Sylvia, Claire - All I want is a beer
Type of Spiritual Experience
The boy whose heart she had liked beer
A description of the experience
A Change of Heart - Claire Sylvia
Because this was the first heart-lung transplant in New England, the event had generated a fair amount of attention on Television and in the papers. Total strangers were sending me cards and letters at the hospital, congratulating me on the transplant and wishing me a long life. And now, on the third day after the transplant, two reporters came in to interview me.......
“Now that the operation is over," one of the reporters asked, "what do you look forward to doing?"
“Regular things”, I replied. “I rode this bike today, and it felt wonderful to be able to exercise. When I'm well enough, I'd love to go biking with my daughter. I look forward to some of the simple things that she and I used to take for granted, like walking on the beach together, skating, going to the theatre - all the things I've been too sick to do'"
"Claire, now that you've had this miracle, what do you want more than anything else?"
"Actually," I said, "I'm dying for a beer right now'"
As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I wished I could have pulled them back in. I was mortified that I had answered this sincere question with such a flippant response, I was also surprised, because I didn't even like beer. At least I never had before. But the craving I felt at that moment was specifically for the taste of beer. For some bizarre reason, I was convinced that nothing else in the world could quench my thirst...................
Although I couldn't yet put this idea into words, I now believe that what made me so confused and disoriented during my early days in the ICU were the first stirrings of another Presence inside me. Increasingly in the months ahead, I would have the feeling that some aspect of my donor's spirit or Personality existed within me. During that first week, I knew only that the very center of my being was not fully mine, that it functioned and pulsated with its own rhythm and a sense of separateness and independence. I didn’t understand what was happening to me – but whatever it was, I found it enormously upsetting.