Monday, March 18, 2019

Well, this time the choice is crystal clear.

There's only one entry that literally left me gasping.
And not for the right reason.

CarolynnWith2Ns
“Was it off-kilter for you too?” You’ve got to be kidding.
TRUE STORY
I had a heart attack.
You want tilt, you want lean, try a 3am dash to a 24 hour emergency room and then rolling down the highway, lights and sirens screaming. I won’t list the procedures but in that ambulance I asked myself three questions.
Have I been where I have wanted to go? Yes.
Any regrets? No
Am I leaving behind anything that would sour my family’s memories of me? No. Dust under the bed doesn’t count.
Thanks for asking and blessed to be alive.

 Everything else sort of faded after I read this one.

I bet that was true for more than a few of you.


 Carolynn, I can't tell you how glad I am you were able to tell us about this with your usual charm and grace.


The entries were wonderful but this time reality wins.

46 comments:

CynthiaMc said...

Wow. Powerful writing.

Congratulations!

I was tied up with the show, shopping (daughter is furnishing a house and I redid my garden office), and St. Patrick's day. Good thing. I never could have touched this.

Way to go, Carolynn!

Amy Johnson said...

Carolynn: First, I'm so glad you're okay. Second, congrats on your winning story. :)

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...


2NNs,

Glad to hear you're okay and congrats!

Claire Bobrow said...

2NNs: big congrats on your excellent entry, and whew! I'm so happy you're okay!

Kitty said...

Wow, Carolynn, glad you're still among the Reiders! I agree, your account was powerful.










Carolynnwith2Ns said...

"...one entry that literally left me gasping."

The Queen gasped! Now that's something.

Thank you, thank you, thank you all, for this special place, where writers can go to learn, expand and tell the truth.
You are my truth.
From the bottom of my heart (literally) the reef rocks.

Steve Forti said...

2NNs. Glad to still have you among us.

nightsmusic said...

2Ns, just so very glad you're here to post that. Virtual hugs to you.

K OCD said...

2NNs, thank goodness you're still alive!!!

Marie McKay said...

Glad you are okay, Carolynn.
And what beautiful, crisp writing to depict such a frightening experience. Take care.

Lennon Faris said...

2Ns - so glad you are still here on the Reef to keep the comments bizarre and awesome. HUGS and I hope health is returning quickly. And, congrats on the win!

french sojourn said...


Glad you are still here with us in the land of reef and honey.

Congrats, Hank

Kregger said...

Wow...just wow!
So real.
Facing mortality is terrifying and not for the faint of heart (literally).

Timothy Lowe said...

Glad you are okay, Carolynn! Only you could turn something so frightening into something so beautiful.

BrendaLynn said...

Be well Carolynn, and congratulations.

Aphra Pell said...

Glad you are recovering and still swimming the reef Carolyn.

Aphra Pell said...

That's Carolynn, with 2n's, obviously.
[slopes off and hides inside a large clam-shell in shame]

Lisa Bodenheim said...

2Ns, so glad you're still here with us among the reef. Be well.

Jill Warner said...

Oh wow! So glad you're still here, 2Ns

NLiu said...

So glad you are still with us, 2Ns! What a scary experience. Are you okay now? Also sending hugs.

Megan V said...

Glad to hear you pulled through 2NNs. Be well and congrats!

John Davis Frain said...

Carolynn, welcome home! And a surprise package from Janet to boot.

Aphra Pel, don't sweat it. Can happen to anyone, so slink back outta that clam shel.

RosannaM said...


Carolynn, I wanted to reach out to you the second I read your entry. It must have been a scary time for you, and I wish you a speedy, gentle recovery. The Queen threw you some great words to give voice to your experience and I don't fault you at all for avoiding the "bonus" words. No one healing from a heart attack should be eating slumgullion.

Hopefully you have a great stack of TBR's and some sliver of sunshine to read them in. Heal quickly!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. You have no idea how much they mean to me right now.
I want to apologize for sabotaging the contest with my personal travails. Your entries were amazing and I know how hard you worked on them, only to have an old-chick with a bum-ticker override your efforts.
I had just gotten out of the hospital and needed to share my experience. Janet’s question seemed perfect at the time. What better place to share a life-changing event than the reef.
AphraPell climb out of the shell because an N is not worth the shame.
RosannaM I have my sliver of sunshine and am reading, (perfect story teller and essayist), David Sedaris.
And Janet, thank you for what you do here for all of us. This place, and everyone in it, are truly golden.

