Our firefighters fought two back-to-back fires the other night. There was a Mayday call. I spent some time in that uncertain world, not knowing facts and imagining the worst. When I learned that my husband was okay, I was able to breathe.
Hearing his voice on the phone later that morning made me feel like a twitterpated-teenager again. I was in love with his voice, his breath. As he drove down the lane toward me later that day, I could hardly control my joy, my relief, my love. I listened to his stories over a celebratory drink that evening. I held him close as we went to sleep. I woke up this morning and stared at his face (after I kicked the boys back out of our bedroom with promises of breakfast “in a few minutes”). I kissed him gently, overcome with thankfulness that I could do so. Again.
I bought this necklace a few weeks ago. I liked how it looked, but I didn’t know when I would wear it. Or with what. Yesterday I wore it with a brown shirt and a green cardigan. Today I’m wearing it with an ivory shirt and a tan cardigan. But it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t own a thing to wear it with; I’ll wear it on days like yesterday. I’ll wear it when I’m proud, when I’m afraid, when I’m missing my firefighter. I’ll wear it because it keeps him just that much closer to me, to my heart. His number, a fire truck, an axe, a hydrant, a helmet and the fact that he is my hero.
If you see me wearing this necklace, know that I have just sat on my couch in the pitch-black of night listening to the scanner. Maybe there was a mayday. Maybe there wasn’t. But know that my heart was in my throat and my brain was working on overdrive the entire time. We may know how to make our schedules work together, but I don’t imagine I’ll ever really get used to listening to my husband in imminent danger.
But let’s lay off on the mayday calls. I could really do without them.