Friday, January 30, 2015

Letty's Story - Could you Present Your Life in Fiction? Follow Leticia From Age of 5 Through Married Life...

It was nighttime and a little girl about five years old was sleeping peacefully in her bed, with gentle breezes from an open window caressing her smiling, angelic face. The night was warm, and all was quiet, giving way only to the chirping sounds of a tropical night, with myriads of birds and insects cavorting in their usual manner of mating.
The little girl lay in a deep, untroubled slumber, hugging a cherished old rag doll with a repaired tear in its head where the family dog had once tried to wrestle it from her arms. All seemed well on this quiet night on December 7, 1941, for an innocent little girl so unaware of the unstoppable events into which she would soon be plunged, sleeping away the last peace seconds of her young life...
Closer and closer the sounds came, growing ever louder and determined, causing the little girl in peaceful repose to begin tossing and turning in bed.
Suddenly, the constant droning sound gave way, mingling with many high-pitched whistles that began to scream as they got even louder.
The startled little girl abruptly awoke and almost immediately was forcefully thrown from her bed as if by a huge unseen malevolent hand that entered her life with a loud- thunderous crash, followed by another and another, each violently shaking her house as the cool blackness and soft melodies of a serene night suddenly gave way to a deafening cacophony of sounds, accompanied by bright flashes that lit up her small room as brightly as daytime.
She froze in terror being unable to move--casting a wide-eyed state out the open window fixated on the flashes now engulfing the homes of her neighbors and friends.
"My dolly, where's my dolly" she cried, frantically looking for the little cloth ragamuffin she loved. Finding the doll amid some debris now coming in through her window, she clutched the doll to her chest and began to cry.
The noises got still louder, the shaking of her house more violent making it impossible for her to stand, and amid her uncontrollable tears and sobbing, she pitifully cried, "Mama, make it stop! Please, Mama, make it stop! Stop it! Stop it! Please!"
But it didn't stop...
~~~

Letty's Story:
Hell to Heaven
By Leticia



Leticia has written her story in a fictional third-person format that makes it so much easier for readers to enter her world. For instance, Leticia is a beautiful woman, but with the story written as it is, Letty is just the main character and is described as any character would be. She is able to share her pain, inner turmoil and feelings in an open, more realistic fashion. Readers will learn that this is a true story, written under a pseudonym for protection of the real people involved...

I found the novel very believable, so much so that I had/have a question for the author. Why did she subjugate her own story under her husband's in the second half of the book? Perhaps as a single woman, this was much more apparent to me, but since we are about the same age, it immediately struck me that her life was lived much more traditionally than my own. While I was troubled that Letty did not continue her wonderful work as a nurse after marriage, or if she did, it was not covered, I realized that in the role she was then in, it was, perhaps, entirely appropriate... Still, readers should be aware that the second half, in my opinion, which, of course, is not an appropriate way to evaluate the book, is really the story of Letty's husband, Ron. While her husband led a extremely challenging life, I personally would have like to have seen the entire story from Letty's perspective. Perhaps since my life has never been merged into one, it does make a difference...LOL??? Still, for many professionally involved women who are leaders and innovators, this is pointed out for their benefit as well... And, it makes the third-person choice a brilliant alternative to a true biography.



Another thought that crosses my mind in thinking about the book is that the title is probably not the best choice. Leticia was never a Letty-type of person and you will quickly ascertain that. She's intelligent, ambitious, street-smart--a survivor, and a very determined woman of God...

She was just 5 when her home was bombed by the Japanese and her world changed completely. At first she was all alone as the building was struck and it was only later, after the bombing stopped, the planes left, that help came to rescue her from her room...

She had endured everything alone, hurt, until the loud sounds left, so that what she now heard was bells, sirens, and...never-ending screams! Innocently as she went looking for her lost doll, she found herself right in the midst of those that we walking the streets, looking for love ones, and more...

...as if awakened from a dreamlike state,
she said, "Where's my dolly?"
...She slipped out of auntie's house and started to walk home but was able to only walk slowly, partly because her legs hurt and partly because there was scattered debris and crumbled houses everywhere and that smell that now was mixed with smells of ask and charred wood.
There were many of her neighbors milling around, some of whom had their faced locked in blank expressionless stares and who just gently pushed her aside when she asked if they had seen her dolly, and still others who
were crying and either didn't answer her or became angry with her when she asked...
Then, she saw something shining through the haphazardly strewn boards and debris, the bright sun glittering in all directions off it...She moved the wood away and saw a beautiful golden bracelet on a woman's wrist that did not move. Somebody was in this large pile of wood! If she could get the woman out, maybe she would help her find her doll. Excited, she began to dig and move the debris, and then she grabbed the woman's hand--it was stiff and did not respond to her touch. She pulled harder, and suddenly the hand and bracelet were free, coming straight to the little girl and landing in her lap as she fell backward...The little girl screamed incessantly, panic-
stricken. There was no one attached to the hand! Her sobs were uncontrollable...
~~~



