Monday, April 9, 2012

Western Easter 2012


Heimlich Maneuver


It was an extraordinary day, which began at the annual ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service at Ashley Pond in Los Alamos. Birgitta and I met a couple of friends who invited us for dinner later that day.

From the sunrise service we met for breakfast at the Los Alamos Christian Church.

After the church breakfast I drove to visit a new friend from San Ildefonso Pueblo who had just been admitted into a substance abuse rehab facility at a more distant pueblo with better facilities. I did not know if I would make it through to see him, since I had been told earlier that he would not be able to have visitors for weeks, if not months. No one would answer the phone that Sunday when I called to get permission, but I went anyway feeling strongly pressed to risk it. To my pleasant surprise all went smoothly as my friend walked out of the door of one of the bungalows in the rehab complex as soon as I had parked. He had had two dreams that he was eager to tell me, the first from the day before (Saturday) and the second that same morning. I asked him to write them down and send them, which he did. I have learned that American Indians (or Indigenous Americans) are much more in touch with their dreams and spiritual experiences than most of us "Gringos". Although this is a tough time for my friend, my sense is that he will not only get his act together and reconcile with wife and family, but that he will regain a strong leadership position at the pueblo as well as in the business community that he once held.

The most extraordinary event took place later at the dinner with our friends to which several other guests were also invited. Not long after the beginning of dinner the hostess began to choke on something lodged in her throat. She lost consciousness as several guests tried and failed with the "Heimlich Maneuver" and 911 was called. Before the paramedics arrived one of the guests who had unsuccessfully applied the Heimlich began praying and then "commanded" the object to "come out" of her. Immediately a large piece of meat obstructing her breathing fell out and she came to. Then she demanded to know who had punched her in the back that had dislodged the obstruction. No one visible had at that moment. It was an NDE (near-death experience) we were to learn later when she shared having left her body and flying about nearby and watching the proceedings.

As all the guests gave thanks at the dinner table at the request of our grateful hostess, we reached a level of honesty and intimacy that rarely happens at such ad hoc occasions.

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