It was a beautiful Maine autumn four years ago when I developed such serious back and leg pain that I sought medical attention and treatment. First going to my primary physician that recommended a group of neurosurgery and spine experts. I was then sent to a clinic that did an MRI scan and determined I had arthritis and pinched nerves pressing my vertebra causing me excruciating pain. The next day I purchased a cane. The worst part was not only the pain but I looked like and felt like an old man. I had always taken great pride in my physical strength and abilities and had pumped iron most of my life. I was now a wounded man.

The back surgeons tried epidural steroid injections to no avail. Finally, I could not take the pain and asked what else could be done? After months the surgeon told me that they could do a laminectomy. The procedure was a routine one (so he said) where they trim the tongue bone part of several vertebrae to release the pressure on the nerves. At that point I would have done anything to alleviate my pain.

I said a lot of prayers and blindly proceeded. I was in and out of the hospital in two days and I felt 19 again. 

To my chagrin four days later my wife noticed fluid leaking from my back. I went back to the doctor and was told I had gotten an infection in the operating room and would have to go through the surgery a second time. The second time I spent seven days in the hospital. They redid the surgery and I went home with a back pump and pick line and spent the next eight weeks in recovery.

During my second surgery I woke up in a sweat from one of the most powerfully vivid dreams I had ever had. I witnessed my father and my ex-wife vigorously waving at me from heaven. My father had died 20 years ago and I had not seen or spoken to my ex-wife in over 25 years. The dream was so powerful when I got home from the hospital I decided to google my ex. With a great sense of foreboding I typed in her name. To my surprise her obituary came up and she had died the same week I had my surgery.

Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.

God had sent me the message. It was clear. I still had some things to accomplish here on earth and it reinforced my belief that there is a fine line between life and death, heaven and earth.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: