I am the wife of a 4th generation firefighter. My husband has been a fireman for 20 years. He is a truck guy, which means he’s part of the ladder company and he also drives the fire truck. I realize that how I feel on many levels has no relevance to those women whose husbands served on the New York Department. I have learned that firefighting is a job that forces you to work with a beast that shows itself in the form of : city politics that threaten the calling, house politics that give you headaches, pin-in saves that cause nightmares, biohazard calls that are silent, invisible and deadly. And, of course there is the actual fire that shows up in garbage cans, in ovens with burnt pizzas at 3am and as arsons that sacrifice more than most really understand. But I have learned to look past all of this and really feel committed to being happy and grateful for so many things. My POV on life is in no way a criticism of those who carry anger and fear, while still finding themselves healing and coping with the 9/11 tragedy. The world is and will be a different place because of that one-day. But with America focused on what happened and the memorializing of everyone that died on 9/11, I seem to reflect on what I am grateful for and the things that make me feel happy about being the wife of a fireman.
1. Although he lives 1/3 of the year at the firehouse, I feel he is part of my kid’s life more comprehensively than a man that travels for work or has to put long hours in on a daily basis 5 days a week.
2. I benefit daily from the engrained ability firemen have to find humor in just about anything.
3. I am grateful for all the traditions embedded into the fire culture – like his father, my husband will not fight, argue or allow himself to get mad after dinner and never before bed.
4. I cherish his calm demeanor under all nerve-wrecking situations – whether he removing a 1 inch fish-hook from a friend’s thigh surrounded only by woods, helping to deliver our first baby and then keeping me composed during all the disasters that naturally comes with children.
5. Most of all I love the stories he tells, which happen to be the good ones, because he never shares the bad ones with me.
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