THE SOUL IN OUR HEARTS
This book is dedicated to my mother Margaret and my father Dominic, who are now deceased. To my children Dominic, Michael and Kimberly. To all the doctors, nurses, law enforcement officers, EMS, firefighters and our armed forces who have given so unselfishly of themselves in order to help others. To the patients I have cared for and their families, and to those that God has taken from us despite how hard we have tried to save them. Combined, you have all given me the gift of knowledge, and have helped me to become a better person.
To Kathy De Stefano and Scott Schartz. You both there for me while I was recovering from surgery due to a serious work-related injury. Scott, you took care of my house issues, Kathy you came by every day to be sure I had what I needed. My son Michael always came by to keep me company. Kathy and Michael, you refused to let me be the stubborn mule that I'm known to be since I never ask for help. My friend Alana Adams said to me, "You're the strongest man I know." My strength came from all of you. My family and friends. Kathy, there will always be a special place in my heart for you that is only filled with love.
We all have a story within us. That story is derived from all we have learned and experienced. My friends helped me through a difficult time. I NEVER ask for help. It's not my way. I learned, even with help, when you live alone, at night you are still alone. You survive. After many years as a professional firefighter and also working as a paramedic. I cared for over 76,251 patients. In life, birth, and in death. You learn to survive or you die a little more each day. These aren’t just my stories or my thoughts, they are also yours. The thoughts that so many have.
You will have many questions. You might even ask yourself, is he talking about me? Let’s start by asking some questions. Purpose. Are we put here to be hurt, or hurt others? Have we taken what we’ve learned and passed it along to others? Are we living our lives as we choose, listening to our hearts, minds, and souls, and can we even define them? Do we have the skills, or know what these skills are? Are we realizing our full potential? All good questions. We must understand we are only human. We are not perfect. We will make mistakes. Together, we will answer these questions and many more. Discuss things you need to think about in order to help guide you along your own path. You WILL look at yourself and your life from a different aspect. I will show you how to apply what you’ve read to all aspects of your life. Whether you learn and apply these skills is up to you.
Can you be honest with yourself? Face reality? Some stories in this book will be graphic, but all true. Real people in real situations. They will place you in the reality of their situations. Some may hit a nerve that applies to an experience in your own life, or those you know. We all need to find the answers within ourselves that will help us in our own life. The path to finding those answers are written in this book. This book is not about data or statistics. It’s a result of years of seeing many things that most will never see, should never see, or experience. As I've always said. "If I haven't seen it, it's because it hasn't happened yet." Reality is a dirty job. Many of us do it. For some, the emotional cost is high. Too often I have seen my friends take their own life. A life that may have been able to be spared if they listened to themselves. Every person can benefit from reading this book. If you think you know yourself, after reading this book, you will find out just how much about yourself you really don't know. Hopefully, it will be of benefit to you.