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Friday, February 1, 2013

Shampoo Directions for Troubled Times

Remember, Speak (honestly), Listen (intently), Repeat.
Remember, Speak (honestly), Listen (intently), Repeat.

Sometimes simple directions (like those on a shampoo bottle) can be applied to complex life situations to help keep us focused, resolute and moving in a forward direction.

These past several weeks/months have been more trying to the NJ EMS community than I can remember in a century's quarter. Hurricanes, loss of power, loss of property, loss of income, loss of loved one's -- and loss of each other are the recurrent themes.

Mourning Band
I've personally begun to fear answering my phone, checking in on Facebook or reading email for fear of hearing, reading or learning of more pain and loss "within the perimeter". 
My Facebook these days could aptly be renamed Eulogybook, or so it feels. Our smiling profile pics are replaced with images of bunting, mourning bands, and "In loving memory of...". Our flags never seem to fly higher than half staff anymore.

2001 PAPD Officer comforts little boy
at funeral service for Lt. Robert D. Cirri

Masters are we, or so we would think, at managing others' emergencies, others' losses, others' pain and suffering. The secret there is that in the service of others, it is ourselves we truly learn to save.


I find that as in any great exercise, mental or physical, 'tis repetition that builds strength and endurance for the long haul, the great journey, the enduring pain. It is how we condition ourselves. It is how our trainers, father's, preceptors and mentors taught us all of our greatest lessons -- and it is focus, resolution and forward direction -- that any of them would want for us, if they could still counsel us today.

So to my somber warrior peers, I bid you this, pay great respect to those you have lost recently by supporting each other today and ever more.

Remember, Speak (honestly), Listen (intently), and Repeat.

May God bless us all as she invites home those she loaned to us.

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