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Giveaway: One (Life-Changing) Moment

In honor of One Moment’s release (this week!), I’m hosting a giveaway.

Thanks to my generous and oh-so-lovely editor, the prize pack will include:

One Moment by Kristina McBride (that’s me, so I’ll sign it, of course)

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride (I’ll sign this one, too)

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Timepiece (just released!) by Myra McEntire

Shift by Em Bailey

Notes from Ghost Town (ARC) by Kate Ellison (See the gorgeous cover in the pic below)

An Ashes/Shadows tote bag (awesome for toting books!)

My favorite candy (M&Ms!)

One Moment bookmarks (in case you want to help spread the word)

Here’s a pretty picture of the entire prize pack, just so you can see all the books, hanging together in their awesomeness:

THE SCOOP: One Moment explores the theme that it only takes one moment to change everything in a person’s world. To enter, list one of your own life-changing moments in the comments below or on my Facebook author page. The contest ends at 11:59 (EST) tonight. I will reply to the winner’s comment to request mailing info.

ONE OF MY OWN LIFE-CHANING MOMENTS: Now, this contest is only fair if I share one of my own life-changing moments, right? Sometimes change is good, bringing joy and happiness. Other times the change is so tragic it leaves you feeling crushed to nothing. Either way, you never look at life the same way again. I’ve experienced many moments that have given me a new perspective on life – two years ago, I nearly lost my father; six years ago, I gave birth to my first child; nine years ago, I married my best friend. Those moments drew clear lines in the path of my life – distinct befores and afters.

One such moment that I am still terribly shaken from occurred nearly twenty years ago. It’s one of those moments that has never let me go, and when I started writing One Moment, I drew from the emotion, still so raw after nearly two decades, that flooded me during that time.

It was summer – the middle of a beautiful June night – and I was sleeping soundly until the loud beep from the front entrance of my apartment complex alerted me that someone was at my door. After several minutes of the insistent beeping, I called the police. It was after two in the morning and I was unnerved, certain that nothing good could be waiting for me on the other side of that door. Once I had the police on the line, they told me to answer the door, that just outside was an officer waiting to speak with me. Foggy from sleep, I stepped outside and they asked a few questions. I quickly deduced that both of my parents, who were out of town, were okay, but relief didn’t come because just as quickly, I understood that the officer was there to ask about the teenaged son of a very close family friend. Seventeen-year-old Bobby had been in an accident and they were looking for his father, who, like my parents, was out of town. Being the only family (ish) contact in town, I gave them what information I had, frantically asking where Bobby was – I wanted to get to him as quickly as possible. The look the officer gave me answered the one question I had been too afraid to even formulate in my mind, let alone ask. There was nowhere for me to go. We had lost Bobby. Forever.

This moment settled deep within me, changing everything in my world in a single instant. I had just seen Bobby a few hours before – he was watering the plants at his father’s house, totally alive and well, excited even, as he was on his way to Florida with one of his friends. What if I’d asked him to have dinner with me – something I’d debated as we stood talking – instead of just saying goodbye and driving away? What if I’d spent one minute longer standing in the driveway, asking for more details about his recent trip white water rafting in West Virginia? What if one single moment could have altered the rest of his evening, putting him in the intersection a little sooner or later? Would he have even been in an accident? If so, could he possibly have survived?

We’ve all had moments like this, moments where we wonder if something we have done, or failed to do, may have drastically altered the course of our own, or someone else’s, lives. One Moment was a way for me to explore those emotions, a way for me to bring to life some of the feelings and questions I dealt with after Bobby’s death.

Now, that is one horribly sad, life-changing moment that I experienced. Quite a bit about One Moment is sad, as well. But the novel is ultimately about healing and hope. So I’m going to share one more moment, one that brought healing and hope to my own life:

Jumping into this author game is tricky and extremely difficult. I struggled through three complete novels before I landed my agent, then revised painstakingly for almost a year. The entire time, there was no guarantee. Just because I was revising didn’t mean my agent would ever think my book worked well enough to submit to a publishing house. But finally, she did. Which was super exciting! But it still didn’t guarantee that any editors would make an offer to actually publish the book. So I forgot about the submission (as well as I could) and went about my daily life.

