Open Letters to Lynn

Hello, my name is Monique Cole and I would like to share my story of how I became acquainted with Lynn Darmon.

In October of 2007, my brother, Harold Billingsley, “Rusty” to his close friends and family, was killed in a construction accident at the City Center Project on the Las Vegas Strip. He was an Ironworker by trade, and he fell to his death after an opening was created on the floor he was working on. It was an opening that should not have been there. I will never forget the day that my husband, who was also an Ironworker, called me on the telephone and told me of his fall and subsequent death.  I can still hear my screams and cries resonating in my ears.

I took his death very hard. Not only because we had had a close relationship in life, but also because we were still mourning the loss of our Mother who had preceded him in death by only a few months. In addition to the personal loss and grief, the circumstances surrounding his death only magnified the pain.  Every entity involved, from OSHA to the Hotel Corporation, tried to shift the responsibility of my Brother’s death firmly on him.  The entire accident was immersed in an environment of concealment and silence.  Not even close friends and fellow Ironworkers would speak of the accident for fear of reprisal.

The circumstances following his death left me with a bitter heart. I was unable to heal and move forward, because I always knew in my heart that my brother was not responsible for his death. Despite anything that was reported in the media or printed in reports, I always knew what the truth was.

My husband and I spoke out publicly as much as we could, in hopes of producing a safer work environment for Ironworkers and other construction trades. We even traveled to Washington D.C., where my husband testified before U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Workforce Protection. Speaking out was our way of making sure that Rusty’s death was not in vain and that something good came out of it.

As time moved on, my sisters and I dealt with resolving Rusty’s Estate and finalizing the business associated with his unexpected passing.  Weeks turned into months and months turned into years. I carried my brother in my heart daily, but I chose to put the pain of his passing away, in a place that would allow me to go on with life.

This brings me to February of 2013 and my call from Lynn.  For several months, preceding my February conversation with Lynn, I had been getting phone messages from a woman identifying herself only as Lynn.  I noticed that the telephone ID Caller displayed that the call was coming from the Detroit, Michigan area. Since I knew no one in the Detroit area, I continually dismissed the calls as a sales person or a collector of some sort. The calls were so frequent that even if a phone message wasn’t left, I recognized the phone number.  The messages were always the same……… “ Monique, this is Lynn, I need to speak with you”. “It is very important.” “Please call me back.”  After the first couple of months of receiving these phone messages, I convinced myself that this Lynn person was really “good” at her job, whatever it was. I further convinced myself that her persistence and determination must make her a great asset to whatever company it is that she was working for. Regardless of Lynn’s persistence, I had no intention of calling her back. That was until February 2013, when she added a little extra information to her phone message.  Her message was….”Hi, Monique, this is Lynn.” “I need to talk to you.” “It is very important.” “ It is about your brother, Rusty.”   Well, this message really got my attention, because she mentioned my brother, who had been deceased for five and a half years and because she referred to him by his nick-name. The phone message had been left the previous day and I had just returned home from working my night shift, when I retrieved it. At this point I spoke with my husband and told him that I had been getting these messages for several months, but that this message was different because it mentioned my brother’s name.  My husband convinced me to call the number back. I called Lynn’s number and left a message. At my Husband’s suggestion, I left his cell phone number as the call back number, since I was preparing to go to sleep after working the night shift.

When I awoke that afternoon my husband said “You’re not going to believe who this person is, that has been trying to reach you.” “It is a Psychic.” I was astonished and bewildered.  I asked my husband why she wanted to talk to me.  He told me that Lynn had a message for me, from my Brother, Rusty.  He said that Lynn had asked him if he thought that I would be open to hearing her message.  My Husband told her yes. My husband said that Lynn would like me to call her back.

With a mixture of intrigue and anticipation I called Lynn back.  Her voice was warm and kind and I knew immediately she was speaking from a place of truth.  She explained who she was and supported it with further credentials. She clarified that she was not looking for money, nor was she a crazy person.  After making her introduction she began telling me the following story.

Lynn told me that several months ago in the early morning hours, my Brother, Rusty came to her. She said that he took her to the place of his accident and death and that she relived the events of the accident through him. She also told me that he wanted her to reach out to me to provide me with some messages from him.  She explained that he was very persistent. In the months when she was trying to reach me and I would not call back, he was relentless in pushing her forward. Lynn told me that my brother had provided all of the information that was required for her to locate me in Nevada. Lynn said that whenever she would entertain the idea of giving up, my brother was there to encourage her onward.

The first message was a confirmation to what I had always believed about my Brother’s accident. He let me know that the accident was not his fault.  He told me “they knew” that the hole was there, when it shouldn’t have been. He also let me know that his death was “their fault”, not his. The second message was one of love and gratitude. My brother saw all that my sisters and I did, with regards to settling his estate in the aftermath of his death.  So there were messages of love and gratitude for all that we did.  He also witnessed the advocating that my husband and I did following his death and he sent messages of love and appreciation for honoring him in that way.  The most important message I received is that I should no longer feel bitter and heartbroken.  I was told he is happy and at peace.  I was told that he loves me and is with me always.  Lynn mentioned that he had been with me and our family during the Christmas and Thanksgiving Holidays.

Lynn also went on to describe his personality to perfection.  She described his love of the outdoors and that he “was fishing and throwing a few beers back” (Rusty’s words, as he would have repeated them in life). Lynn talked about his gregariousness and his big warm hugs. She described his beloved Border Collie, Socks who joined him in heaven after passing away, about a year ago.

There were many beautiful and special details that Lynn shared with me that only my brother would have known. They were details that brought tears of joy and healing.

I will always be tremendously grateful to Lynn for the gift that she gave me. I am equally thankful to Lynn for her perseverance.  I am sure that anyone else would have given up trying to reach me after so many months. My brother had to have known how special Lynn was to have chosen her and entrusted her, to deliver his messages.  Because of Lynn’s gift I have finally been able to empty my cup of bitterness. I have replaced it with a loving cup….. A cup that overflows with the understanding that I will see my brother again someday and until that time he is still with me……..always.

With Eternal Love and Gratitude,

Monique Cole