The first few chapters of my book, A Taste of Eternity, deal with my experiences first entering Heaven, the Life Review I received there, and what was happening with my family while I was dying. It is much more difficult than I expected to write these recollections in present tense.
I thought I’d start with the immediately family member I believed to be the toughest, or the least unemotionally touched by the experience, my son Aaron. I called to ask him what his experience was on that terrible night of October 8, 1999. I asked if he wanted to write it down in an email, or if he just wanted to tell me his story.
He started off with a simple explanation, accompanied with a few quick-witted comments. As Aaron continued, his descriptions became more vivid, his voice grew louder, and frustration or anger filled him. His story was laced with flying F-Bombs, and then he started choking back tears. Wow… what a roller coaster ride of 15 to 20 minutes that was! He had forgotten, or wanted to forget, all those emotions he had that night and for the many months that followed. He had buried them, so they couldn’t be seen. Since then, we’ve both moved on with our lives, both of which have completely changed. They are much richer now.
I just moved into my new condo, which sits across the street from the beach. My soul feels refreshed every day when the incoming tide rolls to shore. For the past year, all my possessions from my old home had been in storage. While digging through stuff, I came across an essay written by Aaron on October 19, 2002, his senior year in High School. I believe it was part of a scholarship for which he was applying. Here is the beginning and the ending.
The Accident: By Aaron Halda
Where on earth could she be? Why isn’t she here yet? These questioned raced through my head as I anxiously waited for my mother’s arrival to take me and a friend home. It took place during my freshman year.
The more we waited, the more a feeling I started to have that something was wrong. Ambulances, fire trucks, and Life Flight helicopters started to show up, one by one, and all turned on a road my mom frequently used to pick me up. At this point I got a sixth sense feeling, and I turned to Andrew and told him to call his mom to pick him up because mine had been in an accident. Five minutes later, a sheriff pulled up and asked me to come with him to the principal’s office.
Once my mom was in surgery, a doctor came out and explained to us what damage had taken place. We were informed that she was in critical condition, and that it was very unlikely she would make it. She had arrived as a CRAM Zero, with collapsed lungs, lacerated liver, ruptured spleen and diaphragm, broken ribs, and a shattered pelvis. Now all of these injuries alone should have killed her. But even worse was to know that Palomar Hospital had never had anyone under a CRAM three live. The odds were not in our favor.
The doctors told my family and I to say goodbye to my mom because she surely was not going to make it, and if she did, she would be a mental vegetable and complete couch potato. Through this incredible tragic ordeal, I was able to somewhat control my emotions. I felt incredible pain and anger but through God was able to control it and try not to place it on others. At times, I just wanted to flip out and submit everyone to my aggression, but I overcame. I was even able to keep my grades, a 3.2 GPA, which I believe was a great accomplishment between playing sports, and spending most my time at the hospital, just sitting in the room with my mom while she was in a 2-month coma.
This accident made me learn early what hardships are all about and I handled myself pretty well. I know what it feels like to have tremendous “load on your shoulders,” but I now feel I can handle any with ease.”
If we look we can see the emotions… the ones we try so hard to hide away in our mind. If we look fully at our lives and ourselves, we can read between the lines. We live for meaning, and from that meaning, if it is to present itself fully, we have to learn and hopefully grow from our experiences.
I have an expression I like to use: “I want to feel God’s tap on my shoulder, and not wait for his sledgehammer to hit me, before my lights go on.”