In closing this long and demanding year, I can think of nothing better to write about than gratitude.
Gratitude for all the goodness in our lives as Americans as well as gratitude for the challenges we have come through–hopefully with growth and understanding–but most of all gratitude for people of service who make differences in our lives. That includes the men and women in the Armed Forces who protect our country and the world, and others such as the volunteers who greet us at hospitals or who help our children find books at the libraries or citizens who protect wildlife and care for injured animals at the many rescue centers. It would include people like my fellow neighborhood association members who enrich our communities with their time, knowledge, hard work and innovation.
On another note, I wish to recognize the police force that protect us on our streets, day and night, and at their peril. And a group that I am eternally grateful for, the firefighters and paramedics. I have a long history with Los Angeles firefighters as wildfires increased in the northern region over the years and eventually took our beautiful canyon home. These firefighters were not only brave risk takers, but they cared so deeply about the people who had incurred misfortunes. They stayed after days of putting out spot fires around existing structures but most of all to be present with open arms and encouraging words for homeowners when we returned.
The Idaho brand of firefighter is cut from the same cloth. I have experienced their commitment of service and caring nature several times as they responded to our calls of help for my elderly mother, who suffers from dementia, when she had fallen, slipped off a chair, or had a hard time recovering from a seizure. They came with their steady strength and good humor as an old woman who is not in her right mind would flirt and ask them out for dates. They would play along and make her feel special. We all have had many good laughs, which relieved pressure from a situation that could otherwise be bleak. These men and women of Stations 1 and 5 and Medic 15 know my home, my dogs names, and always remind me to never hesitate to call for help when needed. Our wellbeing is important to them.
It takes a special breed to live one’s life in service of others. I would recommend that you do yourself a favor and get to know these people, their names and their stories, and be richer for it. Get to know what impassions them to do the work they do and perhaps how you can follow your own voice into a life of service in whatever way, big or small.
The human factor and connection are what make a community great. That is what I see in our neighborhood in Boise.
Thank you for allowing me to express my thanks. Here’s to a great beginning to the New Year and to a life full and rich with gratitude.
Anna Rapagna Cox