“Only the the front wheels turn”, Jason says to his mom, my best-friend Heather, as she tries to maneuver the hotel baggage cart.
I must admit, it’s not easy to steer at all. I know this, not because I’ve tried yet, but because it seems to steer quite similarly to an old paramedic stretcher.
“I can help.” I say to Heather, and as we try to navigate the hotel lobby, elevator and room, we crash into more walls than, “Canada’s Worst Driver”.
I laugh out loud while I share ‘orders’ as politely as possible. “You need to back up”, “Don’t turn yet”, “Let me take that side”. It’s a hilarious episode that I’m sure amused the onlookers.
Heather and I manage to park the hotel baggage cart in the hall for the night, and when the next day arrives I wheel the cart back into the room and load it up while Heather is in the washroom getting ready. “You did that all by yourself?” She asks, when she sees this. “Ya, it’s all good! It’s sort of like a paramedic stretcher. It’s not easy to figure out right away.” I smile at her. And in my mind I can recall all of the stretcher mishaps I had as a new paramedic, and I feel the paramedic-teacher side of me make sure that Heather knows that she still did a great job.
Fast forward to the afternoon. After an amazing day of presentations to the Canadian Mental Health Association, by our not-for-profit, BrainStorm Revolution, I grab the hotel baggage cart and look for Heather so we can plan our destructive route back to our room. But then, Matt arrives! A fellow retired paramedic who naturally grabs the other end of the cart, and we maneuver with grace through the conference area and into the elevator. “Keep your hands in at all times.” Matt remarks…we laugh…and I know that we are definitely on the same page. “Always a medic. At least these halls don’t smell like cigarettes!” I say as we go up a few floors. “It will be the last room on the right!” I joke as we push the cart down the long hotel hall. I can feel that we are both making sure that we are doing our fair share of the pushing/pulling, just like a good, veteran medic does. And we chuckle at how the two retired medics inherently took up the causes to drive the cart correctly.
The experience reminded me so much of the old days. The GOOD old days; because there still are a lot of great memories. I miss some of the times I had with my partners as we navigated the toughest terrains with a stretcher. The wet baseball field, the car-piece scattered highway, the golf course, the snow banks, the sandy beach, the flooded streets, the hoarders hallways, the back alleys, the patron-filled restaurants, the icy driveways…oh the icy driveways! The muddy trails, the white carpets, the dusty factory, and the homes…of many. SO many. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
Hey, Matt. Thanks for the memories today. And Heather, you would have made an amazing medic!