Somewhere about mid-May 2004 life as I knew it I had begun a spiral downhill fast. I found myself, frustrated, as I had begun about a month before, unable to think properly, and getting lost going places I knew well. The family doctor sent me to tests and a number of specialists. They all saw something, but nothing definitive. A vascular surgeon recommended I see, a cardiologist the cardiologist said we need to take a look inside, but your symptoms suggest a little heart problem, you should see a neurologist.
Take this medication though, when you experience pain, until we can schedule a look inside that heart. Good enough! Saw the neurologist that week, had the pains in the chest a couple of times, took the medication. Neurologist said looks okay! Go see your endocrinologist get that thyroid under control and in six months, you'll feel perfect. But I'll order an electroencephalogram and a Scan just to be safe. Well before safe could be ruled out, and they could get a good look inside that heart.
May 27th around noon. My world crashed! The feeling in my head was indescribable. As if someone slit my throat, and all the blood ran out, only there was no blood! When my ability to see, and think returned so did the pain in my back and chest up to my shoulder blade, 'Okay, I'm dying here!' I had enough sense to go outside, sit down and call 911. 'Help, please help I think I'm having a heart attack.'
They arrived five minutes later, hooked me up to the monitors and such. Nope we'll take you to the hospital. Doesn't look like a heart attack though! At the hospital, I was placed in a chair in the waiting room, 'Here fill out these forms, and we'll call you.'
A nurse came in the room and said, 'Hi, Mark! Let me see the forms!' 'Well I would if I could! I am having a hard time moving!' The nurse, my wife and I with their assistance led me to the triage room. They were looking at me funny. 'Smile for me,' said the nurse. I complied. 'Raise your eyebrows for me. Squeeze my hands with yours.' They were looking at me so funny. I asked my wife what's wrong with me? They both answered! No, I don't want to hear this! 'You've had a stroke on your left side!' My heart pain was nothing to the feeling I had! Tears began to run from my eyes - my God! What is happening to me? They admitted me to the coronary care unit and monitored me, gave me blood thinners, and heart medications and something for the chest pain.
Okay. Well it's nighttime and they have stopped the pain, I'm not dead and just weak on the left side. A neurologist had been called in, confirmed the diagnosis, and ordered tests. He said he had called the cardiologist because they didn't like the heartbeat. Cardiologist showed up next morning, 'Well, you've had a stroke you're going to be all right! We are going do an angiogram on the first of the month, just to check it out. After the holiday.'
On June 1, I was feeling better and eating okay, I didn't fear the angiogram. In the morning, they came and got me ready for the procedure. Took me downstairs to the lab. Started the procedure, my wife would see me after, in the recovery area. Just smashing! Little pain during the procedure and after in recovery. My wife was there and everything was fine.
The doctor who did the angiogram came and told me. 'There is a problem with the right coronary artery! We will fix it tomorrow; we will transfer you to the main hospital, just for safety, in the morning. You will be just fine!'
Okay! Okay! Now I'm a little scared but okay, I had the documents done when I knew before the stroke that the procedures had some risk. So I had a power of attorney done for my wife just in case. I said my prayers that night, for Jesus to be there and guide them, consult for them. I had seen the pastor of the church I was going to, and asked him to pray for me also. I was ready! Everything was going to be just fine!
On the morning of June 2, I was anxious to be transferred to the main hospital. The transportation team was running a little behind. I was supposed to be in the procedure at 10:30 am. Long and short, I got there at 10:30. My wife was there and saw me. We talked, 'If something should happen you have the paper work?' 'Everything will be okay I'll be in recovery when you get there!' The nurses came to get me at about 11:00 am They told my wife where to wait and they would inform her when I was finished.
They took me into the suite, and started to set it up for the cardiologist. They draped me, set up the local anesthesia, and turned on the doctor's favorite music. Classical! Enter the doctor, starting the procedure. Administer the local, insertion of the catheter 'I listened intently to the conversations between the others in the room and the doctor. They told my wife about an hour to an hour and a half. An hour, an hour and a half, going on two the camera is moving and I feel the pressure in my chest. I hear them talking about the stent and the pressures required for the catheter.
Suddenly I hear from the doctor's mouth, something that was a very un-doctorly thing to say, 'Oh' Shit!' I think, 'Oh shit what!?' All of a sudden the sound of people talking stopped. And the voices were now coming from the back of the lab, where the computers are located.
