I remember the look on his face as he whispered the words. I remember staring intently at his lips as if I couldn’t hear a word he was saying. I gave him a quick smile. The kind of smile you give a friend after you’ve done them a favor. No need for even a pause. Then, I gave my seat belt a little tug, and it started to hit me. He had whispered the words, “you just saved my life.”
We were on our way back to the station after shooting a story at a used tire shop and waste transfer station. My idea, of course. It was a friday, and it felt like it. He was hungry and opted for fast food. I tried to convince him otherwise, but the smell coming from my vinegar cole slaw salad from Whole Foods probably didn’t help my cause in the least.
A few bites in, the car jerked and the mysterious red drink he had just taken a big gulp of went everywhere. We flew off the interstate and came to a screeching halt on the shoulder as he tried to catch his breath. I stumbled out of the car after him into the grass. Was he throwing up or choking? Our intern, who is now probably scarred for life, yelled, “give him the Heimlich,” and well, that’s what I did. His face was starting to lose color.
It was not easy. He’s six feet tall. I was wearing heels that were clearly too high for the steep shoulder that was covered in weeds and tall grass. Each time, I pushed back hard on his abdomen, I realized I would need to get him on the asphalt if I was going to get any more leverage.
What a relief.
He started to talk again between some coughing. I drove us back, hands clenched to the wheel, saying ridiculous things to lighten up the heaviness that hung inside our car. He went to the hospital, and I went back to work. Soon after I’d get a text that will forever go in my file of favorites.
“Ever saved anyone’s life before? Well now you have and I’ll never forget it.”
It forced me to process what had just happened, and I was grateful. So grateful he was okay, but I didn’t feel confident as I played the “what if” game. What if it hadn’t worked? My first aid certification that I got on a whim in Knoxville had long expired, and I couldn’t recall every detail about proper technique. If my job has taught me anything, it’s that anything can happen to anyone at any time, and it’s not always pretty. My first aid book that rides with me wherever I go will now have plenty more folds. You never know when something, anything is about to happen. You just never know so take a class, sharpen your skills, read up… Just in case it’s you next time.
What is it about old friends, the really good ones, that just warm your heart. I recently had one of those moments at the dinner table: We were talking, laughing… and for a moment, just for a moment, I found myself on the outside, looking in, with a big smile on my face thinking, this is it. This is what it is. This is what life is about. The special, indescribable connections you can have with another person.
It reminds me of those movie scenes where you see the actors around a table and the background is in a blur as the camera circles during a dramatic scene. Those cinematographers are genius. It’s funny, though, because afterwards, after that moment, this time, I had this odd feeling of happiness and sadness.
It told me something.
We all travel along some kind of path that we call our lives, and when we’re lucky, really lucky, we meet people who will forever change us for the better. At times, our paths may diverge because of a job, a significant other, even an addiction, and it sure can get ugly, but if and when there is a reconnection months or years down the road, it can be beautiful. It gives you hope, and it reminds you to have faith.
As for those who deserve to have you in their life again and vice versa, this is what I know: It will never be the same between you and your old friend. You can never get back that time a part, but you can and should appreciate each others’ journeys. Then, make memories that will last a lifetime. Being in my hometown of Miami the last few days has reminded me of where I’ve been, what I’ve seen, what I’ve said and the choices that I have made that have forced me to grow up and become the woman I am today. And today, in this very moment, I feel even more confident in what I want out of life moving forward and the kind of people I want in it.
Thank you Shanan.
Today, I’m curious about forgiveness. We’ve all heard the line, ‘forgive and forget.’ Being able to do that is supposed to show that we’re good people, but there is a line somewhere, right?? She deserves it… He doesn’t deserve it… Oh, and that a*%! No way! 😉
I constantly hear people asking for forgiveness from their mother, wife, pastor, a judge.. The list is long. I sometimes put them on camera! Are you a better person for forgiving people more often? Do you reserve forgiveness for the people you love? The problem is, either way, it can create the potential for more pain and disappointment on your end. What’s that other saying: ‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.’
By now, please tell me you can relate to this? And here’s another one. If we opt for forgiveness… Should we forgive them because they’re human and we all err, or should we only forgive them because we truly believe they won’t do it again? My mother says forgiveness makes your heart lighter. It rids you of negative energy. My father says he just waits for an air-conditioning unit to fall out of a window. He is kidding, but oh, does he hold a grudge. I think I used to be more like him, but something changed.
Pray for me and the little girl inside who was happy as a clam in bright red Keds.
She wanted something that many of us fear but all of us deserve: the truth.
Corinne Walls wanted the truth even if it put a little hole in her heart, and I think it did months later. I heard her tears through the phone as I told her what I had learned.
In some ways, it was what she expected. She had heard the rumors. She was told something had gone terribly wrong, but where were the answers? And what could she tell her mother who was now confined to a bed in a nursing home? How would she tell her that she mistakenly believed she had a lifeline inside her cozy home, a home she had shared with her late husband. His name… still on the phone bill.
Here’s her story…
Corinne thanked me that day, then again, shortly after the story aired on FOX59.
I kept thinking I should be the one to thank her. Too often people give up, lose faith, and simply say, ‘it’s too hard’ never realizing that they were a step away from something BIG or even a little bit of truth.
