“My tummy hurts!” I lay curled in a ball in the back seat.
Granddad was going on a trip by plane and he’d invited me. I had dreamt of flying. Often lying in bed I felt myself becoming weightless, lifting into the air, flying higher, faster, going anywhere I wanted. Dreamland would enter to continue many bedtime flights. This trip with Granddad would be reality, not a dream. Being a child, I felt I had waited an eternity for this day. But now my tummy hurt.
“Listen to him groan, he’s in pain!” Grandma palpated my stomach, “It’s the appendix, get him to the hospital!” A drill sergeant’s command could not have had more authority.
Mom studied her firstborn as I tried to get in a position of comfort. “Did you hear me? I mean NOW!”
Grandma was the bestest grandma in the world. Yet at times, the sternness in her Nurse Voice evoked greater emotion than Granddad’s hellfire and brimstone sermons. There was definitely more action (or should I say “reaction”) to Grandma’s directions than any of Granddad’s sermons, no matter how much sweat and volume were in his delivers.
My plane ride isn’t going to happen. What had I done for God to rob me of it?
I didn’t remember anything more until a mask was placed over my face and I was told to count backwards. I heard my voice grow softer and faded away after a few numbers.
I was awake and in no pain! Strangely quiet and dark, except for stars whisking by. Stars slowly rotated clockwise as they raced by. No whooshing, only silence.
I thought I was driving a car, as the only experience of moving quickly without wind in my face was in an automobile. I was in the driver’s seat because there was another being to my right. I didn’t look over but I knew he was there. No verbal communication, simply a knowledge or an awareness.
I glanced down towards the steering wheel and dashboard, but they were not there, nor was my body. I tried to shrug my shoulders. Then realized I had no shoulders, yet this did not seem to bother me.
As more stars passed by I thought, I wonder where I’m going.
One light seemed to be coming straight at me. That must be where I’m going.
I focused on this light as it loomed larger and larger, when suddenly I was again in pain and darkness, without stars.
I heard the doctor tell Mom, “We almost lost him!”
My bedtime fantasies of flying grew fainter, less frequent until I could not conjure up the feeling of weightlessness again. I could visualize flying, yet only dimly.
Some twenty years later I read about life-after-death experiences and realized this may have been one. Was it? I filed it in my memory.
As life passed, occasionally prayers were not answered as I hoped. After one prayer I heard the Spirit softly speak to my heart, “You are not asking outside God’s will but He has something much better for you.” I remembered I had not been able to go on that plane ride with Granddad, but God gave me a much bigger “plane ride”, through space itself. Other “unanswered” prayers came to mind: not answered, at least, the way I wanted, but His answers were so much better than I had ever hoped.
And one answer was literally out of this world!
A true story – mine
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