I hear furious talking from a distance! 'Is that a clot?' 'Not sure?' 'Is it?' 'Don't know!' Than the feeling of heavy pressure in my chest, I moaned. A voice from the other side of the table, ' Are you in pain?' 'No just a lot of pressure!' 'The pressure should go away!' As I felt something cold enter my arm. Another voice in the room, 'Did you give him the morphine?' 'Ahu!' replied the other voice.
The equipment, the monitors and shields were pulled back and the lights came on. I thought this is big trouble, when I heard the cardiologist ask someone in the room, 'Should I remove the catheter or leave it inflated? A voice answered, 'Leave it in, I'll take it out when I'm finished.'
Then there was this man whom I had never seen before, looking down at me. He looked pleasant and reassuring! He introduced himself and said, 'I don't have time to explain what happened but something went wrong, I'm going to take you to open heart surgery. We'll take care of you. We'll get the authorization from your wife.' If frightened was the word, than I was so frightened that the only thing I could think of was pray for them to have the lord in there with them whoever them is!
My wife came in and I saw the doctor, this time he was in scrubs! My wife held my hand and the doctor said, 'We'll do our best, see you after you recover.' My wife and, I said what I thought would be my last goodbye; to someone I loved so much!
As they wheeled me down the hall toward the elevator, the anesthesiologist looked down at me and said, 'You'll be asleep before we get there!' That was the last thing I heard, until I woke on a ventilator, with a myriad of tubes and wires. My wife was there; she held my hand and spoke softly. 'You're going to be alright! Honey it's alright.' There were all kinds of people nurses, doctors, technicians checking, wiping injecting!
I knew something serious had happened! I had blood hanging and my chest felt as though I had jumped from the tenth floor of a building. Landing on my breastbone.
In the past seven days, I'd had a stroke, angiogram, failed angioplasty, open heart surgery. Lots of blood loss, I learned later. I learned that the artery had blown out! The only thing that stopped me from bleeding to death was the wise decision to leave the catheter blown up in place.
I learned that the mild to moderate heart condition that I knew I had, was more than moderate, and that being on the heart lung machine for a long time, had done more damage. Terrific! All that and now I am in pain, I can hardly breathe, I'm dizzy and my blood pressure is dropping like a rock. What else could go wrong? Remember be careful what you pray for!
As I was recovering from the last assault on my body, things were looking up. I was able to walk a little, sit in a chair next to the bed for an hour or so.
I was starting to taste food again, and I prayed constantly. Thank you lord for allowing me to stay to do whatever it was you wanted me to do for you. Even though I still don't know exactly what it is you want of me? But thank you for the lesson learned.
It's now the 5th of June and the surgeon and the other doctors are talking of going home in a day or so! Wow! Doing well! Still hard to get around, I am so weak! It took me over two hours to wash myself from a chair next to the sink. But it was looking up!
They pulled the chest tubes, as I was no longer bleeding internally, and possibly a shower today! The doctor came in mid-morning and said, 'We are thinking of cutting you loose this afternoon, but we may hang onto you for another day or so because your blood pressure keeps dropping. We're going to check your meds and adjust that! Just a day or so.' I was still in thankful prayer mode, and so happy when my family came to visit. It was like being reborn. The sixth of June and I was ready for resting at home, and getting down to what God wanted me to do. I was sure I would find it! And, do what he wanted.
I woke early on the 7th I was a little restless about 6:00 am the nursing staff would change over at 7:00. Won't see a nurse or anything until after 7:30. I was actually waiting for hospital food to come! I was hungry! What would breakfast be? I couldn't remember what I had ordered, didn't matter just wanted to eat! A little after 7:00 I was sitting on the side of the bed, watching television I had just gone to the bathroom, still sitting waiting for food. Started to feel heavy in my jaws, kept removing my glasses rubbing my jaw. Thought, 'Man this may become a headache or something. Nothing some food won't help.'
I heard the food trays come off the elevator, and went wild with anticipation. It was 7:30 or so and I was thinking of food, and going home that day. I had even planned to call my wife to pick me up this afternoon.
In less than one minute, I would embark on the most amazing journey I had ever been on. I felt a sudden sense of doom, I felt as though no blood was flowing! No pain! Within seconds all I could get out was. 'Help me; please help me, God Help.'
