Words to live by


To the Editor:

Thirty years ago, my dad, Rick Brew, was roughly one month into serving the Island community as an EMT. While he has held a few different jobs since 1985, this work remained constant. He retired from the Tisbury ambulance service in June, with what I hope is the knowledge that he served his community well.

My dad is a man of few words, yet he has managed to better the lives of many with selfless action. Recently, I met someone who, upon recognizing my last name, asked if I was Rick’s daughter. Upon confirming this, he said simply, “Your father saved my life.” As I recount this story, I feel tears building in my eyes because I know my dad saved more than this one man. Over and over he gave many terrified people a sense of calm; he never took credit for the saves, and constantly wondered how to improve his skills when tragedy happened. For me, that is selflessness; that is service; and that is worth celebrating.

In a time where virtually every news story involves acts of violence or hate, it is hard to remember that people are good. My dad’s commitment to strangers in need is an example of the type of good worth celebrating, and his actions deserve recognition.

He sent me a note while I was struggling in college that said, “Be patient, smile, enjoy the day, work hard, be honest, have fun, love your friends … there isn’t much else that’s important.” I share these words with all of you as a reminder of what is important in this life, as a means to allow my dad’s commitment to better the community to live on, and to honor his poignant advice.

Galen Brew

Oak Bluffs