“I grew up in Mobile. My mom is a retired nurse. She was the school nurse at Bishop State. I helped my her care for my grandmother when I was in high school and caregiving started from there. I majored in nursing and went to the University of Mobile. In my last year, I failed pediatrics. An 80 was a C and that was the lowest you could make was a B. I had a 79.5 and they didn’t round up. My mom suggested I go to EMT school and got my license while waiting a year to take the class again. I worked on an ambulance and took pediatrics a second time. I made a 79.5 again. That hurt, and I was done with nursing school. I kept working on an ambulance and we made calls with the fire department. They told me I should join the department. I started training, but I failed the physical twice. I was determined and knew being a fireman is what I wanted to do. I passed it the third time. Once I got on, I loved it from the first day. I was 30, but wish I had started at 18. A lady told me to find something you would do for free, that is what you love and where your work should be. Firefighting is that for me. Failing that test twice in nursing was a blessing. But I used what I learned in nursing in training for EMT and still have a foot in the medical side. It was a good lesson that you have to work at anything that is worth something in life.
I also wanted to do something on my own, I just didn’t know what. It kept crossing my mind about lawn care, but the lazy side of me would say I hate cutting my own grass, why would I cut someone else’s. Then I realized cutting grass is my quiet and meditation time. I may hate it, but it is my escape. My wife got me back into church and into the Bible. When she suggested I should open a lawn care company, I knew it was the right thing. I needed to slow down and listen. That was two months ago. I had to get the money for my equipment and started CPR Lawn Service. I had a dream while I was at the fire department that I was a plumber submitting a bid for a job. The guy held up a sign with a company name. I later drove home from work a different way and saw the same sign in front of the company. I told my wife that was the first business I was going to call when I got my equipment. Two weeks later they called me back and hired me.
We do one day on and two days off at the fire department. I cut yards after work and on my days off. My dream is for my lawn business to grow and I can turn it over to my 10-year-old son. He is eager to get out there with me and help.
Working at the fire department, we see some tough things. My wife says I turn myself off because I try to not bring work home. I didn’t realize I was closing down. I had to find the balance where I wasn’t bringing work home, but still be emotional and human. The people of Mobile do so much for our fire department and look out for us. They bring things to the station or randomly pay for our meals when we are out. Feeling that, I wanted to give back to others. I know how hard it is for senior citizens on a fixed income. And now there is COVID. During July, I offered a free lawn care service for seniors. I wanted to give back to them because they do so much to us. The elderly we see during calls are often by themselves. They are lonely and need someone to talk to. We try to listen and be there for them.
I have been speechless at the outpouring of love I have received over the last two months. One lady sent me $25 for fuel for my lawnmower. Another day, I came home from cutting lawns and had a gift bag from my neighborhood. There is such an outpouring of love. I want to do a little good for others, but people give it right back to me.”