wonderful lives. 

In my delirium (I was in ICU for two weeks) I saw Angels and Demons. The angels won. I did not remember anything after impact. I did not remember being helicoptered from the crash site in Santa Cruz to the Trauma Center in Santa Clara. I do vaguely remember protesting the cutting off of my clothing. As I saw the scissors snipping at my jeans I shouted, “Wait! Those are my best Butt-Lifters!” Never mind, they fell away from my broken now unconscious body. The first responders saved everything in a plastic bag which I discovered after I got home from the hospital and took inventory. Hey, my red stilettos made it!  Rescued from the rubble by my amazing daughter-in-law. A very good sign. I will be strutting around in those things soon. Hey, it’s something to aim for.

There’s more—a lot more. I will write later when I have more strength. For now, I want to tell you the most important part: The time to bury the hatchet is now. Release all feelings of resentment, animosity, judgment. We are all doing the best we can with what we have to work with. Live with love in your heart and joy in your spirit. Dissolve the bad feelings and embrace the positive.

Soon I will be sporting my license plate again: Ohappy-32-pix

Never mind that there is no car. I will get one somehow.

Huge thanks to all of you for pulling me through this dark spot. Sending you love and light. God Bless!

37 thoughts on “Back From the Brink of Death

  1. OMG! I can’t believe this happened to you! I’m so very sorry!! Your strength is amazing…and so is the strength from your family. I hope you are home and have friends/family caring for you.
    Lots of love from Bernie & Angelo


  2. Wow Carol, what a journey! Heaven will always win, no matter dark time and soul search one can live. I’m glad that it is love that brought you back. Yep, love is strong and amazingly unpredictable! Keep your peace and keep smiling regardless of difficulties, you will come back stronger than before. A big hug from Canada.


  3. OMG Carole! I had no idea what a terrible experience you’ve been through. You are definitely a survivor and have many more stories to tell and graduations to attend! I’m so relieved you are alive to tell the tale. Sending you lots of love and good wishes for getting right back to your spunky self!


  4. Carole, so sorry to hear and read about your accident. I’m glad you are on the road to recovery and hoping you are back in those stilettos 👠 soon! You are right… we all need to live with love in our hearts and cherish the ones we have in our lives! Love to you.


  5. Unbelievable!! Can’t believe what you survived!
    And your writing is better than ever. Thank heavens you survived and will recover!!
    Sending you hugs and healing thoughts.


  6. I’m so glad you’re better! Linda said she saw you 😁 talk to you soon….big hugs 🤗

    Make it a Great Day!!! Elaine Cullen

    Please excuse the typos as this was sent from my iPad



  7. Oh Carol what is story. I look forward to reading the second installment when you’re dancing with your red shoes on. This is Jean from Rachel’s Lighthouse writing retreat. Wishing you the very best


  8. How could I not know about this Carole?
    I am going to give Sally Bookman a good talking to. I love you so much for you tenacity and good spirit. I will see you in September


  9. Oh Carole, I had no idea. I’ve been busy moving to Hayden, Idaho, now here, and unpacking, unpacking, unpacking. Are you home now? Are you okay now? I’ll give you a call … have been missing your blogs. Many hugs from Ron and I.


    • Dearest Connie, Thank you. Yes, I am recovering. I was unable to speak for the first few weeks. I’m not quite up to talking much yet. I so appreciate your loving support. Carry on with your FAB move. It looks absolutely gorgeous! I’m happy for you. I promise more blogs soon.


  10. Hi Carol, I cried as I read this. I had no idea – like everyone else – that this happened to you. Thank you for the horrifying but beautiful update. Solomon…what a guy! Would you consider starting a Gofundme so we can donate toward a new car? So glad you are okay my lovely friend. The world would be so grey and dull without you and your red shoes. Are you up to visits? xoxoxoxo


    • Dear A.J. You are one of the kindest, sweetest, caring people on the planet. Thanks for being in my corner!

      I’m doing extremely well in my recovery. I will write about that shortly. For the first three weeks I couldn’t really talk, write or even think! I’ll explain more soon. I so appreciate your offer to visit. I consider your presence to be a visit. I must remain quiet and focused for the immediate task at hand…full recovery!

      As much as I love your gesture of GoFundMe for a car, let’s hold off for now. There is a possibility of a friend coming through with the use of her extra car.

      I wrote a letter to Solomon which I will deliver to the Head Nurse in ICU at Santa Clara today at my doctor’s appointment. I would love to send you a copy. Please email your pailing address and I will send it!

      Love and light to you, dear one.


  11. I thought I was the cat with nine lives… LOL … it appears that it is you! There is a reason why you are still here to tell the story. Much love girlfriend. Could’ve ended differently.


  12. What a blessing to see you writing. You are our heroline. A flamingo among the doves. Our love and prayers have spoken to the one who wasn’t done with you. Thank God! “)


  13. OMG. Dina and I just saw this. Life can change in and instant, and you were so fortunate to come out the other side alive ! We only met you briefly when we all lived in Costa Rica. However in those brief encounters, I always admired your sprit, your independance and your zest for life. I’m sure those qualitites and strengths helped you make it through this life changing event. We wish you a speedy and complete recovery and hope to follow more of your crazy exploits in the future.

    Tom Duffy


  14. Carole.. You just broke my ❤into more than a trillion pieces. OMG! I can’t explain how grateful I am that God saved you! This world would never be the same without YOU! You are one of the most beautiful unique people on the planet.. Both God & I know it..You are a blessing to anyone that has the luck to meet you or lay eyes on that gorgeous smile and pretty eyes of green like the oceans that roar. You are a mezmerizing creature of Love light & profound natural beauty inside & out.. Im so proud to know you & I will be faithfully grateful that you are here with me.. I love you so much and so does everyone else thats ever known you.. Your writing is really tremendous in its’ funny wit & charm🌹. And you give so much more than the eye can see.. Thats because some people are made of pure “gold” and you are one of them.. ET now knows it for sure..Spirit is all and can not be bought.. You are priceless!! 🎇


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