summer my family had a spiritual experience that
had a lasting and profound impact on us, one we
feel must be shared. It's a message of
a message of regaining perspective, and restoring
proper balance and renewing priorities. In
humility, I pray that I might, in relating this
you a gift my little son,
gave our family one summer day last
July 22nd, I was enroute 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
thought nothing of it until I reached the door to
leave the plane and I heard a gentleman asking
every male 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 ands aid, "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
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.
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 or to his
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
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
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.
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
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
"Daddy hold me" and
he reached for me with his little
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
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, andall 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
story is not over.
Almost a month later to the day of the accident,
Brian awoke from his afternoon nap and said,
down, Mommy. I have something to tell you."
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.
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."
my wife asked puzzled.
birdies made a whooshing sound and flew into the
garage. They took care of me."
he said. "One
of the birdies came and got you. She came to tell
you I got stuck under the door."
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
because they were up in the air like birds that
did the birdies look like?"
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."
they say anything?"
he answered. "They
told me the baby would be all
my wife asked confused.
baby laying on the garage floor."
went on, "You
came out and opened the garage door and ran to the
baby. You told the baby to stay and not leave.
wife nearly collapsed upon hearing this, for she
had indeed gone and knelt beside Brian's body and
seeing his crushed chest and recognizable features,
knowing he was already dead, she looked up around
her and whispered, "Don't
leave us Brian, please stay if you
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 his
little lifeless form.
went on a trip,"
he said, "far,
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.
flew so fast up in the air. They're so pretty
there is lots and lots of birdies."
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
told him that he had to come back and tell everyone
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,
but the man couldn't hear him. He said the 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
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,
love you but you have to go back. You have to play
baseball, and tell everyone about the birdies."
the person in the bright light kissed him and waved
bye-bye. Then woosh, the big sound came and they
went into the clouds.
story went on for an hour. He taught us that
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
put his hand over his heart).
They whisper the things to help us to do what is
right because they love us so much.
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."
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."
no one ever looked at him strangely when he did
this. Rather, they always got a softened look on
their face and smiled.
to say, we have not been the same ever since that
day, and I pray we never will be.