Happy re-birthday to me. The day I should have died. 16 years later.

“Never be ashamed of a Scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” Scars are tattoos with better stories.

16 years ago I was given the greatest gift of my life.

A second chance

I know the value of my life and continually appreciate it, no matter how ‘tough’ things may get. Today is my re-birthday. On September 15, 2001 someone made attempt on my life.

I’ll admit it. Before that fateful day, I was just as jaded, jagged and miserable as many other human beings who occupy this earth are.

I was always pissed off at the world. I continually wanted to know when the universe would stop shitting on me. I bitched at everything and everyone. My temper roller-coastered like it was my full-time job. I had your typical bad luck, bad girlfriends, bad relationships, bad jobs, etc, etc.

Yeah, I was a mean ole’ cuss. I can’t say ‘positivity’ was part of my repertoire. I was going nowhere fast, and I just couldn’t seem to get a leg up. I was simply treading water.

Then someone tried to kill me.

Yes. You read that right.

I blogged about it in 2008 on this very blog (hard to believe). Every year I re-share the original blog post. It’s cathartic for me and my loved ones. It’s important to me because I want the reminder. I want to remember and never forget my gift.

And I’d like you to have the reminder too, life is fleeting.

Let me tell you a story (in the original words that I wrote several years ago)…

It’s been 7 years.

This time of the year always has a special place in most of America’s hearts. September 11, 2001 is a date none of us will soon forget. It changed the face of our nation and impacted our world in a way none of us could have ever imagined. Emily (crzegrl) shared here views of how it impacted her.

At the risk of diminishing or making that day any less than it really was. This time of the year has a very different meaning for me. I do remember September 11th. I do remember what I was doing that day. I do remember how I felt and how the world around me changed. But it’s not what is in the forefront of my mind.

September 15, 2001

My Re-Birthday.

It’s been 7 years.

It was a Saturday. (Yes I remember it that well)

There was a time in my life when I was not active in healthcare (It was a short time). I had stepped away from the healthcare setting and returned to my career in retail. Retail had helped pay my way through college, and then it was the way to put food on the table after college was over. My career in healthcare wasn’t paying the bills, and retail was a better option (at the time).

It was a typical Saturday night. I was one of the midnight managers on duty. Part of my responsibility as a manager was to hold the night-shift meeting with the over-night employees.

This particular night we decided to have an open forum concerning the difficulties people may or may not be having with the current state of affairs. The terrorists attacks were affecting everyone, and we wanted to let our employees know we cared.


I can’t say I remember how it happened.

I can’t say I was prepared for it.

It happened in time ‘slices’.


I was talking with the over-night group of employees. It was me in front of approximately 20 others. Half-way through the meeting and in mid-sentence I can vaguely remember an ‘itching’ or ‘biting’ feeling on my neck.

….??

It wasn’t anything out the ordinary. I chalked it up to one of the bodily aches or pains I have no explanation for. (Like when I get a shooting pain in my finger that comes a goes in a matter of 7 seconds)

It got more quiet. It was like I could only hear the fans of the air conditioning running. I guess the only way to explain it… is things seemed to slow down.. immensely. Like the slo-mo option on a VCR/DVD player.

I don’t know what happened next. Or should I say I don’t know which came first. The banshee-like shrieking screams or the shadow of a person coming out of my left peripheral vision. All I know is that it was a startling moment.

The Scream.

The Shadow.

And I reflexively look to my left.

I remember saying to my self, “Hmm, why is Jane (we’ll call her Jane for identity purposes) standing so close to me. She should be sitting out in the crowd with the rest of the group.”

She’s now advancing towards me. “What is she doing?”

Her left arm is raised in the air. I think she’s going to take a swing at me. So out of reflex, I block her left arm. I block her arm with my R arm and grab her swinging arm with my L hand. Then I grasp her swinging arm with both hands.

I can’t quite figure out why she’s trying to hit me?

Another handful of screams.

Through the tussle and wrestling of her arm I realize my hand is full of blood??? In fact I have blood on both my hands?

“OK. Who’s blood is this?”, I blurt out with a sense of sarcasm.

… ??

More screams.

… ??

Wait a minute.

What’s that in Jane’s hand?

Is that..?

No way.

Wholly SH#T. Jane has a knife in her hand.

“The blood is YOURS! She cut your throat. Your bleeding from your neck!!!!!!”, a voice from the crowd cries out hysterically.

