My husband is officially a Tallahassee Firefighter! We met right after he got out of fire school, so we have been down this long road together. We thought he would get hired on soon. We were wrong and naïve. That was about four years ago. We have been through more than most in those past years. We made it through the muck. It hasn’t been easy and we didn’t do it so smoothly, but we survived. I had the honor of pinning on his badge. When I was pinning him, it was a huge moment for both of us. We made it to something we have worked towards since we met. Travis told me that he had given it to God last year. That was when God changed everything.
Travis is one of the hardest workers I know. He has worked some really truly awful jobs to stay here with his family and try to support us. We have been through so much. Seeing him get “nos” and “not right nows” was painful and hard. All he wanted to do was work hard for his family. There were many times that I cried about rejection. I cried for him. I had never hurt for someone like that. We didn’t want to be rich. We wanted to be able to pay our bills. I knew we would never live in a big house or drive new cars. That has never been important to me. (We will have a fresh and salt boat. Haha. The necessities. The basics.) We have struggled with our jobs. Travis has known exactly what he wanted to do, unlike me. He just couldn’t get there. I wanted it so badly for him. I wanted it more than I wanted my own career.
He was working as a Tech in the ER at the hospital. He is amazing at that. He is great with patients, always working and is calm in all situations. I know how good he is because he was even great when Vivienne needed an IV at 9 months. Calm. He had decided to go to nursing school at the end of the year because we were only getting rejections with fire departments. HIs certification was going to expire as well. I didn’t care what he chose as long as he was happy. I wanted him to feel a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment with his career. We had decided on nursing school because it really seemed like the only option. He had an appointment to sign up the next week when we went out to eat one Sunday for lunch with Vivi. We chose Maddio’s. It was almost Moe’s. I am now so glad pizza won because we ran into the interim fire chief. He recognized Travis and spoke with him. Travis had met with him several times before. He met Vivi, and I spoke with him as well. He asked where Travis was in the application process. He spoke with him while I waited, dying to speak, too. Dying to tell the chief to hire my husband, my husband who will work harder than anyone else and be the best darn firefighter ever. I didn’t tell him that though. Travis said the chief had told him he was going to call him. I didn’t believe him. We prayed about it. I thought nothing was going to change about our decision for him to go to nursing school. Later that week, Travis called me to tell me the Chief had called him to offer him a job. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it, but it was real. It was God. Travis told me he had given it to God. He had finally let it go. This was God’s answer. The Chief was an interim chief and he received his retirement plaque in the same ceremony Travis received his badge. This was all God. We both thanked the chief. He had said before, that he knew Travis was a good man from reports from others and his interviews. That day he told us to remember that we came to him for a job, not the other way around. That is so true. Also, a great thing for everyone to remember.
One of the guys in his training class said that Travis and I had to wait the four years so that they could all get on together and become friends. Yea, really sweet. That is something about firefighting that is really awesome. I love the bond and friendships. I know that they will be life-long friends. They will protect each other in dangerous situations. I will know their families. They will spend 1/3 of their time together. There is a bond that is undeniable. I am beyond proud of the career my husband has chosen. He has already signed up to give back and volunteer within the fire department. He truly has a heart of gold. No one makes you do that. It is just him. It is a quality that bonds us. We care about our family and giving back. It is amazing that we met in such different places in our lives and have grown together in such remarkable ways. I think I can speak for both of us when I say we are the happiest and most joyful we have ever been. We have been there through everything, together. We made it together. We were there through the worst of things. We were there trying to make the most out of the nothing that we had. We were blessed with a little ball of fire that is Vivienne during all of this.
At the ceremony, as I watched my husband, my everything radiate joy I could hardly contain my joy in my seat across the room. I wanted to sit next to him. I wanted to hug him forever. The fire department understands that the families are in it with the firefighter. They let someone the firefighter chooses pin on the badge. I got that honor. I really didn’t think about walking up to the podium and had worn very tall heels. Very cute, but very tall. I was extremely nervous and excited. I made it through the first pinning segments, firefighters who had been promoted and who had retired. I was about to come out of my seat! You will be happy to know. I made it up to him and pinned his badge on without incident! I also made it back to my seat without falling! Travis was surprised I did not fall. I am not that graceful. I wanted to hug him forever, but I didn’t because I was concentrating on not falling and I didn’t want to embarrass him. Also, my husband is SO cute. I love that. I married my dream man and he only gets more handsome. I know that one day that looks will all fade, but it’s pretty cool for now. Him being such an honorable man makes him even more attractive. (The uniform doesn’t hurt either.)
When Vivienne saw him for the first time at the restaurant in his dress uniform she was quiet and in awe. She looked him over and then smiled. It was wonderful to have our family together to celebrate such a monumental moment in all of our lives. God is faithful to His children. It is not our timing it is His timing. Sometimes prayers are answered with, “Wait.” Are we listening? I don’t know what God has planned for us, but I know that He is in charge and that is all I need to know. That needs to be enough. I am proud and happy to say that in our family we put God first. We try our best to focus on His plan for us and our lives. We try to let our lives reflect His love. We aren’t perfect. We make mistakes. But we try to give back and share the love that we feel from our Lord.
We, me and Vivs, will be getting used to Travis being gone every 48 hours. It will be hard. We will enjoy having him home the other days and he will get to spend time with her, just the two of them. As will I. Firefighting is a life style, not just a job. I am a proud firefighter wife. We have dedicated our lives to the path that God has chosen for us. Helping others, I couldn’t be happier. It is an awesome thing to share in each others life excitements. We are a team. (I give him that pep talk all the time. He loves it. *sarcasm*) Sometimes it is pretty cool though! We do this crazy thing called life together! The ups and the downs are together. Side by side we weather the storms and then we get to enjoy the rainbow at the end. Life and God’s plans can be pretty fun at times. It’s really wonderful to have someone who gets it, who gets you. Someone who has been right there through all the bad, so they can truly appreciate the good. That’s us. That is our love. This is our future. I am beyond excited and proud.