"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser


My View


Life goes on with help of a caring community

Robert Dembik, a resident of West Seneca, is thankful to be living in Western New York.

By Robert Dembik

It will be another great year in Buffalo because in this locale, someone or something will always have your back.

Yes, it will be a great year in Buffalo because we live in one of the greatest cities in America. We live in an area that has some of the best weather in the country. And, of course, we live in a region where people tend to stick up for one another, look out for one another and have each other’s back. I know that last entry firsthand and all too well.

I had been traveling in late October to the Maryland/Washington,

D. C., area for a family christening. It was an early Sunday morning, one of those 6 a. m. flights that we all love so much. Our family was preparing to welcome

its first newborn in more than 30 years. There was a lot to be thankful for, right before the holiday season.

I had come to enjoy and embrace Buffalo Niagara International Airport’s coziness, and I was looking forward to this excursion. However, I don’t remember my trip to the airport, or even being there, because I had a “heart event” and almost met my maker. I collapsed just after making it through the security checkpoint.

If you live in Western New York, you know what happened next. The Buffalo Airport Fire Department and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police Department went into emergency mode. The first responders’ actions were magnificent!

As fate would have it, a local doctor was walking by and saw the whole thing. He immediately began CPR on me, which turned a life-threatening event into a lifesaving experience for me. The automatic external defibrillator was used with great success. I eventually made it to one of our great, local hospitals. The doctors cooled my body down to 90 degrees. Then the wait began. Maybe it wasn’t my time, after all.

For those of you who like to complain about the little stuff, or the big stuff, or any stuff we have to put up with in life, (myself included), I say, “complain not!” It’s a privilege to live in this realm of existence we call life, this great city we call Buffalo and this great country we call the United States of America.

The City of Good Neighbors? This is an understatement! We have a wonderful and unmatched spirit in this locale. The people in this region stand for something and mean something to each other, and I suggest the notion that we mean something to the rest of the world.

For those who like to whine that no one cares about them, or that they are always in a bad spot, or that their glass is always half full, or not full at all, I say: Remember that someone or something will always have your back in Buffalo.

That’s because the great spirit of Niagara Falls, or the spirit of Father Nelson Baker, or the spirit of someone or something you care deeply about, had my back on that fateful day. And it will always have yours, too. It’s another great new year in Buffalo, and I am thankful to be here.

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