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I Think I May Have Saved A Life Tonight


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#1 Spy Car

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 09:56 PM

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My family is out-of-town, my wife and son are enjoying a trip to the east-coast, so knowing I was home alone our dear neighbors (who are almost like a second family) invited me over to join them for a nice meal pool-side to celebrate the 4th.

 

Mid-meal I look up and see my neighbor starting to turn blue. She was clearly choking (but not really reacting). Her young grandchildren were there, but too young to help, and her husband (who is a retired physician) is elderly and has had some physical heath issues and is not strong...so I decided I better act fast.

 

I've never done the Heimlich maneuver before (and am not trained to do it) but it worked. It was all calmness on my end at the time, but now I'm having one of those "thank goodness I was there" moments. I'm not sure it would have gone well otherwise.

 

Heavy experience. Maybe a little post-traumatic stress.

 

Bill

 

 

 

 


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#2 NoPlaceLikeHome

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 09:59 PM

Thank goodness you were there. :grouphug:


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#3 Reluctant Homeschooler

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 09:59 PM

Three cheers for Spy Car! Thank goodness you knew what to do and kept a cool head so you could act. You did a great thing tonight.


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#4 Arcadia

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:03 PM

If your son is in scouts, go for the First Aid merit badge.  The training is useful for daily life.  I completed my girl guides First Aid badge by attending the class and taking the first aid exam at St Johns.


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#5 Mergath

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:03 PM

Great job!  :hurray:


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#6 SparrowsNest

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:03 PM

Strong work!


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#7 Greta

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:03 PM

Wow, Bill, you did an amazing thing. I've always wondered if I would freeze up in a situation like that, or keep my cool. Now you know you can keep calm and stay focused. I can only imagine how grateful your neighbor must feel!
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#8 Spy Car

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:07 PM

It is very strange, in the moment (and the immediate aftermath) is was all easy and good. No problem.

 

But now? Feeling a little overwhelmed with emotions. To be honest.

 

Bill


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#9 Stacia

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:08 PM

:grouphug:


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#10 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:10 PM

Good job, Bill.  Yes, that calm and shaky afterwards thing is how it is supposed to work (as opposed to the other way around)!  


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#11 Caroline

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:13 PM

It is very strange, in the moment (and the immediate aftermath) is was all easy and good. No problem.

But now? Feeling a little overwhelmed with emotions. To be honest.

Bill


You did an amazing thing. I did CPR once. It was scary afterwards. I was cam and collected in the moment., but afterwards...

Hugs.
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#12 Spy Car

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:21 PM

Thank you all for the support. It would be a little more "normal" if I were not alone. 

 

Feeling better. Had a moment. Like Scrooge or George Bailey, "what if you were not there?" Strange mix of gratitude and terror.

 

Not completely alone. I have my faithful dog Chester at my side. It is just about to get dark and I'm doing to hang out an make sure he's cool with the fireworks.

 

Bill


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#13 Chris in VA

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:22 PM

That's wonderful. I'm sure they are incredibly grateful!

I'll bet you overhear your son telling that story sometime--"This one time, my dad saved somebody's LIFE..."

:hurray: That's pretty cool, to be a hero to your son.


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#14 Butter

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:25 PM

I bet her family is really glad you were there today.  Good job for remaining calm and doing what needed to be done and saving her life.  Adrenaline let down is a weird thing.  I think it's totally normal to feel a whole range of emotions after something like that.

 

By the way, I don't think your post title should be "I think I may have saved a life tonight."  It should be "I saved a life tonight."  Because you did.


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#15 happi duck

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:33 PM

Yay!
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#16 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:35 PM

BTW - my son had to repeatedly do the Heimlich on me one morning.  Afterwards I was the shaky one - not just because of what physically happened to me - but because I was so shaken up at a teen having to do something like that on his mother.  (Just the weight of the "responsibility" if it hadn't have gone right.)


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#17 Spy Car

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:41 PM

BTW - my son had to repeatedly do the Heimlich on me one morning.  Afterwards I was the shaky one - not just because of what physically happened to me - but because I was so shaken up at a teen having to do something like that on his mother.  (Just the weight of the "responsibility" if it hadn't have gone right.)

