A Human Shield
When Alison was pregnant, she sat me down one day.
Her: I need you to promise me something.
Me: Sure, what?
Her: If the baby and I are ever in danger, I need you to promise me that you’ll save him first.
Me: (laughing) Why can’t I do both?
Her: I’m serious. He’s more important than both of us. Promise me.
Mentioned to a friend the other day that when you hear something completely true, your very soul hears it.
I’ve been watching Ryan Reynolds ever since Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place and saw almost everything he’s been in since. He’s just a funny dude.
But he was on Letterman once talking about the birth of his daughter and said about his wife, Blake:
I used to say to [her], “I would take a bullet for you. I could never love anything as much as I love you.” I would say that to my wife. And the second I looked in that baby’s eyes, I knew in that exact moment that if we were ever under attack, I would use my wife as a human shield to protect that baby.
I remember thinking that, in all the years of hearing him on stuff, that’s the first time, I believed he meant that as pure truth. And this was before my son was born.
Mt. Saint Helens erupted forty years ago on May 18, 1980. I was seven.
There was a photographer there that day named Robert Landsberg. He was taking pictures when the eruption happened and he realized, too late, that the wall of gas and pulverized stone was coming right at him and that he wouldn’t survive.
So, he took as many pictures of the
ash very thing that he knew would end his life, and, at the last moment, “he rewound the film back into its case, put his camera in his backpack, and then laid himself on top of the backpack in an attempt to protect its contents.”
And then he waited to die.
They found his body and camera afterward and developed the film. That’s his camera above.
That’s the story I thought of when Alison asked me if I would do that for her. I understood what she was asking.
There are some people that think they live. Some that wait to die. And some that wait to serve those things and people they love more than themselves.
We don’t get to pick. Life itself shows us which one we are.
Me: (nodding) I promise.
Podcast Version: Waiting to Find Out
Location: my empty apartment, covered in machinery and metal dust
Mood: waiting to breathe
Music: it’s all better now, wait for me, (Spotify)
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