Following a scary episode last week, our 99-year-old columnist insisted on filing this report:

Those of us who have been helped by a paramedic, fireman, policeman, or other emergency worker, probably felt the gratefulness I’m feeling at this time. Three days ago, I had a near-death experience in which I suddenly could not breathe. It is almost impossible to describe the frightening trauma I encountered. Even in my semi-conscious state, however, I was able to discern the skill and kindness of the lifesavers as they evaluated my condition.

One young man held my hand assuredly and calmly. Another worker administered oxygen through a heavy emergency mask that enveloped me in complete darkness, foreboding a forever darkness before me. When the blackened oxygen mask was exchanged for a less invasive oxygen delivery system, I could hear my dear daughter conversing with the emergency helpers. How do I ever express the reassuring and uplifting feeling I had upon hearing these voices as I became a reawakened human.

I am sure these lifesavers receive grateful comments and words of thanks. I truly hope they realize how they have benefited the lives of those they’ve served and their families.

Over the years I have had several occasions to call our local fire and police departments for assistance. Our village service people have always been exceptionally caring and efficient. We here in River Forest and Oak Park are fortunate to have these unusually empathic lifesavers.

Note to my readers: Do not fret! I plan to continue living and writing and possibly annoying you!

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