to push and push, but there was no
getting my car "unstuck" from the mud.
Sharon, my date, was revving the car's
engine while Jeff and I were pushing and
pushing. Finally, I said, "Enough!"
Embarrassed, I approached Sharon as she
sat behind the wheel of my mother's red
station wagon. Before I could speak I
noticed the gear on the car: It was set
I set the gear to "drive," instructed
Sharon to wait until I gave her the
signal to press down on the accelerator,
and then went back to help Jeff push the
car out of the mud.
That was our first date. Even though
I got mud on my slacks, I had love in my
heart. I was "stung" by the Love Bug.
Sharon and I dated seriously
throughout high school. I went away to
college as Sharon was finishing her
senior year in high school. Our love,
which was blooming, was only matched in
size by our long-distance telephone
The next year, Sharon joined me at
the University of Texas. We were so
happy. We thought we were on top of the
world. We thought our lives were set.
That was true until that eventful
evening when in a split second our lives
On February 18, 1981, we were
studying at the library of the
University. It was late, and Sharon told
me that she had to return to her
dormitory to go to sleep. We slid into
my car and headed toward her dorm, but,
unfortunately, my gas gauge was
registering "empty." I pulled into a
nearby convenience store, borrowed $2
from Sharon, and walked into the store
to pay for the gas.
Things do not
always work out as one plans them. Unfortunately, the store was
in the midst of a robbery, and one of the thieves forced me into
the cooler. He followed me, pushed me to the floor, and calmly
shot me in the back of the head—execution-style!
does not end there. Yes, the criminal
thought I was dead, thus eliminating any
witness to the crime. However, when the
thieves left the store, I still had a
Very few people believed I would
remain alive much longer. That is why
the police transferred my case to the
Homicide division. That is also why the
neurosurgeon, when he was awakened at
his home to see me at the hospital, came
quickly but returned home as he believed
an operation would be futile.
However, when the doctor returned to
the hospital in the morning, he was
shocked to see that I was still alive.
He told my parents that an operation was
necessary, but he added that he would be
surprised if I survived the surgery.
I fooled all of the medical experts
and survived the surgery. However, the
surgeon warned my parents that even
though I was still breathing, I would
probably never be able to communicate
with anyone or understand anyone who was
attempting to communicate with me.
Basically, the surgeon stated, I would
be "a vegetable."
Hearing those words, my father told
Sharon, "Get on with your life."
Sharon quickly replied, "Mike is my
Even though we were not yet married,
Sharon believed in the vows, "in
sickness and in health." She dropped out
of college for one semester to be with
me at the Rehabilitation Hospital in
Houston where I was eventually
transferred. Sharon was spending her
time with her "drooling boyfriend in the
hospital" while other college freshmen
were spending their time at parties.
Eventually, Sharon returned to Austin to continue her college
education. Once again we had enormous phone bills.
My goal was to also return to Austin, to the University of
Texas, to be with Sharon. Eighteen months after no one thought I
would survive, I accomplished that goal. One of the primary
reasons was ... Sharon, my love, who refused to give up or give
Four years after returning to college I graduated. For me,
that meant I could finally propose to Sharon, my light at the
end of the dark tunnel. She was the one who would always
encourage me to look forward and not to focus on the past.
a beautiful day in May, Sharon and I exchanged vows and were
married. We were meant to be together. We had dated for nine
long and eventful years, but I realized at the wedding that it
was worth everything. Sharon was truly my soulmate.
been married for many years and we have a beautiful daughter,
Shawn. We have experienced so much—some bad, but more, much
This is not
just a "love letter" to my wife but the
story of a girl's overcoming everyone's
"rational" thoughts to stay behind with
her critically injured boyfriend. To me
it shows what kind of woman Sharon is--a
beauty inside and out. Further, it shows
the lesson of not giving up on one's
dreams. I give Sharon all the credit for
my recovery—not me. I don't know where I
would be without her—definitely not
where I am today.