Hard parts. Some of the hardest things are suppose to kill you. It has been said by people a hella lot smarter than I that if it doesnt kill you it only makes you stronger. I believed that for a long time; experiences have made that more (or less) a reality of sorts. Going to the brink of drowning in the surf I remember the distinct sensation of giving up; of panic; of fear; and that surviving, made me only stronger, but also more able. ** I know that succesful rescues of people, performing care that results in survival, has made me a better public servant. Losses in this field (FD) is paramount to failure. That failure is expected, that failure is 'acceptable'. Knowledge and reseach and training; all that developes into a performance of top shelf quality ( I hope ) I have shyed away from the incessant posting of surf pics & stories, not because they are not occurring; but the fact that they have lost permanance to me at times. Joy abounds still with surf, grandkids. Tending to disasters of the normal around here, the fix-it/re-model honeydew list, still bring an amount of happiness. ** The hardest thing I have ever faced was on 4/20 last year. ** That was holding my dead grandson. Here I was; less than 30 minutes from just leaving the hospital with pretty up beat news on his 02 counts, his stability. ** He had wrapped a tiniest of tiny fingers around my index finger. I prayed like a Pope. ** We got the call right as i had 5 minutes before relating the good news to The Queen. That hit like I do not know how to explain. In the rush back to the hospital from where I had just left; I drove; I prayed that this wasnt happening. It was raining. ** Blind. ** I cant recall seeing anything; I cant recall feeling anything. We got there, I have no recollection how fast or how dangerously I may or may not have driven. No elevator would have carried us fast enough, tho' it probably did. I dont remember. ** Blind. ** Hallways were void of other persons; even if it was not, it was. You go and have to be allowed in; you have to be granted access to death. You have to be allowed to experience the greatest saddness ever, I guess. Not unfair, I understand the worry that happens at a hospital directed to women & children. That fact alone is a pisser. The grief being exposed by those gathered was real, but the people there, the people there, I did not know. I may have known their names, their occupations and roles, but I really didnt, and didnt care. Then they had me hold him. ** He was cold; beautifully tiny, perfect in his smallness. His eyes closed for all eternity, I held him wrapped from the air conditionings cold. Here I am, surrounded by people and things and apparatus I dont recognize nor know, holding the smallest, saddest, most unfair thing in my lifes days, and I dont know anything or anyone. I truly was blind to all of it. I hated every second that moved so slowly that it very truthfully stood still. Words and things are said; I hear and answer not knowing what the fuck I said. I am breathing, I am not. I am for all accounts payable; broken. I can hardly stand. I must. I cant falter. I want to. Cry? Sure; it is expected and required. Crying isnt what torments you its that blind emptiness that fills me every second of everyday since then. It likes to retreat, hide in the mind shadows for awhile. Then when you are so sure you have overcome it; Bang. A song, a smell a word. ** And I am broken all over again. ** Im tired of crying for no reason, tired of fighting that sad feeling that comes up without warning. ** I am tired of being blind. ** Aloha.