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A Second Chance to Thank Him

He had saved her husband, but she didn’t get a chance to properly thank him at the time.

“She’s a good kid, and it’s only for a few months,” my friend said, pleading for me to let her cousin’s daughter from Washington live with me and my husband, Mark, while the girl attended her first semester at Oregon State. Normally I would have said yes, but it hadn’t been long since Mark’s heart attack, and we needed some peace and quiet. “I’ll think about it,” I said, hoping the girl would find other arrangements.

Mark’s heart attack had been quite an ordeal. I still shuddered every time I thought about receiving the call that my husband had collapsed at the airport on his way back from a business trip. A paramedic had kept his heart beating with CPR for several minutes until a medical team arrived with paddles. I couldn’t imagine life without Mark. I was so grateful to that medic. I only wished I had been in the state of mind to thank him when I briefly met him at the hospital.

Now that things were finally getting back to normal, would a roomer, even for just a few months, be too disruptive? My friend repeated her request. Her cousin’s daughter was desperate.

A twinge of guilt nagged at me. “Fine,” I said. I made plans to meet with my friend’s cousin, her husband and their daughter. Mark had to work, so he couldn’t make it.

On a sunny afternoon I greeted the three of them at my front door. We had milk and cookies and chatted about the daughter’s college plans. I began to feel at ease when I noticed there was something familiar about the father. We kept talking and in the back of my mind I was already making plans for the daughter to stay in our spare bedroom. Then I turned to the father. “What do you do for a living?” I asked.

“I’m a paramedic,” he said.

All at once, I knew. And when I pointed out Mark’s picture to him, so did he.

At last I could thank him for saving my husband’s life.

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