I sat through a First Aid/CPR class with fifteen men I work with. The instructor asked if anyone had used CPR before.
From the back of the room, I slowly slipped my hand up. She wheeled on me like a Doberman Pinscher staring at an Oscar Meyer hot dog and commanded, “Tell us about it.”
Suddenly thrust into the limelight in front of co-workers, I started. “Well”, shrugging my shoulders, “Twenty-five years ago I was sitting in a little cafe minding my own business. It was 3:00 in the afternoon so there was hardly anyone else there except an old man and two elderly ladies. All of the sudden I heard a commotion and one of the old ladies was trying to hold up the man who had slumped over the table. She was shaking him yelling, ‘Don’t you die on me! Don’t you die on me!’”
“I ran over and pulled the man out of the chair onto the floor. His eyes were rolled back in his head and he wasn’t breathing, but he had a feint, irregular pulse. I figured he’d had a heart attack.” Continue reading CPR Trauma
I, like you, feel deep compassion for the people of Santa Fe, and every other school, movie theatre, club, church and public location that has experienced a mass murder.
What to do? What do we do?
Well meaning people are now looking to, in fact, clamoring for the government to “fix” the problem and solve the dilemma. People are demanding legislation for sentences for “hate crimes”, creating programs to treat mental illness, gun control restrictions and regulating behaviors.
In my simple mind, it’s a paradox. It seems common sense that after planting plum trees, you get plums. You get the fruit of what you plant.
Stay with me.
Continue reading It’s Always Been About The Heart
We saw the toddler boy with his parents waiting to board a tour of Mayan ruins in Mexico. That’s not normally where you’d take a toddler on vacation, but he was too little to care. Besides, it was his parent’s vacation.
The toddler was clinging to his parents, no one else. The mother even told a well-meaning worker trying to help them off the bus that he never, ever went to strangers.
Two hours later, standing a distance from the Chichen Izu ruins, the toddler pitter patted away from his parents right up to my wife, Janet. He looked up at her and held up his arms to be picked up.
She simply said, “Awe”, reached down and scooped him up in her arms. The little boy looked at her closely, then laid his head on her shoulder in peaceful contentment. Continue reading A Child’s Wisdom
Over dinner my youngest daughter, Jessica, said she has the STAAR English test, a standardized, mandated test in Texas schools. She’s nervous about having to write about some randomly assigned topic in just 45 minutes of time.
Long story short, I agreed to do the same. She quickly picked out a random topic: Should you ALWAYS tell the truth?
I was thinking puppy dogs or butterflies, but she picked a hard one.
— The STAAR test begins. The teacher gives instructions, and then turns the 45-minute hour glass over. Alright class, your test starts, NOW! —
Should you ALWAYS tell the truth? Continue reading To Tell The Truth
(This is based on a true story told to me by a Chief Juvenile Probation Officer.)
~~He knelt down on his knees, looked up at Jesus on the cross, and shook his fist. “I hate you”, he said loudly, “I hate you.” He said it over and over. Soon he was screaming with every fiber of his being. Louder and louder, with more and more pent-up emotions streaming out of his voice. “I hate you! I HATE you! I HATE YOU!”~~
The boy had suffered emotional and verbal abuse from his mother since his birth. When his father was around, which wasn’t a lot, it was always the same song, second verse. He could count on one hand the times a physical beating for some slight or imagined offense hadn’t followed a visit with his father. Continue reading I Hate You, But Not Really
Sometimes pictures get me. It sounds silly. Maybe it is. But sometimes, a picture hits me in my core, cutting, ripping, tearing away at soul and sinew.
Some pictures, some stories haunt me as assuredly as a ghost in a graveyard. I can’t sleep without it popping into my dreams. I can’t concentrate without it popping into conscious thought.
This picture sticks with me like a chain around the heart:
Continue reading Help This Boy
My doctor told me during the exam it was time.
I took a deep breath. I knew this day was coming. I resolved then and there to cowboy up and get it done.
I’ve been flying under the radar for several years. No problems. No issues. No medicine. Just the way it should be!
But this year, instead of the vampire nurse just draining a week’s worth of bone marrow work from my arm, the doctor tells me he wants to check out several other things.
First, a sleep apnea study — No problem. Sleep is my one of my natural talents! Passed with flying colors!
Second, a stress test — Continue reading The Ire of Staying Healthy
Two of the worst nights of the year are Homecoming and Prom, and Saturday night was Prom. Some people may think that’s an odd thing to say, but to dads of teenage daughters, they get it in spades.
It’s just a snapshot of the future, way, way off in the future hopefully, when a dad has to walk his daughter down the aisle. They’ll be radiant in white flowing gowns, smiling all the way, but the dad walks beside them white faced, grimacing, needing Pepto-Bismol and anti-depressants!
A daughter’s “happiest day ever” is like the most dreaded day to most dads. It’s like taking a rare, precious, porcelain doll worth millions of dollars and handing it over to a gorilla! Continue reading Homecoming and Prom
It was sad, really. She has no one. Maybe it was a conscience choice a long time ago. Maybe it was a forced decision that she didn’t want. Either way, the results are the same.
She lives alone in a nice neighborhood that we’ve driven through a thousand times. Her hedges are rarely trimmed and there are plants growing in the gutters. The yard is always green, but the grass always looks like it’s half grown, half mowed, somehow suspended in animation just enough to give the yard sort of a kept, but not maintained look.
She has a big sprawling house that is dark and uninviting, almost like where a horror movie could be filmed. In the four plus years of driving through that neighborhood, I’ve never once seen anyone outside, and the garage door is always closed. Occasionally, but not very often, there may be a light on at night somewhere in the house, but it would only be one, if any.
We were driving home through that neighborhood coming home from a symphony at 10:30 PM at night. Janet, my wife, told me we had just passed an old woman sitting in the grass by a mailbox waving for help. I turned around and there she sat. I left the car running with the headlights on to light the area as we checked on her. Continue reading Hermit House
The lady blurted out to the Walmart Customer Service worker, “I’m the one you called a few minutes ago about the purse!”
I was waiting in line and glanced at her. The worker asked her to describe the purse. She did, and was told to wait just a minute while the worker went to the back office.
She was casually dressed in blue jeans, flip flops and a bright, pink Fight Breast Cancer t-shirt. Her hair was about half an inch long over her entire head. In fact, I wasn’t sure if she was being treated for cancer, or just wearing her hair short. She waited with an anxious, lip chewing expression on her face. A minute later, the Walmart worker came out holding a small red change purse.
Continue reading Little or Lot Faithful