I enjoyed all of the 2013 holidays tremendously. As the year comes to an end, I must say that this last holiday season of the year has topped them all. During this time of year, most families practice traditions which result in sharing joy and love among family members and friends. We gather to enjoy great food and wonderful company; telling stories of things past and things to come.
I attended such a celebration on Christmas Eve at my brother's home. One of the events at the occasion was described as "angel recognition." Family members submitted writings about others who served as an angel. There were submissions from children recognizing and thanking parents for all they have done for them. Numerous ones recognized a sibling for kind acts. One reading was especially touching for me. It was about eleven year old Victoria, submitted by her Aunt Lucille. It read, "I would like to nominate Victoria as the child angel. Victoria and her siblings, mother and grandmother were involved in a very serious automobile accident. Amidst the wrecked vehicles, ambulances, helicopter, EMS personnel, and all of the commotion involved, the mother and grandmother were sprawled on the ground a distance away, not moving. The children didn't know what their mother's and grandmother's conditions were. The children had been helped from their vehicle. They were sitting on the ground hurting and in shock when they were told they needed to move across the road for safety reasons. Victoria's fourteen-year-old sister was injured in the accident and she wasn't able to walk. When Victoria discovered this, she didn't look around for help, or cry out for help. She didn't say to her sister, "Lean on me." With a quick sweeping motion she picked her sister up, and then carried her across the road to a safer area. She did it with so much ease that it looked as though she picked up and carried a baby doll. After the event, Victoria didn't speak about the help she provided. It was her siblings who told the amazing story to others." With ease, Victoria won the child angel nomination. Congratulations to her.
After the readings were completed, there was more conversation about Victoria. Her grandmother told the story of another incident in which Victoria acted heroically. Victoria's younger sister was eating a piece of peppermint candy, when she began choking on it. The grandmother began attending to her, and was trying to figure out how to handle the emergency. She was thinking about calling the children's mother and the EMS. Victoria rushed over and told her grandmother, "Get out of the way!" She grabbed her 10-year-old sister and performed the Heimlich maneuver on her. The candy popped out! Victoria then walked away and went back to doing her homework; like nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Her grandmother said, "She takes care of business and moves on."
Listening to the stories about Victoria's actions was one of my best presents this year. I love to hear stories of our young people doing such courageous things. It gives me hope for a bright future for them and for others.
Warm wishes go out to Victoria, who is now thirteen years old. She has informed her family that in the future she wants to attend Purdue University and study medicine. I am sure there will be more heartwarming stories about Victoria. To Purdue and to the World: "Make way for Victoria!!"
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee