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There are two kinds of heroes in the world, volunteer and accidental. Me, I was the latter; and here's my story.
The Volunteer Hero
The volunteer heroes are well-known to everybody, everywhere. When we need to be defended by armed forces, protected under and by law enforcement, rescued by firefighters and/or paramedics, we know they're coming asap! Those annoying sirens, blarinng horns, and lights flashing, are the sounds of calvary coming to save the day! These heroes took solemn oaths, vowed and dedicated themselves to saving humanity of every gender, race, creed, belief and color; 24/7/365. That's you, you, especially you, and yours truly, me.
The Accidental Hero
Accidental heroes aka your Average Joe and Jane Citizen; in a word, us. Ask Joe or Jane what, and how, they felt doing a heroic deed, the answer is often "I didn't do anything special". Why so, because something happened unexpectedly that required them to spring into action and do what had to be done. Often, it's something they've never done it before, but they handle it as best they can. And this, my friends, is how I came to be an "accidental hero!"
Upon being in the wee hours by the sound of an accented female-voice In distress, I sprang into action. My busy day would start in three hours, and this was unacceptable! Perturbed, I dialed 911 about the disturbance outside my bedroom window. To my dismay, not only were they aware of it, I was told (1) she was in labor, (2) help was delayed due to another emergency, and (3) if I could help or comfort her in any way until they arrived. Told her I had four kids, had a good idea of what happens and how, and said I would. In nightgown and slippers, I was downstairs and out the door in a flash. Five minutes later, I delivered a silent 6-lb. baby girl. Two gentle taps on the bottom of her feet brought strong infant squeals from healthy lungs. The sweetest noise I'd ever heard; 90 seconds later, with mom still on the pavement in birthing squat and cord attached, I put her into the hands of EMS. Numb from the shock of it all, I don't recall replying and, without a word, walked back inside. I showered, crawled back in bed and overslept; but, after hearing "why", my employer excused my tardiness.
Later that week, a little girl came to my door with a picture of her newborn baby sister. "My mom told me to give this to you and thank you". But, she didn't need to tell me, I knew her heartfelt appreciation that moment our lives collided. Many years have passed now, and today, she should be 16yrs. or so.
Many called me hero, but when asked about it then and now, I take no credit for heroism. I did what was moral and humane; what I'd want done for loved ones and myself. Only an unkind and cold-hearted evil person could have ignored or done nothing for another soul in need. By doing the right thing, I can always live with myself and sleep better at night.*
There are a multitude of others with stories like mine; many are probably part of the AARP community. So, come on; step up, speak out and tell us yours.
* A few months later, I learned the family was ousted by our condo association. According to them, Mom needed anger management, and the only thing worse than her temper was mouth. I never saw or heard from them again.