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The Road Home (Today October 13th Is My 11th Rebirthday)

Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? Job 38 17

When people find out I dropped dead on October 13 of 2011, they often ask me if I saw “the white light.” They are disappointed when I tell them I did not. They’ve come to believe in the light, believe in it in a very literal way. They’ve heard the light is seen and they’d like continuing confirmations of this sighting. My report always, as I said, disappoints. It would seem for some, even though I was dead, I was not dead enough.

Still, I was dead and I am sorry to disappoint in not being able to report anything other than a timeless blank between two moments; a dark with no dimension or duration between a light and a light. In fact, there was not even the dark.

The light of life left me in one swift instant much as the light goes out when you flip the switch to “off.” The light of life returned to me in the very next instant as if someone slowly turned up a dimmer switch in a small room.

One moment I was standing on my front porch looking at children running about in the playground across the street. The very next moment I was looking up from my bed at the sound-muffled ceiling of the ICU at Harbor View Hospital in Seattle. A voice like footsteps coming closer down a long hallway was repeating and repeating, “You are in Harbor View Hospital. You’ve had a heart attack. It’s daytime….

Thus, after being held in a coma for 11 days, I was returned to life.

Thus, tick became tock.

Between those two moments I have no information to report since, to my mind and memory, there are no moments between those two. Not one. They are found side by side in my mind; an enjambment bracketing a caesura. The 11 days between them have no duration at all. In a sense, the only clue they provide in their utter nonexistence would be one to the true dimensions of eternity.

Some people seem to think that, with no light to report, my cut-rate resurrection is something rather modest, a common outcome of our enlightened, medically advanced age. Something available to all. They express thanks that the 911 medical crew got to me as fast as it did and knew how to, in effect, jump-start my heart. To those I cannot satisfy with a comic book resurrection mine seems only a mundane report on a modern medical technique. They don’t find it miraculous. But that is only because they are deaf, dumb, and blind to the miraculous.

I am not blind to it not for a nanosecond. It was my personal miracle. And a miracle it was. A miracle in which I was returned to life by the unfathomable grace of God.

The roots of my miracle go back many years and begin, as so many things do these days, online in a long correspondence that became, in time, a deep and abiding friendship and love. Part of that love entailed that, although we lived in separate towns on separate coasts, we spent some parts of each year visiting each other.

In this particular autumn, she was visiting me in Seattle. She had originally been due to leave several days before that October 13th,  but decided — for obscure reasons — to extend her stay another week. And on this particular October 13th, she had — for obscure reasons — postponed her regular late afternoon daily walk and, upon return, postponed her regular post-walk shower. This meant that during the time she would normally be either out of the house or under running water she just happened to be standing nearby when my heart stopped dead. The result was that she started the 911 response within seconds after I stopped breathing. Because of this the three rescue units dispatched to save me came within minutes, returned me to life, and transported me to the hospital where I spent the next 11 days suspended between a light and a light.

Some seem to feel that miracles only happen in the center of a bright light with a large boom and a loud voice out of a whirlwind; Imax miracles in Surround sound. Perhaps they do. I’ve no experience with those miracles. My experience has only been with the miracle of a long chain of small events, happenings, and abiding love that have given to me these eleven full years of being alive in the midst of the miracle of Creation; Creation as it is, both miraculous and mundane.

My formal birthday is the day after Christmas. I’ve never liked the 26th of December. It’s hard to try to have your birthday party on the day after the biggest birthday party of the year.

Now, it strikes me that I have a new birthday — a ‘rebirthday’ if you will. And that’s what I am going to celebrate for as many years as are left to me, my Rebirthday.

Today I know I am both blessed, as we all are on every day in this mysterious life within the light, and reborn again as I am every day, reborn within the miracle.

As are we all.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • WiscoDave October 13, 2017, 3:06 AM

    Having discovered you of late, I am glad you are still around.

  • ghostsniper October 13, 2017, 4:05 AM

    Glad you made it through it.

  • Julie October 13, 2017, 5:22 AM

    Happy happy rebirthday, Gerard!

  • Jaynie October 13, 2017, 5:35 AM

    Absolutely beautiful, Mr. Vanderleun. But, I hadn’t wanted to cry in my coffee this morning. All choked up now. Life is an outsized miracle, nature the icing on that. To that the creations of man can stagger our senses, appreciating the good that man creates as much as trashing the bad gives balance to my life. Missing my loved ones who are gone is something that highlights that I was blessed to be so loved. I never had a near death event, but for some odd reason, my appreciation for life is as intense as one who has had such. Gorgeous essay. Happy re-birthday!

