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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Remembering . . .



Remembering, because I will never forget where I was when I heard the news...the news that our friend and my husband's co-worker John had been injured in a house fire...and the news that came shortly after which confirmed he had passed. 

I still have that text on my phone...and the news story on my DVR that aired the following day. I think of that final look that my husband gave me from across the truck as he shook his head confirming the news that John hadn't made it. Or when I yelled out and dropped to my knees because my immediate thoughts were on his wife and two small children. I remember repeating over and over, 'What is she going to do? What is she going to do?' as Matt wrapped his arms around me and we both just sat their and gathered our thoughts. 

We were camping...just north of Kansas City with some friends. Matt ironically had just been discussing the details of his profession and such when we got the call that someone had been injured. Not even thinking it was anything severe, we went about our business, knowing that we would get more information in the morning. But it was the random email that came through my blackberry asking for prayers that immediately triggered the lump in my throat as I realized that this wasn't anything minor.

And then there it was, the unbelief pouring over our faces and in our voices. We put Sydney in her car seat and everyone helped as we gathered our belongings up and tossed it all in the truck. Hugging them good-bye and heading straight back to KC and directly to the Fire Station knowing that even if we couldn't do anything, just being there, with our Fire family was where we needed and wanted to be. To find out exactly what had happened and to stay as long as we needed to make sure we saw and hugged everyone we could. To remind them and ourselves that we were not alone in this tragedy.

The days following up to the funeral now seem like a blur. Everything happened so fast and at the end of a very long week, we woke up feeling empty. Empty because the chaos was now over. Now it was time to try to get back to normal, but normal doesn't exist. I think about John and Amber and the kids every time Matt leaves for work. Every time we visit the fire stations and see any of our friends. Your head goes to places you wouldn't normally send it as it also subconsciously tries to prepare you for the worst too. You selfishly think to yourself how lucky you are that it wasn't you...and then immediately feel the guilt of thinking that thought, and the heartache of knowing that someone else has to go through that kind of pain instead.

Tonight we gathered with our Fire Family in front of the memorial at station 71 and held a moment of silence for John, marking the one year anniversary. And following the tears that most of us still can't hold back, we hugged each other again, and then stayed and talked, and laughed, and enjoyed just being there. And as I stood back and watched, I stared at the smiling picture of John staring back at everyone, knowing in my heart that even though he is no longer with us, he is the reason that we are all so close now...and that is just one more reason why he will never be forgotten.

R.I.P. John Glaser ... you are forever missed and will always be remembered.

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