One summer day, about a week after the book went on submission, exhausted to the point of wilting after spending hours at the pool with two toddlers, I was bracing myself between the wall and bathtub in my kids’ bathroom, trying to lather up their extremely slippery, sun-screened bodies, when the phone rang. I muttered something under my breath about how THE LAST THING I wanted to do in that moment was answer a phone. One child screamed about me pulling her hair, the other shouted about getting shampoo in his eyes, and I promptly forgot about the call. Until later, when I happened to walk past the answering machine and noticed that the little red light was blinking. Rolling my eyes (because that little red light took me right back to the stress of the bathtub and my two slippery squirmers), I hit the little play button and leaned against the wall to listen to the message. Crazy surprise! It was my agent! I had my first offer!

This moment is one that I will never forget – for all the right reasons. It changed everything! I finally knew what I’d always wondered. I can write a book. I can land myself a kick-ass literary agent. I can deal with revisions and see the book through to the end. And, best yet, my writing is good enough for publication! My book will sit on the shelves of bookstores and libraries, be clutched by readers’ hands, tucked under readers’ arms, and slipped between other books on readers’ shelves!

I had done it! Dared to dream, and taken the risk of failing by following through. And it had worked!

So there you have it – one negative and one positive life-changing moment from my own life.

Your turn! (Don’t worry, you don’t have to go into major detail, just share a moment that changed your life forever.)

*Contest open to residents of US and Canada.

*Contest officially closed. The lucky winner? Alicia Marie! Read her moving story in the comments section below.

 

63 Responses to “Giveaway: One (Life-Changing) Moment”

  • Ellen Faith says:

    Wow, this contest looks fantastic! Thanks for hosting it :)

    I don’t think I have a life changing moment. I think I have life changing experiences and whether they go one for hours, days, months, years… It all changes. There’s been a few moments that have definitely changed my outlook.

    One of those moments, was the phone call from one of my best friends telling me my best friend Martika committed suicide. It was strange and I didn’t believe it at first because she was one of those people who was happy all the time. I hadn’t seen her in a year because she went to boarding school and that made things a tad bit difficult. But I remember it was exactly a week before school started and we had all planned to go to the movies together (three days after it happened was the date).

    I didn’t go to her funeral. I wish I had because it would have given me the chance to not only cry for her, but to thank her because her death (the first personal death I can remember) taught me to never take people or things for granted. And even though I know that, sometimes I do forget. This is the fifth year that she’s been gone, but I thank her and cherish her what she’s given me every day.

    Sorry for going all emotional and such :/. It’s just one of my most valuable life changing experiences I can think of.

    • Kristina says:

      I’m so sorry about your loss – so hard. I’m just glad her death has made a positive change in your life – gratitude for what we do have is very important!

      • Ellen Faith says:

        I think that’s the only good outcome you can get from losing anybody.

        Also, I didn’t realise this contest was just US/Can so you’ll have to exclude my entry :(

  • Ginny says:

    My life changing moment was while playing World of Warcraft one night. I had just come back from a break after I moved. So I was on a comm link thing where we could all talk to each other with our voices and not just typing. Anyway, all of a sudden this voice comes through my headphones. I was in awe. And hooked. We spent alot of time together, met, started dating, talked on the phone ALL THE TIME, did a long distance relationship. Needless to say, three years later, I married him :)

    I often wondered what would have happened if I had not gotten on Ventrilo that night. Would the connection have happened later? It was one of the best moments in my life. It was the birth of several more moments that led to where I am now.

    • Kristina says:

      It’s crazy how one little decision can alter everything in life! I’m glad you met him! Sounds like a dream come true!

