Sometimes people ask me what it’s like to be a firefighter’s wife and I talk about the schedule and the hours and the pay (or lack of) and the extra jobs necessary to survive, but I have a story this week that I needed to tell about the passion behind my man.
Ron and I have some pretty set habits after 14 years of marriage. He works 24 hours at the station and 48 hours off. On his days off, he has worked several different part time jobs over the years, so for the most part, he works on his days off. He has always worked hard so that I could be home (most of these years) with my kids. Even the years that I worked, he helped by not working on his days off to help with the kids. Through these years, his favorite job has always been the most dangerous and my least favorite for him to leave for.
He leaves before we are up in the morning, so it feels like we don’t see him since the night before. Plus, the insurance company, assure me that it’s a dangerous job, while my husband and his captain assure me that they are very “safe” at work :) Hollywood and the general movie, cable, and TV industry don’t assure me at all of any part of his job.
Regardless, I have learned to not waste too much energy or time worrying. I have given his life and career over to God for protection and blessing. Plus, there is no need to have my children “learn” to worry about their daddy.
I change the channel when fires on TV, and avoid discussing 911 excessively. The movie, Ladder 49…only saw it once in the theatre…will NEVER see again. That scence when the red fire admin car pulls up at the house (which is bad news if your fireman is not home and one of those pulls up), pushed me over the edge. That movie hit the never watch again list.
Back on track, the usual 24 hour shift starts with them cooking breakfast, going grocery shopping for lunch and dinner and breakfast for the next shift. Sometimes they have training and then back for lunch and playing games to make losers do dishes. Oh yes, a few calls in between. :) Car accidents, drunk people, medical calls, alarm investigations, some public eduation things and OH, the occasional FIRE!!!
Our firefighter marriage communication schedule consist of a morning, afternoon, and a couple of evening chats. (THREE CHEERS to ATT for mobile to mobile minutes on our cell phones! HIP HIP HOORAY) We dated years ago, long distance from Maine to Texas and somtimes I think we communicate better on the phone than in person :) Anyway, at the end of his shift, I “ring” him when I get the kids up for school like a “GOOD MORNING, honey!” call. Sweet, right? He rushes home in time to tell them Good Morning and BYE (for school).
I promise I’m going somewhere with this…
On Monday, it happened like it rarely does, but makes time pass SO SLOWLY. He didn’t call all evening. I started to call him about 9:30 thinking maybe they are watching a movie, right? Again, no answer. 10pm, no answer. 11pm, no answer. I left a message to call when they got back (assuming on a call). When there are so many hours without an answer, this dw, (darling wife), knows there was most likely a fire. It changes my focus of the evening. I always continue what I’m doing, but it’s like when you are reading a book and realize you read like three pages and don’t remember what you just read. Sometimes I turn on the TV to catch the news, but most of the time, I don’t. I’m not even sure of my reasoning for that. My kids say things to me and I can’t focus on what they are asking, or people will call me and I seem dazed or confused. Just a really odd feeling.
So at 11:40 ish, my phone rang! Yea, it was me (well, that’s what comes up on the caller ID). It was dh, darling husband. In my relieved voice, I answered, “hey…did you guys have a long call?”
WHAT DID I HEAR ON THE OTHER END???
An excited grown man that sounded like a passionette little boy playing with friends at a slumber party! He told me all about “the FIRE”. A REAL one. A GOOD one. He ran into a burning building with his friends. He crawled around on the floor with a huge hose and couldn’t see a thing! The fire was already blowing out the roof and windows…AWESOME (not my words, his). The smoke was almost all the way down to the floor. They had to crawl so low, the water they sprayed was falling down and filling their pant legs up and almost burning their legs. (just another injury I had not thought of until now, THANKS ALOT) , AND the best part, they stopped it. The story went on for a while and I realized that my worry was while my husband was having some good ‘ol guy time. They were even excited because they were all together. It’s rare that they get such a “GREAT” fire when all the normal people are together, no one out sick, none out on vacation. My man was a having a great time in an air mask and turn out gear. I’m telling you Darling Husband was PUMPED UP!!! Why would I worry?????
I know someone has to be glad about running into those fires, but I don’t know if I have to be as excited as he is about the fires. I just smile and nod and tell him I love him, in case there is a “GREAT” fire next shift. Here is hoping he has such a happy stop and ending to all the great fires!
Cheers to our firemen and women, and my sincere apologies to these poor people who lost their home and had to watch these men party over it! :)