Tagged: LODD

The fog of life

Slightly less than a year ago, I departed for my first shift of 2011 through thick fog. It broke dramatically that morning, signifying hope and promise.  
 
If I try to be objective it was a decent year. 362 days later I’m still working a good job with a good employer, my family and I are healthy, and our finances are in better shape than they were a year ago. Second grade is going fabulously!  

 
Emotionally it’s been rough though. Mrs. Mack505 suffered the loss of two family members. My Public Safety family has been rocked with multiple losses, both on duty and off.  
 
I was not there personally, but I was on duty and listened live as a firefighter lost his life. I’ve held my breath with each subsequent radio transmission and felt the ice in my gut as it became apparent what was happening. I’ve looked into the eyes of the crew who worked to save him, and of the good friend he relieved at shift change that morning. I can happily go the rest of my life without ever repeating that experience, thank you. 
 
The fog returned this morning, bookending the year in gray. Goodbye, 2011. It’s a new day tomorrow, and I’m on duty at the best job in the world. 
 
Stay tuned.

Light a candle

So the shortest day came
And the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries
Of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the New Year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.

Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing, behind us – listen!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise weakens in the sleeping land;
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.

–Susan Cooper

It’s been a rough year and a rough month for my little corner of the public safety world. I count 6 deaths and 3 serious injuries this month alone. Things are feeling pretty dark around here today with the news of Peabody firefighter Jim Rice killed in the line of duty.

Carpe diem. Cherish the time with your families. Say those “I love you’s” and “I’m sorry’s.” Read the NIOSH reports and learn from them. Work out, eat better, watch your partner’s back. Wear your PPE, stop at stop signs, and don’t drive like an idiot.

Light those candles, shout, sing, and live for the day.

Rest in peace Patti, Sarah, Jon, Jim, Frank, Robert, Tim, and Kristen.


And thank you, Phil, for forwarding the poem when I needed it. Serendipity. . .