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Ruthe's Secret Roses - by Ruth Marlene Friesen
Ruthe's Secret Roses
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The Night I Died

by Connie Lepovsky

A year or two before this happened, I brought my mom a dead mouse to "fix." She explained you can't fix dead. When I pressed for details, she told me that when a creature stops breathing and its heart stops, it dies and that's it.

A little over three weeks before my 7th birthday, I caught the mumps. At that time our town required parents to bring a contagious child to the health department. Right. And our doctor said that's where I caught the measles, which kicked in just before the 3-week mumps quarantine was due to expire. Since I'd already been sick, the measles hit hard, very hard! For a week I was in a coma, too sick to be moved to a hospital.

Suddenly, very late one night, I came out of the coma and knew, absolutely KNEW, I was about to die. At first I was so scared I couldn't even call for my mom and dad. Weird, too, is the fact that I lay there wondering if my heart would stop first or my breathing. It was the breathing, and for the first little bit, that was really scary. Then quickly I realized it was nice not having to breathe. When you're really sick, it's hard work this breathing thing. Not long after, I felt my heart grow slower and slower, then finally stop.

Then WHAM! In a nanosecond (or maybe less) I was somewhere outdoors. It felt a lot like our side yard, but I was too startled to really look around. It was very bright daylight, and yet the brightness didn't bother my light sensitive eyes a bit. It felt like there was no gravity at all, and that I could jump as high as I wanted. Oh, was I a happy camper!

But before I even had a chance to think about anything much, other than how great it was not to be sick any more, a very sweet lady's voice from behind me gently said, "You have to go back."

"No, I don't want to go back," I insisted.

"Your mother needs you," she told me.

"She does NOT need me. I'm just a little kid," was my counter.

Instantly I saw a vision of my bedroom, with me in the bed dead, and my dear mother weeping at my side as though her heart would break.

Yup, I went back. But ever since, I've never been worried about going forward again!

Undoubtedly this sweet lady was my guardian angel, and I was privileged to actually see her back in the early 1990's, although I didn't realize who she was until she suddenly disappeared.

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