I wanted to share with all of you here today a very SPECIAL and a TRUE STORY of the meaning of today for me!
It was December 24th 2002 and it was a very hard Christmas for me and my family following the previous year of the 9/11 attack. We owned a business and post 9/11 alot of businesses had shut down due to losses of america shutting down. It was an extremely sad and stressful Christmas for us as well as many in America.
I had almost died of H1N1 that same year and the two weeks prior to ending up in the ICU as a patient in the hospital we had to make a concious decision to take and raise our two grand daughters full time. We didn’t even think past the yes we will take and keep them safe and raise them.
Now the rest of the story: I had my husband take me to the mall Dec 24th so I could at least pick up a couple of things to place under the tree and I instructed him to take the grand daughters out in the mall to get them a cone or pretzel why I quickly did a last minute shopping.
I found a couple of things at Foley’s (which is now Macy’s) and was taking it up to a counter to pay for and felt a pull to get out of line and go to the back entrance area of the store and as I walked up to the register there to get in line I heard “Oh my God”! I thought what was that I heard and turned and didn’t see anything, thinking wow what an over reaction for maybe seeing a price they didn’t want to pay….then I heard another OMG, OMG and at that point I turned around and saw a few people looking down at the floor on the other side of this round display so I walked over and immediately saw a man collasped on the floor about 4-5 feet away. I promptly asked what happened and no one knew. There was a young gentleman standing next to him and was physically shaken and only said he had just collapsed! He stated he was a son-in-law that he and his new wife had just gotten off the plane to come home to visit her parents for Christmas and that she and her mother where somewhere else in the mall shopping.
I knelt down after tossing my purse and the things I was going to purchase asside and felt for a pulse….no pulse! I then checked for breathing….not breathing! So, I instructed the young gentlemen to go and find the daughter and her mother and bring them back here immediately. I shouted out for anyone of the many starting to gather to please call 911. I started CPR that moment on this dying man. I started at 4:17pm (this time is important and you will see why at the end) and continued till police arrived and then paramedics arrived with the Fire Department. I transferred CPR over to them and gathered my stuff and walked to the Bathroom to clean up and wash because I found blood on my hands and face after figuring out that he had hit the back of his head on a diplay table there when he collapsed and when I had to reposition his head for CPR had gotten it on my hand and then cheek. I heard as I came out of the restroom that there were people looking for me and all of a sudden a fire chief appeared and said he had to talk to me. He started in thanking me for doing what I did and I explained I worked ICU medicine at the downtown trauma center and he quickly said look around you Rosemarie there are at least 60 or more standing and were watching you by yourself alone save this man…..and yes you brought him back and he is on his way being transported to the hospital. I was all over the news the next couple of days being dubbed “The Christmas Angel”.
I received a call within days from the fire department to let me know that indeed he lived and was in the ICU at the hospital. I cried with tears that that family at least had their father to still share their Christmas with.
Weeks following I had been contacted by his family with such love and kindness of words and tears of gratitude for saving their beloved father. Following his release from the hospital, the fire department said he wanted to publicly thank me and that it would take place outside of Foley’s (now Macy’s) and that it would be once again on TV. I stated no thanks and that I could just meet with them, but he and they insisted that this was a story of thanks he wanted to share with everyone. I went and still have the plaque hanging in my office today with gratitude.
Now here is the spiritual gift so read slowly and carefully:
We had so many wonderful visits with this incredible man and met his family and heard the stories of how he had come to America. What a gift to me and my husband being able to know and share time with this beautiful spiritual being here.
The following year my husband and I were just getting ready to board a plane out of Denver (where we lived at that time) to fly back and see our son and his family for Christmas and I received a call from his daughter-in-law and she stated that he was in the hospital and not doing well, but had wanted to see me. I told them as soon as I returned the day after Christmas I would head to the hospital.
We were just about to sit down for Christmas Eve dinner together that evening and I got a call from his daughter-in-law and answered it right away. I knew before she had said the words…He is gone Rosemarie. She stated her father-in-law passed away and we knew you would want to know. I cried with her and her family on that phone and before ending the conversation I felt prompted to ask…what time was it he passed and she responded it was 4:20pm.
Her’s the spiritual question:
Why was it one year earlier on December 24th at 4:17pm that I was prompted to go to this store and get out of line to walk way back to get into another line to check out that was even longer and to find my place saving this mans life that dies exactly one year later on the December 24th at 4:20pm (times almost same).
His beautiful family todays always send a beautiful and loving Christmas card and still calls me their Christmas Angel!
Every Christmas Eve I celebrate the gift I was able to give this man and his family for the gift of one more year!
In this I pay tribute to Ronald Borgonah for touching my life!