Happiest Birthday! You deserve to have a fantastic day, so celebrate heartily! We all wish that you didn’t live so far away, and we especially wish that we could be with you this year. Please know that your family loves you more than words can express, and that you are always in our hearts and prayers. I’d really like to write about you and your extraordinary virtues, but I’m afraid that these sentiments would not strike a comfortable chord and I don’t want you to avoid your only auntie so I will refrain from telling everyone howwonderfulandhandsomeandfunnyandsmartandbraveyouareandhowmuchIloveandadmireyou….
Fire fighting runs through the veins of the men in our family. My grandfather and his sons were volunteers for their company in Yorktown, NY. My father was a volunteer Chief and his two grandsons are both career fire fighters – my son Andrew here in Dutchess County and his cousin Matt in New Mexico, a Mt Taylor Hot Shot.
It takes a special kind of man (or woman) to qualify for a career in fire fighting. I am both proud of Matt and Andrew, and terrified, on any given day. My days begin and end with a prayer, a request, to keep these young men safe and unharmed. ( Our patron saint, St Florian hears from me a lot. ) The loss of the 19 heroes, the Hot Shots of Granite Mountain, was a knife through the heart, so close to home, so real. We are reminded that life is fragile and fleeting and that we must make each moment count.
So Matt, have yourself the best birthday. Know that you are mightily loved. And stay hydrated.
love and hugs, aunt Jody