March 28, 2009 I was alone in my home writing when I noticed my mouse getting heavy. Then my right leg got heavy. I was having my first stroke. I called 911 and was rushed to the hospital. That was a minor stroke and about an hour later the ER doctor was about to release me. While talking to my kids I had another stroke. Then another and another and…. I had seven strokes before Sunday morning.
Along the way I had a monster stroke. The doctors said they “thought they had lost” me. That means I had no vital signs.
Lost, dead, kaput, sayonara. Happy trails, cowboy; you’re heading for the that big roundup in the sky.
Naturally, they took full credit for keeping me alive. And I’m truly thankful for their considerable efforts. But what they didn’t know…what they couldn’t know was that I was still deciding whether I’d live or die.
Maybe I was better prepared to understand this experience because of my work in the Portal. Maybe God wanted me to remember so I could tell you about it. Maybe it’s good Irish luck. Maybe all of the above. I have no idea.
I remember waking Sunday morning in ICU, paralyzed and wired to a bank of electronic monitors. I was choking on my own saliva and when I tried to speak strange guttural sounds had replaced my clear and powerful voice. My beloved voice
The head neurologist was talking to my family. I couldn’t make much of it out. He seemed to speak in a foreign language. It sounded like English, but his words made absolutely no sense at all.
A couple of months later Penelope told me what he said. He said that I made it through the night, but this was as good as it would get. One of the strokes was on the major artery in the left side of my brain. That part of my brain was dead and, if I lived, I would never walk, speak, dress, or feed myself again. That I’d never get out bed or read or write ever again.
My family spent the day with me. A day of smiles and deeply sad eyes. Except for Diane. She didn’t hear a word the doctor said. As she has for forty-one years she loved and believed in me. We’d overcome so much together I’m sure she just thought this was another chapter in our lifelong adventure. One from which we would emerge stronger than ever.
As they shuffled me off to more brain scans Penelope was on the phone to our psychic friends network.
In the morning she talked to a friend in South Carolina who said, “Tom’s in a very dark place right now. He’s deciding between life and death. You must tell him why this is happening.”
Our friend went on to explain why I had a stroke. Again not the physical details, but the more important Quantum or spiritual reason. The real reason. The root cause. The reason you can work with and change. Otherwise bad things just keep on coming.
I did not, however, get that message. I couldn’t. My ability to process speech was zonkers. I could understand the nurses in their break room 200 feet away with crystal clarity. But I couldn’t get much of what was said in my room.
I was already out of my body and half way to the other side. Afterlife retirement party here I come.
By this time healers, mystics, prayer groups and good people all over the world were going to bat for me with prayers, positive thoughts and healing energy. My stroke had enlisted an army of love. This army played a lead role in my Miracle Healing. All that power directed at me…all that love literally changed my physical reality.
I was so close to leaving, but then I remember feeling a warm and strengthening wave wash over me. It was like having your mother hold you and comfort you as a child, but even more powerful. It was the first time in my life I’d known anything like it. For the first time in my life I knew that other people loved me. I knew my family loved me, but I never really felt loved or accepted by others.
If you’ve read any of the comments on this blog you’ll know that sounds crazy. But it’s true. My whole life I’ve felt alienated and alone. That changed in one glorious moment as I was about to die. It brings tears to my eyes even as I write this.
In a blinding flash I saw my possible life. I saw the tough road to recovery, I saw my beautiful wife, my children, my grand children (including holding little Finn). I saw all the people pulling for me, loving me.
And then, I saw my chance to play a role in the maturation of humankind. The remaking of our society into a peaceful, caring, generous civilization. The next inevitable stage in the evolution of the world. These are things I’ve dreamed to be part of since that day in my Uncle Herman’s study when I was nine.
Although where I was I had no physical body, I began to glow with a bright cerulean blue essence. All your love gave me the strength to see my choice clearly.
This is the day ancients dreamed of seeing. King David offered up his life to live now if only for a minute. How could I leave? Without an instant of further hesitation I chose to live.
And here’s the crazy part in that instant everything changed. I saw it change. I was flooded with color. Colors filled my being. Colors I’d never seen before. Mesmerizing colors filled with wonder and hope and comfort and melody and healing. Miracle Healing.
About 4:00 p.m. Sunday they took me for one more MRI just to be sure. By then I’d decided to live. By then everything had changed.
We didn’t see the results of the MRI till the next morning, but I knew. Penelope got another call from South Carolina as she left that evening.
“What’s happened?” Our friend said. “Everything’s changed. He’s surrounded by light. He’s decided to live and it looks like a full recovery.”
The next morning the Doctor said he had good news. The strangest thing happened. He didn’t know how to explain it. Must have been a mistake in the first seven brain scans. He’d never missed something like this before. But the good news is the dead spot in my brain is not on the main artery after all. “It seems to have moved,” he almost said. “He may have some recovery after all.”
Diane didn’t hear that either. She knew I’d pull through. I had work to do. I was needed. She needed me. Besides I wouldn’t leave her without saying goodbye.
Of course, that still leaves the bigger question. Why did this stroke happen in the first place? Why do bad things happen to good people? Did I ask for it? Remember you get what you ask for. You ask and the Universe delivers. Who would ask for something like this? That’s nuts.
Thank God I now know the answer. And, I seemed to have resolved the cause. Finally. I’m much more at peace these days. Perhps I’ll write about that soon. Maybe that’s something for next time. First I need to process what I just wrote.