September 11, 2009


a fireman's prayer

When I am called to duty, God, wherever flames may rage, give me strength to save a life, whatever be its age . Help me to embrace a little child, before it is too late, or save an older person from the horror of that fate. Enable me to be alert, to hear the weakest shout, and quickly and efficiently to put the fire out . I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me, to guard my every neighbor and protect his property. And if, according to your will, I have to lose my life, please bless with your protecting hand my children and my wife. - Author unknown

I kissed my husband as he left the house this morning, like any other Friday morning, and told him to have a good day. Except today, he was dressed in his Class A uniform and he wasn't headed to the office. His work today will be to attend the various memorials in honor of those who fought and died in the tragedy of 911.
He'll stand among hundreds of other firefighters and paramedics and police officers and he will remember what happened that day. But he'll also remember the day his mentor, Dan, died last summer, fighting a fire on a remote mountain in California. The countless calls he's responded to in the past couple of decades, calls that have shaken his faith and made him come home to hug his children tighter. He'll honor the victims and their families and the men and women who came to save them. All of them.

My husband is a firefighter. Every day, I am grateful that he comes home to our family, safe and sound. And I never forget how fortunate I am for that alone.

When I went to bed last night, I was thinking about what I was going to write this morning. Not because I suddenly got motivated, but because we had spent the evening at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, watching the Rainiers win Playoff Game #2 for the Pacific Coast League title. I wanted to write about the great American pastime.

We love AAA baseball, my boys and I. Where can you get a night out for the whole family, seats so close you can smell the players' sweat, Dollar Dogs and $2 MGD, a free t-shirt and $5 parking, all for under $50? Nowhere can you shake hands with the players, some of whom have already donned a major league uniform once or twice, some who are destined to be great, and you can say you met them when. One player, at the last game, handed his bat to my kid, as he walked off the field. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Last night, sitting there amongst all the other die-hard local fans, my cheap beer in hand, I thought how good we have it. How good our life is, that this exists for us. And I don't mean just us, my family, but all of us, as Americans. We have it really good here.

Which is why, this morning when I woke up, I realized I wasn't really going to write about baseball at all. I just wanted to share a little piece of what being an American means to me.

1 comment:

  1. Aww, I loved this post, Tam! September 11th is always a good reminder that being patriotic is more than just waving a flag.