The Reluctant Storyteller

“So you’re the writer who wants to hear my story?”

Yessir. I’m the guy. Thanks for taking my call, I know you’re a busy man.

“Busy? In a retirement home? Yeah, I’m slammed. Say, I knew a Dietrich when I was in high school, ‘bout 70 years ago. In Chicago. Bill, Bill Dietrich. You related to him?”


“Well, good for you. Bill was a sorry piece of work. Nobody would wanna be related to him.”

Your daughter Janell told me you have a story.

“Story? Aw jeez, I wish she wouldn’t have told you that. I don’t like telling that story on account of people think I lost my mind. I’m sorry, sir, I don’t think I want to tell it today. I’m just not in the mood.”

Okay. I absolutely understand.

“It all started like this, you see. I’s working in sales in Chicago, I never got to see my family. It was real hard, my kids hardly knew me, I missed their birthdays and everything. But when you’re a young guy, you only care about money.

“Well, back then they didn’t pay for salesmen to fly unless you were a hot shot, so I drove everywhere. Had a ‘66 Chevy Caprice, I’d driven it to almost every state.”

That’s a lot of driving.

“Don’t I know it. So one night, I’m driving, and I’m missing my daughter’s birthday because I’m on the road to some little Indiana town. It’s late, I’m riding over this big, tall bridge over a river or creek or something. Listening to the radio. And I see an enormous light coming toward me. I mean big.”

A light?

“Yep. And the closer I get, I can see it’s actually TWO SETS of headlights, coming at me.”

And you’re on a bridge?

“A very tall bridge.”

So what happened?

“Well, right away I can see it’s two delivery trucks, and the idiots are passing each other, side by side, hogging up the whole road. Our horns are honking, I’m screaming. We’re gonna hit. If I aim right or left I’ll fall about a hundred feet down and, you know… Splat.”

Oh my God.

“Mine too. Well, listen, you do a lotta confessin’ when you’re about to wreck. So I just close my eyes. And I start screaming apologies to my daughters and my wife for everything, for never being home.”

So you wrecked?

“Hold on. I’m getting to that. See, while I’m screaming, everything just goes dark. And—snap!—all of a sudden I wasn’t inside my body.”

Oh. I see.

“Hey, I told you people think I’m nuts. But I’ll warn you, it gets worse, sir.”

What gets worse?

“I mean, you’re gonna think I’m a total whacko in a second.”


“‘Cause I was floating, way above the world. Just… Outta my car. Way up there. Flying. Up, up, up. Woooooo…. You think I’m crazy yet?”

Please, continue.

“Well, I can’t describe it. But I was in a place with people. People I grew up with. People who had died. But now they were just as real as I am to you. Coulda touched’em. Coulda reached right out and shaken their hands.

“But they didn’t see me. Or if they did, they wouldn’t give me the time of day. It was almost like they knew I shouldn’t be here, like it wasn’t my time.

“So then I’m thinking, ‘Uh-oh. I must really be dead. My life is over.’ And suddenly I’m real sad and I’m crying because, listen, I love my daughters, and my wife…”

“Well, that’s when this guy comes walking to me and puts his hand on me. Big guy. Huge guy. Maybe, oh, twelve feet tall or so. Dressed like a normal guy, except he was just—you know—a giant. Hello? You haven’t hung up have you?”

No, sir, I’m just taking notes. Twelve feet tall, dead friends, floating, giant. Please, go on.

“So this guy says to me, ‘Randy, you still got important things to do on earth.’

“And I says to him, ‘What kinda things?’ But the guy just tells me to follow him.

“Well, I do. I follow him, and the next thing I know, I’m awake in my car, and my car is okay, but it’s in a ditch. There isn’t nobody around for miles. And I’m bleeding on my elbow and a little banged up, but otherwise, I wasn’t hurt. Just a little cut that was all. My car was fine.”

In a ditch? But I thought you said you were on a bridge.

“Okay. Here’s where it gets weird. Brace yourself, buddy. Because when I came to, my car was miles away from that bridge where I blacked out.


“Miles in the OTHER direction. What I mean to say is, the bridge was still miles AHEAD of me. Like I hadn’t even crossed it yet.”

You’re joking. But how is that even…?

“See what I mean? Nuts, right?”


“So then I get outta the car, and I’m looking around for skid marks or something, but nothing. My car runs perfect, no problems, and it’s like the whole thing never happened. So I just turned around and kept on driving until I got home. And that’s my story. You think I’m crazy, don’t you? Tell the truth.”

No, I’m just trying to put it all together.

“Look, believe me, I’ve had all the same questions you do. Why do you think I never tell this story? All I know is that I’m not dead.”

So what happened after that?

“What happened? I quit my traveling job and I never missed another one of my kids’ birthdays.”


  1. Leigh Amiot - January 15, 2021 10:34 am

    I believe in the supernatural, miraculous work of angels, too.

  2. Lav - January 15, 2021 12:18 pm

    Wow..I guess he got the message, huh. God does work in mysterious ways. I don’t think Randy is nuts either. I believe his story!

  3. Joey - January 15, 2021 1:53 pm

    Love this story!

  4. Peggy Thompson - January 15, 2021 1:55 pm

    Love this story…true life for so many…slow down, love your life with your family & keep God in your life at all times…thank you

  5. Paul S Gawrych - January 15, 2021 1:56 pm

    Wonderful story! I just got off the phone with my dad who is 92 today, we were reflecting on many, many years gone by. I love what I am learning from him now more and more about his childhood – all those things that we never had time to talk about while he and mom were raising us. And yes, like your story, dad was on the road for several years while we were coming up. Fortunately for us he would find a way to be there for our birthdays and other special days.

