We got a little choked up at the pancake breakfast at our local firehouse in Edgartown this past Sunday. It wasn’t the pancakes and we didn’t require a heimlich maneuver – it’s just that, last year, they saved my husband Bill’s life.
One year after being pulled out from under a garbage truck after it collided with Bill while he was riding on the Katama bike path on Martha’s Vineyard a mile from our home — we were able to thank his rescue team.
It seems everyone has a story about an EMT who helped someone they know – but when it happens to you – well, that’s different.
My husband and I decided to thank our local fire department and EMTs one year to the day, on July 23rd with a rocking fundraiser for them – a true celebration of life. Dancing to our favorite foot stomping blue grass band (Parsonsfield), feasting on food served up by our favorite local food people, Regina Stanley who brought her Art Cliff Food Truck and Tina from Flatbread Pizza who turned out piping hot pizzas from her portable ovens on site – we danced under the tent at the Field Club on a perfect summer night.
And then the big memorable moment –the entire team of rescuers joined my husband on the stage to tell about their rescue. All 140 of us – who knew – it could have been anyone of us riding on that bike path that day – listened with gratitude to their story of professionalism as they used the jaws of life for the very first time to save him.
The biggest takeaway of the fundraiser was when the Fire Chief Peter Shemeth hugged us both and told us this was the first time his team had been so honored for a rescue. At that moment my husband and I looked at each other and knew – this was the right way to say thank you.
So when we presented our fundraising check — $15,000 of Gratitude raised by our friends and family, at this week’s annual Edgartown Fire Department’s Pancake Breakfast – we felt the big love once again. Healed, but still wearing the souvenirs of that tragic day one year ago – we both had a lump in our throats – not from fear – but from the joy of being able to give back to our community.
Looks like we may be eating pancakes once a year for rest of our lives.