  • alicia marie says:

    My life changing moment happened just over 2 years ago and it still affects me more than I ever thought it would. I had a pretty terrible car accident and came pretty close to death. Most of what I know about the accident is what was told to me by my parents from the police report because I was luckily unconscious for most of the time once I was hit. My car was pushed off the interstate and tumbled down a steep slope and hit a few trees before landing upside down way off the interstate in the middle of the woods. When the police were called about the accident, the woman calling was hysterical, so when they looked in the woods and didn’t find my car, they assumed she was imagining that she had seen a car go off the interstate. The police were close to giving up and leaving when another witness told them that he too had seen a car go off. My car was so far back into the woods that if the 2nd witness hadn’t come forward I wouldn’t have been found because the police didn’t think it would have been possible for my car to travel as far as it did. Eventually the police found me and I was put in an ambulance to be taken to the hospital. Apparently at this point they were pretty sure I wasn’t going to make it. Once of the policemen who found me said he rode with me in the ambulance because he didn’t want me to be alone when I died.
    My head injuries were really bad and I was unconscious this whole time so I guess things were not looking good. I don’t remember much but I remember some about having all kinds of xrays and things done and the nurses trying to ask me questions that I couldn’t answer. The first time I was actually aware of anything was once I was taken to the ICU but even then no one had told me anything about how serious the accident had been or what my injuries were. I had no idea how bad things were. My injuries to my head included all the bones on the left side of my face being broken or pretty much crushed, as well as my skull being fractured which led to a brain bleed. All my ribs on the right side had also been broken and one had punctured my lung so I woke up with a chest tube. I also had a few less severe breaks, my left collar bone was fractured as well as some of the ribs on my left side, and my left upper arm was torn apart by glass and a whole chunk of my upper arm had to be stitched up. My left eye was also damaged and most all of my vision lost. All my injuries were just to my upper body.
    I ended up spending 2 weeks in the hospital and left after the first of what would end up being 4 facial reconstructive/jaw surgeries. I didn’t really understand how severe things were until I was told I couldn’t work or really do anything for at least 2 months. I really had no idea how bad things were before then, but once I knew things were really tough for a while. I had no idea what I was in for recovery wise or how long it would end up taking.
    Two years later, I am closer to being fully recovered but still have not finished everything that I need. The accident definitely made me realize how quickly time can be taken away and I realized I really needed to start doing more things that I’d been putting off and saying I’d get around to because I might not get the chance to do them. There are still times that I have to remind myself that it all happened for a reason and stop asking why me. A lot of things are different than they were pre-accident, but they’re not all bad, and some things have gotten even better. I have no idea what my life would be like if I hadn’t had the accident or how things might be different and I try not to think about it and live my life the way it is now and make things as good as they can be because after all, I’m just lucky to be alive : )

    That might be a lot more than you wanted to know, but when I start talking about it sometimes it’s hard for me to shut up!

    • Kristina says:

      I am in such awe of you right now! Really. I taught high school for 8 years, and one of my students went through something similar, so I can understand (to a very small degree) what the recovery process must be like for you. You are a true inspiration! Thank you for sharing.

    • Kristina says:

      Alicia Marie, you are the lucky winner of the above prize pack! I’ll email you through the provided address, but if you don’t receive my message, please message me through the email listed on my Contact page (link above). As soon as I get your addy and preferred name for signing, I’ll pop them in the mail! Thank you again for your openness here. I am truly moved by your story.

  • Steve Moser says:

    MY one moment came to mind after reading yours. I was at my cousin’s house and was held up about a minute or so by her little boy who had to make us wait another minute so he could run out to the car and give us one more hug. On the way home, about a minute ahead of me, a gasoline tanker truck hit a van and exploded! If I hadn’t been held up for one more hug, that could have been me in that intersection.

    Another would be when I found out there was an opening at my library in the Youth Services department. I reluctantly applied thinking that I’d use that job as a filler until I got a teaching position. And now, over eight years later, I’m still there, have gone back to school to become a degreed librarian, and I have a job that I love and wake up in the morning wanting to do.

