Friday, August 15, 2008


When my brother Jerry and I were kids, Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" was usually a catalyst for a fight. I have no idea why, but the way he would sing the refrain in a goofy, squeaky voice would enrage me. Thus prompting him to sing louder and closer to my face.

When “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias came out in the 2002, it took its place. I was always annoyed by the song and Jerry knew it.

Now, as an adult, my not-so-little little brother is a Paramedic-Firefighter. A good one.

Not that I’ve ever needed his services, but your coworkers don’t refer to you (only partially in jest) as ‘God’ for no reason. He seems to have an uncanny ability to save lives that others have already written off.

He is good at what he does because he loves it. He was made for it. Meant to do it with every fiber of his being. Being an adrenaline junky doesn’t hurt either.

He has fought tooth and nail for this too. To say he was a mediocre student in High School is being kind. Jerry hated school and, for the most part, it hated him right back.

Something clicked in the time between graduation and medic school though. Maybe a shiny red fire truck went whizzing by with lights and sirens one day and he thought, “Hey, they don’t have to stop for red lights! That looks fun!” Probably not, but knowing my brother, I would definitely put it in the “maybe” category.

He became an EMT and shortly after started applying to Paramedic schools. It took a long time, and a lot of hard work, to get into the competitive programs. I believe he applied twice a year for 2 years before he was selected. Oh, and how he studied. He would write it off with a shrug of the shoulders, but I knew.

Yeah, some things were easy for him. What my brother lacks in book smarts, he makes up for 10 fold in common sense. Which is frankly much more practical in real life – and the life and death situations of Para-medicine is a real as you can get.

He has worked his butt off for the last 5 years to become a Paramedic and then a Firefighter.

He is hitting road blocks again now, but what is life without road blocks? Doesn’t that help you to appreciate your goal even more when you get it? While yes, more money is never anything to turn your nose at, but you love what you do! It will eventually come. It will get better.

You have come full circle though Jerry. No matter what kind of shitty circumstance and forgotten promise comes your way, you are a hero.

You are a hero to all the people you’ve saved, a hero to the families of the folks that you tried your hardest to save and hero for the random acts of kindness you do without a second thought.

You are a hero to your family and friends.

You are a hero to me.

Heroism is about heart. It is about dedication. It is not about money.

Don’t get bogged down in the negative. There is no point. Believe in the good. Believe in the Karma you generate. It will come back around and repay you.

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