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 theyll 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 theres 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 childs smile its 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. Its 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 exs; 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 youve done, I will help you. I will forsake food, sleep, social activities, free time, and
my own family whenever you need me. When
youre 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 youre
ready, Ill leave and youll never have to see me again.
You dont owe me a thing either you dont 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.
Its not just a logo or a symbol; its my heart, and my soul, for I
am an EMT.
Jody Marks, NREMT-Paramedic, Cherokee Vol. Fire/Rescue
Last Updated:05/25/05 13:32
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