Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some Might Say

I don't know if things like "miracles" exist. There are certain things in this world that I think people believe in to give themselves comfort. Miracles, traditional views of a god, religion, fate, astrology, etc. are just a few examples. I happen to have been studying astrology for 15 years and I think religions and their origins are fascinating. This doesn't mean, however, that I believe in them and cannot criticize certain facets of these subjects.

(mĭr'ə-kəl) Pronunciation Key
  1. An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God: "Miracles are spontaneous, they cannot be summoned, but come of themselves" (Katherine Anne Porter).
  2. One that excites admiring awe. See Synonyms at wonder.
  3. A miracle play.
First it appears that in order to believe in miracles you have to believe in "God" (and by this I mean the Judeo Christian version, and perhaps this extends to the Muslim Allah as well). If you don't believe in a god defined by one of the modern day religions then perhaps you believe in a being of your own design or one of the more rudimentary mythological gods. If you don't believe in a god of some design then you must believe in the supernatural. Many people say god, that Jesus dude, and others are supernatural beings so if you don't believe in god but you believe in ghosts and souls that walk the earth that you are contradicting yourself. (That's a topic for another day).

Or, a miracle could simply be something or someone that induces awe. In the case of the article below, I believe two men catching an 18-month old falling three stories without inducing any injuries is fairly lucky. However, I don't think they are "heroes" or that the act is a "miracle".

(hîr'ō) Pronunciation Key
n. pl. he·roes
  1. In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
  2. A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life: soldiers and nurses who were heroes in an unpopular war.
  3. A person noted for special achievement in a particular field: the heroes of medicine. See Synonyms at celebrity.
  4. The principal male character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation.
  5. Chiefly New York City See submarine. See Regional Note at submarine.

I always thought of a hero as someone who risked his or her life to save someone else's. Or, someone who risks their quality of life, their fame, material possessions, or even their dignity in the name of something they deem greater than themselves.

I think these guys were pretty smart and selfless, and obviously had a bit of compassion in their bodies, but they risked very little. If they had caught or hadn't caught the baby, the brunt of the horror would have been directed at the father of the child. If they tried to catch and failed, they may have felt a terrible guilt for a while and it certainly wouldn't fade from their memories in their lifetime, but all in all I would not call these people "heroes" and I don't think the city owes them a debt of gratitude (how does saving a toddler's life in any way support or aid the city)?

The act was not a miracle - we saw how the chid fell, we saw how they were caught. Now if you said to me that the child stopped just a foot off the ground, levitated for a moment, made itself upright, and then floated to its feet safe and sound, I would break out in a chorus of Hallelujahs and would in no way doubt the miraculous nature of the event. What it really comes down to is a lot of luck and the fact that the men had a touch of brains and selflessness. I don't think that makes what they did any less cool or commendable - I just don't like to see things blown out of proportion.

The guys rock, the father owes them a damn near lifetime of gratitude, and the kid should meet them some day when she gets older, maybe have a little picture of them so she can tell the story to her friends and family. That's the long and short of it. And those of you that insist god was involved - well it wasn't very nice of him to make that baby fall out of the window in the first place, was it?

When You Gonna Catch My Baby?

Only in Lawrence, you say?

Tuesday, 1:22 AM
From the Metro staff at The Boston Globe

Two men praised after catching falling baby in Lawrence

March 31, 2009 01:22 AM Email| Comments (115)| Text size +

Alex Day helped catch a baby that fell out of a window in Lawrence Sunday. (Jonathan Wiggs / Globe Staff)

By Brian R. Ballou, Globe Staff

LAWRENCE - It might have ended so differently, if Robert Lemire had not decided on pizza for dinner or if Alex Day had not come to the apartment on Haverhill Street for Bible study.

Neither might have seen the heart-stopping sight of a girl in a diaper and T-shirt dangling from an apartment window three stories above the ground, and they might not have been waiting to catch her when she finally fell.

Eighteen-month-old Caliah Clark survived a 30-foot plummet Sunday night and probably owes her life to the two men who ran to the spot below the window and caught her, one by the legs, another above the waist, and brought her, unhurt, back to her father in the apartment upstairs.

"When they saved my daughter's life, they saved my own life because if she would have been hurt, I don't know what I'd do," said the father, 28-year-old Randall Clark. "For them to be there to catch my daughter, it's unbelievable. Accidents do happen in a split second."

Clark said he was home alone with his four children and putting his youngest, a 2-month-old, to bed when he heard his older children in another room. He believes the eldest two, ages 3 and 4, wrestled open a window that he normally keeps latched but that "for some reason comes unlocked" and were throwing toys out of it.

Outside, Lemire, a 45-year-old remodeling contractor, was heading to Mano's Pizza across the street, preoccupied with his daughter's softball tryouts earlier in the day. His cellphone rang, and he paced the sidewalk outside the shop while he talked, when something caught his eye: a child's toy falling from an upper window of a large apartment house. A few minutes later, another toy flew out and bounced off the paved walkway below. Then, he heard a cry and looked up.

Shocked at what he saw - a small girl dangling from the window and two children inside desperately clutching her arms - Lemire bolted across the street, dodging a car. His heart pounding, Lemire ran to the front door, yelling "Hello! Hello!" and "There's a baby out the window!" He ran up a flight of stairs to the second floor, then turned and ran back outside.

Day, a 23-year-old trucking manager, heard the yelling while sitting in a first-floor apartment with his wife and about a dozen Sunday Bible study regulars. He jumped to his feet and ran out. "I thought maybe there was a fire," he said. But as soon as he turned the corner, he saw Lemire standing below the window, looking up. He followed the man's gaze to the girl dangling above. She was slipping.

As he rushed to Lemire's side, Lemire spoke: "Here she comes."

The toddler fell with her body tilted toward the ground. "He pretty much got the top and I got the diaper end, or the bottom half, or whatever you call it," said Lemire.

"She looked at me and had a weird look on her face as if to say, 'Wow, all of a sudden I'm down here,' " Day said.

He carried the toddler back upstairs to her home. On the stairs, he said, the baby actually started chuckling.

The incident is being investigated by Lawrence police and the city's Inspectional Services Department. No charges have been filed against the father. Lawrence Police Chief John Romero said, "right now, we're just looking at the circumstances as to how the child was left unattended." Calls to Inspectional Services were not returned yesterday.

"I think that child is alive today because of their quick actions," Romero said yesterday of Day and Lemire. "They're both heroes."

A spokeswoman with the state Department of Children and Families said the incident was the first time the department has had contact with the Clark family. Other residents of the building described Randall Clark and his wife, Rachael, as responsible parents.

"He's a very good father who loves his children," said Adam Lind, 24, who lives on the second floor. "Both he and his wife are hard workers. They're both very upset about what happened."

Day said he spoke with Clark briefly yesterday, and that Clark thanked him again for saving his daughter.

"People who have children know that it's impossible to keep your eye on them all the time," Lemire said, "and all it takes is a second."

This is Old Hat For Me

I've been keeping an online journal for many years, and now it's time to be someone else. It's pretty tiring being the same person all the time.

Everything you read here is true - any embellishments will be labeled. People that are easily offended annoy me. If you are one of those, don't come back - I don't think you'll like this journal very much.