  • Nori October 13, 2017, 7:28 AM

    Your gift with words is a Rebirthday present to us all, thanks, Gerard.
    Your choice of music video was perfect.

  • Cliff October 13, 2017, 7:30 AM

    Glad you’re here. I too have a blank moment followed by a renewed feeling of being graced.

  • Teri Pittman October 13, 2017, 9:07 AM

    never fails to amaze me that the day of your rebirth is the day my husband died in 2008. Life is fleeting and we need to be conscious of that every day.

  • Howard Nelson October 13, 2017, 9:26 AM

    Lazarus welcomes you to a very select group. And we welcome you back to ours as well.

  • Leslie October 13, 2017, 9:49 AM

    I remember when AD went silent, and a few of us asking “around” where you had gone. This post always moves me. Your journey speaks more than you know, in ways you know not.

    • Roadie October 13, 2022, 6:59 AM

      So the small things are not inconsequential after all. Happy re-birthday tooo youuuu. Do something you have to live down.

  • Jim in Alaska October 13, 2017, 9:54 AM

    Not unexpectedly there’s a lot of saccharin here in the comments & I’m not faulting it, each and every one finds their own way to deal with life.
    You are an ugly old codger (Admittedly not quite as ugly nor as old as me), none the less, glad you’re still around, you write purdy, & I quite enjoy your company from up here on top of the world! 😉

  • Bunny October 13, 2017, 11:05 AM
  • MMinLamesa October 13, 2017, 11:16 AM

    Wasn’t your time. I thought when you’re having a heart attack that you’ll spend a number of very agonizing moments fully conscious. Glad you pulled through.

    What have you felt the need to change, if anything, with this gift of more time on this side of The Rainbow Bridge? Maybe a nice dinner at Palisades to celebrate? I used to come to Seattle every year on my BD and celebrate there.

    Or just maybe more chocolate?

  • Vanderleun October 13, 2017, 11:42 AM

    Ugly? Old? Me? Am I not the King of Denial?

  • Mushroom October 13, 2017, 12:57 PM

    Always glad to say we are glad you are still with us.

  • Donna October 13, 2017, 1:37 PM

    Hey, Leunie…we share a birthday! Your first b-day…Dec 26. Have to say, though, I’ve always loved being born the day after Christmas. My parents made sure I got my birthday present on my birthday, but they also gave me another birthday present and a party at the six-month mark in June. As a kid, it always made me feel very special being born the day after the Lord’s birthday, but in later years I realized it was my parents who were so special to make sure their daughter had a birthday party separate from the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday.

    Happy sixth rebirthday…what a blessing you have experienced. White light or not, it truly was a miracle (in my humble opinion!).

  • pbird October 13, 2017, 1:57 PM

    Made me cry, dang it. Love the song too.

  • Jimmy October 13, 2017, 2:53 PM

    ‘Nothing between the lights’ is the inverse of the Omega Function, which is something between two eternities.

    . . . __∩__ . . .

  • Casey Klahn October 13, 2017, 3:30 PM

    I don’t envy you your deathly experience; not for a moment. What I envy is your writing ability: it is the gong of a mustering bell. Like something I need.

    I can report to all that one’s life does pass before his eyes in a flashing instant when death is imminent and you witness your killer about to deal a blow. What happened to me? I’ll spare the Davy Crockett joke and just say the bear did not get me.

  • Monty James October 13, 2017, 4:37 PM

    Happy Re-Birthday. Good that you are still around. There is no other labyrinth where we could see something wonderful, or contemplate how much nuking the Japanese should have had.

  • Christopher Hunt October 13, 2017, 5:58 PM

    It’s the chain of small events that is the true miracle, if we think about it. How God weaves peoples’ lives together to create the opportunity for His grace to be seen, if you’re looking for it.

  • Walter October 13, 2017, 6:03 PM

    My tenth Re-Birthday is coming up next April the First.
    As you wrote: click/click and rebirth.
    The miracle doesn’t fade, Vanderleun.
    Glad you saw it and came back to add it to your true tales.

  • Hale Adams October 13, 2017, 6:40 PM

    Folks here have said “Glad you’re here” many times and many ways, so I can’t think of anything to say other than, “Thanks for being here, and may you be here for many more years”.

