Friday, January 24, 2014

An Angel in Boots: Tribute to a Life-Saving Hero

There are times when art imitates life, at times subtly or indirectly, other times directly. Such a moment occurred as I read a passage of a book today, in part about families or friends who risk their lives to save others, and gratitude for them, never to be forgotten. I am reminded of the parallelism in life this week on that very subject, i.e., that of the sudden and unexpected death of a local and eminent hero, Tim Jones.

It was with a saddened heart that I entered my workplace Monday morning having heard the news Sunday evening online: a long-time and well-known, fearless member of the North Shore Search and Rescue team. His name and face splashed the media pages over the years, especially the local papers where I too live.

I said a brief prayer and fervently hoped that ‘they’ were mistaken, that in fact Tim Jones was actually in a coma (temporarily please) or experiencing a NDE (near death experience) and would return back to life, to normal, to us, to our community. After all, how could we live, as a community, without him?

I felt guided/strongly compelled to write an editorial letter thinking that of all the letters the newspaper would likely receive, mine would be passed over. After all, who am I but a member of the general public, insignificant and unknown, compared to his family, team, and those he helped save.

Surprisingly enough, my letter to the editor – with some slight tweaking – actually appeared in today’s local Province newspaper: “
I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear the loss of Tim Jones, the devoted leader of North Shore Rescue. How could you not know him? He was featured numerous times in the media. I hope that the team will be able to fill his big boots. Heart-felt condolences to the team, his family, friends, and community."
My heart wrote that. And this week as I read the various news articles, my eyes still shedding drops – they would now on paper except that I am typing – of unbelief, of loss, of deep and utter respect for this man whom I knew nothing about other than the fact that he saved countless lives.

I had wondered in past, what would draw such men – volunteers! – not even paid for their life-saving services (in many cases extreme) – to rescue others. The only reason that I could fathom is that it would require such a profound and compelling love and passion for the work and/or for people. One of Tim Jones’ comments in past was a testament to that.

My heart understands this reasoning. And I think it is because of that that my heart and soul is moved to pay tribute to this man whom I admire and love as a fellow human being, and as an angel, a former earth* angel, an angel in disguise. An angel, in hiking boots.

How are you or how can you be a ‘hero’ or ‘angel’ to others?

*See posting re Earth Angels, Dec. 14. 2011. If you copy and paste this manually into your browser/search engine it will work:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Celebrations! of the Miraculous Kind

As the popular 1980 “Celebration” disco tune by Kool & the Gang goes, “Celebrate, good times. Come on." Actually that was one of my favourite and fun dancing songs! And that’s just what I'll do: celebrate, have fun, and dance!

One reason for me to do so is that I decluttered. Well, at least one layer of part of my home. I started this during the holiday season whilst off on ‘vacation.’

However, I have another reason to celebrate: my birthday!

You see it is my birthday and I discovered a few months ago that I don’t celebrate much - actually enough - in life. I also learned it’s actually a great idea or rather important to do so, spiritually speaking. (If you are familiar with the law of attraction, you will understand what I mean.)

As I alluded to in a previous posting (In a Funk: Blue since Birth?! dated August 25, 2013), I am a miracle baby (though my twin sister died).

I was born two months prematurely and at that time - in those days - the mortality rate for premature babies was relatively high. (I could perhaps ask one of the Neonatologists whom I worked for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at The Hospital for Sick Children; however, I won’t go that far.)

Nowadays there are even more miraculous births. In spring of 2006, “one of the world’s smallest surviving preemies” (according to the Vancouver Sun), Amillia Taylor was born at 19 weeks weighing “just 283 grams” – a little over ½ a pound (or almost 10 ounces)! – and “measured 24 centimetres – under 10 inches – with skin so fragile and translucent her blood vessels could be seen beneath.” Yet she is not only a 'survivor' (as I call myself at times), but also a 'thriver.'

Amillia was in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) for four months. Watch the video below, in particular from the 2:06 or 2:10 mark. It gave me shivers (in part with the music of Kenny G, I believe, in the background).

WOW! Isn't life so amazing, fragile, and precious?

I am SO grateful to have my senses and the use of my limbs and digits with ease and grace. And I am so lucky to be alive ... and be me (or should that be "lucky to be me … and alive!"). ;)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A New Year's Secret

It’s a new year! Time for beginnings, make changes, and celebrate. Ok, well the celebrations may be technically over, at least for most of you. I'll be celebrating for another reason, soon. (;))

Most people write about goals and resolutions in January. I prefer not to. However, I will make one point about it and leave it at that. Do you wish to know a secret? (Well, my secret as I made it up just recently.)

I just discovered this and I’m so excited to share it with you! Start your resolution before the new year. Yes, that’s right. You read that correctly. One possibility is to start after Christmas (for those of you who celebrate it) or even on Boxing Day. Just a few days from the old year and then you’re (al)ready into the new year practicing your due diligence whatever it is.

You may not beat yourself up so much if you stray from your goal(s) or resolution(s). Be gentle with yourself instead. You can always choose to return to it. It’s never too late! And my sense is that it may be easier to stick to.

Why not challenge yourself (as I will) and see what happens. Track or record if you wish. However, there’s no one to report to about this, not even me! ;)

p.s. I prefer to set intentions rather than goals or resolutions. I like the word and feeling of it. It seems less damaging to one’s psyche if it’s “broken.”