I was reading the newspaper at the weekend about how the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine is causing controversy in the USA. For years here in the UK many people held (and some may still hold) the opinion that the vaccine can bring on autism in children. There’s been a lot of scientific research and it seems that the scientific community has seen enough evidence that it is now not only debunking the idea, but also has stricken off one of the main medical supporters of the original anti MMR campaign. This doctor has now moved to the USA and has started a new anti MMR campaign over there. This isn’t a post for or against MMR, that’s a choice each parent has to make and I’m no judge.

It’s an article about measles. More specifically my experiences of having measles when I was 6 years old.

I had a raging fever for a number of days and the doctors were quite worried about me. My Dad did nightshift work at the time so my mum brought me in to sleep with her so she could keep a closer eye on me. Even though I had a raging temperature and was extremely sick, 44 years on I can still remember it as if it was yesterday. It was Summer and on that very week roadworks were set up right outside our house. Each morning at about 9am the pneumatic drill would start up and as it was so warm, and I had a fever, the windows were all open. The drill was outside our house but it felt like it was inside my head. It sounded so loud. I was sweating, delirious, and this didn’t help at all. The workmen could do nothing about it really. They couldn’t stop their work because of a sick child.

The Doctor came regularly. Doctor Mathers was his name. I still remember the sound of the door ringing, and his jovial voice saying hello to my Mum, then footsteps on the stairs and there he was asking how I was feeling today. That went on for quite some time.

Then one night something happened.

My Mum remembers it well too. She was asleep and felt that I wasn’t laying down in bed. She looked over at me and I was sitting bolt upright, staring at the end of the bed.

“Lie down David, get some sleep,” she said.

“Can’t you see him Mum?” I replied.

My Mum looked in the direction I was staring. Nothing there other than the darkness of night. Shadows, The house silent.

“See what? There’s nothing there. Come on lie down.”

“There is Mum. Look. Standing at the end of the bed. Who is that?” I asked.

My Mum was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable but asked, “What does he look like?”

I looked on into the dark. “He’s tall. He’s got a hat. His hands are together. His eyes are closed and he’s praying.”

I was smiling. I remember that I wasn’t scared at all. It felt completely normal. I just laid back down and went to sleep. My Mum had more trouble relaxing that night.

I obviously recovered from the measles. It was a horrible experience and not one I would wish on any child, but that moment stayed with me. Was I hallucinating? I guess I certainly could have been. I had a temperature of 106 at points during that illness. But years later when our family went on our first overseas holiday to Canada something else happened.

We went to see Ottawa Cathedral and while we were there my parents lost me. One moment I was there, the next I was nowhere to be seen. They split up and began to search for me. I have to say that I remember most of that holiday, but none of what happened while I was lost. My parents tell me that they found me standing and staring up at one of the huge stained glass windows. I was totally still, almost in a trance state. It took a while for me to notice that they were with me, calling my name. apparently I just looked at my Mum, pointed at the window, and said, “That’s him. That’s who was standing at the bottom of the bed.” It was four years later and I was now ten years old. As I say I don’t remember this at all and I’ve sometimes looked on the internet to try to find that window, to find that figure, but of course there are loads of them, and maybe that isn’t meant to be.

Did I see my Guardian Angel? I’ve felt him at other times during my life. The day my eldest son was born and we nearly lost him was one time. There have been others. It’s easy to dismiss our experiences while we are ill and have a fever. But like the experiences of Ayahuasca, a drug that many view as a doorway to Spirit, and the other psychedelics that Shamans use around thew world, can we really be sure that these altered states are simply tricks of the mind or do they allow us to see what is always there around us, like Ultra Violet and other colours our eyes cannot see?

I know what I think.