Now, I was no longer in a hospital room but on a road! Not a golden road, just a beautiful road. It was me! I saw. A young me, about ten years old or so with a long willow branch over my shoulder, and a red bandana at the end of the branch, like a hobo! There were people that I had known in my life, and many others that I did not on that road. We exchanged smiles as we passed and my mind was in awe of what I was seeing. The most beautiful road I had ever seen! Details, that were indescribable. Suddenly I thought of a mountain, I had seen as a child. When I looked up from the road there it was; The Mountain! Not just the mountain! But the most breathtaking mountain I had ever seen! Details the likes of which no one could imagine. Colors, shades of color, shadows for which there are no words in the human language to describe.
All that I saw and felt was as if something was filling my mind with answers, before I could even ask the question. The presence of God was in all things. It was as though the promise of being filled, and overflowing. What your soul desired to see, was filled at that very moment. Everything that your soul needed was met before it could be asked. There is no distance here. So time does not exist. What your soul desires it is! All you desire to know is done! You are filled with the spirit! And you know it! I had never experienced such a feeling of satisfaction in my life.
I had come to my lord. In the most perfect place, and I had been accepted by my God in his house! How wonderful is that! I felt as though I had come home. From perfection to be born into sin, live in imperfection, never fully understanding the wonder of God, and then finding yourself at his door as he welcomes you in.
Than a voice seemingly from nowhere, yet everywhere said, 'Mark! You must go back!' 'Go back! No! No! I can't go back!' Again the voice said, 'You must return; I have given you a task, you have not finished.' 'No, no please God no! Let me stay.' With lightning speed, I was naked moving backwards through the darkest of darkness. There were lightning bolts all about me. From my feet to the top of my head. Enormous lightning bolts! Going in all directions into the darkness. Despite the brightness of the lightning. The light from it did not penetrate the awful darkness.
Suddenly my eyes popped open my right arm flailing wildly. I was mouthing! 'No, please stop doing this! Stop let me go!' I looked forward, and saw what appeared to be, a stadium full of people all looking at me and cheering those around me, to save me! The noise was incredible, everyone talking, shouting out numbers, and directing others. Than to my left, someone took my hand and held it. I looked up and saw a young woman.
She was looking into my eyes, passed them to my very soul. The noise subsided so that all I could hear was the sound of her voice. Her eyes never left the depth of my soul; her voice was like that of an angel. As she spoke,' It is not your choice now! It is his now!' I stopped fighting, no more flailing my arms, no more declarations from my mouth. I heard in the distance a nurse say, 'Clear,' the sound of a machine beeping, and a loud hum. The last thing I remembered until fifteen hours later.
Why had my God returned me? Did he send this young woman to assist me in doing, his will? Was she there to help me back to this world? I believe so! He kept his promise, now I must keep mine. When I awoke after this incredible journey, respirator removed. I could sense the spiritual nature of my body, had changed. As I opened my eyes for the first time, since this journey began over fifteen hours ago.
It became obvious these eyes were no longer seeing with the mind, but as if my soul were peering out onto the world. Everything had meaning! Deeper than I had ever cared to look before. All things had importance, the words I spoke, the way I gestured, my facial reactions. When I smiled, it was from the heart. When I cried they were tears from my heart, tears of gratefulness. As weak as I was, it was hard to breathe. Every breath was an effort, and the pain all over by body was intractable. Yet my heart was so grateful for the experience. Just to live for God's purpose, gave meaning to every pain, every breath. It was as though God filled my lungs with his own breath, each time I needed air.
Every word I spoke felt as though, God wrote it, and I was reading the text. My thoughts were no longer my own, nor about myself, but rather everyone I came in contact with became the center of my being. Everyone else became important, and what I said to them.
I spoke with the two male nurses that cared for me that night, and what I had experienced. I explained to them about a woman, I believed was a nurse. I did not know her name, but I could describe her. I told them that she appeared on my left side that day, and I would like to thank her personally for helping me. One of them said, 'The way you described her, it sounds like Debbie! And she worked that morning. When I see her I'll ask.'
Two days later, mid-morning in intensive coronary care unit a knock on the door to my room. 'Come in,' I said. The door opened slowly, a young woman entered my room. I said, 'You are Debbie aren't you. 'Yes,' she said as she once again came to my left side. She said as she held my hand, in hers, 'I'm so happy to see you doing so well after what you went through!' I once again looked into her eyes; again, she was looking deep into my soul. I said, 'Thank You! Thank you! You made it possible for me to return to this life.' I continued, 'I did not want to come back you know? You made it possible! God placed you there, at just that time: even the words you said to me! God sent an angel, you to help me. To return to this world!' The tears of my heart and, the gratefulness showed in my eyes. I could see the spirit of the Lord within her. It brought to mind immediately a Bible verse.
