Seconds from Death: an excerpt from the memoir I’m writing

For the past two and a half years, I have written at least a little in my memoir every single day. Some days, I can only manage to write a sentence or two. On my better days, I write hundreds of words. It’s slow going because my story is a hard one to tell, even though it does have a happy ending. Getting through the horror parts to the happy part is what makes it so difficult.

The key to achieving anything worthwhile is persistence. By not missing a day of writing, I don’t lose the momentum — even if all I can write on a given day is my minimum ‘mini habit’ goal of 25 words. Every day I get at least a little closer to the end. Lord willing, I will live long enough to eventually finish writing the entire book. πŸ˜€

Today I wrote 381 words. Here is what I wrote today. All of the names in the following chapter have been changed. I call this chapter:

Seconds From Death

The bed that had been assigned to me was in a tiny room far down the hall from the nurse’s station. There was no door on the room. Only staff offices and solitary cells had doors.

When you entered this room through the open doorway, you saw three narrow metal beds: one against the wall on your left, one against the wall on your right, and the third bed was situated along the back wall, directly under a window. My bed was the window bed.

There was just enough space in the center of this room to walk between the first two beds, about two and a half feet of walking space. There were only a few inches between the ends of these beds and the short expanse of wall on either side of the doorway. Likewise, there were only a couple of inches between the top ends of the beds and my window bed.

I was lying on my back on the orange bedspread, feeling good about having been able to help little Gina find her missing purse. The other two beds were empty at the moment, as their occupants were somewhere out on the ward.

“You stole the pictures of my children! GIVE ME BACK MY PICTURES!”

I open my eyes and there is Carolina, standing in the narrow space between the two empty beds. Her balled up fists are on her wide hips. She is so large, she seems to fill up the room. Her red face is twisted in rage.

I quickly get up off my bed. Now we are standing face to face, with only a couple of feet between us.

“I don’t know what you mean. I don’t have your children’s pictures.”

“YOU’RE LYING!” It came out as a guttural scream. “The people down the hall told me they saw you come out of my room with the purse that has my children’s pictures in it!”

Before I can explain that I had simply helped Gina find her missing purse, having no idea that Carolina had stolen the purse to store her children’s pictures inside, this very obese, raging bull of a woman lunges toward me. She grabs my skinny neck with both of her hands and strangles me with all of her lunatic strength.


………. Whew. That’s all I could manage to write today. I came very close to dying at the age of fifteen, when this event happened more than fifty years ago. How I got away from her stranglehold … well, that’s a story for another day. And then there’s the peculiar story of how I met one of her sons at an impromptu card game, about a year after I was released from the institution at the age of sixteen.

I told the son that I had known his mother, when he told me her name. But I could not bring myself to tell him that his mother had tried to kill me. Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes!

Thank you for stopping by, I really do appreciate it. I ❀ my blogger friends. God bless! ((HUGS))

Copyright 2021 by Linda Lee Adams @LadyQuixote


42 thoughts on “Seconds from Death: an excerpt from the memoir I’m writing

  1. Dora March 6, 2021 / 1:22 pm

    Whew! You made me live your experience in that life & death moment through your words. How frightening! And what amazing grace that you survived not only to tell about it but to show grace to one of her children. I praise God that you were always in His loving arms.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Amy Blount March 6, 2021 / 1:56 pm

    Can’t wait Linda! God will get you through the telling of your story. What the devil meant for evil, God will use for the good

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Sue Cass March 6, 2021 / 2:34 pm

    You have taken on a very brave and a very healing project. I am so proud of you and you should be proud of yourself. When it is finished you’ll sit back and read it as though someone else wrote it and gain even more insight and healing. I’m anxious to read “the rest of the story.”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. @preacherbiker March 6, 2021 / 3:15 pm

    No words
    Love you

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Blue Collar Theologian March 6, 2021 / 3:16 pm

    Praying we will get to meet up. You are an amazing woman and God is writing your amazing story. I don’t normally share this. My mom grew up having to take her mom to Wernersville. I don’t know what year this was but just from the limited words my mom has said about this, it must have been close to hell. I am so thankful for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. CynthiaBaileyRug March 6, 2021 / 4:20 pm

    Thank God you are still here! You are doing wonderfully with writing your memoir, by the way. It truly is no easy feat! WRiting something each day, even if only a couple of sentences, is a big deal!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Linda Lee/Lady Quixote March 6, 2021 / 6:20 pm

      Thank you, Cynthia. Your writings about growing up with narcissistic abuse has helped and encouraged me so much.


  7. Bruce Cooper March 6, 2021 / 5:08 pm

    That preacher biker fella seems to get an awful lot of hearts! Oh, wait a sec, that’s your hubby! Disregard, disregard! Proud of you Linda Lee! Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Salvageable March 6, 2021 / 5:11 pm

    So vivid and so personal. You are a great writer. I look forward to reading more of your account. J.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. mrsmariposa2014 March 6, 2021 / 5:29 pm

    Wow! This is vividly described, Linda! I hurt along with you! I am so proud of your perseverance and pray all the best as you continue! It can be so healing to write these things down!❀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Lee/Lady Quixote March 6, 2021 / 6:31 pm

      Thank you, Marisa. You’re so right about the healing that comes through the process of writing my story. I realized a long time ago that even if I never publish my memoir, it has been more than worth the effort to write it, because of the insights, the inner healing, and the ability to let go of old wounds and forgive, that I have gained.