    • Kristina says:

      Hugs are always good, but that life-saving hug is the best. Thank goodness for that loving little boy! (Give him a hug for me next time you see him!)

      And yay for your job! Can’t imagine anyone better suited for it. Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!!!

  • Cassie B. says:

    My life changing moment happened to me when I was 16 years old. My brother, a recent graduate of high school, was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer. The tumor was growing in his ankle and he was told that he would lose his leg and/or even die. My brother and my family never gave up. After receiving a second opinion, my brother went through 2 years of chemotherapy and radiation. While he lost all his hair and became very weak, he never once lost his sense of humor or strength to live. My older brother has always been my hero and seeing him go through cancer frightened and sickened me, but his strong will to live and love life, no matter what life threw at him, kept me strong and positive. My brother has been in remission for over 12 years and after years of being told he would never have children because of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, he now has a one-month-old baby boy.

    My brother’s experience changed my perspective on life, and I live each day by his hope that he always demonstrated and still demonstrates–never give up on life or even your dreams.

    • Kristina says:

      Your brother sounds like a true inspiration! I’m so glad to hear that he and your entire family have enjoyed a happy ending. Nothing better than a new baby to celebrate the true meaning of life – love.

  • Nikki says:

    Honestly I’m sorry. >_< But I'd prefer not to go into details because no matter how UT affected me it's still my parents story to tell. So can I just say a life changing moment was my parents divorce?

    • Nikki says:

      Oops. It’s supposed to be it not UT!

    • Kristina says:

      Totally understood and respected. No details needed – I can relate, as my own parents went through a divorce when I was 12. Difficult and life-changing for sure. But sometimes for the best.

  • Dani Nguyen says:

    Is it weird to say that I’m waiting for my life changing moment? Not all life changing moments are bad, right? My life is so stagnant right now. I realize that I shouldn’t just be waiting around for it to change. But I need something to motivate me to pursue my dreams and get out of this funk I’m in.

    • Kristina says:

      Being in a funk is never fun, but sometimes it can be the motivation one needs to make a necessary change. Hopefully this post gets you thinking, and maybe even inspires you to make a change – take a risk – shoot for a dream. And yes, this certainly counts as an entry :)

  • Tiffany Drew says:

    First, I have to tell Alicia Marie above me here that you are an amazingly strong person, I don’t know if I would have been able to survive that.

    My life changing moment is a little similar to one of the stories told above. A friend and I were bored (like most teenagers are) so we decided to cruise the internet and see what we found. This was back in the AOL days where everyone had a profile. So while looking through random profiles we came across one for some idiot guy who listed his hobbies as “Looking in the mirror saying hey you, you’re a stud!” So we just had to see this guy and have some fun with him. So we asked him for his picture, he sent it to us, then we basically just ignored him after. He then wouldn’t leave us alone until we told him what we thought, so we ended up talking and found out he lived just down the street. My friend and I decided to ride by and see him in person. I don’t know how to happened, but somehow we gave him my phone number and we were off to dinner. He was actually pretty hilarious and not at all like what we thought.

    It’ now thirteen years later and we are celebrating our twelve year wedding anniversary in just a few months. He continues to make me laugh every day. Those few minutes of boredom definitely changed my life :)

    • Kristina says:

      Agreed about Alicia Marie! And yay for you and your incredible story. Congrats on the long-living romance. It’s a true inspiration. Love can be found in the most unlikely of places!

  • Paul W. Hankins says:

    When I hopped that bus to Detroit on my way to join the NAVY. I had what was on my back and in my pocket.

  • Paul W. Hankins says:

    Pssst. . .I would defer any chance of winning the books to the comments above. I just wanted you to know I was here (wink).

  • This is a really good way to talk about difficult things.

    One life changing moment that was bittersweet was when I was 12. It had been a year since my sister was born & my mom was pregnant with our brother. I remember there was so much happiness, even if we would have to adjust how we spent our money, but then a few months before my mom had the baby they said it was dead. I remember my parents being sad all the time & I thought, “they should have been smiling”.

