An Open Letter to the Drunk Driver That Hit My Husband

Dear Drunk Driver who Hit the Vehicle my Husband Was Riding in Late Saturday Night/Early Sunday Morning;

I won’t pretend to know what you were thinking when you slammed into the back of that Suburban and then careened into the truck my husband was riding in at the time. I don’t think I can wrap my head around the decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk, drinking or even only “just had a few.” There is no excuse: You were in the wrong.

Now that we all understand that you were in the wrong, I feel the need to tell you a few things about one of the men you endangered with your bad decision.

He is, hands down, the most amazing man I have ever met. He is a devoted husband, a hands-on daddy, this house’s primary dish washer, a loving son, a helpful grandson, a loyal friend, a faithful believer, and a dedicated firefighter. I suppose if you’re going to get all willy-nilly drunk and slam into two cars that are stopped, hitting a bunch of firefighters was a good choice on your part, though I suspect that you had little to do with that aspect of the decision. But back to my husband…

He seems quiet at first, and honestly, he’s not as loud as me. He is the loud to my quiet, the relaxed to my high strung. He balances me. We’re one of those weird couples that simply matches. We are, if you’ll allow me a Sleepless in Seattle moment, MFEO. Fake gag at our sappy love all you want, everyone else does. But we’ve got a good thing going over here. And that quiet I mentioned? It disappears as you get to know him. While he’ll never be as loud as me, he is quick with a joke. The twinkle in his eye lets you know that even when he’s quiet, he’s laughing on the inside. He makes me feel like I’m the smartest, funniest, most talented, most beautiful woman on the planet. I would be lost without him.

Our two sons love him to the moon and back. About eighty bagillion times. There is no one as amazing as their daddy. I mean, what little boy doesn’t want a firefighter for a dad? He is a super hero in their eyes. He plays rough, but cuddles close. He can swing a light saber with the best of them, and has taught our boys how to cast while fishing. He’s patient when teaching them how to play baseball, how to kick a soccer ball. He does things with and teaches the boys things that I either can’t do or he just simply does better. Like vacuuming. He makes my sons feel loved, valued and important. They would be lost without him.

There are other people, removed from the obvious people like his mom and dad and sister and grandparents, who would be heartbroken without my husband. My daughter. My parents, brother and grandparents, all of whom seem to like him more than they like me. The Fake Husband. Countless others around this city whom he has touched, whom he has helped, whom he has bestowed his winning smile upon. His fellow firefighters, for whom he would lay his life on the line.

Which brings me to this point: I have learned to live with the fear, the worry, the anxiety that comes hand-in-hand with being a firefighter’s wife. Most days, I don’t think about it. He goes to work, and I busy myself with my work, our children, the home and life as it happens. I have forced myself to ignore the scanner, forced myself not to turn it on when he runs out in the middle of the night. Despite the fact that I can function even when I know he’s on a major fire, the fear always looms, lurks in the back of my head, my heart. It’s dangerous, fighting fires. It is. It makes me angry that you took something that didn’t cause me much fear — driving — and tainted it. I don’t want to live in fear every time that he leaves the house that a drunk driver will ruin everything we have with one bad judgment call.


Do you know what frustrates me most, Mr. Drunk Driver? I know nothing about you. The news media in Columbus doesn’t find a car accident caused by a drunk driver that involved three firefighters and two other civilians (of which, those two were transported to the hospital) to be news-worthy. The Ohio Crash Report doesn’t yet have you uploaded so that I can know your name, so that I can google you and figure out if you were set to lose as much as we were that night. So I can know who my enemy is. So I can say a prayer for that enemy, that maybe, God willing, the next time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you will think twice about those “just a few beers” that you have had. So that maybe you won’t put that car in drive. So that maybe you’ll think about families and fathers and mothers and children and sons and daughters and friends and co-workers and random acquaintances that would be devastated by the loss of one of their own. The good news is that, once the weekend backlog is officially entered, I’ll know who to pray for — whose name to pray never crosses our paths again.