    Hale Adams
    Pikesville, People’s still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

  • Jane Mataczynski October 13, 2017, 7:11 PM

    I read your site regularly and this post every year. It is moving in multiple ways, for multiple reasons. My husband experienced the same event without the happy outcome. He died. Yes…it was extraordinarily unpleasant, to say the least. However, on the flip side, the experience taught me many things I would never have learned in any other context. All the secrets of the world. The effort to be grateful to God every day while rebuilding a life has been a gift. Not one I ever would have asked for. Not one that should be built on the death of another. But the ways of God are beyond my understanding. And at the hospital I heard God speak to me and give me a job to do, which I have assiduously pursued. So thank you for affirming to me the glory of God in the most trying circumstances.

  • jwm October 13, 2017, 7:52 PM

    Every day is a gift. For you and for all of us. Grateful for today, and glad we’re all here.


  • Terry October 13, 2017, 10:16 PM

    Sure happy you are still here Gerard.

  • Callmelennie October 15, 2017, 7:33 AM

    Having had a small taste of the CAD experience myself, I know that there’s something doubly extraordinary about your story. You mean to tell me you had no warning symptoms at all prior to just “winking out”? Doesn’t sound anything like the standard “widowmaker” occlusion of the LADA, where your body definitely lets you know “there’s something BAD going on!!”

    I’ve spent time on CAD discussion boards and the only other person to report the same experience was someone who experienced a block of his Right Coronary Artery which caused him to suddenly pass out at home, but even he said he was feeling a bit shitty before passing out

  • Dr. Jay October 13, 2018, 3:35 AM

    Here’s a Long Read for your birthday: a review of Bryan Burrough’s “Days of Rage” . . . read it; you won’t regret it. Plus, a hardy happy birthday to ya!


  • Phil in Englewood October 13, 2018, 3:59 AM

    Happy Day, Gerard. Thank you for the essay and all your posts, all year long. We are fortunate to have you here still, not gone west yet. Here’s to enjoying and appreciating each new day and every new American Digest post.

  • JoeDaddy October 13, 2018, 4:57 AM

    I would implore you to read Dr. Stephen Sinatra’s book “The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology”. He relates data and info on 4 key supplements needed to prevent further cardiac issues. CoQ10 is the first. Go see. Please.

  • Andy October 13, 2018, 7:23 AM

    Happy Rebirth Day, Gerard.

  • Bill Jones October 13, 2018, 7:48 AM

    If one have to go, and rumour is that one must, no matter how many failure precede success the great Liverpool Poet Roger McGough knows how it should be done

    Let me die a youngman’s death
    not a clean and inbetween
    the sheets holywater death
    not a famous-last-words
    peaceful out of breath death

    When I’m 73
    and in constant good tumour
    may I be mown down at dawn
    by a bright red sports car
    on my way home
    from an allnight party

    Or when I’m 91
    with silver hair
    and sitting in a barber’s chair
    may rival gangsters
    with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
    and give me a short back and insides

    Or when I’m 104
    and banned from the Cavern
    may my mistress
    catching me in bed with her daughter
    and fearing for her son
    cut me up into little pieces
    and throw away every piece but one

    Let me die a youngman’s death
    not a free from sin tiptoe in
    candle wax and waning death
    not a curtains drawn by angels borne
    ‘what a nice way to go’ death

    Roger McGough

  • Sam L. October 13, 2018, 9:43 AM

    I am but one of many who are glad you made it back.

  • Terry October 13, 2018, 11:07 AM

    You are still here and better than ever. Rare combination for sure.

    Happy re-birthday Gerard

  • Monty James October 13, 2018, 11:47 AM

    All the best sentiments on the day, and gratitude that we get more of that Vanderleun style.

  • Jeff Brokaw October 13, 2018, 12:23 PM

    Happy Reburthday my friend and I’m so glad you’re still with us!!

  • Jeff Brokaw October 13, 2018, 12:25 PM


  • Andy Texan October 13, 2018, 6:01 PM

    God is good.

  • HH October 13, 2018, 7:49 PM

    Happy Happy, my friend.

  • Snakepit Kansas October 14, 2018, 3:58 PM

    I love reading your material. You share bits and pieces of yourself that have been rationed out over time. You have an interesting group of followers. I forget which, but a few years ago one of them welcomed me on one of my first posts after I was guided here by Michelle’s Mirror. Gerard, you have a gift. We appreciate you, sir.

