Notes from a Rookie Firefighter...January 22, 2010

It seems my days are spent getting through the day until 4:00 comes and I go up to the firehouse for my Diet Coke and some comradary.

Since Thanksgiving, I have shed alot of baggage and made some decisions that will affect me the rest of my life. I agreed to a divorce, put my house on the market before we got foreclosed upon, and lost my job which I loved. Behind the scenes of all this "stuff" is the fact that my daughter has been missing somewhere in Atlantic City for almost four days. Doing drugs, no doubt. It makes me very very sad.

I have had to take 25 years of memories, treasures, and again "stuff" and condense it into one huge moving sale. He is gone 20 miles away, and I am here with the boys moving to an apartment about 1/5 the size of my home. At least I can say that when the going got tough, I stayed put, dug my heels into the ground, and yelled "I AM GETTING OFF!"

That does sound a little off color, but what I mean is I am getting off the "I can't do anything about this situation/I am not in love with my husband/I am tired of being broke/We can't afford this house/I feel like I'm living with a stranger/How come I handle everything train."

So, now I am on the way to a brighter better future. My therapist said I am on the verge of a great decade since the last one was spent as a caregiver, devoted wife, and worried and anxious mother. Now is the time to be me.

Getting back to the firehouse. I have no family in NJ. The firehouse guys...they are like family without the drama. They make me report to them on what's happening. I told them my daughter was missing, not my friends. They are going to help me move so I don't have to get a mover, and one guy found me my apartment. I truly understand what it means to have a community within a community help each other. You get helped without feeling like you are being helped.

What have I done in return? Well, before and after my yard sale, I donated a ton of office supplies, a huge shed, fax machine, and other things to the firehouse and to those who have heard MY drama all this time. Seems like a small small token of what they have given me.

How come this isn't about firefighting? Hasn't been any, and that's a good thing. But I am the secretary and this week I actually learned how to put one of those get well cards through my printer. One step at a time.

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Comment by Jen Mackinnon on January 27, 2010 at 1:36am
Baby steps are still steps, and one foot in front of the other will always lead to somewhere, even if you stumble back at times :)
Keep your chin up
Comment by Holly on January 26, 2010 at 2:04am
I feel for ya. Last couple of years haven't been too good for me either. It sounds kinda corny but there will be a light at the end of the tunnel so just hang in there.
Comment by Denise Imperiale on January 25, 2010 at 7:01am
When God closes one door he opens another right? People who receive unemployment are eligible for a grant to go back to school. Decided last night I am going to become a paralegal - on my way to becoming a lawyer. Thirty years late, but I figure I'll be a better one.

Have a great day everyone.
Comment by Denise Imperiale on January 24, 2010 at 9:36am
I thank you all for your comments. I am going to continue to take each day one at a time, and finally take help when it is offered to me. Shit I just wish I still had my job. But thank God for unemployment.
Comment by Paul Montpetit on January 24, 2010 at 8:04am
What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger...Hang in there and keep your chin up....Paul
Comment by Brian Mackie on January 23, 2010 at 9:21am
YAH! What Chris and Jim Said. and don't stop writing here. k
Comment by Chris Snow on January 22, 2010 at 9:52pm
Keep going Denise! Find your new strengths and run with them. Fellow Firefighters make a great support base. Just keep building and stay on top.

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