Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"I don't know how you do it..."

I have several conversations (almost daily actually) that usually start or end this way. Not for reasons you may think either. Some of my closest friends and family members have actually said this to me. They are not talking about being a full-time working mom of two boys 23 months apart.
They are talking about being a Fireman's wife.
I believe God has a special place in heaven for us :)
Being in the fire service comes with the obvious risks. After all, they go running into a burning building while everyone else goes running out.
Often times, people are quick to blame. If their house had damage after the fire, its the fire departments fault. If they were cut off in traffic, its the fire departments fault. If the window was broken in an attempt to enter a home with an unconscious person inside, its the fire departments fault. If the carpet was stained with footprints or the curtains smell of smoke or the pictures are charred, its the fire departments fault.
Sure, these things happen. But in the grand scheme of things, they are often a result of someone doing their best to help you in your time of need.
I'm probably pretty biased when it comes to how I feel about the sacrifice made when you choose to join a fire department. Probably, because I've been there.
My husband and I met in middle school but we began dating when we were both members of the same Volunteer Fire Department.
I know first hand the meaning of that commitment. I understand the passion that goes into what he does. His call to duty. In my eyes, they are often times, unsung hero's. And for that reason, it has not and will not ever be an issue in our marriage.
My husband is Captain in a volunteer fire department. The amount of time and energy he pours into a job that is volunteer baffles those who do not understand. People often ask him "why"
Why he gets up for every call day or night when he is not at work or out of town?
Why do you not just turn the pager off at night so you can get a full nights sleep?
Why do you leave in the middle of a meal for a fire call?
Why have you missed out on dinner with your family?
Why did you not get to see your son play peek-a-boo?
Why did you miss a birthday party?
Why are you always late?
How do you spend countless hours at a fire only to come home and shower before going off to your "Real" job?
Why do you do it?
Volunteers sacrifice a lot. Most of the time, the people who are complaining about what the fire department is at fault for are often forgetting that the very people they are blaming...are missing out on time with their families to help yours.
I once asked my husband why he has such a devotion to help someone he doesn't even know. Someone who cannot repay him for the help he gave. His response made me smile. "That moment, the moment someone has to call the fire department...its probably the worst day of their life. When someone calls for help, they expect help will come. If I am able to help, I will always go."
His devotion to something greater than himself...that's why "I do it". It scares me to think what the world would be like if there weren't selfless people like him living in it.
I hope that if you ever find yourself having the worst day of your life and you have to call for help that you are in the fortunate circumstance of having someone who is willing to stop whatever they are doing and miss that time with their families to help yours.
You will forever by my hero Giovanni. I love you & am so very proud to call you mine.

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