I received the following email this past week:
" My name is _____, Program Director at K___ Radio.
To put it plainly, you saved my mother and father in law in a car accident in 1999.
The folks were delivering newspapers and their pickup truck rolled. Mom was thrown out, Pop was still held in the pickup. You were first on the scene and stopped traffic and got life fight in. What we always remember is the next vehicle was an
18 wheeler and it would have surely killed mom. Anyway, Tuesday night September 11th at D_____ Ballroom at the Student Center on the ____ College Campus we are having the (Geographic Location omited) Heroes Banquet. Its dinner and a presentation. Hours are from 7-9pm with doors opening at 6:30pm. Anyway, we would love for you to attend.
And, Mom would love to meet you. If you would could you email me back if you will or
won't be able to attend. Again, thanks so much! "
This accident happened just over eight years ago, so to say I was surprised to get this email would be an understatement. I had to read it twice and think about it for over a day before responding. A Heroes banquet? Me? Not even close. Not when you compare what other people do day in and day out. Like the guy in the New York subway station who saw the person fall on the tracks and threw himself on top of the other person to hold them down while the train ran over the top of them. He left his two children on the platform and placed himself in harm's way. That I did not do. This man was interviewed later and said if he had actually taken time to think about it - he wouldn't have done that. Who would have?
I didn't have time to think about it either. In my years of training in certain fields, first responder thinking took over and I simply reacted to my training. No big deal. But I had to come to terms that it was a big deal. A Big Deal to these people who wanted to show their thanks to a stranger that helped them out. I wasn't the only person who stopped. Just happened to be the first person. As for saving their lives, I don't know about that. I don't recall much of the details.
I told them in my response that I would love to meet them, and I think that is true. I also told them I was uncomfortable in this format however, as I am certainly no hero. I can just see me standing there with someone else who rushed into a burning building and saved a baby! I stopped and called Air Flight and hung around assisting in traffic control and gave first aid.
What do I learn from this? To accept things graciously. Not be so "humble" as to draw more attention to myself for something I don't feel is that big a deal. I did that at my Emmaus Walk. Just couldn't get used to someone else doing for ME! I am a doer! I don't receive compliments, accolades or grace easily. It goes against my nature.
So - I am going to go to this thing. I am going to hug the ladies neck. I am going to recieve some award or recogonition certificate. I am going to be uncomfortable through it all.
I am going to blog the aftermath. ~npp