 

You know Jean, I just don't have a full sense of perspective yet...but after being there for a dear friend, I can only imagine what it meant to your boy to be there for his mother. It is something.

 

Bill


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#18 zoobie

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:42 PM

Good job, Spy Car! I hope the adrenaline passes and you sleep well after the fireworks.
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#19 Liz CA

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 11:05 PM

It is very strange, in the moment (and the immediate aftermath) is was all easy and good. No problem.

 

But now? Feeling a little overwhelmed with emotions. To be honest.

 

Bill

 

This is actually very normal. Process it and thank God you were there.


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#20 Junie

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 11:13 PM

So glad that you were there.  I hope the adrenaline wears off soon.  May I congratulate you on a job well done.


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#21 albeto.

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 11:14 PM

It is very strange, in the moment (and the immediate aftermath) is was all easy and good. No problem.

 

But now? Feeling a little overwhelmed with emotions. To be honest.

 

Bill

 

That's how I felt during and after a particularly dangerous and unexpected event.

 

You might consider a drink to calm the nerves. A good quality drink, just one. Take your time and really savor it. 

 

It took me a while to not be "jumpy" about a repeat experience when the environment looked like it could be ripe for it. I just mean to suggest, don't be alarmed if you are extra watchful or antsy when eating with people, especially older people. It'll pass. 

 

Enjoy the anticipation of telling your wife she's married to a hero.  :coolgleamA:

 

Well done.

 

:)


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#22 Spy Car

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 11:39 PM

So following Albeto's advice I rummaged though the liquor cabinet and discovered I had a wee bit of a very outstanding 12 year old Irish Whiskey that was a gift from the aforementioned friends. Redbreast. I'd been saving the the last for a special occasion. This is it.

 

And, by some miracle, there are a bunch of professionally shot clips from the Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well performances last week in Santa Clara up on YouTube. 

 

https://www.youtube....dRecords/videos

 

Things are looking up :D

 

Bill


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#23 Hikin' Mama

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 11:43 PM

That's awesome!
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#24 Arctic Mama

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 11:58 PM

That is one of those skills that is so good to have even as you hope you never have to use it. I'm glad she is well and that you were there!
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#25 Spryte

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 12:01 AM

Excellent job!

And ... Cheers.
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#26 justasque

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 12:36 AM

Cheers indeed!
I once Heimliched a kid while volunteering at a Christmas party in a public school first grade classroom.  The kid couldn't speak because he was choking on a piece of hard candy.  The teacher saw that he was choking but flipped out and didn't know what to do.  I had the same response as you - calm in the moment, did what needed to be done, then shaky once it sunk in.  I was lucky that I'd seen it done once, many years before.  It took me a few days to process all the feelings and the "what if"s.  Talking to the school nurse the next day helped a bit.  (She only worked at the school on Wednesdays; the kid choked on a Tuesday.)

Apparently the kid still says to my kid, when, now and again, they run into each other, now eleven years later, "Hey, your mom saved my life." I've never met his parents.
It's very scary to consider the "what if"s.  It made me have a much deeper appreciation of the fragility of life, but also the sturdiness of life, if that makes sense.  
 


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#27 Tsuga

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 12:47 AM

It is very strange, in the moment (and the immediate aftermath) is was all easy and good. No problem.

 

But now? Feeling a little overwhelmed with emotions. To be honest.

 

Bill

 

I hope you can talk to someone in real life. That is a stressful event even if it turned out well. Thank you for doing what you did.


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#28 CAMom

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 12:52 AM

It's moments like those that remind you how interconnected we are supposed to be with our fellow humans. So glad you were there.  :grouphug:


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#29 Seasider

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 01:58 AM

Gosh, Bill, I think it would be odd if you didn't feel a shiver over it. So glad you were there! But to think about how it might have gone if you hadn't been... yeah, that's understandably frightening. Good for you for being attentive and bold. I hope your neighbor doesn't experience any lasting effects from the incident.
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#30 Melissa in Australia

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 04:44 AM

:hurray:

 

 

 

 

saving someone's life is one of those experiences that stays with you forever


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#31 Lanny

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 05:38 AM

Congrats to you for being cool and calm, when that was needed, and for being successful and saving a life!    We have a page on the door of our refrigerator, showing how to do that. It has been *many* years since I last took a first aid course. Congrats again and God Bless You.


