It’s here. The weekend we drive 3.5 hours north to deliver mutual aid to the Detroit Fire Department alongside (no, behind really, because I am so gracious of all the work National Firefighters Endowment and so many others) have put into this.
When Shane first called me a few months ago to tell me about it, the word yes was out of my mouth before I even knew what I was in for. Because his vision so clearly embodied the spirit that runs deep in the fire family but is so often overshadowed by, well, life. I don’t want this event to be just some PR move. It’s way more than that. It’s hands and feet acting out the love and spirit of the “brotherhood” so often talked about but so often that can be where it stops. It’s when our Fire Wife Community does in person what we say to each other on Facebook. It’s when we show up.
Here are a few comments I heard in this past week from our public facebook page that make my heart hurt:
- At our fire department Christmas dinner, the other wives were so standoffish to me. I felt so uncomfortable.
- I’m really surprised that the wives community at my husband’s fire house is not more like the wives community when he was stationed in the military. I could turn to those Navy wives for anything and we were all so close.
- I left that fire wife facebook group because it was toxic. I was afraid to post anything for fear of being attacked. That’s not why I was there.
Why do women treat each other this way?
If I could find a solution for that I’d probably surpass Oprah in wealth and fame. And to be perfectly honest, I definitely didn’t receive a warm welcome from any other wives when I met my husband (already a firefighter) and started experiencing this lifestyle. I found a bunch of unhappy, complaining, loud mouthed and assertive women who quite honestly I didn’t really care to spend time with.
As the years wore on and as our website has grown, the most beautiful, caring and concerned fire wives have shown up in my life and here in our community. And THAT is exactly what it takes for our fire family to continue to legitimately use the words “brotherhood” and “family”. I don’t know why the mean girls can be so overshadowing in the fire wife community but I’m just going to give them a “bless their hearts” and move forward with the hands and feet wanting to do good. Eventually those mean girls will be touched by the fire family love and finally get it.
Now Meet Some Fire Wives Who Care
They are really out there. Case in point. Last night 3 local fire wives came over to my house and gave 3 solid hours of packing, sorting, cutting and taping as we put together the Fire Family Care Packs for DetroitMutualAid.com. These care packs will be distributed to 14 stations serving over 300 firefighters. I have never been so grateful than to find women like this who love to serve and share and are so kind hearted. (and who have also been affected by the mean girl fire wives and are driven to change that in the fire service!)
Kristin, Tami, Lindsay, leAnn, Cynthia, Megan, Tracy, Danielle, Brenda, Pam, Steph, Eva, Karen, Marsha, Jessie, Lisa…….those are just a few of the names of people who personally contributed time, money and passion to this project.
It took WAY longer than I anticipated to put this all together. I found myself in many stumbling blocks including what we were going to pack these in as I literally prayed to God to show me a solution last night in Walmart and then to have a kind hearted man help me lift all 15 totes into my cart and to “coincidentally” bump into another mom from school who is married to a police officer help me out to the car. Wow, God. Thanks for really showing up.
Now we ask for prayers for safe travels for everyone. A time of community and good spirit and open hearts as we deliver these items and the $100K in equipment and gear that was donated by this campaign.
Journey, to be continued………
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