03 September 2009

puja for firemen

Today I was leaving the gym and three firemen were walking by.
I stopped them, as I do every fireperson that I see, to thank them for being there the morning my Father started to die.
He was old, and things were going downhill. It was OK, it was his time. He had the surge of "traveling energy" that I had heard about. When person is ready to go on their final journey, they often just get up and start walking, even if they have previously been unable to take a step.
So, on this morning, the Friday of the closing weekend of Devotion 2008, my Mother called and said, "He fell."
I was out the door and over the hill as fast as I could go. I actually thought of speeding so I would get pulled over, so I could tell the police to send the fire department.
We had called the fire department several times before, when my folks needed help. They always arrived in a flash, offered help, and left leaving courtesy and dignity intact.
This day was no different. When I arrived I saw that I was not going to be able to move Dad. He was OK, but had fallen after trying to take a few steps.
I called the fire department and they arrived in moments. Several men came in, obviously with different assignments; one took a pulse and looked in his eyes with a light, one spoke to my Father to access his breathing, two lifted him to the bed.
He was winded but made sure to thank them. I tried to stay out of the way. Then one of the firemen said, "You can watch. Do you want to know what we are doing?" Yes I did, I wanted to understand what was going on, he filled me in.
On the way out, the same man pulled me aside and said, "Do not hesitate to call us. You are going to need us."
I thanked him and several hours later my Father passed away in my arms with my Mother holding his hand.
It was OK because the firemen had put us at ease. We knew what was happening and that we could call them if we felt we needed them.
So, I have made it my puja to stop every fireperson that I see, no matter where I am, to say "Thank you."


Foodycat said...

That is very moving - thank you for sharing it. I am so sorry for your loss but it sounds like your father had such a lovely, peaceful passing.

Fran said...

So sorry for you loss! Your firefigthers are amazing, bless them all.

Amy said...

That you for sharing this. What a comfort, to have that help when you needed it most.

Something I didn't know, until I saw my neighbor being brought home from the hospital after a car accident, is that the local fire department can send help to move immobile people into their homes. My neighbor has a set of stairs in front of his (city) house and couldn't navigate them with his broken leg. When he arrived home a fire truck followed the car, and several fire fighters got out and carried him into his house. We usually see fire fighters at such dramatic moments that I had forgotten you can depend on them to help with much smaller, but still important, problems.

needle*spool said...

A friend of mine's 3 yr old son has recently made it a habit to thank military personal for their service. My friend swears he hasnt put his son up to it, but everytime Clayton sees a military person, he shakes their hand and thanks them. My friend sais they usually have a smile afterwards.

I think every 'thank you' we give people who sacrifice their life to serve others has to brighten their day. I hope so anyway.

BonnieMargay said...

Thank you, as always, for sharing your beautiful heart.

Ottavina said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful blessing with us.

cinderelly said...

sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing that. my dad was a fireman for most of my life...i love all firemen, they are all amazing, i am sure they truly appreciate every "thank you" that you give them.

Leslie said...


This was a tough entry for me to read. I think because, this is the road I traveled with my Mom. As she grew sicker, the firemen/paramedics were regulars at my home for over year. I got to know many of them by name. And, when she passed in the night, and they came, the one stayed with me to tell me how sorry he was... and, he showed up at her wake, too.

Thank you for sharing this, Carolena. It was a tough read, but it made me even more thankful for the "helpers" of this world.

Amy Kweskin said...

Brought me to tears. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that :) Firemen are very dear to my heart, my dad is a volunteer fireman :)
I'm amazed at how quickly they are there when you need them. And its so sad when they loose their lives to tragedy. We lost two in Buffalo recently.

Thanks for sharing these memories that are so close to you.



Sharon "Shay" Moore said...

I am late to this entry. So moving. Thank you for sharing.

Christine said...

Thank you for sharing this Carolena - this must be a very bittersweet memory for you, it was hard to hold back the tears just reading it..I have close friends who are firefighters and it is so lovely that you thank each of them, it takes a very special person to do their job!..

Linda said...

This is something that you need to share and I thank you for this. Grampe was safe in your arms... You talked about your purpose in life and I see through the years you have found many purposes and they were not the traditional roles for you: mother, housewife, 9-5 employee. You have many purposes and thanks for sharing them. I wonder if you are like me your mind is going 24/7 and you wake up from dreams,thinking or mind racing and you could easily use this energy to perform things that most people cannot when they are fully awake. I hear passion in your words and again (we are related) and thanks for sharing. I will help you with your book as I have helped a doctor's wife write a book.

Katharina said...

Dear Carolena,
Thank you for sharing this. It was touching me deeply.
This brave firemen also helped me in a frightening situation and they have been such a support!
Maybe one day we meet and can celebrate a Puja for the firemen together.

Big Hug from over the ocean from Kalisha