top of page


On a cold Christmas Eve early evening in 2010, I was sitting in my living room. Things were all around me, boxes. I was packing to move into my new townhouse. The scheduled move- in date was December 28, 2010. Earlier that day, two beautiful vibrantly colored hammocks had been delivered by UPS. I was doing a theme at the new house and wanted it to be "relaxation." So, hammocks were going up. As I stared at the long vertical boxes, that other voice in me lectured "You need to get up and go over to the new house and take the hammocks. At least that will be one thing out of the way. You know you have a zillion things to do." So the lazy Libra, even though she was exhausted, listened and drove the three minutes to my new home, hammocks in tow.

It was clear and dry outside. When I entered the new house, I was immediately astonished and happy. I was greeted by walls that were once white, lifeless and boring but had now been transformed by my hired painters so beautifully vivid. A miracle blue in the periwinkle family graced the living room, pumpkin creme showed off the dining area and upstairs, was raisin torte and Sherwood green in two bedrooms. The painters had done a wonderful job and I had to pat myself on the back. I had chosen wonderful colors by Benjamin Moore. Stimulating hues, just like my personality. Colorful, just like my characters. I was so excited and happy that I went out and knocked on a neighbor's door. I wanted them to see the place! A gentlemen came out, friendly, and listened to me babble on. He came in to check the place out and agreed it was wonderful and said he had white walls and color meant everything. We chatted a bit and he left. He said he was glad that such a nice and happy person would be his new neighbor. He had a dog, a Pit Bull and I told him I would be scared to death of it. He and his girlfriend had been living there about three years.

I then got into my car and headed back to the place I had rented for the past seven months. As I slowly drove down the road, it was now dusk and I noticed what I thought was a trash bag in the road. I thought "Who would leave this bag out here like this?" I stopped the car and got out to remove it. However, it was not trash, it was a body, fully clothed and laying in the street. This man was face up and unconscious. He was completely out of the parking lane. His ear plugs lay beside him. I started talking to him and there was no response. I cradled his head in my hand. I ran to my car and grabbed my phone and called police. I then raced back to him. The ambulance came. I wanted to go with him to the hospital and I explained to the police and medics that I needed to go home for my purse and I would accompany this stranger to the hospital. I did not want him to be alone. By the time I got home and made it back, his daughter was there. Edith was frantic and hugging me. She had gotten worried when her Dad did not return from his evening walk. We were both frenzied and hurriedly began trying to discuss the dynamics of the problematic situation as it was compounded by her stepmother, Arnold's wife, Marlene, who was left alone at their home. 

Marlene Winkler suffered from Alzheimer's disease and seventy year old Arnold was her sole and primary caregiver. Edith was visiting for the holidays and resided in Austria, where she was born. Marlene's condition and dementia had deteriorated over the years to her not being able to speak or take care of her personal needs. Marlene's speech had been drastically impaired for the past five years and was totally reliant on her husband. They lived alone together After a rushed conversation and my offering to take care of Marlene, we decided against that because I would be a total stranger and would probably frighten her. So, the ambulance sped off and Edith ran home to make calls to Marlene's children and Marlene's relatives. The marriage between Arnold and Marlene had been a second marriage for them both. Arnold had moved from Austria many years ago and had become an accomplished photographer. They had no children together. Arnold met Marlene in 1986 and she was a freelance advertising copywriter. She was also writing songs and singing while playing guitar. When they married two years later, Marlene opted to travel with her husband on his frequent domestic and international business trips. At that time Arnold was a Internationalization Evangelist. In this occupation he made computers capable for use throughout different countries. For forty years, Arnold was employed by Unisys and it's predecessors. Arnold has been married to Marlene for the past twenty five years.

I gave Edith my telephone number and asked her to call me and I left. I had to be extra careful driving now, as I suffer from night blindness. As I drove home I was thankful that the events happened as they did from late afternoon. I was grateful I left my house to take those hammocks, that I loved the paint and stayed to show it off, that I was driving slowly on that road when I spotted Arnold, and that I stopped to pick up what I thought was trash. The road I was on, people usually sped through there like crazy. Surely Arnold would have been hit by a car. I do not believe in coincidences. I know the events and the timing was planned. I was supposed to be where I was. I prayed to God he would make it.

Edith ended up taking Marlene to the hospital in her car.


Arnold Winkler

Thanks for saving my life

For picking me up, dusting me off

Making me feel like I'm living again


(Like I'm living again)


I'm so glad I ran into you

If I hadn't seen you

I would have been through

I was low as low could go

Could not stand anymore

Oh, I could never, never

Never, never repay you

I'm so grateful for all the things

You've done for me

Especially listening to my problems

Then saving me from misery

I just wanna say, thank you, baby, for saving my life

For picking me up, dusting me off

Making me feel like I'm living again

(Like I'm living again)

I'm so glad you came along

You stopped me from singing

That sad, sad song

You're the one who erased the pain

My life would never be the same

You're the very one, that only one

That I've been waiting for

I wanna thank you

For listening to all of my problems

And being my shelter

In and out of the storm


I just wanna say, thank you, baby, for saving my life

For picking me up, dusting me off

Putting me all back together, together, together

(Together, together, together)


I can live

(I can live)

Since I found you, baby


(I can live, I can live)

Now I can live

(I can live)

Since I got you back, baby


I just wanna say

Thank you, baby, for saving my life

(For saving this man)

For picking me up, dusting me off

(Don't you understand, what you're doing to me)


Thank you for saving my life

(We both hooked up, we played together)

For picking me up, dusting me off

(I can't live, I can't live without you, babe)

Didn't you, didn't you, didn't you, didn't you save me

Thank you for saving my life

For picking me up

bottom of page