It’s 2:30 a.m. and nothing can be heard in our house except for the faint hum of the furnace and pupper’s snores. Beep beep beep! Jimmy’s miniter goes off and I shoot up in bed, heart racing. Ugh. Another fire call. Another rudely awakened sleep.
“Gotta go, I love you!” He yells as he scrambles to get dressed.
It’s 5:30 p.m. and I just sat dinner down on the dining room table. I pull my chair out and put my napkin on my lap. Beep beep beep! Jimmy’s phone goes off. Another fire call. Another time the pup goes crazy as Jimmy rushes around the house and out the door.
“Do you have to go?” I ask. “Someone needs help, of course I have to go!” He replies.
Another dinner alone.
It’s 1 p.m. and we’re almost finished running errands for the day. Beep beep beep! Another fire call. Another longing look from Jimmy.
“Well, let’s go or you’re not gonna make it,” I say.
Another call we rush to and I sit in the car until he’s finished. (I think I’ve made more calls than some of the actual firemen.)
Life as a fire wife is not always easy. It’s time spent alone because you just never know when a house fire, a wreck, a brush fire or an ambulance assist will come in. It’s errands and dinners cut short. It’s being late to dates and lots of other things.
It’s prep nights and fish fries. It’s softball and parades and holiday events. It’s meetings and even more meetings. It’s purse bashes and gun bashes and golf bashes and car cruises. It’s banquets and Ladies Auxiliary functions and Fire Prevention Day. It’s Sunday mornings at the club doing membership and Friday evenings at the hall logging calls. It’s one fundraiser or event or drill night after the other. It’s listening to how the call went – good or bad – because sometimes they were unfortunate and he needs to get it off his chest.
It’s tiring and an adjustment. It’s finding the right balance. It’s also friendships, loyalty, good times and accountability. You don’t tell your 13-year-volunteer-firefighter-now-husband he can’t do what he loves anymore. You find a middle ground. You compromise.
He’ll learn to share his love of firefighting with his love for you. He’ll even want to share his love of firefighting with you. He’ll want you to come along and take pictures and hang out. And even when you don’t really feel like it, you’ll go. Because seeing him happy makes you happy, and even though him being a volunteer firefighter and running into burning buildings for free can be annoying at times, you’re always going to be so proud of him.