Not to say "goodbye" but "we will see you again in Heaven....
We had a beautiful day for Mackintyre's Service. Thank you to everyone who came and helped us with the service and joined us in celebrating Mackie's life. He loved parades and what a parade he had thanks to the Holt Fire Department. A full lights and siren escort back home to the farm with a mile of traffic behind. I saw people watching from the roadside and waving, some scratching their heads in wonder. The gathering of people following the fire trucks and the number of people waiting at Macks Church was an overwhelming sight to anyone's eyes. The service and bell ringing ceremony by Paul Tribble was certain to make you honor and shake hands with the next firefighter you see and thank them for all they do. Though my little man didn't grow to the age to become a fireman, he was a full hearted fireman at home. You can see his bunker gear and fire truck in the background. On the other side you can see his little four-wheeler and his tiny little police uniform complete with badge, patches and shiny shoes. He no doubt would have served his community as an officer of the law as well. Thank you to the Holt Police Department for your part in Mackies memorial. I nearly went to my knees to watch Chief Noland remove his collar brass and place it in Mackies box. While my heart was breaking for the loss of my son, my heart was filled with peace because of the kindness of such an honorable man. He personally never met my son, but through Officer Robeson, came to stand by our side in this loss. Thank you.
The bluegrass music and Marys voice was particularly stong and beautiful Sunday. I was standing with my friend Barb in one of the children's gardens I have put around the church looking at the stone I carved in memory of her son Trey when I heard Mary's voice coming from the hilltop. I have always loved to hear her sing as did Mackie. I know he was with us listening and laughing; beside Barb, Trey and me in the garden.
We are so blessed to have the family and friends we have. You have all helped us in so many ways. Thank you for your kindness and your continued help through this process. We love and appreciate each and every one of you.
My little firefighting, policing, preaching, busdriver is finally home to stay.
A Day in the Life...
(by Samuel Forest Shields - Clinton County Sheriff's Department)
I had a hard time falling asleep last night. My mind was racing and I couldn't slow it down.
It was September 15, 2008. I had just left the Methodist Church in Holt; but allow me to digress. I am the supervisor of dispatch at Clinton County Sheriff's Department. Here is how a call went from the dispatcher's perspective on Friday, September 12, 2008: 7:29 AM A man calls to say that he needs an ambulance. His nine year old son woke up got dressed for school and had said that he had a headache. Very suddenly his condition has worsened. (The dispatcher knows this man. He has spoken to him on numerous occasions and he remembers meeting his son. He is a very polite, bright and well mannered young man.) ("Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.") 7:30 AM Holt Fire Department is paged with the information. 7:31 AM Holt Fire Department has an ambulance en route. More follow. 7:35 AM Holt Fire calls dispatch and requests that he call Liberty Hospital and Children's Mercy to check their status. 7:36 AM The dispatcher answers 911 and it is the boys mother. She says that he has passed out and his breathing is very shallow. (To her, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.") The ambulance is updated with the information. 7:37 AM The boys mother calls back and he has now stopped breathing. They are performing C.P.R. The ambulance is updated. (The dispatcher looks at the print out and notices that it says 7:42 AM. The console clock must be five minutes off. Computers?) ("Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.") (To them, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.") 7:43 AM The ambulance arrives. (Twelve minutes. Excellent time he thought.) 7:59 AM Holt Fire calls to request the dispatcher call Liberty Hospital. "Advise them that we are en route with a pediatric code; e.t.a. ten minutes." (It is wet, raining and there is a vehicle accident on southbound Interstate 35.) 8:15 AM Holt Fire's ambulance has just arrived at Liberty Hospital. (Thirty minutes later the dispatcher receives a call saying that they just "called it". He is extremely busy on the radio and thankful for it.)
Where was I? It's Monday night. The dispatcher stands in line at the Methodist Church. It is a long line; but he and his wife don't mind. He doesn't know why he is even here; just that God told him to come. While he is standing in line; he cannot help but to hear people talk. They talk of a young man, who rang the church bell every Sunday. They talk of a young man whose goal in life was to someday build a church. ("Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.") He stands in line, arrives at the parents, shakes his hand, shakes her hand and is turning to leave. She looks at his wife and asks in a polite way, "Do we know you?" The dispatcher's wife answers simply, "He works for the Sheriff's department." She turns to him and asks, "Were you the 911 operator on Friday morning?" He can only say, "I'm so sorry. Some days are much worse than others." His mind now is numb and that's all he can think to say. Then with all the grace and poise ever seen she offers the dispatcher words of comfort. What strong people and what a gracious God we serve.
Now the dispatcher goes home, drags all the beds in the house into one room, surrounds himself with his four grandchildren and his seven year old son and tries to get to sleep. In the morning; he gets up goes to work and starts on the sheriff's report. I think that I shall start with "7:42 AM God treats Himself to a very special blessing." I'm just glad that I don't have to be in dispatch. Not today anyway. Next time you see a 911 dispatcher; give them a hug, tell them thanks.
In memory of Mackintyre Kindol McDill-Garton; August 21, 1999- September 12, 2008.