As I am flying on my way to help my sister with her 3rd round of chemo, I can’t help but have mixed emotions about leaving my children for the next five days. It will be the longest and farthest I have ever been away from them. For those that don’t know my older sister was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer called her2. She started treatment almost immediately. Her chemo will be and is very aggressive causing her to have lots of symptoms. She lives a couple states away so I can’t just be there for her whenever I want to be. But I know for those we love we must do whatever is necessary to help them when they are in need.
Sitting here on the plane I began to think about all my fellow fire wives who may be like me and find it so hard to be the parent leaving. I also think about my husband, not really sure how he has the strength to do this every week. I know I couldn’t. As I said my goodbyes to my girls I couldn’t help the tears from falling. It is definitely new territory for me and not one I would normally welcome. My husband also left this morning for his 72hr shift (Lord willing). So, part of it is a little guilt, although I know I shouldn’t feel guilty. I think how they already have one parent who they don’t get to see every day and then, the unwarranted guilt creeps in. But, mostly I will just miss the heck out of them! The only comfort I have is that they are in good hands and know they will be taken good care of while I am gone.
While I am excited to see my sister and spend time with her, I know my sisterly duty is so important right now. To be there for her and help her through this struggle of breast cancer. And hopefully give strength and encouragement while I am there. I hope my husband doesn’t get held on and the girls will at least have a little bit of their normal routine while I am gone. I can’t wait to kiss those cute little faces and see my husband. But until then I will be praying for them. And I will be praying for you fire wives and firefighters who have to spend these days apart. It is not for the faint of heart.