Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The fire this time


The haunting sound of bagpipes crept down the hallway and into my bedroom, where I sat at my desk, working. In the living room, the TV was on, and I realized the funeral of firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson was being aired live. He died fighting an early morning blaze on the brownstone set of a Bruce Willis movie in Harlem last week. Out of respect, I left my desk to watch. My son is somewhere in that FDNY formation, standing at attention in full dress uniform, as the wife and four small children of his fallen comrade say goodbye to their beloved at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. My son will be at yet another funeral on Thursday. This is a tough week for the department. Three of their own made the supreme sacrifice this month, more than is usual in a year. Such pomp and ceremony attends each sendoff. Jet fighters overhead, wailing bagpipes, the low sirens, a sorrowing backdrop of sound. I sat in front of the TV, holding my worst fears at bay, and I prayed, please God, keep my son safe. Please keep all our sons and daughters safe. Being a firefighter has been my boy's calling since he was nine years old and the Twin Towers came down. And as much as I might wish that he would stay on the medical side of the FDNY, as a paramedic, he is likely to be promoted to fire this year. He already took and passed the written exam and the physical, and his two required years in EMS will be up in July. And so I pray. 

13 comments:

  1. I understand, and I think about your son whenever the news brings word of accidents, fires, or other dangerous events from your city. I know that despite your fear, you will continue to lift him up in his choice, because that is what we do with our children and the things that make them feel alive and worthwhile. Hugs, R.

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  2. Does any mother ever learn to let go of the constant worried concern for her child?
    I'm still waiting.

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  3. I love that they do this but wish they never had to do it again.

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  4. The rituals are so beautiful and so necessary. Your son has such a loving ambition to fight fires. I admire him so for his efforts. I wish him safe and well always.

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  5. 9/11 changed everything. I came home from work that evening to be met by my 17 year old son telling me that he wanted to join the Army. I told him he'd have to wait until he could sign for himself. His blood couldn't be on my hands. In 2002 I came home one evening and he told me that he'd joined along with 2 of his best friends. I cried and prayed all of 2003, begging for God to place armies of angels around my son and not let any harm come to him. He must have, my son survived 4 tours in Iraq. It gets easier over time. Worry doesn't go away, but it isn't always there either. Please tell your son that I thank him for his service.

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  6. Noble men and women, they're the best of this nation.

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  7. Lives lost much to early, while protecting others. Their bravery is very admirable. May God watch over your son as he pursues his dream job as an EMS and firefighter. Susan

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  8. Sad day, and to lose three is more than tragic. My prayers to all that work so selflessly be kept safe.

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  9. Your son has a noble spirit. I hope that can be a comfort.

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  10. I pray along with you for the safety of those brave souls who put their life on the line helping others. It must be a mix of pride and agony you’re feeling. Joanne

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  11. This is the man you raised and the person you instilled this respect for life in. We need people like that.

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  12. I admire his sense of duty and his ambition.

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  13. A praying mama, I am with you and I admire your son for his courage and dedication to his chosen career.

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