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#32 creekland

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 06:02 AM

You know, this a really rewarding vent to read as I wake up this morning. ;)

 

Really glad you were there for the moment.

 

For the future... I always tell kids in my classes to avoid having serious medical issues while in my class as my first aid certification goes back to my AF days and is definitely out of practice if not also out of date.  I'd try if needed, but there's no guarantee.  Perhaps you should announce this when you go places in the future?   :lol:

 

Oh wait!  You're NOT out of practice...  :hurray:


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#33 ashfern

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 06:15 AM

:hurray:  :hurray:


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#34 dallas050

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 06:35 AM

It is very strange, in the moment (and the immediate aftermath) is was all easy and good. No problem.

 

But now? Feeling a little overwhelmed with emotions. To be honest.

 

Bill

 

Bill,

 

I understand this feeling.  Some people react well in an emergency and some people don't react at all.  You Sir, reacted! Great job!!  

 

I have been on two oversea deployments (Iraq and Afghanistan) and have seen soldiers, myself included, in situations where they must react or suffer grave consequences.  Those moments are surreal and it's the aftermath of those moments that are the hardest.  Even saving a life, such as you did, is a very surreal moment that everyone reacts differently to.  Your response was awesome! and you would be a good person to have around in future emergencies.  More than likely this is who you are, calm under pressure.  Yes, your aftermath feelings are normal.  Trust me.  

 

You will always remember the moment of this dinner with friends, but relish in the fact that you reacted.  That will help with any feelings of "what if" you may have to overcome.  Just thank God the "what ifs" didn't happen.  

 

You Sir are a hero.  Thank you for being there for your neighbor.   :patriot:  


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#35 kristi26

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 08:19 AM

Great job! Good thing you were there!!

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
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#36 Cinder

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 08:33 AM

How awesome that you were there and able to help your friend!   :grouphug:  


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#37 Rebel Yell

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 08:51 AM

:grouphug:


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#38 Spy Car

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 10:14 AM

Bill,

 

I understand this feeling.  Some people react well in an emergency and some people don't react at all.  You Sir, reacted! Great job!!  

 

I have been on two oversea deployments (Iraq and Afghanistan) and have seen soldiers, myself included, in situations were they must reach or suffer grace consequences.  Those moments are surreal and it's the aftermath of those moments that are the hardest.  Even saving a life, such as you did, is a very surreal moment that everyone reacts different too.  Your response was awesome! and you would be a good person to have around in future emergencies.  More than likely this is who you are, calm under pressure.  Yes, your aftermath feelings are normal.  Trust me.  

 

You will always remember the moment of this dinner with friends, but relish in the fact that you reacted.  That will help with any feelings of "what if" you may have to overcome.  Just thank God the "what ifs" didn't happen.  

 

You Sir are a hero.  Thank you for being there for your neighbor.   :patriot:  

 

Thank you for your service. And your kind words!   :patriot:

 

Bill 


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#39 Spy Car

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 10:18 AM

Cheers indeed!
I once Heimliched a kid while volunteering at a Christmas party in a public school first grade classroom.  The kid couldn't speak because he was choking on a piece of hard candy.  The teacher saw that he was choking but flipped out and didn't know what to do.  I had the same response as you - calm in the moment, did what needed to be done, then shaky once it sunk in.  I was lucky that I'd seen it done once, many years before.  It took me a few days to process all the feelings and the "what if"s.  Talking to the school nurse the next day helped a bit.  (She only worked at the school on Wednesdays; the kid choked on a Tuesday.)

Apparently the kid still says to my kid, when, now and again, they run into each other, now eleven years later, "Hey, your mom saved my life." I've never met his parents.
It's very scary to consider the "what if"s.  It made me have a much deeper appreciation of the fragility of life, but also the sturdiness of life, if that makes sense.  
 

 

Makes sense  :001_smile:

 

Bill


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#40 Spy Car

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 10:29 AM

So I drifted off to sleep, and YouTube must have been in some autoplay mode, so sometime in the night I woke up 2hrs and 14 minutes into a 1990 Grateful Dead show at Shoreline (06/16/90) listening to a very trippy Drums>Space.

