You may or may not know if you don't live in Los Angeles but damned near the whole city that is not paved is on fire at the moment. I block these things out normally. Half the time I don't even know where the places are they're talking about and I live here. Or the things are too horrible to ponder at all. I am effected by my CNN homepage more than I care to admit. During the giant economic crash I had to change it due to panic attacks. Anyway, you get the picture.
So, the fire...over the weekend I didn't watch any news at all. I heard there was a brush fire and then I wake up Monday to conversations that an area called Runyon Canyon was on fire. Runyon is this hill and for lack of a better description it's in the heart of LA. Hipsters and movie stars climb it, people run their dogs, trainers kick their clients ass'. I started to pay attention. And then the news came about the two fire fighters who had perished. This is why I'm really telling this story.
I belong to one of those 'Friend' sites -you know what I'm talking about. I like it alot, keep in contact with friends, family and some distant friends that I don't see or talk to but well, you add them anyway. One of these women was a good friend of mine in high school, who I came to find out earlier this year that she lost her sweetheart, who was a firefighter, in a freak accident about a year ago.
I distinctly remember watching the evening news that night and seeing that report and thinking 'how sad'. My thoughts stopped there because well, I just can't engage otherwise I would never stop crying. So I learn of this sad story and send her my regards. Yesterday she posted something about sending prayers to those fallen men who passed this week and knowing her story I know how heart breaking it must be to relive. And for all of the families who have men and women out there working hearing that on the news, and not knowing... must be horrible.
As someone who has a brother in law enforcement, there are those thoughts that go through your mind about what if. What if someone goes wacko, what if a bullet misses the protective vest, what if...
A year or so ago I was at work and opened my browser like I do a million times a day and the CNN headline said something like 'Northern California Officer Shot Dead In Ambush' and for the three longest seconds of my life, my heart stopped and my mind went to all sorts of places until I could scan the article for the city. It happened to be Oakland and I took a breathe but then started in again with thoughts "was he on training in Oakland?" "did he pick up a shift for some other department for extra cash?"
My brother is Superman. Literally. 6'3", a giant wall of a man. With all of his gear on he looks like an NFL Lineman and one bad-ass cop. He is a Sergeant, he has trained with the SWAT team, sniper training, Something about repelling out of a helicopter I think I heard at one point, he's a specialist and trainer in hand to hand combat. He just plain could kick the living crap out of you if he wanted. He has rescued people off of bridges who were going to jump, he has gone in to homes to find horrible, unspeakable things. He is the man who can and will protect you should you need it. Yet, even Superman has his criptonite. I pray often that he never meets up with his.
So, this is what I've been thinking about the last 48 hrs or so. If you've ignored those stories on the news like I do. If you might think a good thought for those families who have men and women out saving our city I think it would be good. And a special thought to the families who lost their Supermen this week to criptonite would be even better.
images via L.A. Now a blog for the LA Times