  • Physics Geek October 15, 2018, 8:35 AM

    I am grateful each year that you get to celebrate your rebirth day.

  • SgtDad October 15, 2018, 10:45 AM

    FYI, it’s spelled “Harborview,” all one word.
    Glad I am that God was with you and to know y’all live in our neck of the woods.

  • Jason October 15, 2018, 11:56 AM

    Happy Rebirthday! What a great piece of writing, you truly have a gift. So glad you are here with us today.

  • Alpheus October 15, 2018, 2:52 PM

    I think it’s the tiny miracles — the ones that are a series of little coincidences, that sometimes take days or even years to play out — are the ones that are easiest to overlook.

    I have my own, that started with a little thought that I needed to join a group of friends visiting a fellow friend at her home in Palmyra, New York (at the time I was attending college in Salt Lake City, Utah) that ended in a marriage to someone I met in graduate school two years later.

    Well, that was one such miracle. I have several others as well. I’m happy your miracle resulted in a renewed lease in your life!

  • Steve D October 16, 2018, 5:59 AM

    I apologize. I have no idea who you are (but promise to remedy that). I clicked here from what surely must have been a significant spike in “instalanche” traffic and simply started reading. I do want to say that at 55 with a family history of heart troubles that your post has put me in “a very good place” for personal reasons too numerous to get into… and I’d just like to thank you for that. Every day is a gift. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Daniel K Day October 13, 2019, 4:31 AM

    Happy Rebirth Day, Gerard! Best wishes for many more uninterrupted years.
    And thank you for that poem, Bill Jones.

  • Sam L. October 13, 2019, 8:24 AM

    There are a lot of us who are glad you made it back!

  • Vanderleun October 13, 2019, 8:28 AM

    Thank you Sam and Daniel and everyone else. It is good to still be here. Good to be still standing.

  • Jeff Brokaw October 13, 2019, 11:00 AM

    A very Happy RebirthDay to you once again Gerard! What an amazing story.

    Eight “bonus” years and counting… and here’s to many many more!

  • Uncle Mikey October 13, 2019, 1:22 PM

    Gorgeous and lyrical, as always. Thank you

  • Phil in Englewood October 13, 2019, 3:23 PM

    So glad you are still here and writing outstanding posts. You enrich our lives. Thank you, Gerard. Death and resurrection, burned out of Paradise…. but still here.

    “Small wheel turning by the fire and rod
    Big wheel turning by the grace of God
    Every time that wheel turn ’round
    Bound to cover just a little more ground”

  • steve walsh October 13, 2019, 3:45 PM

    Happy ReBirthday Gerard!
    As you know, I don’t say much here but read often and very much appreciate your perspective and love your writing style. You frequently get me looking at something, an issue, or human activity, in a different and interesting way. So very glad you are still here to do so.

  • Flannelputz October 13, 2019, 5:00 PM

    An enjambment bracketing a caesuera….

  • Julie October 13, 2019, 5:00 PM

    Happy rebirthday, Gerard!

  • theduchessofkitty October 13, 2019, 5:21 PM

    Happy Re-Birthday, Gerard! May God bless you with many more years and a heart with the efficiency of a Timex watch: “It takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.”

    Well, I’m going to need some prayer over the next few weeks. A close family member just began chemo on Thursday and is about to begin radiation therapy on Monday. I have to drive and care for all the appointments and everything else that comes with it. It has been consultations, diagnoses, all kinds of meetings for options, supportive care and preparations… all in a time frame of two months so far. Now the hard part begins. The treatment is supposed to end the day before Thanksgiving.

    So, please pray for us here at home. Thanks.

  • jwm October 13, 2019, 6:09 PM

    I guess the Higher Power that Be decided you had work yet to do.
    We have all been the beneficiaries.
    And we are all grateful.


  • Larry Geiger October 14, 2019, 6:06 AM

    Glad that you are still standing! I saw the white light when the AED they stuck on me went off. I saw a bright white light and then passed out. Woke up 2 hours later with a brand new shiney stent in my LAD (whatever that is). Cardiologist said that I was a goner but I woke up anyway. Went home the next day. Who knows what it all means?

