I was driving an 18-wheeler semi truck for a company from Utah to Texas. The trip had me starting from my home in Nevada (former lion trainer for the MGM) routing through Arizona where I picked up several baby monkeys from a friend of mine to deliver to another friend in Texas. Anyway in the middle of the night, as I was driving west in Texas, I felt a ‘presence’ in the passenger seat. I turned and looked. There sat my mother who had committed suicide in 1981. She was staring straight ahead as if looking for something ahead of us and was acting very nervous. For my mother this was very unusual behavior even if she was living. Instead of me being frightened, I was concerned about her and was actually trying to reassure her. She ‘told’ me that I had to find a hospital and quickly. She was giving me directions on how to get there. The hospital was the other side of town and not by the freeway. Also, there was construction going on the freeway. I don’t recall the trip to the hospital that well except when she would tell me where to turn. I do remember trying to bring her ‘up to date ‘ about my life but she just wanted me to concentrate on getting to the hospital.

My next memory is sitting in my truck just outside of the hospital and writing notes to people in the emergency room about who to contact, about the monkeys and how to contact my adult daughter. To this day, I’m not sure exactly what I wrote but think they’re part of my medical records. At that point, my mom told me to please listen too her and get to the emergency room. I was trying to reassure her that I would go as soon as I finished writing my notes.

The next memory is that I’m walking to the emergency room doors. Then it was like I was in a tunnel and the emergency room doors appeared to be getting farther away. I then began to feel tired and the thought entered my mind to go back to the truck and rest a bit and then try again. But as I was going to turn and go back, I felt hands grab my shoulders to keep me walking straight to the emergency room door.

The next memory I had was trying to stand up, but it was like I was slipping on a hillside with lose rock like shale. As I looked up, it was dark and there were three crosses. The man’s face on the cross in the middle had a ‘slash’ of light illuminating his face, mainly his eyes, but just from his face you could tell he had been severely beaten. But his eyes – to this day I get emotional when I think and feel the complete love, compassion and caring I felt he had for me.

What I’m going to describe happened in thought, not words. He then asked me if I understood. ‘Understood what?’ was my thought. I then ‘saw’ things in rapid succession that were moments of my life, complete with emotions I felt during certain times of my life as a child and up through adulthood. Then again, the question ‘Do you understand??’ Again, I saw a rapid succession of events in my life. I must have been ‘getting something’ because the next question was ‘What would be your idea of heaven?’ Before I could answer, I found myself ‘in the womb’ floating above the planet and recall a ‘taste’ in my mouth. It was not unpleasant but it was a definite ‘taste.’

Then came a feeling like I was in utopia with complete knowledge of everything. If I began to ask a question, I had the answer before I finished the thought. It was during this time when I wanted to know Jesus/God better and get as close as I could to him. The thought was, ‘If you listen to Thomas, seek out Thomas…’

When I woke from my coma, I told the nurse that if she wanted to know the answer to anything, to ask now because the knowledge was fading fast. It was like a dream when you first wake you remember every detail and then it fades and you only remember the basics of the experience. But that thought, ‘search out Thomas (the book)’ was vivid. At the time, I knew that he was one of the 12 disciples, but his importance or that there was a book of Thomas, was not known to me at the time.

The next memory is that I’m standing in the lobby of a hospital. I was expecting someone to ‘pick me up’ but people were walking past me, like they were looking ‘through” me. I tried to ‘ask ‘ someone where I was and then noticed my friend John was driving his wife’s Mercedes which she NEVER let him drive. He was driving it into the parking lot. I started looking for my ‘suitcase’ but couldn’t find it. I looked up to see John walk right past me to the elevator doors and get into the elevator. He had a plate covered with tinfoil, which was my Thanksgiving dinner. The hospital told him that I was in the critical care unit but not my condition. At the time, I was comatose. My trip was suppose to end at the ‘snake farm’ where I would have Thanksgiving dinner with John and his family while delivering the baby monkeys.

The next thing I remember is John getting out of the elevator obviously ‘shaken’ and he threw the plate in the trash and left. Then I was taking another look around for my ‘suitcase.’ I looked again and thought that he’s leaving in his wife’s car. Then I went many places. I visited my friends from High School and went to several friend’s houses. I tried to memorize where they were so I could eventually find them, even a girl that I had week-long relationship with just to see where she was.

When I was released from the hospital, I spent a few days ‘recovering’ at John’s house. Both, John and his wife were shocked when I described him driving the Mercedes to them.

At no time do I remember ‘seeing ‘ my body or seeing anyone doing CPR or defibrillation any medical procedure on me. I’m not a huge fan of hospitals anyway!! At no time was I able to get anyone’s attention and I don’t recall much of a effort to do that, but I was just observing. At no time was the experience frightening. On the contrary, the incredible feeling of non-judgmental, love and peace I felt from whom I felt was Jesus/God on that cross, I will never forget.

Although, I have no fear of death now that I’m back, I’m in no hurry to experience it again!