I can’t remember everything in detail since it was so long ago. I was around 10 years old or so. My family was at a State Park and I was swimming in the lake.

At that time, I didn’t know how to swim--so you can say I was just “playing.” Since I tended to be somewhat mischievous, I kept going out into deeper water. I intended to stop once it was up to my chin area. What I didn’t realize was that there was an immediate drop-off just after the area enclosed by a line with buoys on it.

I went immediately under and was fighting to get to the top. After thrashing around for a short period I distinctly remember a tremendous jerk within my body--almost like something automatically was occurring that was a natural part of the dying process. And then suddenly I was outside of my body, floating in this semi-conscious state. I was completely content and was not struggling anymore. In fact, I was unbelievably happy and felt like I was enveloped by a loving presence. There was no time; just the experience of the moment. No future or past.

The next thing I remember was my father dragging me out of the deep end into the shallow area. Quite honestly, I was disappointed because I did not want to leave this state. I was so happy there. My father got me to shore and I recovered. He came into the lake with his clothes on and then, when he was out of the water, he started taking his money out of his wallet and drying it on the sand. I remember him saying, “You were just about a goner."