Have you ever been slapped across the face? I mean a full-force-make-your-head-spin kind of slap right across the cheek. I don’t recall ever getting physically slapped like that (or I just blocked it out of my mind) but I have been mentally and emotionally slapped. It’s not a good feeling but it definitely wakes you up! Over the past 3 months I think I’ve been slapped almost every time Matt is on shift.
You see sometimes it’s challenging being the mom that handles it all while daddy is “on the fire truck” and “driving the ambulance” (as Ben says) and I don’t see him for 2 days and then when I do finally see him he’s sleeping. I’m not going to go on and on with details because there are plenty of wives who have been living this fire life for years supporting their firefighter as well as military wives who say goodbye to their husbands for months or years at a time and handle the home front themselves BUT when I’ve reached my limit of teenage attitude or potty training gone wrong I just may send my brave firefighter a brief little text of my frustration…and then it happens… SMACK!!
…after a delayed response to whatever petty problem I felt the urge to
share complain to him about I get a text back that usually goes something like this:
“I just got back from a call. A kid fell off a skateboard and was knocked unconscious. His mom was panicking. I hope he will be alright.”
OR “I just did CPR on a guy in a nursing home who was only in his 40’s and he didn’t make it.”
OR “I just helped a guy in Publix who was going into diabetic coma.”
OR what I heard this past weekend, “I had a horrible call. Everyone said it was one of the worst calls they’ve had in a long time.”
THE SLAP. My perspective of what I’m dealing with is immediately changed. I realize how minute my problem is and what a horrible nightmare someone else is living at that moment. Like the families of the young couple that were hit by the speeding car Saturday morning at 2:00am. Matt was one of the first responders to the scene. After the “slap across the face” my first thoughts were for the families of these people, the phone calls they probably received and the shock they are now living in.
I take these slaps across the face as wake up calls. They tell me to examine my “problems” a little bit further. Pick my battles a little better. Live for God and enjoy each and every minute with your loved ones here on earth because no one knows how long God has planned for any of us to be here.