I Love Being Your Friend

I am your friend, I have no regret,

To stand by your side, you may always expect.

When your smile turns down,

From glimmer to frown,

And life becomes affliction.

Know in your heart,

We will never part,

Friendship is my addiction.

Though trials may stress,

Your life seem a mess,

Step back, your blessings to count.

For there in the corner,

Clad in love’s armor,

Remains one your defense to mount.

To Deke 04/10/19

You came into my life, shy and reserved,

A youth in your years,

Elder in your tears.

You walked fate’s road, struggles were many,

With strength of spirit and innocence of mind,

You faced each battle, but courage declined.

Now faced with new future, fresh tension arises,

Choices to make, decisions now worsen,

What do you do, who to trust, life so uncertain,

Alone in your thoughts, held close by concerns,

You seek perfect answers, options so varied,

Each with burden, your brain now harried.

Time for new day, bright path awaits you,

Surround self with love, you have that power,

Let all who know you, in awe now cower.

Let no material gifts, though treasure they may be,

Fill your loneliness, for their love is but one way,

Seek out open palms, arms of heart you did sway.

Reach out from your melancholy, stand tall sweet friend,

Let your objectives be dear,

Tomorrow be not today, for your vision now clear.

Hawk Stone

A True Story of Mitakuye Oyasin

One afternoon, returning from an appointment, as I was driving west on Delmar Boulevard, close to Old Bonnehomme Road in Clayton, MO., a Red Tail hawk swooped down in front of the car ahead of me. This is not an uncommon occurrence in Missouri but for it to happen on a busy street at the beginning of rush hour was unusual. Unfortunately for the hawk, he was not careful enough to avoid the car and was struck.

The car that hit the hawk kept going as if nothing happened. As I got close enough, I stopped my car, out on the emergency lights and got out to see if there was anything I could do. Tragically, the injuries sustained by the hawk were massive, and he appeared to be dead.

Having work gloves in my car, along with small, plastic garbage bags, I set about picking the hawk up to transport him to the wild. As I slowly picked him up, one talon grabbed onto a flat stone and locked it in place. It was almost as though he was clinging to life but failed.

I tried to remove the stone, but it was as tough complete rigor mortis had rapidly set in, and I could not remove it. Taking this as a sign, I brought the body home and amputated both talons and a few feathers which I preserved. The remainder of the body, I took out to Creve Couer Park, near the Missouri River and returned it to the wild.

Since that day, I sense I have a connection to a power greater than myself.

I feel my eyes opened to the true meaning of Mitakuye Oyasin.

Hush Sweet Smile

On a day without sun,

Night’s pall moon did forsake.

No forest sprite nor soul to see,

Alone, forlorn courage doth quake.

Assailed by visions, old pain oft lingers,

Tears of shame, burden without merit.

Journey’s toll, an ember rebelling,

Cautious pace, renewing the spirit.

With vibrant heart, to brave steep path,

Arise a Phoenix, in beauty abound.

The battle yours, your foes but shades,

Remove foul mask, let a smile resound.

Curse not the world that was before,

Don hushed sweet smile, as you pass out hell’s door.

No Price on Humanity

Recently, I met a young person who is going through a very traumatic period of life that is quite similar to what I endured for a number of years. I do not want to embarrassed or cause any further issues so I will simply call refer to this person as DC.

While growing up, DC was subjected to a pretty rigid life in a controlled religious environs that stifled creativity and individual thinking. When my friend was able to escape the situation, DC was preyed upon by sexual predators and cast off like a used paper towel to end up living in a vehicle, rather than a home with love and caring.

One day, DC met someone who offered a place to stay in return for physical activities, none of which are important to this paper. I only mention them to set the proper tone. Desperately in need, DC agreed to the terms, a mistake soon regretted. However, not to be defeated, DC endured while establishing a community presence and finding work. All the while with the specter of home life demands weighing heavily. Predictably, those demands erupted into a very bad situation placing DC at risk for injury or worse, and once again homeless.

In the short time I have known DC, I’ve discovered a very sensitive and remarkably intelligent human being who has made some bad mistakes, none of which cannot be overcome. The problem now being an overabundance of advice confusing issues!

Yes, I said advice; DC is getting a lot of conflicting advice which is having a dramatically negative effect. It would be horrible for someone not in such a critical situation but is even worse for DC.

Who to trust?

Who to believe?

Who to turn to for help?

To the best of my knowledge, no one in DC’s group of friends has offered more than temporary assistance. It’s tragic, but true of human nature. Can I blame them? No, of course not, they think they are acting in DC’s best interests when in actuality, they are acting in their own by thinking theirs are the only answers to the problems.

This is the current state of many “humanitarian efforts” these days.

I think it great that people sympathize and are willing to help but unless they’ve walked the path, they can never empathize. To push someone such as DC to make life changing decisions at this time is almost an assault on emotions however necessary it may be. That may only be accomplished by one who has walked in DC’s shoes.

