My Star

 

So many stars shine in the sky at night.  Gazing up into the endless expanse of space we bear our souls, picking a twinkle to cast our dreams toward, hoping that one day they’ll come back around.  One night I picked a star – but my star is not just a wish, a dream, or a prayer.  It stays with me all the time, and it shines all day and all night for everyone to see.  It watches over us all, swooping down like a guardian angel to intervene when there’s trouble.  It shone like a beacon over Oklahoma City, Columbine High School, and the World Trade Center.  People all over the world recognize my star as a symbol of love and compassion, yet few truly understand what it means.  For me and others like me it is a religion, a way of life.  Like a child’s smile it’s glow gives us hope, renews our faith in everything that is true and good.

My star also has a dark side.  I feel it over my shoulder at 3 a.m. as I race through the cold night to pull a drunk from the twisted wreckage of his vehicle while he cusses me and threatens my life.  It’s unblinking, emotionless face dances mockingly over the body of each person I see die.  It hangs around my neck, burning into my flesh as I tell my best friend that I have something else to do tonight – again.  I could go with him, but what if the run I miss is my father, or a helpless child who might have a chance?  My star is an unspoken message to friends, family, and a long string of ex’s; it says that I love what I do and strangers whom I have known for less than an hour more than I am capable of loving them, or myself.

Yet I display my star proudly on my chest, my clothing, and my vehicle, because to so many others it sends a very different message:  that no matter who you are, where you live, or what you’ve done, I will help you.  I will forsake food, sleep, social activities, free time, and my own family whenever you need me.  When you’re with me you are safe – you can trust me with your darkest secrets, take your frustrations out on me, or cry on my shoulder, and I will take care of you regardless.  And when you’re ready, I’ll leave and you’ll never have to see me again.  You don’t owe me a thing either – you don’t have to pay me, tell your friends about me, or even thank me.  All I ask is that when you see my star, you remember what it means to me.  It’s not just a logo or a symbol; it’s my heart, and my soul, for I am an EMT.

 

-by Jody Marks, NREMT-Paramedic, Cherokee Vol. Fire/Rescue

      Cherokee, AL

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Last Updated:05/25/05 13:32

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