Ordination Story -- Rev. Irene Bozich, Salt Lake City, UT
The reason why I became ordained stems from a long, interwoven history. I was born a Latter Day Saint (LDS) as was active most of my life, even though my parents were not very active. I went through a divorce in 1985 and was left to raise four children by myself, and I was a strong member of the church, held positions, and diligently took my children to church every Sunday.
In 1991, I took my children on a road trip down to St. George to support a couple of friends who were running in the St. George marathon. I allowed my 16-year-old daughter (Erika) to drive, as I was attempting to give her experience driving on the freeway. We were talking about the school dance coming up, and then the conversation lagged, and I noticed that she was slightly moving towards the shoulder of the road, and called her attention to it, and she over corrected twice, and we rolled four times and ended up on the other side of the freeway.
After the car stopped rolling, I looked around, and my children were not longer in the back seat. My daughter and I were still in our seatbelts in the front seat, but could not get out of the car, because the tires were blown out and the doors wouldn’t open. She had blood dripping from her head, and asked ‘Was I driving?’ I had broken my clavicle and my elbow was out of the socket, but my other children were all over the road. Thank God I don’t have a memory of seeing them. My son was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital where he passed away the next day. My other children and myself were at the LDS Hospital. My little boy was my youngest child and only son, and I have mourned his death since, and miss him terribly. My oldest daughter, Karin, received the most injuries, and she is doing great now, but still suffers with residual affects. Her doctor told me that she would always remember that she was involved in a terrible accident because of her injuries. She had to have the orbital floor of her left eye rebuilt twice. She broke both femurs, her clavicle, knee, and she had a rock down her throat balancing on her wind pipe. She also had her forehead sanded. She has pain in her shoulder, and she doesn’t have muscle strength in her left arm because her muscles have atrophied because of nerve damage. Karin is now happily married, graduated from college, and has a great job. My other daughter, Kristin, had a closed head injury where she lost her short term memory, and she broke one femur and cracked her shoulder blade. It took a couple of years for her memory to restore and be back to normal. Kristin is now happily married with two children and expecting the third. She graduated from college and taught school for two years, and is currently substitute teaching several days a week. My daughter, Erika, who was driving is happily married with five children, which keeps her super busy. She loves getting creative with clothing she finds at thrift stores and making them unique for herself and her daughter. She seems to be doing fine, but I always wonder.
A miracle actually happened the day of the accident. There was an emergency room doctor right behind us, Dr. Brent Mabey. He immediately stopped with his family in the car and then even drove back to Nephi eight miles to help Karin at the Nephi hospital before she was flown to the LDS Hospital. Plus, there were EMT’s and RN’s who also stopped to help at the scene of the accident (twelve medical professionals). I could have lost all my children that day. I know the doctor saved Karin’s life that day and probably Kristin’s life as well, and I will be forever grateful.
So, after I lost my son, I felt an intense need to find him or at least know where he was. So, I read Betty Edie’s first manuscript before her book came out, ‘Embraced by the Light’. It was very healing. I even called her on the phone and we had a discussion which I remember her saying, ‘This life is like a spit in the ocean. We are here to progress and learn. Don’t allow anything to hold you back” fear, doubt, worry, guilt. Our purpose is to move forward in life.’ She was very encouraging. So, I started attending the IANDS group meetings each month (International Association of Near Death Studies). These meetings helped me a lot as I listened to people’s stories of their NDE’s. I’ve learned so much about life through people’s NDE experiences. It gives you great perspective to learn about what is ahead of us in the next life experience. It offers wisdom. There was a man who stood up in one of the meetings, and this is something that I have always remembered. He said, ‘It’s important what you do in this life, but what’s more important is what you do about what you do.’ Quite the riddle! Think about it! We all make mistakes, but what makes the real difference, is what we do about the mistake after we realize we made a mistake. Do we have courage to make amends? It’s all about character.
A few months after the accident, I had a grief counselor call me, Jackie Sharp. She worked for Memorial Estates, and she was adamant that she could help me. So, I made an appointment. We met at the mortuary where I last saw my son, so I was difficult to walk into the building. In fact, I had a friend go with me for the first visit. As I was getting counseling through Jackie, I heard an actual voice in my head ‘She is your mentor’. I was shocked! I had never heard a voice in my head ever before, and I pushed it out. I heard it again during the same counseling session. I couldn’t figure out how she could mentor me. And, then a few years later, Jackie established a school for hypnosis training, and she encouraged me to take the course. I wasn’t working at the time, so I decided to learn hypnosis and earned my certificate. As I would learn techniques, I would practice the techniques on my children. I was able to take the pain out of my daughter’s shoulder with one of the techniques. I was amazed, and so was she! I thought, ‘What power do I possess?’ I didn’t know what I was going to do with my certificate, and then Positive Changes Hypnosis of Utah opened an office, I went down and applied, and got the job. I worked with ten clients a day for about two years, and then the office closed down after 911. So, I have been conducting sessions out of my home since then. Jackie called me one day, and said, ‘You need to be ordained’. I resisted at first, but then remembered that she was my mentor, and I better listen to her advice. So, she ordained me as a Universal Life Minister.
I went to work the next day at a recreational center where I was the secretary to the director, and told everyone that I was a minister. One of my co-workers came into my office and asked me if I would perform her wedding, and I accepted! I remember being so nervous before the actual ceremony. It was outside at a campsite. My cousin went with me, and as I got into the ceremony, I absolutely loved every minute of it! I took their marriage license down to the county recorder’s office, marriage division, and asked them, ‘How can I get more of these opportunities?’ It was so uplifting! And, ever since then, my wedding ministry has grown each year. Last year I performed 35 weddings! It has been a wonderful experience, and I look forward and treasure every wedding I have the opportunity to perform!
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