The Morning After
When I awoke I knew it would happen;
mouth watery, world spinning, body sweating like dew.
This was not a thought last night during the clappin’;
the time has come to pay my due.
Stumbling, praying, falling out of bed;
trying to get up, trying to think,
the light hammers pounding at my head,
kneel to the one you know, not the sink.
The Porcelain God awaits the feeble;
mouth watery, world spinning, body sweating like dew.
The God will help for good not for evil,
hug him close, now pay your due.
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By Ricardo — 2 years ago
Written by –
Ryan Dedmon, M.A.
Outreach Director, 911 Training Institute
It’s raining in Southern California. Again. It has rained here 3 days a week for the last month, breaking only long enough for things to dry out before the next storm front rolls in. It has rained more in the last month than it has the last 3 years. I suppose that’s a good thing. California has long suffered from a drought, but rain makes everything more miserable.
We Californians love our sunshine and we expect the weather to be a tropical sunny and 75 all year long, so we are often ill-prepared for rainy weather. A little water falls from the sky and we all seem to forget how to drive; we navigate around countless traffic collisions and stalled out vehicles; traffic congestion, as if not already bad enough in California, becomes a living nightmare; and most of us don’t own a quality umbrella. Thus, we arrive late for work soaking wet.
Earlier this week was one such day for me. There I was stuck in heavy traffic because the intersection up ahead was on 4-way red-flash due to flooding from an apocalyptic rainstorm. My commute was taking me three times as long as it should. The car in the lane to my left pulled up next to me and I witnessed the most precious moment.
There was a 5-year-old little girl sitting in a booster in the rear passenger seat. Her little head, covered under a big yellow rain hat, kept turning back-and-forth from the window to her mother in the front seat. The girl seemed to look right through me as her face and palms were pressed up against the window. Suddenly, she spun her head around with the biggest smile on her face and was bouncing up and down in her seat as her mother rolled down the rear window. The girl immediately stuck both her arms out the window palms up, as if trying to catch the drops of water falling from the sky. I smiled at her innocence, but then she surprised me. The girl threw off her hat, showing off two brown ponytails, and stuck her entire head out the window. She giggled uncontrollably as she stuck her tongue out catching raindrops, her hair and face getting soaked in the downpour. The smile on the face of that child depicting pure elation gave me pause to think… at what point in my life did I lose that childlike innocence when I felt so much joy from simply getting wet in the rain?
I was sitting in traffic on a rainy day thinking about the conference call I would be on later that afternoon, the emails I needed to reply to in my inbox, the upcoming project deadlines I needed to meet, and my calendar availability for the following week. I don’t have time to stop and enjoy the rain. Life is busy. “Adulting” is hard.
As a former police telecommunicator, I hated the rain. Working rainy days were always the worst. The attitude of callers unexplainably reflected the gloomy weather. Callers never failed to extend their personal sense of self-entitlement. Calls for police response were either traffic collisions or false burglary alarm activations, both caused by the rainy weather. Stupid rain. The ironic part about all of this: I now teach stress-management training classes for public-safety telecommunicators helping them to optimize their health and wellness.
As we grow older and transform into adults, we fail to find joy in many of the simple things from our childhood that once brought us happiness. We get busy; we have responsibilities. Our perspective becomes distorted by noise. We need to reshape our perspective if we want to improve our wellness. Stop and make time to smell the roses, roll in fields of grass, dance in the moonlight, enjoy the simple things we often take for granted… and maybe, just maybe, then even our rainy days will bring us rays of sunshine happiness.Post Views: 328
By Ricardo — 10 months ago
“To walk among heroes”
Guest blog post –
Written by –
Billy Short – Technical Trainer with RPSS
It was the last class of my training assignment for a PSAP in Louisiana. The training part of my class was over, so I broke into my post class “appreciation speech.” Since becoming a technical trainer for 911 dispatchers, my eyes had been opened to things that I guess, I had always taken for granted. I shared with the class how that I, as a citizen, truly appreciated the work that dispatchers perform. I had come to realize that most dispatchers were never truly recognized, or honestly appreciated for their work. I shared with them how that I had come to believe that they were the “first”, first responders. I had witnessed many community organizations and churches having appreciation events for other First Responder heroes, but I noticed that the members of the dispatch teams were never given a seat at that table of honor.
I shared how that now, I somewhat understood the roller coaster of emotion that a 911 calltaker could be on, simply by answering the next ringing telephone. I knew that one minute they would be able to feel their blood pressure rise in aggravation to a caller wondering when the electrical power would be restored to their neighborhood, or a caller wanting the phone number to the local tax office. To answering the next call and experiencing the desperate cries of a mother that had just pulled the lifeless body of her toddler from a swimming pool. I shared with the class my appreciation for their professionalism when taking a call from someone who just seemed to be having a difficult day, and needing to complain to someone, to the next call from someone that is having the absolute worse day of their life because their mate of 52 years was lying in the floor unresponsive.
