Sue Vincent’s World – Beating the Odds

photos of Sue Vincent's son, Nick, and two of her paintings

As you may or may not know, the blogging community has a big heart. When Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch learned that Sue Vincent, a beloved friend and writer, had cancer, she and her friends went to work creating a way to help.

One of the first challenges was the River of Consciousness. My mind went numb, and I did not participate in this one, but several, like Colleen Chesebro, did. To read all of them, click here.

River of Life Double Ennead

by Colleen M. Chesebro

dawn reflections shimmer
a blood-red birthing
the new journey meanders in small ripples
searching for a known truth
testing the waters
a small stream traverses
the land, growth is key
consciousness actuates a forward passage
as water rushes fast,
over stones ahead
From the sun’s dying light
the darkness succumbs
to the passage of time, the river still flows
 in the celebration 
of a life well lived

The Everyday Physics of Dreams

by Jeff Gard

Like matter, dreams cannot be destroyed. Unlike matter, they are created by scattered dandelion seeds, extinguished birthday candles, teeth hidden under pillows, and wishes cast upon twinkling stars. They are first kisses, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, and promotions. Desires are our bones and blood. One day we will exhale our aspirations. They will rise on thermals, waver within a red and green Aurora Borealis. They will race into space, outpacing radio waves and light. They will dance in the Milky Way and body surf Saturn’s rings. In spiraling clouds of gas and dust, our dreams will condense into newborn stars.

Sue Vincent had lived dreams -bad and good, and turned them into a beautiful star-studded, Milky Way, Aurora Borealis quilt of life.

No photo description available.

I had the fortune of spending several hours of the week getting to know this writing icon, Sue Vincent. Most recently we chatted about her son because his story, as well as hers of terminal cancer, left me weak with sympathy and sorrow, but hopeless in what little I could do to ease her pain.

Ten, nearly eleven years ago, her son was stabbed through his temple with a screwdriver. That should have killed him, and would have killed most, but somehow Nick survived with the help of his mom and friends. Listen as she describes her thoughts and feelings when they heard the news. Click on her name to read the entire story.

Breaking Barriers

Four words changed the lives of everyone in our little family and that of many of our friends. My son, over a hundred miles away in Bournemouth, was in hospital… and we were advised to come at once. He had not regained consciousness since he had been brought in and, at that point, they did not seem to understand why. They thought he had suffered a brain haemorrhage.

They were almost right. Nick had been stabbed through the brain in a senseless attack. The puncture wound was so small it had, at first, been missed, but shards of bone were lodged in his brain and the ten inch screwdriver that had been rammed through his temple had compromised the brain stem. He was in a coma and not expected to live.

I have written, in great detail, of that time. I have told of the moment when the call came through, of the terror and despair, of the kindness and hope of those dreadful days… days that became weeks and months of fear and struggle as we all learned to adapt to a redefined future that was not only full of unknowns, but which was likely to shape the rest of our lives.

When Nick finally woke, it was to severe disability. Paralysed, unable to speak at all, his vision compromised and utterly dependent. The prognosis was grim… especially as it was clear that the bright young businessman with a razor sharp mind was still there… trapped in a broken and uncooperative body and a brain that would not allow the mind to express itself as it should.

In those early days, as soon as Nick began to awaken, my one determination was that he should believe in himself and have all the support he needed. 

Sue Vincent

In a post she wrote about six years ago, she included pictures of how much he had progressed since the senseless attack. It is nothing short of miraculous.

No photo description available.

Aim for the Moon

This morning, as I was dismantling the heavy, weighted walking frame he has hitherto needed just to cross his living room, I couldn’t help thinking about that. To be folding this thing up after several years and consigning it to the shed had me near tears. It had already been an emotional morning. It had all started with the balancemaster, a machine he had installed to help him regain that function, lost to his injuries. He had showed me the latest, quite amazing progress and I, as often happens, had ended up in tears. A screwdriver through the brain is bad enough, but while his recovery from the damage caused by that initial injury was utterly miraculous. The secondary damage from the prolonged subarachnoid bleeding and excessive pressure within the brain cavity is a different matter and affects many of his motor functions and balance. He had woken from the coma paralysed down his entire right side, and though hemiplegia had fairly soon given way to hemiparesis, with the spasticity and the lack of coordination and control, the outlook wasn’t good. His chances of recovering , we were given to understand, were about zero. I could bore you with the details, but Nick suggested I show you instead.

