A literal rebirth of the body is about as fine a lesson I can think of about being appreciative, overcoming fear, and living each moment in the present. I’m always of the mind that I meet people in my life, at varied points in my life, for a reason. An important message needs to be delivered, either to me or from me to them. I am rarely clear on which direction it is in any given encounter; sometimes, on further reflection, it seems it is bi-directional.
Following is an example of such an exchange. I included this short account in a longer feature article I wrote (3 Days, 2 Nat’l Parks, 1 Bum Foot: Miracles and Inspiration) on my travel blog. At the time of writing, I was torn about where to share it. I think it needs a home on Swimming in the Mud. The lead-in to the story is that I was recently traveling to Zion National Park with my partner, my brother, and my sister-in-law. I hadn’t fully recovered from a foot injury and needed a walking stick if I expected to explore Zion, even on the shortest trails. We stopped at a souvenir shop on the way to Zion, and . . .
. . . there I met Dona, a 51-year-old woman working the cashier who shared an inspiring story about herself. She casually mentioned she had died at age 44 from cardiac arrest and lay dead for a full 30 minutes before being revived.
Dona spoke like someone who knew more than most–about life, blessings, and miracles. Her after-life experience was so powerful that she revealed she often wishes she didn’t make it, that life here doesn’t quite “cut it” compared to the peace she experienced when “passing.” Much to her delight, Dona spent time with her grandmother on the “other side” and, much to her dismay, has missed Grandma greatly since.
Still, Dona had a certain strength and conviction about her. A quiet wisdom emerged from her words–something that amounted to: Don’t sweat the small stuff. I felt so moved and humbled to meet Dona, I reached out, shook her hand, and let her know I was happy she was still with us. I felt blessed to meet her. She is one of God’s walking miracles–a reminder for us all to keep it simple, live and love well, and, above all, be grateful. Everything that seems to have value to you can be taken away in an instant.
When I was ready to pay for my items, Dona helped me pick out a badge for my new walking stick (A badge is a nickname for the ‘bling’ sold to dress up, souvenirize–yeah, I know it’s not a real word–and customize your walking sticks). Check out my new badge in the photo.
The image of a wild elk reminds me of Dona and her strength and resolve to keep moving forward with whatever plans God has for her. She doesn’t seem to know exactly where she’s going, what exactly she’s supposed to do, but she has faith that it will all work out. Besides, she already knows how the story ends and is not the least bit frightened about it.
[end of story]
The story ends, but the lesson remains:
Dona was left with the knowledge that though she may not know her purpose, a complete stranger was touched by her story. I’d venture a guess that I was not the first person she told her story to and I was not the first to be touched by it. Maybe that is her purpose.
I am left with a walking stick that serves to remind me of Dona’s encounter with death and her persistence to press forward without fear though she knows not where she is going. Every time I pick up my walking stick, I think about Dona and I feel courageous. Because I write, I also think about the power of her story and how we tend to underestimate the importance of our own experiences–the stories of our lives. It may very well be Dona’s main purpose right now. It might very well be yours. If you feel you need to tell your story–you can’t sleep until you get the words out–then tell it. Trust in the process. Who knows . . . you might have a rebirth, too.
My feature article on Teardrop Adventures: 3 Days, 2 Nat’l Parks, 1 Bum Foot: Miracles and Inspiration
In the Los Fresnos News: Many Americans Sharing Near Death Experiences
Have you had a similar encounter as this? Why not write about it? If you do put pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard), I hope you will share it. If you blog, I hope you will post it–and feel free to refer back to this post if you want to show by example how one soul connects and sometimes ignites another. In my heart of hearts, I KNOW WE’RE ALL CONNECTED.
Peace to you all,