Life as the wife and family of a firefighter in Southern California was dynamic, challenging and adventure-filled. My husband Frank’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. He was able to be home for three months after the birth of our twins Liam and Mairead and we took many extended vacations to Baja California 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 public drum performance, skateboarding competitions, social gatherings, family get-togethers, reunions, important life moments never to be rewound.
Many Thanksgiving and Christmases were spent at the fire station, soaking in the precious family time when and where we could.
Frank’s absence was most profoundly 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”, were heartbreaking questions and sentiments shared by our children over the years leading up to our move to Mexico.
24 hour shifts turned into 72’s in a moment’s notice, fires and tragedies 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.
My Firefighter Hubby Retired to Mexico at 50!
Many expressed surprise over Frank retiring at 50, thinking him “too young” and wondering what he would do next with his life?
That question always made us laugh in bewilderment, sharing a mutual acknowledgment of knowing exactly what he would do: 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”.
We were so ready for this next chapter in our individual and collective lives.
We were ready to begin again, to reinvent and recreate a new paradigm of life. We knew there was something better out there; life was beckoning us to actively participate in its design.
Standing on the edge of the proverbial cliff, ready to take a big leap of with faith with fortitude, grit and gumption and a profound acknowledgment of our strength, resilience, and ability to weather the storms, we exhaled and moved forward with our reinvented lives South of The Border.
Thank you for following our journey…
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