Repeating, over and over in my mind. 'I will never leave you alone, I will send an angel ahead to prepare a place for you. And my own father's favorite verse: I go now to prepare a place for you, for in my father's mansion there are many rooms. All of this now made perfect sense to me. I was in God's house! But my room was not yet ready for me. So my father sent me on an errand while he finished my room.
Do Angels exist? I wasn't quite sure! Now I not only know they exist, they are constantly in our presence. Every time I see that look. The soul looking out, displayed in their eyes for all to see. All I can do is to kneel before them, and give thanks. Thank you so much for your presence Lord, in this being's soul.
The 10th of June now, I am getting around and must be monitored all the time. The doctors are discussing placing a defibrillator in my chest to prevent sudden cardiac death from occurring again. The 14th the night before they install the device. The doctor explained to me the risk involved. To test the device they would have to stop my heart twice and let the device shock me to make sure it would work.
I washed up at the sink and shaved. While I was doing so, I was praying for all those who would be involved in the surgery the next day. Suddenly I looked into the mirror in front of me I looked close again. Who is in there? Who is now inside me? The eyes looking back at me were no longer the Mark that I knew! I asked aloud to the eyes looking back at me, 'Who are you?' A gentle voice replied, 'It is the new Mark! The old one no longer exists'. I said, 'Good Lord, What do you want of me?' Again, a quiet voice replied, 'You need to love more! You need to accept love more, be forgiving more, keep in mind what you were privileged to see, a world, that few would remember. Most important: love is the answer!'
I was in disbelief, tears were flowing from my eyes, and I kept praising over and over, 'Thank you, for the new me! Oh thank you.' My eyes are now opened, the meaning of the line in the church song, 'Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you,' now that understanding has torn through me like a piece of shrapnel.
I now see through the eyes of my heart not just the ones in my head. I have seen The Lord; I realized that I had seen him so many times in my youth. He had shown me so many things, on the earth that are as it is in heaven. Yet I only saw what the eyes in my head could see.
I now understand that the Bible said that in the beginning. The Heaven and the Earth were created, with perfection; man was placed in the perfect place on earth to have all that was perfect.
Our ancestors disobeyed and the Earth was made imperfect. When we pass from this life of imperfection, to the next. God is always asking the question of us, all of our lives, 'Are you ready? Your ancestors had Perfection! But they were not ready for it than, so I ask you now; are you ready?' I had to die in order to understand that concept! God was asking me! And trying to show me the way. But I chose the human way, my way was the better way.
The death of my body was so peaceful, so wonderful. Let me assure, you the trip back was, anything but easy. I was so frightened, that the darkness, that I was being drawn through, and the accompanying pain was my rejection from the perfect life everlasting, straight to my place in hell. Please learn now! Understand the grace of God before you pass on.
Some only learn the hard way; some can only understand when that relationship is threatened with being withdrawn. Open the eyes of your heart let those eyes see the grace, and the power of I am. Believe that he is! Believe that he has prepared a place for you that is without pain, suffering, and the constraints of the human condition. No distance, no time, as your soul desires so it is. That, which the soul desires to see, is seen.
Seen in ways that we cannot imagine, understanding all that is present instantly. Feeling that your God is in everything! Forever! He lives with you in his perfection for all time. As I said earlier, I had to die to understand what a friend I had, how important his friendship and love were. His advice is right! We only need to ask, and then be willing to listen. Sometime God shouts. Most of the time he whispers, why do we only listen when he shouts?
It has been five months since I left the Hospital on June 17. Much has happened to me since that time. I have been in contact with my daughter, and my grandchildren, other members of my family that I had not seen for a long while. I was able to meet with all of them and see them, spend joyful times with them. My family and I weathered three hurricanes and the damage they caused. We lived for a few weeks without conveniences. We had our moments, but the important thing is we had each other.
As of this time, I do not know if this writing will be continued. I have much more to say! But I leave it now, and allow God's will to be done. I have endured pain, pleasure, insult and, injury. Yet that is just the point! God has given me all of this for his reasons, not mine. Should he grant me more time on this earth, I will endeavor to continue, his work.
And will ever praise him. November 17, 2004 His loving servant.
Well the test went well. I am still alive! I am still having problems with my life. Hospitalized during the Christmas holidays with a dangerous infection. My thoughts raced on a daily basis. Even after being released from the hospital, do I want to live? My belief system tells me you can't take your own life! My body keeps telling me end it! This life worrying all the time. How will I pay these people that I owe all this money to?