Beth Carpenter said...

Carylynn, congratulations and wishing you speedy healing. Thank you for sharing the important questions you asked yourself. You're an inspiration!

Barbara Etlin said...

2Ns, yikes! So glad you're okay now. Congrats on winning the contest and wishing you a speedy recovery.

Kate Larkindale said...

What a scary thing to happen! Glad you are okay, and hope you have a speedy recovery.

Melanie Savransky said...

So glad you're okay! Best wishes for a faster-than-light recovery with lots of baked goods.

JanR said...

Hi CarolyNN, not at all!!! Janet put it perfectly: Everything else sort of faded after I read this one.

There is never a time when it’s not more important than anything else to be reminded of what’s really important :)

I think you put it beautifully too with What better place to share a life-changing event than the reef. I’m in awe of how you were so deft with words and storytelling in such a moment. A writer to the core.

Sherin Nicole said...

Hope you heal well and heal quickly, Carolynn! Love the sense of humor you added too.

Julie Weathers said...

2NNs,

Yikes. It's been kind of hectic these past few days and I am behind reading. I'm so sorry to hear about this experience, but glad you're all right.

My ex went to the hospital, probably the same time you were with a similar situation. It's very stressful for patient and loved ones and you know you have not only family, but those here who love you.

Take care of yourself. Dust bunnies, indeed. I wish that's all mine had to worry about.

Theresa said...

2Ns, so glad that you were around to write the winning entry!

Kate Outhwaite said...

Dear Carolynn, I am awestruck. Your entry was genuinely my favourite from a strong field – although I confess I had just thought it was particularly punchy use of the first person singular voice until I saw Janet’s post this afternoon! Every congratulation on winning - on lots of different levels - and all my very best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

Colin Smith said...

My goodness--the lengths people will go to to win a Janet Reid Writing Contest! ;)

Seriously, 2Ns, I'm really glad you're okay, and thanks for sharing in such a creative way.

The Contest Spreadsheet is up-to-date in the Treasure Chest.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Oh COLIN you make me laugh.

KDJames said...

WHAT!? I got interrupted while reading entries the other day and didn't even get to this one.

Good grief, Carolynn! I'm so relieved you were able to get help and are on the mend. Please don't do that again. That goes for the rest of you as well.

french sojourn said...


Thanks for the laugh Colin, well said.

Craig F said...

U stopped by to congratulate a contest winner and end up getting to celebrate a friend. I'm not sure if congratulations are in order.

Listen to your doctor, Carolynn, please. Things change with a heart attack and I would like to continue celebrating you for a while.

Mallory Love said...

Congratulations on your win, Carolynn. I'm so glad you survived such a harrowing ordeal. How terrifying! I got chills just reading about it. Hope you are feeling better and are on the road to a full recovery.

Sherry Howard said...

So so sorry you had to go through that Carolynn! I’ve been bedside to support those heart attack sufferers. I know it changes something deep inside you. Hugs from Kentucky!

Jennifer Mugrage said...

Carolynn ... glad you are still with us.

Michael Seese said...

Sorry to be late to the party. As EVERYONE said, nice job and congratulations on the bigger win.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Wow, Carolynn, this left me gasping. So glad you are still with us. Wow, just wow. I am speechless. Congratulations in making our queen gasp.

Donnaeve said...

"The entries were wonderful but this time reality wins."

Hands down.

You rock 2Ns. I will repeat - I'm glad you didn't leave us.

xoxo

Lucie Witt said...

2Ns - not around here much anymore and what a shock this was to see. I am deeply relieved you're okay and wishing you a speedy recovery.

AJ Blythe said...

As seems to be the norm for me these days I am forever chasing my tail. Have only got to this post now (I didn't read the entries as no time).

Oh my gosh, 2Ns. I am gasping in both horror and relief. I've no idea what the other entries were like, but our Queen had it right, although I think it wasn't reality that won, but all of us who have connected with you in some way. We get to have you around for what I hope is a long time to come. Take care, my friend. x