This Friday was the monthly meeting of IANDS Utah, where people meet to discuss near death experiences. Frankly, I wasn’t planning to go because I forgot about it. Then Wednesday afternoon a filmmaker friend of mine called to see if I was going, and she needed a place to stay. She was planning to screen her new film about announcement dreams at the IANDS meeting. I was interviewed in the film about the night my daughter appeared to me before she was born, so I thought I might go. Then on Thursday another friend of mine, Alice, called to say she would NOT be attending the meeting because she did not have a ride, so I committed to going by volunteering to take her. She took me to dinner before the meeting and I so enjoyed talking with her. She is in her 90’s and energetic and full of life and enthusiasm. Very inspiring. She just doesn’t let anything get her down. During dinner we talked about how we should pay attention to small pieces of guidance from above, such as having two people call to remind me of a meeting I forgot.
At the meeting I met Alice’s niece, who also was not planning to go to the meeting until she serendipitously met Alice at Costco a few hours before. She thought she should pay attention to this coincidence. Interestingly, she too had experienced an announcing dream. She met her unborn grandchild several times in a dream. We talked a lot about that while we waited for the meeting to begin.
The meeting was wonderful. Instead of talking about near death experiences the speaker, Sarah Hinze talked about life before life. She related accounts of people who remember their journey to earth before they were born. It was fascinating, and as she stated, it served as a sort of a book end to near death experiences, illustrating the eternal nature of life.
I have to wonder why it was so important for me to attend this meeting. I think I’ll find out sooner or later. Why didn’t anything happen to remind me to go to my church chili cook-off? I totally forgot about that! Anyway, I am glad that I paid attention to the reminders to attend the IANDS meeting. It really got me to thinking about how blessed I’ve been to have spiritual experiences (a near death experience and an announcing dream, among others). Being in touch with the larger view of things, the eternal view, has enriched my life.
Melissa, Sid, me, Brad, Marlo in MRI waiting room
I had a great Valentine’s Day. I was very nervous about getting an MRI to see how much the tumor on my brain had grown. My family members were also concerned and accompanied me. It was just so nice to have everyone there It took my mind off the outcome of the MRI. I felt very loved an cared for. One of my sons even gave me some roses for Valentine’s Day. Well, as it turned out, there was nothing to worry about. My neurosurgeon said the tumor was completely gone. He said the “sliver” that other doctors thought was the tumor was actually just a normal darkening of the brain lining in the surgical site. Yay! He said to come back in a year just to continue monitoring. So now I think my challenge is to focus on gaining more energy and having a positive attitude about my health and release worry. I really want to do all I can to release this fatigue. I can do this! Thanks to all for their prayers and support. Are we having fun yet? Yeah.
Ever since I learned about how smiling can increase endorphins and decrease cortisol, and just make you feel good, I have been in the habit of smiling a lot. It’s the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning, and while I’m riding the train to work I’m sure people are wondering what I’m thinking about because I smile so much. Last week I was on the train and caught a reflection of myself in the window and realized that I hadn’t been smiling that week. It’s like I to totally forgot about it. I also noticed that my mood was not the best, and I resisted smiling just then. While having this conversation with myself, I noticed an older woman sitting alone and kept having a strong impression that I should go sit with her and chat.Normally I follow these impressions but just couldn’t get our of my doldrums to do it. Now, here’s the fun part: When we got off the train, she looked like she didn’t know where to go so I asked her if she needed help. Guess what she said? She said, “No I’m fine. And you already helped me. Whenever I looked over at you on the train, you smiled at me. You have a beautiful smile.” Can you believe it? While I’m beating myself up for getting out of the smiling habit, I must have smiled a few times, and connected with her somehow. Life is just so full of mystery and surprises! Keep smiling!
I attended a funeral of a great woman who used to be my neighbor, Veda Forakis. She was 91 years old and lived a good life from my view. While at the funeral I ran into several of my friends who used to live in the same neighborhood. We had lunch together, reminiscing and catching up. And laughing a lot. We plan to get together again with the rest of the large group who still keeps in touch. We also might get a stress management meeting together so I can teach the group about meditation and relaxation methods. Fun!
During lunch we talked about one of our group who sustained a brain injury just before my own brain surgery. Like me, he suffers from fatigue. Then on the way home I heard a story on the radio all about a young woman who had a brain injury resulting in amnesia. And finally this afternoon I talked to the lady who checked out my groceries and her skull fracture resulted in loss of taste and smell. Am I running into these people because I’m thinking about my own brain a lot, or was it just coincidence? It just seemed odd to me, especially since I am getting a follow up MRI on Tuesday (Happy Valentine’s Day!) and I’m nervous about it.
A few months ago I was told the tumor has returned and looks like a “sliver.” So this week’s MRI will let us know how fast the tumor is growing. Honestly, my main concern is my kids. If I have to have extensive treatment, then I don’t want to burden them with my care. So I am hoping that the sliver is just a sliver and will stay that way for a long time. Sometimes these meningiomas grow slowly and sometimes fast. I have a “sliver” of hope that this is a slow growing one. We’ll see.
I have had a great time talking to people about my near death experience after speaking about it at the International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS) in Salt Lake City. A few weeks ago I was invited by a small group to be their guest speaker, and when I went to the IANDS meeting last week, a few people talked to me some more about it. It just feels good to talk about meaning, and life experiences. We all seem to have questions about death and life after death. If you are interested, here is the audio link to the talk I gave at IANDS:
When you open the link, hit the DOWNLOAD (66.27 MB) button that is right after my name, in the upper left area of the page. Enjoy!