The following story is real. When I first met Martha, I noticed a picture on her desk from her first marathon. After her accident the doctors told her she would never walk again. Her marathon picture is a statement that miracles happen.
Martha told me that she became very depressed after she came out of her seven week coma. She missed the sights and sounds of Heaven. She was given a choice to stay in Heaven or return to our world. She came back for one reason...you and me and her babies. She gave up so much so that we could get just a tiny look at what is waiting for us on the other side. Here is her story...
Not NEAR DEATH but a TASTE OF ETERNITIY 3/2001
The term near death is an oxymoron to me; it’s not near death but a glimpse at eternity.
To follow is my story of the beauty I now know is there for us through GOD’S LOVE. This is how is happened.
October 8th, 1999, was a busy day for my family. My oldest son, Aaron was on the Valley Center freshman football team, I was to work the snack bar at that night’s game. My plan was to pick up Aaron at school, go home for dinner, and then go to the field for that evening’s game. I live in Pauma Valley, a rural area and hence drove a large SUV. Fortunately, my younger son Nathan decided not to ride with me that day (he had a sudden stomach ache). The road I took to Valley Center High is paved except for about 100 yards where it crosses private property. This section is not paved and is lined with boulders about 3 feet high. As I came over a hill I became sunblind, I veered to the right side of the road and went up over the boulders. The axle of my car broke and the car went into “heel to toe’ flips. Somehow I broke through the driver side window (I was wearing my seatbelt) and landed on the dirt road. Because of the injuries I sustained, some of the doctors believe that the car rolled over me.
This is where GOD stepped in. I used to believe of things as coincidental, no longer. Now I know they are providential. Providence: things that happen by God’s power sustaining and guiding human destiny. Coincident: events that happen at the same time by accident.
Well, on the day of the accident, a man driving his wife’s car (her car had a cell phone and his does not) came across the wreck and called 911. He couldn’t get cell reception and quickly drove to a higher point on the road (cell phone reception generally is almost impossible in this area). He stopped a car coming the other way and cautioned the driver to slow down, mentioned the wreck, and commented to him it didn’t look like the driver would make it.
This driver of the second car was Rob Gilster, a 15-year family friend. He is also the football coach at my son’s high school. He is one of the most Christian men that I know. It’s his custom on the day of a game to go home (he lives on this road), eat dinner, and read the Bible. He chose his reading by closing his eyes, opening the Bible, and reading what was there. He was distressed with the reading that he believed God had chosen for him this day. But he kept reading, trusting it was what GOD wanted him to read. The day’s reading- “So from the brinks of death shall I bring you forward”, seemed depressing and not uplifting as usual.
Rob did not recognize me when he located the body. As he walked back to his truck to get a blanket to cover me, he saw the make of the car and thought, “Look’s like Martha’s new car”. Then he started to pray for the poor injured woman. I know he did this because I could feel it. He still didn’t know it was me. As he tried to wipe some of the dirt and blood from my face, he recognized me. I can’t imagine what he thought as he watched me grasping for air, for life.
I was a mess. All my ribs were broken which caused my lungs to be ripped up. My diaphragm had burst, I had bleeding in my liver, my bladder was torn open, my spleen was so torn it had to be removed, and I had a skull fracture which caused me to bleed from my ears. My left leg was completely under my body, going backward in the wrong direction, and I had fractured my pelvic in six places. However, as I was gasping for air, I was at total peace. The paramedics arrived and air lifted me to Palomar Pomerado Hospital Trauma Unit in Escondido. I later learned that I was pronounced dead three times during that flight.
I was not alone! I was not aware of the accident. I didn’t feel any of the pain. I was being HELD SO LOVINGLY by someone I couldn’t see. I could only feel them. It felt as a baby must feel when it’s being cradled in it’s mother’s arms. As I lay there, I could smell the dirt and knew I was on the road, but all I could do was watch the sky. The sky was so beautiful! It became more like an evening sky even though it was only 4:30. It was a sort of a periwinkle blue swirled with a turquoise blue and the lightest of clouds. There were stars that were spinning and their movement caused the sky around them to spin. It reminded me of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, “Starry, Starry Night”.
