I grew up as a child that attended church, my father and mother always seen to it that we went to church wherever we lived. So I was very familiar with the spiritualism of Christianity. For I was raised a Christian, attending Baptist churches in the south.
I never really heard the voice of an angel till way up in my teenage years. I would say around the age of eighteen years old.
I had heard many accounts of people having experiences with what is known commonly as Guardian Angels. But, had never personally experienced such an encounter.
My grandmother Dean was a very religious person, I think she probably played the biggest role in my life as a Christian. Before she passed away, she told me of guardian angels. She told me that I had one with me at all times, and sometimes it would speak to me verbally. She told me; “Jeffy you better listen to it when it does speak to you, or else bad things will happen.”
Yeah she called me “Jeffy” all my life, and I called her “Mamaw.” She was a lot of fun to be around indeed. Before she passed away back when I was just a teenager, she taught me a lot about God and the kind of person I was supposed to be.
My first encounter with my guardian angel came when I was just nineteen years old. I was an avid hunter then, as I still am today. I also liked to walk around on both my dad’s place and his Cousin E.L. Johnson’s place with my rifle or shotgun and just plink around at rocks and logs and such. E.L. had a young son, his name is John. At that time John was about fourteen or fifteen years old. Sometimes he would go with me on these target shooting walks around the land. We did this many times, and never with warnings of danger or an incident.
Then came the day, Sunday September 27th, 1982. John and I headed out to some land my dad had that was located along a creek on another road a few miles away. John and I got a 12 gauge shotgun, and a twenty-two magnum semi-automatic rifle, both of which belonged to me. I had just recently bought the .22 magnum rifle, it was new and one of the first .22 magnum semi-automatic rifles they had come out with, most are single shot or bolt action.
After getting the shotgun and rifle, John and I got in the car and drove down to the land. We parked, got out of the car and gathered the guns and the ammo and began walking towards our desired location. The first thing we had to do was conquer this rather long and steep hill. It’s when we started walking up the hillside is when I for the very first time heard and felt my guardian angel.
We began walking up the hillside, and soon as we did, I heard a voice in my ear, the voice of a female. She said, “Jeff turn around and go home, don’t walk up the hill.” I know, sounds kind of simple doesn’t it? But that’s exactly how it was. I shrugged it off and ignored it, continued my trek up the steep hillside. A minute or two later, I heard it again, a little stronger than before. “Jeff turn around Go home don’t walk up the hill.” Again I ignored it and forged onward. We walked and walked, as I said, it was a long hill, a few more times I heard the voice warning me to turn around, and each time it was stronger than the last time. The hill kind of had a false plateau, but soon started uphill again. Just before we reached the top of the hill, I heard the voice again, this time very! Very! Strong. “Jeff Go Back Now!” I have to say now, that it worried me some that time; I was beginning to think I was losing my mind. But still I walked onward headed for the top of the hill. Just as I started to approach the crest, I heard the voice one more time almost shouting. I stepped onto the peak of the hill and all was fine, no danger, and no incident. We stood around up there for a minute looking all around, because from there you could see for miles in either direction. Then we started to walk on further, John, a few steps later spoke, “Jeff let me carry that rifle and you carry the shotgun.” I had been the one holding the rifle until that moment, and I agreed to let him carry it, because it was not as heavy as the shotgun, which at the time was why I thought he wanted to swap. I took the shotgun, turned around and took maybe three steps. That’s when I heard the safety click off on the rifle. I knew right away John had just switched the rifle to the FIRE position. Just as I started to say John put that gun back on safe. All I got out was, “John” That’s when I heard the one single shot fired. It knocked me to the ground on my knees. My left leg felt like it was on fire. Still not sure of what had just happened, I stood up and as I did, I heard the broken bones in my leg crackling together. I looked down and saw the blood pumping hard against my pants, I knew then I had been shot.
I said; “John you shot me!” John said frantically, “No I didn’t!” I looked at him and said; “Yeah you did too John!” I reached down and grabbed my leg right where the wound was, felt the blood pumping out in a stream every time my heart would beat. I brought my hand back up, and John saw the blood in my hand and started screaming. As he started screaming, he brought the rifle back up with it pointed directly at me, and began to fire again. I spun around to try and not be facing the bullets, hoping not to get hit again. But the next bullet that he fired, hit me right in the left hip. The bullet went in, struck bone and deflected and came out in the front. Another bullet hit me again, this time higher, right on the top ridge of my left hip. He was still firing away in rapid succession. I knew I couldn’t just stand there anymore and wait till the rifle was empty, because I knew it was fully loaded which meant there were 18 shots in it. So I did what I had to do, which was to turn facing him, facing the bullets. I lunged forward at him with all my might and when I did I grabbed the rifle by the end of the barrel, and jerked it as hard as I could. Just as I pulled the rifle right up by my head, one final shot was fired from it, missing my head by about half an inch, but blowing my right eye completely full of hot gunpowder and muzzle fire flash. But I got the rifle away from him, and the shooting was over. Now my biggest worry was being able to make it back to the car and drive myself home without passing out from blood loss.
