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The burning need
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It’s Thursday morning at 4 a.m. and I can’t sleep.  It’s a common occurrence when I’m carrying a big load at work—my brain just doesn’t turn off even though my eyelids are closed.  So, instead of counting sheep, I’m doing a mental roll call of my to-do list at the office. But, I have a rule.  If I’m still awake after 30 minutes of lying in the dark, I get up.  And so, I did.

I quietly tiptoed out of the bedroom, so as not to disturb the furry kids and my snoring husband who are snuggled in.  As I make my way through the dark, I wander into the home office to check my email.  Darn! Nobody has emailed me since I checked at 11 p.m.  Hmmm—they must be sleeping, too. 

Next up,  I logged on and started reading the latest news and I see a post from Central Valley TV, from about midnight.  Their post transformed me from a zombie-like stupor to wide awake in just four seconds:  Fire crews battling an industrial structure fire at a nut company at Carpenter near Hackett Road. Westport and Ceres Fire on scene, with water tenders from Mountain View Fire responding.”Fire? Nut company? Carpenter and Hackett?  Oh, dear God…this is my sister and brother-in-law’s place.Nausea set in quickly.  My heart was aching for my family and simultaneously questions were swirling around in my brain.  Why didn’t they phone us about the fire?  Might they still be awake?  It’s 5 a.m., so should I phone or have they just fallen asleep?  Should I wake my husband?  Should I hop in my car and drive out there?  I continued reading.  Two other posts appeared on my page—one from a great niece and one from a great nephew who live near the fire.  Both had posted around 2 a.m. about the total loss of their Grandpa’s shop, filled with equipment, farm chemicals, and some irreplaceable lifetime treasures.

I was stunned.  I was helpless.  I felt very alone—just me and my Facebook page.

Friends, this is a perfect and unfortunately real example of how fast life can take a turn for the worse.  And when it does, you want the best emergency services at your fingertips.  It’s also why I’m actively involved in Legacy Circle of Emanuel’s fund drive to bring advanced cardiovascular services to Turlock. 

My friend and cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Harold Tabaie, said it best on Thursday tonight, “If something happens to your heart, money cannot replace it.  And as long as your heart ticks, you can enjoy life.  If the ticker stops, life is over.”    

This is our final week of our annual fund drive and we need your help to make our $1 million goal.  But this goal isn’t about us—it’s about you and your ticker.  We want you to enjoy a long, healthy life, because just like what my family experienced on Thursday, life can change at a moment’s notice. 

Please pledge to Legacy Circle by phoning 664-5180.  Then, climb into your warm bed, count a few sheep, and rest well knowing that advanced cardiovascular services will be available very soon in our community.

Pennie Rorex is a member of and volunteers for Legacy Circle of Emanuel.