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He isn’t coming home.
Four words made me overly aware of something about myself that I just haven’t really wanted to deal with.  The Fire Service has faced so much loss this year alone,  it’s been easy to fall into this place.

I’ve been aware that I have been emotionally distant from things. It’s just easier to ignore things that do not directly impact my life and go on being the same boring person. I’ve had random, mild in consideration, problems over the last few weeks but nothing emotionally breaking. Just everyday annoyances that I just try to laugh at.

Today I’ve been trying to break back out of this.
I’ve got to let myself feel.
Allow myself to be overly emotional.
I want to wear my heart on my sleeve, because you know what? Out of most of the heartaches I have felt in life, they all felt somewhat worth it in the end. Worth it for the small bits of happy that are mixed up in there somewhere. Most I would not like to relive, but I don’t want to go through life sheltering myself from possible hurts and miss out on great things. Even if great things do end and do end unhappy.

He isn’t coming home.

19 men died yesterday. 19 young men, battling a wild-fire in Arizona. 19, half of whom were younger than my husband, who is only 27 years old. 19 firefighters of the Granite Mountain Hot Shot Fire Fighters Team. Nineteen. That number just keeps playing over and over in my head. 19 is such a large number. A hard hit. A devastation worse than any material possessions lost in a fire.

19 times.
He isn’t coming home.

How many times have I thought about what I would do if I ever have to hear those words. Or words similar. I’ve thought about it time and time again and to be honest, not once have I come up with what I think I would do. How do I know? What would I need? What would I want? Would I be strong, as strong as my husband would be so very proud of me for? Would I crumble without him beside me?

He isn’t coming home.

It’s more than heartbreaking. I can’t even think of an appropriate word, phrase, quote, saying… nothing, nothing can bring such reality to those words unless they are said to you. I can imagine but I won’t be able to share those true feelings of deep sympathy because I have not experienced that myself.

How many of these men were married? Engaged? Had girlfriends? Had families. Children? We ALL think about the chances but I think most of us have the mentality that it “won’t happen to me”. I know it is possible but I next to never allow myself to live fearfully that it is really that possible.
I want to cry for these women. These families. The departments. The brothers, sisters and fire service. I want to cry for them all, and I will. I will find it somewhere to pray, to wish all the peace of love and sacrifice to wash over them all, to fill pride in the hearts of every firefighter in honor of those who gave all.

Answering Last Alarm 6/30/2013:

Ashcraft, Andrew – Age: 29
Caldwell, Robert – Age: 23
Carter, Travis – Age: 31
Deford, Dustin – Age: 24
MacKenzie, Christopher – Age: 30
Marsh, Eric – Age: 43
McKee, Grant – Age: 21
Misner, Sean – Age: 26
Norris, Scott – Age: 28
Parker, Wade – Age: 22
Percin, John – Age: 24
Rose, Anthony – Age: 23
Steed, Jesse – Age: 36
Thurston, Joe – Age: 32
Turbyfill, Travis – Age: 27
Warneke, William – Age: 25
Whitted, Clayton – Age: 28
Woyjeck, Kevin – Age: 21
Zuppiger, Garret – Age: 27



Because I trust the source, if you felt so led…
Firehero.org’s Yarnell Hill donation information
Prayers are what are needed in abundance, for sure. Well wishes. Thoughts. Love. Strength. Peace.

I can’t wait for my firefighter to come home tomorrow. For him to kick off his boots besides his recliner, drape his socks over those boots and leave them there for me to pick up. I can’t wait for him to annoy me on purpose, because it’s fun for him. For him to pick up a beer to relax, try to make me watch a horror flick or complain about not having any clean underwear! I’m ready for him to be home. I’m ready to feel alive, while I have the chance. I’m ready to be connected to everything that makes this life, life.