We began to try and walk to the car, but my left leg was broken badly in more than one place, and my ankle wouldn’t work. I told John he was going to have to let me lean on his shoulder to get back to the car. He was crying and hysterical, I leaned on his shoulder for about ten feet of the way, then he told me I was too heavy, I was going to have to get myself back to the car.
I had nothing to wrap around my leg to stop or slow the bleeding, so I did the best I could. I took both hands and wrapped them around my thigh, and held tight to slow the bleeding and to hold my leg off the ground so I could hop on my right leg. I did this for a long ways, and then began to get dizzy, I remember falling down. I lay there on the ground thinking this was it; I was going to bleed to death. That’s when I heard that voice in my ear again. She said; “Jeff get up! You must get up and get yourself out of here, I will be with you, get up!” I got up and started to hop on towards the car, and each time I grew weak or dizzy, I would hear her voice again, encouraging me onward, telling me I would be ok as long as I kept moving. Finally we made it back to the car, I got in and drove as fast as I could home, because during the driving I could not hold my leg and control the bleeding so it was just pouring out of me. When we got home, I didn’t bother getting out of the car, I just blew the horn wildly until my older brother Marty and my mother came running out to see what was wrong. Marty drove me to the emergency room in Meridian some 25 miles away. I stayed conscious until they got me in the back and began working on me.
When I woke up, I learned the details of the damage. I had been shot first in the left knee from behind. The bullet entered through the back of my knee, hit my patella fracturing it, then deflected off the patella and from there it traveled down my leg, ricocheting off both bones between my knee and my ankle, breaking both bones in four places, the bullet finally entered through the top of my ankle joint lodging deep in my ankle shattering it. The next bullet to strike me, did so in the left hip, it went in, struck the bone hard, fracturing my hip bone, then deflecting and exiting my body on the front.
The third bullet struck me on the top ridge of my left hip and deflected upwards in me, but luckily came right out just above my hip and not staying in my body. But all in all the worst damage was to my left leg from the bullet that entered through the back of my knee. My leg and ankle were virtually destroyed. I had to have pins placed in both bones from my knee to my ankle and six month later my entire ankle joint caved in and had to be replaced. The worst thing of this was. I was a baseball player in college at the time, and had just joined the U.S. Army. Both careers were killed in an instant.
That was the first time I heard my guardian angel, and the first time I ignored her warning voice, but as you will see, it wouldn’t be the last time.
I had my second encounter with what I call my guardian angel. I had just turned 21 years old in November and my encounter took place that following February.
I had actually just started steady dating Nancy Robertson, who would a year later become my wife, Nancy (Cricket) Dean.
As I said, I had worked all day at the office of Meridian Culvert Co. My younger brother had kept the truck that day, I think he had to haul some cattle feed or something, I can’t rightly remember why right now.
I got off work that evening at five o’clock, it was a Monday. My brother was there on time to pick me up soon as I got off work. I got into the passenger’s side, and he drove.
Nothing was unusual, just like any other day. I wasn’t a seatbelt wearer before, I had never really buckled up while in a car or truck, and I didn’t this time as well.
We started out headed for home, which was some twenty-five miles away. We made our way through a few city streets and then onto the interstate. We exited the interstate at highway eleven and nineteen. Made our way onto highway 19 north and all was looking fine.
Just then all the sudden I heard the voice of a lady, she said; “Buckle Your Seatbelt Jeff.” I ignored the voice and we kept traveling towards home. A minute later, I heard the voice yet again, only this time much stronger and demanding; “Buckle Your Seatbelt Jeff!” But still I ignored it. The next time I heard it, was about forty-five seconds later; “Jeff Buckle Your Seatbelt NOW!” I ignored it. We were traveling along highway 19 north out of Meridian, MS, I was looking out the passenger side window, when suddenly I heard my brother take a deep quick breath in fear, I heard him flinch I suppose you might say. I turned to see what was wrong and that’s when I seen the headlights. The headlights of a car traveling southbound. The driver of it was attempting to pass a car, and was completely over in our lane, on a head-on collision course with our vehicle and we were too close and both were traveling too fast to stop. There was nothing anyone could do except take the impact of his car traveling at 75 miles per hour and ours traveling at sixty-five miles per hour.
