Monday, March 29, 2004
A DAD'S STORY On July 22nd I was in route to Washington, DC for a business trip.
It was all so very ordinary, until we landed in Denver for a plane change.
As I collected my belongings from the overhead bin, an announcement was made for Mr. Lloyd Glenn to see the United Customer Service Representative immediately. I thought nothing of it until I reached the door to leave the plane and I heard a gentleman asking every male if he were Mr.
At this point I knew something was wrong and my heart sunk.
When I got off the plane a solemn-faced young man came toward me and said, "Mr. Glenn, there is an emergency at your home. I do not know what the emergency is, or who is involved, but I will take you to the phone so you can call the hospital."
My heart was now pounding, but the will to be calm took over.
Woodenly, I followed this stranger to the distant telephone where I called the number he gave me for the Mission Hospital. My call was put through to the trauma center where I learned that my three-year-old son had been trapped underneath the automatic garage door for several minutes, and that when my wife had found him he was dead.
CPR had been performed by a neighbor, who is a doctor, and the paramedics had continued the treatment as Brian was transported to the hospital.
By the time of my call, Brian was revived and they believed he would live, but they did not know how much damage had been done to his brain, nor to his heart. They explained that the door had completely closed on his little sternum right over his heart. He had been severely crushed.
After speaking with the medical staff, my wife sounded worried but not hysterical, and I took comfort in her calmness.
The return flight seemed to last forever, but finally I arrived at the hospital six hours after the garage door had come down.
When I walked into the intensive care unit, nothing could have prepared me to see my little son laying so still on a great big bed with tubes and monitors everywhere. He was on a respirator. I glanced at my wife who stood and tried to give me a reassuring smile. It all seemed like a terrible dream.
I was filled-in with the details and given a guarded prognosis.
Brian was going to live, and the preliminary tests indicated that his heart was OK, two miracles in and of themselves. But only time would tell if his brain received any damage.
Throughout the seemingly endless hours, my wife was calm.
She felt that Brian would eventually be all right. I hung on to her words and faith like a lifeline. All that night and the next day Brian remained unconscious.
It seemed like forever since I had left for my business trip the day before.
Finally at two o'clock that afternoon, our son regained consciousness and sat up uttering the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken.
He said, "Daddy hold me" and he reached for me with his little arms.
[TEAR BREAK...smile] By the next day he was pronounced as having no neurological or physical deficits, and the story of his miraculous survival spread throughout the hospital. You cannot imagine, we took Brian home, we felt a unique reverence for the life and love of our Heavenly Father that comes to those who brush death so closely.
In the days that followed there was a special spirit about our home.
Our two older children were much closer to their little brother.
My wife and I were much closer to each other, and all of us were very close as a whole family. Life took on a less stressful pace.
Perspective seemed to be more focused, and balance much easier to gain and maintain.
We felt deeply blessed. Our gratitude was truly profound.
The story is not over (smile)!
Almost a month later to the day of the accident, Brian awoke from his afternoon nap and said, "Sit down Mommy. I have something to tell you."
At this time in his life, Brian usually spoke in small phrases, so to say a large sentence surprised my wife. She sat down with him on his bed, and he began his sacred and remarkable story.
"Do you remember when I got stuck under the garage door?
Well, it was so heavy and it hurt really bad. I called to you, but you couldn't hear me I started to cry, but then it hurt too bad. And then the 'birdies' came."
"The birdies?" my wife asked puzzled.
"Yes," he replied. "The birdies made a whooshing sound and flew into the garage. They took care of me."
"Yes," he said. "One of the birdies came and got you. She came to tell you "I got stuck under the door." A sweet reverent feeling filled the room.
The spirit was so strong and yet lighter than air. My wife realized that a three-year-old had no concept of death and spirit, so he was referring to the beings who came to him from beyond as "birdies"
because they were up in the air like birds that fly. "What did the e birdies look like?"
Brian answered, "They were so beautiful. They were dressed in white, all white. Some of them had green and white. But some of them had on just white."
"Did they say anything?"
"Yes," he answered. "They told me the baby would be all right."
"The baby?" my wife asked confused.
Brian answered. "The baby laying on the garage floor." He went on, You came out and opened the garage door and ran to the baby.
You told the baby to stay and not leave."
My wife nearly collapsed upon hearing this, for she had indeed gone and knelt beside Brian's body and seeing his crushed chest whispered, "Don't leave us Brian, please stay if you can." As she listened to Brian telling her the words she had spoken, she realized that the spirit had left his body and was looking down from above on this little lifeless form.
"Then what happened?" she asked.
"We went on a trip," he said, "far, far away." He grew agitated trying to say the things he didn't seem to have the words for. My wife tried to calm and comfort him, and let him know it would be okay.
He struggled with wanting to tell something that obviously was very important to him, but finding the words was difficult.
"We flew so fast up in the air. They're so pretty Mommy,"
"And there are lots and lots of birdies." My wife was stunned.
Into her mind the sweet comforting spirit enveloped her more soundly, but with an urgency she had never before known. Brian went on to tell her that the birdies"
had told him that he had to come back and tell everyone about the "birdies." He said they brought him back to the house and that a big fire truck, and an ambulance were there. A man was bringing the baby out on a white bed and he tried to tell the man that the baby would be okay, The story went on for an hour. He taught us that "birdies" were always with us, but we don't see them because we look with our eyes and we don't hear them because we listen with our ears. But they are always there, you can only see them in here (he put his hand over his heart). They whisper the things to help In the weeks that followed, he often came to us and told all, or part of it, again and again. Always the story remained the same.
The details were never changed or out of order. A few times he added further bits of information and clarified the message he had already delivered.
