Friday, March 8, 2013
Guest blogger, author Dianna Benson
Fellow writers, today my guest is Dianna Benson. Read her post and feel free to leave a comment below.
For me, heartache has been something of a thread throughout my life; I learned at a young age to turn it into good by bettering my soul. I grew-up with a mentally ill mother; life with her was uncertain, violent, and chaotic. When I was a junior in high school, my dad was killed in a bicycle accident (he was a tri-athlete). Starting when I was four-years-old, he showed me a life of adventure in skiing, climbing, scuba diving, etc. I called him Big Guy; he called me Middle-Sized Guy. We were buddies.
That June day, he was cycling in the mountains when his bicycle malfunctioned and he was thrown over the handle bars. The mountain hospital was unable to treat his trauma wounds, especially his open head trauma. As he was flown in a flight-for-life helicopter to a metropolitan hospital, he was brain dead but the medical crew still performed heart massage on the fit man who was only forty-nine-years old. When my mother and I received the call about his accident, I had to drive us to the hospital since she was too distraught. I hadn’t had my driver’s license long and had never been to the hospital across town, so during the drive I turned to God for the first time and depended on Him to carry me through, which He did, and His arms are still wrapped around me today. I still remember the exact location on that highway where this occurred; it was a beautiful thing, and somehow I found myself driving right to the hospital as if I knew the way.
Only a few days after my dad’s funeral, my mother and I visited the people in the mountains who tried to save his life—firefighters, EMS, physicians, etc. It was a long day filled with details better left unknown to a teenager, so I focused on how amazing EMTs are; I thought: “Wow, I would love to do that job when I grow up.”
I didn’t have much of a chance to mourn my dad’s death since I was too occupied with taking care of my mother who struggled to take care of herself. Only six weeks after my dad died, my mother took off to escape her overwhelming grief. I was on my own until I married my amazing husband. We’ve been married twenty-three years.
All of the above prepared me for the medical nightmare my family endured starting when I was thirty-nine, my husband was forty-one, and we had three young children. In 2009, my husband was diagnosed with head and neck cancer. He endured two surgeries and radiation treatments. I told our kids how my dad survived cancer when I was eight-years-old. They said, “Yeah, but then he died a few years later.” I reminded them the bicycle accident had nothing to do with cancer. As my husband fought cancer, our son suffered a severe concussion from trauma in a hockey game, then battled Lyme disease (first thought to be cancer), and our oldest daughter endured scoliosis surgery (thirteen-inch spinal incision). All during this time, I couldn’t write fiction; the writing just wouldn’t come. But, I wrote from my heart, spilled my thoughts and feelings on the page, just like I had as a child; it was therapeutic and kept me strong.
My attitude during the medical war my family recently fought, was calling the five of us: “As the Benson’s Turn.” The five of us leaned on laughter, our faith and each other. Smooth sailing in life doesn’t develop a compassionate, strong, resilient, etc. soul; plus, the bad in life makes the good even better. In The Hidden Son (and in all my books), I want readers to be inspired by how my characters don’t try the impossible: “Get over” the difficult stuff in life and move on; instead, they accept the pain difficult events in their lives cause, and they move forward with a renewed sense of understanding in themselves, in life, and in God.
My God bless you with a life filled with both joys and trials!
Dianna T. Benson is a 2011 Genesis Winner, a 2011 Genesis double Semi-Finalist, a 2010 Daphne de Maurier Finalist, and a 2007 Golden Palm Finalist. In 2012, she signed a nine-book contract with Ellechor Publishing House. Her first book, The Hidden Son, released in print world-wide March 1, 2013.
After majoring in communications and a ten-year career as a travel agent, Dianna left the travel industry to earn her EMS degree. An EMT and a Haz-Mat and FEMA Operative since 2005, she loves the adrenaline rush of responding to medical emergencies and helping people in need. Her suspense novels about adventurous characters thrown into tremendous circumstances provide readers with a similar kind of rush.
Dianna lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three athletic children.
Read more at her website.