It's been a while, troops.
Friday, November 30, 2007

The Sowing and The Reaping

Earlier this week, Toni and I watched a movie just out on DVD. It was called The Reaping, with Hillary Swank. It was a horror movie that was actually quite good. Ms. Swank delivers even if she is sleepwalking. There was a scene where the priest, played by an unaging Stephen Rea, gets startled and drops his pile of books and papers just as a nun is walking by. She acknowledges him and keeps walking. Doesn’t stop and help him pick up his mess, just keeps walking. It pissed me off. The scene was part of a subplot and the nun was just there to “catch” Stephen Rea being startled. Would it have hurt the movie that much to have her do the Christian thing? Hollywood is simply echoing our sad condition. Don’t think so?

“Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men”…and Women

This very same week—in real life—a few of us in the office were witness to the following. Right next door to the building in which we in the Office of the Registrar work, is the student union. The Michigan Union, who’s main claim to fame is that from its steps John F. Kennedy announced the creation of the Peace Corps. Which is really cool to those of us who know about it. The side entrance of the Union is more or less directly across from the bank of supervisory offices for the department, one of which belongs to my wife. Toni was outside, having a smoke, when the silent commotion began. A woman had fallen in one of the doorways of the Union. She was dazed and bleeding from some cuts on her face. There was more blood in the entranceway than the cuts could account for. Many people simply walked by. Some stopped to look on with concern on their faces. A few actually stepped over her, getting in or out of the building.

“And here's what separates heroes from common folk like you an' I” – The Hero of Canton, Jaynestown

Upon hearing of the situation, which was not in her line of sight, Toni went over to the woman. She bent down to the woman to see what she could do to help and their eyes met. Toni said the look went deep into her soul, unlike anything she’s ever experienced, forever haunting. The woman was out of it, but someone had already called 911 and they were on the way.

“Seems like we arrived here in the nick of time. What does that make us?” “Big damn heroes, sir!” “Ain’t we just!” – Safe

The Ambulance arrived, the paramedics went to work. Toni went back to her office. The rest of the story played itself out right across from her office window. The woman had had a seizure of some sort along with heart failure, apparently hitting her head as she fell.

Toni had touched the woman’s face, skin on skin, human, while trying to comfort her. It was cold outside—we’re beginning to get our first real tastes of winter here—and the woman was wearing a wool cap on her head, as well as none-too-new jeans and a jacket. She was a thirty-something black woman who could have been either a grad student or perhaps a homeless person. Homeless folk generally don’t have a car with Florida plates on it though, as we later learned. Is that why the people didn’t stop, didn’t check, didn’t care? The story that played itself out was none other than the Good Samaritan, that timeless classic, whose message is as relevant and necessary now as it was at its first telling.

The police arrived before long and taped off the area, and the EMT’s eventually drove off with the woman’s lifeless body.

“…you don't have to die alone.” “Everybody dies alone.” – Out of Gas

As some of you may or may not remember, Toni’s Yahoo name is CaptainCaptainKessler, after our German Shepherd, Captain Jack (Sparrow). She asked me why things like this always happen to her; there wasn’t anything she could really do for the woman. I told her, that she did do something. She stopped her from dying alone. At some level the woman responded to the look, and to the touch, the human contact, that Toni offered. Mal was wrong. I am lucky to be married to my big damn hero.

“I love my captain!” – Serenity

P.S. I'm not nearly so pissed at the nun anymore.


Friday, November 30, 2007 5:51 PM



That story is unreal.

And, hey, maybe the nun thought the priest could handle it. It can be difficult to tell when people want help and when they want to be left alone with minor stuff like that.

Friday, November 30, 2007 5:00 PM


You are lucky to be married to such a wonderful woman.

The way people reacted doesn't surprise me one bit though.

It's good to see you JQ. You've been missed.

Friday, November 30, 2007 3:22 PM


Thanks for sharing, and it is good to see you, JQ.

Friday, November 30, 2007 2:35 PM


"That's quite a story, son." Serenity, the pilot

Friday, November 30, 2007 10:57 AM


Not only is that a both depressing and enheartening story, it's well written.

It's depressing that as a society, we are rapidly becoming faceless sheep, incapable of thinking about anyone but ourselves.

It good to hear that someone in that scene chose not to be a mere black and white silouette, but chose instead to be technicolour.

Heroics aren't always measured by the stereotypically Bruce willis's and his ilk. More often than not, heroics are measure by something as seemingly inconsiquential as a touch.

Your wife is a good person, yes indeed a Big Damn Hero in my books too.

Friday, November 30, 2007 10:33 AM


Thank you for sharing your story,JQ.
You've been missed 'round here's
very shiny to see you :)


Friday, November 30, 2007 9:14 AM


Praise the stars for true heroes. Glad to see ya around.

Friday, November 30, 2007 8:51 AM


As always Jonny... wow

on a personal note.... I missed you and it's good to see you posting again. HUGS

Friday, November 30, 2007 7:30 AM


Wow; Thank you for being a BDH and sharing the story of your personal BDH. Most of our society has let go of the most common courtesy and empathy and it is good to know that there are those like you and yours who still have the "humanity" left to touch, to care to take the time to be touched; tell you wife these things 'always happen to her' because she has an open, caring heart and need calls to it; that she has the courage to answer is a very, very good thing.


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