It was after it was announced that MacArthur was leaving Manila, that Leticia's story changed again...

First, the Japanese came and school became a place to learn the culture, and demands, of that country. Bartering was the only way to keep alive and Leticia quickly became adept at both making bargains and then, as she called it, "taxing" the Japanese for what food they were taking from the family... Soon, though, her father decided they needed to leave and go to their parents' farm. But then, Leticia was left alone and both parents had left to go back to the city.

The only thing that saved that time for Leticia was that she had discovered the desire and power in reading... As well as a grandmother who loved her...

There were family issues that kept coming up and Leticia found herself being shipped around to the homes of various relatives. She was able to pick up some knowledge of nursing, which was to lead to her future career...but, even that, had a tragic incident to overcome. She was only 11 when her aunt started sending her out to homes needing health assistance--the need was too great for just one person. But she was told to first visit a family with a very ill child. It had died while she tried to save it...and the parents knowing how hard she had tried, asked her to baptize the baby! Even then she was wise enough to know that it was more important that it be done than who was saying the words, so she repeated what she'd remembered from the one baptism she'd attended...
Leticia looked upward and raising her eyes to heaven said, "Please, God, forgive me for everything that I have ever done to displease you, and please allow me to help this little baby come to you without sin." Leticia then put her thumb in the water and with it, made the sign of the cross on the baby's forehead, saying at the same time, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. May God have mercy on your and receive you into His loving arms free of sin, amen."
Almost at the moment Leticia finished, a last breath was heard from the baby, its body went limp in her arms, and the tiny hands and arms that had so desperately clung to Leticia's white coat slowly fell away to dangle lifelessly toward the floor. The little baby was dead...
After she left the little cottage, Leticia began to walk faster and faster, and then she started to run, dropping her medical bag to run still faster. Eventually, she could run no more and just flopped down to sit on the roadside. With tears still streaming down her young face, she just sat there looking down in the dirt.
Then, she looked up into the sky, her eyes searching the clouds for the face of her God. Her own face slowly became contorted in anguish, her mouth hung wide open for many seconds without uttering a sound, and then letting out a long, pitiful cry of pain that came down from the very depths of her soul, she screamed, "Why-y-y" that seemed to hand onto the wind, echoing in the countryside forever.
~~~

Leticia pushed herself hard and finally made it through nursing school and quickly moved up until she was charge nurse...That's when Ron, her future husband entered her life... Her
reaction at that time was to call him an idiot... But he persevered and soon they were spending all of their time together, ultimately marrying. Ron's story becomes predominant at this point, with him going through years and years of schooling, each time completing everything successfully and gaining a professional reputation that was hard to match... But then his parents and his brother died from illnesses that he could not cure... What should have been many years of a successful practice and marriage changed into another world... When the stock exchange collapsed, the couple was faced with bankruptcy as others in the nation. It was clear that Ron was a brilliant man--Leticia was his greatest fan and supporter... The ideas came rapidly and continued...and some readers may benefit from some of this part of the story regarding "Money..."

Truly, this is an amazingly inspirational book that will touch individual readers in different ways, I am sure.  One thing that is undeniable was that this couple was totally committed to God, each other, and to having a loving successful life.

If you enjoy reading real life stories, biographies or memoirs, you should check this out right away... An unbelievable revelation of a woman who  tackled every obstacle that was thrown at her, and kept playing defense on behalf of her husband whenever he needed--and vice versa, as well! A truly romantic and heartwarming love story!


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Leticia is a registered nurse who was trained at Hahnemann, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Martland Medical Center, Newark, New Jersey. Her current residence is Missouri. She has been married for 44 years.