The Great Big Doorway in the Sky

My family is a very, very superstitious family, as much as the next Hispanic family, and while I didn’t grow up “religious” it was still a presence in my household and the households of those around me. For many years, my mom told me I would have special talents because I was born with a caul, which, while a considered to be a generally good sign, a caul is a REALLY good thing to people who are superstitious. This means that you are guaranteed “second sight”, and are protected against death from drowning. 

Ironically enough, I have a mortal fear of water when it’s above my hips. Anyway… 

My mom’s side of the family grew up in a very haunted house in Puerto Rico, and there are few people you’d find in our family or friends of, that haven’t seen a ghost or encountered something fucked up. I have seen many and felt many ghostly things, though I’ve never communicated with them. Death has never been the big black period at the end of a sentence for me … I’ve just always kinda known something else was out there, but I didn’t believe it, until I was 11.

Now, this is not a near death experience, but an encounter with my guardian angel, and to me, the existence of a guardian angel guarantees certain things: we’re spirits in transit, there is an afterlife, there is a higher power (I won’t venture to try and assert that it’s an old man in the sky though), and that the world is full of possibilities, even if we don’t think they’re true. 

Long story short, I was alone in a playground behind my apartment building. There was a high platform that I could only get to via a ladder to access the slide. I lost my balance and fell back-first off the top of this ladder, and nothing waited for me below but that good ol’ rubber-and-cement Brooklyn playground base below. I would have been fucked. All of a sudden I felt two warm, strong hands at my back push me toward the ladder and set me up right, so I caught a rung mid-fall and the only thing that happened was that I banged up my knee. I got so freaked out I ran back inside.

Tonight’s link: evidence of the afterlife?

Send me your story for my big “I Had a Near-Death Experience” post later this week. Email me at I will not use your name or contact info. I’m thinking of just posting excerpts from what people send.