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I had a strange thing happen to me.

Last Sunday I saw a dead person come back to life. Halfway through the visiting Bishop’s sermon, those of us who were sitting in the congregation heard some talking. How rude. I looked over from whence the noise came and saw my friend, Mignonne, signaling to Carol, a nurse, who was sitting next to me.

At first glance I saw a woman slumped over next to her husband. By this time, the Bishop, perceiving there was some sort of problem, stopped talking. It was then that we understood. The woman was talking to 911. Her husband, Herman, needed an ambulance.

Carol rushed over and took Herman’s pulse. We were all shocked when we heard the words, “I don’t feel a pulse.” At that point our priest, who by that time was seated next to Herman, folded his arms around Herman’s body and said a prayer for healing, while his wife pleaded, “Don’t leave me now, sweetheart.”

I stood looking at Herman. The color had quickly drained out of his face and he was not conscious. He looked dead.

And then it happened. Herman’s color came back. He almost regurgitated. Someone produced a plastic shopping bag to catch the vomit that didn’t happen. Our priest, said, “Can you hear me, Herman?” This was repeated several times before we saw Herman’s eyes start to open and he answered, “Yes.”

A general sigh of relief went around the assembled crowd. Herman’s wife stroked his arm, put her hand in his and asked him to squeeze it. He did. Then he smiled through his spit. It was beautiful.

When the medics arrived, he was being told what had happened to him. He laughed when someone said, “I’ve heard of falling asleep during a sermon, but this is ridiculous.” Bad jokes always ease the tension, somehow.

Herman is at home now. The doctors couldn’t figure out what had happened. There was no heart damage. He’s fine. He checked himself out of the hospital that Sunday night.

A miracle? Maybe. I guess it just wasn’t Herman’s time to die.

Yes, life is fragile. No one has to tell us mothers, who miss our children every moment of every day, that fact. I’m glad Herman has a second chance at life. I only wish my daughter could have been as lucky or blessed. But maybe she was. It’s my belief she’s happy and busy helping others in her new dimension. I know she helps me. Maybe she helped bring Herman back. Maybe Herman had a life after death experience. Stranger things have happened.

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