2 Events That Absolutely Rocked My World

Ten years ago I had 2 events that absolutely rocked my world.   One I have talked about frequently and one I have only mentioned a couple times.

On March 28, 2007 I noticed a small numb spot on the bottom of my right foot which would eventually lead to my MS diagnosis.  I cannot wrap my head around the fact that it has been 10 years; boy time flies when you’re having fun!  In that ten years I’ve changed a lot.  I went from a stable individual to a lost soul and back to a stable individual.  It was a roller coaster ride to say the least.

In that time I learned one important lesson: I’m a lot stronger than I thought.  I have said before that MS was and is the best thing that has happened to me and some have emailed me to tell me I’m crazy-a fact that I don’t debate.  Insanity has not officially been ruled out so I won’t make assumptions.  The truth is it has been 10 years since that first symptom and I am still here, still working, still producing and now inspiring.  MS is the reason I have this blog and MS is the reason so many doors have opened to me.  After all, how else would I have had the opportunity to speak with so many people over the last few years: Lowes Corporate, community colleges, All State corporate, First Harvest Food Bank and many others.

I have truly been blessed.

The second thing that happened in 2007 that rocked my world was my childhood best friend was shot and killed.  He died protecting his community in the line of duty as a Charlotte Mecklenburg police officer.  His name is Sean Clark and he was murdered following a domestic call.

When Sean and I were teenagers we pretty much did everything together.  We didn’t attend the same high school, but it was assured that we were finding each other almost every day after school.  As a matter of fact it was Sean that pushed me for an entire summer to get in shape lifting weights.  It was easily the best conditioning of my life.

Image result for officer sean clark

Sean was an energetic guy and loved anything physical: wrestling, running, hiking, climbing, lifting weights, etc.   For some reason the one memory that sticks in my mind is a night Sean decided we were going fishing.  We must have been 16 or 17 and his boss at the gas station had a house up on Lake Norman with a dock.  One night Sean called and told me he would be at the house in a few minutes to go fishing.  We sat on that dock and talked all night.  We didn’t catch a whole lot, but it didn’t matter.  At the end of the night we were packing up and I decided to make one last cast and we reeled in the biggest catfish I had ever seen; it nearly snapped the pole!  I remember laughing about that fish for weeks.

After high school I was accepted to the math program at UNC Charlotte and Sean was off to follow his dream of becoming a Pararescueman with the Airforce.  Just before that we spent a weekend at Myrtle Beach for graduation hanging out riding his motorcycle and enjoying being friends.  It was a great trip.

I remember when Sean left for the Airforce.  He rode his motorcycle over to my parent’s house and we talked for a bit and I was so sad.  Being the guy’s guy he was, he teased me a bit for being such a “girl-man” and he took off and I cried.  Years later we spent a couple nights together over a few beers and reminisced about those days and our friendship.  As Forest Gump said, “We were like peas and carrots”.

About 2 weeks before Sean was murdered he called the house and left me a voice message to which I didn’t get a chance to respond-something I still regret today.  I miss my friend.  Funny thing is about a year ago I had a dream about Sean.  We were sitting together at a table and I looked at him.  His face was so clear to me it was as if he were alive and the conversation is still incredibly vivid in my mind that I remember every detail.  We talked about everything just like he had never been gone.  I asked him if he realized he was dead and he said he did.  I asked him what it was like being dead and he said it was a lot like being alive only different and he couldn’t really put it into words.  I asked him if he realized he had been gone for 9 years and he said he didn’t that it felt like minutes to him.  He explained to me that he saw me occasionally and his parents, brother and sister.

He explained to me that being dead wasn’t at all what he expected, that the part of him that made him Sean was more alive than ever.  He also explained that he was able to see those still alive at times.  He explained it like this…there is a separation between those who are dead and those who are alive similar to fog.  And at times windows would open in the fog which allowed him to pear through and see his family and friends.  He never knew when it would happen or who he would see, but it happened somewhat frequently and it allowed him to feel connected.

It’s only as I write this post that I realize I have internalized a lot of his death.  This might be one of a handful of times which I have actually spoken about it out loud.

