I woke up in the middle of the night to hear an interview via American Public Radio with Dr Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon and death survivor.
There are a lot more of us around since modern medicine evolved into something that worked...
I was three when my 'Near Death Experience' (NDE) happened. Of course I appreciated it with a three year olds consciousness - accepting everything that happens as ' this is how it is' having no concept at all of dying, death or an afterlife. I thought nothing of it, woke up from a coma, regained my sight, learned to walk again, and pretty soon, led my parents a merry dance as I made the most of my newly acquired celebrity status.
'You were dying,' my mother said, 'And God gave you back to us.' Interesting, I thought. It never occurred to me to question who God was, I just felt something flutter inside, and a need to say, Thank you! ' For hadn't God just given me back to the people I loved most in all the world?
I recall as sensation, the time I spent elsewhere. Light, love, colour, security, and most overwhelmingly, JOY.
I knew others were there, or rather that I was not alone, but I didn't see anyone, or remember doing anything but chasing bubbles and laughing, laughing, laughing... . Dr Alexander's account in 'Proof Of Heaven' (2012) is a full account of an NDE, that is more typical than mine, written with the objective edge of a scientist.
However, I didn't embark on this to attempt to persuade you to believe in the incredible - if it hadn't happened to me, I wouldn't believe it either - but to record what my mother tucked behind the clock on the mantelpiece.
I rapidly graduated from little celebrity to little horror. My long-suffering parents were advised by the hospital not to allow me to get upset, as my repairing brain might rupture a second blood vessel, and I soon realised that I could do anything and get away with it.
Finally, my desperate mum and dad took me back to the doctor to find a solution to the problem of Mary. I remember it! How old was I? Five or six, I think. Young enough to be gullible.
The doctor listened to the list of my misdemeanours with a solemn expression, then slowly reached for a pad and a pen. Do you know, I have just recalled how fascinated I was watching him scrawl across the page, the first time I ever saw a left-handed writer. Black ink, real ink, from a gold-rimmed fountain pen.
With a flourish, Dr Morris tore the sheet from the pad.
'This Mrs Cook,' he declared, solemnly, looking straight at me, 'Is a prescription for a cane...'
From that day on, whenever I drove my mum to her tether's end, all she had to do, was point to the clock on the mantelpiece... .