Shall I start to enlighten you? I dedicate this book to the memory of my parents, Reginald and Valerie Green, as they both passed away far too young – My mother was only forty-two, and my father was fifty-five – so I want to thank them for giving me a great childhood upbringing and also nurturing me with the skills and the patience they gave me. My father taught me how to catch fish and shoot alongside teaching me the art of building to high standards that gave me work for life and the patience I needed. This, alongside them both giving me such high standards in everything I wanted to achieve in my life and teaching me to never give up trying, regardless of what I was doing in my life. I would also like to dedicate this book to the memory of my aunt Doreen Green who has sadly passed away while I have been writing this book. I would like to thank her as she did such a great job of taking care of me for a number of years after my mother had sadly passed away when I was young. I will always think I was very fortunate and blessed to have had her there for me in my life when she was needed, and treated me as a son. I consider her the only person I know that could have taken over from where my mother could not, so bless you, Doreen, I will be forever grateful. Rest in peace. I will always love you as my other mother and I will never ever forget you.
Not all I have written is scientific fact. It is, however, based on fact, although the events I have described in my life are true experiences I have had.
I must also say that I have not passed judgement towards or upon any soul or person in any of my comments about the soul or person; they are merely observations that, I have been making throughout my life and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.
I would like to introduce myself as a first-time writer and author as this is the only time I have attempted to write a book. I have always wanted to write one regarding a theory of mine but have always been too busy being a builder for most of my life and have never had the time to attempt it. I always knew I would find the time one day, just not when. So please be gentle on me as I have also suffered a trauma to the right side and it is the part of the brain that controls the left side senses. That means I cannot feel anything on the outside of my body on the left side and can only taste food or drink on the right side of my mouth, only being able to breathe through one nostril. The right side part is also the control for the movement of the muscles along with my left hand, arm and leg and is still repairing itself slowly but surely. Luckily for me, the left side of my brain is unaffected so the right side of my body is still the same as before my stroke. I am also using my English, chemistry, physics and biology knowledge from the very distant past; I will do my best to explain in a way you will understand so you can greatly benefit from it. I do hope I have explained everything in a way you are able to fully understand, I also hope you take in and think about what I have written and learn from it, and enjoy reading it, so that it can help you as much as it has helped me whilst writing it. hoping I change one person to help them have a better life and help them understand life for the better of themselves and others, also a happier life, so remain positive throughout their life, then I will probably be the happiest man alive. It is also a book I felt I had to write and felt it was the right time to write it. The last time I wrote anything was over forty years ago and that was a school essay that did not involve more than twenty words and ended up more like a post it note. So I am going to do the best I can with my limited knowledge from my very distant past. I also decided to write this book to start practising my writing skills to see if I am capable so I can hopefully write another in the future. I also want to write and use it as part of my recovery and therapy after suffering a severe stroke that left me with physical injuries and disabilities and unable to work as a professional builder. That was a profession that I loved as it never felt like work to me; it felt like play to me or a hobby although it was serious play with serious machinery and the hardest part was trying to teach the people working for me the same standards as mine. They are standards that will remain with me for the rest of my life so I will always be a builder although a very slow one, while only taking on very small projects of my own while being safe to do so.
I was a builder for over thirty years, with over twenty years of that time being the working owner of a construction company that I built up to have a good reputation. I always got my contracts done on time or ahead of schedule and at a fare cost with hard work, trust, reliability, and loyalty to my clients. Also with my vast knowledge and experience of the building industry, I quite often got to advise other builders and I was seen as a bit of a trouble shooter and consultant to overcome the problems they were having. I always had building work to do as the majority of my work came from recommendations that included working on airports, prisons, hospitals, police stations, schools, refurbishing shops, and building hotels and swimming pools, amongst many, such as landscaping, road building, underpinning, and more. My regular clients began to rely on me and I relied on them, which included working with local authorities who always knew that I could overcome any unforeseen problems if and when they occurred. They also knew that I could be left to organise and get on with getting it finished, so my contracts always went through smoothly. I always got the job done on time and to the high standards they expected from me at a good and fair cost. One of the most important things to me was my good quality and high standards as a builder. That also made me a built to last builder, I also tried to teach the people working for me the same standards as mine, I would do my best to also keep the people that worked for me in work and to help them when they needed it as I always knew I could take care of myself and others at the same time. I have always liked to help others that wanted it or needed it, and it always gave me great satisfaction. I enjoyed it, regardless of what it was. I have also been extremely fortunate in my life with the many opportunities, countless travels, and the experiences from them all; I have been able to meet plenty of different souls including good, the bad, and the old souls. Also some nasty ones, but as I say, bless them, it is not their fault; it is how they were made and they cannot help it and will learn one day from their own mistakes as much as from others.