    I know it was harder for my mother but I took that moment to never do anything to upset or get her disappointed again.And slowly I helped with my still baby-ish little sister, basically I raised her up until my mom regained some life.

    It changed me & shaped me into the person I am today. Even though it happened to my mom it affected me as the eldest even more. But then there was happiness again, when she got pregnant 7 years later with another boy.

    And now he’s 3 & every time I see him I know that everything happens for a reason. It made me see life as a balance of good & bad. It made me a stronger person but not hardened, and now have happiness again.

    • Kristina says:

      I’m actually surprised (and honored!) by how candid everyone is – so many private moments. Miscarriage is such a traumatic event to experience. I’m so sorry you and your family had to go through this. Sounds like your mother was lucky to have you there to help, and that though it was a hard time, you learned some important lessons from the short life of your baby brother. I also believe that things happen for a reason. It took that pain and struggle to get you all to the point where you could love and accept your new brother. 3 is such a fun age! I’m sure he is a huge light in all of your lives! Thank you for sharing.

  • Brandi says:

    My first life changing moment: I found out I was pregnant at 16. Six months into my pregnancy I walked halfway across my neighborhood to see my Grandma, changing my mind because she smoked and I worried about the health of the baby. The next day when I got home from school I found out she had died that night. I will never forget the years of guilt. She was my best friend and I still miss her. That was almost 15 years ago.

    • Kristina says:

      This is such a moving story. I’m so sorry you had to go through the pain of losing her at a time in your life when you probably needed her most. My guess is that she’s very proud of what you’ve accomplished in the last 15 years, and that she is somehow there with you as you move through your everyday life, wishing you much love and light.

      • Brandi says:

        Thank you for your kind words. The experience was painful, but led me to be who I am today and was the subject of what my mentor called my “breakthrough” poem. Her memory will always flavor my poetry, as it taught me the vital importance yet impermanence of loved ones.

  • Shari Green says:

    I love the concept of ONE MOMENT — adding it to my must-read list!

    A moment that changed my life forever was getting the phone call telling me my sister had died….

  • Sarah E. says:

    Wow. Happy life changing moments: back-packing Europe on my own, getting married, having my son…moments like these are easy to remember.

    The most recent moment that changed everything was this past February. My mom had been fighting Leukemia and then GVHD and her body just couldn’t take it. We found out she had a blood clot in her heart and had had a heart attack at some point in the previous two months and no one, not even Mom, knew. We were told we had a year with her. Then a week later it was a few days. I have a strong faith a.d I know it was that faith that got me through the rollercoaster that was the 3.5 yrs she faught. I had gone hone to get a bag to stay with her so my dad could rest. Little did I know that would be her last night. I think I knew something wasn’t right because I just couldn’t get comfortable and Mom just wasn’t herself. At one point she said “who is that man behind you?”, I said what man, it was just us in the room. She then said “there is an Angel over there behind you, can’t you see him, its Michael”. Regardless of what your beliefs, i know there was someone watching over Mom that night. I did the hardest thing I could ever imagine doing and told her it was ok to go home now, I told her Grandma was waiting for her. It wasn’t too much after that when she passed away.

    Now the fact that I was finally able to write that (semi edited) is a huge step for me. She is no longer in pain and gets to watch her grandkids grow from above.

    • Kristina says:

      I have chills. This is such a beautiful story – sad, yes – but beautiful as well. I do believe that someone was watching over her, as well as you, during that night. I wish you healing and peace as you deal with your loss.

