How does someone pick up the pieces after losing a spouse and child in a tragic car accident that involved their whole family? Sheri Boekweg-Nelson of Plain City, Utah, and her two kids survived this horrific nightmare November, 2000.
Sheri described the pain, “I broke so many bones — the worst, my shattered left foot; I still feel pain today. Mentally, it is indescribable, watching my children suffer has been the worst part; they were only seven and nine. It was hard to tell them we would have to go on without their dad, BJ, and sister, Brandi. I almost lost them as well. They suffered internal injuries but kids are resilient and so no signs of their injuries today except for nasty scars.”
Her children, faith in God and support helped her cope. Sheri explained, “I was so overwhelmed but the love and kindness from so many people blessed my life and helped me. My kids, Danielle and Derek are strong, smart and caring. I have learned from watching them grow. I feel hope and excitement for their future; I can’t wait to see what they do with their talents.”
She teaches her children about eternal life. In the aftermath she continued to reassure them they would see their dad and sister again and that they watch over them! Sheri tells them, “We have work left in this life, and they want us to be happy and be the best we can be.”
This tragedy has taught her to recognize the blessings of trials and tribulations as opportunities to learn and grow. She appreciates life by loving and living more. Her advice to others, “You’ll learn to be grateful for the little things; they actually become big things.”
Sheri shared a precious memory of her husband from the day of their fatal car accident. She recalled, “It might not sound spectacular but it meant everything to me. We were driving to Mexico from Arizona, my favorite song was ‘Paradise’ by Phil Vassar. It came on the radio and it’s country so, of course, he wanted to change it, but I begged BJ not to and asked him to listen to the words. He listened and I cried. He pulled me close to him and said that’s a great song, it’s our song, living my life with you is paradise. I’ll never forget how loved I felt by him and how much I loved him in that moment!”
It’s important to realize that moments like these stir deep emotions and instill lifelong impressions. Sheri continued, “I miss my husband and daughter every day, but I know I will see them again!”
Nine years later, they continue to honor their loved ones by sharing stories, enjoying fun pictures, visiting gravesites and celebrating their birthdays and holidays by participating in their favorite pastime together. Sheri continues to better herself, “I’m currently working with troubled youths by giving them a safe place to stay while their parents get their lives in order. I want to make this world a better place!”
May Sheri’s story inspire you to live and love again!