Sue Vincent
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We, of course, we simply overjoyed to still have him with us and his personality definitely ‘all there’. I had told the surgeon that if Nick came back, he would come back fighting and I was right. There was the first time he was able to move at all.. the first words.. the first time he sat alone and stood… There was also the hidden damage, the emotional rollercoaster and the dark times. It has not been plain sailing. Nor is recovery from such an injury merely a case of waiting for time to heal and perhaps a little physiotherapy to get things underway.

Sue Vincent

There’s More You Can Do

The Rodeo and Prizes

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic serves as a special challenge. Riders will have to condense the following photo into a story of 99 words (or, if you prefer, a poem of 99 syllables). Writing 99 words has never seemed TUFFer!

Each story needs to have a beginning, middle and end. Poems must have distinctive theme, movement, and rhythm; no rhyme scheme is necessary, but neither will rhyme be punished. Go where the prompt leads you – any genre is acceptable, but keep it family friendly and related to the photo. If you haven’t wrangled here at the Carrot Ranch before, you can find some prize-winning 99-word flash from the 2020 Rodeo or the 2019 Rodeo at these links. Don’t cheat with 98 or 100 words or syllables! We’ll only accept 99 word stories or 99 syllable poems written in English! (We’ll be using https://wordcounter.net/ to count words and https://syllablecounter.net/ to count syllables so everyone has the same standard). Only write 99 word stories. Do not write 99 word poems – we want 99 syllable poems.
For this rodeo, we’re offering a $100 grand prize. Five runners up will each receive one paperback from Sue Vincent’s collection of published books (those who live in a region where the paperback is unavailable may receive an e-book instead). No fee necessary to enter but this is a fundraiser so we kindly ask for a suggested donation of $5 per entry (no more than two entries allowed per writer). The contest will close at midnight on Friday, February 19th, 2021. Winning entries will be announced and read at CarrotRanch.com/blog on March 22, 2021. Top entries published at Carrot Ranch. We will not accept entries previously published (even if published on your own blog), so keep them tucked away for now.
Judges: Geoff Le Pard, Anne Goodwin, and Charli Mills. First-Pass readers: H.R.R. Gorman, Sue Spitulnik, D. Avery, and Sherri Matthews. List of judges and readers will update as needs may change depending on the volume of entries and continued judge availability. Entries will be anonymized prior to judging.
$5 suggested donation to enter. You may enter no more than twice. You are welcome to donate more than the suggested entry feeAll proceeds go directly to Sue Vincent and Family.

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Head over to Carrot Ranch to Donate to Sue Vincent and enter your 99-word story or Double Ennead.

The pictures of Sue Vincent, which I used without Sue’s express permission, came from her Facebook Page, Sue Vincent Writer. Just so you know, I did warn her that I was going to do a post/reblog of some of the links she shared with me. If you click on photos, you can see some of her gorgeous paintings. They will take your breath away.

No photo description available.

Thank you Sue for inspiring me this week. I wish you the best and hope you do as Nick has done and beat the odds.

To learn more about Sue Vincent the author, visit her website, Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo, and order her books. Or check out her other site, France and Vincent.

Thanks for reading. Please go to the links for more information, to compete in the Rodeo, or to donate to Sue and her family.

Author: Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

80 thoughts on “Sue Vincent’s World – Beating the Odds”

  1. It’s an incredible story, isn’t it? I don’t write fiction but I’ve taken part. How can you not? I don’t know Sue at all well but her writing speaks volumes. Thanks for promoting it, Marsha 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

          1. Yes, I’d better get to it. I interviewed Lisa Coleman today about organizing photos, and now I’m into organizing my Prescott Walk for today. We took the most fabulous walk around Watson Lake on an old Railway bed. I’m trying to organize and label my pictures to do a post to share with you on Monday. So much for my creative spirit.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Just saw this, Marsha. You can share that walk any time in the next week or so- my Monday walks are running fortnightly so there won’t be one next Monday. I know- I do like to complicate life! 🙂 🙂 But you have a little leeway there.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Yes- the comment box on the last walk, Marsha, but if you can’t easily find that then on the Jo’s Monday walk page. Did you get your story written? 🙂 🙂 Thank goodness for retirement…I think!