I feel like dog snot most of the time. I can't breathe, I'm in pain most of the time, why is God punishing me more? Good question! Is he punishing me or is he allowing me to see, that I am punishing myself as I have done most of my life? It is still hard for me to learn the lessons that he has tried so to teach me all these years! I am a hard case though!
I have come to understand that the pain is the human pain that afflicts us in the body of man to appreciate the future that awaits us in his perfection! My depression is my fear of life! My anxiety is my anticipation of the unknown. Thoughts have come to me in a situational way over the last nine months that have caused me great surprise. These gems are coming from my lips! I knew them because God taught me them years ago. I just wasn't listening is all.
Like, we are not placed here to be the paper upon which others poop on; we are here for each other but not to be used by one another. We truly need each other at times but need the wisdom to know when to leave one alone when they want to be with their other friend, God! We have no right to take away their relationship with their God.
We must recognize that bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. But we are not the judge, if we want something we must go after it. Give it all we have and let life be a surprise to us instead of us trying to surprise it! When I look back on my childhood, I do so with great pleasure. It was the grandest time of my life! Looking back on it, it was a constant surprise! Every day some great adventure occurred.
My friends surprised and delighted me every day! My memories of them shine like searchlights in the darkness of my adulthood. My eyes fill with tears of joy every time I remember one of those truly marvelous days. It was today's equivalent of hitting the lottery big every day!
I can feel the exhaustion of the full day; see the dirty faces of my friends after our marvelous adventures. See the exquisite beauty, of the everyday things that I saw, and shared my innermost thoughts with these wonderful friends. Why have I allowed these world surprises that gave me such joy to evaporate in today's life?
I had a special friend when I was a child, no one could see him but me. Often my family would make fun of me because of my so called make-believe friend. I called him Matty! He was always there when I was alone, felt frightened or needed advice. When I was sick, Matty was there! When I was alone Matty was there! When things would happen and I was in trouble, Matty was there! Matty I have found was another name for God. I had a relationship with him that was so personal, so real; I could tell him my most intimate secrets. He knew me completely. Matty told me what I would one day go through in later years. I had forgotten much of what he told me and it became lost in the darkness of my age. During my experience in 2004, glimpses of these conversations have become known. My friend Matty had prepared me for what was to come. Thank you Matty It has been my pleasure to get to know you again! All God wants Matty, Vishnu, Jehovah, Yahweh, Whatever the name, is to have an intimate honest relationship with YOU! Let the child in you grow to be the adult with the same wonder, surprise, generous life that you had as a child.
'You need not be walked on to be loved, nor walk on others to love them.'
'Because you do not accept bad behavior in those you love, does not exclude your loving them.'
'God loves us in spite of our faults, He does not agree with them.'
All that one can say at this point is, Are you ready? We don't know the date nor the hour, but all I can say is you have nothing to fear. The end of this life is the beginning of another.
Prepare in this one as if every day could be your last! I now understand the pain, does not mean I have to like it! The bad that happens to my loved ones or me. I understand in a general sense, doesn't mean I like it!
I loved my mother and father, so much. They were the best God could have given to me. We had very little growing up, I watched both of them suffer all sorts of things. Some of these I caused, most were just life. When they passed on I was so hurt, I had lost two wonderful parents, the best of friends. Yet God received, two of the most wonderful souls in heaven or earth.
We are not our brother's keeper, but we are his teacher! So go out and teach them what you know in life. It is the only thing you truly have to pass on to others. If you save it, thinking that you are going to be needed by everyone, because you are the only one to know! Guess what? Your value stops the moment you leave the door. And no one remembers what you know after you leave this earth.
But if you teach it reverently look for those who hunger for knowledge, when you leave the building our knowledge stays. And when they pass it along it continues long after you have left this earth. The only thing you have to give the world is what you know! When you hide it within it goes with you never to be found.
Everything I learned about what I did well in life I learned from someone else. I also learned the joy of sharing it with those who were willing to learn! I learned so much from life, I can't believe that one mind can hold that much! God (whatever you decide to call him) has given us the capacity to be all of these things and more.
You can be a pirate, or adventurer as a child. A great mechanic or builder as a man, a wise man as an older man, teacher or mentor. A holy man at the end of your life. A great father or mother. A wonderful son or daughter. So many things! Yet if you share them not, they become lost, the dust of our body. There's another thing! We are so taken by the body, wow look what great shape we are in! Once you have moved from this life to the next that body is forgotten, in the renewal of the spirit. What lives on of you is the memory of those things that you imparted, not what you were.