At any rate, it was such an incredible dream.  Just before I awoke I started crying and told him I still missed him and he told me not to worry that he was doing fine and he missed me too.  I have spent a lot of time this week crying.  It’s almost like reliving the whole thing all over again.  Sean was a good man, a good son, a good husband, a good father and a good friend-I’ll never get over him dying.

RIP Sean…

58 thoughts on “2 Events That Absolutely Rocked My World

  1. RIP Sean and thank you for your service.
    Danny, you had to have been visited by him. In actuality, some people do not believe that is possible, but from what you explained here, it sounds to me like you were visited by the real deal. I’m sorry for your loss, we never get over our losses we just learn how to cope. At least in your dream you were able to ask valid questions. That is wonderful. Hold that dear to your heart. I’ll be praying for you.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Such a heartfelt post, Dan. You know, I believe that behind every dark cloud there’s a ray of sunshine and can quite understand how and why you feel blessed years after being diagnosed with MS instead of the opposite. In our times of strife, we are far more resilient than we give ourselves account for. Indeed you are blessed. I read your post from start to finish and yes indeed, you do inspire. May Sean’s bright soul keep shining.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss, Danny. It’s a really hard thing to go through. I just lost a friend so I can relate. I wish I could just contact her some days. I miss her so much! Your friend is looking over you. May he continue to rest in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful testimony of your friendship. I am so sorry for your loss! I pray for peace and love through your grief. And joy in your remembering! You talked about your MS roller coaster–boy, isn’t that true! As I have said before MS to me means Made Strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your post gave me chills. I’ve never known anyone who has had such a vivid dream about a lost loved one. So sad, but also comforting in a way. I know the dream made you miss him even more, and brought out many memories, but was it comforting too? The friendship you had with Sean sounds amazing. I’m so sorry, Danny. 2007 was such a turning point for you. So difficult and painful. Which makes you even more inspiring, how you have turned your life around for the better. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I wonder. I think Sean was talking to you through the dream, letting you know he’s fine. It’s interesting how most of our dreams we never remember, a small number we do, and an even smaller number we remember forever. I know this is one of them for you!

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  6. Awww!!! Danny.. I shared your pain…
    It’s never easy to lose someone so dear and close.
    Thank goodness for those dreams to comfort you..
    keep his memories alive…
    and sorry that he lost his life in line of duty..

    Police officers have such risky jobs..
    RIP.. sean..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a beautiful post Danny. I’m glad that instead of being sad about you’re illness, that you turned it into something that’s a blessing. Life happens and how we deal with it determines how the rest will play out. Your strength will carry you through and you touched a lot of people’s lives. It inspiring. Your friend Sean sounds like he was an awesome guy and friend. I rarely remember my dreams clearly. Maybe he did really come over to check up on you and to tell you he’s ok. Find comfort in that. Thank you for sharing your story with us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoyed every bit of this post. I’m glad, you were able to spend some time with your friend. I loved the vison your friend described of the window inside the fog. Absolutely, beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was finally dx’d w/ms in 1994 – six years after my first recognizable onset of symptoms. I have six kids so I can’t say that ms was the best thing that happened to me, but I can say that it made me a better person, wife, mother. That’s no small thing. Glad I’m not alone in feeling that the disease was a blessing. Thanks for sharing that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Best thing” is a phrase that I use on purpose to get people’s attention. I speak to a lot of groups and there are a lot of MSers who use too many excuses. I try to help them understand that they can do more than they think, IF they truly have the “want” inside them. It is a matter of mental perspective. This does not imply that I don’t have terrible days because I do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think we all have terrible days – with or without ms. Only people like my sister (who always says ‘last year was terrible’ but thinks she’s doing okay today) think that they don’t. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  10. God bless those in law enforcement risking their lives for others. God bless those who are left behind when a loved on or friend is killed in the call of duty. I’m sorry for your pain from your friend’s death and I’ll be praying for your well-being as you deal with MS. Thank you for your cheerfulness and inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Interesting that it happens now. Don’t you think? That it took all this time for you to let it out in one way and another. I think dreams are windows for us. And it’s the ones that get to you so much, just the one you had, that I think are our windows. Our moments we can connect. And sometimes it’s just the sitting outside and feeling the wind on my skin that make this connection for me. With my dad. The beautiful thing is that they are still here for us. Consider yourself hugged.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: My Picks Of The Week 2017 – #15 | A Momma's View

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