Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Work and Life...or just...LIFE.
We did some burning out at Russell Cave a few weeks ago, and I was able to get a good amount of overtime in. I spent most of the second day out there tending a maintenance fire, which was my first experience with using a drip torch. By the end of the day I was covered in soot. After I worked with the fire, I went out to where our Fire Effects Monitoring Team was laying out a new plot. The area in the forest where they were working did not have an empty space that wasn't covered with poison ivy. I didn't think I was allergic, but I found some areas on my arms later on that have made me rethink that theory.
The guy that I was doing the burn with was David, who is one of the Park Rangers. He's a super nice guy, and I really enjoyed spending the day with him. He's from Bridgeport, and his family still lives right around the corner. For lunch, his mom & dad came out and actually brought us lunch. We talked about going out fishing with David & his dad, because they are the local experts. I was looking forward to going. So the next weekend, David emailed me to ask if I'd like to go with them. I was busy with other stuff, and I declined, thinking I could go another time. I really regret not going...Tragically, his father was killed that weekend in a freak car accident. He was on his way to church with his wife and had forgotten his hearing aids, so he turned around to get them. He ended up pulling out in front of someone that barreled right into the side of the car, killing him instantly and injuring his wife. I didn't know them other than the lunch I shared with them on that Friday, but it was so sad. Everyone at work went to the funeral that following Friday, and we were all in uniform. I was glad that we were able to support David as a unit. It was amazing how many people were at his funeral! That man had really made an impact. He was a veteran & got the proper military burial. It was definitely moving.
The funeral made me think about a lot of things. How much of a difference one person can make...how short our lives are...It made me realize that at the end of my life, I want to be able to say, "yeah, I made a difference. I impacted someone in a positive way. I did the best I could to live a good life & help people." He did a lot of missionary work, and there were people from Africa that came to his funeral because he had apparently done a lot of work over there to help impoverished and under-privileged people. He was just a good person.
I want to be like that. I'm not religious or anything like that, but what I'm saying is I want to make an impact. I want to make a difference. I want my life to mean something because I helped someone. Not for me...but for them. Talking with those people from Kenya...I realized that they had a great life because of this one person who had made a difference.
I think I'd like to start volunteering. I'm not sure where or how. I used to do quite a bit of volunteer work while I was in the Navy, but since I've been out, I haven't done a thing. It's time I found something to spend some of my energy on.
On a lighter note...on the way back to Fort Payne, Mary noticed an inchworm on the radio antenna. I insisted she pull over so I could rescue the little guy. As hard as he was hanging on for dear life, I figured he deserved a fair chance!