Often we find ourselves in “auto pilot.” Wake up, go to work, get the kids to school, dinner, bath, bedtime and repeat. We forget to stop and count our many blessings. We wait until tragedy hits to briefly reflect on our own lives before switching the pilot light back on. We forget we are not permanent fixtures in this world, our time is small and limited. There are two variables in life that are certain; Birth and Death. What we do in between is up to us. The sad reality is our time here is not guaranteed. In an instant it could all be over. Tragedy happens everyday. We never think it will happen to us. We don’t expect our grandmother to be diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, a friend to die in a car crash at the age of 19, two days before Christmas, or a mother on her way to work hit by a drunk driver and killed. The harsh truth is it does happen, daily.
Let’s set aside cleaning for a minute and talk about the tremendous act of kindness our crews showed to many on an unfortunate summer afternoon. Our crew and the victims of the crash had no idea their lives were about to change forever that day. As they were driving to a clean they came upon a horrendous car accident. They were part of the first respondent’s and without a second thought, they saved lives. One of our crew leaders, Dalaina, pulled a woman out of a burning car. The pavement was so hot they laid down cleaning rags for the injured to lay on. Another crew member Chris, took off his shirt and wrapped it around another victims head to stop the blood flow. A nurse and anesthesiologist were also part of the first respondents and gave our crew direction on how to help the victims. They stayed until the ambulances arrived and did everything they could for the victims. Fortunately, no one lost their lives that day. However, the screaming and gruesome scene will haunt them for life.
In my opinion, that act of kindness was not the game changer. Here’s where I believe our crew went above and beyond. They continued to pray for the victims. They continued to check in on them, visit them in the hospital, call for updates daily, offer support to the victims families. I was fortunate enough to receive a phone call from one of the victims a couple months after the crash. She hadn’t seen her husband since the day of the crash. He was put into a coma and underwent multiple surgeries. We cried together on the phone and she told me she expected to see him the following week when they would be in the same rehab center. They finally went home together last Tuesday. Others underwent multiple surgeries and spent time in extensive care; our crew remained there, always following up with the progress of the victims. This, was the most meaningful act of kindness.
Below you will find a card we received from one of the victims last week. We were taken back by her words and were all left in tears. A good lesson learned; we do not need to wait until tragedy hits to switch off auto pilot and count our blessings. Make the most of today, it could be your last.