Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Princess and the Power Ranger

My firehouse had a halloween party today for the kids. We throw one every year. Its always cute. Kids, costumes, games, music, and lots and lots of sugary treats.  My beautiful girl dressed up as a princess, and my sweet boy was a power ranger

"What should I dress up like?" I asked my daughter. 
"Um, like a daddy, smiling as she shouted, as if she solved a major mystery. 
"Oh yeah? OK. What should I wear as a costume?"
My little girl's answer came quickly to her:  "A bagel".  
Wow. A bagel. Esoteric, obscure, humorous, yet round and appetizing all at the same time. 
Anyway....As soon as they put on their costumes, my kids assumed their roles.  Skylar floated down the stairway in her dress that sparkled and flowed just above the floor, yet not high enough to reveal her little feet. And her tiara was just precious. Whereas Skylar floated, Brandon jumped fearlessly down the entire set of stairs.  He flashed his lightning 
bolts, and spun ninja kicks until the sugar wore off.  I hid the nun-chucks from him.  No one got hurt, thankfully.

There's a princess and a power ranger in all of us if you look in the mirror close enough.  I responded with my crew to a 'signal 9' yesterday.  The chief was at the scene before my bus was '22' (arrived) at the house. The chief radioed on fireground:  "Just the monitor." No stretcher, no trauma bag, no oxygen?  I knew "Sam" the patient had already died well before we got there.  I ran an EKG strip as part of the "c/y/a" process.   And as I waited with my brethren for the County medical examiner to arrive I looked around Sam's den for important information (date of birth, family contact info, etc.).   It was, in many respects, the antithesis of his lifeless rigor mortis. On a bookshelf, a collector's card from 'The Terminator" of Arnold  Schwarzenegger (dark glasses, leather jacket, spiked hair); a photograph on his desk of himself with Bill Clinton; trophies; awards; and three empty cans of "Milwaukee's Best" beer. He was 89 when he died. But Sam obviously was a power ranger.    The face of death, however, is just something that can't be disguised. He was stiff. Discolored. With a strange expression frozen on his face.  There was an eerie, thick, silent vibe in the house. It reeked. 

I was wearing my EMT uniform. Some of the crew on scene saw a dead man.  I was in the same room as they were.  Yet, I saw a power ranger.  Subtly,  I left and attempted to honor him with an emotion of laying my EMT jacket over him like a blanket, which would then  turn into the costume of life he once wore. The call was over. I wasn't ready for any other calls just yet though.  My EMT jacket was still with Sam.  I came back home, and soaked up my little princess and power ranger.  They each recharged me. I gave them eac
h a bagel I had bought on the way home.  Toasted. With cream cheese.  They loved it. 

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