      Whew, that’s a run-on sentence if ever there was one. But I’m too tired to make it any better. Maybe tomorrow I will come back here and do some comment editing. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • mrsmariposa2014 March 6, 2021 / 9:03 pm

        It’s all right. I run on with the best of them. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Anna Waldherr March 7, 2021 / 4:41 am

    It is distressing to read this, even knowing you survived, Linda. I can imagine how difficult it must be for you to relive your experiences in writing them down. I know it was difficult for me doing that. In the end, the effort was worthwhile. The writing was cathartic. If you can, however, be sure to get yourself a good editor. That way, you will have someone objective to help you. This suggestion is no reflection on your writing, of course. Best wishes on the book! Love, A. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/Lady Quixote March 7, 2021 / 9:14 am

      Thank you, Anna. I agree, even the best writers need a good editor. It is impossible to be truly objective about our own writing, especially when the topic is so personal and emotional.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Blue Collar Theologian March 7, 2021 / 1:46 pm

        Hi, Linda! I feel like I could be an asset to you with this. If you would like me to share here I will or if you prefer, feel free to email me
        love and blessings to you sweet lady!!!!


  11. bluebird of bitterness March 7, 2021 / 9:13 am

    You have had more near-death experiences than almost anyone else I know. Someone was definitely watching out for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/Lady Quixote March 7, 2021 / 9:27 am

      I am amazed by God’s love and grace. I am no one special, and I have messed up so badly at times in my life. Really, really bad. But I know that I am forgiven and loved. God’s grace is truly amazing!

      After I wrote this yesterday, I thought about the fact that there are seven people now living who never would have been born if I had died that day: my two sons, my daughter, my two granddaughters, my grandson, and my 8-year-old great-grandson. Wow! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. ourlittleredhouseblog March 7, 2021 / 1:25 pm

    Thanks to God for protecting you that day…that is frightening. It takes strength and so much courage to go back to those days and write about them, plus sharing them with others. There will be so many people you will help by doing this. There are many messages in your words with one really big one being that there are miracles out there and the only way to see them is through faith filled hearts. Everyone has a purpose that they were born to be and do, and all those babies that came after you, that you are apart of, also have beautiful things to share and pass on to others in life. Life is beautiful after all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Lee/Lady Quixote March 7, 2021 / 2:10 pm

      Thank you so much! Your words are super encouraging to me. ((HUGS)) ❀


  13. seekingdivineperspective March 7, 2021 / 8:19 pm

    Glad you are alive to tell the story, Linda! And good for you, writing every day! I’m ashamed to think how long my latest book has been in limbo… πŸ™„

    Liked by 1 person

  14. bornagain732 March 8, 2021 / 11:32 am


    Liked by 1 person

  15. ibikenyc March 8, 2021 / 12:27 pm


    And thirding what your honey said!


    Bizarrely-fascinating that you ran into her son. . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/Lady Quixote March 8, 2021 / 3:11 pm

      Thank you! ❀

      Yes, running into that woman’s son seemed very weird at the time. However, after I wrote about it yesterday, it occurred to me that the son had probably heard about me through small town gossip..And then, because his mom was in that place, he may have found a way to get us invited to his friend’s card game, so he could ask me what it was like to be a patient there. As I recall, he waited until he had a chance to talk to me alone, and then he told me about his mother being there. I certainly wasn’t talking to anyone about being in that place, so I had no idea of how this guy that I had only just met, knew I was familiar with the institution.

      When he told me his mother’s name, and I said I had known her, he probably saw a look on my face that told him not to ask me any more questions, which is why the conversation didn’t go much further. Plus he probably did not want anyone else in the house to hear what we were talking about.

      It is amazing to me how writing about these events from so long ago, is giving me a different perspective on many of the things that happened. At the time, I thought running into her son was a very weird coincidence. But it makes sense that he may have orchestrated the seemingly impromptu card game, or somehow got himself invited, after hearing through the small town grapevine that his coworker at the steel plant had recently married a girl who had been in the same institution that his mother was in. So, it probably wasn’t such an accidental meeting, after all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ibikenyc March 11, 2021 / 12:57 pm

        Ah! Thank you for that also-fascinating story. My Nice Girl (sometimes AKA “Dangerously Idealistic”) side is thinking that at least he was discreet, but I don’t know that it felt that way to you.

        I do know exactly what you mean about looking at the long-ago stuff from a current perspective! I go through spates of all kinds of things suddenly falling into place about my own past.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Linda Lee/Lady Quixote March 11, 2021 / 9:59 pm

          Isn’t it fascinating to suddenly realize how supposedly random events from your past probably weren’t so random, after all? I had another light bulb moment while I was writing in my memoir this morning. Mind boggling, it was.

          Liked by 1 person

  16. Paul Martin March 8, 2021 / 1:03 pm

    Wow! The Lord had and STILL has plans for you, Linda!!! Praise God!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. tidalscribe March 14, 2021 / 2:22 pm

    I can picture that dreadful room with no escape.


    • Linda Lee/Lady Quixote March 14, 2021 / 6:29 pm

      Thank you! I consider that high praise, coming from you, with your excellent writing skills.


  18. lilyofthevalley777 March 20, 2021 / 12:55 pm

    Linda, what an incredible woman you are for facing your past and reopening wounds with such courage. Then to write it out each day knowingly treading on some gut wrenching memories that nearly took your life away. Think of all the people you have ministered to thus far as well as your own. May Gods grace and mercy continue to keep your spirit encouraged knowing the liberty you have in Lord as He guides you through to the finish line. God bless. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

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