As I have done before with others I have promised DC housing, sustenance, help getting into college and whatever other things I can do to make life easier and more successful without unwelcome stipulations. DC alone must make the decision to accept or not. Whatever that decision is, I will not abandon DC as I was once abandoned by my family.

The problems being:

Who can DC trust?

Who can DC believe?

Who can DC turn to?

People who know me say Nyk, you’ve been crapped on before by people you’ve helped, why continue?

My answer is because I’m me.

I believe that if we do not try to help those in desperate need, we not only work against them, we may even be defeating ourselves. Imagine, perhaps DC might go on to create a cure for hunger or cancer; may become a great world leader or even possess the knowledge to end wars. We do not know, nor will we until we step up and believe in people like DC and keep our promises to help.

Hugs to all who need one today.

Papa Nyk

I Remember Pauline

I

In 1963, I was nineteen and beginning to show some of the symptoms of, what I call, Childhood Trauma-Induced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (wow, a long title there). However, in retrospect, I am unable to give it any other name. It is, what it was and came at a very terrible cost.

I did not drink, nor do drugs back then, nor did I act out other than being very insecure, sensitive and lonely, those showed, at least to people who cared which excludes my family.

I met Pauline when I started working as a kitchen helper at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Minneapolis, MN, where was the Dining Room supervisor, aka my boss. Almost from the first day, it seemed as though she hated me for some odd reason. It seemed, at least to me that I was her private punching bag when things went wrong. The dishes were not done correctly; I was using too many eggs, I was not overseeing the diet line, I missed a zillions spots on the dining room floor, and my hair was too long. You cannot believe how much I hated that woman. I wanted to kick her ass from one end of the hospital grounds to the other and back again.

Then one day, she assigned me to work in the small kitchenette on the 5th floor of the hospital. It was a room about twelve by twenty feet with a steam table serving line and small tables. I thought it was pretty cool, but I was a bit naïve; it was in the psychiatric ward, so I was a bit nervous. Fortunately, patients were not allowed in without the nursing staff, or so I was told.

            At noon, a sous chef would come up to help swerve, then leave when at one when the kitchenette was supposed to close. On this day, we only had four or five patients who were in and out fast, so we finished early. As I was cleaning up, a patient walked in with a bizarre look on his face. He stood in front of me and looking right into my face and said: “Do you know the president was shot?”

            The first thought that came to mind was, is he was going to tell me about President Lincoln? I did not need that, so I told him he had to leave, but of course, he was not about to leave; he took a chair by the window and started crying.

            Not wanting to upset him more, I quietly grabbed up all the sharp knives and slipped out the employee door only to find a woman in white, kneeling in the middle of the hallway. Now, since this was a men’s ward floor, I was now starting to get a little more nervous.

            I edged my way past this woman, and ran, not walked down the hall to the locked nurse’s station where a nurse (female) was sitting at the desk crying. As I attempted to tell her about the patient in the cafeteria, and the woman on the floor, she blurted out, “They killed the President.”

            Remember now, even though I had pretty much been on my own since age fifteen, and often neglected before that, I was still naïve in many ways. OK, I am lying, I was scared shitless.

            I ran back to the cafeteria to find the patient had left, so I quickly locked all the doors and ran down the back stairway to the main kitchen and dining room. You will never guess what I found there!

            I found more people crying and telling me the President has been shot and killed.

            Luckily for me, Pauline, the woman I whom I had thought hated me, stopped me, took me in her arms and hugged me.

            “It is going to be all right, baby.” She said, and she wiped away the tears I do not remember shedding.

            She held me close, as though I were her child; telling me that things I would be safe with her.

            After I had calmed down, she told me to go to the locker room, get into my street clothes and meet her out by the employee entrance.

            When I got there, she, and her husband were waiting for me. They took me to a local café where we had some coffee and watched the news. After about an hour, they took me home to the room I rented. Pauline gave me her phone number and told me to call her if I did not want to be alone.

            From that day, until I quit the hospital a year later, Pauline remained the tough, demanding boss. She made me do things over until I did them right. She made me admit my mistakes and make them right. She showed me color and gender make no difference in real friendship. To this day, I cannot help but wonder if, when she died, did she meet Nana and Henry, my best friend in elementary in heaven; they were so much alike.

Rest in Peace, President John F. Kennedy, May 25, 1917 to 12:30 PM, November 22, 1963

When did Women decide they are God?

As an ex-paramedic, my memory is filled with stories of human cruelty to other humans, but nothing in all those years compares to what is happening in our country today.

I’ve assisted with emergency childbirth on a number of occasions and actually assisted with a couple of Cesarean Sections in the operating room.

Of the twenty-three deliveries I’ve been involved with, two, both of which occurred in rural Minnesota, stand out as clear as if it were yesterday.

