Tuesday’s Tale From the Tailboard

All Joking Aside

With three firefighters in the family, it goes without question that around our celebration tables there are many, many stories. Most of them are funny incidents that happen at the firehouse, some are hilarious tales of crazy things that happen on a call—those times where live or property was not in danger, but rather what happened between the firefighters themselves. And with three different firehouses, there are stories galore.

But then, there are those times when the laughter dies down. The voices become much softer, and the eyes a bit more moist. Those times when they can’t finish the story. The times they would like to forget—the loss of lives and property around this time of year. The times when they worked so very hard, but couldn’t save either. The times they know will affect families forever, and still affects them.

The next time you hear the wail of a siren and see the flash of a fire truck as it weaves its way around traffic, its air-horn blasting, say a prayer. A prayer, if you will, for those who are waiting for help to arrive. A prayer for the ‘help’ that is coming, their hearts pumping, their minds going over procedures, and maybe this isn’t their first run of the day. Perhaps they are so tired it’s hard for them to think. Maybe, just maybe the last run ended badly and they can hardly think of what might be ahead. And it could well be that they recognize the address toward which they are barreling and don’t want to think.

Invariably, around our celebration tables, there comes that time when we—as a family who waited more than once for ‘help’ to arrive—put 
All jokes aside. 

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