Let’s talk about something that makes my stomach turn to think about and my heart pound to share about. It’s not something that consumes my thoughts but it is something that needs to be talked about. Let’s talk about death. It is something as a fire wife that is always lurking around the corner, always ready to remind you of it’s presence. It is something that when it happens to another brother or sister in the fire family I cannot help but weep and my heart cannot help but ache.
No one is above dying. But to have a husband whose career makes the risk of that happening increased and closer is a hard pill to swallow. The big “C” is a HUGE percentage higher as a firefighter then the average person. There are steps and precautions in place but that percentage is still much higher. I think I read somewhere the average person has a 22% risk to where a firefighter has a 68% risk or something like that. Of course there are other means of death then just cancer. Their careers are full of ever present danger. Even if it’s a death that happens at home the whole fire family suffers.
Recently my husband lost someone who he sat next to in his academies, had dinner with after trainings, and who was in the occasional group text with. They were not best friends but they shared time, memories, comradery. We have pictures of them walking in line together during academy graduation. My husband suffered a loss. The fire family suffered a loss. But the family who lost this young man suffered the greatest loss of all. When my husband came home after his shift when he found out this horrible news. All we could do was lay there in silence, holding each other letting the heaviness of it sit and silently mourn and pray over this great loss.
It’s easy to get loss in the what ifs. But we must not let those who lose their lives, lose them in vain. We press on and let their lives be a reminder of why we do what we do. Not as individuals but as a family. As a fire family, as husband and wife, father and mother, as fireman and fire wife. We hold our fireman a little closer, cherish those family times a little more and make sure we forgive quickly and love selflessly. I mourn with you ladies who have lost their loved ones, I pray for you and your families. Peace, hope, comfort, and strength. The burden you carry is not one I can fathom. I am silently mourning with you for I know not any one person is above having to carry that cross. This one is for the fallen. For their families and loved ones.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
I was laying here trying to take a nap but my brain doesn’t seem to want to let me. I absolutely could use the nap since I happen to have both girls down for a nap at the same time! (miracles happen!) This past weekend has been a little rough. My 15 month old has been sick and my 4 year old woke up with the beginnings of Pink Eye. All this prompted me to write about something not every family goes through but something I know at least fire wives go through. It’s something I call being MRS. DAD.
Before we had children I never thought about the struggles I would face besides my own emotions of a husband who is always gone. I love my time with my husband and feel like there is never enough. Now that we have children I also have two little girls who are learning to navigate their emotions of having their father not be able to be home with them every day or every evening. There definitely has been some real times of rocking a crying baby in the middle of the night because she cannot understand why she is sad. But I definitely know because I am right there with her.
So, how do I help? What would my husband do if he was home. Now I am so thankful for FaceTime. It has saved me from having to handle a few breakdowns. For those that don’t know his normal shift is a straight 72 hours. And because of his 6 1/2 hour commute we pretty much loose another 24 hours But it doesn’t help when we’re on a 7, 14 ,21, 28, 32, 48, 56, 64…or however many day stretch. It’s in those long days apart that I have some major shoes to fill. Not only are my normal hard days as a mother a bigger struggle but I have to take on the extra tasks my husband would normally be doing. These things aren’t limited because I am still learning all the things he does that make a difference when he is home. I have had to strap my children on to get firewood, building a fire yeah that’s my normal, mowing lawns and other yard work, changing light bulbs, vehicle maintaining, and I know there is so much more. I could tell lots of stories on that. Fortunately I am not afraid to get my hands dirty and do these things.
Yes, it’s hard and at times I am on the verge of a breakdown. For me I wouldn’t be able to do it without the strength of God. And the help of family. But what also keeps me going is knowing the things my husband has to go through. There may be times when he has been up all night on a fire whether it be vegetation, building, or home. He’s had to watch people literally die in front of him after using all resources possible to save them, come upon cars wrapped around trees and automatically know it doesn’t look good, stage for a shooting where God knows what they are about to see. The important milestones he has had to miss of his little girls. I know there isn’t any way I could do what he does so with pride I take on my role as “MRS. DAD”. So, next time you see a firefighter smile and thank them you don’t know what they are going through. They are sacrificing more then you know. And so are their families.
To all my MRS. DADS keep on it ladies! Take pride in doing the extra things and don’t forget if you have children like me, those eyes are on you. Let them see your struggles but most importantly let them see you dust off and hold your head high. Let them see you support their dad because that will teach them the most valuable lessons they will ever learn.
I wanted to start my first blog off by talking about my background and how I became a firefighter wife.
My name is Abigail Rogers but most call me Abi. I grew up in a small town without a stop light for miles and the closest grocery store was a 45 minute drive. I grew up in a Christian home with a father who preached and poured concrete for his living. My mother stayed at home for a good part of my childhood but did the occasional job here and there. It wasn’t until I was in about the 3rd grade she became a manicurist and then eventually ended up where she is now and that is delivering mail. Both of my parents instilled at a young age to put Christ first, treat others as you would want to be treated and to work hard. I grew up with five other siblings so at a young age I also learned a big thing that would help me out with the very real struggles of being a firefighter’s wife, independence.
As a child I always knew what I wanted as far as life goes. I wanted to be a wife and to have children. One of my favorite shows growing up was a show called Home Improvement. That’s how I pictured my life. Of course with the exception of wanting God to be the driving force, the center of it all. After all He is the one who has been the one constant thing that has never wavered in my life. His grace is what has brought me to where I am today.
As a teenager I dated a couple of guys but always had the dysfunctional relationships that obviously never worked out. I ended up realizing the issue. I was dating who I wanted to date and not who God had chosen for me. I learned a valuable lesson. When God showed me this revelation I decided I wouldn’t date until He placed the right man in my path. The man I was to marry. I was 17 at this point and was going to be 18 shortly. I didn’t expect it to happen so fast because I was going to focus on my other plans for my life. Again “my plans.” Around the time I was turning 18 God rekindled my friendship with a childhood friend, Josh. That’s an understatement. I always had a major crush on him and anytime saw him I had intense butterflies. Even if I was in another relationship my heart would pitter patter when I saw him. We had tried to actually date in the past but for one reason or another it didn’t work. After only a little bit of dating God spoke to me and said “This is the man I want you to marry.” And about a month before my 21st birthday we did just that. One of the scriptures we often went to was 1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out all fear…”
It became our wedding scripture and it fit our relationship then and it fits us even more now. Don’t get me wrong our relationship wasn’t and isn’t always perfect. But we fearlessly love each other anyways. As the years go by we understand more and more the importance of having a God centered life and marriage.
When we first started dating my husband was a tile setter not a firefighter. When he expressed that he wanted to be a firefighter it was the one and single time our relationship almost ended. I wasn’t sure if I was fit for the life of being with a firefighter and at the same time couldn’t tell him not to pursue his dreams. But we chose to stay together knowing our lives wouldn’t ever be lived in full without each other. After all God knew what He was doing better then we did. God knew what we could handle. This past January we celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary and at the beginning of this month (April 6th) we have been together for 10 years. We live on a ranch and have two beautiful daughters and 2 fur babies. This blog is our journey, our life, the good, and the bad. Welcome to my confessions of being a firefighter wife.