It was Christmas Eve, and one of the worst winters in New Jersey history. Several feet of snow had fallen. Fortunately for me, my father was stubborn that afternoon, and was determined to finish plowing the driveway; despite protests from my mother to just "leave it and come inside." Had that driveway not been clear, I'd not be here to write this now.
The day before, I was just as stubborn. I ran around outside without a coat on. What did I know? I was only three years old. I wasn't supposed to know better.
The night came ... and so did this funny wheezing sound every time I tried to breath. I wasn't scared as much as confused. My brother, who's a year and half older, ran into my parents room to tell them "Stuey can't breath." My mom came in and started to wrap me up. Off we went to the car.
It wasn't long into the car ride that I remember my eyes rolling up into my head. Everything went dark, yet calm... and soon we were pulling into the parking lot of the hospital. What was all the fuss about? I felt fine. The wheezing stopped.
Suddenly I wasn't being carried anymore. I was down the hallway watching them come in. I tried to say "hi" but they breezed right past me into the room. I stood over them watching what was going on. It was strange but not because of what they were doing, but rather that I was standing taller than them now. I turned to my right and saw a blond woman standing beside me. I was going to ask her what was going on, but she just directed me to watch. I then turned back, but once again was distracted by something to my left -- a boy running off into a field.
Turning to watch him sent me into the field. The boy running was me... and I was so happy... so free.
It was an amazing place. The mountains, grass, trees .. everything seemed real, yet somehow MORE real. The colors were at the same time muted and richer than anything I could describe. It was bright, yet not blinding... and I fell into the grass and flung my arms up and around. What was once wheezing was now the sound of laughter... I was lost within my own joy.
Then came the voice. It was booming, but not loud; stern, yet gentle at the same time.
"You must go back."
"But I don't wanna go back," I protested.
"It is not your time, little one," came the reassuring words.
You'd think that'd be enough for me, but I didn't listen to that loud voice that told me to put my coat on; why should I start now?
"I don't wanna!"
"I have things for you to do."
"I don't wanna.. I don't wanna.... Idon'twannaIdon'twannaIdon'twanna...."
The BOOM! I was back on the hospital table, getting a shot in my butt.
'This is what I came back for?' I thought... 'I definitely don't wanna....'