A Change of Life
In 2009, at the age of forty-seven, I suffered a severe stroke that came very close to killing me. It was something I never thought would happen to me, it was the biggest shock of my life. But anything is possible, and this was not the first time I had come close to death.
Previously, about fifteen years earlier, I had been trying to finish fixing a new gutter on the front of an extension I had built on my house. Luckily for me it was only a single-storey extension so I could just about reach with a set of wooden stepladders that I had inherited from my father. They were a bit wobbly, but I managed to keep still until they stopped moving, so I could get the small job done. Usually I would have used a longer ladder but, unfortunately for me, my longer ladders had been left on a job by one of my workers and the job was many miles away from my home. So I thought the wooden steps would have to do but as I went to fix the last gutter bracket the steps went in one direction and I went in the opposite. It ended up with me falling onto a metal scaffold stand that had a two-inch wide piece of metal facing upwards on the end. It ended going up under my right arm with me feeling a short sharp pain in my armpit. As the stinging pain subsided, I then proceeded and picked up the steps to finish fixing the gutter. But the next day my arm began to ache. I still went to work as I was trying to finish a job that I was doing so I could start another for a new client who wanted it finished before Christmas; I would have to work through until Christmas and then I could rest up during the holidays for a few weeks. As it got closer to Christmas, I had begun to lose weight very quickly, I ended up losing around a stone in weight in about three weeks. Also, the pain had begun to get worse and was becoming almost unbearable. My appetite had gone and on Christmas day I could only manage to eat about three roast potatoes. I felt very hot and then cold and had no energy to do anything with the pain under my arm. So the day after Christmas I ended up going to the local hospital, thinking they would probably give me a couple of pills and send me home again. However, I was wrong about that. The doctor immediately sent me for an ultrasound scan and when I returned he told me I needed an operation urgently. I told him I could come back the following day but he interrupted me and told me that I needed it now. I had a blood clot under my arm that needed removing or I would be dead before the following day. And so, within a couple of hours, I was being operated on. They found I had damaged the lymph nodes in my armpit and there was an infection all around it. Unfortunately, they had cut through the tendons in my arm along with an artery so I needed a blood transfusion to keep me alive. After my operation the surgeon explained that he had to join my tendon and artery back together and they had to stretch them so my arm would not straighten out until they had gone back to normal in a couple of months. It never felt the same again; it always felt as if the tendons in my right arm were not long enough when trying to fully straighten my arm but over the years I got used to it and learned to live with it. I got by with it as I had to.
I made it to 2009 and the age of forty-seven. In the middle of the night, after hearing a noise at the rear of my house, I went to investigate but could not see or hear anything. I assumed it must have been a couple of cats as I no longer had a dog to scare them off, so decided to return to bed. I had just got to the top of the stairs and on to the first floor landing when I had a severe pain in the right side of my head that felt as if I had been hit with the sharp end of a pickaxe or similar. At the same time, my left leg and arm became paralysed, causing me to drop down onto the landing floor, ending up with my right arm trapped and pinned under my body with my left side against a cupboard door and frame. I could not move my left leg and arm as hard as I tried; it was as though they were no longer a part of my body and I had no control over them. It felt as though I had an invisible line going straight down the centre of my body and anything on my left side would not move, although the right side was still the same. It just felt strange to me and was not helped with the horrendous pain in my head that would not go away.
So with me then realising I had suffered a stroke, I began to try and get to my phone that was on my bedside cabinet as I knew I needed medical help as soon as it was possible. But when I tried to move I could not because of the position I was in. After a couple of hours of trying to move but could not because of the position I was in, with my right arm being trapped under my body, meaning I could not move anywhere, I tried to rest. I thought I would have to wait until one of my workers arrived in the morning and they could call an ambulance for me. I decided to rest but I could not because I was feeling very cold and in pain. The hours seemed to drag out until about six or seven hours later when there were several knocks at my front door. I though help was finally coming, but after a few knocking sounds, I heard the engine on my work van start and drive off. After another couple of hours I heard my van return. Then the front door opened, followed by the hallway door, and then my girlfriend’s voice shouting my name. I was so relieved when she came up the stairs to find me, although the look of shock on her face was one I had never seen on her before and came as a bit of a shock to me (although I don’t shock or get easily surprised normally). She told me I was all blue and then started saying, don’t you die on me, Graham. Please don’t you die on me. She called the ambulance and got a sheet off the bed and covered me. Luckily, a short time later, the ambulance crew arrived to put me on a stretcher and get me downstairs and into the ambulance. My girlfriend was at my side saying, please don’t you die on me, Graham. Please don’t you die on me. I told her, I am not going anywhere, don’t worry. I could not tell her, I thought I was dying, as that is what it felt like to me. I was weakening again and I was so relieved when we finally arrived at the hospital. The medical team went to work on me using syringe needles and with me thinking and saying, what do they think I am? A pincushion?
