Monday, February 9, 2009

A fireman's wife

I sneak out of the house five mornings each month and sometimes I hurry back in, slip into our bedroom, and leave a note for my wife. Oh, I always leave a note - except for a few times when I've totally forgotten - wanting to remind my wife of 30 years just what she means to me as I slip out the door, and head down the hill to the station.

On this job, the "helping someone on the worst day of their life" job, I rely upon a lot of my personality and my life's experiences, which I use to help the people I encounter. A lot of that experience stems from my wife. Through her life with me, she has helped people she'll never know - all through me.

I have seen her struggle with my work. I think she might be a little afraid sometimes, but she trusts that I know what I'm doing. She gets lonely mostly. Those quiet, late nights, while I'm sleeping, or maybe out on a call, she's in front of her computer playing solitaire or on Facebook. It's not easy being a fireman's wife; lots of missed school events and soccer games. Birthdays are never celebrated on the day, but on the next day when Poppa is home from work. It's not easy being a single parent - especially when you're really not single.

I don't bring home most of the bad stuff. But, once in awhile, I rely upon my best friend to buoy me when I'm upset about a call, or just tired from being up all night. She's never disappointed me; always willing to let me sleep or to listen.

I hear alot that it takes a special person to do this work. But I'd counter that it takes someone even more special to support the people doing this work. The wives, husbands and friends that are our support systems. My wife, Lisa, is that person for me. She is there for me. She inspires me. She teaches me and she is the reason I always come home.

I love you, baby.