But on to the good things.
I met an Iraqi war veteran named Pete. Pete is 26 years old and lost his leg due to a roadside bombing. I sat next to him on the plane to Las Vegas and we talked for 5 hours about Post Traumatic Stress. What a gift that flight was. I think Denise's tragedy helped put things in perspective for him and talking about his tragedy helped put things in perspective for me. Dear Pete, if you ever read this, I hope you remember me. I'll always remember you. It's interesting. Pete's PTSD is not too different from our PTSD. Pete and I had true AHA! moments on the plane. We kept saying to each other "yep! that's how I feel!" It's what we do about it that makes a different. I added a quote to the right of this blog to remind me what true courage is. Pete has it. And I hope I do too.
I also met some very very wonderfully good people while out in Las Vegas. All fighting to keep 9-1-1 standards high. All fighting to keep crime from happening. All fighting to save lives. All fighting and have been for decades to see tragedies like Denise's debacle in the Florida 9-1-1 center that night from happening again. People are going to be abducted. People are going to be murdered but if we can prevent and minimize the tragedies through efficient 9-1-1 protocols and policies throughout the nation then....... well. I don't know what then. Then I may get some rest at night.
Another good thing is I'm starting to become more aware again of the world swirling around me. I'm able to ask other people "how are you?" not just to be polite, but out of true concern. I'm able to listen and dissect their answers. I always try to ask. I'm always concerned. But I don't always comprehend what they've been telling me. That's a big step for me.
I still feel as if I have ADD/ADHD. My attention span is still very short. I still have trouble reading thick books. But at least I can hold a conversation. Most of the conversations are still filled with all this 9-1-1 stuff and probably will for a long time. This fight for Denise......... It's almost like a gift to her. A repayment. It sounds crazy and it's hard to explain. I'm not explaining it very well but we owe her so much. She saved our grandbabies. She gave us our grandbabies. She didn't deserve to die. She laid down her life so that our grandbabies could live. She was so brave. She didn't deserve to be murdered. And she didn't deserve the poor policies and practices at the local 9-1-1 center. The 9-1-1 center has an excellent training program. And it's using good technologies. But they allowed their call takers and dispatchers to not have to use their training and they didn't use the technologies that were available to them.
Oh now I've gotten off track. This was supposed to be a positive post.