  • I’ve had quite a few life-changing moments. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was two years old, but I don’t really think it affected my life (I mean it did, but I never really thought I was different) until I was thirteen and the cancer had metastasized to her brain. I still remember her coming home and crying after being at the doctor’s office all day. Emotions are not my strong point, I’m very awkward and even though my mom is my best friend, I had no idea how to help her. When she told me that she had to have brain surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, I thought she was going to die. Cancer has been a part of my daily life since I was two years old, but to me, as a angry, depressed teenager, brain cancer was a death sentence. I had just started eighth grade and my dad lived across the country. He had no plans to come and visit me or take care of me when my mom was in the hospital, so I had to live with an estranged uncle for two months, while thinking my mother was about to die. She didn’t, thank God, but watching your best friend wither away before your eyes isn’t something you’ll ever forget. I was kind of a loner in middle school, didn’t quite fit in, so it was hard having no one to talk to. I had just been diagnosed with depression and I was angry all the time. That’s when I really got into reading. Reading was my release and my escape. My mom had been reading to me since I was a baby, but I never really had a passion for it, until I was in the hospital with her for hours a day. We bonded even more as I read to her. It’s been hard ever since, she has regular trips to the emergency room, I take her to three doctors a week, I started college and was diagnosed with bi-polar depression and OCD. My life is complete chaos, but if my mother has taught me anything or changed my life in any way, it has been making sure I live my life as fully as I can, because you don’t get second chances.

    Thank you very much for your giveaway! I read One Moment a few weeks ago (I got it from Netgalley) and it was absolutely beautiful. And the fact that it is based in Ohio, my home state, makes it ten times more awesome! :)

    • Kristina says:

      Again, I am awed and humbled by the moments everyone is sharing today. I’m so glad that you found a love of books to help you through a difficult time. And I LOVE the lesson your mother has taught you – to live life as fully as you can. We should all make an effort to do the same. (How cool that you’re from Ohio – beautiful state we have here :)

      • Talking to strangers about your life is oddly easier than talking to people you see everyday. Yeah, gotta love this weather we are having, too! Ick!
        Today’s actually my birthday, we talked about this on twitter (theladyreads) and I will be seeing YOU at your launch party tonight! :)

        • Kristina says:

          I agree – about it sometimes being easier to talk to strangers – AND this weather! Happy Birthday to you! I look forward to meeting you this evening!

  • Ash says:

    My life-changing moment happened when I was twelve years old, I lost my father. I don’t really like talking about it, even yet when it is twelve years later but it really has defined my life.

    • Kristina says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My heart is with you – I nearly lost my father a few years ago and even as an adult, it was terribly scary and difficult to deal with. I feel that I appreciate everything more now, not just my father. The experience, though nothing like yours with losing your father when you were so young, certainly was a defining one.

  • Sue Ford says:

    Losing my mom when I was 21. She had cancer. When my oldest daughter was 20 and pregnant, she called me to say, I just realized you had to go through all of this without your mom. We both blubbered!

    • Kristina says:

      Oh, I am so sorry to hear this. Having a child without your mother there as a guide must have been terribly difficult for so many reasons. It sounds like you have a wonderful daughter to enrich your life now – always a gift – and I’m sure your mother would be so happy for and proud of you.

  • So many life changing moments…

    The day I lost my job at my previous advertising position was the worst day of my life, but also the best, since the job opportunity I took after was the best decision of my life.

    The birth of my daughter changed my life forever, for the better.

    The day my father in law died in 2010 change my husband and our family forever. It’s a wound that still hurts…

    Jenna
    Imakethegrade at gmail dot com

    • Oh, and walking the 3-Day last fall, 60 miles in three days in honor of my grandmother who died of cancer, changed my view of the generosity of others. It was a life changing experience, for sure.

    • Kristina says:

      Sometimes the things that seem the worst can actually turn out to be the best! I’m so glad you lost your job (that sounds so strange to say!). I’m so sorry about your father-in-law. Any loss is so difficult, but one of a parent, I can’t imagine.

  • I think my life changing moment was when my mom got remarried. It’s definitely different now – my stepfather is a different race from my mother, whose parents only speak Chinese. Nevertheless, it was a big step in life and I have learned to accommodate and speak more languages(:

    • Kristina says:

      Sounds like you’re taking the opportunity to make “different” a very cool experience. An excellent example for all!

