The accident resulted in extensive swelling to the left side of my brain, broken ribs and a collapsed lung, and lower back injuries. Being in good physical condition at the time of the accident, I was spared internal injuries.
The doctors stated to family that if I did not regain consciousness and the brain’s swelling continued, they would have to operate to relieve the pressure. Brain damage or neurological impairments were possible.
Family remained at my bedside, hoping that I would regain consciousness. While friends and family prayed for me, my spirit traveled to a vividly colorful yet familiar place – my grandparents’ house (both had passed away prior to the accident). Their environment was lucid, tranquil, appreciative and loving. All the flowers, environment and people radiated this intense saturation of love and communicated telepathically.
In this dreamlike encounter, I was again an animated child of five soaring on my favorite swing set. Grandpa was close-by working in his garden. Grandma was on her way to walk the grassy, wooded trail along the creek that Grandpa kept neatly manicured. For prayer time, she referred to it as her rosary path. As I stood at the base of the rosary path next to the St. Francis statue surrounded by roses, I was no longer a child of five but a woman. As Grandma looked down to me from her path, she asked me to come with her in her strong Czechoslovakian accent. In a melancholy yet courageous voice I told her that I had to go now.
Was God asking me to stop long enough to take a good look at myself and realize how much I had to be thankful for NOW, in the PRESENT MOMENT? I truly believe that in my race to be more, do more, and become more, I had somehow quit appreciating who I already was.
After responding to Grandma’s question, I awoke from the coma. Family stood in front of the bed, looking down at me, indebted to God that I had finally regained consciousness.
The hospital released me the following Saturday into a disorienting, foggy existence. I did not know who I was anymore and felt like a puzzle whose pieces had been scattered. Could I put myself back together again? Were all the pieces still there?
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13, NAS) became a scripture I memorized together with, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, NIV).
God/Source had always been the center focal point in my life, yet I began realizing what it meant by “letting go and letting God,” which lightened my perspective and allowed me to rise above my emotions to a place of spiritual enlightenment.
Before the accident, I’d felt like a clear glass jar full of vitality and love. Being an avid runner, bicyclist, canoeist, and x-country skier, I had an active lifestyle. Playing the piano, sewing up clothes, painting pictures, and reading were other hobbies I enjoyed.
After the accident, I was a smoke-colored glass jar that was empty. A stretched optic nerve resulted in double vision. I would often say things backward or stop mid-sentence. My short-term memory and concentration decreased, so I wrote everything down to remember. Opposite behavior qualities emerged, including introversion, moodiness, and irritability.
A fatigue emerged that made me feel like I was asleep even when awake. I experienced “sensory overload,” which made concentrating on the immediate task difficult. I was experiencing symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. My relationships with those closest to me went under quite a strain.
People often said I looked fine, not knowing the distress that lurked in the depths of my soul because the injury was INTERNAL, not external. Yes, I was extremely grateful that I had not been disfigured, but injury occurs on the inside, too. This simply reemphasized to me, “For the Lord sees no as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord look on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7, RSV).
Since my friends and family lacked insight regarding head trauma, this made me draw closer to God because He could understand all my needs.
Looking back in my previous journal writings, I sensed an urgent need to bond with God and know and love myself. Using this convalescing time, I was being given a second chance to appreciate and reclaim those qualities that were still available to me.
“…that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, RSV).
I practiced the piano to increase concentration skills, painted, and began to read and record my voice to re-learn concepts. Living on the boat, bicycling along the country roads, and sketching summer scenes brought renewed vitality.
Now, 26 years later, this clairvoyance, peace, and love empower my life with inner knowing and joy.