This has been a tough week in the fire service family. I cannot even begin to imagine the grief and struggle those families of the Yarnell Fire and Granite Mountain Hotshots have to face. Being the wife of a firefighter is not something I ever saw myself as growing up. I don’t think you sit back and think about the desired profession of your spouse as a child, but I honestly couldn’t imagine my life any other way.
As a wife, you are always there to support and love your husband. It took a while for me to get used to his schedule, him being gone 24 hours and then off for 48 isn’t something I grew up having to plan around. If you had asked me three years ago how I felt about it I probably would have said that it was all right. After a few years, it’s become normal and really all I know. Hearing the sirens go through town or getting a text saying he’s going on a fire still makes my heart race. I’m not sure that I will ever get used to those feelings. I make it a point to constantly tell him how much I love him, and I ALWAYS have to tell him to be safe before he leaves for work.
There won’t ever be a day that I don’t worry about him at work or get anxious when I hear sirens, but I suppose that comes with the territory. I feel so blessed to call him my husband and to be married to my hero. Its weeks like this one that truly make me think about the dangers of his job and the realities that he faces every day. This week after hearing the stories of the Yarnell Fire, one of my coworkers told me she was thinking about me and asked how my husband felt about it all. He doesn’t talk about work much, but last night I asked him how he was feeling and this is how he responded.
“I know the dangers and the outcomes of those dangers. I can’t always let myself be afraid of them or I wouldn’t do my job. I know other people around me are affected by these types of tragedies much more than I am. Horrible tragedies such as the Yarnell Fire make me sad for the families and the other crews who know those men. I just have to keep doing my job as best I can to try to make sure all of my coworkers make it home.”
Listening to him talk can be so interesting. While I try not to think about the harsh and terrifying realities of the danger of his job, he thinks about it quite often. I’m thankful that he thinks about the dangers and is aware of his safety at all times. My husband is a quietly strong man. He rarely lets his job affect him, and when it does I know something really big must have happened. Firefighting to him is his career and his calling. He does his job because he has to, and because people need him. You will never hear him refer to himself as a hero, or even talk about something he did really well. He is the last person to compliment himself or brag. A couple weeks ago, he had a really difficult call. Not once did he talk about how good of a job he had done or how difficult the situation was. It was in listening to him tell the story to someone else that I realized that a doctor had called his department to try to talk to him because it was the best report he had ever read from a paramedic. Because my husband doesn’t go out of his way to let others know about a job well done, he sometimes doesn’t get the recognition he deserved. Hearing him tell me about the phone call he received really showed his pride and honor to receive those compliments. I couldn’t be more proud of the man I get to call my husband!
I know that every day he goes to work he will be put in dangerous situations. I also know that we need people like him to help keep our communities and lives safe. There is never a doubt in my mind that my husband loves me and he knows how much I love him. I am proud to call him my husband and I am so proud of the man and hard worker he is.
“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength. But the strength of his hear.” – Zeus