Life as the wife and family of a firefighter has been dynamic, challenging and adventure-filled with never a dull moment.
My husband’s 25-year career as a first responder afforded him blocks of time off atypical of the white collar’s standard two weeks a year.
Frank was able to be home for three months after the birth of our twins and we were able to take many extended vacations to Baja thanks to time trades and the sometimes flexible nature of his work schedule.
He has also missed one too many important occasions—birthdays, holidays, our daughter’s first ever drum recital and skateboarding competition, social gatherings, family get-togethers, reunions, important life moments that can never be rewound nor re-lived.
His absence has most profoundly been felt in the hearts of our little ones…”Where’s Daddy?” “When’s Daddy coming home?”, “I feel like I don’t have a Daddy anymore”, have been heartbreaking questions and sentiments shared by our children over the years.
24 hour shifts turned into 72’s in a moment’s notice, fires and incidents that had him away from home for weeks on end…single parenting, long days and nights holding down the fort when he was gone—added to that the concern for his well-being and always a prayerful wish for his safe return home.
Many have expressed surprise over my husband retiring at 50, thinking him too young and wondering what he will “do next?”
Next??? Umm…disconnect, reconnect, relax, unplug from the demands of 25 years as a public servant, spend precious time with his family, co-raise his young children with his wife, surf, sleep, read, drink a cold one on the beach, rediscover his relationship with his partner, himself, his world outside of being “Frank the Fireman”.
Doesn’t sound so bad…
We are ready for this next chapter in our individual and collective lives.
My husband is ready to retire, yes, at 50. He is ready to begin again anew…we all are.
We are being born again in many ways, standing on the edge of the cliff, ready to take the big leap…with faith, fortitude, and a deep-seated acknowledgment of our strength, resilience, and ability to weather the storms, exhale, breath in and savour the blessings and gifts of this one and only precious life.
Thank you for following our journey…of Los O’Gradys in Mexico.
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