"No, I don't," I almost too quickly answered. And before I knew it, the conversation had changed.
I woke up this morning thinking about the question and wondering to myself why I had answered so quickly and without proper explanation. Now, I was angry with myself for not better explaining, and also hoping I hadn't made the person asking that poignant question feel foolish, or confused.
Anyone who knows me well, knows I am the biggest worrier there ever could be. I worry about the simplest of things, to the most complex. I foresee what might possibly happen and ponder ways to prevent it. I lecture and warn; and analyze and suspect. But when it comes to my son and his chosen career as firefighter, I can only explain my lack of worry as a continual cloak of comforting grace from God.
I just don't worry. I believe my son is in his Heavenly Father's will for his life; and honestly, what is there to worry in that. I believe careers such as firefighter, cop, soldier - those that put their lives on the line for others - are made up of those who are chosen by God, and they have simply followed and been obedient to His call. Though they may not even yet realize it, a desire to serve others has only one origin and that desire has to have come from God.
I suppose what triggered the question from the person that asked me that day was the fact that my son had been out all night on a structure fire. He was tired the next day and sleeping periodically throughout our family reunion. Naturally, because of that, there was conversation about firefighting.
However, I should have told my family member who posed that question to me, why I didn't worry. I should have told her there is only one explanation; it is because I believe my son is walking and working in God's will.
Anyway, when I checked my email this morning I found my son had sent me a beautiful message in the form of a poem written by an anonymous firefighter.
After I stopped to read it, I realized at 20 years old, spending two years as a volunteer firefighter, my son had already experienced several things the author had described in what he wrote.
The message caused me to reflect on the day, my son and I went to the fire store in the city to buy him a pair of Firefighter's Goves. The department of course issues these gloves, but sometimes the volunteers understandably do not get the best equipment. They weren't cheap by any means, but I simply wanted my firefighter to have the best. "Happy birthday," I had said. "Take care of them."
What I had really meant was: "I believe this is what you were born to do. I want the best for you. I support you in this. I hope these gloves will help take care of you, as you help take care of others."
A Firefighters Gloves hold many things,
From elderly arms to a kids broken swing.
From the hands they shake and the backs they pat,
To the tiny claw marks of another treed cat.
At 2 am they are filled with chrome,
From the DWI who was on her way home.
And the equipment they use to roll back the dash,
From the family of 6 she involved in the crash.
The brush rakes in spring, wear the palms out,
When the wind does a “90” to fill them with doubt.
The thumb of the glove wipes the sweat from the brow,
Of the face of a firefighter who mutters “What now?”
They hold inch and three quarters flowing one twenty five,
So the ones going in, come back out alive.
When the regulator goes; then there isn’t too much,
But the bypass valve they eagerly clutch.
The rescue equipment, the ropes, the C-collars,
The lives they saved never measured in dollars.
Are the obvious things firefighters gloves hold,
Or, so that is what I’ve been always told.
But there are other things Firefighters Gloves touch,
Those are the things we all need so much.
The hold back the rage on that 3 am call,
They hold in the fear when ones lost in a hall.
They hold back the pity, agony, sorrow,
They hold in the desire to “Do it tomorrow”.
A gloves just a glove till it’s on firefighters,
Who work all day long just to pull an all-nighter.
And into the fray they charge without fear,
At the sound of a “Help” they think that they hear.
When firefighter’s hands go into the glove,
It’s a firefighter who always fills it with love.
Sometimes the sorrow is too much to bear,
And it seeps the glove and burns deep “in there”.
Off come the gloves when the call is done,
And into the pocket until the next call.
The hands become lonely and cold for a bit,
And shake just thinking of it.
And they sit there so red eyed with their gloves in their coats,
The tears come so fast that the furniture floats.
They’re not so brave now,
Their hands they can't hide,
I guess it just means they are human inside.
And though some are paid, others are not,
The gloves feel the same when it’s cold or it’s hot.
To someone you’re helping to just get along,
When you fill them with love, you always feel strong.
And so when I go on my final big ride,
I hope to have my gloves by my side.
To show to St. Peter at the heavenly gate,
Cause as everyone knows, firefighters don’t wait.
I thought I would add this video showing and encouraging support for our firefighters.