The last few weeks have been a little busy, a good busy. If we weren’t celebrating a birthday we were doing something involving our fire life. My husband put together a send off for his captain and I was able to reconnect with some familiar faces and meet new ones. We also went to a retirement party and I met more fire families then I have ever before. Which made the next event even more fun for me because I felt I knew a few people. When thinking about this all this morning I remembered something that I struggled with for three years while my husband commuted far away. And maybe you have dealt with this too.
Right before my husband promoted and was to start commuting he was at our local helitack base. We got to visit a lot and go to end of the year parties etc. But when he started to commute it stopped. I knew every station and which engine belonged to them. Then, all of a sudden it was I don’t know what my husband’s station looks like and I don’t even know who he is working with. The first promotion took him 4 1/2 hours away. So we were spending even more time apart. I lost that sense of feeling a part of what he was doing. It was hard between our work schedules, being pregnant and having a toddler to find the time to ever make the trip up to his station. It is weird to look back and still not even know what his station looked like or feel like I had a sense of his daily life. I never met a co worker or even any of their fire wives. I would get upset and let my husband know how I was feeling. I felt alone in my struggles but knew deep down I wasn’t. He wasn’t there for too long so by the time we could even visit he was laid off for the winter.
When he then promoted again it was another long commute 2 1/2 hours longer then the one before. This time I was determined to make the trip down. And even though it was the hardest drive ever it was worth that hour at the station. When he talked about what he was doing I could see and know what he was talking about. I was able to connect faces to names. There are still a couple of the families that we stay in touch with and new ones I am learning about because of this blog. I had always planned on making a second visit but never was able to. But it made the two years he was stationed there a lot smoother for me.
It is not easy as a fire wife to feel indirectly excluded from your husband’s life. It just happened with no bad intentions. I am thankful to have that sense of fire community back and feeling completely part of my husband’s life again. Our firemen spend a lot of time at work away from their loved ones and families. And we spend a lot of time alone or doing our own thing, whatever that may look like. For me the solution was simple but that may not always be the case. But making that trip did make it easier. I believe it is important to feel apart of what our husbands are doing. And also just as important as making our fireman feel a part of home as much as possible too. Both are such a huge part of our lives and should not be ever treated as separate. I am thankful for those years of growing because they opened my eyes up more to the importance of what it is like to have the strength of a fire community by your side. And also what it is like without it.
(A pic from the only visit to his station back then)