For 22 years I’ve kept fire in my life. I’ve worn a Motorola pager on my side longer than I’ve carried a cell phone. 75 % of my T-shirts have the Maltese cross on them. The brass key to the fire station wins out as the longest serving member on my key chain by a lot. My truck has always had the dept sticker on it and the back seat has been the assigned riding position for my gear.
Life happened and my priorities have changed.
“Hook” now holds my coat in my room and is no longer a term for a favorite tool for pulling ceilings.
“Smoke showing” means the s’mores are done or I burnt the grilled cheese again!
My stream light has been reassigned to “manhunt” duty & the 50′ of 8mm is now a jump rope and out of service for what is was made for.
The leather is dusty – not sooty.
The battery in the HT-1000 is dead, the gear is on the rack, the scanner volume is very low.
And the last few new t-shirts I got were yellow, plum and green with nothing printed on the left breast.
The full time assignment now is as DAD.
I still say “charge the line” in my head as I water the beans out back but it’s not the same.
I miss it but I can’t miss out on this time with my kids.
They need me now.
I will listen to the Hi-lo siren and the Q from a far, turn up the scanner, and focus my ear when I can but I must keep watch on my girls now.
They grow like these beans and bugs do …all too fast.
Stay safe my brothers, I’ll be thinking of our times together from my back step.
Sent to me from a brother firefighter.