Each and every time I hear of a fallen firefighter I cry. Yesterday's news was no different
The family phone tree goes into effect as we ask ourselves "was Patrick working" a call to my dad, a retired Chicago Fire Dept Captain, put our fears to rest. "He has a daily day today" meaning he was suppose to work but every 3rd scheduled work day he gets off.
This is the life of a "fireman family".You know that at anytime something bad can happen.
I didn't know these 2 brave men, but I cried just the same. To not think twice about running into an unstable environment, an environment that has everyone else running the opposite way speaks volumes of what it takes to be one of this country's finest. It wasn't my brother, but it was someone's brother, father, son or husband. I saw the 1st picture this morning while sitting at work and tears flowed again. When FF Stringer put his coat on that morning, did it cross his mind that it would be the last time? I don't know, but if he did know, I doubt it would of changed his actions.
Growing up in a family of firemen (Dad, grandpa, step-grandfather, uncle and now my brother Patrick), I always had a sense of pride of being a fireman's daughter. Growing up in Beverly my 4 closest girlfriends fathers were all fireman too. The fireman family is like none-other, when you spend 24 hr shifts together you are brothers.
I remember countless Christmas's spent at the firehouse climbing on the trucks and Santa always visited. I remember being really mad that my 2 brother's got to spend nights with my dad at the firehouse, but not us girls..."not a woman's job" at that time. I remember countless late night phone calls saying my dad was injured or so and so died. I remember the "uniform" hanging in the front closet, the immaculate, clean, pressed official CFD dress coat, always in dry cleaning wrap with the white hat on the shelf. I remember my dad wearing that uniform too many times going to a fallen firefighter's wake/funeral. I remember my dad walking through the front door after a 24 hr shift, donuts in one hand and his overnight bag in the other. The entire laundry chute would smell like a bonfire, except it wasn't from a bonfire. I remember holding my dads dirty work shirts and just smelling them...I loved the smell...I was too young to really grasp the reality of that smell
My brother Patrick will be working (with a heavy heart I'm sure) on Christmas, so I won't get to see him, but I will be thinking of him and all the other firemen and all they do for us.
I love you Pat, I don't say that often enough and Thank you!
God Bless the families of FF Ankum and FF Stringer for the world lost 2 of the good guys