This is a true story
that occurred in 1994 and was told by Lloyd Glen.
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 passenger if they were Mr. Glenn.
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.
A neighbor, who is a doctor, had performed CPR, 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
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 lying 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. 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 our gratitude and joy. As 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. 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. They did? 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 spirits,
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 "birdies"
look like? She asked. 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. And Brian answered.
The baby lying 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 and unrecognizable features,
knowing he was already dead, she looked up around her and 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, he added. 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 the baby would be okay, but
the man couldn't hear him. He said, "Birdies" told him he had to go
with the ambulance, but they would be near him. He said, they were so pretty and
so peaceful, and he didn't want to come back.
And then the bright light came. He said that the light was so bright and so warm,
and he loved the bright light so much. Someone was in the bright light and put
their arms around him, and told him, I love you but you have to go back. You have
to play baseball, and tell everyone about the "birdies." Then the person
in the bright light kissed him and waved bye-bye. Then whoosh, the big sound came
and they went into the clouds. The story Brian was telling 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 us to do what is right because they love us so
much. Brian continued, stating I have a plan. Mommy, you have a plan. Daddy has
a plan. Everyone has a plan. We must all live our plan and keep our promises.
The "birdies" help us to do that cause they love us so much. In the
weeks that followed, he often came to us and told all or parts of his story, 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 spoke of 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 get a softened look
on their face and smile. Needless to say, we have not been the same ever since
that day, and I pray we never will be.
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