Soapbox Stories Presents: Life Lessons From A Red Serge – A Book Review

“Life Lessons from a Red Serge”
by Barb Porter and Linda Garvey
Published by McKenzie Carver & Associates
Reviewed by Ben Charles
C$15.95 ISBN: 9781775353607

“Life Lessons from a Red Serge”, written by sisters Barb Porter and Linda Garvey is an uplifting slice of Canadiana that warms the heart and strengthens the spirit. This collection of life lessons, take-aways, and advice compiled by the sororal duo is dedicated to the authors’ brother, Staff Sergeant Peter Garvey, who unfortunately passed away in 2017 at the age of 54 years old. This book acts a touching tribute both to the Saskatchewan born-and-raised officer and to the service of others in need that he strived for. In addition to serving his communities as an RCMP officer, Peter was also actively involved in the Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers (SARSAV) as a Search and Rescue member. In fact, profits from the sale of this book will be donated to SARSAV in his honour.

The contents of this book contain a series of life-lessons inspired by Peter. The authors had written them into a checklist format with the intention of providing daily reminders to the Sergeant’s grandchildren of how to live as the best people that they can be. The list is categorized into such themes as honesty, listening to others, living with a sense of humour, humility, gratitude, the importance of family, and many others. Each theme is divided as chapters containing a few pages of meaningful insights that a reader of any age and any walk of life can appreciate. The chapters also end with a simple yet powerful summary of the lesson. Personally, I enjoyed the segment of “Honesty, Sincerity, & Integrity” as it provided me with the reminder that it is important to listen to every person that you meet and to take their words seriously. You may never know what a person may teach you from listening to them.

If I could describe this book in one word, it would be “wholesome”. The daily reminders found within this delightful read do not push an agenda but simply act as a guide that anyone can follow and implement into their daily lives at any time. The writers also did a fantastic job at showcasing the Sergeant’s love of dogs and their importance to life and family, and really, who doesn’t agree with that?

I highly recommend this book as a gift for the people in your lives who are passionate about the service of others. This checklist of counting blessings and remembering what’s important in life does not take long at all to read. It could easily become a daily routine for policemen, firemen, nurses, teachers, paramedics, and to anyone in your life that you turn to when you need help. Not only did the authors draw their inspiration for helping others through their brother but also through their own passion for helping others that they have demonstrated through their accomplished nursing careers. By picking up a copy of this book, you too can help people by providing a plethora of insight and contributing to the Search and Rescue efforts of Saskatchewan.

THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR FROM WWW.SKBOOKS.COM

 

 

 

The RCMP

A proclaimed hunger for justice,
A silent thirst to kill.
I have the right;
Just give me a reason or two.
Both of those hands in your pockets will do.
You’ve got to be an addict and a thug.
I must assume that you’re a murderer, or at least on drugs.
I smile.
You’re too powerless to fight, too poor to sue.

The public eye scorns, the journalists cry,
“Why does another innocent person have to die!?”
We huff and we sigh.
Charade lazily,
“Our Thoughts and Prayers are with the family.”

Open tears.
Closed laughter.

This man again? What is he after!?
He’ll never learn his lesson,
I’ll fuckin’ learn him.
His drunken stumbles have stumbled on my nerves…

THE LAST FUCKING TIME!

He’ll learn his lesson.

I think a long walk home will sober him up,
Them Indians walk or ride stolen bikes,
When they’re not stealing cars,
Or stabbing each other in dykes or in bars

He’ll learn his lesson.

The Cold.
The Cold bites with the fury of one thousand suns
A thousand suns I wish for in the dark, the complete unknown.

Where am I?

Wet feet trudge towards nothing, towards a thought and a prayer
I cry.
The wind laughs at my misery and lashes my skin, my lips and my heart are sealed
I know that this it. I am condemned to die.

Dead feet trudge a dead man,
I am afraid.
Will I ever see my family again? My heart bleeds.
For I know I will not see them, they will only see me.

Dead feet trudge a dead man,
I fall.
Violent shaking, dead calmness of night.
Vivid visions of spectacular colours dance
Ancestors perform on this virgin stage of snow, ice and wind.
I watch the dance. No strength left to trudge.
The ice embraces me; I feel warmth for the last time.
I am afraid.
I don’t want to go,
But must be brave,
I accept my doom.
The RCMP
Chose this field as my tomb,
The ice as my grave.

 

 

CREATOR!

 

GOD!

Whoever is there,
Whoever can hear.
Why am I not dead yet?
Why have you forsaken
A Red Man
To turn Blue?

I repent,
I was once lost, but now am found
I was blind, but now I see
If only someone knew I was here
If only shards have ice have not blinded me
I only I wasn’t just an inconvenience in the eyes of the RCMP.

I am free.

 

“He learnt his lesson”,
Say the Children of God.
“He got what he deserved”,
Say the Children of God.

“That’s what happens when you get drunk”,
Say the Children of God.

“It was all his fault, really”,
Say the Children of God.

“His peaceful death was a blessing; he was saved from being lost. He was a drunk and a sinner, doomed for the flames of Hell. Now he’s with Jesus, Death saved him from himself.”
Say the Children of God.

 

Whatever happened to that ol’ drunk?
The one that we taught?
How come he is not here to thank us?
That’s just like them.

So entitled,

So victimized.
Just get over it, already. It’s been a long time now
since you were left childless, tongue-less and sodomized.

We are here to make you feel safe,
We are here to turn the Red to Pink,
We are here with a secret lust for blood,
We are here to bury language in the mud,
We are here to rape life, destroy peace,
We are here to keep The Problem policed,
We are here dutifully,
We are the RCMP.