The Phoenix

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Visit From The Other Side...#5 of my spooky stories series

What happens after death? It's an ancient question that science and religion have tried to fully answer since the dawn of man. Is there something after we die? Or is the 'afterlife' just wishful thinking.

Whatever your beliefs cannot deny the profound experience "Dan Martinez" had three and a half years ago. On April 1st, 2002 - April Fool's Day - Dan was on a hospital bed, facing uncertainty. Strangely enough, like the movie Field of Dreams, Dan's experience with the 'other side' involves baseball, as it was opening day. Here's Dan's story, told by himself:

I'm only 29 years old and a father of a 19 month old son. I have a family, a big mortgage, two cars, and too many responsibilities to die now.

Those were my exact thoughts as I lay in a stiff hospital bed, trying to smile for my mother and younger brother. I could tell they were both very worried, but they spoke to me in a normal manner. The television mounted up in the corner of the room supplied an easy diversion. It was opening stuff normal life was made of.

Pitching for the opposing team was a guy with the same last name as us, "Martinez." Our home team was crushing the ball and hitting everything this pathetic pitcher threw at them.

"He's totally pissing on our family name," I joked.

Martinez was overweight, and he looked more like a cook at a Mexican restaurant than a Major League pitcher. I think the score was 7-2 in the bottom of the 5th inning. As we watched the guy with our same last name give up a double, I suddenly noticed just how tired I was.

Soon my mother and brother left. At that moment I thought to myself, what if this is the last time I see them? I pushed that morbid thought out of my mind and watched them close the door behind them.

I thought of my grandfather, "Grandpa Lopez." He had passed away in the fall of 1995. For a few years prior, he had been very ill. I watched him teeter precariously between life and death on several occasions in hospital beds like mine. But he was a grandfather. I was only 29, and I felt myself drift from anger to depression. Suddenly, something caught my nose. At first, the smell was barely there, but the scent got stronger... it was unmistakably the smell of my grandfather. It was immediately accompanied by that feeling.

The feeling of a presence in the room.

I tried to keep my heart rate down, took a deep breath and eyed the monitors to my left - just to make sure I was still functioning. I felt the hair on my arms stand on end...and I swear to God, I felt like someone was standing just to my left. I started to panic...was I dying? I couldn't conceive the notion that my grandfather was at my bedside.

Baseball! I kept my eyes straight at the television screen. Ok, it's now 10-2. My mind began to concentrate on the sports announcers on TV. The scent was still strong, and my eyes wanted to turn to my left, half expecting to see the ghost of Grandpa Lopez. I was just going to ignore all this nonsense until it went away. Martinez was being pulled from the game. Ha, serves him right...the guy sucked eggs.

The more I tried to ignore the presence in the room, the more I could feel it assert itself. Like a strong emotional tugging. OK...I want to believe you're here, Grandpa, I do. But I need proof. Don't do something freaky like make my plastic cup of jell-o fly across the room. And certainly do NOT show yourself. I have a weak heart, and that could just push me over the edge.

I held my breath and waited...waited for a sign from the afterlife, from Grandpa Lopez. But nothing happened. I decided to try to watch baseball to forget about all of this ghost stuff.

The relief pitcher was jogging towards the mound as Martinez was leaving. He's totally pissing on our family name, I remembered joking with my brother as the fat pitcher was loafing towards the dugout. The new pitcher took the ball from the coach and turned around to begin his warm up. As he did so, the last name on his jersey came into plain view. In stark blue letters against a grey jersey was the name:


"Javier Lopez is in for Martinez. Martinez looked totally helpless out there after giving up 6 hits and 4 runs, and Lopez will do his best to try and stop the bleeding," the announcer said.

I had the proof I needed. At my absolute weakest, my "relief pitcher" was there with me.

Currently, Dan is doing well - thanks to good medicine and a good cardiologist. This cardiologist had been randomly assigned to Dan because of sheer availability - he was able to come to the hospital on short notice.

By the way - Dan's cardiologist also happened to be Grandpa Lopez's old cardiologist from years ago. Dan didn't learn of this until a couple months after leaving the hospital. This cardiologist was a young doctor and helped perform a quadruple bypass surgery back in the early 1980s on Dan's grandfather.

Is all of this just a mix of fancy and coincidence? You be the judge.


Blogger De.vile said...

god thats long.

10/19/2005 9:03 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

Sorry about the length...When I get these submissions, it's tough to leave stuff out.

Plus, I have a narrative style of writing. I love to tell stories.

10/19/2005 9:28 AM  
Blogger KC said...

I love these stories! Keep 'em coming!

10/19/2005 11:18 AM  
Blogger MrV said...

Long but worth the read....

10/19/2005 11:50 AM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Definitely worth the read! (I would have looked, though.)

10/19/2005 12:44 PM  
Blogger Jillian said...

Yeah it is long - But very good!

And I agree with Kim - keep them coming! Why don't you post them a few times a week if you have enough and if time permits - I would love to read more.

Very good stories so far, though. :-)

10/19/2005 1:16 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

that was definitely worth the read, I like your writing style. I agree with jilian too. I wouldn't mind seeing a couple of spooky stories a week, especially since you're only doing it until Halloween.

10/19/2005 4:51 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

I've gotten enough several submissions, and I didn't want to leave any of them out - they are all so great. I have no choice but to do a few spooky stories back-to-back.

This has been a lot of fun to do; I might do spooky stories periodically even after Halloween.

10/19/2005 5:34 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

FREAKY yeah...

Definately want to see the transformer costume...definately!!

10/19/2005 8:38 PM  
Blogger ObilonKenobi said...

Very cool if true. (Remember I'm a skeptic who wants to believe!) I didn't thinkt he post was long at all. It was just the right length, it went all the way to the end. OHHH I just thought of a ghost story that happened to me how do I submit it?

10/19/2005 9:34 PM  
Blogger aiRah said...

geez.. that was long..

lol... anyways, it's nicely written. somehow spooky.

Not my line but keep those kind of stories coming. i kinda like them.

;) good luck!

Lots of hugs & kisses,

10/20/2005 5:43 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

Just a quick P.S. to this post...

I know "Dan" personally, and the facts (i.e. his illness, the baseball players' names, his cardiologist) have all been verified by myself.

Dan also had a Near Death Experience, but he said that it was much too personal for him to share.

10/20/2005 8:06 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

I am now having a supernatural experience of my own -- I'm hearing a chrous of annoying little kids' voices singing "It's a small world after all."

And then they all say "REDRUM," but that's a different issue I need to deal with.

Great post!

-- d.a.

10/20/2005 9:52 AM  

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Established 2005...

Welcome to the blog that aims to examine the lighter side of science. From the paranormal to wacky inventions, to strange mysteries and goofy experiments, I cover it all. Thanks for stoping by science is always stranger than fiction


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