Maybe you’re a great guy, Mr. Drunk Driver. Maybe you made one bad choice in the middle of a lifetime of great choices. Maybe you feel such remorse that it will never, ever happen again. I hope so. I hope no wife has to listen to her husband recount the moments that could have ended it all. I hope no wife has to experience worse than that — the unthinkable, the unmentionable.

I am thankful that my husband is okay. I am still praying that those in the Suburban that you slammed into first are okay. I spent most of yesterday thanking God and simply staring at my husband. The problem with that is that I’m always thankful for my husband. I didn’t need this near tragedy to open my eyes and show me what an amazing man I married. I always knew that; I didn’t need your help.

We love this man.

Easter 2012

So, in short: Keep your drunk-driving, bad-choice-making, family-endangering behind off the road and away from my family.

The Wife of the Most Amazing Man Ever

(PS: I didn’t cuss in this letter, but let it be known: I have thought all of the letter words since the accident happened. Just sayin’.)


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How to Meet Firefighters

Recently I received contact from someone who wanted to know how to meet (with the intent of dating) firefighters. I have some ideas.

How to meet firefighters:

  • Set something on fire. Preferably not yourself. If you do, stop, drop and roll. Not blog. That doesn’t stop flames.
  • If arson isn’t your thing because jail time is a turn off, just yell, “FIRE!” in a crowded room. Be aware that inducing panic is a misdemeanor offense. Unless someone gets hurt. Then it’s a felony. Test your luck.
  • Fall down. Don’t get up. Though, if you live in an area where the ambulance company is outsourced to a private company, you may end up with EMTs or Paramedics, not firefighters. However, you might end up with both. It’s a risk you have to take.
  • Climb up a tree with a kitten. Leave the kitten there. Climb down. Call the fire department. See if they show up.
  • Two words: Bomb scare!
  • Crash your vehicle into something so hard that the Jaws of Life are needed. Try to stay conscious and/or alive for when the firefighters arrive. Bat eyelashes while blood drips down your forehead.

Breaking Things!

This is all very tongue in cheek. Obviously. I rolled my eyes and laughed at the email I got concerning how to meet — with the intent of dating — firefighters. Not one firefighter. Any firefighter. I laughed and laughed and laughed. And then read the email aloud to my friends. And laughed some more.


Just as women hate to be lumped together, doing so to men is equally as offensive and ridiculous. I can tell you that the firefighters in my husband’s department are as different from one another as I am from my co-workers. They view life, relationships, work and the “big issues” in their own unique ways. They have their own personalities. Some firefighters I get along with just fine, whereas I couldn’t have any form of a relationship with others due to major conflicts in thought. You know, just like other men and women.

I am not a fan of Firehouse Floozies, Groupies or whatever you want to call them. Yes, firefighters swoop in and save the day. Yes, that’s all very Romance Novel and dreamy and other silly nonsense. I would have married my husband even if he wasn’t a firefighter. While he was a volunteer firefighter when I met him, he wasn’t a professional firefighter yet. I got to know him as a person and a friend. I fell in love with his sense of humor, his intelligence, his ability to communicate, the fact that he does laundry (!) and his eyes-eyelash-combo. Among other things. In fact, the whole “running into burning buildings” thing was initially a turn off — not because it’s “unsexy” but because it scared (uh, scares, present tense) the living daylights out of me. If FireDad had been AccountantDad with the same sense of humor, eyelashes and lack of running into burning buildings, we might have started dating sooner than we did. But who knows.

What I’m trying to say is this: Don’t waste your time — or a firefighter’s time — trying to figure out how to meet them. If you meet one while out and about in your community and think the sense of humor and eyelash combo are setting your heart aflame, try to find out information about him or her. But don’t just try to stalk down any living, breathing firefighter just for the sake of some sexy hero worship fantasy. The hero worship gets old fast. Trust me.

However, and I’ve said it before, firefighters like baked goods. ‘Nuff said.