Posts Tagged ‘dream’

I Am A Fireman…… A True Story

March 26, 2011

In Phoenix, Arizona, a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of terminal leukemia.


Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up and fulfill all his dreams. Now, that was no longer possible.

The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son’s dream to come true. She took her son’s hand and asked, ‘Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life?’

Mommy, ‘I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up.’

Mom smiled back and said, ‘Let’s see if we can make your wish come true.’

Later that day she went to her local fire Department in Phoenix, Arizona, where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix.

She explained her son’s final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her 6 year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine.

Fireman Bob said, ‘Look, we can do better than that. If you’ll have your son ready at seven o’clock Wednesday morning, we’ll make him an honorary fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards!

And if you’ll give us his sizes, we’ll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat – not a toy  one  with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots.’

‘They’re all manufactured right here in Phoenix, so we can get them fast.’

Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck.


Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station. He was in heaven.

There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all three calls.

He rode in the different fire engines, the paramedic’s van, and even the fire chief’s car.  He was also videotaped for the local news programs.

Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy, that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.

One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who believed in the hospice concept – that no one should die alone, began to call the family members to the hospital.

Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition…

The chief replied, ‘We can do better than that.  We’ll be there in five minutes. Will you please do me a favor? When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system that there is not a fire? It’s the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room?’

About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Billy’s third floor open window — 5  fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy’s room!

With his mother’s permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they LOVED him.

With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said, ‘Chief am I really a fireman now?’

‘Billy, you are, and The Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand,’ the chief said.

With those words, Billy smiled and said, ‘I know, He’s been holding my hand all day, and the angels have been singing.’

He closed his eyes one last time…

This story is a tribute to all the men and women, the everyday heroes of the Phoenix Fire Department that keep us safe day and night, and to the Make-A-Wish Foundation who made this child’s wish come true.

P.S. – Fireman Bob in this story is Bob Khan, who is now the Chief of Phoenix Fire Department.

http://www.snopes.com/glurge/fireman.asp

A Different Christmas Poem

December 19, 2009

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts…
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.
So that your family can sleep without fright.
It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers”

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam’,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”
“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”

“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”
PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. Service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.

Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq


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