By Sean Riley
As I crisscross the country over the next few weeks I had to ask myself, “How many Sundays do I have left”? Why do I ask you this? Because what I wanted to talk about are the demands on all of our time when dealing with the daily grind. As we head into the depths of 2018 the demands on our time with family, employment, completing all of those tasks that we put off and the personal goals we promised ourselves we would accomplish will only increase. Last night I had the opportunity to watch a one man Broadway play entitled “700 Sundays” by Billy Crystal. In it he speaks about his life and how he only got to spend 700 Sundays with his father who died when he was age fifteen. He spoke about his joys, his pains, his heartbreaks, his regrets and his happiness. What got me thinking was when he spoke about the “cards” we are all dealt with in life.
As I reflect back on 23 years of addiction I calculated out that I threw away 1,196 Sundays. These are the cards that were dealt to me or I dealt to myself. My hand of cards included guilt, shame, embarrassment, a criminal act, selfishness, self-sabotage and destruction just to name a few. Once I was provided with the opportunity of treatment (fortunately or unfortunately by the federal government) I was able to “fold” my cards and get a new hand. One that now includes happiness, sadness, healthy relationships, pain, sadness, family and many others. I have the cards of “Life” today. I figure if I live to be a 100 I have 2,350 Sundays left and I intend to make the most of them! I intend to live life on life’s terms and see where that tiger takes me.
Why do I tell you all of this? There are so many within the first responder population we serve that are throwing away their Sundays, some by choice and some not by choice. We have this amazing opportunity as individuals and an organization through Safe Call Now to provide a pathway to give people their Sundays back. Too many first responders are losing their Sundays and their lives due to the job, pre-employment trauma, the things they experience while on duty and many other factors. They deserve to have their Sundays back (figuratively and physically both on and off duty) and as an organization we have the ability to do this and guide them to getting dealt a new hand.
I love it when people reach out for help and make those life changing decisions that may seem little but are so significant to others. Usually these decisions are centered around self and family. Once those two are in place, you pretty much have been dealt a great hand of cards in life. Remember, if you need some new cards in life, we are only a phone call away. For these reasons, I am going to cut this short today and spend my next Sundays with those that I love. Stay safe out there. #ArmorUp
If you, someone you love or someone you know needs help, call:
Safe Call Now: 24 Hour Confidential Hotline: 206-459-3020
For more information on the First Responders program: Click here
Or call Shannon Clairemont at 661-466-6352 or Vanessa Stapleton at 304-651-3008