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To live or not to live

January 23, 2017

I have been employed for 4 months now at a National Suicide Crisis hot line. In a short time I have received over 1,700 calls which is mind blowing, at that rate I will talk with around 5,000 to 6,000 people in year who are in crisis, the vast majority either are having thoughts or are planning or in progress of committing suicide.  Fortunately to my knowledge non I have personally encountered have followed through. It can be a rewarding position, but it is definitely a heart wrenching job. I wish I could do more. I wish I could feed the hungry, pay the utilities of those in the dark and cold,  help them move, end their pain. We really need to fix this broken system. Then mentally ill, the lonely, the hungry. That is a quick overview which led me to this blog of my last 48 hours. Choose life, please choose life. Call a hotline if you are in crisis and fight on my friend!

The last 48 hours of my crazy life has been full circle. I finished my 10 hour shift on the suicide crisis hotline at 7a Sunday listening to people wanting to end their life and then slept as my wife drove me to Kansas City to attend her oldest sisters Memorial Service. Sue fought hard for 2 years to beat Cancer. She never waivered in he fight, faith and love of the Lord and some can say Cancer won, but Sue is resting in Eternal Peace. She fought hard, never gave up, never complained and the impact she made in the lives of others was evident by the estimated 500 people that showed up to show their respect yesterday afternoon. The irony, the calls I received the 24 hours before were soul searchers asking “tell me why I should live”, versus my sister in law saying I will fight pain, I will fight this evil thing called Cancer, I will do whatever it takes to live. It is a crazy world! We fight for our own rights while so many suffer. People can connect on Facebook, snap chat, skype, twitter in an instant, yet so many suffer in agony, loneliness, despair, mental illness, poverty, hunger, cold, darkness with so few that seem to care. No one willing to reach out. Sue reached out to help, she was giving, kind and one of the nicest people I have met. While the left and right fight for “their rights”, which is the Right we have in USA, I will follow Sue’s lead and try to feed the sick, the poor and the desperate, of which there are too many. I cry many a tear each day for Little B and the many voices I hear on the phones 40 hours a week. I hear the cry of the these people and I have nothing to offer but a kind word and encouragement and they need so much more. Our Mental Health system is badly broken, our medical costs are far too high. Too many people still do not have help and are in desperate need. The Government cannot and will not fix it regardless of who is in office. It matters not which Party is in control. We the people, the civic organizations, the churches, communities have the power to help and must do more for others and God forbid, less for us. Check on your neighbor, give a hand up. As I told my children growing up, it is not about you! It is about what you can do to help those in need. I am sick of the fighting in this Country. I refuse to get into the divide. I vow to continue to fight to help the sick, the poor, the lonely, the destitute, the homeless, the mentally ill. End of rant. Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I will at least give you a song to entertain.

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