When my mother passed away. I was lost. I felt as though I needed to write something that would express my loss. So I wrote this and had the preacher say the words. Something like this:
When you were born, I waited from the time I knew you were conceived. I waited so patiently, for you to enter my world. Months, weeks, days, then came the day I had waited for. You were born.
You were perfect in every way, all the fingers and toes I waited so long for you to come to me. I waited so long for you to say your first word; I waited for you to walk! I waited for you to do your first thing for yourself. All this anticipation. It was well worth the wait. I waited for you to grow slowly at first than faster.
I waited for the first time you injured yourself, as I waited again to find out the outcome. I waited for you to become a man. And you did. I was so proud of you. You had come so far.
All this waiting and now I have gone to be in my eternal home. I have not gone from you my son, for this I would never do. I am here, waiting for you once again waiting for you to return home. As I had so many times before. Not gone, just waiting again.
I know that this woman that I loved so much in life will be there waiting for me I know that her wait will be short. I anticipate seeing her face her grace and, her wonderful love.
How wonderful is that?
We live in this life with pain, cruelty from others, wrongful words from others. Joy from those that we love, incidents that we have no control over, good and bad. But you know what! Life would not be life without any of them! Think about it! If we knew what was coming every minute how would we handle it? If we knew we were going to fall into a pile of luck, how would we react? Drop dead from shock? Say, well it's about time? Who am I going to help out? Not me! Nothing could be happening like that to me! Never has, never will!
What would we do if a voice said to us, your life will be over in two hours, at exactly 8:30 am you will die! There's not enough time for me to get everything done, I won't make it. But you have no choice the minutes are ticking away; you now only have an hour and forty-five minutes. Who are you going to call? What are you going to say? What memories are you going to have? What are you waiting for? Enjoy all that you have! Whatever it is how little or how much, enjoy it. What good is gold in the next life? There is no need for it, your spirit cannot carry it is too heavy.
The memory of good friends, giving what little you had to give to life will follow you there. Kind words, and deeds will become part of your spirit your good memories will follow you there; God has plenty of room for those things in the room he has prepared for you. Don't think this stuff is real? We are all going to get a chance to find out!
If I were a betting man and I gave the odds 50/50 I'd be willing to bet fifty percent on the latter as it has a history on it's side; you know that a horse that runs in the mud all of the time has a better chance of winning on a wet track than a horse that has never run on any track at all! And a chance of a horse with one good eye has a fifty percent chance of beating a blind horse that's deaf.
You choose your own way to deal with your mortality. Mortality is a sure bet, immortality depends on the point of view. Life on earth is a sure bet for the living, life everlasting has no odds where there is no belief. I have come to believe that the sun rises in the east, every day that I wake there it is!
The sun sets in the west! Everyday people are born and people die I don't personally know each person who is born nor do I know each person that dies. But it is so! I don't know personally every person on the face of the earth, but exist, they do!
When you see people, do you ever wonder about their life? If you do, why does it matter? Love does not stop at the family door, it is ingrained in us! We all want to be loved, and we all have the innate desire to love. The situation that I find myself in at this time is not all that great. Quite often, I can't breathe, or I am in a great deal of pain.
I can't go too far, as I run out of steam. I will never return to a job that I loved! It was the one thing in my life that I was good at. I enjoyed what I did for a living, I made a good living at it and I was respected for the decisions that I made on the job. I respected the management team I worked under, didn't always agree with them but respected them just the same.
Before all this happened to me, I could type over ninety words a minute, without looking at the keyboard. Now I can't remember where any of the keys are. These are not complaints! These are grateful moments! You see I'm still able to communicate what I feel, I can still wake in the morning and be grateful that my life still has meaning.
I miss the people I worked with so much! But the memories of each of them shall remain forever. When I do pass on, I will be waiting for them. I am able to write these words in the hope that some may find power to go on, the peace that they had not found, or be at peace with their life.
I believe that I have found the reason that I was made to return to this earth! Even though I did not want to do so. HE told me I had something left to do; I believe this writing is part of it. The other is the way I now approach others. I am brutally honest with others when I disagree with them. But I am totally honest in my love for them!
I no longer allow others to believe that I will agree with them to make them feel better, or to avoid a sensitive subject. I will however be the first to tell them I love them even that I don't agree with them.
