I've been doing a lot of backward thinking lately. Before I started working for the Providence Fire Department life was good. The bills were paid, I owned a successful business, my wife and kids were happy and so was I.
I'm still happy, and so is my wife, and so are the kids. Only there is a difference-a big difference. Over the last twenty-two years I have been fortunate enough to experience more perfect moments than any person deserves. Prior to my fire department career the only times in my life that I can remember being perfectly in synch with my mind and body, where a nuclear bomb could go off and I wouldn't notice, when I felt truly alive, and powerful, and nearly invincible was while doing the very thing that makes us immortal; the act of procreation.
Being inside a burning building, heat nearly unbearable, Scott running low, deep, nothing but blackness outside my mask, nothing but a hundred feet of tangled, charged line behind me and nothing on my mind but the battle is the closest I've come to that. Or nearly every time I ran a code, whether the patient was a ninety year old lady from the nursing home, a kid shot a dozen times or some middle aged guy who totaled his car and blew out his aorta.
Those precious moments when time stands still, and nothing matters but the job at hand now mean much more to me than I ever realized. When I thought I would live forever, and fight a thousand fires, and save a thousand lives-or not, they were just part of my shift, and I took them for granted, never imagining that it might all end.
Well, the end is near. I've had more perfect moments than most people dare dream, and I've loved every second. I just wish it could go on forever.