  • captflee October 14, 2019, 12:23 PM

    Having recently played caregiver through several instances where, amidst the medical cacophony and tumult, the nearby flutter of Death’s raven feathered wings could be discerned, I think that I have gained a better appreciation for the tenuousness of the grasp with which any of us holds onto this world. My heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to you for enriching our world by remaining in it!

  • Pamela Schieber October 14, 2019, 3:18 PM

    Just as the Torah shows us life is a paradox. With every blessing comes a curse. We never apprciate the miracles we are blessed with daily. If people accepted your rebirth as miraculous then they’d have to change their whole worldview and belief system.Happy Rebirthday May you have many more. In addition, thank you for posting Trump’s speech. Very moving

  • Flea October 14, 2019, 10:53 PM

    You do know of course how significant 13 October is to adequately catechised Roman Catholics all over the world?

  • Gary October 15, 2019, 12:40 PM

    Thanks for writing about your ‘death,’ it reminded me of what is truly important, appreciation for each day, while loving God and family.

  • Rox October 15, 2019, 5:49 PM

    In early May 2004, my 48 year never sick a day husband,
    experienced the same. Sadly he was 15 minutes from shore
    fishing in Marathon, and couldn’t be revived. For 2 years I
    questioned why him, the love of my life, and finally settled on
    it was me my daughters needed more? Your Mom probably
    needed you too. I noticed the wine glass at the bottom of your
    page is almost empty. I think you should refill it, this time with
    a nice red ‘Federalist’ Cabernet, it’s better at preventing heart
    disease. Oh, and thanks too, to that smoke from Paradise, it’s
    how some of us discovered your rebirth. Cheers!

  • gwbnyc October 13, 2020, 12:34 AM

    my brother, my only sibling, ten years my senior, had the classic float over the operating table/tunnel/white light experience following a skull fracture at 19. it wasn’t spoken of that I recall but I knew he had some kind of event.

    at thirty I mended my ways, and one day found myself euphoric on a walk home one evening. when I got there I called him and asked if he had had the experience that was not ever a topic of conversation. he confirmed it and told me the story. he passed away ten years later.

    for years afterwards complete strangers would spontaneously relate their similar experiences unsolicited to me from out of nowhere.

  • Thud October 13, 2020, 12:57 AM

    I’m happy you are still here with us, I knew you at the time through your comments at sipp, you and Greg were/are a good match, funny and educated.

  • John Fisher October 13, 2020, 4:49 AM

    Happy ReBirthday Gerald from one of your resident lurkers. Your writing brings me pleasure every day.

  • Annie Rose October 13, 2020, 5:59 AM

    So glad that God did not take you that day. Your words have been such a joy and source of inspiration for so many. Eight years ago, I came very close to losing the love of my life in a similar way. I and my girls would normally have been out running errands. But it was Father’s Day, so we were all home when my husband came stumbling in from outside, gray, sweating profusely, and disoriented. The cath lab guy told me that it was a miracle that my husband got to the hospital in under 45 minutes, because he had the widow maker heart attack and if you go much past 45 minutes from the start of the symptoms, you will die. Half his heart was filled with blood clots. To this day no one knows why. God truly does work in mysterious ways. Every day is a gift. Happy Rebirth Day!

  • Phil in Englewood October 13, 2020, 6:08 AM

    What an interesting gift to choose your birthday and the personal experience of resurrection. We are glad you are here to continue enriching our lives, Gerard. Something wonderful, indeed. Happy Rebirthday!

  • Camperfixer October 13, 2020, 6:11 AM

    Beautiful. Provides a newer meaning of “Give the day to God.”

  • Stiiv October 13, 2020, 6:18 AM

    Glad you’re still here, GV.

  • Terry October 13, 2020, 6:29 AM

    Gerard, I thank you for being here and making my existence more enjoyable by the day.

  • greg October 13, 2020, 6:42 AM

    Blow the candles out on another rebirthday cake as we gather together and sing to you. Sure enjoy your site which I receive satisfaction of well told stories. You’re the only one I know who got a do-over for the day they first saw the light. Right on Gerard!

  • orcadrvr October 13, 2020, 7:15 AM

    Glad you decided to stick around.
    Best Wishes !

  • Punditarian October 13, 2020, 7:15 AM

    Happy Rebirthday, Gerard! A gift for all of us! Let all of us celebrate!

  • captflee October 13, 2020, 7:25 AM

    Your continued presence among us is a blessing to us all.

