Life of a Fire Wife

I Started Reading “The Fireman’s Wife”

Well written, honest, and from her heart.  A very good book so far.  I just don’t understand her fear.  Wait – let me rephrase that – I don’t AGREE with her fear.

Granted, my Johnny doesn’t share a LOT about his job – probably to protect me more than anything, but I’ve honestly only been scared because of his career ONE TIME.  That was during the Esperanza fire.  A friend called me while I was at work to make sure Johnny was ok because she had just heard about the firefighters who were killed.  Of course, names were still being witheld pending notification of relatives, so she just wanted to check to see that he was ok.

I hadn’t even heard there was a fire!  I worked in the Mayor’s office for a very large city, and was busily working away – no radio, no TV news.  So I tried to call Johnny to get some news about it the fire.  It wasn’t too far from our town, after all.  His cell phone went straight to voicemail.  I never call the station because I hate to be a pest or sound like a paranoid woman, so I kept trying his cell, but wasn’t able to talk to him until about three hours later.  It seems his cell was on the charger – the battery had died.  That’s he only time I have ever been honestly SCARED.

Summer 2008 Johnny was away from home for two months travelling all over the state with his engine.  That was the summer of lightning strikes.  He called when he could, and I dutifullly relayed updates to Johnny’s Mom every time I heard from him, but sometimes those calls were days apart.  And every time I called her I could literally hear her wriging her hands with worry over the phone. “Well, I just worry so!”  She said it every time I called, until finally I told her MY point of view:

I worry too, but if it’s his time to go, God will take him no matter what he’s doing and we have absolutely no control over it.  I would much rather lose Johnny while he’s doing something he LOVES rather than in some horrible traffic accident or watch him suffer through a long and horrible illness. 

I guess she understood, because she never showed her anxiety in front of me again after that.  If she does still worry, she does it privately. 

It’s not my place to tell him he can’t do what he loves because it makes me worry.  I know that if I told him I wanted him to quit his job and do something else because I worry too much about it, he would honor that wish.  But I also know he would be a miserable shell of a man, and I know I don’t want that on my conscience!  He has never wanted to do anything else and I don’t want him to!

Granted, I have never walked in Susan Farren’s shoes, and I hope I never do.  I respect this boook for what it is – HER POINT OF VIEW and HER EXPERIENCE.  That’s why it’s called a memoir!  She is very brave to share her emotions with perfect strangers and I commend her for that and wish her and her family well always.  After all, they are a part of my very large, extended family.  Anyone who works in the fire service is family – no matter what agency.


OFFICIAL DISCLAIMER:  I’m not done with the book yet, but I felt compelled to share a first impression.  It is MY opinion, and while I am open to honest, intelligent and ADULT conversation about it, I don’t care to be told “You’re WRONG!”  Those who do know me are well aware that when a point of view I hadn’t thought of is brought to my attention I am perfectly wiling to change my mind.  Just don’t shove it down my throat, please!  🙂 


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