Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Heavy, heavy heart
This morning I awoke early because Anthony requested fried rice for breakfast before going to summer school. As usual, I turned on the TV and listened to the news while I cooked. I was stopped in my tracks by the story of the nine firefighters who lost their lives last night in Charleston, South Carolina while fighting a furniture warehouse fire. I know that many people die every day and we hear of our soldiers losing their lives daily in Iraq and Afghanistan but this hits too close to home for me. I know I've mentioned before that my husband is a fire captain for the City of Las Vegas. When I kiss my husband goodbye every other morning, my thoughts are of how much laundry I have yet to wash, what other chores I need done before the kids get out of school, etc. I cannot think that this might be the last time I see him alive. I cannot think about the dangers he faces every day he's on the job...I'd be paralyzed. We've lost 2 men from his department in the last 3 years to job related cancers. Young men in their 40's with families. People don't normally think about the other causes of death to firefighters other than fire. I try not to. I'm really good at this avoidance. I have developed this coping mechanism so strongly being married to a fireman. I say, "If I don't think about it, it won't happen. If I don't think about it, it will go away".
Today's event prompted me to have a chat with the boys on the way to summer school because they had seen the news and how it affected me. I told them that if their father were to die like this, I wouldn't want to stay in Las Vegas. I would want to move back home to Hawaii because that's where my family is. Anthony, the teenager, said that he would want to stay here because this is where all of his friends are. Chris, the youngest, didn't care. I told them that there is nothing keeping me here. I have no ties to this community. I'd need my support system back home, but I understand how Anthony feels. I hope I don't ever have to make this decision. There I go, avoiding again.
My heart breaks for the families of the firefighters who perished yesterday. They will be in my prayers.