Teresa P. Thompson

© Copyright 2005 by Teresa P. Thompson


     He looked as though he stood on the edge of the universe in a suit of pure bronzed armor, and the Earth appeared to be a ball-sized object in front of him.  The stars seemed to glisten all around his huge frame as I felt myself being drawn towards him as though the wind had caught my body it its shuffle.

     The alarm clock must have startled me out of the deep sleep for a second because I could faintly hear the sound of my husband’s voice coming from the bathroom telling me that it was time to get up.  I closed my eyes as I let myself drift back into this dream.  I needed to know what was going to happen to my frail soul as it drew closer to this huge figure that seemed to envelope the entire world and its universe of heavenly bodies.

     I could feel the movement of my body, but it was obvious that I wasn’t walking as I got closer to this figure of bronze.  I could see that his motionless stare had not changed and that his skin looked as though it had been dipped into a pot of hot melted bronze metal.  This creature was more than any human could explain in plain words.

     I could feel my hands reaching for the pillow beside me in the warm cozy bed.  It was as though I was grasping to hold onto the soft sheets for fear that I would fall straight through the darkened sky as I stood there without having any anchor beneath my feet.  As I fought to keep myself from reaching conciseness I could see the Earth as I glided past it.  Somehow it became so small to me that I felt as though I had suddenly become the size of the huge figure that I now stood before.

     The pounding of my heart became even fainter as I took my place just inches from this huge person’s face.  There was no fear as I felt him draw me closer to him until my mouth was completely covered by his.  He never moved nor did he speak, but I understood exactly what he was saying to me in his mind.  “Breathe,” for I am your life.”

     I closed my eyes as I let myself begin to breathe the sweet smell of his breath.  I could almost smell the scent of chocolate and cookies as the fragrance began to engulf me, just before it turned into the scent of magnolia.
     Suddenly I could feel the breath leaving my body and rising up through my throat as though it was a mere butterfly trying to find its way out from inside me.  I could feel the tickle of the wings as they pushed past my tonsils and straight up until the butterfly landed inside my mouth.  I clinched my teeth tightly together as though I was holding onto that small creature for dear life.  And perhaps I was holding onto to it for dear life—my life.

     Just as I felt myself begin to fight for this butterfly of a creature that I held clinched between my teeth, I began to feel the suction of the air coming from inside this huge bronze creature that had such a hold over me.  I knew that I could never defeat this “metal man” nor did I feel that I wanted to because suddenly I felt such a peace and clam sweep over my entire body that I had no desire to hold onto that butterfly that I held captive in my mouth any longer.

     I could faintly hear my husband shutting off the alarm clock as he shook me in an attempt to awake me from this unconscious state.  I knew that I was some where between sleep and being awake, but I also knew that I had to fight to hold on to this unconscious realm for just a little while longer.  I had to know what was going to happen to this huge figure—to this tiny butterfly—and more importantly what was going to happen to me.

     Once again I could feel myself losing touch with the reality of the world around me as I drifted back into this unearthly state of mind.  My husband’s voice became fainter and fainter until I could no longer hear him calling my name or trying to awake me; although I knew that he was still there somewhere in the room where my body lay in limbo of the scenario that was playing out in front of my soul.  He had no idea that the real part of my being was not there in that bed or even in that room at that moment.  I was trapped somewhere on the edge of the universe with a creature that could engulf the entire solar system with just one hand.

     As I began to let my mouth open for the butterfly to take flight from my body, I could feel that this huge figure did not want me to let the tiny creature go that easily.  The painted-on look of his eyes never opened and his expression never changed; and I could still feel the great suction of his breath as he held me dangling in the air above what appeared to be a million stars.

      Suddenly it seemed as though I was watching this scene play out on a movie screen—I could see the huge bronzed figure standing in the center of all creation with the Earth spinning just beyond the right side of his face, the black night sky surrounding him with its glowing stars engulfing the background.  Then there were the other planets and heavenly bodies just beyond his reach to the far left of his head.  As I looked closer I could see the tiny figure of a woman dressed in a white flowing gown standing in mid thin air with only the touch of the figure’s mouth to hold her up.

     The woman’s arms seemed to be outstretched in a pleading effort for him to not let her go.  I suddenly realized that the woman that I was seeing was me and I was begging this huge form to take me with him and not send me back to the realm that I had come to know as the “real world.”  This place and moment seemed more love-filled than anything I had ever experienced on Earth.

     He suddenly forced the butterfly back down my throat with a great spin of air from his mouth as I felt him let me go.  I could feel myself falling but as I dropped I suddenly opened my eyes and saw that I was in my own bed in my room with my husband standing over me telling me it was time to get up.  Although I could hear my husband well and I knew that I was now awake and I had somehow left this unconscious realm, I could also hear the faint sound of the huge figure telling me that “It was not time yet.”

     As I made my way to the kitchen to make my morning coffee, I could almost still feel the presence of the huge creature, I could feel the butterfly that seemed to be trapped in my mouth for so long and I could still almost feel the wind around my gown as I clung to the mouth of this bronzed creature.  The tickling feeling of the butterfly in my throat seemed to stay with me for hours.  Even as I dropped my daughter off at the school bus stop, I just could not shake the feeling that something extraordinary had happened to me earlier that morning.

     Perhaps it had been “just a dream” or perhaps it had been my biggest fear come to life.  I had for as long as I could remember wondered what death felt like.  Although I had always believed in God and his son, Jesus Christ, and in the salvation of my soul; I still had that distant wondering clinging in the back of my mind, just as I am sure that everyone must do from time to time.  There were times that I would find myself caught up in the fascination of what it would be like to take that “last Earthly breath” as we know it.         Would we just cease to exist at that moment, would we pass through a long tunnel as we so often hear about, or would we just close our eyes and suddenly be transformed into another realm to await our eternal destiny.   More than likely, those who really know the truth behind death’s mysterious door could never actually tell what exactly awaits us behind that velvet curtain.

     It has been said many times that it is perhaps the unknown that we are afraid of in this lifetime; and certainly death is one of the greatest mysteries that life holds.

     I pulled into the driveway that morning, but instead of getting out of the car and heading straight for the house; I just sat there and looked around.  God’s beauty was all around me—the trees, the grass, the sky, the sounds of the birds chirping in their nests and of course the fact that I was here just one more day to enjoy all that beauty.  Then I suddenly realized that not only should I be thankful for all this, but that I should also be thankful for the “Bronzed Man” whom I had encountered earlier that morning.

     For the first time I realized that I was no longer frightened of death or that its uncertainty was not going to be a factor in my life.  Skeptics may say that what happened to me was a dream, and perhaps that is the only true explanation.  However I chose to believe that it was far greater than just a dream.   I am convinced that it was God’s way of showing me that death is not something to be feared or dreaded; but rather something to look forward to after this life is finished.

     The memory of that huge bronzed man, the feeling of complete love and the tickle of the butterfly in my throat and mouth will forever stay with me.  There are times when I can close my eyes and relive that moment all over again as though it is just happening and there are times when I can’t bring that feeling to mind no matter how I try.  There are still other times when I know I will experience that feeling again someday, but for now I will just “breathe.”

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