when doug first got on, i was invited to a meet-and-greet seminar for wives, girlfriends or close family members.
to be honest, the adjustment of being a firefighter’s wife has probably been the most stress-free adjustment compared to his previous 3 jobs. i will give the fire department props for that – they care about their firefighter’s families just as much as they do about their fighterfighers.
with the 24 hour shift, they don’t get to hang out for breakfast or pub/bar after shift. it’s a long shift so most just want to go home. and sometimes, i wish they did more with each other outside of work so that the spouses can get to know this ‘extended family,’ so to speak, a little better. but still – it’s not that bad. and perhaps we can still arrange get togethers with some of the guys doug is closer with.
anyway, my mind has been going back to that meet-and-greet. there were talks about some of the horrible sights they will see and also about post-traumatic stress disorder. up until now, doug has seem some pretty bad things.
but it wasn’t until yesterday that seminar from the beginning really started to come in full swing for me.
he had a very bad call. i can not get into any specifics but it did involve a wee one.
anything to do with children, of course, is probably what they would say is the worst type of call. when the call ends badly, it is definitely THE worst.
i always know when doug gets a bad call. he’ll email home. usually to just our families though sometimes to friends as well. he’ll ask everyone to give their loved ones a hug. and to be safe. at that point, i get the email like everyone else. but i already know that it’s because he had a bad call. and this is partly how he deals with it.
yesterday, there were two emails. one to our families only. and then one just to me. and so i knew that this was the worst yet. and i knew it probably involved a child. or children.
when i finally had a chance to talk to him (usually we talk after dinner), i got the gist of what happened. but with no surprise, he kept the details very limited.
no doubt, he was protecting me from much of the sadness that transpired yesterday. and being a mother, well, no parent wants to imagine something so horrible happening to their own child.
i asked him if he was okay. fortunately, the department was very fast to react. they sent over a team of councelors to their station, lead by their peer counceling support group. about an hour was spent on debriefing and supporting the team.
anyway, this morning, after dropping off chaeli at school, i felt the sadness hit me. so i send out some prayers of strength to the parents who lost their little one yesterday.
that’s all i can really say… except, to whoever might be reading this, stay safe. to you and your loved ones.