Posted by: jamesotis | May 12, 2009


I’ve posted on how my brother Duffy’s death changed my life. But sometimes one never really realizes when change becomes something else. That the trees and plants that sprouted along the pond’s edge have years later been the very causes of it’s drying up and ceasing to exist. If memory serves I’ve also posted on the child’s life that I was blessed to help resuscitate late last year. If so, ‘Nuff said. I’ve replayed that footage more than necessary.

One day early this year I was leaving work. As I walked out the back patio to my wheels ‘o the day something hit me. I realized that I had accomplished a goal that I never knew that I had set. Years ago when I took my Jr. Lifesaving class at the naive age of 14 I found a strange passion. Not only did my personality mesh well with enforcing rules and monitoring safety but something drove me to guard lives. In years to come I would work myself to the point of burnout time and again. Time and again I swore off being a lifeguard and later an EMT-Basic. And yet I always returned, much to my amazement and that of my friends and family. I never realized it until that Saturday evening last February but when Duffy died I wanted to keep some other family from feeling that same pain. To protect parents from making the horrible noises that mine did.

I could have searched deep and find out why, I could compare the circumstances, but in the end, I just sat on the ground in the rain and cried. The words just came out unbidden: “I did what I came here to do.” Since then I’ve changed. I’m still passionate about excelent lifesaving. But The Drive is gone. I can do what I do and I do it well and with pride. But I can walk away if need be. I won’t be so conceited as to think that this was the sole purpose in my being, in my brother’s death or in anything else. Yes, I’m humbled at the very clear co-ordination of my life to this point but I certainly couldn’t see it coming and likewise if there’s more yet to come. But I’m certain of something. Had I been killed in that near head on collision last week I could have died knowing this: I may not be completely fulfilled, but my glass is more than half full.


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