Now, I’m no idiot. I know the inner workings of the human body. I’m pretty well versed in what anatomical structures are located in the neck.

I know I’m still breathing. I’m not chocking. Not having any trouble moving air.

???

At the same time Jane is tackled by a single employee from behind. Then another, then another. And then more. It takes close to 5 people to get her down.

I put my hand on my neck.. and sure enough … nothing but blood.



Yep. It’s a true story. I was attacked from behind with a swiss army knife by an employee of mine, in front of approximately 20 people. She sliced my neck almost from ear to ear.

Here are the finer points of the story:

– she used a very dull and old swiss army knife

– she did not use the blade side of the knife and drag it across my neck to cut me. She used the knife in a stabbing motion and scraped the tip of the knife across the length of my neck

– she never spent a night in jail. She had a psychiatric evaluation. Her medications were adjusted. And that’s the last thing I was told (Please don’t ask.. I don’t know what the heck happen concerning her lawful conviction)

– Yes, I have a Keloid scar that has taken 7 yrs to slowly diminish on my neck. (The intent of the ED physician was to use the smallest/thinnest suture possible so to NOT leave a scar, and it did the exact opposite)

-The only entertaining piece of all this was that when the 911 call was made. All the EMS arrived expecting to see a decapitated man. And I mean ALL of the EMS. For the small town I was in, I think I counted 4 Ambulances and 6 marked Police and 2 unmarked Police cars.


There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that day. It changed my life. We always whine and complain about some of the most ridiculous things in life that seem so very important at the time. Everything from being late for work, being stuck in traffic, having to wait in line in the grocery store, having a poor wait staff wait on you at the restaurant, or having to sit in coach for a 4hr flight… the list is endless. Everyone hates having a bad day.

I touched on my theory about life and how bad your day really was in a previous blog post: Blinking & Breathing, I can’t complain.

I’m not perfect. I do have stress in my life. I do have those ‘Pull out your hair’ moments and those “all I wanna do is scream” moments. But I’m always grounded and reminded by my profession and by my past that maybe you and/or I not having THAT bad of a day.

September 15th is my Re-Birthday. I was given a second chance at life. For some strange reason, I survived that incident. I will never know why. I questioned it for a long time, and never got the answer I wanted until I realized there was no answer. I’m here. I’m staying here. I’m not going anywhere. And while I’m here, I’m making the most of my stay.

Here’s what scares me sometimes when I think about my attack.

As an employee for the retail store I worked for, each employee is issued a box cutter. The only reason I’m still here is because Jane had bad aim, and a dull swiss army knife.

What if she would have used the box cutter instead of her swiss army knife?

Nope.

I don’t have bad days anymore.

Carpe Diem

Via Happy Re-Birthday To Me | My Strong Medicine


Fast forward to 2013…

We moved to a new city. With the move came new friends. When my face was still new, I had a friend comment on my ‘positivity’ and being ‘always happy’. I told her there was a story behind my obsessive passion for being happy, but that I’d explain it to her later. I shared this post with her.. (Thanks, Allison).

This is the reason I’m always positive. Why I greet every morning with my:

“Gewwwwwwd morning”

I get to be here another day.

Many great things have happened to me since that scary day.

I became a Registered Nurse, I met and married my soul mate, and now I’m working as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, a job I truly love.


I’m not too sure where I’d be today had I not gone ‘under the knife’ so-to-speak. I can admit that I wouldn’t have the abundance of happiness I possess now.

What I do know is that I took a tragic, frightening and possibly life-paralyzing event and turned it into something positive. Positive for me, and hopefully positive for anyone who’s around me.

This might sound a bit cliche’… or it might sound a bit phony…

but I needed someone to try and steal my most prize possession (my life) for me to truly appreciate its merit. And for that, I couldn’t be happier.


As of 2017 I still value the gifts I’ve been given. I’ve met more amazing people and I’m growing my new online business. Every so often I take my life for granted by complaining a lil’ too much, but I still cherish every second I’m still here.

Thank you all for being a part of my life.

 


If you haven’t noticed, comments have been disabled on my blog. I would love to hear your comments, questions, and concerns.  So let’s connect. Or drop me a message on Instagram @seanpdent:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope to hear from you soon.

 

-Sean

Shouldn’t everyone have their birthday off work?

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Birthday tip 101…

Request off work for your birthday. Seriously folks. Who wants to work on their birthday?!!!

