Just One More Breath

By Steve Mitchell

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Just One More Breath

It was just one week after an elective back surgery that I was in more physical pain than I had ever experienced.

At home alone, because my nurse was at the grocer buying some fruit and vegetables, I found myself face to face with the five different pain medicines that were giving me some relief and located on the small table next to my bed. I figured, if one was okay, then two of each must be better. Big mistake. Pop, pop, pop, pop, and pop-they went into my mouth. Now, all I had to do was wait for all the pain to exit my exhausted body. But yikes, I forgot to take my blood pressure pill. One more pop and I felt like I accomplished my goal and all was good to go.

About ten minutes later, I was start-ing to feel weak as I rested on my bed. Within another couple of minutes, I could not move, open my eyes or talk.

After a very short time, my nurse came home and while I heard her call my name, I could not answer. As she approached my bedroom, she kept on calling out to me, but I could not speak. She shook me -but still no response. I heard her call my doctor (who is my daughter, Dr. Robin Lipski) and she told her to call 911. She did.

Within several minutes, the police, firemen and an ambulance arrived, and a team of four from the ambulance began to work on me. Now, while I could not move or open my eyes or talk, I could certainly hear what everyone was saying. Scary stuff. They carried me to the ambulance, hooked me up to whatever they hook you up to and all the while, I could hear how fast they said they were losing me. All I could think about was taking one more breath before it was too late. Just one more breath. They opened my eye and I heard them say my pupil was almost a pinpoint. Holy moly. Just one more breath, please. They had to inject me at once.

Do you remember going to the playground as a kid? Do you remember going down the slide? Well, there I was going down this big white slide into this magnificent field of white, yellow and orange flowers as far as I could see. All the while hearing the frantic voices in the ambulance fighting to keep me alive. I felt them jab some-thing into me, but all I could see was this magnificent field and the peace it brought. But I had to take just one more breath as I barely heard them say, it did not work. There I was floating above the flowers, never speaking to, or hearing God or even catching a glimpse of a pearly gate; but I knew I was in a better place and while I felt good being there, I desperately did not want to leave my family and friends and life.

And now, I could not take just one more breath. I knew I had passed into another experience and I was not afraid.

I did not know how long I was gone, but, all of a sudden, I felt a deep jab and that one more breath flooded my lungs and I heard the people around me say, "We got him back, thank God". I took several short breaths and felt the ambulance take off to the hospital.

My daughter and nurse were there when I arrived. They each had to fight their way in to be with me. Just seeing my daughter Robin's beautiful face made me realize why I had fought so hard to take that one more breath. While I would listen to the clergy tell us about heaven, I was always a doubter. I seriously did not believe in an after life. I thought heaven was a way to control everyone from doing terrible things while on earth. It was about control. Not! There is a place hereafter. I was there. It was peaceful and beautiful. I felt my energy luxuriate in it's beauty.

When it is my time to leave my family and friends and this earth we call home, I will not be afraid. I am sharing this personal experience with all of you so you too will know that there really is more. A more beautiful more.

Thank you.