Thoughts From A Firefighter's Daughter

Thoughts From A Firefighter's Daughter

How I came to realize just what those in the fire service sacrifice for us every day.
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Growing up in a fire station was one of the coolest thing about my childhood. On any given Saturday my mom would announce that we were going to visit Dad at work, and I knew I was in for a day of excitement. Getting to flash the engine lights, blare the ambulance siren, run around the fire hydrants and steal medical gloves from the medical stock were some of my favorite things as a kid. I threw around a football for the first time in the open truck bay with the guys on my dad's shift, knew exactly which pantry had the best snacks and which recliner was the most comfortable in the TV room. These were all just things that were apart of my life as a kid. I didn't realize until much later in my life exactly how amazing and important what my Dad did really was.

It took me quite a few years to realize that my home life was much different from most, if not all, of my friends. Most of my classmates had parents who went to work in the mornings, and returned home at nights. I didn't know that it was unusual to have your dad live and sleep somewhere else every third day. I didn't understand that my friends parents almost never had to work on Christmas or Thanksgiving; or that they would come home and be able to talk about every aspect of there day with their families. It was always "My daddy is a fireman," and that was that. I never really gave much thought to it.

As I got older, things about my dad's job became clearer and clearer to me. I remember on mornings when my dad would be getting off of work, returning home around seven a.m. just as my sister and I were getting ready for school, that on some mornings he would surprise us with donuts for breakfast. At the time, I just thought that was a fun, nice thing my dad was doing for us— but little did I know that those were the mornings following a night with a particular terrible call my dad had to run on. That bringing those treats as a surprise for our family was his way of trying to return to some normalcy after loosing a patient or having to respond to an especially tough accident.

And that was the moment I began to realize exactly what it was my dad did for a living.

I began to realize that the reason he would come home smelling like smoke in the mornings was because he had been out until four o'clock in the morning trying to save a family's house from a deadly blaze. That the reason he would come home from work in a less than perfect mood some days and didn't want to talk about why is because he had to tell a man that his wife died of a stroke in her sleep the night before, or had been unable to save a baby from a wrecked car. The reason we would sometimes get cards in the mail is because people like sending thank you letters to people who help deliver their babies in the back of ambulances, or are able to save their son from an overdose.

I started to realize how much of a hero my daddy was. That firemen and paramedics are more than just attractive men, shirtless in calendar spreads, or who you call when your cat is stuck in a tree. They're the ones who drop everything and run into a 104 story building that had just been targeted by terrorists high jacking airplanes knowing full well that they would probably never be running out. They're the ones who spend weeks away from their families deployed to help fight wildfires threatening people's homes and property with little more than axes and spray bottles. They're the ones who kiss their wives and children goodbye every morning knowing that they might not be coming home again.

I realized that my daddy was a hero. That he delivered babies, saved houses and car and saved lives, of teenagers and old people, and cats and dogs. That Santa had to deliver presents to our house the day before Christmas some years because daddy had to go to work and help people, or that he missed my tee-ball game because someone else needed his help.

I learned that my daddy was a hero. Not only to me and my sister and my mom, but to hundreds of other people all over the state. And on the day he retired from the fire service after 25 years and received salutes from his captain and crew mates and people whose lives he had touched, that those tears in the eyes of everyone in the room were those of respect and gratitude, admiration and thanks.

And in that moment, everything that happened while I was growing up came into focus, because as far as i'm concerned I grew up with a daddy who had the greatest job of all.

So this is an open letter to all first responders and their families. Thank you for all you have sacrificed to keep our cities safe. Thank you for being that face in the smoke or the shattered car window telling us everything is going to be OK and getting us to safety. Because I understand now, everything you had to sacrifice for us. How often you put your life on the line for us. Thousands and thousands of you everyday, across the country, doing everything in your power to keep us safe.

From the bottom of my heart, to daddys, and husbands and even mothers and wives who risk their lives every day to keep us safe...

Thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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I'm The Girl With The 'Cool Mom'

"I'm a cool mom, not a regular mom!" - my Mom
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"I would like a cheeseburger, with a side of cheeseburger, and see if they can make me a cheeseburger smoothie." - Lorelai Gilmore (a notoriously cool mom)

A cool mom really just isn't a regular mom and if you have one you'll feel me on this.

A cool mom really is just like having a real life Kris Jenner, shes a mom but also an awesome bestie at the same time! (If you aren't into the Kardashians it's basically like an episode of Gillmore Girls.)

Growing up with a cool mom means all of your friends love your mom almost as much or even more then they love you. You get used to it.

My cool mom is the perfect balance of what every other mom does and says, but she's also the greatest friend I could ever ask for.

SEE ALSO: Dear Mom, Have I Ever Told You?

You can tell her everything and receive the best advice, the type of advice a friend your age just can't give.

Get yourself a mom who will whip and nae nae in the car with you.

A cool mom is someone who digs our generation's music and even sings and dances with you whenever you are together.

Oh, and my cool mom, yeah I'm definitely never embarrassed to be out in public with her, she's just that cool.

Having a cool mom who just so happens to also be beautiful just makes her even cooler.

We share makeup and clothes and shop just like friends do, but no one will give you a more honest opinion than a cool mom does.

If you have a cool mom you know all your friends are on a first name basis, 'Mrs. so and so' just doest fly around a cool mom.

Cool moms make the best DD's.

SEE ALSO: 10 Times We Have All Had To Call Our Moms In College

A cool mom will always be there for you no matter what time the party ends, she'll always be there to pick your drunk self up, even if its 3am.

She'll ask you things like "so how were the boy's anyone cute?"

Don't even get her started on girl drama.

Once someone crosses you and you've told your mom about it that person will forever be on a cool moms sh*t list.

If you get really lucky your cool mom might even go out with you and your friends. Not only will she be the 'MILF' in the room but she will be the best wing woman around.

There is truly nothing better than having a cool mom, because she just gets it.


P.S. Hey Mom I know you're reading this so thanks for being cool.

Cover Image Credit: Natalie Elizabeth

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I've Been Skeptical About The Holidays For A Couple Years, But I'm Ready For Them This Year

Finally decided to stop calling the Grinch my animal spirit.

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The holidays have finally reached us, and I think I speak for many of us when I say that we are excited to be able to breathe from school and spend time with our loved ones -- and to eat food, tons of it.

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But for some others, the holidays are a time that reminisces bad moment in their lives. They become a time of sadness and dark pasts. Loved ones have different faces, and homes, where good wishes are shared, have different walls painted a different color.

About four years ago, I left my country and moved to the US -- new traditions and adventures. The holidays weren't easy for my first year. I achingly missed my parents and family from Honduras. The holidays here didn't seem as exciting without all the people I had spent them countless times before.

In Honduras, on Christmas Eve we would always go visit my grandmother from my dad's side for lunch. In the afternoon, I would have dinner with my parents and brother, and then we'd go to church. After that, we would always go to my mom's family to receive midnight and have a sort of party. That was something that I always looked forward to.

The holidays here weren't as adventurous as they were over there. I would stay all day home and wait till food was served and just spend it with my family until we all decided it was time to go to sleep. They seemed pretty dull for the first two years. But now, my boring, asocial ass is fascinated with the simpleness of the holidays.

Sure, here people take the holidays more seriously than we did in Honduras, but I never assimilated. I began seeing the holidays as another day, except that deliciously exquisite food was going to be served that day. It was not like my mom's food nor like my grandmother's. Everything was different, and this difference weighed heavily on me.

Fast-forward to the present day, and I'm still kind of skeptical about the holidays. I don't get the spirit anymore, and till today, it still hasn't hit me. The only thing that I can think of is that the year is soon going to be over.

The one thing I am excited for is being able to celebrate the holidays with the new family I've been slowly building. My partner is accepted and loved by my relatives, and they invited him over to spend Christmas with us. One of my new best friends was also invited. Being able to spend this time with them kinda shines a glimmer on the idea that I have of the holidays.

This new fresh addition to my life have given me many blissful pleasures this 2018, and I know that with them, I'll probably begin to cherish the holidays a little bit more.

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