 

Must say, it was one of the best nights sleeps I had in a long time. Still enough Irish left for at least one or maybe two special occasions if I keep to such wee amounts.

 

Off to take Chester for a run. Thanks again for the kind words everyone. That was a strange experience to have, and then suddenly be alone. You all helped me "process." Thank you for that!

 

Bull

 

 


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#41 swellmomma

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 10:36 AM

It is very strange, in the moment (and the immediate aftermath) is was all easy and good. No problem.

 

But now? Feeling a little overwhelmed with emotions. To be honest.

 

Bill

That's how my daughter felt last weekend when she saved a child(from drowning, not choking).  In the moment and afterwards all easy and good.  But later when things had quieted down and she had time to actually think it over she was overwhelmed with the enormity of it.  A week later she is back to it mostly being all good but every now and then it still hits her, the what if she hadn't been there.  What if she had not listened when I yelled her name and pointed. etc.  

Good job on staying calm in the face of a crisis.  I highly recommend taking a first aid course to learn how to safely do the heimlich if ever needed again as well as cpr and other first aid things.  I have been taking mine since I was 15, and my teens both have taken it, 11 year old wants to next year.  So worth the weekend of training to learn first aid, cpr and aed operation.  


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#42 Spy Car

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 01:15 PM

Well I just saw my neighbor. Was she happy to see me. Hugs all around. Boy do I feel grateful for how things turned out.

 

Bill


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#43 Laurie

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 02:21 PM

So I drifted off to sleep, and YouTube must have been in some autoplay mode, so sometime in the night I woke up 2hrs and 14 minutes into a 1990 Grateful Dead show at Shoreline (06/16/90) listening to a very trippy Drums>Space.

 

Must say, it was one of the best nights sleeps I had in a long time. Still enough Irish left for at least one or maybe two special occasions if I keep to such wee amounts.

 

Off to take Chester for a run. Thanks again for the kind words everyone. That was a strange experience to have, and then suddenly be alone. You all helped me "process." Thank you for that!

 

Bull

 

I'm glad you and your neighbor have both recovered!  

 

Didn't you also save a woman from some gang of thugs?   I remember something about driving up in your car and you had a machete....?   

 

 

 

 

 


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#44 Spy Car

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 02:31 PM

I'm glad you and your neighbor have both recovered!  

 

Didn't you also save a woman from some gang of thugs?   I remember something about driving up in your car and you had a machete....?   

 

Good memory. Yes I once had to fly my Trooper into an alley to rescue a woman from an ugly gang assault.

 

Good thing I'd just come from getting my machete sharpened (I had some banana plants that needed trimming). Maybe I have good timing?  :D

 

Oddly, the experience with the neighbor upset me more than rescue (which left me unfazed). Weird.

 

Bill


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#45 umsami

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 02:31 PM

Wow.  What an amazing, humbling experience.  So glad you were there.

 

 


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#46 Spy Car

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 02:53 PM

Wow.  What an amazing, humbling experience.  So glad you were there.

 

Ramadan kareem.

 

Bill


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#47 Spy Car

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 03:20 PM

So I finally spoke with my wife, who'd spent the night deep in the Vermont county-side where the "pink" telecom has no cell service.

 

She was shaking on the other end of the line. These are really very dear friends to both of us. She worries about them. I may have earned some bonus points with her. And isn't that what men really live for? Bonus points with the wife! :D

 

Bill

 

 


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#48 Catwoman

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 03:21 PM

I don't know how I missed this thread last night, Bill, but I just wanted to echo everyone else's sentiments that you did a really great thing. :hurray:
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#49 umsami

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 03:27 PM

Ramadan kareem.

 

Bill

 

Thanks....half over.  The last 10 days begin on Wednesday.

 

You reminded me, from a Muslim standpoint, saving a life during Ramadan? Doesn't get much better than that in terms of good deeds. :)

 

I've gotten something caught in my throat before.  There was nobody at home except for one of my young kids.  It is so terrifying.  I was able to dislodge it, but I definitely feel for your friend and know how grateful she must have felt.


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#50 Spy Car

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 04:28 PM

Finally got to speak with my boy (who was swimming earlier). What a great kid.

 

I can't wait to have my family home. 2 and a half days to go.

 

Bill


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