Wednesday, February 12, 2014

That's where the firemen are - always out there taking care of us

Every night for as long as my boys could talk they've asked me if daddy's going to be home tomorrow.  And I answer yes.  Or maybe, no, he'll be at work.  And sometimes I think they ask that because they like daddy more than me. But maybe they're just wondering ... Is daddy really going to come home tomorrow?

And I always say yes.  And we always pray for daddy and all the other firemen out there taking care of us.  Because that's where the firemen are.  Always out there taking care of us. 

(And just to note... my husband wishes I didn't call him daddy so much.  Like my sweet old Aunt Vera who would yell across the room to my even older Uncle Clem, who was missing a thumb from an unfortunate cotton gin accident, ..... DADDY?  Do  you want cornbread or biscuits with supper?)

The sad news around here is that we lost another firefighter last night.  Too many in such a short amount of time.  And Fireman Dave's heart is broken.  This particular loss being a friend and coworker who apparently shared, along with other things far more fire-manly important I'm sure, the love of another woman's brownies.  Heard all about it more than once. (made with coconut oil I hear, which made the brownies noteworthy and this wife a little baked goods jealous.)

And after hearing the line of duty death news, again and again it seems lately, my mind goes directly to the wife and kids left behind.  Because most of us don't know much other than being a fireman's wife.  

Fireman Dave said that back in rookie school the instructor told them to look around.... look around at the faces in that roomTHESE are the only ones who will ever understand what you do.  Because they do it too.  And these guys need the support of each other as the years go on to deal with some of the things they see and do.  And no, Chicago Fire isn't really accurate.  It's TV.  

Years ago when we were still new to this business... I asked a friend about some things - a friend, also married to a fireman, and extremely encouraging in every way.  I asked her how I'm not supposed to worry and be afraid every time my husband goes to work.  And her answer was simple, really.... a husband isn't ours to hold on to.  He is a gift of this particular moment in life.  Shared for the moments we have together, the best way we can.  And if that goes away tomorrow, then make sure we did good with what we had.  Good answer, wise woman.  

And I really don't spend a lot of time thinking about the possible dangers of the day.  I can't. If I did I wouldn't get anything else done.  And I'd go crazy with possibility. 

So I do my thing and he does his, and I keep telling the boys that daddy will be home tomorrow.  Then we pray.  That's how we do it. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. And as a fireman, I pray for my wife and daughter at home. And tonight, because you shared your heart, I'll pray for you and your family too.

  2. awesome! Was on duty that night, crazy dangerous all over the roads, just so sad...

  3. Perfectly Penned. We are a fire family with three boys also and that's how we do it too. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. I also like to know that my husband is trained to be safe and that he will do his best to come home to us.

  5. So beautifully written. David has always been a favorite of mine......a face I love to see at a scene. It stands to reason he'd have a wise and discerning mate. My heart breaks for all those guys at 12's and throughout our department.

  6. As a firefighters wife, no more true words were spoken. The morning I heard of the on duty death, I immediately started crying. I cried because I knew that somewhere a women's worse fear had come true; her firefighter didn't come home. I have never met her, or her husband, but I know her. I know that each night he's on duty she had to tell her kids daddy would be home tomorrow. I know that morning she was broken. Unless you're fire family, you just don't know.

  7. As the sister of Scott Tanksley, this brings tears to my eyes. Thank you and thank you husband for the sacrifices he makes to make us safe.

    Christi Tanksley Lively

  8. A reminder of how these men and women risk their lives for people they don't know. These dedicated firemen and policemen are our true heroes. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Laura Walker-HolmesFebruary 13, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    That was beautiful! Scotty was one of my best friends in high school, this is an unimaginable tragedy for our community and we are pulling together just as I expected. My brother is also a fireman, and even as the sister of a fireman the fear is real...You just never know!

  10. As a fire wife and mom of 3 daughters we have the same discussions every 3rd day. I tell my girls (and myself) that God will take care of Daddy and protect him, and He will take care of us if for some reason Daddy can't! However, Our Heavenly Father does both every day --thankfully. People ask me too how I can stand it! My man is doing what he LOVES and absolutely wouldn't consider doing something else--it's who he is--how can I let my fear stand in the way of that dream. He is the glue that holds this crazy mess we call life together. Praying for the DFR family in the days to come.


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