This morning the phone rang at 1:30am. Pat was on duty and it was his Battalion Chief. My heart sank, this couldn't be good. Turns out Pat had slipped on a metal roof during a structure fire and fell about 10 feet to the ground. He landed on his head and shoulder and being in full structure gear with SCBA (breathing apparatus) adds quite a bit of weight and makes for quite a landing. Fortunately, as his BC was quick to say, he's all right. He escaped with a laceration to his head and a painful shoulder. No loss of consciousness.
I loaded the girls into the truck and we headed for the hospital. You have to love a small town and the firefighter/EMS community. The lady on the ambulance is a friend of mine and watched the girls for a bit while I got my first visit with Pat. Seeing him bandaged up with doctors and nurses attending him made it finally sink in that he really did get hurt and I was so thankful that it wasn't worse.
I eventually took the girls to a friends house so I could focus my attention on Pat. He got staples in his head to close the laceration and an x-ray on his shoulder which came back negative so it's probably a muscular injury and hopefully isn't too serious. This morning I asked how he was feeling and he chuckled sheepishly and said he feels like he fell off a roof, his humor still intact.
On top of all this I had to take the truck in for new brakes and rotors, an expensive fix. It makes me realize how quickly a nice, comfortable life can be turned upside down. We're lucky and will get through this fine with the help of some very good friends that I'm extremely thankful to have.
I know it's so easy to get caught up in the business of life and forget to appreciate what we have. This "middle of the night" phone call reinforces what's most important in life: family.