On this blog I talk a lot about the now and my life as a fire wife. There’s been a lot of phases of life that my husband and I have lived through together. I wanted to break it down and focus on three parts of our life. I only found it fitting to name this three part blog that I will be posting over the next 3 weeks: First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes Baby. Each one of these events in life can effect and impact life and how we view and handle the fire life. So, let’s dive in!
My husband and I grew up together in the same small town. I had a crush on him, no lie, since I was in sixth grade. I remember at my first sixth grade dance I walked up to him and asked him to dance. When I know what I want I can be fearless. Ha! But guess what he declined! And he still hates to dance by the way. So, time went in and I was a sophomore in high school and he was a senior at different schools. We had been talking a while and wanted to date. I grew up in a stricter home and am the “baby” so my dad refused. So, it was my time to tell him no. We kept in touch but went our separate ways for a while. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that we really started to talk again. With my eighteenth birthday approaching I knew I had more of a chance to date him. And sure enough shortly after my birthday we started dating. At the time my husband was working for a tile company. When I brought him home to officially meet my parents, they loved him. I think they saw what I saw. A good man, someone who would love and support their daughter. So, our dating journey began. Looking back I believe with all my heart it was about the timing. It did not take long for us to fall in love. But then the Fire life happened.
After a year of being together my husband became a firefighter. And as I have mentioned in previous blogs it was the one single time, we almost ended our relationship. I didn’t want to live the fire life but I also didn’t want to live life without him. We chose to stick it out and see wha happened. Our first season was baptism by fire. (See what I did there) But seriously Check out my blog Season Past for more details about that. But learning how to navigate the fire life as a girlfriend was difficult. No one took the feelings I was going through seriously. I was introduced to weeks of him being gone and trying to learn why things worked the way they worked. I didn’t know any other fire girlfriends to relate to and so it made it harder to know if what I was going through was normal. Or have someone to just say “Yes, I feel the same way!” It truly was going through the process of learning alone. We went from spending every second together to, I have no clue where he was for weeks. And when he would come home he was exhausted and not really up to doing much. I tried to take advantage of every minute together. It was also a huge learning curve on how to handle his mental exhaustion. That first season was a crazy busy season. There were times when we would be watching a movie in the theatre and had to leave because he had to go on a strike team. Another time when he was at the station I remember they had a family bbq and felt so awkward going since I was a girlfriend and we didn’t have kids or a ring on my hand. I put on a brave face and went. I was let into his fire world and it was like having lunch with this family he was part of and I had never met before. But going helped. I was able to put faces to names and understand more of what things looked like. Then there were the things such as, if he got hurt. How would I know? Would someone tell me? And I struggled with the feeling of being insignificant. It was all a huge learning curve and a huge change in the life we began together.
So, girlfriends I get it and I see you. Dating a firefighter is brave and definitely not a glamorous life. There were plenty of arguments out of misunderstandings and lack of communication. My honest advice is if you know you have a good guy, trust that, communicate, and learn all you can. It doesn’t matter the career and what others may think. Allow yourself to trust and learn and be a part of his lifestyle. And be honest with yourself if it is something you truly believe you can handle. Being a part of the fire life is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of courage, trust and willingness to go the extra mile. I believe it takes a strong woman to handle this life but, I also believe this life makes you stronger then you ever thought you could be. You are a support system for him and that is huge.
I know on here I talk about being the fire wife and a mom because it’s where I am. But once upon a time I was in your shoes. And that can be lonely and scary. I am here for you just as much as I am here for the fire wives. You’re living through an important part of your life and his. I am glad I stuck it through with my husband and didn’t give up. The fire life only makes you stronger and closer. Embrace that. And remember you’re stronger then you know and you’re definitely not alone.
(A fun little picture of us when we were dating before we were in the fire life. Pictures have come a long way since then so excuse the graininess. Haha)