I thanked them for doing the often-thankless job of giving CPR instructions over the phone until EMS arrived at the scene. I thanked them for trying to comfort a scared child, who left alone in the house, hears a scary noise outside. I tried my best to express my love, admiration, and appreciation for the job that they do, day in, day out, around the clock, and through the holidays. I also extended to them my friendship. Even though it would probably be limited to social media, or text messaging. I told them that if they ever needed someone to listen, someone to pray for them, someone to talk to, that I would be willing to be that guy.
I ended my speech with another, heart-felt “Thank You!” After the group began to file out of the room, one guy, kind of hung back a little. I could tell that my “speech” was having some sort of emotional effect on him. When the room emptied, this hulk of a dispatcher walked up to me, with tears now beginning to roll down his face, he asked if he could give me a hug. Of course, I obliged, and bear hugged him right back. With a soft voice he began to thank me. He simply stated that the job had begun to get to him, and that he didn’t know if he could keep going on. But that my speech had reminded him that it wasn’t a job that he performed. It was his calling! He told me that he was fired up and ready to get back out onto the floor and be the professional, the call-taker, the first responder that he was called to be. By this time, tears were in my eyes. I thanked him for sharing part of his story with me. And I thanked God for the little part that I had played in this First Responder Hero’s life calling!
Through social media, I found out a few months after that day, that my dispatcher friend had gotten off work, went home, went to sleep, and never woke up again. I felt the tears coming again! That scene at the door of the training room played back over in my mind. I felt an unexplainable sense of loss. That may sound strange. I had only spent a few hours in a training class with him. I never knew his life story. I never knew his family. I never knew his favorite food or color. But in his death, I knew that the world had lost a hero. To some, he was just a voice on the other end of a phone line. To some, he was just somebody that answered phones for a living. For some, he was just an operator that would give out a phone number. But I can’t help but believe that there were countless people whose lives had been saved, broken hearts comforted, and fears calmed, by this straw haired colored man. I believe that there were firefighters and police officers, that were made heroes of situations because this dispatcher sent them on their way. I believe that the world was a better place, and a safer place because of a that faceless voice on the other end of a mic, or telephone. And I believe that a dispatch team, lost a brother, that could never quite be replaced. And to me, I am reminded that my job is more than a job. It is a calling. A calling to walk among heroes! A calling to play my part in the training of giants! I want to be the best trainer that I can be, so that heroes and giants can be the best dispatcher that they can be!Post Views: 1,247
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
Many things have contributed to my love for writing and designing. Music puts me in the mood to do what I do. The story lines in certain movies get my creative juices flowing and cartoons take me to the fantasy world that is my child like imagination. It truly helps to inspire me. Out of everything though, I have to say that two shows affected me the most. The shows aired on MTV back when they actually paid attention to music. It was in the early 90’s and every now and then MTV would air a couple segments over the weekend called Liquid Television and Cartoon Sushi. The shows highlighted interesting and obscure animated shorts. The work highlighted on both shows were a mind-gasm and were epic! The shorts included Beavis and Butt-head, Aeon Flux, Dog-Boy, and Stick Figure Theater. These are just a few of the funny and crazy skits. The segments were so good that they spawned off another show on MTV called, “The Oddities”. It included, The Maxx, The Head, and more.
Had it not been for these cartoons, I might not have kept up with my fascination of art and design. Now with all of this said, there was one animated short that stuck with me. I only saw it once and that’s all I needed. From what I can remember, the short featured a man who was crawling on a road with a rock chained to his ankle. On top of the rock was some sort of demon who heckled as the man dragged and pulled himself along the roadway. It was all done in a sketch art type of animation and it’s superb! When I saw it back then, I didn’t know what was going on. The rock just heckled the troubled man as he struggled to drag himself and the rock on the road. There were two or three of these and it finally made sense at the end. The man is coming up to a glass of water and as he reaches for it he spills it. He goes mad and begins to push the rock to the side of the road but stops. The demon tells him that it will be ok and to keep going. He says that he was told that as soon as he gets to the end of the road he will be done. The man continues on down the road and the camera zooms out. This is when reality kicks in and reveals that the road is actually a figure eight. The man will never end his journey because he is stuck for an eternity. To me this is genius and I love how the animated short was done. It has helped inspire my stories with the twist at the end and the design I have been blessed to accomplish. I just wanted to give a big thanks to those who inspire me every day and for the animated short, “Pariah – The Red Man” from Cartoon Sushi. For years I have searched for the name of it and a video. I now have it and it’s below for your pleasure.Post Views: 310