CFFF Courage Vol.14 NA

Vol.14

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The Lottery For all my fallen brothers and sisters, Coquitlam Fire Chaplain Scott Young, September 2016 They line up as far as the eye can see For a chance to win this lottery Scrutinized by all the tests Wishing to be among the best If after all the poking and prodding They're chosen by virtue or luck They'll become their childhood ambition Playing hero on a shiny red truck Adjectives and analogies fail To describe this life of risky reward Where a wife thanks you for her husband's life Or the limp body of a child is restored Rapid response brings repose and relief Their presence brings calm and soothes fear Assertive action often stills savage storms They stand with you through loss and through tears They knew the road would be treacherous and tough At times graphic and gruesome and grim But their young strong immortal minds Believed the risk to themselves to be slim But after some years they began to see The second demanding lottery Randomly reaping from their ranks Friends and brothers without thanks Steady shift work takes its toll A cycle out of sync with this world Stealing sleep and sapping souls Leaving minds and bodies unfurled Fatigued from compassion, calloused from caring Hormonal havoc triggered by trauma Unbalancing brains, transforming temperament Bringing their lives to a period or a comma Some are struck from sudden circumstance A collapse or crash or calamity Others are exposed to something insidious Making malignant mutations of their humanity There is a cost to this way of life Death demands her price in full Her choices are not judicious or just When the lottery numbers are pulled And so, to those who pay the ultimate price Those appointed to suffer our harm We give you our honour and abiding respect For answering your final alarm You're forever a cog on the heroic wheel That keeps turning no matter the price Where mankind reflects the love of a God Who believes we are worth sacrifice May your families find peace even through all the grief And the loss that they've all had to bear And in absence of hugs and holding and touch May love you've left us, be always found near. 70

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