I have found myself saying things, to strangers that I meet. It surprises me! I will commend others for the way they speak to their children, the way they speak of their loved ones. I will offer blessings to them because their eyes reveal they need them.
The pain, the feeling poorly, is so much better when I can help others. My desire to work and do what I do best is so strong at times, it makes me feel helpless. Yet though I can no longer do it in the physical sense. My spiritual sense has become so strong. It is like the more the pain the stronger the spirit. Yep! It makes me want to shout! 'Hey, it gets better. What is to come is better than all that is right now!'
Each day, regardless of the situation, you learn a lesson, you may not like the lesson, but it is one you need to learn. In writing this, I used several descriptions to explain what I felt and saw. Well there was no bright light, sort of! The light is a feeling, a sense that all is illuminated. I mentioned when returning to this earthly existence about the terrible darkness. This was scary! I have been in the dark before, but this was dark. No light at all no shadows, the light from the lightning bolts could escape this darkness. This is definitely not a place you want to be! Alive, dead, in-between, hell, purgatory whatever no place to be!
It is like all the fear in the world in one place at one time and you are in it! But, the place that you find yourself in at the end is something dreams are made of, but not a dream. Far from it, it is all that you could want and more. I have had so many moments, things have gone wrong, and it has been at times as though nothing is going right. Dead would have been better! By a country mile.
For some reason at those times, you found yourself looking at all that was right. You can almost hear God saying, 'Don't give up yet the lessons get harder but the reward becomes greater.' Rings true! He who is greater than he who is in the world! Why do we think we are the only ones in the world? We can be such asses. We are not alone! Never were! Never will be! When the twilight of my life comes on this earth, the dawn of eternity begins. My eyes close on life and open on the sunrise of life everlasting.
My greatest hope for all that see this work, is that their hearts lighten, their hope grows, and their load becomes lighter. As for myself, I hope that by doing this, I am doing the work he sent me back to complete. Let my words, be his thoughts, coming to the earth in sound.
Lord make me strong, to do what you will with me. For my pain I praise you, not curse you. For the times when I feel weak, let it be your strength. Let my days be full of you, and less of myself. I know you will give me rest, and peace when your will has been done with me.
For those that may have lost someone dear to them; A father, mother brother, husband, whomever that person was or what role they may have played in your life. It is okay to have your time of grief. But once you have gotten over missing that person on this earth, you no longer grieve for them but for yourself. Grieve not for them for they are experiencing life the way it was meant to be experienced.
Love them, honor their memory. Remember them for the good within them and know that they wait for you to return home. They will once again be a part of your life. Only they will introduce you to a life you will find hard to believe. The beauty of earth is magnified there a thousand fold. Pain and misery is unknown. Should my days end, let my words remain as a map to his home.
Your loving Child, Mark
Date NDE Occurred: June,7th 2004
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Illness. Surgery-related Heart attack Stroke, days later failed PCTA, Emergency open heart surgery, five days later sudden cardiac death. 4min 38sec no function 4 defibrillator shocks. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) Recovery from open heart surgery, severe coronary problems. Sudden cardiac death.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal I understood concepts that escaped me in life instantly, I was aware of every detail around me. The details of what I saw would not have any words to describe the color or details that I saw. I did not want to leave this place.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While in the next life, before I was told to return to my earthly life, seeing myself as myself at about ten years old or so, the time in life when all was wondrous.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning As if there is no distance there is no time. What your soul thinks is! I remember somehow being told what you desire is as I am! So it is! Like everything is in all places at the same time, nothing is separated from you.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Brilliance of color. Darkness was the darkest I had ever seen. Beings were highly detailed and you knew everything about them just by seeing them. There was no transparency in sight nor in knowledge.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? All sound was incredibly clear. The voice of the Supreme Being seemed to emanate from nowhere, but at the same time from everywhere. Words did not come from the mouths of beings, but from the aura around them.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain I was in darkness, and then suddenly found myself on a beautiful road I seemed to recognize it from my youth, only in greater detail.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Some of the people I saw I knew but had died in the past. Others I did not know, yet as they walked past me, they had a very peaceful smile on their faces. They were on the road going in different directions, their aura spoke as if their life story were being told, I understood every word as if knowledge of them had been passed on to me with lightning speed.
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes As I approached the road there was light like bright sunlight.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Everything was more beautiful, than I had ever seen in my natural life.
