Awesome riff on the recent meme of Hillary texts.
»>businesstrip. It was all so very ordinary, until we landed in Denver
»>fora plane change. As I collected my belongings from the overhead
»>locker, an announcement was made for Mr.Lloyd Glennto 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.
»>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
»> 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
»> 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, when 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.”
»> “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
»> “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,”
»>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 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 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 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.
So you want to make your own boring corner of your town into an ultra hip zone?
Who doesn’t want to live in a hip neighborhood these days? The great food and night life, the singles scene, and music—what’s not to like?
Here are a few things you’ll need to make your neighborhood into a hip one
A Used Bookstore. Any neighborhood can have a place piled with used books for sale but to make it hip, you need that something extra. It needs to be the kind of place that when you take your books in to trade, some clerk (with an associates in degree general studies from the local junior college) must be the one to go through your offerings, making loud value judgements about each item your brought in. He treats your 19th century Russian poetry books as if you brought in a stack of People magazine.
Relentless Clipboard Toting Activists. Yes, you want to support their cause but after being accosted continuously every day for weeks at the same location, you then change your walking route just to avoid them…as they chase you down shouting “support world peace, a$$hole!”
A Natural Food Store. You shop there four times per week and they always act as if they’ve never seen you before. It’s as expensive as Whole Foods but with a brooding staff oozing with extra ‘tude. Still, you go there because its close to home and their deli makes dolmas much better than you can in your own kitchen.
A Local Elementary School That Serves as a Dog Park. Sure, the signs say “no dogs allowed” but only until 4 PM. After that, the playground becomes the neighborhood’s off-leash dog park. How about that for efficient use of public spaces?!
A Yarn Store. You wonder where all of those hip ladies are getting the yarn to make those funky scarves and hats you see everywhere. Then, one day you spot it on a back street and catch yourself thinking how out of place it seems, but remembering that its not.
A Brew Pub. You really need one of these, OK? Extra points if they don’t serve food but allow you to bring yours in (and have food trucks parked out front). Double bonus points if they have live music. Of course this is where you’ll spot the guy with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve of his white T-shirt like James Dean, his buddy wearing the John Deere hat, and their friend doing her best to look like Zooey Deschanel.
The Bike or Drive Dilemma. You want to be eco and some places in this ‘hood offer discounts for arriving on your bike, but it gets stolen every time you lock it up. So now, the bulletproof titanium super-lock you need to carry around weighs more (and costs more) than your bike…so you’re more worried about the lock being stolen than the bike itself.
A Used Record Store. You know, the one everyone claims to love and support but never seem to buy anything from? If they haven’t gone under yet, its probably a front for the local non-medical marijuana dispensary.
Street Musicians. How can an area be hip without people on the sidewalks singing, playing music, or reading poetry? C’mon, drop some coins in that guitar case!
Artists and Gay People. Sorry, but if there aren’t any artists and gay people living in or hanging out in this neighborhood, its just not going to be hip. In fact, many experts claim that it’s the artists and gay people who are vital to transforming an area into a hip one in the first place. Others say that hip neighborhoods attract artists and gay people to them (and not vice versa). Either way, you need them.
A Hip Coffee Place. This place has excellent coffee but once you get to the front of the line, getting one of the four people behind the counter to acknowledge your existence is a constant challenge (unless your ear disks are larger than theirs). A few rules to remember in these places; saying gesundheit or bless you if someone sneezes will earn you sneers and if your laptop does not have a glowing apple on the back of it, prepare to be shunned as if you were Dick Cheney’s cousin.
Panhandlers With Nice Shoes and a Land Rover Parked Nearby. Not to be confused with those truly in need, these are usually Trustafarians who already burned through their monthly allotment of Mommy and Daddy’s cash.
Food Trucks. The food is wonderful and the people running them are very nice. If only you could take a bit from one of their burritos without the insides of it crumbling all over the sidewalk before you can get it into your mouth.
Two Competing Bike Shops. Because you can’t have only one bike shop and still qualify as a hip neighborhood. Both shops are knowledgeable and do good repairs, but one is very friendly and helpful while the other one only hires people who pass their ‘tude test. The latter one generally treats any woman with a question like she has no business riding a bike. Guess which place is doing better?
A sufficient number of people with exposed tattoos. This one is compulsory. If you want your neighborhood to keep its hip rating, be sure to get all of your tatted up residents out on the streets when the National Council on Nonconformity is in town renew your hip license. Sorry, but temporary tattoos don’t count.
Multiple vegan/vegetarian restaurants. At least one must be a place people rave about to others but actually gag when thinking about the green goo they serve. The rest can be great.
A used clothing store. They seldom have anything you really want, which may explain why they only wanted two of the 67 items you brought in to trade. Of course they’ll offer to “donate” your unwanted items to charity (but then you see a worker wearing some of them the following week).
The Overpriced Quasi-Hip Quick-Casual Restaurant. Usually dropped right in the middle of the hip neighborhood. This is a place with good food and friendly service but hipsters try to avoid it. So, who are their clientele? Usually its businessmen on their lunch breaks or bored housewives from other neighborhoods who want to feel hip, even if just for an hour.
A Brazilian Waxing Place. You know the one, they never have a Groupon or Living Social offer but they are always jam packed with people seeking their services. Extra points if it has a wedding chapel attached to it. I mean, who doesn’t want to be all cleaned up just moments before saying “I do?”
A ratio of three Thai restaurants and two hair salons per resident. No one knows exactly why but 17 separate studies have shown this to be true.
An Old School Local Restaurant. This family restaurant was here before the area was hip and will probably be there when the whole scene moves to another part of town. Plus, their breakfast is a great cure for a hangover.
A Starbucks that was once an Arby’s. You know, in one of those old covered wagon shaped buildings. Plus, the Arby’s is now re-located next door in a more standard styled building.
The empty shell of a local outdoor retail store. Before REI (Walmart in fleece), put them out of business.
The Prayer-Flag, Buddha Statue Place. The students at the local college badly need this place so they can buy stuff to freak out their fundamentalist Christian ‘rents when they arrive for Parents’ Weekend.
The Local Hipster Newspaper. Every big town has one and they seem to be found on every corner in a hip neighborhood. This paper does a good job of acting like they are against “the man” but look a little deeper and they are “the man.” Your band, small business, or service will be ignored in every feature and review until you do a multi-week ad buy. Then expect to disappear again until you can buy their love one more time.
Incorrect source, offensive, or found a typo? Want to write?
Chris Courtney, is an Albuquerque based yoga teacher and sometime film consultant when he is not trying to write songs on his guitar. He started the Off The Couch And Onto The Mat movement to promote healthy alternatives to a sedentary lifestyle. Chris is a former expat journalist, warrior and diplomat who is forever finding new experiences to explore. Find him online on Twitter @CK_Courtney or check out his website at: chriscourtneyyoga.com