You would think by now I'd have something new to say.
Yes and no. Some days pass by without much to break them up or making one stand out from the other. I still do a lot of what I did before, although work was the main driving force of my life for 30 years. Now, at age 43, I am no longer able to work and while people delight in telling me that I'm lucky.
I don't feel lucky.
I'm listening in to my pager and there is a major fire in Parsippany. I hear the police, fire companies and EMS on scene chattering back and forth. While they are wishing they were home, I am wishing I was there. There with my friends, my family in emergency services, my life that in the space of days, I left behind; the life I miss. It is as though I am missing something major - an arm or a leg or a piece of my heart. Certainly a large piece of my heart is gone. It's sitting in my office at Baltusrol in a corner. It is sitting in the lockboxes on 66-1, 66-2 and 66-3. But a huge part of it will be in 66-4, the new ambulance I am working on - hard at work on - to buy for us. I'm very attached to the ambulances we have currently. My heart and soul is in the one we are working on now. It is my opus, my baby; just as the Human Resources Department I gave birth to at BGC.
It was mine. My baby, my gift to the workplace. It was an office when I started; it was its own stand-alone department when I left. I left my work-opus there. And even though I wasn't perfect, I was the one who put it together. I delivered into my successor's hands a fully-grown HR department. So I do still smile to myself and look upon my five years and one week with joy. With happiness. With the knowledge that I made it what it is. And I have had to let it go, like letting your child go out into the world on his or her own.
EMS, well, what can I have brought to it? I did not give birth to anything there. But now, building the design and specs and schematics for a new ambulance, working with the rest of the committee, is definitely giving me that feeling. I have drawings up on one wall with all my marks, remarks, modifications and question marks up on it for the next stage from PL Custom. This is my baby. This will be my opus to the squad - to give them the best possible new rig for us to bust ours saving others' butts!
Who wouldn't want to have that kind of effect on something? I am twice blessed to have it and in two different places. And then there is my house.
My last and final opus.
My house is lovingly decorated by me. If it were up to Luis, we'd live in a cave with technology and little else. Not so with me. The walls are decorated with a mixture of things - posters, images I've taken and my own artwork on the walls; my collection of candles burning in each room; my bits of crystals, Smurfs (don't laugh - most of us have things from our childhood left over), autumn leaves, lovely handmade pieces from the Renaissance Faires I have worked for, two hanging chairs (one in the living room and one in the sun room) decorated with Hallowe'en lights.
And books. Hundreds and hundreds of books.
What would life be without books? My life would not be so rich, so amazing, so healthy and fun as it is without books. Books make you a fuller, richer person. Richer than all the money in the world can make anyone. Anyone can make money. I used to make money. But I married too well and money was not the main motivation to work. I liked my paycheck, I never complained and BGC paid me and made me a very happy person, but the joy - 90% of it - came in the work. It came from the others I worked with, the friends I made, the members I met who really, really made me see wealthy people for who they are: people. Their value wasn't in their monetary status. All those people gave me magic and insight and a deep, deep appreciation for them just as people. Thank you, you know who you are (at least, you should know who you are!).
Now, all of the above things are great and I have my love for them. But then, there is a lot more love to go around, so I have to give those people their due:
Luis, my wonderful best friend, lover, my man, my husband: what would I be without you, in some ways the best part of me. I know I am maddening; you think I spew information that you feel should be private; you hate my [total lack of] money management; I am missing the filter that not only lets me sensor my comments but I have a need to tell everyone else what dreck I think your taste in television is! What? It IS dreck! I'm right, so why should I keep it to myself? Where's the fun in that?
But you make me feel good even if I have no value to society anymore.
You make me feel like I have a value to you.
You make me feel soft and sexy and skinny (not skinny, but svelte) and like I am desirable.
You make me feel young.
To my parents:
To Ray who has shown me the gentler side of people. Who has shown me how much someone can adjust and adapt in crazy circumstances and not just accept the jobs you need to do now that Ma can't, but that you can grab the bull by the horns and really take control of everything. You are my hero. You will always be my hero. You are my father, my man to look up to. My biggest, best hero. My other best friend. I took on many things and the best I took was Kellogg.
To my mother, who taught me to live a guilt-free life, to be aggressive and unafraid and the strong personality. To the woman who made sure I have no filter when knocking others' taste, ha, ha! (Hey, I like being me. I know there are times when it would be better to have a filter, but that I'm pretty cool without it. No one wonders where they stand with me.) This is invaluable.
To my biological father, Harry: I'm yours. Good, bad, ugly, I am you - no one sees me in my mother, but anyone who has seen images of me with you knows I am you. I am still uniquely me, but the stamp of you is all over me. I am the reader, the lover of music, the artist and that artist's temperament, because genetics are genetics and I am all yours in so many ways.
To my family for putting up with me, black sheep that I am.
To my crew:
Bob Heinzerling, Luke Joseph Kanderapally, Kyle (Motormouth) Pierce, Kirk Feller, Chris & EIleen Brown, Kathleen & Brian Hollinghurst, Mike Kotch, Devika Patel, Danny Weber, Steve Tissot, Colin Mellars, and so, so many others. You are my family. You are my brothers and sisters in EMS. Which brings me to the others: Parsippany Police, such as Andy Sadowski, Allan Griffin, Glen Foesil, Jim Masker, Al Keiser, Rich Howell and all the rest of them, especially the ones who are first onscene to our calls - the knights in shining armour. And our sister squad: Betsy Lowry, Nan and Carl, Meredith, AJ, etc. The heavy rescue guys who have let me be their crash-test dummies; so many people to thank. But the top ones are Bob and Mike, who are not just crew mates but really close friends.
I could go on and on, but it is getting to be late. I also have a letter to write, which will be a pleasure. That is something that will be great - to return to art and letter-writing, and all the things I did before I threw everything into writing.