Recently I purchased a book by P.M.H. Atwater on near-death experiences as it sounded intriguing. While reading through the book, particularly the characteristics of near-death experiencers, I was perplexed. Most of the characteristics sounded like a description of my life. I even commented to my best friend, "Isn't it strange that my life experiences are so closely aligned with those who’ve had near-death experiences, yet I've never had one?"

Over the weeks as I made my way through the book, my fascination grew. One day, while reading the story of a child experience, I felt like a thunderbolt hit me: I remembered an incident from my childhood that I had forgotten all about!

At age six, I had just started first grade and became very ill with a fever, which got progressively worse. My family was poor, so we didn't see doctors often. After some time passed, my family did call the doctor. This was when family doctors still made house calls. I remember directly after he came to our house and examined me, he turned to my parents and said, "She is gravely ill and needs to be hospitalized immediately." My family was told I had a serious case of "rheumatic fever." I knew I was very sick already, as I felt like I was literally dying.

One day in the hospital, I remember lying flat on my back and noticing how strange it was that I couldn't move my arms, because I always could before. Then I noticed two people standing in the right corner of the ceiling, a man and a woman. It didn't seem odd to me at the time. I was simply trying to figure out who these strangers were. They didn't seem like angels (no wings) and they didn't smile. I recall being afraid because I was shy and I also didn't trust strangers. The man told me (without speaking verbally) that I was to come with them. I wasn't so sure I wanted to go. At this point, I was floating in the air, which didn't seem particularly strange to me either. I do remember, however, that I thought "Gee, this is so easy, why didn't I think of doing this before?"

While I was still figuring out if I could trust these people or not, there was an opening (this is the best I can describe it) to the right of the two. The opening showed a beautiful field. I thought, "Well, if that’s where they're going, they can't be bad." I started to float after them (they weren't floating, by the way---they just looked like people walking). They had turned and were going to that beautiful place.

I don't really remember why I decided to look back over my left shoulder, but when I did, I saw my parents. I knew they were not in my room, but a different room of the hospital, yet I could see them clearly, as though they were close by. They looked so sad and were crying. I immediately said, "But my parents will be so sad they'll never get over it." Right then I looked to the right again and was surprised to see the people had vanished, and all I saw was that corner of the ceiling in my room. At the same time, I was back in my bed. I remember being perturbed that my "visitors" had left so quickly, as I felt I didn't really say I wouldn't go. I was glad for my parents, though.

Some time later, I decided to tell my dad about this. My dad was a lot easier to talk to than my mom, and I felt he'd be more understanding. I don't recall what, if anything, he said, but I do remember thinking his response wasn't positive (which was a shock to me) and maybe I did or said something wrong, so I didn't talk about it anymore. I recall that when I was alone again in my room, after chronically looking over to see if the two people would return and they didn't, that I concluded that "I must have been dreaming." Yet I knew I wasn't dreaming when it happened. I never thought about it again, until I read my new book. I had heard over the years about people who block things out of their memory who later remember, and had found it difficult to believe that could happen to anyone. I still find it totally surprising it happened to me, yet I know my experience really happened, just as I related to you.

The only other thing I recall about that time period was that my doctor told my mom after I was out of the hospital, that "If it wouldn't have been for penicillin, your daughter would have died." I now think I did.

This is an addition, but I also think I remember from before my birth, as strange as that also sounds. I recall being very content and comfortable in the womb, and didn't want to be born. I knew life wouldn't be as easy "on the outside".

I remember other things from when I was a baby as well---being fascinated with lights---being frustrated that I didn't know how to talk yet, and my family couldn't figure out what I wanted, when I knew darn well what it was, but only couldn't say it. I also remember I liked being held in my dad's arms, and not my mom's.

Interestingly as well, my dad shared with my sister that he said he remembered before he was born. He said he could remember "flying in the sky, in the arms of an angel, over houses and farms, wondering which family would be his." When my dad was born, the doctor who delivered him gave my grandmother a silver coin and said, "I'm giving this to you as a present, because this boy should have died, yet he lived. He will be someone very special." My dad was loved by many during his life.

These things all sound kind of crazy, and I doubt I'd totally believe the stories if it weren't me telling them. I am a very honest person, as those who know me will attest, and these things are true.