  6. Phil (Brown Marlin) - January 15, 2021 1:57 pm

    No dying man’s last words were ever, “I wish I’d spent more time on my business.”

  7. Tammy S. - January 15, 2021 2:00 pm

    The power of God is so often incomprehensible, but still, we trust. That is a powerful story and I do not doubt it one bit. So glad that man got a second chance, and took it. And tells the tale to remind us all of what’s most important in life. It’s not the money or things. Thanks for sharing his story, Sean.

  8. Kate - January 15, 2021 2:08 pm

    A similar thing happened to me, but not nearly as dramatic. My daughter who was 15 and just learning to drive, stopped at a stop sign and then pulled out in front of a car, although she had thought she looked both ways. I was sitting in the passenger seat and would have been hit broadside but the accident never happened. I looked down and literally saw the bumper of the car, but somehow in an instant the car never hit us. I blinked and somehow we were on the side of the road and the other car was just going by us. The other car never swerved, And because we were at a “T” intersection we had no where to go except to the left. I think similar things have happened to many people, but no one wants to talk about it because people will think they imagined it or made it up or whatever. Over the years I have been with three people as they were preparing to “pass away” and all three, totally different places and times, talked to people on the “other side.” I could not “see” who they were talking to but they definitely could. Always interesting mysterious to life’s questions.

  9. Jo Ann - January 15, 2021 2:09 pm

    I love stories like this. I’m so glad his daughter told you about the story & that you shared it with us. Thanks for all you write, Sean.

  10. Pat De Loncker - January 15, 2021 2:15 pm

    I absolutely believe him.
    If we all looked back at our lives we could all see where God sent an angel to help us.
    He was lucky in two ways…he got back to his family and he experienced a miracle from God!

  11. Opal Durham - January 15, 2021 2:30 pm

    There are angels among us. Awesome

  12. Heidi - January 15, 2021 2:40 pm

    Obviously this was a BIG miracle but there are little ones that happen every day.

  13. Jane - January 15, 2021 2:41 pm


  14. AlaRedClayGirl - January 15, 2021 3:18 pm

    A very comforting story. I’m not sure why people would think he was crazy. God has intervened in people’s lives throughout history, so why wouldn’t He do it today?

  15. Joy Dollar - January 15, 2021 3:48 pm

    I believe it😊

  16. Anne Arthur - January 15, 2021 4:02 pm

    God is good. Please say thanks to the man for sharing his story, which gives so much hope to those who read it.

  17. Stephen Herchak - January 15, 2021 4:47 pm

    Did somebody really tell you this story really happened to him? While nowhere near as dramatic and with no out of body experience, I narrowly avoided a head on collision 40yrs ago flipping my car leaving me upside down (I didn’t count how many times it rolled while I gritted my teeth and screwed my eyes shut when the wheel jerked out of my hands.) My rider had an abrasion on his bare fore arm but was not bleeding while my clothes where covered in blood, so much so I threw the camel colored jeans I was wearing in the trash the next day. I patted myself everywhere but nothing put blood on my hand. I noticed that none of the blood on my pants was wet. It was dry and already browning. At the hospital they looked me over and checked me out. I left with one of those little plastic bandages — the smallest size in the assortment box — on a cut 1/8th” long directly on top of my right wrist bone. Yet my pants were so covered in blood that was already dry I had to throw them away. There’s a tiny white scar there to this day to remind me I’m not making this up.

  18. Patricia Gibson - January 15, 2021 5:34 pm

    God at work🙏

  19. Linda Moon - January 15, 2021 5:37 pm

    He’s mine, too. God, that is. I’m glad you listened to and put this tellers’ story together for us readers. Sometimes just being not dead is a good enough LIFE-story. I see a movie in this, and I wish Don Knotts was still here to star in it!

  20. Di - January 15, 2021 7:59 pm

    Wow! You gotta love this! Sean, I love you for being brave enuf to share this. God’s logic is Not human logic and He’s not limited by human-oriented time.

  21. MAM - January 15, 2021 8:20 pm

    And this is exactly why ALL of us MUST put our trust in God. He will take care of us, if he chooses not to take us yet. In God we MUST Trust..

  22. Ann - January 15, 2021 8:40 pm

    An epiphany…🥰
    Lucky him….

  23. Eileen M Hector - January 15, 2021 8:52 pm

    Premonition and the guidance of heavenly angels. I love your way with words.

  24. Christina - January 15, 2021 10:18 pm

    Keep interviewing them Sean. We don’t think they are nuts.

  25. D. - January 16, 2021 1:42 am

    <3 <—Heart.

  26. Jessica of the Central South East - January 16, 2021 9:52 pm

    All I can think… I’m glad he didn’t go back the same way to see if those trucks were there.

  27. cat718 - January 17, 2021 4:31 pm

    What a story! I am a believer in angels and God Winks. What a beautiful story to add to your own.
    My daddy will be 92 in April and being retired now, I sit with him for hours collecting his memories . I would have never known about the cotton mill baseball team in Anderson, SC and the time his sister was missing and they found her playing on a wooden Ferris wheel (made by a black man for his kids). Your writing keeps us sane on a daily basis. ❤️❤️❤️

  28. Kathy - January 18, 2021 5:42 pm

    I’m glad you called this guy. This is a great story, full of amazing details.

  29. Julie - February 4, 2021 12:57 am

    🎶“A Hundred Million Miracles Are Happening Everyday”🎵…Flower Drum Song 1961


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