Life has a way of teaching me lessons. Iâ€™m thankful for that. I love to learn. I
remember sitting in a religious gathering once where someone was talking about
life after death. The speaker described paradise. In detail. Minutes and minutes
of minute detail. Clearly he was intending to create an image of a place so
fantastic, so magnificent, that anyone sitting in his audience would do whatever
it took to be able to spend eternity in such a place.
I sat there feeling more and more trapped. Because while I pictured myself in
this magnificent place, floating, or whatever, in paradise, encased in love,
living in a world without pain, I saw a major flaw. If I had all knowledge and
understood all secrets as the man promised, I was going to be bored stiff! What
was I going to do all day in paradise if I couldnâ€™t keep learning?
I crave learning more than I crave food. So, yes, Iâ€™m thankful for lifeâ€™s
lessons. Iâ€™m thankful I seem to be served them in abundance. It just takes me a
little longer sometimes to feel the gratitude – and sometimes to get the
Iâ€™m on a three month blog tour. With more than seventy destinations. More than
seventy original blogs. Iâ€™m also on physical tour. And I have two books due
before the end of the year. All good. I love what I do. I brought this on
myself. I made it happen. I am NOT complaining. I type upwards of 120 words a
minute. As long as the words are flowing, the pages will appear with time left
over. And these words really want to flow.
Iâ€™m also a wife to the man of my dreams. A man who has made dinner more often
than not over the past six weeks. A man who has eaten more fast food French
fries in six weeks then heâ€™s had in three years. A man who lives in a house that
had dust motes migrating from corners into the middle of the floor. A man who
was having conversations with a woman who responded but had no idea what heâ€™d
just said. Who had conversations with a woman who couldnâ€™t converse about
anything but The Chapman Files, blogging, book signings, and getting
pages done. A man who endured all of this without complaining. Seriously. Not
My brother called a few weeks ago and asked if we planned to head up to the
family cabin in Michigan again before it had to be closed for the season. My
husband responded, immediately, in the affirmative. A weekend away. Weâ€™d take
pictures of fall colors. I said fine. And made lists of all the things I had to
before I could leave my office for two whole days. And lists of things I could
handle on the blackberry while I was away, with a â€˜thank goodness we have cell
service up thereâ€™ under my breath.
I got them all done. I just hadnâ€™t left time for packing. Oh that. I hadnâ€™t put
it on my list. So half an hour before Iâ€™m due to leave to pick up said dream
guy, Iâ€™m rushing around my world trying to collect all of the things I needed to
spend two days up in the woods. Weâ€™ve got linens at the cabin. I co-own them. I
donâ€™t use them. I donâ€™t like having to worry about getting them washed and back
up there before my brother needs them. Weâ€™ve got blankets there, too. In
abundance. I have to take my own. Theyâ€™re softer. The cooler had to be packed
with perishables. Weâ€™d want the twenty-two and bullets. The camera. Dog food. I
had to remember the dogs. It was going to get down in the thirties. I had to
pull out winter clothes. And socks. And hiking shoes. And fire starters and...I
had half an hour.
I had no choice. My honey was at work, without a way to get home as Iâ€™d taken
him to work so we could leave from there because it was half an hour closer to
our final destination...
I made miracles happen. Everything appeared out of nowhere and lined up by the
door. And I picked them up and started rushing back and forth from the house to
the car. The house to the car. Problem was, there was a door in between the two.
A screen door with a strong spring latch and a metal handle that didnâ€™t have the
wherewithal to get out of my way. With fully loaded heavy cooler in hands,
leaning up against body, I pushed the handle, plowed through the door and it
swung right back at me. I didnâ€™t slow down. Didnâ€™t pay attention. I just let the
darned thing smash against the hand that feeds me. I didnâ€™t slow down. Didnâ€™t
pay attention. I had a car to load. A man to collect. A trip to take. I was on a
mission. On a schedule. I had things to do.
It wasnâ€™t until I was pulling out of the driveway – small dog in lap and
larger dog on his towel in the backseat, mind you – that I realized I
hadnâ€™t felt my hand in a while. I donâ€™t mean, as in reached over and touched it,
I mean, there was no feeling. But as I gripped the steering wheel, I had the
oddest sensation – like when the dentist shot novacaine in my cheek. I
remembered hitting the door. I remembered that Iâ€™d never looked to see what Iâ€™d
done. I glanced down.
My hand had sprouted a golf ball. Under the skin. A couple of hours later, it
also hurt like hell. At that point, there was only one thing to do. I panicked.
I didnâ€™t care about the darned hand. All I wanted to know was how I was going to
type. I started tapping out words against the console of the car in the dark,
late at night, as we drove into the outer regions of nowhere. It not only hurt,
the thumb and forefinger on my left hand wouldnâ€™t mind me. I guess they were
pissed at my lack of regard for them. My lack of appreciation for all of the
faithful service. I was scared to death.