Army infantryman Tim Senkowski lost both of his legs, most of the muscle in his right arm and buttock among other serious injuries in an I.E.D. blast last October in Afghanistan. On patrol, a good friend, who was a few feet away, stepped on the bomb. It was a fatal mistake and one that would forever change Tim’s life.
The last time I interviewed Tim, I remember this one moment so vividly. He ran his finger over the skin just below his right eye and told me about a nail that ripped through his skin in that very spot. It was inches away from taking yet one more thing away from him when the bomb detonated.
Tim has two young boys with his wife. He missed his 1-year-old son’s first steps, and as he learns how to strengthen his stride with prosthetics, his son will slowly begin to lose that toddler wobble. It’s a parallel that was at first, very sad, yet it has become something else completely. Despite his loss and despite the daily pain, Tim hasn’t given up. He is a fighter who is determined to keep a smile on his face, and he is planning for his future because HE LIVED.
At a recent fundraiser for the family, with their buddy ‘Chaps’ at the helm, I saw something great and heard something even better, plenty of laughter. I was introduced to ‘biker games.’ Any thoughts?? Well, just think… the delicious smell of an outdoor barbecue just outside a biker shop with plenty o’ leather inside, a row of bikes in the lot, all lined up, some with their proud papas revving their engines, and some interesting contests involving empty kegs and hot dogs on a string. It was a trip, and it was a lesson learned.
Saw this quote on a magnet in Whole Foods.
“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. Anger is only one letter short of danger. If someone betrays you once, it is his fault; if he betrays you twice, it’s your fault. Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. He who loses money, loses much; he who loses a friend, loses much more, he who loses faith, loses all. Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
Is life this black-and-white?
Is there always a clear right or wrong in every situation?
Maybe not, but why not work towards making sure our thoughts, actions and words match up? Why not do the right thing? Why not create distance with poisonous people? Why place more value on money than friendship… or even allow it to drive our decisions?
I love this stuff! It makes you think…
After I read it, I thought about a not-so-pleasant phone conversation with someone who is truly special to me. Before I hung up, I did not say “I love you.” I can also tell you how many times I’ve sat down with a mother, father or friend in mourning who are plagued by the last few words they shared with the victim whose picture is all over the news. So, what’s the difference between today and yesterday?? Maybe, we all can work towards being a better version of ourselves.
One night, recently, my father tells my mother he has to make two confessions. It was late. They were in bed. Her mind goes wild. “After all these years, what could it be,” she asks herself. Not good.
He begins. One: “I really like golf,” he says.
The day before was going to be his last day on any golf course, as he had planned, because it was ‘too stressful,’ but something had changed. He was not too shabby even if one of his balls flew through a forested area and bounced off a tree. He had found a shortcut to the next hole. We had laughed about this over dinner.
My father’s second confession: “I was practicing in the front yard.”
My father felt guilty because he had pulled out several different clubs and practiced his swing in the morning before they played golf while my mother was asleep. He thought that somehow it had given him an unfair advantage. He played better than my mother too, and she’s more of ‘the athlete.’
Really? I know you’re asking yourself that, and I promise my father is a sane man. He’s just too kind. My mother says it was a struggle to not die of laughter in bed that night. “He is such a boy,” she said. All men are forever boys, right?
I think it was also one of those life reminders that let you breathe a little easier. I could see it on her face. He is still the man she married. So thoughtful… So caring… She didn’t need to say anything else. They have the kind of love that makes other people want to tear up… just a bit.
My parents celebrated their 36th anniversary in October.
The faces I get are expected. A cup full of bright green juice is probably not appealing to most people, but I like things that don’t taste great. If it’s good for me it starts to feel right. My only suggestion is to do more mouth breathing if you throw any broccoli in there. I’ve also gotten complaints about the stench coming from the trash a day later.
I started juicing in the morning to get extra vitamins in my body that I am clearly deficient in, and I have a feeling I’m not alone especially in the tv biz. honest moment: Who eats well-balanced meals? If you’re on-the-go that means some serious preps, and to this day, I’m still searching for the ultimate lunch box that does, well, what the tag promises.
As for this little adventure… It has been interesting. In one cup, I’ve managed to include two apples, a handful of spinach and kale, a lemon, and a cucumber as suggested in a documentary I saw at Georgetown Market here in Indy called, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” That’s a lot of healthy raw food rich in vitamins. I dig it.
Could I live on it? Definitely not. How could I say no to a big juicy cheeseburger?? I can visualize it now.
Two books I picked up for recipes: ‘The Big Book of Juices” and “The Juicing Bible.” The ‘bible’ is pretty neat. It matches health conditions (even hangovers) with the right fruits, veggies and herbs.
I fight for what I believe in, and I fight for the people I love.
This is day one of my blog so here’s a little more about me:
Tv reporter and journalist.
South Floridian but perhaps a Boston groupie. The accent always makes me smile. Great memories.
Strong believer in quality over quantity. Arguments for quantity too often have one goal… $$$
Repeat offender of writing out sounds as words such as “mhm” and using my all-time favorite word “marinating.” It’s what you do on your couch after a long day at work.
Lover of all green vegetables, dark chocolate, red wine and Evian water. Yes, I know it spells “naïve” backwards.
Artist. Drawing pencils or acrylics on canvas. Photography.
Oh, and I can make a mean triple-layer chocolate cake with milk chocolate icing.