The first one involved a young married woman having her first child. She and her husband had a small farm about twelve miles from town. Now, if you are familiar with winter weather in Minnesota, you know it can change in a heartbeat and most weather forecasters, at least at the time, were not experts.

Very early one morning, we received a call for a woman in labor with special instructions from the doctor. Those instructions stated that we should attempt an on-site delivery, but should simply bring the woman to the hospital He actually stated that he was sure it was going to be a still-born. Aside from this slight detail, the only problem we faced was about thirty-seven inches of snow and winds were making drifts over the roads.

The road we had to take to get to the farm, was a county one and we needed help to get through. Luckily for us, the state had two large graders working the area and they volunteered them to go ahead of us and open the road. There was also a state highway patrol unit escorting us but still took almost three hours to go the 12 miles, and one grader in a ditch to do it.

When we arrived at the farm, a very nervous young father-to-be met us and led the way into the house where the mother (his wife) was laying in bed. Her water had broken and she was in full labor but contractions were not very frequent yet. I examined her doing the normal vitals (pulse, respiration and blood pressure) then I did the abdominal exam to see if I could determine the position of the fetus. While doing this, I was listening for fetal heart tones with a pediatric stethoscope and wouldn’t you, I heard that little ticker (fetal heart) pounding away like a jackhammer.

As we didn’t have any of the new communications devices, I had to run back out into the snow to radio what I had found to the doctor who was in the hospital.

I told the doctor I felt we had a viable fetus and that I planned not trying to deliver it at home. The ambulance was better equipped to handle a birth if we had to. The doctor was pretty negative stating he felt it would be a still-birth. Without saying it, I got the impression he didn’t think me qualified to determine, but I said we’re coming in fast and there was nothing we could do about it.

With the help of the highway patrolman and the road crew, we got momma bundled up and loaded for a fast ride to the hospital. Just before we pulled out, I checked for dilation and she was at an estimated seven centimeters, so things were starting to move.

We got her to the hospital in about thirty minutes, and about forty-five minutes later, she had a beautiful, healthy little boy. I got a hug from Momma, and a hug from Papa and, to my surprise, a well done from the doctor.

The other case was more tragic. It happened in another small town nine miles from the hospital. A call came in for an unknown issue. As was the policy then, the dispatcher notified the local constable (yep, the town was that small) who was sent to the scene.

On arrival we found the constable standing outside with an elderly woman. When asked what the emergency was, we were directed to an attic room in an old two story house where we found a young mentally challenged girl covered in blood. When we asked what happen, she simply screamed and pointed to a bloody towel on the floor.

On examination, I found a newborn fetus in respiratory distress. Immediately, I began infant CPR and told my partner to get help to take the girl out as I was going to rush the fetus to the hospital in with the constable in his squad car.

When I got outside, I grabbed the constable and ordered him to rush me, and the fetus to the hospital and to radio ahead.

“The radio doesn’t work.” was his reply.

OK, let’s get going – turn on your lights and siren this is critical!

“The siren doesn’t work.”

Get in the damn car, turn on your lights and let’s go.

After a twenty minute, scary ass drive with the constable, we made it to the hospital and, luckily, there was a doctor immediately available, but it was too late. The fetus had bled out.

The story was, the mentally challenged girl was raped by her uncle and the family decided to keep it a secret.

When the girl woke up the morning of the incident, she apparently had some cramps and her water broke. From what we could ascertain, the fetus had already started to deliver but was in a footling breech position. When the girl reached down between her legs, she took hold of the fetus’s leg (a girl) and traumatically extracted it causing severe tearing from the anus to an inch or so in front of the vagina.

There was nothing anyone could have done to save this infant. To see her lying all twisted and bloody on the gurney made me cry.

Now, when I read about how women are demanding the right to murder, yes, I call it murder, innocent fetuses, I remember that innocent child on the gurney and want to scream.

Yes, I agree that women should have the right to say what happens to their bodies, but that right should not include the right to determine who lives or dies. Once it is known that there is a life form (or more than one) growing within the woman’s womb, she is no longer making decisions only for herself. In the case of abortion, the woman is making decisions concerning the life or death of another person who, at the time, is not able to speak for his or herself. Allowing women to be judge, jury, and executioner is giving her the authority to be God over another human being.

I’m neither a Christian, Jew, Muslim or follower of any other formal religion. I’m simply a man who believes there is a power greater than any of us that allows us to think for ourselves. When we can’t, that power steps in to help. I believe that power stepped in to save one baby and allow another to pass out of this realm with only the love and compassion of those who cared for her in the end.

I believe that our court systems have gone too far with the insanity of infanticide caused by the Roe v Wade ruling. In essence, it has given women the right to play God and murder an innocent (or more) to assuage their guilt for not being responsible for their actions.

Infanticide is not the answer!