September 12, 2019

Toronto...November 9, 1991...Detective Constable Carl Sokolowski is convicted on the charge of careless use of a firearm. Sokolowski was charged in connection with the shooting of 24-year-old Jonathan Howell, who was left permanently disabled by the police bullet.


I emerged from my coma, head wrapped in bandages. Last thing I remember was hearing that I was supposed to die.

If I should have died, why am I here?

I touched my head, it had staples and blood. Half of my body was not responding. Paralyzed.

The doctors told me that my memory would fail me.

There was one thing I couldn't forget.

I had a son on the way.

I had to see my son.

The story of fatherhood had a dramatic introduction for me. I was a father-to-be, but I was in the hospital. I’d been shot by a police officer.

Seeing my son was the driving force to get me out of the cold walls of the hospital and back to the world. I asked the Lord to allow me the strength to have a life with him. He was delivered while I recovered. He was two when they let me out.

I remember the first time he said “dad” to me. My heart froze because he knew me.

Just calling me “dad” gave us a bond. It was him saying, “I am a part of you and you are a part of me.” Fatherhood became real. In my journey to get better, he became the voice inside me, “you can't give up.” My son -- if he knows it or not -- is my gift from God. My son has been and is my way to tomorrow.

It seems that near death experiences evoke a different kind of appreciation for the people and things in our lives. Fatherhood is an awakening of belonging. It intensifies love. Knowing my passing would have rendered my son fatherless, that I might not have known him and he might not have known me -- it’s an inconceivable reality. So fatherhood has become a spiritual reality. When I see him, I see me. I see God.

It is said that a glorious beginning will in time lead to a more glorious end. Love is the bond that ties it all together.

I love you son.

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