I sensed that there was no distance therefor no time as we know it
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Never knew such peace, in my life. Everything was wondrous, the happiness I felt I had not experienced in life.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control What I had seen as a child, I would think, and there it was in great detail. I seemed to gain knowledge like a data-stream. When I returned to life I understood the pain, suffering, other feelings I did not have before the experience.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I became aware of the value of the words we speak, to love more, to be loved.
To be brutally honest, with your feelings but just as honest with your love.
I saw myself speaking to small groups of people, and individuals about living and death in a far different way. This has proved accurate without question.
I saw myself in places in situations that have thus far been on the money.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Conservative/fundamentalist Belief system was strong but native American in nature
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I pray for myself and, others daily. I have a personal relationship with my creator, what, who, you call him/her makes no difference, our relationship with the universe, is as real as the words that I am now typing. Someone created it! You! And all the rest. I have been too ill to attend church for some months now. But my belief system is stronger than ever.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist Sense greatly the need for spiritual nature
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I pray for myself and, others daily. I have a personal relationship with my creator, what, who, you call him/her makes no difference, our relationship with the universe, is as real as the words that I am now typing. Someone created it! You! And all the rest. I have been too ill to attend church for some months now. But my belief system is stronger than ever.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Everything you wished to know was answered before you could ask.
I understood that we all as beings have purpose. It must be fulfilled, before you can go on to the next world. I knew there was nothing to fear in death. That it is the natural course of things. I learned that we cross into this dimension in our lives perhaps thousands of times, but are unaware of it.
Though we are given directions when we do, but we just look at it as a feeling a sense, we don't know where it comes from. The other world is as close as the reach of your hand; this is why we don't know the manner nor the time of our death. Yet it is as close as the blink of an eye.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes The intensity of the love I have for those in my life is a thousand times greater. I have gratitude beyond imagination for those who help me in my worldly quest. Things that I took for granted are the things I pay attention to. They are the greatest gifts on this earth. Wife, children, grandchildren, in-laws, friends. More important than money, things you can't take any of those with you when you're gone. Money and things don't love you back when you're here!
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes What was felt, and seen, there appear to be no words to describe the beauty, greatness, sensation. Questions answered before asked. The sense that there was no distance nor time. All the soul desired was immediately seen. All desire was answered instantly. Knowledge was instantaneous.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have found things coming from my mouth, or have written to people, at just the right time and place. I have changed lives with just a word at the right time.
I dream things that will happen to others, always of a positive nature, that do happen. Nothing earth-shattering but helpful to them in their lives.
I feel others misery. It is like a knife going through me, suddenly I find myself saying something to them, and I can't believe I've said. The look on their faces and in their eyes is always, Thank you, how did you know I was suffering?
I can calm the fear of death to people, and can tell who does and why!
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The knowledge that was imparted to me. The way when I returned to life that I deal with people, and the intense feelings I have for them. Knowing that there is nothing to fear about my death, and to reassure others that is something they should fear least.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I saw a nurse practitioner about three months after. She had all my records, and said to me, 'You sure had some experience!' I could tell she was in a hurting way, so after she examined me, I shared with her what I saw and felt.
She told me what I had just told her, was reassuring, since she had lost her father less than a year before. She thanked me for sharing it with her and I left.
I saw her again two months later. She had turned from a very mousey, timid person, to a well-dressed confident look. Not cocky! Self-confident, a broad smile on her face, a cheery attitude. She wanted so to help me with my problems did so and as I was leaving the doctor's office she looked into my eyes past them to my soul, and said simply 'Thank You.' One of the reasons I believe I was sent back. On other occasions I have spoken to people spontaneously, and found that at just that time they needed someone to talk to.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. I looked in a mirror, and the eyes that were looking back at me were not the old me! There was a new me looking back. I understood that the pain and suffering I was going through was nothing more than life in this world, for a greater purpose. I have since looked into the eyes of angels, they are everywhere. They can look beyond your eyes directly to your soul.
They are here to help us achieve our purpose on earth, and to help us cross over once we have served our purpose.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I have worldly problems, I suffer at times, there are times that are so hard, yet the experience gives me the strength I need to go on, I feel as though if you do not know where you are now in life, how do you know where you are going? I know the suffering of life, and I know the peace I'm going to but you can't get to that peace if you don't know life!
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I relived the experience including all the pain after I returned to life. Every night for about two weeks. Not pleasant, but I understand.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I am not sorry I had the experience, though I did not want to come back. I believe I had a glimpse of what awaits me for a reason. I have something to do in this life for a reason. When my final time comes and my chore as been completed, on this earth. I will know all is well for me and the rest of the world.