  • jwm October 13, 2020, 9:15 AM

    My own excellent adventure in the cardiac ward came five years, and thirteen days before our beloved host’s. I’m terrible with dates, but this one I remember because it was on my mother’s birthday. I didn’t get as close to the pearly gates. I was walking, and felt the elephant’s foot on my chest when I was about a block away from Whittier hospital. Suddenly, I was living the nightmare of trying to run underwater. I had no air, consciousness was getting dim, and nothing but sheer willpower got me across that parking lot. I shoved my way through the doors of the ER, and collapsed on the floor.
    The news today is a big bottle of black pills. Seeing this post reminds me to put it all in perspective. Like it or not, it’s all in God’s hands on both sides of the veil. Stay grateful.


  • robert kendall October 13, 2020, 9:58 AM

    I like this, my rebith day happened on Jan 5th 2013

  • Auntie Analogue October 13, 2020, 10:04 AM

    Hey! Mr. Van der Leun! Good to see you out today.

  • Rob De Witt October 13, 2020, 11:42 AM

    I well remember, not only your shocking news but how much you were a standup guy in sharing it with everybody.

    Thanks, for everything. Hard to imagine a world without your perspective.

  • azlibertarian October 13, 2020, 12:15 PM

    Happy (re)Birthday to one of my daily stops on my stroll through the intertubes. I can always count on you to illuminate something, to make my day brighter, but usually both. May you have many future birthdays.

    Your pal,

  • D S Craft October 13, 2020, 1:11 PM

    You know, Mr. Vanderleun, over the years I envied your having your mom still with you as you reached old age since I lost mine when I was relatively young and now I envy your death. I was headed out the door to the other side some years back when one of my coronary arteries got blocked and it was a pretty unsettling experience. I had lots of time to think as the life was draining out of me and I was terrified at the realization that I was headed on a one way trip entirely on my own with no one to guide me; no one to hold my hand, so to speak. The feeling of being alone was overwhelming. Your death, on the other hand…at least this one, sounds as though it was instantaneous with no warning, no pain, no time for fear. What better way to exit the stage than simply having the lights turn off with no warning? Did you really have no feeling of discomfort in the moments prior? Is that unusual? Lucky you. And yes, congratulations on turning 9. It seems clear your work here is not yet done.

  • lh October 13, 2020, 1:37 PM

    Happy Rebirthday Mr. Vanderleun. I am grateful to have you in my world.

  • Sarah A Rolph October 13, 2020, 1:49 PM

    Happy Rebirthday, Gerard! It is good that you are here.

  • The Universal Spectator October 13, 2020, 6:01 PM

    Damn, dude. You made me cry…

  • Nori October 13, 2020, 7:21 PM

    American Digest,powered by the greatest heart on the web.
    May it beat long and strong.

    I’m sure Miss Olive made you a nice Tuna Cake. (Save us a piece).
    Happy Rebirthday,Mr V.

  • Hale Adams October 13, 2020, 7:28 PM


    I second azlibertarian’s motion — Happy Re-birthday, and many more.

    Hale Adams
    Pikesville, People’s still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

  • Andy Texan October 15, 2020, 5:05 PM

    You make the world a better place. Happy you are still here. And I am still around to enjoy your posts.

  • John Fisher October 13, 2021, 4:19 AM

    Let me be the first here to wish you a Happy 10th Re-Birthday. Now that I’m retired, I stop here every day and am grateful for what you share and the talent you have to share it.

  • LadyBikki October 13, 2021, 4:38 AM

    Happy Re-Birthday.
    Wishing you many blessings this day.

  • jwm October 13, 2021, 5:55 AM

    And happy again, on this re-birthday. Your writing, and this site have been a light for all of us in these darkening days of our civilization. Very glad you are are here with us, still.


  • Dirk October 13, 2021, 6:35 AM

    For some, not dead enough!,,,,, I’m laughing and happily amused.

    Personally glad you made it.


  • Terry October 13, 2021, 7:44 AM

    Well Gerard, carry-on, and I am certainly happy for your 10th “rebirthday”. You make my day better, every day!

  • julie October 13, 2021, 8:14 AM

    It is so good to once again wish you a very Happy Rebirthday, Gerard! May God bless you today and every day.

  • gwbnyc October 13, 2021, 8:54 AM

    the solstice June ‘21 was my 38th.

