Good grief, any of you out there who read that I had a surprise and thought that doesn't know me very well!! First of all, Bill and I aren't having more children because we would have to pack our crap up and haul it somewhere else move, and secondly, I don't keep secrets like that very well, when we are ready to tell we just tell, no hinting, and thirdly I'd be too busy crying to blog it!
So, my news is that my dear, wonderful, fantastic husband received a wonderful honor last night. At the Jay Fire Department Mutual Aid Supper, he was awarded Firefighter of the year!
I was told at the Christmas Party on Dec 1, and sworn to secrecy. I did tell Linda, Bill's mom, inviting her to attend. It was supposed to happen on the 3rd, but with the big snowstorm it didn't. Unfortunately, George (Bill's dad) could've come that day, but last night he was working.
Linda, the boys and I snuck in as the supper was finishing up (not an easy task with 4 children in winter coats!) and were ushered around a corner when Bill wasn't looking. Things were such that in order to actually see the presentation Bill would have seen us and suspected, so we caught only the look of shock on his face. He saw us walk in and said, "When did you get here?!" I was afraid he might get emotional, he sees the award as such an honor, and when we talked later he agreed he might have if he hadn't been so surprised!
Even as Tim Toothaker was describing that the award was was going to a man with a large family he contemplated people with large extended families on the department! It wasn't until Tim said, "And young boys that he even brings to truck inspections to help out," that it dawned on him what was happening!! He's just so unassuming, and I think he feels like he hasn't made too many calls lately that he forgets how appreciated he is when he is there.
As a bonus a retired firefighter from out of state, Paul Ripa, that Bill met through Goodwin's and came to really like was there to see the award as well! Paul is writing a book, and he and Bill talked fire fighting for days when Bill was sent to his place to try to get water to his barn awhile back. All in all it was a great evening for him, and we are very proud. I also really appreciate how the folks on the department regularly acknowledge the families and that it's a sacrifice to go without a family member on so many different occasions. And we got to bring home the leftover cake! People were implying it was a lot of cake to deal with, but I assured them it will be gone by the end of the week!!
Ok Tim, you were right, I should have fought the crowd to get a picture right side up!
On the wall of the station when we were waiting, I looked at a picture depicting firefighters from 9/11. They have a saying, Firefighters run in when everyone else is running out. If you know anyone who has served in this capacity, you know there is a kind of love and determination that you don't see in many people. Thank them, as often as you can, because you never know when it's your house, or your car accident, or the one of someone you love where they will be needed next. Mr. Ripa pointed out that in paid fire departments you know if you have three engines you have 18 fire fighters, and here if you have three engines show up you may have three people. Appreciate those folks, I know we sure do!