Sunday, November 16, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #16

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...

Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today let's hear from author Laura Kennedy and what she's thankful for:

A Healthy Heart

Every November sixteenth I relive a watershed moment, the seven year anniversary of my heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.    

Having been advised by my cardiologist during early spring that I may need a mitral valve repair, I was in denial. Subsequent visits confirmed the situation was severe.  But being a stubborn Norwegian, I maintained I was just fine. It was then my doctor suggested I obtain a second opinion.  So the following October, best friend Patty from Minneapolis in tow, I flew from Florida to Mayo in Rochester. A list of questions in hand, I met with the first surgeon who confirmed my condition was “more than severe” and that if I didn’t have surgery, I’d be dead in three to five years.  Questions now totally irrelevant, I was ready to sign on the dotted line.

Doctor number two confirmed what doctor number one had stated.  Soon it was time for doctor number three, a tall, slim Indonesian man who’d been in the Midwest long enough to learn the phrase “Okay, real good.”  After examining me, he enthusiastically suggested minimally invasive surgery.  A Star Wars type procedure where, rather than cracking the chest open like a chicken, an incision is made under the right breast.  Reminding him that, in case he’d missed that day in medical school, my heart was on the left,  he continued to sell me on the idea of experimental surgery.  Ignoring the word experimental, I agreed, and skipped out of the room. “He sure seems excited,” Patty said.  I nodded.    

I flew home, then returned to Rochester a month later with my husband.  Outwardly calm the day of surgery, we were at the hospital by six a.m.  Soon Patty and her husband Lyle, along with my daughter Traci, appeared for moral support.. Keeping me company for the two-hour wait, Patty later related to anyone who’d listen how I’d perused fashion magazines in an amazingly unemotional Scandinavian way.    

Obviously, the surgery went well. Later informed I was only the sixth person to undergo minimally invasive heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic, I bounced back quickly.  I continue to be healthy, evidenced by the fact I am still skipping tapping on the keys, happily recording the ever exciting, changing experience we call life.  

Since that Thanksgiving, I have a new definition of a best friend.  The test is simple.  Just tell a friend you’re having major surgery and ask if you can spend a few days recuperating at her house. The friend then has the choice of  saying she’d love to but will be unfortunately be out of town indefinitely. Or in the case of Patty, who I've known since I was three, that it would be just fine. 

LAURA KENNEDY lives in Tarpon Springs, a Greek sponge fishing town on the West Coast of Florida. She grew up in Minneapolis where her mother was a romance writer who helped her father support the family. By the time she was twenty-two, she lived in Southern California, was married, had a baby, and was broke, the perfect Petri dish for the beginning of a writing career. Encouraged by her mother's writing success, Laura borrowed her mother's portable typewriter on which she concocted her first story that sold for the staggering sum of $225.

When sixteen-year-old Brooke Bentley's green convertible and cell phone conk out during a tropical rainstorm, she believes it's just bad luck. But when she darts through the dark to a dilapidated Victorian she thinks is the home of a friend and is invited in by a butler in a faded black tux, Brooke knows it must be karma. Because how often do you meet a reclusive 1950's movie star who thinks she's actress Terry Moore? And how often does someone as charming as eighty-year-old Laura de France insist on transforming you into a movie star, too? How can something as simple as a dress control your life? It can if it's the famous green toga worn by actress Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra and you'll do anything to wear it. 

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  1. I'm thankful for my family and friends that support me during the tough times this year.

  2. I am thankful for my husband, my kids, my granddaughter and the rest of my family.


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