I made the mistake of not planning ahead for my birthday this year, and ended up working a shift….. a very long shift.

We ALL know what happens when you actually schedule something to do on a day you work. The shift goes down the drain…. and you usually end up leaving work so late that your plans are ruined.

Have the forward thinking… and the predictive skills to think ahead! I apparently lost that particular skill this past year. [Maybe I’m getting old?]

Check out my rant in the video below. Click the title, head on over to my Facebook page and leave me a comment.

Don’t forget to share the video! If ya like what ya see…. tell someone. Hell, tell someone if ya don’t like it.

As always, thanks for watching and thanks for sharing. I love hearing from everyone.


If you haven’t noticed, comments have been disabled on my blog. I would love to hear your comments, questions and concerns.  So let’s connect. Or drop me a message on Snapchat @seanpdent:

Snapcode

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope to hear from you soon.

 

-Sean

My wife. My everything. Happy Birthday Babygirl

Please join me in wishing my amazing and  beautiful wife Jill, a Happy Birthday today.

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When it comes to my beautiful wife, words are difficult for me. And I’m considered a columnist (these days), but I’m gonna try my best. The best description I  can give about her is this:

She is the air I breathe

She’s the air in my lungs. The blood in my veins. I am the man I am because of her, I am the man I have become because of her and I am growing into the man I’m destined to be because of her.

She saved me… from me.  My life before her was literally falling away.

She has taught me humility when I needed it most. She has taught me strength when I wanted to give up. She has taught me love, when I wanted to scream. She has taught me laughter when I wanted to cry. She truly is the foundation of our marriage, and I would be lost without her.

Not many people know this about my wife, but she truly is the poster child for exuding strength from within. She emulates the human condition in ways I still cannot quite get the hang of. 11 years ago my wife lost everything she possessed.

From a Facebook status message she posted recently:

11 years ago today I lost everything in a house fire. I still mourn for my furbabies every day. But I will never forget my family, friends and complete strangers that helped me through. I am very thankful for what I have gained from that loss. Sean Dent Carrie Goral Raymond Goral Jodi Omerzo Darcie Burns MorrisMisha ComninosBonnie Mikulin WalshJessie Jones-Gerber Joy Fox and the SRHS nursing class of 2005.

She lost it all in a tragic house fire. I mean everything. Every earthly possessions. All of her memorabilia. All of her clothing. She also owned a house-full of animals. Dogs and cats. All but  two cats died in that fire. If you know anything about my wife, she’s an animal lover. She loves animals, she loves her cats, like they were her children. She would walk to the ends of the earth for those furballs. And she lost all of them. The two that did survived were so traumatized that they never really recovered. If my memory serves me right, they ran away eventually, or they lived out the remainder of their lives in a different home. It  broke her heart.

 

Through that whole process, my wife (and I) were knee deep in Nursing school.

Instead of taking a pass. Instead of taking some time off, which she rightfully deserved. She pressed on. She not only pressed on, but she kicked ass. She never faltered, and she never let her pain show. She defined what a ‘Strong Woman’ looks like. The suit of armor she wears is simply impenetrable.

 

It’s been 10 years of marriage and 12+ years of friendship and she still amazes me on a daily basis. Her relentless self-sacrifice and selflessness is infinite. She entire existence is all about serving our family.

While, I know she will hate me for this. Another little known fact about my wife is that she battles with a pretty advanced form of Rheumatoid Arthritis. She’s been fighting that battle for about 15 years. It’s advanced enough that she lives with non-stop pain. She never has a pain-free day, she only has moments of  “less pain”. The amount of pain she endures, the amount of discomfort she tolerates is mind blowing. Yet she approaches every single day with a smile on her face, never peeping a word about the searing pain she is experiencing. She makes adjustments, she adapts her habits and presses forward. Every day of her life.

Yep. She's enjoying vacation… Quick snack #imonvacation @frogeyes10

A post shared by Sean Dent (@seanpdent) on

 

Every time I think I’m having a bad day, I think about my wife. I think about how she endures so much, but yet never complains. And I hush my complaints. I am continuously humbled by her inner and outer strength.

I write these words in a vain attempt to let her know just how truly amazing she is to me, to her family, to her friends, to her colleagues and all her “children” she helps on a daily basis. Our lives are truly elevated because she’s in them. She brightens every room she enters and she has an amazing talent for making everyone around her feel “at ease”.

Happy Birthday babygirl.

 

Thank you for saying yes.

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