by Ed Hofert
If you’re following my Heart Whisperer Ed Hofert page – I hope you are – you may have noticed an increase in poems having to do with PTSD among our heroes. Law enforcement and firemen and medics. The people we turn to for our very lives when we feel we are in danger.
Some of this increase is not because the injuries to the heart and soul from PTSD are on the rise necessarily. But my awareness of it certainly is.
I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I always believed that people lean toward a job they find is a good fit for them and that was the end of the story. I didn’t know how wrong I could be. Every single one of them show up on that first day with dreams of saving others. And some of them already kind of know at what expense it will come to them to do it. While some others are completely caught off guard. Blinded by dreams of making the world a better place they don’t see it coming when a child dies in their arms. Or their partner, who they were joking with five minutes ago, is suddenly bleeding out right in front of them. Or they themselves are being shot at by someone who really wants to kill them. To end their life. Take them from their family and friends because of……. Because of why? It comes right down to none of it making any sense. But it is the world we live in today. Scary as hell.
But here’s the thing that I want to express. These very people that we turn to when our lives are threatened by sickness or injury or by the hands of another were heroes the day they chose that line of work. It’s not about how much action they’ve seen or not seen. It’s about the choices they make. One is equal in importance as another. From the dispatcher that takes the emergency calls and shares that information, to the ones that arrive on scene. Whether they choose to run into a burning building everyone else is running from or if they choose to stay and fight for your life even after you’ve given up. They put themselves in danger so you can be free of it.
And they pay a very dear price for it. Their hearts and soul and their minds are on the line. Facing what we choose to look away or even run away from.
Then suddenly something happens and it all comes back to them affecting their everyday life and their relationships. And yet they dare not speak of it or they lose even more than what they already so freely gave.
The tragedy of all of this? If you ask me, the tragedy is not that someone took a job they couldn’t handle. And it’s not in the idea that they are soft. They are human after all. The tragedy to me is my own and your own insensitivity to the subject. I sit here today with mixed feelings. I’m ashamed I never saw it sooner. And proud as a peacock that I saw it while I still have a voice. And that is why it’s important for me to help spread the word. Many of us carry scars that can’t be seen by the naked eye. Our heroes are no different. They deserve to honored, respected and yes even helped when they need it.
I can’t tell anyone what their part in all this is. But I know I have some making up for lost time when it comes to helping solve the problem I might have been a part of before now. Insensitivity.
About the Author: Edwin “Ed” Hofert was born and raised in a small town in Iowa. Depending on who you ask, they might say on the wrong side of the tracks. Growing up in a home troubled by abuse and alcoholism he found a way to soften life, if you will, by writing poetry. He started in fifth grade and is still writing it well into his adult years. 53 years old to be exact and proud of it since literally no one thought he’d make it that far. The author of one book called Heart Whisperer and soon to be a second book called Stepping From The Shadows which is what he did just over one year ago. Stepping from the shadows to share his writings with the world and with no intention of looking back. He has been featured in dozens of memorials for loved ones and even has one poem engraved into the headstone of a young man who lost his battle to cancer. It seems there is a desire, if not a need, for his style of writing and his unique insight into what most often is considered to be tragedies.
Ed has a fan page on Facebook called Heart Whisperer Ed Hofert with a following from around the world. He is working on an actual web page to be up and running. Always happy to take requests and well…. you just have to see for yourself.
Surviving The Shield
Devils of the ages and demons all the same.
Watching every day and night knowing them all by name.
These men and women angels working in the field.
Doing all they know to do to just survive the shield.
Things that didn’t go as planned things they never wanted.
Memories etched into their souls are why their hearts are haunted.
Like ghosts of those they could not save asking over and over why?
They can’t erase them from their minds no matter how they try.
Still they rise each morning and go into the field.
To see if they might save one more and still survive the shield.
From 911 operators and medics to the firemen and cops.
Even through the things they do the memory never stops.
The only thing they ask for the only thing they crave.
Is to be spared the memory of one that they can’t save.
And so they sacrifice themselves in hopes their hearts be filled.
Battling their own demons as they survive the shield.
Edwin C Hofert