Jun 2, 2008

Am I A Fireman Yet?

My Father was LT. O'Dwyer in the Arlington County as well as Fairfax County Virginia Fire Dept. He was my hero and I wanted to be just like him. In my old age, this made me cry.

In Phoenix , Arizona , a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of terminal leukemia.

Although her heart was filled with sadness, she
also had a strong feeling o f determinat
ion.
Like any parent, she wanted her son to gr
ow up
& fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no lo
nger possible.


The leukemia would see to that. But she still
wanted her son's
dream to come true.

She took her son's
hand and asked,
'Billy, did you ever think about what yo
u wanted
to be once you grew up?
Did you ever dream and

wish what you would do with your life?'

Mommy, 'I always wanted to be a fireman

when I grew up.'

Mom smiled back and said, 'Let's see if we can
make your wish c
ome true.'

Later that day she went to her local fire

Department in Phoenix , Arizona , where she met
Fireman Bob, who had
a heart as big as Phoenix ..

She explained h
er son's final wish and
Asked if it might be possible to give her 6

year-old son a ride around the block
on a fire engine.

Fireman Bob said, 'Look, we can do
better than that. If you'll have your son ready at
seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make
him an honorary
Fireman for the whole day.
He can come down to the fire station, eat with us,

go out on all the fire calls, th e whole nine yards!

And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a rea
l fire uniform
for him, with a real fire hat - not a toy -- one-with the

emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots.'

'They're all manufactured
right here in Phoenix , so
we can get them fast.'


Three days later F
ireman Bob picked up Billy,
dressed him in his uniform and escorted him

from his hospital bed to the waiting hook
and ladder truck.


Billy got to sit on t
he back of the truck and
help steer it back to the fire station. He was in heaven.


There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day

and Billy got to go out on all three calls.

He rode in the differ ent fire engines,
the Paramedic's' van,
and even the fire chief's car.

He was also videotaped for
the local news program.

Having his drea
m come true, with all the love and

attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy, that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.

One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who
believed in the hospice concept - that no one should die alone, began to call the family members to the hospital.

Then she remembered the day Billy had spent
as a Fireman,
so she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would be
possible
to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition.

The chief replied, 'We can
do better than that.
We'll be there in five minutes.
Will you please do me a
favor?
When you hear the sirens
screaming and see
the lights flashing, will you announce over the

PA system that there is not a fire?'
'It's the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room?'

About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its l adder up to Billy's third floor open window-------- 16 fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room.
With his mother's permission, they hugged him and held
him and told him how much they LOVED him. With his dying breath,
Billy looked up at the fire
chief and said,

'Chief, am I really a fireman
now?'

'Billy, you are, and
the Head Chief, Jesus, is
holding your hand,'

the chief said

With those words, Billy smiled and said,
'I know, He's been holding my hand all day,

and The angels have been singing..'

He closed his eyes one last
time.

(This is true, according toSnopes.com & Truth or False.com)


(Courtesy of my Granddaughter, Jessie, the prettiest one named Jessie)

3 comments:

Kelli said...

What a great story. I used to volunteer for the Make A Wish foundation that got started with a similar story. It is so amazing to see the strength and light in small children that fight such horrible diseases and situations that frequently break down adults. We have so much to learn from children.
Thanks for the awesome post. It sure puts life into perspective!!

Joe the Troll said...

Fantastic story, Babs. I also thought of the Make-a-Wish Foundation as I read it.

CanadianSwiss said...

How wonderful it was to give that little boy exactly what he dreamed of. Thanks for the beautiful post, my friend.