Man of my Dreams told me that Iâ€™d be fine by Tuesday, which was when I was due
back in the office. I waited for streetlights, put my hand up by the windshield
so the light would shine down on my hand. Had the swelling gone down any? At
Saturday morningâ€™s first light, I was right back at it, looking for any sign of
golf ball dissipation. By Saturday night, not only was there no shrinking of my
new body part, but Iâ€™d become multi-colored as well. I was going to make dinner
anyway. We were having chili and we like my chili. Man of my Dreams opened the
cans that I requested. I allowed the concession. I stood at our little stove in
a hundred year old cabin out in the woods in the middle of nowhere, picked up
the newly opened can of kidney beans with smashed hand (because my well hand was
busy stirring) and promptly dropped it. Man of my Dreams didnâ€™t get upset with
me. Little dog and big dog enjoyed their dinner.
A broken blood vessel was pronounced. Man of my Dreams said it just looked like
I had a tan. By Sunday the tan had spread across the back of my hand from thumb
to little finger.
And there was nothing I could do to make it stop. I had to accept that I might
not be able to type by Tuesday.
Funny thing is, the world didnâ€™t end. As a matter of fact, breath continued to
flow in the moment after the realization just as it had in the moment before.
People went on with their lives. I stared at my hand. Constantly. Willing it
I practiced tapping words on and off all day on Monday. There was some pain.
But, hitting only air, I could do it.
Tuesday morning dawned and I approached the office with trepidation. Could I do
it? Would I be able to put in the full dayâ€™s work, the full weekâ€™s work that was
required of me? I could deal with the pain, but would the fingers have the
ability to apply enough strength to the keys to make letters appear? Could they
do it with enough dexterity to type quickly with clarity?
Youâ€™re reading this blog, which was the first thing on Tuesdayâ€™s agenda. My
hand, bless it, blessed me. It hurts to touch it, it looks a bitâ€¦tanâ€¦but it came
through. It continues to feed me. And the blog tour, the books, the work moves
smoothly on. Ahhh. All is well.
I got the message, by the way. Nothing, no amount of success, of financial
security, or even personal fulfillment is worth more than the people you love.
If I donâ€™t remember to tend to things outside of the books and the blog tour and
work, I might lose something much more important than the temporary use of a
hand. I could lose the use of my heart.
Or I could lose who is in my heart.
Iâ€™m sitting in the office I share with Man of my Dreams, waiting for him to come
home, thinking about him, very grateful that I smashed one of the hands that
feeds me. I think I just saved the life that feeds me.
This post is brought to you as part of The Chapman Files International
Blog Tour. Over the next three months, as we celebrate The Chapman Files,
expert witness psychologist, Kelly Chapman and I are going to be asking for
help. If you can, join us in our fight against Domestic Abuse. If youâ€™d like to
here to go directly to a secure paypal site. Or just
comment here to show your support.
Thereâ€™s an item from our new book, THE SECOND LIE, hidden on
the tour with us. Guess the item to enter the drawing to win it! Todayâ€™s clue:
Youâ€™ll never find a Mrs. Named after it. Send all guesses to email@example.com. To see
previous clues visit blog sites listed at www.tarataylorquinn.com. Guess as many times as youâ€™d like!
Donâ€™t miss The Chapman File tour party on December 4th at www.eharlequin.com! Tour
prize winners will be announced!
E-books of all of The Chapman File Stories are available for pre-order at
Next tour stop: Monday, October 11, 2010. Harlequin Books http://harlequinblog.com/.
We hope to see you there! The more blogs you visit with us, the more chances you
have to win! Every time you comment your name is dropped in the bag for the
For weekly blog tour dates, visit www.tarataylorquinn.com Or to have the weekly schedule sent
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13 comments posted.
Glad to hear your hand is okay! Sounds like you had enough adrenalin going on that you didn't feel it for a while! I finished The Second Lie, the one who did it was who I thought it was! Loved the book Tara...I'm ready for the next one.
(Darla Ray 1:42pm October 8, 2010)
Ouch, Tara! I bet that really hurt! I am glad that your hand is doing better now. Sometimes things happen to get our attention, make us slow down, and appreciate what and who we have in our lives. I am so glad that you have a "man of my dreams" in your life.
(Cheryl Castings 2:01pm October 8, 2010)
What a disaster. I figure something was trying to tell you to pay attention to your surroundings and prepare for the unexpected. I hope you're on the mend and that your hand isn't going to predict the weather like a barometer for storms.
(Alyson Widen 5:43pm October 8, 2010)
Ouch I know it's been said but we all hope that you will have a speedy recovery.
(Vickie Hightower 8:39pm October 8, 2010)
Accidents are always painful and pains in the butt as they interfere in our lives! I hope you heal soon.
(Brenda Rupp 9:56pm October 8, 2010)
Tara -- Please take the time to have your hand looked at!! I injured my hand and wrist over 20 years ago, and it's still giving me trouble!! I had it looked at, and the injury I suffered was worse than I thought it was in the beginning. Your cause is noble, but your health is just as important to spread that cause.
(Peggy Roberson 10:44pm October 8, 2010)
Glad to see the typing is working! I have never been able to type that many words a minute! Stay well! Started the new book!
(Leeanne Williams 9:00pm October 9, 2010)