Saturday, June 1, 2013

Stand together

I have taken a little bit of a break from the world of fire wives.  Drama, drama, drama.  Some petty.  Some downright VILE.  And so much of it tearing apart the very purpose of women married to firefighters - for us to stand together and know we are not alone in times of tragedy.

There have been fights over t-shirts, over sites on Facebook or off Facebook, over equal vs. fair, paid vs. free, wives vs. girlfriends, career vs. volunteer, female ffs vs. wives. AND NOW I AM OVER IT!  GET OVER IT!  
© Kim Fitzsimmons - Photographer

Yesterday was a TRAGIC day.  Ontario lost 4 air ambulance members in a helicopter crash.  Houston is mourning the loss of four of their own - with another still in critical condition. AND ONE OF THEM WAS A WOMAN.  She gave her all.  She gave her LIFE.  She and all other women firefighters take the same risk every time they enter that firey beast - THEY MIGHT NOT COME HOME!  I have been scolded for my views on this, publicly and privately, but she was a firefighter.  Treat her like you would any other.

If you needed a sign to get over it, here it is.  

Find a fire wife community that speaks to you.  That fills your voids.  That supports your soul.  It might be THOSE women who will be holding your hand has you try to find life without your husband.  Find one that works for you.  If it is one based on scripture and faith, so be it.  If it is one based on being able to be yourself at all times, even if that means being raunchy and a smidge vulgar, go for it.  If it is your local auxiliary, wonderful.  If it is that one kindred soul that speaks to you from across the country, or across the ocean, lovely.

But we need to quit tearing each other down.  Quit bad mouthing and JUDGING.  We all need to stop all of it because, heaven forbid, THIS COULD BE US!  And we will NEED every fire wife standing with us because we will be at the weakest point of our life.  
Ryche Guerrero Fine Photography, and friend
of Anne Sullivan,  recent grad of the academy and
former Community Volunteer Firefighter
Chris Snowball, also a VFF, leaves his wife and their three children,
would have celebrated his 39th birthday next week

First Officer Jacques Dupuy, for whom I could not find a picture.  

Paramedic Dustin Dagenais, known as Dagger to his friends, was a former player
 in the Ontario Hockey League.
Leaves behind a wife and infant daughter.
FF/EMT Robert Garner
FF/EMT Robert Bebee
Capt. Don Filliter of Skead, leaves behind a wife and three kids

Capt. EMT Matthew Renaud
These beautiful faces are why fire wives all over the country and the world band together.  Their deaths will never be forgotten.  Whatever social media exists a hundred years from now will indeed post a memorial to this most tragic anniversary.  They will not be forgotten and the fire service will carry on, even with a heavy heart.

And now, I am asking the entire community of firefighting wives, regardless of career or WFF, FB or not, new or experienced in the fire world, put all of that aside.  We lost family yesterday.  Now is not a time to fight or bicker or prove yourself.  Now is a time for bonding and support and love.  This fire world we have found ourselves in is an unpredictable one.  They might not come home.  And that is when all of the pettiness and minutia fade into the background.

My question to you, why does it take tragedy, for that drama to become unimportant?

Hug your FFs tight.  Even you leave on an ugly note.  Call and leave a VM or pop into the station, leave a note in his car if he is out on a run.  Make friends with the other firewives in your world - whether real or virtual.  We truly never know when we may need them.

For my FF, I love you.  Come home safe to me tomorrow.

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