True Stories Written From the Heart by Melinda Tanner
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Here you will find true stories that have been published in previous newsletters for those of you
who were unable to read, or didn't receive our newsletter. You will find stories of joy, heartache,
dreams, or just anything I run across that I'd like to share with you! Hope you enjoy!
This is a true story regarding Ashley Dawn Nelson who was killed in a car accident on July 20, 2004.
The events that unfolded during this whole process are unbelievable but true! Pay careful attentnion
to the details in this story. You will find it amazing!!
Canadian Copyright # 1028122
I wish to share a recent turn of events in my life that led to what I believe is a miracle,
or a reaffirmation of one?s faith. I hope it warms your heart as it did mine.
While reading please keep in mind that all persons in this story live within a one hundred
mile radius in separate Southern Alberta rural communities.
On July 20th 2004, beautiful young 19 year-old Ashley Nelson was involved in a fatal accident
on her way home from work. Two nights later, I went to comfort her mother, Wendy, a very dear
friend of mine. During our adolescence we were very close and, together, had endured many trials
and tribulations in our personal family lives. Over the past 30 years we have kept in touch.
Not as often as we should have, but never losing our connection.
Wendy explained to me the meaning of the butterfly story that would be told at Ashley?s Funeral.
The previous year at Christmas, Ashley and her sister Kathleen had been given a butterfly pin and
poem to comfort them after the recent loss of their grandmother. Ashley and Kathleen truly adored
their grandmother, and were having a difficult time dealing with her passing. The saying goes?
Till We Meet Again.
Even though we must be apart, know that when you hear the whisper of the wind, it will be
me saying hello: when you smell the first fragrant flowers of spring, you will feel my presence,
and when you see a butterfly, you will know I have just passed by, and I want you to remember
how very much I love you.
Till we meet again.
Wendy told me that approximately a month before her death, Ashley had come home very
excited that she had just seen a butterfly. She was certain that it was a sign from her grandmother.
Later that evening, while we were sitting outside on the deck, a butterfly kept coming around us.
It brushed against Wendy?s cheek in a gentle kiss and landed on her shoulder. We both wept
and chuckled at the same time. How fitting this should happen at this very difficult time.
At Ashley's funeral, while I was speaking with Phyllis, a close family friend of Ashley?s, she
told me that Ashley?s cousins had found one of her bracelets at the scene of the accident
and had returned it to her family. Wendy later told me that she had not had the heart to tell
them that there were two bracelets, but somehow they found out there were two. They returned
to search again, but came up empty handed. Phyllis said the boys were going to go and get
a metal detector and return later to see if they could find Ashley?s other bracelet. On the way
home from the funeral, I told my husband and expressed how great it would be if they could find it.
Approximately two days after the funeral, my daughter, Kaylee, came home and told me that
her best friend Janae?s, Uncle Ray, had been at the scene of the accident. Ray is employed by
the Highway Maintenance Company, and it was his duty to clean up after the accident.
He said that he had found Ashley?s bracelet, and it had upset him so deeply that he opted
not to buy one for his daughter?s upcoming birthday, which he had been planning on doing.
At the time I was excited and thought ah-ha, the bracelet would get back to Ashley?s family.
I also thought it very odd that I was involved in the hearsay from Phyllis at the funeral, and
being told my daughter?s best friend?s uncle had found the bracelet ? (Neither my daughter?s
friend or uncle knew Ashley or her family).
Weeks later, the missing bracelet would be brought up again in a conversation at dinner with
Ashley?s mother. She told another old friend and me that the family was still missing the
Italian bracelet that had belonged to Ashley. She told us that her nephews had found one
bracelet and had searched the surrounding area in the ditch, to no avail for the other one.
I wanted to say something at the time about the bracelet that Janae?s uncle had found,
but thought it better to wait and find out for sure where the bracelet might have gotten too,
rather than give Wendy false hope.
Again, I told my husband of this, and he thought it very odd as well that I seemed to be receiving
so many messages to do with the bracelet from different, unconnected, people. It was like a message
was coming through me to get the bracelet back to Wendy.
