This was written and posted to Facebook on October 23, 2015.
Today is Sean's Birthday.
He would have been 43 today. My Bubba.
I miss him every day. I talk to him every day. Ask him if I am making good decisions. Ask him to help me to. He was so wise. He still is.
Following the accident...from the immediate moments after it happened until many months later I had spiritual experiences that are so marvelous and so sacred to me that I have only shared them with people very close to me or people who I felt needed to know about them.
I am not yet comfortable sharing the ones that involve Sean. If I ever am I would want to talk to his family about it first. I don't know that I ever will be.
There was one experience that I had that I often feel the spirit telling me it is time to share with others. I haven't wanted to. It is so extraordinary. So real. So sacred that if anyone were to question that it happened I would be deeply hurt and I don't want to associate anything with the experience that is anything but reverent. The spirit keeps telling me to share it anyway.
As Sean's birthday has approached I knew I wanted to honor him. I have thought for months about how I would. I don't know the words to describe what a special man he was. That he is still. Everything I thought of to say seemed trite. Nothing came close to being enough.
Then several weeks ago (9/23 actually) my son Matthew woke up and came into my room with the most peaceful look on his face and told me he had dreamed about Sean.
I sat up in bed to listen to him. There is no part of me that doesn't believe those dreams aren't really visits from the people we have lost and long for.
All my boys loved Sean and his children but Matthew had a special connection to Sean. I think at that time he needed him most.
He said in the dream he was playing cards with Sean just like they did after dinner at night. While they were playing Sean told Matty that he has been in heaven all this time. He told my sweet boy that He had seen God and that He was real. He told Matthew that God was always with him.
When Matty told me about his simple but amazing dream I knew that for Sean's birthday I would be a witness of God's hand in all of our lives. Because God is real and He is always with all of us. Just like Sean told Matty.
In the hours following the accident I had only brief moments of consciousness. Although I was talking to my EMT's I didn't remember any of that until many months later when memories of that horrible day started to return to me.
I remembered the feeling of the bumper of the SUV hitting the back tire of the bike and sort of bouncing.
I remembered a moment laying on the highway looking up at the bright beautiful sky for just a moment and already knowing my sweetheart was gone. I don't remember feeling any physical pain in those moments but no amount of shock could absorb the pain of knowing my Sean was gone.
I remembered an Air Evac pilot in a helmet with a mask on telling me it was going to be loud and to not be afraid.
Then I didn't remember anything again until I had moments of consciousness in the ICU after I came out of hours of surgery. I was on a ventilator and not happy about it so my right arm had been tied to the bed rail to keep me from pulling it out. Apparently I had been trying to. Sounds about right for me.
I learned later, almost a year later, that when I came out of surgery my family and friends who were already gathered were told they had done all they could do in surgery but that there was hemorrhaging behind my lungs they couldn't stop.
My lungs had been torn and punctured by my smashed ribs. They were collapsed and chest tubes were in my sides helping them to expand. They were not very hopeful about the bleeding stopping on it's own and told my family to have realistic expectations about my ability to survive the night.
In my next moment of consciousness I could see men walking towards me. They were very blurry. To the point I couldn't recognize them. I did recognize my Uncle Ronnie's spirit there at my bedside. I knew they had come to give me a priesthood blessing for healing. I didn't recognize the other men then. I learned later it was President Radford (counselor in our Stake Presidency and my Home Teacher), Aaron Buckmister (a friend who is also a DPS officer and was one of the first to learn I was involved in the accident and came to the hospital), and my precious cousins Jeff Cooper and Cody Cooper.
I was still in and out of consciousness in those moments. The next time I opened my eyes the men were gathered around my bed giving me a blessing. I was jerking my hand that was tied to the rail and in doing so I touched Aaron's hand. I looked at him and could see him perfectly clear when nothing else in the room was. Every detail about him was plain to see. He had the biggest smile for me.
And then I looked to my left. When I did I saw that there were three angels that had joined the men in the circle around me.
They appeared as white silhouettes to me. They were the shape of men but I could not see their faces or any details about the way they looked. They seemed to have on some sort of hat that had a square shape to it. They glowed in a brilliant bright white light as did the room behind them. I know many people have talked about "the light" and have had similar descriptions about their experiences but it is what I saw. Sorry to not be more original ;)
I was surprised that I was not frightened in the least.
I believe that when angels administer to us or watch over us they are often our own ancestors. I was so calm that I was able to try to focus on their spirits to see if there was anything familiar about them that would tell me who they were. I didn't feel anything like that but knew with certainty they were angels.
There was a stream of light from each of them that was going into my body. I knew they were helping to heal me.
I didn't wake again for another 10-12 hours.
During the blessing a cell phone was put on speaker so my mother who lives in Florida could hear the prayer as she frantically was making travel arrangements to get to me. Just 5 years before my sweet sister Courtney died unexpectedly from meningitis. I am her only other living child. I cannot begin to imagine her panic and fear.
Of course I don't know what all my sweet uncle said during that miraculous blessing but I was later told he promised me in that blessing that I would make a full recovery. When asked why he said that when the doctors had just told our family it was uncertain if I would live through the night his answer was simple. The spirit inspired him to say it. So he did.
So many of you have commented on my faith or my strength in those weeks and months of painful recovery and a heart that was broken beyond repair. So much of my strength was born of that blessing. Knowing my Heavenly Father sent angels to heal me and trusted me enough to show them to me is something I don't think I will ever wrap my head around. I knew from the start that Sean's work on this earth was done and mine was not. I knew I would heal in time. I never had to wonder.
That experience is not the reason for my faith though. I have always known my Heavenly Father loves me. I have never doubted that He knows my name or my heart.
I think it is because of that faith that the Lord allowed me to have that experience.
I was afraid that I would forget what I had seen so I worked with an artist to have a sketch created that would show what I had experienced laying in that bed in the ICU while I received that extraordinary blessing. I have attached it for you all to see.
Regardless of your personal views about my experience I simply ask that you respect what I have shared and respect that sharing it was difficult for me. I feared that anyone might doubt it and I tend to be feisty when my integrity or sanity is questioned ;)
So today for Sean's birthday today I want to share with you all the sweet message that he shared with my boy.
God is real. He is always with us.
Happy Birthday Sean. You brought so much a magic to my life in the short time we were together. I know you will have the best birthday in heaven. Please know that you blessed my life in countless ways. I will always love you.