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Yes, at about eleven last night. It was remarkably easier to write than the first one. Maybe I am getting the hang of it. But it’s like looking a musical scores. They look like hieroglyphics until I sit down with it one hand at a time. I’m super slow and getting slower. 🙂

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  2. thanks for sharing a bit of her story; she and her son have certainly had their challenges, but through a combination of love, hard work, medical care, and a positive attitude, they have accomplished much…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, she’s inspired me with her beautiful attitude. You know I can get pretty grumpy over the tiniest little things that seem awfully petty when you compare with all that Sue has gone through.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Willow. I figure it’s the least I can do. I’ve enjoyed your comments as I’ve been perusing the blogosphere. It sounds like you are one of her very good friends. 🙂

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  3. Hi Marsha, while I do know a lot about Sue’s life and that of her son, Nick, having followed her blog with dedication since Oct 2016, it was wonderful to read this post. It brought tears to my eyes and certainly puts into perception our petty anxieties and worries.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen to that, Robbie. In the midst of all that is going on in her life, she sent me those links so I would understand how far they’ve come. It’s been a huge price being inspiring.

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  4. This is amazing Marsha and thanks to you and Diana, I have been reading Sue’s work which is such a gift like your post here. She is so inspiring and I so much appreciate her kind heart and getting to know her. Bless you! ❤️❤️🙏🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, they sure do. Thank you for stopping by, Norah. I finally got my second short story posted at about eleven last night. First time ever I didn’t have to trim down from nearly 200 words.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sally. When she emailed me those two links so that I would see how far Nick had come, I knew I wanted to share both of them along with the wonderful tribute that Charli and her team had designed. So many people have shared in that. I read Trent’s post yesterday, and I know there are so many. Thank you for stopping by, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Amen to that, Sally! You are one of the very best! and you have your group of major contributors and supporters to help maintain the support you’ve built up for indie authors. My husband thinks I’m on my computer all the time, but I can’t hold a candle to what you all accomplish.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Sue. She’s a wonderful lady who I instantly bonded with when I met her. She gives great hugs too. And she’s been a big inspiration to me with her weekly #writephoto prompts. Some of the stories I wrote from those prompts ended up in my two books. She even inspired me to write about man-eating sheep – something we laugh about whenever we talk.
    I’ve never seen some of the pictures you’ve shared on this post, Marsha. They’re amazing.
    Just a reminder that the closing date and time for entries to The Sue Vincent Rodeo classic are today (19th Feb) at midnight. And yes, I’ve sent my entry in. Have you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found the pictures on her Facebook page, and the links she sent me. I love the one of her going up the stairs. Doesn’t it look like a book cover? Also I had no idea she was such a talented artist. Just amazing. To answer your question, I’m so proud, I completed my second story to the prompt yesterday at about 11:00 pm Phoenix time. For the first time, I ended up with about 99 word the first time and the story was complete. I just had to tweak it. 🙂 Thanks for asking.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sue is an amazing human being. I only really knew her through her blog and adore Ani as she is so like our beloved Maggie who we lost in November last year, and her sorrow matched our own. We email each other as I consider her a friend and feel privileged to know her. This is a wonderful post Marsha.
    Nick is amazing too. Love shines throughout.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know she is. I’m barely getting acquainted. I’ve known her tangentially for years, and because of all that has happened and what Carrot Ranch did, I’m getting to know her much better. I wish there was more we could do.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. A diagnosis of terminal is so difficult. It’s like you have to play a waiting game and there is no hope at all. My first husband went through that and the hospital tried to refuse to admit him to treat the pain on his last day. It was so awful. I will buy her books. That’s a good idea. Are you posting your reviews now, or have you already reviewed them? Maybe we could link those as well. I’m sure a lot of people have reviewed her books. Just a thought.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks, Colleen. I’ll give it a read after I answer my notifications. I’ll post mark it and if I can get several together, I’ll put a post together. Thank you so much for sending it. 🙂 Hope you are doing well. I’ve been a bit swamped and haven’t written any poetry for a while. But I’ll be back. I miss you! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad, Sue. How are you feeling? Is there less pain? My next project will be curating all the book reviews of your books I can find, plus reading as many as I can and writing reviews. I haven’t written a book review in years, now, and I’m struggling to even read. But that’s my goal anyway. 🙂

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        1. I’m so sorry, Sue. This is a horrible thing to go through. Even with people supporting it is something we must all face and no one likes the idea. I have a strong faith in Jesus, so that helps me. I do pray for you daily, Sue for pain and healing and most of all peace and God’s blessing. You are loved and blessed, my friend.

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          1. And those are the most important values in life. No one can expect more than that. I wish that I could have known you better and for a longer time. But I will enjoy and make the most of the time we have. 🙂 Lots ov virtual hugs. M

            Liked by 1 person

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