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As some of you know, on the 19th of December, I had total knee replacement surgery.  Ten days later, my knee and leg were swollen and inflamed, and, due to the fact my aortic valve has a leak in it, the doctor decided to re-do the surgery as he felt it was infected.   Ten days after that I went back to the hospital in the evening, as my whole leg was swollen like an elephant's and red as fire.  Luckily for me, I was admitted for observation around ten o'clock that night.  At five-thirty the next morning I coded and died and was on life support for three days in the ICU.  Weirdly enough, it was the easiest thing I have ever done.  Thankfully, a nurses aide was in my room when I took a breath and went to take a second one and couldn't breathe.  I mumbled to her I couldn't breathe, then I heard, "She's coding!" and that's all I knew for four days.

It turns out I had flash flood edema, that my lungs had rapidly filled with blood and I died.  As simple as that.  No effort whatsoever. No pain or anything unpleasant.  Just a lot of black, but it was calm and peaceful and didn't bother me at all.  Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my fifty year old daughter.  She still gets on pins and needles if she doesn't like my breathing sounds, or if she thinks I've been asleep for too long.  But I'm okay.  Thanks to a marvelous male nurse who saved my life, I am okay, more than okay.  And more than ever, I appreciate and love my life.  

And what did I get for this experience?  From our beautiful Sara R and Ann and a bunch of beautiful and caring Kossacks, I got a love-catcher quilt.  It is by far the most beautiful quilt I have ever seen.  Sara asked me my happy colors and I told her blue and yellow and that is what she made the quilt from.  That, along with the most heart-felt and uplifting messages I have ever received.  There is something eerie, but also beautiful about having your funeral so to speak and coming back to life.  I know truly how people feel about me an it's been a joyous experience.  

Here are four of the messages, not adding who sent them as I don't have their permission except for Aji and Wings.  

"My sweet quilt sister Rachel.  There is so much love for you in this quilt and no-one loves you more than I do.  May it bring you warmth and comfort and healing, both body and soul.  Your devoted ----------."

"Ode' iman (heart) and Ode' imin.  (strawberry) both symbols of women's role in life, and her strength and power, and you have that power, and you've played that role your whole life.  By the time Ode' imani-giiz (strawberry moon returns, your heart will be strong again, you life will be sweet again, and you'll know that all this time you've been wrapped in all our love.  Aji and Wings"

This is one of my favorites because of the sentiment.  "With love from the person who bought your dkos lifetime subscription."

This from a woman who bought and read my memoir, so it's particularly meaningful.
"Dearest Rachel - You are a strong spirit who has survived so much, and always, with grace and good cheer.  You have lived!  My wish for you is that you now find living easy, and full of happiness, health and your heart's desire."

Oh - and I can't leave out the pootie pad Sara enclosed for our three cats.  They spend their days fighting over it.  And It perfectly matches the quilt.  It, too, is beautiful.

For everyone who sent a message, thank you so very much.  They are all wonderful and I treasure them in my heart.  Before turning out my light at night I sit in bed and read them and delight in their meanings.  

Originally posted to racheltracks on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Quilt Project, Street Prophets , Positive Intention and Lovingkindness, KosAbility, and PWB Peeps.

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