An Indescribable Sense of Loss on an Incredibly Lucky Day
Fire Daily started just a few scant months ago as a way to stay involved in the fire service after suffering a disability on the job. Forced into an early “retirement” of sorts, I was surprised at how much I really wasn’t enjoying it. Beyond the medical issues, I have to tell you about the overwhelming sense of loss which became almost unbearable.
I have been a firefighter all my adult life, starting as a volunteer in my home community and eventually becoming my department’s first full-timer. After a long while, I started all over again at a career department down the road where I began that special firefighter relationship with a whole new group of guys and gals. My second job was as a fire and EMS instructor. My whole life revolved around my family at home, my family at work, and my family of students and fellow instructors.
Then, the accident happened. Another quarter of an inch shift in location, my neurologist explained, and my skull fracture would almost certainly have resulted in me becoming a quadriplegic. So I fully appreciate the “luck” that befell me on that warm spring day in May. But, even with help from above, I must tell you how everything changed in the blink of an eye.
Let me repeat that.
Everything changed in the blink of an eye.
The regularity of having contact with the guys and gals with whom I truly held a special bond was severed. One day there, next day- crickets.
It’s difficult to try to describe the different relationship that developed when I was no longer part of the “team”, yet always still a part of the “family.” Although I’m able to pop in anytime I want (there’s an open invitation forever) to break bread and bust a gut with the guys, it just isn’t the same. I’m not going to be on the line with them for the next “big one.” Or even the next little one. Or even the advanced living center call for assistance. Or training. Or shopping. Or watching “Family Guy”.
In the blink of an eye, it’s all gone now.
The longer I’ve been away, the deeper the sense of loss of being apart from them and the job I honestly loved. This emotional response must be similar to the feeling experienced by firefighters that are forced to retire before they want to due to age. Be kind to them, folks.
Enter Fire Daily.
It all started out as a means by which I could remain somewhat connected to the fire service without gearing up and actually battling the red devil. Blogging has been extremely medicinal for this injured firefighter/paramedic.
Just like the change that happened halfway through my career by switching departments, this new change has brought me into yet another family- a group of bloggers and readers that have quickly become my friends. As the days and weeks and months plod along, these ties, too, will continue to strengthen. How can I be sure? Because we enjoy a certain pact– call it brotherhood- that is inherent to the fire service. It lives in each of us and continues to develop each day no matter who we are, where we live, or what capacity we hold.
Although I will always have a sense of loss, I thank each and every one of my readers and fellow bloggers for allowing me to remain connected.
As another well-established blogger puts it- “Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff!”
You are my new family.
Also on Fire Daily…
- A St. Patrick’s Day Salute to CFD Chief Eddie Enright – March 15, 2013
- Personal Situational Awareness – “The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee” – September 27, 2012
- Keep Calm and Keep Your Fingers Crossed – September 18, 2013
- Should EMT’s and firefighters carry guns on the job? – September 14, 2012