Time went by. My husband prodded me to find out about the bracelet. On a few occasions
I did have the opportunity to ask Janae?s mother if she knew what had happened to it, but
for whatever reason, I just couldn?t bring myself to ask. I found it rather awkward.
Then, on the Friday before Halloween, my daughter and her friend were playing volleyball
at an out of town Tournament.The tourney happened to be at the school where Ray?s daughter
attended. He was there for his daughter?s Halloween party, and had been unaware that his niece
would be playing volleyball at the school. He decided to stay and watch Janae play the game.
Opportunity knocked. With great difficulty I proceeded to question Ray as to the whereabouts
of the bracelet. He was in awe. He told me that he had never told his niece about the bracelet,
but that she must have heard him talking about it to another family member. He, too, I believe
was thinking that this was all very strange, how we all were linked together. He informed me
that he had given the bracelet to the RCMP, and that he would check to see what had happened to it.
Several weeks went by, and finally I was to hear from him. He didn?t have good news. He said the
officer recalled receiving the bracelet, but said that the belongings had been handed over to
Ashley?s Uncle Rod the day after the accident.
At this point I didn?t know what to do. That evening I forged ahead and called Wendy anyway.
I felt I had better let her know what had been going on. I told her I didn?t want to upset her,
by possibly giving her false hope, but I thought she should know. She was so excited.
She said they never expected the RCMP to have it, and had never questioned them.
All their energy had been focused around the scene of the accident. She assumed, as anyone
would, if the RCMP had it, they would have returned it.
The next morning Wendy called the RCMP station and talked with the Exhibit clerk.
He told her that there was no such bracelet in the locker. Wendy informed him that she had
outside information that the bracelet had been turned in to the RCMP by the highway
maintenance crew. She asked him to search through their cars and keep on looking
until they found it; it had to be there. He told Wendy that another officer would be
in later that day, and he would ask him if he knew anything about the bracelet.
An hour later, he phoned back and said that he had talked to Officer Sean, and Sean
remembered turning it over to Ashley?s Uncle Rod. Wendy thought that was very odd.
Why then would Rod and the boys have gone back to the scene and searched for the
second bracelet? She called Rod just to confirm that nobody had given him any of Ashley's
Later that day, Wendy and Kathleen went into the police station and questioned Officer
Sean about the missing bracelet. They asked him to provide them with a copy of the release
form. After a considerable amount of time he could not come up with such a form.
They then pleaded with him to try to remember whom he released it to. He said he would talk
to the investigating officer to see if he knew where the release form was, and would get back
to them in a few days.
Wendy and Kathleen left the Station feeling quite disappointed wondering who Ashley?s
bracelet had been given to. On their way home Wendy commented to Kathleen that maybe
they should ask Ashley to help Officer Sean find her bracelet, and return it to them.
Later that night, Officer Sean phoned Wendy and said he had found the bracelet. Miraculously,
he found the bracelet in the Exhibit room, unmarked, and returned it to Ashley?s family that
evening - November 18th, almost 4 months to the date of the day following Ashley's death.
Wendy was later to tell me that over the summer there were lots of butterflies around them, and on
two different occasion?s butterflies landed on her. When she expressed to her husband, Ken,
that she felt it was Ashley saying hello he said, "What happens in the Winter Time, when
there are no butterflies?"
It should be noted that when the Italian bracelet was returned it had been damaged, and the only
charms that were left intact were: One BUTTERFLY and TWO HEARTS.
Wendy now wears the bracelet, and has a calm feeling knowing that Ashley is always with her.
Kristi, a close friend of Kathleen and Ashley?s, had made the comment to Kathleen that the butterfly
on the bracelet was Ashley?s way of showing her dad that her presence is still with them - even in the winter.
My belief of all that has transpired:
I feel there have been too many events to call this a coincidence. Why was I privy to the three
conversations that involved the bracelet? Had I not brought this information forward to Wendy,
they in all likelihood may never have had the bracelet returned. The timing was
critical, because we would later learn that Officer Sean is being transferred away in January.
I believe I was linked to Wendy the night that I consoled her before the funeral. And, with all
of the events that have taken place since, I am convinced that Ashley was sending me messages
to get her bracelet back to her mom. I believe she was comforting her mother that
night on the deck when the butterfly fluttered against her cheek, and that she chose me
to be the key to having her misplaced bracelet returned to her family at a time when they
most needed assurance that she Lives On?
Only days later I would turn to November 18th of the desk calendar of angels I?d had given
to me by a friend in sympathy for the loss of my sister-in-law who had succumbed to cancer on
September 11th, 2004. I found the verse very Odd and eerily pertinent due to all the events that
had recently taken place.
The Script Goes:
O Welcome Pure-ey?d Faith, white-handed Hope, Thou hovering angel girt with golden wings. I see you visibly
and now believe. That he, the Supreme good, would send a glistening Guardian if need were To Keep my life
and honor unassailed. Author ? John Milton.
After hearing of this script, Kathleen checked in her book of Words of Comfort that had been given to
her after Ashley died. It reads as follows for November 18th, 2004:
Grief knits TWO HEARTS in closer bonds than happiness ever can, and common sufferings are far stronger
LINKS than common joys.
The first week of December my husband and I had three sightings of a beautiful Snow White Dove
in an area where white doves are not common. What this all means, I do not know. But, after all
that has transpired, I am sure it is a sign from above.
Wendy believes that I am her guardian angel, and that we were meant to be friends forever.
Never Underestimate The Power Of Prayer
August 8, 2006
I have a story to tell everyone that is quite amazing. Especially in the eyes of children, but also
for me too. Jason, my seven year old, found a very young orange kitten in the road eating french
fries and starving that we rescued on the way home from vacation bible school on a Sunday
night in June. Well, after keeping him indoors for a few months, I had put him outside to keep
Casper, the black cat company and he had been doing just fine outside for about 3 weeks. Well,
on the fourth week, he went missing. All 3 kids, Jason, Michelle and Jonathan all have been so
upset because they just loved this kitten more than any other they'd ever been around because
he is so soft, sweet and just loved to cuddle with them. Since he's been missing, Michelle and
Jason has been to every house around to see if they could find him......with no luck. No one has
seen him, so we are thinking maybe he crawled in one of our car engines and took a ride and
hopped out, which with kittens happens a lot. Michelle still wasn't satisfied that he was gone
and would never come back. She has sat here every day talking about how much she missed him
and his pretty blue eyes. So..............I said, "Michelle, have
you prayed and asked God for Boots to come back home?" She said, "well no I have not done that." So she walked
the neighborhood again going door to door asking if anyone has even seen him. But no, was her answer every
place she went. She came home sad... even more so than usual....She said ok Mama, I am going to be sure to
pray for Boots to come home.
Now just before dark, Jonathan of all things decides to go mow the grass, something he never does without
making him do it , or especially on Sunday. He will NOT work on Sunday, because it's wrong and Sunday is
a day of rest in God's eyes. While I hear the mower going, Michelle decides to get her bath. I swear she is in
there forever...longest shower she has ever taken. After she gets out I said why soooooo long in the shower
tonight. She said while she was in there she prayed that if it was meant for her to get Boots back, then he'd be
home tonight, if not, then he wouldn't get back and she'd be satisfied that he was living with someone else,
dead, or something and she wouldn't see him again. She said, "Mama I've never prayed to hard for something
in all my life!!!! " Well, 10 minutes after she gets out of the shower, Jonathan walks in the door, and guess what
he is holding in his arms???? BOOTS!!!!!! Safe and sound!!! He decided to go mow against the highway behind
our fence and a man from across the road flagged him down. He stopped the mower and asked him if he happend
to have lost a kitten. Ohhhhhh my, what a witness this has been to my kids!!! He comes in grinning from ear to
ear.... now all kids are happy and Michelle is convinced that all this happened just because she prayed and asked
God to bring Boots back to her. She said she knew it was meant to be now because GOD brought boots back to her.
Wow, how amazing!!
Never underestimate the power of prayer.
Just thought I'd share this story with you. I thought it was neat how this MIRACLE happened like it did,
and I do mean after a week of him being gone, it was a miracle in their eyes. This man said he had put him
on the radio every day to find the owner or try to give him away. See, God is still in the miracle business,
with the kitten and also with other things too!!!!
