This is something we hear a lot: every time something good may happen, but especially if something bad happens it seems–someone will say to us: well, it must have happened for a reason. Or we may find some hidden chain of events within whatever occurrence befell us that don’t appear to be random. We want to think that are reasons that things happens to us and not much may be chance.
On this past Monday, a dear friend and fellow paramedic had their family’s house burn. Luckily, everyone got out, including all the pets. In this case, it was a series of events that made this statement seem true. And after the fire, there were more interesting things that happened that makes one wonder why things happen the way they do.
My friend normally does her usual 24 hour shift on Monday, but this week a co-worker wanted a swap. So she planned to be home with her toddler and husband (who owns the local barber shop in town). They all decided to take this unusual opportunity to go to a local kid’s farm and see all the animals since it was supposed to be a lovely New England day. But as Monday rolled around, her husband wasn’t feeling well, so he decided to stay home (thank goodness). My friend’s parents also live in the downstairs apartment, and are almost always home, but this day, they were out on a trip. So the house might just have been empty if my friend’s husband hadn’t of been feeling poorly.
As the morning progressed and my friend had gone with the child, her husband smelled smoke. He quickly realized something was wrong and went outside. A passerby saw the smoke coming from the top of the house. His phone had died so the passerby called it in on his phone. He then used the phone to call my friend. Meanwhile, we are being toned to the town (which is next door) for a first alarm. It quickly progressed to a second alarm.
Part of our system is that we get pages to our phones with the call information, so my friend was paged on her phone, she discovered it was the wrong address–and the one they gave was completely on the opposite side of town! She immediately called dispatch (who gave her a bit of a hard time until she said she was the homeowner) and they re-toned it with the correct information.
Thank goodness because should the trucks have gone to the wrong address, the house would have burned to the ground. But instead, they got there quickly and were able to suppress the fire. Of course the house sustained major water damage.
After the fire was out and the trucks had left, or so we thought, my pager went off for a paramedic intercept to meet their ambulance at our fire station. I immediately thought that my friend or one of her family members needed assistance–that something had happened to them. My partner for the day had to calm my nerves as we waited outside our station (my drug boxes in hand) for them to arrive.
As they came whirling around the corner, lights and siren, and I stepped onto their rig–I immediately saw it was my friend sitting on the crew bench caring for one of HER fire fighters who was in a very dangerous cardiac rhythm! Because of the fire, she couldn’t find the keys to her drug box and needed me and my drugs. Plus it was helpful to have me there for morale support given what she had just gone through herself!
So in analyzing this whole situation there are so many factors that we can look back (and did) and say: everything happens for a reason. My friend swapped her shift that day and was home when normally she is not; her husband was feeling ill that day and didn’t go on the family outing when he really wanted to go; the passerby happened to be there with his phone; even though dispatch got the wrong address, my friend noticed it was and called them to correct it; while the fire fighter ended up ending up needing some serious care that day, he fought a fire at a paramedic’s house and someone he’s known for years who ended up saving his life!
Yes this day, while many tragic things happened, some good too came of the day! No lives were lost, I wasn’t on another call so I was there to help, the FF made it just fine, they will re-build and life will go on.
We don’t always feel that everything happens for a reason, or at least when we are smack dab in the middle of something awful we may not understand the reason. When we receive the diagnosis of cancer, or we lose a loved one, or we are rolling over and over in the car down the side of an embankment or someone walks out on us–but sometimes, after time…in the quiet of our own thoughts and in looking back, maybe we can see things, changes or aspects of why those things happened. It may take days or sometimes it takes years. But having faith in the natural beat of our lives and staying positive and hopeful, then you can truly believe that everything does happen for a reason.