A star started shooting toward me. It came so incredibly fast! It started at the distance of the stars and as it neared, around 300 feet away, I could see it was an Angel, not a star at all (I had never read any stories of Angels and wasn’t a believer in them. My view has now changed). As I watched her near, there was the most wonderful music, and all around her was the most incredibly beautiful floral scent. It was like the best garden on a summer’s day or the best perfume you’ve ever smelled (a friend told me that somewhere in the Bible refers to the aroma or scent of Christ, which is all I can imagine could ever smell that wonderful). The music was a mixture of chimes, song, and a rushing sound (I later recognized the rushing as the sound of life flight). I have heard a cello and this sound was also part of the music. The Angel had no halo, but there was a golden glow all around her. As I looked at the beautiful Angel, I was focused on every detail. She was hypnotic and so beautiful. I felt that her hair was too bright and her music too loud to be seen or heard by human eyes and ears. She was not really male or female except she wore a high neck, long sleeve, floor length gown. It was made of silver fabric, similar to raw silk. The chest panel had the most intricate and awesome embroidery, it seemed to be made from real silver thread. Her hair was shoulder length, a wavy brown with blonde flecks. Her face was like that of a child right before puberty. You know how they can look either like a boy or girl depending on how you look at them. She had wings. They started at the back of her shoulders and went down to right below her knees. They were iridescent. You could see through them. They had sort of opalescent or pearlized coloring.
I traveled up into the sky with my Angel. At about one to three hundred feet up, I looked down and saw my friend, Rob. He was on the road and filled with the most awful feeling of anguish. This was the beginning of this new thing of being able to feel someone else’s feelings. I told him not to be upset that we were going to Heaven! As I was trying to get him to hurry to catch up with me, my Angel just touched my shoulder and soon we were gone up, up, up into the sky. At this point I didn’t see or meet anyone, but was TOLD – not in words, but in feeling- that it was not my time. I just sort of drifted in a calm state and could feel energy that was filling my body. Somehow I knew this was prayer. How I knew this I don’t know. I couldn’t tell what the many people were saying, but I could feel it and it’s energy filled my whole body. Later I found out that a moment of silent prayer was held for me at the football game that night.
At the game, the Pastor of the church I had just started back to about 5 months before was there. The summer services are held outside so I had just 1 or 2 Sundays before introduced myself, using my full name. He instantly knew I was one of his, got up and went to the hospital. He was new to the church and didn’t know me except for my introduction. Why did I introduce myself using my full name? Was it Providence or coincidence?
Next it was if I was trying to sneak back in to Heaven around the backdoor. I didn’t have my Angel with me. I was drifting into the night sky seeing some of the most beautiful landscapes (these would take too many pages and words I don’t have to describe). Suddenly, I was placed in a meadow that was so wonderful. It reminded me of a meadow my husband and I came upon while hiking in Zermatt, Switzerland the summer before. But there was one difference, this meadow was on the ledge of a mountaintop with a drop thousand’s of feet. Strangely though I wasn’t the least bit afraid. I just lay in the grass enjoying the warm feeling of the sun/Son. Somehow I understood that this was a type of holding place. I could have been there forever. My life’s experiences began to run through my mind. With every experience, I could FEEL not only how I felt but also how the other person with me FELT. The best way to describe this Feeling is like an energy that buzzes through your whole body. Recently one day in church while singing, I noticed that when I sang the Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, the way that your chest vibrates on the third Hallelujah is a very close vibration to what it feels like.
The Angel was once again with me and we traveled upward. I could see my life’s good and bad and felt both sides of all my actions. We came to an extremely bright light. It was a bright WHITE LIGHT. It was like looking at the sun, but the sun’s light is yellow. The Angel was to the right side of the light and I was down below. The Angel was afraid and humbled. I could feel it. At this point I thought “AH-OH” and I started reciting the Lord’s Prayer. My Angel folded her wings on her back and knelt in a bow, as if in prayer. I was filled with FEAR and the most intense feeling of LOVE, both at the same time. Suddenly I knew that this was God and the Trinity in one. I had never really given any thought to the idea of the trinity, in my mind they were three separate beings, not one the form of Totality. I was told to really consider if it was really my time. I was given information about the future, none of which I remember. I believe this is the way God intended. It suddenly seemed very important to me to get back to my boys. I made a deal or promise to God, “if I am able to go back to my babies, I will tell everyone how Great and Loving he is”. I also asked if there was a message to take back or what I was supposed to learn. The bright white light said, “The most important thing that we are to learn is Love, to give, show, and express Love, it’s the most important thing we can do”.
I vaguely remember that God felt I needed to be there for the boys. Which boy’s beyond my own I don’t remember, but there were others. I did feel like the choice was mine. How much I wanted to stay in that warm love, but I also wanted to be with my babies. I love my husband very much, but I know if not for my boy’s I would have stayed right where I was. There was so much to learn!
