This blog post may at first seem to come from way out in left field, but I feel it is important to document the beginning point of my current journey (thanks Kim). Perhaps I am hoping it will help you to understand me better....or perhaps it is a more selfish need to try to understand myself better.
On July 29, 2009, on my way home from work, I bypassed the tanning salon and gym that were a part of my daily routine. It was a summer of record heat and I just wanted to go home, change into my shorts and relax for the evening. Less than a half a mile from my house I was involved in a near fatal car accident. While that alone is often enough to cause people to value life and change their priorities, it is what happened during the wreck that has forever changed my life. I am not talking about the crunching of metal, breaking of glass or the bodily injuries I sustained.
At the initial point of impact, I experienced what is commonly called a near death experience. As soon as I heard the screeching of tires from the truck that t-boned my car, I felt a soft, billowy, mist-like essence that seemed to wrap its arms around me and pull me close. I felt a sense of extreme calm, peace and pure love. It was as though I was not in my body but not really watching myself either. I was aware of the second, head-on impact, that my arms weren't right, my face wasn't right and that my body was in extreme pain. But, at that point, I didn't feel pain. It was as though I was wrapped in love and grace and forgiveness and at extreme peace with everything that was happening. Then, I literally saw my whole life flash before my eyes. It was as though someone was holding a series of pictures of my life and was flipping through them really fast like the old movies.....a series of stills run through quickly to give the appearance of movement. At times during the process, the picture would pause ever so slightly as if to emphasize that particular event or person. I remember almost smiling and crying at different times during the process. But, overall, I felt no judgement from outside only from myself. Almost as quickly as it had began, it was over and I was once again just wrapped in a feeling of love and extreme peacefulness. Then I heard a voice, not from the essence, but from far, far away. The faint voice said, "not now". I didn't recognize the voice but it was familiar, like I knew the voice, but it had been a long while since I had heard it.
Almost immediately the essence was gone......as though it had been sucked up by a huge vacuum. I felt the paramedic put a collar on my neck and then the pain and burning rushed in. I could almost hear myself saying, "NO, NO, I wanna go back...where did it go....come back....take me with you. I don't want to be here." I kept trying to get back to the place I had been just moments earlier, but I couldn't....it was gone and had left me behind in this pool of blood and pain. I felt so betrayed and angry.
Two days later I awoke in ICU. Under the influence of some powerful pain meds, I looked over and saw my boys, husband and Natalie holding rosaries and crying. I was immediately sad to see them like that at my bedside but thankful because I thought I was back with the essence. Then I felt an extreme burning sensation in my left arm. I thought for sure it was on fire so I looked down at it and almost instantly my head hurt, my hip hurt, my torso hurt and I felt burning below my waist as well. I thought "oh no not again.......no, no, no I don't want to be here!" I got so angry and all I could think was "My God why have you forsaken me?" Not because I felt Christ-like or anything but because I couldn't understand how someone or something that had evoked such peaceful and loving feelings during the accident could take me to the brink of Heaven and then make me return to this mangled body filled with such excruciating pain and burning.
For the rest of my time in ICU, my family, friends and the phenomenal medical staff tried to shower me with love, patience and the best of care. All I really wanted was for them to leave me the hell alone and let me be angry. I wanted to curse God and those who caused the accident for all the rest of my days. This wasn't fair....what the hell had I done to deserve this? Why was God making me endure this? Hadn't I gone to church and tried to be a good person all those years? What.....was that all for nothing?
Continued in "The Promise"