Note: If God had not pulled my pitifully fearful, paranoiac, struggling, human form into this thing called A.A., none of the following would have any relevancy in my life, today--or ever.
My daughter is a driver-engineer-paramedic, in other words, she's a Fire Fighter. She runs many calls, presently is assigned to a really busy shift.
I have more than a few stories which "Fire-Girl" has written about her "memorable" calls, lives saved, sometimes lost. FG writes of the aftermath of some of her 'runs', we call "the family afterwards". Often she visits in the hospital or at home, someone whose life has been saved. Sometimes she visits the spouse or other family members of a loved one whose life was lost.
Her empathy and compassion (she's simply your 'average firefighter') is astounding to me. I mean--I'm her father--a recovering alcoholic, whose entire prior life was dedicated solely to the satisfaction, pleasure and immediate gratification of.....ME.
The professionalism of these public servants we all know about. The inevitable emotional stress is almost always reserved for a later time, after a particular run, or end of shift. It is then that FG sometimes types a story to her Poppa (can you believe, that's me?). Often her written pieces involve survivors (or non-survivors) of vehicle collisions. Her descriptions of twisted, mangled humans, bodies broken and/or bloodied, would make salable writing if wrought in the wonderfully-keyed words of Mary L.A. (Mary Louisey).
I have FG's permission to publish her stories--unedited--so the following is an excerpt from a very recent "note to Poppa" from my daughter:
"...last shift in the late evening we ran a call in a very rough neighborhood - very poor area, lots of crime, etc.....small fire was in a very tiny little house... but boy it smelled good.... fried chicken!! Anyway, I made a comment about how good it smelled in there and those people wanted to fix me up a plate to take back with me. It was very touching and very humbling.... people who have next to nothing wanting to fix me a plate of food. I had tears in my eyes leaving there. "
Now, please slip back with me about 40 years. I was still 5 years away from my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, and also my sobriety date. Daughter (future Fire-Girl) was about age 3.
Naples, a then-small village, did not even rate mileage signs on the highways e.g., "NAPLES 80 MILES". Along part of our Gulf-of-Mexico frontage was a 7-foot high sea wall bordering a smallish section of a 20-mile long, W.I.D.E. expanse of clean sandy beach.
Future-Fire-Girl, under 3 feet in length, many times stood on top of that wall, shouting out, "ONE...TWO...THREE!!!" It was Poppa's signal to get over there, because this was "jump" time...and she DID jump, right out into nowhere, expecting "Poppa" to catch her. And--even while drunk--I always DID! What faith! What trust! I recall thinking then, "If only I could trust GOD like that"! And now, 34 years after, I think, "If only I could trust GOD like that"!
And I urge (read: PRAY FOR!) all of you--and I, to come finally to trust in God, and believe fervently, that He can and will and does restore us to sanity.
"c. God could and would if He were sought."
Peace, and Love, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!