Friday, December 10, 2010

Near-Death Experiences

It was just a few weeks before Christmas and I was 11 months old. To my parents dismay, I had started walking when I was 9 months. Bent on exploring (and tasting) everything in our dilapidated house, I was getting into a lot of trouble. Mom was having a hard time controlling me. There were certain things she wanted me to leave alone, which made them even more interesting for me.

Against my Mom's better judgment, and for the sake of my older brother, she decorated a Christmas tree. She thought she could keep me away from the spinning icicles and shiny glass ornaments by putting it up very high, on top of a box which was placed on our coffee table. She was sure that there was no way I could reach it.

The next day after lunch, Mom and I were alone. She was in the kitchen working when she heard me coughing, sputtering, and choking. She quickly turned around to see blood dripping out of my mouth and my face turning blue. I had managed to get to the Christmas tree and picked off one of the shiny, glass balls near the bottom. I had taken a big bite of the ball. And swallowed. Glass had cut the inside of my mouth and was stuck in my throat.

Mom, who is normally very cool in emergencies, was panic stricken. She tried to pull the pieces out but only made them cut deeper. She frantically phoned our family doctor but he was out and would not be able to get to our place for hours. No one was near enough to help her. There was no 911.

My breathing was getting worse and she shouted “NO!” She was not going to let me die. She prayed, picked me up and turned me over - face down on her lap. Then she ‘gently’ slapped my back while tears were streaming down her face. I threw up my lunch and three large pieces of glass. Mom was able to pull the rest out of my mouth.

The doctor came later that day and said it was amazing that Mom dislodged those pieces. I would have choked to death if I hadn’t thrown them up. My throat and mouth were pretty cut up, and I didn’t eat for awhile but it all healed. My brother was so very glad to have me around that first Christmas together!

My Mom told me this story many times. She wanted me to know how precious my life was to her (and the rest of my family) but this story also filled me with a sense of purpose. I was constantly reminded that I had survived, or rather, God had chosen to spare my life. I was alive for a reason. I wanted to make my life count.

I still feel that sense of purpose today. I try to invest my life into the lives of others. By giving myself away I find out who I truly am.

Okay, your turn - have you had a near-death experience? How has it changed your life?


  1. I have not, but my youngest son has had two. The first occured when he was around 2. After he was missing for 20 minutes several family members frantically began looking for him on our acreage property. He was discovered sitting waist deep in our slough. There was a 12 foot drop off about a foot further into the water. The second happened when he was 24. His car spun out on melting snow runoff as he entered Deerfoot Trail. He was hit by a tandum dumptruck going full speed. The back end of his car was totally demolished. He walked away from the accident without any physical injuries. I maintain that God has a specific purpose for him and one day we will all know what it is. Meanwhile, he chooses to 'run' from God.

  2. Thanks for sharing these stories of your son, Charlotte. Can't believe he walked away from that accident unscathed. That's a miracle! I hope and pray he will stop running from God and the purpose in his life very soon.

  3. from Jill ---- As a child, I hated St. Joseph Childrens Aspirin so my mother used to plug cheese holes with them to entice me to take the orange flavored pills. When I was three, I had a bad sore throat which was being treated with cheese covered pills. My mother was entertaining company and I knew it was time for more medicine (OCD about time my whole life). I disappeared for a few minutes. When her company left, my mother walked into the kitchen to find cheese and an empty bottle of aspirins on the table. She had no car and frantically began calling farmers from the church where my dad pastored his little rural congregation while attending seminary fulltime. One of the farmers drove my mom and me to the doctor. My only memory of this event is looking down at the curb when my mom carried me from the car to the doctor's office. She was begging me stay awake. I had taken a entire bottle of aspirins.

  4. can't believe i wrote "a entire bottle of aspirins." That was a slip of the eyes not the mind! My grammarian mother learned me gooder than that. jill

  5. jill - Doctors should be smarter and make cheese flavoured pills so they wouldn't have kids doing what you did :) Thanks for sharing this story on my blog - one I had not yet heard from you. I bet you have a bunch of near-death experience stories, knowing your inquisitive, fearless personality. You got your OCD tendencies from your mother, no doubt...and don't worry about your grammar - I know she taught you gooder than that.

  6. Hmmm... and which 'near death' experience are you referring to?? Mom use to tell me I was like the Family Circus child character that had an exhausted angel trying to keep up with me.
    I sure am thankful for that angel... life is precious.
    Guess my first near death experience was when I was born though and wasn't expected to live. Doctors sent me and mom home from the hospital very early (for those days) so they could make the most of the few days I had... People were scared to phone or drop by because they never knew when my folks were going to have just found me dead. ...But God...

  7. I'm glad that those "few days that you had" at birth turned into over 40 years now (see, not giving anything away). Your friendship has been a constant for me - very much appreciated. And what about all those other near-death experiences you've had? You've come closer, more times, than I.