It never ceased to amaze us how he could tell such detail and speak beyond his ability when he talked about his birdies. Everywhere he went, he told strangers about the "birdies." Surprisingly, no one ever looked at him strangely when he did this. Rather, they always got a softened look on their face and smiled. Needless to say, we have not been the same ever since that day, and I pray we never will be.
You have just been sent an Angel to watch over you. Some people come into our lives and quickly go...Some people become friends and stay a while...leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts ... and we are never quite the same because we have made a good friend!!
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift.
That's why it's called the present! Live and savor every moment...this is not a dress rehearsal!
Sunday, March 28, 2004
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of "Camp Complaining"
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
Xalting God most high
Yes, there will be good times and yes, some will be bad but ...
Zion waits in glory ... where none are ever sad!
Saturday, March 27, 2004
Friday, March 12, 2004
VICTIMS AND FIGHTERS
Gretchen Alexander is sightless. But she refuses to allow her
blindness to limit her life activities. She enjoys archery, golf,
softball, sailing and water-skiing, as well as a number of other
activities that those of us who are sighted have yet to learn.
She also speaks to groups about living life fully. When speaking to a
group of high school students, she was once asked if there was
anything she wouldn't try.
"I've decided to never sky-dive," she answered. "It would scare the
heck out of my dog."
Why do some people rise above their problems and live life fully,
while others become defeated? Merle Shain explains it this way: "There
are only two ways to approach life, as a victim or as a gallant
fighter. And you must decide if you want to act or to react...."
When discouraged, a victim reacts, perhaps in pain or self-pity. But a
fighter acts. A fighter makes a decision to change that set of
circumstances that left her or him discouraged. Or a fighter decides
to accept those circumstances with grace and move ahead anyway. A
fighter decides to act with courage. A fighter takes responsibility
for his or her happiness. No matter how afraid, a fighter refuses to
give in to the most defeating of all human emotions helplessness.
A victim reacts. A fighter acts. It's your decision. It's a decision
about whether you will live your life fully and with courage or
whether you will be forever defeated by harsh circumstances. Make it
well, for it may be one of the most important decisions you ever make.
Will you be a victim or a gallant fighter?
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry.
Two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.
One of these days is yesterday with its mistakes and cares,
Its faults and blunders, Its aches and pains.
Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.
All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday.
We cannot undo a single act we performed.
We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.
The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow.
With its possible adversities, Its burdens, Its large promise and
Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.
Tomorrow's Sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of
clouds, but it will rise.
Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.
This just leaves only one day . . . Today.
Any person can fight the battles of just one day.
It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful
yesterday and tomorrow that we break down.
It is not the experience of today that drives people mad.
It is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened
yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.
Let us therefore live but one day at a time.
~ Author Unknown ~
Saturday, March 6, 2004
The Colors Of Friendships Once upon a time.... The colors of the world started to quarrel. All claimed they were the best, The most important, The most useful, The favorite.
GREEN said: Clearly I am the most important... I am the sign of life and of hope; I was chosen for grass, trees and leaves. Without me, all animals would die; Look over the countryside And you will see that I am in the majority.
BLUE interrupted, You only think about the earth, But consider the sky and the sea... It is the water that is the basis of life And it is drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea; The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace, you would all be nothing.
YELLOW chuckled, You are all so serious ... I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth into the world, The sun, the moon and the stars are all yellow; Every time you look at a sunflower, The whole world starts to smile, Without me there would be no fun.
ORANGE started next to blow her trumpet... I am the color of health and strength, I may be scarce, but I am precious For I serve the needs of human life, I carry the most important vitamins; Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, and mangoes, I don't hang around all the time, But when I do, I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, My beauty is so striking that no one gives Another thought to any of you.
RED could stand it no longer so he shouted out ... I am the ruler of all of you! I am blood ... life's blood! I am the color of danger and of bravery, I am willing to fight for a cause, I bring fire into the blood; Without me, the earth would be as empty as the moon, I am the color of passion and of love, The red rose, the poinsettia and the poppy.
PURPLE rose up to his full height, He was very tall and spoke with great pomp ... I am the color of royalty and power, Kings, chiefs, and bishops have always chosen me For I am the sign of authority and wisdom, People do not question me! They listen and obey.
Finally INDIGO spoke, Much more quietly that all the others, But with just as much determination... Think of me. I am the color of silence, You hardly notice me, But without me you all become superficial; I represent thought and reflection,twilight and deep water, You need me for balance and contrast, For prayer and inner peace.
And so the colors went on boasting, Each convinced of his or her own superiority. Their quarreling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightning! Thunder rolled and boomed! Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors crouched down in fear, Drawing close to one another for comfort. In the midst of the clamor, RAIN began to speak ... You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, Each trying to dominate the rest; Don't you know that you were each made For a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me. Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands. The RAIN continued, From now on, when it rains, Each of you will stretch across the sky, In a great bow of color, as a reminder That you can all live in peace. The Rainbow is asign of hope and tomorrow. ~ author unknown ~
Thursday, March 4, 2004
I wish you a day of ordinary miracles----
A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself.
An unexpected phone call from an old friend.
Green stoplights on your way to work or shop.
I wish you a day of little things to rejoice in...
The fastest line at the grocery store.
A good sing along song on the radio.
Your keys right where you look.
I wish you a day of happiness and perfection--
I wish you little bite size pieces of perfection that give you the funny
feeling that the Lord is smiling on you, holding you so gently because you
are someone special and rare.
I wish You a day of Peace, Happiness and Joy. Remember to Make the Time
TODAY, To do something Special for a Total Stranger. Have a TERRIFIC day!