  • Frank Tan says:

    Life-changing moment was when I was presented with a choice to pursue “my own career” plan or choose to honor my parents wishes for a while. I submitted to my parents’ wish for me to work in Taiwan and ended up meeting my bride-to-be.

    • Kristina says:

      Wow! I’m glad that you found such happiness with the decision you made :) Congratulations! I wish you both a life of love and joy.

  • Ren says:

    A moment my life that changed in an instant, although I’ve had many that have had a major impact on my life, would have to be after I had an awful fight with a friend. We both hurt each other and didn’t talk to each other for about a year other than awkward waves or hey’s, when we weren’t sure how to be around each other. We were revolving in our own separate circles, that every once in a while made the odd and unwelcome collision. We were getting by, but it was no way to live. Any wounds left behind by our fight had been covered by uneven scars. Our broken friendship was the elephant in the room whenever we were around each other. One day she approached me as we’d both tried a couple times before, but as always it didn’t end well. In result, not for the first time in the whole horrible situation, I cried myself to sleep. I didn’t understand why she was seeking me out again, our scars had healed. Why couldn’t she let me go, as we’d both made it clear we didn’t want to be around each other. The next day or so later in the afternoon she came to my house, cheeks flushed, she’d ridden to my house on her bicycle in a split decision. I’d been asleep on the couch when she showed up, and I almost turned her away. I didn’t want to talk to her, but she said something to me that made me change my mind, “I don’t think either of us can live like this any longer.” She was right, I hated living like that being in each others proximity but unable to look at or speech to each other. We sat on my porch and talked about our fight. Talking openly, even slipping back into our familiar friendship roles. Giggling about things we remembered we’d done together. In seriousness I learned things that might have fixed things sooner, like I learned I might not have been the only one who cried myself to sleep over our situation. In our discussions we unearthed misunderstandings, things we’d missed because we wouldn’t talk or listen to each other, our fallout had been built on a foundation that we could see crumbling before us. It fell apart when we took a moment to listen to each other, hearing each side of the story and the experiences and perspectives of the other to find out what had really occurred. It wasn’t a magical fix to all my problems, but it opened my eyes. It was a simple answer to the question asked hesitantly, “Can we talk?” Yes or no, but in that simple moment when I said yes my life changed for what I hope was the better. And maybe it was a step towards the reforging of a friendship that I so dearly missed.

    • Kristina says:

      This is such an inspiring story! Friendships are never perfect. The ability to really stop and listen is crucial when it comes to all relationships. I’m so glad you and your friend figured this out. The bond of your friendship will only be stronger after going through this experience together.

  • Yan says:

    For my life changer it would have to be my dad in a car accident. As a little girl waking up to my mom and older brother scrabbling around to head to the hospital not knowing what was really happening was a petrifying experience. Luckily my dad was able to recover, but it definitely put things into perspective how I might lose them one day. And don’t get me started on the medical bill; I never saw the bill, but I can only imagine the cost since we had only been in America a year or two with no health insurance just yet.

    • Kristina says:

      I am so sorry to hear about the accident – I cannot imagine the fear you must have felt! And I’m so glad that he recovered and you still have him in your life.

