He worked as an EMT over an hour from home, mostly transporting sick patients from their homes and nursing homes to the doctor's office and hospital.
Some of my favorite stories included one about a lady who was in a panic to follow the ambulance carrying her loved one to the hospital. She backed out her driveway so fast that she hit the ambulance! knocking everyone inside to the ground. Cal hit his head on that one. There was also the time a nursing home called in the EMT to take a patient to the hospital. Although they arrived immediately with sirens and lights blazing the patient was already dead - in fact the patient was so dead that rigor mortise had set in! yet as required by law they had to perform CPR while transporting the obviously deceased individual. I was also impressed that Calvin was able to parallel park the ambulance on a street in Cleveland - a feat I don't attempt in just a regular car - ever!
But there were more than a few life or death situations. He's seen some tragic things including death. A couple of times his company was called in to the scene of some traffic accidents to verify that the individuals at the scene were dead. I guess this was a time saver for the county coroner. I can't imagine what Calvin saw on those calls.
He also knows what it is like to work for a difficult employer and then lose a job. He tackled paramedic school - making it all the way to end before having a hard time with toxicology and then getting bumped from the program. Fighting to get unemployment and trying to make ends meet - yea, this was definitely a growing up year.
But Calvin proved to be the kind of man I thought he was. He found another job that ended up paying him more. He still volunteers on the weekend as an EMT, and the paramedic school welcomed him back for another try. He's manning up.
He's found his own way politically and philosophically. Someone on the Huffington Post warned me that my adult children will rebel against my conservative ways and I agreed.
"Yep, I know, " I replied. "My adult son is a card carrying member of the NRA. He rebelled and went to the right of me!"
Not quite what they wanted to read but I got a kick out of it.
He's taken some baby steps back to his Catholic faith too. When the discussion turned to the Obama administration forcing Catholic institutions to cover contraception and abortion, Calvin was livid. I was a bit surprised at how strongly he felt about it and asked him why.
"Mom, I believe absolutely everything the Catholic church teaches to be true." and then with that familiar naughty smile he added, "I just can't live like that right now."
But he's gone occasionally to confession and to mass so I remain hopeful.
Happy Birthday Calvin.