Receive…

Avalon Autumn Sunrise

Avalon Autumn Sunrise

Stubborn, independent, self-made, hard-working, giving, successful, go-getter, caring, kind, stubborn, single-minded; these words may be used to describe a successful person, especially in this day and age. Note there’s nothing about money mentioned. I don’t feel financial wealth to be a standard to be successful, but that’s just me. All of these qualities I am happy to strive for, and they help me feel worthwhile. In my book, if you work hard, don’t take much for granted, take your lumps as they come, because they will come, play hard, and be a good person, then you are successful. Yet I’ve found this success can get in the way of another important aspect of life: receiving.

I love people. I love serving people, and I loved my work. With the FD, I worked with the finest people on the planet, for some of the most amazing, poor, sick and inspiring people on the planet. I loved running calls, loved my partners on the Rescue, and loved trying to help those in need in truly unimaginable situations. Just when I thought I’d seen it all, the next shift showed me something new. Sure, there were terribly violent and wickedly persecuting incidents, but there were also uplifting ones to balance out the pain. As a harbor patrol officer, I was able to serve on the water (a bit selfish, I admit), and it was a gift to me to be able to do so in such an ever-changing environment. I felt honored to be allowed to take part in someone’s most life-challenging and intimate moments, some tragic, some happy. I tried to respect that part of my job, and at times it was difficult. Trying to understand the reasons for certain occurrences was mind-boggling and I finally learned to stop trying. But I never gave up trying to be present for those involved. A lot of that wasn’t taught in paramedic school or covered in continuing education, and I think it’s a difficult thing to teach. Everyone has their own way of seeing things, but I feel it’s something for rescue workers to always keep in mind. It’s another way of serving, of giving. I think I was good at it.

Now, things are very hard for me because I find myself in the position of taking. Not taking, per se, but of receiving. I’ve learned that’s a very difficult thing for me to do. For those of you out there who’ve been trying to give, I’m trying. It’s quite a challenge for me, being one of those stubborn and independent people I wrote about earlier. And it’s so difficult to receive gracefully! I want to honor those who have given and are giving, and due to my flippin’ ego, I find it almost impossible to drop the facade and just allow it to happen. I see myself fighting it. I consciously try to recall how special it made me feel to give to others, to serve others, to help my family and friends, and it was life-sustaining. I had a purpose on this planet to give, to serve. And those I served received. I need to give more by receiving. I honor you, thank you, and am so grateful for you, for your gifts. Better yet, you give in so many different ways, and that’s such a wonderful surprise. You listen, you laugh (the best!), you sand, paint and varnish, you cook, you drive, you paddle, you persist. For all of this and more, thank you.

I’ve searched to find the right words to convey all of this, and it’s quite a challenge. Sometimes the words flow, but this time there’s no flowing. I’m trying, and I want you to know I’ll keep trying. Please know I am so grateful for all of you, I am humbled by you, am honored by you, and I honor you. Best of all, I love you. Maybe it’s that simple?

I love you.

12 thoughts on “Receive…

  1. Tom Brown

    Wendy, you are all of the words you describe in your very first sentences! I read you into that even before I got to the next sentence! Rest assured that those of us giving you a hand, are honoured by your smiling face showing the love you give right back! We miss you and are working on getting you down here for a visit so we can see that smile again on your face!
    Jeanne & Tom

    Reply
  2. Mike Hardy

    I miss you Wendy. When you lived by me, you were such a inspiration and still are. I loved your background. I loved your lifestyle. Loved your Cats, lol. I just wanted you to know that. Miss you, Mike

    Reply
  3. Michael Kirk

    Wendy, you are such an inspiration. You remind me to not be bothered by a rainy day or the ding I got in the parking lot. Also, I am going to be the Father of the Bride this coming Saturday, the 28th. Get to give my little baby away. Life has been so full of great events. Lots of great sunrises and sunsets. Your friend in Florida, Mike.

    Reply
  4. Ellen Todd

    Wendy – we love you too and thank you for all the many things – however small they might have seemed to you – that you did for us. For us,…they were huge and so is your love and friendhship.

    Reply
  5. Drea Everett

    Wow, my Friend you have a gift with your writing, so beautiful. You have to think and think hard about all the giving you have done for just me! And I know I’m not the only one I can think of a dozen things you have done just sitting here that I would not of had the courage to do. You have helped me is so many ways, convinced me to do things that were difficult but I know it was the right thing to do I just could not do it alone so you held my hand. When I found myself in a bad living situation you were there, made sure I was safe then moved me out and even took every fixture of the walls including ceiling fans. If people are trying to help it’s because of the love and selfless acts of continuous kindness you have shown to so many of us. You deserve more than anyone can even give. I’ll never understand why someone with your heart and soul would have to fight this battle but your not alone we are here to fight with you and will stand by you with what ever you need.
    And at least now at this age if we have “cramps” they are really just cramps (Gillis will be so relieved) I love you my friend, hang in there baby we are here to support you.

    Reply
  6. Dennis Waters

    Wendy, I love your messages, you write so beautifully. Every time I read one of your messages, it puts a tear in my eye and touches my heart. Recently I have began saying prayers every night because I needed help with something that I didn’t believe anyone could help me with. To my surprise and joy, things improved and turned out well. To show my appreciation, I continue to pray every night, for me, and for those I love and care about, and for those that I believe need help. I pray for my kids to be safe and make good decisions. I pray for the Firefighters to be safe every night. I give thanks for all I have in my life and I ask for forgiveness for some things in my past. I pray for people fighting battles with health issues, specific people, by name. You are in my prayers every night, I am not alone, and neither are you. I remember the day you helped me jump start my motorcycle in Santa Barbara. If there is ever anything I can do for you, just let me know and I will be there.

    Reply
  7. Rhonda

    Wendy girl. Receiving is hard for some of us , just remember the joy you got by helping others all your life. Don’t take away their joy, everyone needs to feel good by giving back. I can fell you just by reading your words. We will see you in April if that’s o.k. Shall we just e mail for the info after we arrive on the 15th? Prayers always. D and R

    Reply
  8. Lauren deRosier

    Regarding your difficulty in “receiving”… rest assured it is very normal to feel that way… especially for those of us who have chosen to serve others needs, for most of our adult lives. That being said, maybe I can offer you a thought to make “receiving” easier?
    Think of the blessing, the joy, the warm n fuzzy feeling it gives you to “be there” for others (even better if it can be anonymous)… now remember, NOT gracefully “receiving” is actually robbing someone else of THEIR blessing, joy, and warm n fuzzy feelings… so continue “giving” to those who love you by being able to “receive” in the same spirit that you always give of yourself.
    Love you……….

    Reply

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