Her question caught me off guard. I’d never mentioned my near-death experience to her directly. But I shouldn’t have been surprised. In our small, tight-knit church community, news spread fast.
Olivene was dying. At age 98, her body was giving out. But she took the news in stride. She had lived a long life, she assured me. If it was her time to go, then she was ready. I was happy to share my story with her. I pulled my chair closer to her bedside.
“Well, you remember when my husband, Paul, and I went on that cruise last February to celebrate our twentieth anniversary,” I said. Olivene nodded.
Paul and I had desperately needed an escape. His brother had recently died, and the loss had hit him hard. The milestone anniversary seemed like the perfect reason to get away, relax a little and reconnect. Until it all went wrong.
“On the second day of our trip, I blacked out in our cabin,” I said. “All I remember is feeling faint. Then… nothing. Darkness.”
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