The next thing I knew, I woke up lying on the edge of the highway, unable to speak because of a broken jaw, and unable to move because of a severe head injury.
I remember a nurse; she was driving the car that he was attempting to pass when he hit us. She was out kneeling beside me doing all she could for me until the ambulance arrived. The man that hit us amazingly was able to walk. He walked up to where I was laying, and grabbed the nurse by the shoulder and pulled her back away from me, saying’ “Get up and leave him alone and he will be ok.” Then he kicked me in the side and said; “I’m sorry buddy my brakes went out.” I couldn’t speak back with him, but I couldn’t help but wonder what does his brakes going out have to do with him coming into our lane head-on?
Then he broke and ran, trying to run away from the scene of the accident before the police could arrive, but some men that had witnessed the wreck and were waiting for the police, took off after him and dragged him back and held him for the police. He was arrested for D.U.I. it was his seventh dui. in six months. He had actually just got out of jail the day before he hit us, for his 6th driving under the influence charge.
My injuries in this wreck were so severe that some people at the scene thought I was dead, and even the doctors at the hospital told my family that my chances for recovery were slim, that they should pray for the best but to prepare for the worst.
I had to be flown to a trauma center with a neuro-intensive care unit, which the closest was in Jackson, MS. I was a stubborn person I suppose one could say, and I fought hard, and within two weeks I was showing great signs of recovery, and soon the guy that came in on a stretcher with little chance, walked out under his own power, the doctors were astonished.
After this tragedy, I kind of learned to listen to the angel’s voice, to heed the warnings. But it would be a long time before I would hear her voice again. In fact a few years would pass by before I would hear her again, but she again spoke to me, and knowing the things I knew from past experiences with her, it gave me Goosebumps.
I was out hunting alone at night one night; I had walked across a small pasture and was about to head down into a hollow of hardwoods where a small stream trickled lazily.
Just as I began stepping from the pasture into the woods, I heard her voice saying to me; “Jeff don’t go into the woods, something bad will happen.” I stopped, froze in my tracks. I stood there for a few minutes, and decided I wanted to test her just a little bit. I took a couple more steps into the woods and again she spoke; “Jeff stay out of the woods, turn around and go home now!” Again I stopped, froze dead in my tracks, Goosebumps popped on my arms and a chill went through my whole body. Right then and there I turned around and started my walk headed for home. I made it safely home without a scratch. I told my wife about the voice as I had told her in the past when it happened, and the first words from her were; “Did you listen and not go into the woods?” I laughed and said; “Well I wanted to test her.” Immediately Nancy rolled her eyes in disbelief. “ I wanted to test her so I took a couple of steps into the woods to see if she would speak again, and she did, so right then and there I turned around and came home.” Nancy made a sarcastic remark about me testing the voice and commented that I should never test such a thing, that I should be glad it is there and just listen to it every time. Which I do now.
I don’t hear the voice very often anymore, but every now and then she will pop up and speak to me, like if I am driving down the highway, there have been a couple of times, that suddenly I heard the voice tell me to get off this certain road or highway, and I always do it, and have not been in any accidents since I started listening to it.
Now I do not have any proof of what this is or is not. Some of you may call it insanity or paranoia, or whatever you choose. I did not write this story to make you believe in angels or disbelieve in them. I didn’t write it to make you believe in a Heaven or Hell, a God or Satan. I wrote it because it is what happens to me. I am a Christian, so it is my own personal belief that this is some guardian angel here to guide me and protect me, much like the angel my grandmother told me about when I was a kid. For all I know it could be my grandmother. She was such a loving and caring lady on earth, that it would not surprise me one bit to know that she is walking with me every day watching out for me. It sounds just like something she would do. Personally, I like to tell myself that it is my grandmother, Mamaw; Mamaw is what I called her as did all my brothers and cousins. I don’t really know, all I know is that I am happy it is with me and that something so good, caring and kind could only be sent from Heaven. I am just thankful I have it with me.
I’m much older than I was at age nineteen when I first heard the voice of my angel. But thankfully I haven’t outgrown her, for she is still with me every day. Protecting me from myself and others as well. I hope both of my son’s will have this angel with them throughout their lives as well. If not this same one, then one just like her, guiding them and warning them of any impending dangers as well.
It’s been awhile now since I have heard from my little angel, but oh she’s there, just waiting for the next time I need her. And I can rest assured if the time does come again that I do, she will be there as she always has.
But forever you I can make you this promise, any time she does show up, you can believe this is one old fellow that will always listen to The Voice Of The Angel In My Ear.
Written: June 29, 2006
By: J. Lewis Dean