Editing Sample #3

The following sample illustrates the type of editing I do for clients.


Anchors (Before)

Throughout my life I have encountered many experiences that have changed me. Those experiences have been like turning points that were pivotal in the direction my life was taking at the time. They have truly been defining moments that have served as strong anchors in shaping and influencing who I am today and how I face other challenges in my life.

In order for you to understand who I am and why I respond the way I do throughout the remainder of this book, I feel the need to share a life changing event that occurred several years ago. That experience had a profound affect on me and my family at that time. It has also influenced the rest of my life and the things I do. That experience laid the ground work for some of the deep and insightful experiences I will share with you that have come as a result of my brother's death.

On that fateful day in 1989, Shelann and I were in our car on a busy four lane highway on our way home from school and work in Toronto, Ontario Canada. It had been a busy day in my role as Vice President of a hospital in Toronto. Shelann was fourteen and the school she attended just happened to be across the street from the hospital where I worked.

Not more than four or five minutes from our home, a car in the oncoming lane suddenly veered into our path and we collided head-on. I remember screaming, "Oh, God help us", as I felt and heard the sounds of crushing metal, shattering glass, and then the deadly quiet. In that terrifying and deadly moment of silence, I remember peering down at my keys dangling back and forth in the ignition after the car had come to a standstill.

In spite of being stunned, I immediately tried to move my hands and feet to determine if the impact had paralyzed me, but to my great relief I realized I could move my arms and legs. Looking over at my daughter, I saw her face covered in blood and realized she wasn't breathing. With every ounce of strength I had, I screamed out, "Shelann, breathe!" I tried to reach out to shake her with my right hand, but I was pinned by the steering wheel and could not reach her. "Breathe Shelann, Breathe", I cried out. How could I help my beautiful daughter if I couldn't get away from this steering wheel that was pressing my chest like a two ton truck? I remember praying, "O God, please save my daughter. Don't let her die!" I remember reaching and stretching until our fingertips touched and then squeezing her hand. She squeezed mine in return, so I knew she was alive.

Sirens echoing in the distance gave me hope that help was on the way. Frantic voices surrounded the car, and I sensed consciousness was evading me as I slipped in and out of awareness of what was happening. I tried desperately to stay conscious by methodically assessing each part of my body I could reach. Other parts I assessed by tightening and releasing various muscles. Through that painful exercise and through my knowledge as a nurse I could sense my injuries.

Was each part in tact? Was it functioning? Did it hurt? Was it bleeding? When the ambulance arrived I was barely able to whisper to the paramedics in my weakened state, that I knew I had a broken hip and possibly broken pelvis as well. I knew I had a compound fractured knee because I could feel the protrusion of bones through the open wound. I knew there were numerous fractured ribs and possibly a fractured spine, due to the crunching sensation I felt in my chest and back. I was also able to describe the haunting picture of the gaping mouth and eyes rolled back in the head of the female driver who hit us. To this day, I'm amazed at my assessment skills, while being near death. I was even able to tell the police where they could locate my husband. In times of trauma, some people become hyper alert in spite of their severe injuries and that was apparently my situation.

What a relief when I sensed they had removed Shelann from the mangled mess. I was so happy to hear the sirens fading in the distance as they rushed her to the nearest hospital. I wish I could have seen the police officer's face who responded to my stupid question that was motivated by pure vanity, "How does my face look?" He responded, "Lady, you look beautiful!" I'm sure he thought to himself, "who cares what you look like when you're in a death trap?"


Anchors (After)

Ten years earlier I had been touched by God in a different, but similarly profound, manner. Shelann and I were driving home on a busy four-lane highway in Toronto when a car in the oncoming lane suddenly veered into our path. We collided head on.

"God help us!" I remember screaming through the sound of crushing metal and shattering glass, and then it was deadly quiet. In that terrifying moment of silence, I peered down at the keys dangling in the ignition.

I tried to move my hands and feet. To my great relief, I could. Looking over at my beloved 14-year-old daughter, I saw her face covered in blood. She wasn't breathing.

"Breathe, Shelann!" I screamed with every ounce of strength I had. I tried to shake her, but the steering wheel pinned me. "Breathe, Shelann, breathe!" I cried again. Stretching until our fingertips touched, I squeezed her hand and felt a faint pressure in return. She was alive!

"Oh God, please save my daughter," I prayed. "Don't let her die!"

Sirens echoing in the distance gave me hope. Frantic voices surrounded the car. I sensed consciousness evading me. Slipping in and out of awareness, I tried desperately to stay alert by methodically assessing each part of my body, tightening and releasing the muscles. With my knowledge as a nurse, I could sense the extent of my injuries.

When the ambulance arrived, I was barely able to whisper. I had a broken hip and possibly a broken pelvis. I knew I had a compound fractured knee because I could feel the protrusion of bones through the open wound. The crunching sensation in my chest and back meant there were numerous fractured ribs and possibly a fractured spine.

I was also able to describe the haunting picture of the gaping mouth and eyes rolled back in the head of the female driver who hit us. To this day I'm amazed at my assessment skills while near death. I was even able to tell the police where to locate my husband.

What a relief when I sensed they had removed Shelann from the mangled mess and I heard the sirens fading in the distance. I wish I could have seen the face of the police officer who responded to my stupid question, motivated by pure vanity.

"How does my face look?"

"Lady, you look beautiful," he said dryly.


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