"I didn’t know it at the time, but I was buried thirty feet below the surface under layers of mud, trees, and debris."

The author of this riveting, astounding, and terrifying tale was a nurse living a peaceful life in a pleasant small community when tragedy struck. For years she had been charmed by the natural beauty of La Conchita, a tiny burg hugging the southern California coastline with 180-degree views of ocean and mountains and a relaxed, laid-back, friendly ambiance. In 1995, a serious mudslide struck the town; no one was killed, and residents were assured that measures had been taken to prevent a recurrence. Then in 2005, while the author was working at home, a worse slide engulfed her home, pinning her underground. She was left badly hurt, with a space about two feet square in which to breathe, dealing with pain and wondering how such a horrific accident could have happened in just eight seconds. By concentrating, recalling her nurse’s training, and praying, she held out for several hours until she was rescued.

Metivier-Hart, who for many years operated a mentoring service called “Ask Diane,” vividly recalls for readers her extreme trauma, delving into the memories, regrets, and spiritual images that ran through her mind as she was trapped by mud and rocks, almost certain that she would die. She would later learn that 14 people were killed in this disaster. She candidly reveals that she knew fighting would be useless, and so she surrendered to helplessness, focusing on her upbringing, children, and religion. After her rescue, she discovered that many people loved her; hundreds of women whom she had mentored phoned, wrote, and later made donations to help her recoup her losses, since almost everything she owned had been totally destroyed. Despite mental and physical damage, she has set her priorities in life: to love God, her family, and the beauty of the earth. Her positive perspective can provide inspiration and encouragement to other survivors.

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