Last night Chris missed our date night.
You're thinking, "What a jerk!", right? Well, don't. It wasn't his fault.
One hears, especially in a time of war, about the sacrifices that men and women in the military and public service positions make in order to protect us. They carry the ultimate form of commitment to our country and their families; a willingness to sacrifice their lives, a willingness to sacrifice time with their families, a willingness to sacrifice the chance for normalcy when they return- if they return. I know, because my brother spent a year in Iraq and is confidently looking down the barrel of another tour. This commitment has affected every area of his life.
I can't tell you in actual English words (or any other language for that matter) how proud I am of my brother.
I know you're waiting for the part where I let loose on the fallacies and selfishness of the politics involved in war, but this post isn't about that. It's about the fact that we have people around us who are willing to sacrifice themselves - their whole lives, not just black and white, live or die, but the fact that the day they decide to join the service they are changing their lives forever - for us. Usually we're strangers to them. I can say for a fact that I don't have the balls to do that.
When I was a kid we used to play the typical cops and robbers games. By the end of the game I would be in such a state of terror and anxiety that I'd be exhausted after my blood pressure and adrenaline evened out. The thought of someone being after me to fake kill me was terrifying. The thought of someone being after me to actually kill me is not a thought I can entertain. Because I can't handle it. I can barely watch suspense movies. I love them, but I can barely watch them. Chris has the fingernail marks to prove it.
Does that make me a coward? Probably, but I can't help it. My brother got all the brave genes.
So last night I was sitting on my mother-in-law's leather couch watching Sex and the City, drinking a glass of wine and worrying. At around 10 pm my husband stumbles into the kitchen reeking of smoke and sweat. I gave him a big bear hug anyway.
Last night was Chris's first big fire since joining the Reardan fire department. When I asked if he was scared he said, "Nah, it was actually calming and if anything I was sad for the family." That's a hero's response. That's the response every person has who puts themselves into danger for someone else. They do what needs to be done and they have a sense of sympathy - even empathy for those they are protecting. My husband is a hero. And I find that to be quite attractive...
So, thank you to everyone who has the balls to fight for us - whether it's in the military, as a cop, fire fighter or EMT or anyone who has ever taken on the burden and responsibility of another person's life in the face of danger.