Today is Sept.11th. (yup, I know you know!) Married to a firefighter, I sometimes think 9/11 means something different to me than others. Kind of like being a parent evolves once you realize your child is special.
I always took what my husband did for work lightly. I mean, yes he is a firefighter but it was a remote thing to me. Kind of like my job, he has no idea what I do at the office all day. It doesn't mean we do not respect one what the other one does. It is just a given.
I go to my job, he to his. He used to tell a story that until you were a firefighter you had NO idea what they did. He was right.
We had been dating for over 5 years when 9/11 happened, engaged for almost a year. In our time together he had been electrocuted in a fire (he smelt burnt for about a week--not a pleasant smell), been dropped 2 stories in a training drill, been caught in a backdraft and had thrown out his back when he was lifting a drunk on a stretcher and the drunk started flailing.
In all the years we have been together, he had mishaps but nothing serious. I know what you are thinking...electrocution, not serious? Well it wasn't like he was admitted to the hospital or anything. He had an 'incident' at work, went to the ER and came home. If I remember correctly, he waited until the rescue brought some one else into the ER and then had them drive him home on the way back to the station. He didn't even tell me about it. A friend called me at work, told me he was sent to the ER. I went home to put the dog out (not crazy puppy--before his time) and there he was on the couch.
So until 9/11 I knew that my future husband was a firefighter but I never worried about it. It was just where he went to work.
I am sure I am not the only one who remembers exactly where I was when the Tower was hit. I was at a meeting and the waitress came running over to tell us to come to the TV. The meeting ended and we went back to the office (where coincidentally we had just gotten cable TV for the waiting room) where we watched the 2nd Tower hit.
My future husband called me to say he was on the short list to go to Boston if it was hit. As a member of the confined space team he would be one of the first deployed. My future brother-in-law is on FEMA, he was sent immediately to NYC to begin search and rescue.
My future husband wasn't allowed to leave the station for 3 days as we all waited for the next calamity. Thankfully that didn't happen.
But I will never forget sitting at home, watching the coverage, seeing the men and women walk into a building to save others. Or watching them run into the building as it fell to save their brethren.
This morning as I was in the shower getting ready for the day my husband called in that he was leaving for a structure fire. The girls and I went on with our morning, getting ready for school and work. Just as we were leaving he came home safe and sound.
Few of us can imagine having the courage that these brave men and women had. But my husband does. Thanks to my husband and those like him how risk their lives so we don't have to!