The first experience
was when I was in the hospital with gangrene.
They were marking the progression up my
leg. The pain was horrendous. They decided
to amputate the next day. I kept screaming, "I
want to die. Hell with the leg!"
During the surgery this
is what happened. Out comes this ladder,
right out of the heavens, like Jacob's ladder.
And here's this angel, male, in a mist,
dressed in a grayish-tan-gauze overlay.
The angel told me I have no right to want
to die. I tried to climb that ladder, but
the angel had strong arms. I kept trying
to get up there, and he slapped me, told
me that only the Lord will decide and that
I should stop complaining. Then he disappeared.
I was out of the hospital
for two weeks, didn't feel right, went to
the ER and had to be readmitted with congestive
heart failure. I developed bad pain in my
side while I was there, had a workup and
ended up with a colostomy because it was
cancer. What the hell! Why not? That's
when I had the second experience.
Would you believe, here
came the devil! There was a band of people,
all dressed in black, all wearing shrouds
with hoods, about eight of them and a leader.
I said: "Oh, shit!"
They all had candles.
The leader had slanted eyes and I thought
maybe the Japs were after me. I was in the
Pacific theater in World War II, so I know
what Japs look like, but this was a tall
son of a bitch! Nobody spoke. They
just nodded and pranced around with the
candles. If I'd had a gun I would've shot
They were out to kill
me. That I believe. They didn't want me
to live, maybe because I derided them. I
don't believe in hocus pocus. It was the
candles that threw me off, and the fact
that I saw these slant eyes. I thought they
were all Japs, but really knew they weren't.
But they were people I didn't like. They
wanted to do me harm and I was already in
enough pain. I didn't want any more. I didn't
need this bullshit! And then the surgery
was over. It was awful surgery.
I was in there for five
weeks. Toward the end of the hospitalization,
BINGO, I was visited again, but this time
it was just a voice. A male voice called
It told me, in essence,
to mind my p's and q's, not to get excited,
and that I'm being tested. I asked, "For
I was admonished not
to question, to take my medicine and if
I don't like it to keep quiet. It also suggested
that I do a little praying, and I'm "son-of-a-bitching"
all over the place. I said, "Praying
don't help me."
The pain was unbelievable,
because they had to clean and pack my open
wound four times a day. I had said, "Just
pull the pipes and let me go."
The voice said, "You
don't decide. He'll decide."
Then, here comes this
fella down the ladder again right out of
the heavens, right out of the clouds. I
said, "This time are you going to take
me up the ladder?"
The answer was, "No."
In the meantime, back
at the ranch, the surgeon was telling my
family that there was no hope for me. My
heart had stopped a couple of times, but
here I am!
Afterwards, one of the
rabbis came up to the room to see me. I
told him that I wasn't interested in rabbis.
I told him about the meeting with the Man
from upstairs and I said to him that I don't
want to live anymore. That rabbi took off
his yarmulke and started to curse me. I
have never heard anyone who could curse
as well as I can. He asked me who the hell
I thought I was. I told him to mind his
own business and that he can go to hell
and take his religion with him. I told him
to get the hell away from me. He said: "Only
God decides who lives and dies."
I said, "I don't believe
He said that if I didn't
believe in God, then I wouldn't see angels.
I got so angry that I put the side rails
down, got out of bed and fell, so they had
to stitch me up and tie me down. I told
him that I want to get the hell out of this
life, no matter where I go, down below or
wherever. And it must be something that
all these rabbis learned way back, because
he also said again, "God decides who
lives and who dies."
I told him, "During
the war I didn't believe in God, and when
they say there are no atheists in foxholes
that's bullshit. When these priests come
in and cross themselves, that's bullshit
also. So don't come in here and start preaching."