  • I think besides the obvious, wedding and having my two boys, there is a moment almost 7 years ago that I will never forget. I guess I have been lucky to not have experienced a lot of loss so I truly didn’t know what it was like to grieve. I should probably start with some back story.
    When I was 19 years old, my best friend and I were driving around and saw a sign that said ‘FREE PUPPIES’. Of course we were suckers. LOL There were only 2 left and she she grabbed one up and I sadly had to say goodbye to the other. I lived with my mom in a ‘no dogs allowed’ apartment so it wasn’t a possibility. Well, after an hour we went back. I couldn’t leave him there! Of course after 2 weeks I was caught and had to move out or get rid of the puppy. I chose to move out.
    So basically the puppy, Cody, helped me enter adulthood and learn responsibility. He was my best friend and loved by everyone. He was the huge guard dog with a sweet side. He was also obsessed with playing catch. I had only had him 2 months when I met my now husband so he was always OUR dog too. Our baby.
    Sadly, the moment I am referring to is when we had to put him down. He lived a very short life, only five years. It was unexpected. One day he was fine and the next he was sick. We brought him in for exploratory surgery thinking he might have swallowed a toy and found out he was riddled with cancer.
    To me, he was more than just a dog. He was family. He was my entrance to adulthood. I loved him dearly and think about him every day.
    So as I write this with the intention of talking about how his death changed my life, I find finding him in the first place was even more life changing.

    Thank you for the giveaway. :)

    • Kristina says:

      I am so moved by your story. I had almost the same experience – finding the perfect puppy (I have allergies, so mine was a little Bichon Frise), finding the perfect man, getting married and raising her together, welcoming our own children into the family, etc. We were lucky to have had her around for just over 13 years, and had to put her down this month. I’m still trying to adjust to the loss. SO difficult! But I, too, feel that the day I brought her into my life was a very positive life-changer. And I know how lucky we were to have her with us for so many years. (You can see a picture of her if you scroll down a few posts. So sweet!)

  • Erin says:

    My life-changing moment was when I lost my father at 11. I’m only 16 now, so it’s still really hard to talk about, but I changed so much after he died (I always was a daddy’s girl).

  • Melanie says:

    When I first saw this giveaway opportunity, I thought it would be easy to write about a life changing moment. But as I began to contemplate what to write, I realized that it isn’t as easy as I thought. Looking back, I have experienced so many life changing moments that it’s hard to pick just one. So, keeping with my rebellious nature, I am submitting three ~ 1. The moment I met my daughter, Eva. She has given me a lifetime of laughter and love that carries me through even the toughest of moments. 2. The moment I realized how strong women are. Watching my mother overcome a devastating situation with grace and beauty opened my eyes to just how tough we really are! 3. Each and every moment I share with my closest friends, Lori, Connie and Kristi. The moments I share with them are the roots of my energy. I truly would not be the same without them.

    • Kristina says:

      I, too, have many important moments that I could have written about. And I LOVE your rebellious nature, my friend. Meeting your Eva is the perfect moment for you to choose! She’s a special one. We are blessed to have so many strong women in our lives – I count you, Lori, and Connie as three of my faves. Lots of love. Beautiful post.

  • My moment’s pretty humdrum but it changed my life immeasurably for the better. In 1986, a handsome young man chose to walk down the east side of Columbus Avenue in New York, instead of the west side, which he briefly cosidered. He came into a restaurant where I worked and asked for a job…and a wonderfully happy life for me began. Twenty-six years and two kids later it’s still going strong.

    • Kristina says:

      Humdrum? I think not! I am so happy that this romance is still alive and well after so many years. What a beautiful story!

  • Paul Brennan says:

    Kristina,

    My life changing moment is being hit head on by an unlicensed driver with my wife, two year old son and 10 year old daughter in the car just last week on July 8th. We all walked away with only bruises, but with deeper emotional scars.

    Coming so close to losing a child, puts all the everyday issues we all face into perspective.

    In church today, the readings and the gospel talked about “being chosen” and how life altering moments are sometimes Gods sign to us that we are chosen for a higher purpose.

    Now the question is how do I figure this all out.

    • Kristina says:

      This event sound life-changing, indeed. I’m so sorry to hear about the accident, but at the same time so relieved that you are all okay (physically). I say that you need to take time to heal (emotionally) and not worry about figuring anything out. In my life, at least, it’s when I stop trying so hard that things fall into place. Maybe if you just go about your life, the answers will appear. Maybe they already have? Maybe it was all about putting life in perspective? I’m certain you are appreciating and honoring every moment in a way that those of us who have not suffered such a near-loss cannot possibly achieve.

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