After a few minutes, I was moved onto a treatment bed and I overheard a doctor say to his colleague that they needed to find out my religion as fast as possible as I was not going to make it. I was thinking, it looks like it is my time to go, although I always thought I would die while sat driving a JCB digger or in the middle of work somewhere. I certainly did not expect to be in a hospital bed and certainly not yet. I had managed to do almost everything I wanted to do in my life before I was forty-five years old which included many of the usual action-man activities: water skiing; parachuting; parasailing; scuba diving over the Great Barrier Reef and a coral reef in the Caribbean Sea; practising my spear gun skills; sport and game fishing on the Caribbean Sea or somewhere else in the world; improving my helicopter flying skills, and many more. So I had already had a great life until now and got many different things done.
A short time later the chaplain came in and asked me if I was a church-goer. I replied, yes, I have been building an extension on one for the past two months! I then began to feel all the energy draining away from my body and I felt as if my very essence, my soul, my existence, was dying and I had nothing left in my fuel tanks. They were empty, with no reserves left and without any fumes. They had all gone, nothing left, no fuel, no fumes, not a drop, and I felt my life force slipping away fast.
Then the chaplain began to read to me the last rites, with me thinking, I cannot understand a word he is saying and it must be serious if he is here reading the last rites to me, I must actually be going to die. I then managed to roll over, facing away from him, thinking, I wish he would go away now and let me die in peace. I have had enough now, I just need it all to end. I was not going to suffer any longer when in death. But as I looked down from my bed, my parents and grandparents were all sat at my bedside in a row. I had to rub my eyes in disbelief two or three times before I realised they were real. I have been a sceptic and nonbeliever about the subject of life after death for most of my life; I am a see-it-to-believe-it person. They were all sat at my bedside with me, although they had all passed away very many years before. They were all gently waving their hands and arms towards me and telling me to stay there. They kept doing it, with me finding the force that was pulling me towards them almost impossible to resist and I then thought they must want me to wait for the light to come for me before I could go with them. Well, I did not know what to do, did I, as I had not died before? Well, not that I can remember anyway. So I resisted the force that was trying to pull me towards them and they kept signalling me with their hands cupped open, just stay there stay there. I really wanted to go towards them because the pull, the force, was incredible. I really did want to go towards them; it was so hard to resist. I almost gave into it but hung on as long as I could before closing my eyes, possibly for the last time ever, to expect the worst; my time was over and it was my time to go. That’s it; times up for me and I accept it.
The next thing I know is I am woken a few days later by a nurse changing the tubes that were going into my mouth and nose. The first thing I asked her was, ‘Am I dead? Because you look like an angel to me.’
She replied, ‘No you are not dead and I am not an angel but you’re very lucky to still be alive.’
I replied, ‘I know I am. This is different to my normal day. I am usually outside in the sunshine, working and organising the people working for me.’
I then tried to move my left arm and leg to see if they were working again and kept trying for about an hour before realising they were not going to move. So it looked like I was going to be here for quite a while and besides, on the positive and bright side, my horrendous head pain had gone. So I put my head back on the pillow and went back to sleep as I could hardly keep my eyes open. I don’t know how long I had been asleep when I was woken by my girlfriend’s voice asking me how I was feeling.
I said, ‘Well, I have had better days. Did you get me some grapes?’
She replied, ‘No, because the sign behind you reads nil by mouth and that means you need to be fed through the tubes going into you until you can feed yourself without choking yourself.’
Then she started to cry, with me telling her not to get upset. ‘I am through the worse part. I have survived so it can only get easier from now on. I am still alive and that’s the most important thing to me.’
She then told me that my best friend had got organised to finish the job I had been doing on a church, so that made me feel a bit better and relieved as I don’t like to disappoint my customers; I never had and did not want to start now. Besides, the man I was doing the work for was a good man. He was a man I knew I could trust to pay me when the work was complete, so that was something less for me to think about while lying in my hospital bed. After my girlfriend left at the end of visiting time, a nurse came round with a trolley assisted by another nurse and proceeded to administer my medication through the needle that was connected directly into my right arm and was held in place with sticky tape. I then noticed a male nurse rushing around and being very abrupt to other patients. I said to the nurses, ‘Is he stressed out about something or has he always had a bad arrogant attitude?’
Both nurses replied, ‘He is just arrogant.’
My immediate thought was, how can a person with an arrogance like his get a job as a nurse? And with such a bad attitude towards the patients like that. As a business owner, I must say he certainly would not have worked for me and I hoped he did not have to come near me while I was in there. Although I then thought, there is not anything I can do about it anyway, not in my condition, so I will just have to put up with him until I get out of here. I just hope I can refrain from telling him off, for now anyway. I realised I needed all the help I could get in my condition, with not being able to use my left leg and arm as they were both numb on the outside and had permanently tensed up muscles on the inside that felt like I had cramps and pins and needles at the same time.