I have come to the conclusion that I am either a green-eyed cat now living the seventh of my nine lives . . . or a creature from some Galaxy far, far away . . . OR . . . I’ve had an angel on my shoulder since the day I was born! Nothing else explains why I survived no fewer than six scenarios that should have rendered me well and truly dead. Truly!
You don’t believe me? No problem! Allow me to share just three of them:
December 1995: It was the week before Christmas and all through the . . . no, that’s not it.
It was the week before Christmas, 1995, and I was finishing my Holiday shopping in the Pasadena Mall. Having recently suffered a serious lower back injury, I was unable to walk without a cane. So, cane in one hand, large purse stuffed with small gifts in the other, I hobbled on to an empty elevator, for a trip down one level, to the mall’s parking garage.
Just as the elevator doors were about to close, two young men, one tall, one short, slipped into the elevator. I didn’t notice their clothing, but their faces wore a smirk a great white shark would envy, and the words “If you can read this, you’re #×*$×!” seemed to be written in Neon on their foreheads.
They grinned as they stared at me and my cane, and suddenly every cell in my body was screaming “GET OUT!” I cursed out loud as I raised my cane, shoved it between the nearly closed elevator doors, and hobbled . . . no, more like gimped (“gimped” is a word, right?), okay, gimped for my life. Behind me I could hear my two would-be assailants laughing.
I was shaking from head to toe as I walked “gimpally” down one flight of stairs and entered the large shopping mall garage. “Are you okay?” asked a Security Guard who, I’m fairly certain, was at least 14 years old, and appeared to be dressed in his daddy’s uniform. “No . . . nope, not okay. No, definitely not okay,” I babbled, then described my elevator companions.
After making a quick call on his Security Guard Decoder Ring (okay, no, he used his Walkie Talkie), Security Guard Baggie Pants said, “Good thing you got out when you did cause a woman about your age was killed in that elevator last week. We found her body in a dumpster. Her throat had been slashed, and the two guys who did it match the description of the two guys you just described!”
January 17, 1994: It was 4:30 in the morning and, sitting at my desk in my home office, I was putting the finishing touches on a script I had written for the TV series “Frasier.”
My makeshift office consisted of one desk, one high-back desk chair, and, in front and on the left and right of my desk, six 2×4’s, each six feet long, upon which sat a computer tower (you remember computer towers, don’tcha?); a printer; a Boom Box (please tell me you remember Boom Boxes); dozens of books, and half a dozen potted plants in some major league terra cotta pots. So, there I sat, typing the words “Fade Out. The End” and poof — out went the lights. Something felt very wrong—very wrong and very dark!
A voice in my head SCREAMED “Get UP!!” so I did. I dove out of my high-back desk chair and, as I did, I heard a thunderous CRASH . . . then everything started to shake, and a seven-point-one earthquake rocked the world of everybody in Los Angeles!
From her bedroom down the hall, my then-twelve-year-old daughter was screaming “Mommy, help!” “I’m coming, honey!” I shouted, though I doubted she could hear me over what sounded like a freight train barreling through our home. The walls shook and anything not nailed down was flying through the air. I tried to get to my child, but something was blocking my way, and in the darkness, I couldn’t see what it was.
“Stand in your doorway,” I screamed to her, as books, dishes, and framed artwork flew through the air. I could hear my terrified daughter shrieking, but I couldn’t reach her. Dinner plates had become flying projectiles and they were slamming into my back from the open cupboards behind me. All around me everything breakable was shattering. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, and I couldn’t move. I was trapped by objects that, in the total darkness, I couldn’t even see. The noise was deafening, and the shaking of the walls wouldn’t stop.
Suddenly I heard a neighbor calling my name and then he appeared, flashlight in hand. Somehow, he made his way to my daughter’s bedroom, picked her up, and carried her down the stairs and outside, to safety, with me following close behind. Dozens of neighbors were gathering in the street. The rotten egg smell of ruptured gas lines filled the air. A young man pulled his Zippo lighter from his pocket and, as he flipped it open to light the cigarette that was dangling from his lips, he was tackled from two directions, and his lighter fell to the ground, unlit. “That’s gas, you idiot!” a chorus of neighbors shouted.
As the first rays of dawn peeked over rooftops, I borrowed my neighbor’s flashlight and carefully made my way up the stairs and into my home. My living room floor was more than ankle deep in plants, potting soil, bits and pieces of broken pottery, shattered mirrors, and a bazillion multi-colored, jagged shards of what had been my treasured Fiesta Ware service for six. My living room had been rearranged—nothing was where it belonged. My over-stuffed cozy couch was on the wrong side of the room, with my over-sized TV nesting, upside down, on the middle cushion.
I made my way into my little office and what I saw caused a wave of nausea too overwhelming to control. The shelves that had stood around my desk had collapsed, and there, in my high-back desk chair, at a 45-degree angle, was a six-foot long 2×4 that, had I remained seated in that chair one second longer, would have decapitated me.
November 1975: What began as a party ended abruptly with my death. Drugs can do that! This time, the inner voice that had, so often, protected me from harm, was silent and so . . . I died. But my death was short-lived. Eight minutes long, to be exact and, how, on that occasion, I was able to return to the Land of the Living was the strangest experience of all. So strange, in fact, that I wasn’t sure it had actually happened. I needed proof, and that’s exactly what I got—proof that my “Divine Experience” really had taken place—and it was proof that no one could deny!
One minute I was alive. The next minute I was dead. That should have been the end of my story, but it was only the beginning. I met God. I talked to God and God talked to me. You may not believe my experience was real, but that’s okay because reality is real, whether you believe it or not.
So, am I a green-eyed cat currently living the seventh of her nine allotted lives? . . . or am I a creature from some distant Galaxy? . . . or was I born with a crew of angels living on my shoulder? I don’t know the answer. That wasn’t one of the questions I thought to ask God during our Question and Answer Session. Oh, sorry . . . I neglected to mention that during those eight minutes when I was well and truly dead, I stood at the front door of heaven and had a Question and Answer Session with God. I did, really, and I can prove it!
Why Are There Monkeys? (and other questions for God) is the absolutely true, deeply inspirational, laugh-out-loud funny story of my Near-Death Question & Answer Session with God. (If you think a conversation with God could not possibly be funny, you’re in for a BIG surprise!)