I vividly remember the conversation when my husband decided that he wanted to take the First Responder route. At first it was to be an EMT. I was like, cool, save babies and stuff. Then of course because its my husband and he’s forever above and beyond, he told me shortly after that he wanted to fight fires…What am I supposed to say about that? Now look, I met my man as a Marine. Living on the edge, for today, deployments, YOLO, all that good stuff was how we started our relationship. It did not cross my mind at all what it really meant to support a man who’s passion is to be a hero. It frankly didn’t hit me until recently through a series at church that focused on purpose that I realized that this drive was a force that could not be reckoned with. What is his purpose?
To be there in the most dangerous of situations and let them know that he’s got them.
You see, in my eyes, he’s a warrior and a protector and the strongest mofo I know because thats how I feel around him. However, I was not prepared to have those attributes be the same reason why I resent, am terrified, and pray harder than ever because of this career path chosen. In the Marine Corps, we are taught that its not just a career, its a lifestyle. To embody is to be. Its not too different with being a Firefighter. I mean think about it; when everyone is running out, they are the ones running in. They don’t get paid half as much as they deserve and live for the adrenaline rush that house beep gives when structure fire is in the works. Not just anyone is made for this. On that note, not any woman is made to be a fire wife.
I had a scheduled C-section for our son and weeks before hubs signed up for the Fire Fighter Academy clear across the country (we were in California at the time and he signed up for Palm Beach Fire Academy In Florida). Then the day comes for baby boy to be born and after holding him for only a few hours, he jet set to the Fire Academy. We had intent to move to Florida so being credentialed through a formal school there was key to his new career. There aren’t enough words to describe what I felt when I saw him walk out the door after he nestled and kissed our kids goodbye.
Needless to say, this was only the beginning of what was to come. 3 years later and its been the hardest undertaking by far to support his path. Being a fire wife is a whole other level of commitment that I am still trying to learn. You would think that since we are a military couple that we are experts at conquering hardships, fatigue, long stints of being separated, and understanding the sacrifices for the sake of others. To an extent there are similarities, but I will say that this is harder.
I feel as if though Im a single mother most of the week. I more often times than not have our conversations interrupted by a fire call and abruptly hung up on; its to the point where I hesitate to even call. Our children, who are currently all under the age of 6, don’t understand the schedule cycle and often have melt downs when they want to see him and cant.
I eat and sleep alone.
Ones hears that you are married to a firefighter and the image of the hero is the first thing that pops up, which of course is very true. However, and I hope Im not coming off wrong or biased, the honorary MVP’s are those left at home hoping that their firefighter will return home unscathed. Its the partner in the rear that needs to hold down the fort while the other heads out daily to conquer the unknown. Its the ones left behind that are the support system to the one that faces daily challenges of sleep deprivation and losses that the average person would not be able to handle. Yes, being married to a firefighter is very glamorous.
However, when your husband wakes up with a smile on their face and so pumped for the day to come, how can you take that away? Easy; you don’t! Marriage is the ultimate teamwork. The strongest balance. Autonomous. A synergy that when fluid is unbreakable and strong. I strive for this every single day. Its what it takes to survive. After all, its time to change happy wife, happy life to happy spouse, happy house.