The next thing I realized was the sounds of voices. My husband Mark was asking me to “raise my right leg, my left leg, my right arm, my left arm. No, my other left arm, good.” Than in a different voice (the doctor) saying “ok, put her out.” I was in the hospital, this happened right after surgery. I also heard the sweet voice of a female with a Prussian accent. She was saying, “how beautiful I was”. It was quite comforting. Later, I found out she was one of my first nurses. The interesting thing to me was all I saw was black as if my eyelids wouldn’t open. And I no longer FELT the words but Heard them.
I was in a drug-induced coma for seven weeks. During this coma I can remember moments of being afraid and my angel would come and be with me. I remember trying to lock my foot around my husband’s- we slept that way. In my coma, I kept searching for him; I’d find some bed pole and cling on to it with my foot. The nurses kept trying to make my foot stay up on the mattress. I remember hearing the beeps of the machines, the sound of my mother’s voice as she talked to me. I know it was her, it was her scent. My husband’s voice was always calm and close. Later I found out that he always talked softly right into my ear. He would calm me down so the many machines would end up with the right numbers. The day they started bringing me out of my coma, I wouldn’t open my eyes for any of my family. But then I knew my husband and my boys were near and I turned my head, opened my eyes and started blowing kisses to my babies. I knew then that there stood the reason I had come back.
It was very strange at first, you see the Vail of Heaven had been lifted and so much seemed amplified. The good things seemed so much more and the bad also seemed so much worse. I had lost every muscle in my body and many pounds. I had been a very strong and physically fit woman before and now my challenge was to be able to simply lift my head and to sit up.
Soon I was transferred to Sharp rehab center in San Diego. On the first day there I told the nurse that I had seen an Angel. She told me never to tell anyone or they would never let me out of there. This center is an hour and a half from my home. Believe it or not, out of the many therapists, I was given one whose grandparents had lived in my town. She was great and we truly enjoyed each other’s company, painful as it may have been. What do you think, Providence or coincident?
After about a week at rehab, I told my friend Kris Rielly that I had been with an Angel. She believed me. What a comfort, I thought I was losing my mind. No one had told me how bad my accident had been and I was told several times a day in rehab that I had brain damage. Oh, that was a positive reinforcement!
After about three weeks in rehab, I was released to go home in my wheelchair to continue months of rehab. My husband’s friend, Ted Leitner, sent a limo to take me home or anywhere else I wanted to go. We stopped at Palomar Hospital to meet the trauma unit, the group of people that from our perspective had done such a wonderful job. It was due to the God-given talents of Dr. David Cloyd and all the Trauma staff that I was able to do so well. When I arrived there, I was classified as a “Cram 0”, the rating for the lowest chance of survival. It pretty much means you are done, you are toast, toes up. Some Traumas would have just given up. Thank God they didn’t give up on me.
A few months after returning home I was asked by my friend Kris to help her with a Celebrity Golf Tournament. I really wasn’t strong enough to be of much help, but she was trying to get me out of the house. At the tournament, she introduced me to Steve Scholfield, a newspaper sports writer I had met before, but I was still in the stage where part of my memory was blocked. He said he had been trying to talk with my husband about writing an article about my accident. I told him I had been with an Angel and I would want him to include this. I fully expected him to run, not walk, in the opposite direction, but instead he looked at me and said I just made it that much better. Steve bravely wrote the article and my Angel and I took front page of the mother’s day edition on the sports page of the “North County Times”. It took some guts from both of us. Again, was this meeting Providence or coincident?
Many weeks after returning home, I had a dream about my Angel and her wonderful aroma. I awoke and sat upright in bed (still a difficult task for me). Why did I sit up? Because I could smell her! My room was permeated with the angelic floral smell. It lasted some time. I awakened my husband who agreed he could smell the aroma (but I really don’t know- men will say yes to almost anything when awakened at 3 am). She is a Guardian Angel that did her job outstandingly well! This whole experience is not one I would ever change. Without it I wouldn’t know that when we die we are not alone. God sends us each an Angel and he is the one holding us in his arms all the way to Paradise.
I, of course, will never be the same. I view people and events in an entirely new way. I know we must Love each other. Best of all, I have the wonderful knowledge of God and his purpose for us.
Please feel free to copy or share this. You will be helping fulfill my promise to God that “I will tell”.
With much LOVE!