He never ceases to amaze me!!! Wow!!!!
Written by Melinda Tanner
Mother's Day Special Story May 18, 2006
Mothers Day Through A Child's Eyes
This is a true story that I'd like to share with everyone about what a child see's
on Mother's Day! On May 14, 2006 this Mother's day started out just as any
other day in my house. We all get up, getting ready for church and the first one
to greet me is my seven year old son, Jason! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY,
he shouts out to me. Now in a mother's view this is the first thing she wants to hear
on such a special day. But I'm thinking, okay we'll get ready for church, go out for
dinner, taking mine and my husbands Mother's out so they too will have a special
day and this will be the end of it, just another day in the Tanner home! We get to
church, after bible study, when the church services begin, our church gives out special
awards to the oldest Mother, the Mother with the youngest child, and one to the Mother
with the most children present. Well, year after year I sit holding down my pew, and watch
as the Mother's receive their awards. I heard our pastor call out the oldest Mother 80 or
above, will you please stand. My kids look at me a give a shy grin, as saying Ha Ha, you
should stand Mom. I say wait, I'm not that old just yet. I have a few years to go. Then he
calls out the Mother with the youngest child. Who by the way isn't me either. Then he says,
now will the Mother with the most children PRESENT , please stand. Do we have a mother
with 6 children, stand. No one stands. Will the Mother with 5 children present, please stand.
No one stands. Will the Mother with 4 children please stand. No one stands. Now my kids
are all staring at me with a grin that could go to walmart and back, knowing that I had three
children and they were ALL attending church! So he calls, do we have a Mother with three
children ?? My youngest son Jason grabs my arm and is nearly stretching it to the ceiling, to be
sure the pastor see's me. Now to make a long story short, I won the Mother's award for the
most children present, along with 3 other Mother's in our church getting a gift certificate to
walmart, which my kids couldn't wait to go spend for me. Anyway, my day was filled with
love and happiness, and at the close of my day, Jason knew I was exhausted and could use
something really special. He come into my office while I was working, and asked to borrow
a piece of paper. I as usual said go ahead and get what you need. He slipped away for a bit
then as I'm ready to get my bath I walk into my bathroom and the picture below is what I
found. I know everyone is saying,,awwwwwwwwwwwwww how sweet. To be honest I
was saying the same thing. But this is my true story of what Mother's day is in the eyes
of a child. Never under estimate your children or take away something that is so important
to them. After all my kids did for me I received a blessing from them, but I think the giving
of their hearts, they received the biggest blessing of all!
What a way to end a beautiful Mother's Day!
Written by Melinda Tanner
Hello, for those of you who may not know me, my name is Melinda Tanner.
After some consideration, I have decided to share with you a true story of
something amazing that happened in my life. On January 26, 1995, I was in
a car accident, in which I truly believe that without my angel, I wouldn't be
here today to share my story. Before the accident, I can say that I have never
witnessed a situation where an angel came to my rescue. But this cold day in
January, I met "My Angel".
After being hit from behind by a large truck, then head on by another truck,
made a believer out of me. My body battered and torn with broken bones having
the wind knocked out of me and unable to move, I helplessly and frantically
searched for an escape from the badly damaged car, but with no success.
I watched helplessly from inside the car, with grown men trying to find an escape
route for me. Nothing they tried seemed to work. All four doors were crushed shut
in the twisted body of steel. Then suddenly I lifted my broken hand and shoulder, reached for the door and
opened it up. No one can convince me that 'My Angel" wasn't there to get me out of the car. I then walked
away under my own power with the help of my angel to soon succumb to my injuries of not being able to
move well again, for months to come. After telling all of you my story, I can now say that I truly believe in angels,
so much that I know I have my own personal angel to watch over me. Do you believe in Angels?
Do You Believe In Angels?
Do You Believe In Angels ?
I Know I Surely Do
The Day I Got My Angel
Is The Day God Sent Me You
I Always Feel Your Presence
As I'm Going Through My Day
And During Hard Times And Struggles
I Can Feel You As You Pray
You're Always Right There Next To Me
With Everything I Do
And When I Need My Angel
I'll Be Calling Out For You
All I Have To Do
Is Look Deep Inside My Heart
For You My Angel Are Always There
And Never Shall We Part
A Very Special Circle Of Friends!
poem was written and for who. First of all to begin this story, my mother came to me saying
how nice it would be to have a poem written about her "Circle Of Friends." But you have to
understand this is not your ordinary friendship. This group of ladies has an extraordinary relationship
within themselves. Their friendship started several years ago being in the same sunday school class
together, and over time growing even closer to one another.
After realizing how much this group of women had in common, they decided to start getting
together every chance they had, just to be together, laugh and have fun. Not only are they together
during fun times, they know they can depend on one another through struggles, heartaches, through
sickness , or just when they need someone to listen. I'll have to say, with everything that has gone on
with this group of women lately, with each one of them going through some kind of sickness, surgery,
injuries, or heartaches, it's the hard times that have brought them even closer together. Let something
happen in one of their lives, and they all come to their aid, lending a helping hand any way they can.
They are willing to pull themselves together and be there for the one who is in need.
I won't mention their names, but this special group of ladies know who they are, and will surely be
blessed knowing they belong to such a wonderful "Circle Of Friends."
Special People That We Can Call Our Friends
They Will Be There To Guide Us In Hard Times
And Will Help Our Hearts To Mend
Our Circle Of Friends Are There When Needed
And They Will Help Us Dry Our Tears
And Also When We Get Frightened
They Will Calm Us From All Our Fears
It's Comforting To Know We Belong
And On Each Other We Can Depend
We Will Be There For One Another
In Our Special Circle Of Friends
Written By Melinda Tanner
Feedback From Our Readers About "Circle Of Friends"
I just wanted to say thank you for this beautiful poem. I am so thankful to be one of those "circle of friends"
God has truly blessed me and I don't know what I would do without them. God pulled us all together at
a time when we all needed each other and what a blessing it has been. We love each other unconditionally
and that's what it all about....Thanks for such a sweet write up and thanks for adding me to your prayer list.
God has been so good to me but I still want more. I pray if it's HIS will this treatment will allow me a couple
of years without treatments. Please add Holly and Lee to your prayer list - that God will continue to guide
them in their call to the mission field. Also praying for peace and strenth for them as well as for the parents
and grandparents. We are proud of them and want them in GOD'S will but letting go of them and the girls
is the hardest thing we have ever faced. Thanks again and know that you all are a blessing to so many
through this newsletter and the prayer and praise.
Hello, My name is Kim Jowers. My mother is Bernice Jowers who is one of the ladies you wrote
about in the Circle of Friends poem. Paula Decamp is one of her good friends. Just thought I would
drop you a note to say how much I loved the Circle of Friends poem you made for my mother.
She has it in her living room on the wall. I really enjoyed reading the newsletter! Keep up the good work.
Our feature story this week is a bit of a sad one, but will be remembered in the minds of many for a long time to come.
I was personally one of those able to witness this day and have to admit it was an event that I will remember forever.
Saturday August 13, 2005 will be remembered for a long time as coffee countians lined the streets and highways for
our very own hero, Matthew Gibbs. Matthew is not your ordinary hero, he is special in so many ways because he lost
his life defending our country in Iraq. The outpouring of love and concern was trememdous as thousands of people looked
on in sorrow as the funeral procession went by. The looks on the faces of everyone there told the story of how special
Matthew was and just how much he meant to his family and to his country.
We here in Douglas, GA are so thankful to have men like Matthew there to defend us, but wish there was another way and
not to lose another life in this terrible war. We here at Melinda's Personalized Poetry would like for everyone to join us in
prayer for Matthew and his family, and all the other men and women who are in Iraq. We are deeply saddened by
this loss and pray for the family of Matthew Gibbs so they can have some comfort through this terrible time, but on the
same note, we are thankful to have Hero's like Matthew out there representing our country.
Thank you Matthew!
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"website maintenance only," and completely voluntary.
Thank for you support.~Melinda
Melinda's Personalized Poetry
Douglas, GA 31533