  • CharleyHuaChu October 13, 2021, 9:00 AM

    Hot Dang! Made it another year. Thank you, Lord, for keeping Gerard with us again. Don’t know what I would do without his perspective on life, love, and the pursuit of intelligence each morning.
    Happy re-birthday, old friend

  • DadVan October 13, 2021, 9:46 AM

    This is one of the “annual reposts” to which I look forward each year; just as new and fresh as it was the first time I read, just as meaningful now as then. Catty on, good sir!

  • PA Cat October 13, 2021, 9:55 AM

    Happy 10th Rebirthday, Gerard– and please include this essay in your forthcoming collection. (Skritches for your Editor, BTW– and give her some fresh tuna for a proper celebration.)

  • AbigailAdams October 13, 2021, 10:12 AM

    Ah, but it’s those who question you on the absence of “the light” that had got you thinking about it and the alternatives. Now get ye a proper baptism.

    (What good am I, anyway, if I don’t give you exactly what you lack? A big sister.)

    • Vanderleun October 13, 2021, 10:48 AM

      Working on it, sister. Be assured.

      • AbigailAdams October 13, 2021, 12:34 PM

        🙂 And those present said, “Amen!”

  • Mike Seyle October 13, 2021, 2:27 PM

    Who knows how it all works, really. But I have a miracle under my belt that defies the protests of two old Army friends. They’re atheists, God bless ’em. But the tree limb let go when it needed to. So glad you’re still here, Gerard. And the commenters. Whoa, what a bunch.

  • Owen October 13, 2021, 3:42 PM

    Glad to find your site (thanks, Neo!) and very glad you are there to preside over it. Your experience gives us all a lot to think about; and to count our own blessings, starting with the fact of being there to read your words.

  • AesopFan October 13, 2021, 9:41 PM

    Such an amazing story, and so glad it had a happy ending – Miss Prism notwithstanding, not all happy endings are fictional!
    Most of my family have experienced more than one of these odd “coincidences,” although not always with such dramatic consequences; just the small “I don’t really know why I did that just then” solo turns that are needed to complete God’s orchestration of the future.

    A very merry rebirthday to you!

  • Jeff Brokaw October 14, 2021, 7:11 AM

    Ten bonus years. TEN! And all due to your own personal miracle.

  • OldTexan October 14, 2021, 7:30 AM

    Happy Rebirthday and many more . . . . .
    So glad you made it through that event and I have enjoyed your writing for years, here’s to many, many more years and thank you as you persevere επιμένω.

  • Darrell Fritchie October 13, 2022, 1:31 AM

    I’m with you, my rebirth was a few years ago on Oct 26, 2011- the day thanks to my wife I survived my own heart attack. Maybe I should follow your lead and change my birthday celebrations from 26 Dec to 26 Oct!
    And no, there was no light or choir singing……. Just a blink in time. That is the real miracle, not sure I would enjoy my life flashing before my eyes, LOL!

  • jd October 13, 2022, 6:28 AM

    How fitting that your miracle would occur on the anniversary
    of a most famous one – the day of the “Miracle of the Sun” in
    Fatima. We are blessed to still have you with us.

  • Roll-aid October 13, 2022, 7:43 AM

    Happy Re-Birthday. May you have many, many more to come.

  • Joe Krill October 13, 2022, 8:14 AM

    Gerard, I can only wish that hundreds of millions of Americans could read and comprehend this. Thanks! Joe Krill

  • Trucker Carlson October 13, 2022, 8:26 AM

    Many miles in the rearview and many more ahead, keep on trucking.

  • Ginny October 13, 2022, 8:37 AM

    I, too, have a ReBirthday. March 1, 2021.


  • Terry October 13, 2022, 8:45 AM

    Great, Gerard! You made it through another year of turmoil and in the process made my life better!

  • John Venlet October 13, 2022, 9:08 AM

    I shall raise a glass of bourbon, and enjoy a cigar, to celebrate your continuing life, Gerard. May God continue to bless you with health, strength, and wit to continue the gift of wordsmithing and humor you provide to all who visit these pages. Cheers!

  • jwm October 13, 2022, 9:41 AM

    And here we are again. Life is Good.
    God Bless.


  • Randall Bridges October 13, 2022, 10:04 AM

    Along with Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs I say “STAY” !

  • Hale Adams October 13, 2022, 7:04 PM


    I second JWM’s motion.


  • Casey Klahn October 13, 2022, 11:46 PM

    Best wishes, Boss! Each day is a gift, as it’s obvious you already know.