Thirteen years ago this month, I held my tiny, brand new, wrinkled little newborn son in the lobby of a massive skyscraper in downtown Seattle.
I think I may have had my first panic attack there, or at least the first feeling of utter motherly dread when we were driving down, down, down into the depths of the giant parking garage. I remember counting levels and wondering how we'd ever get out of this concrete jail if something horrible happened. Breathing the canned air on our way to the elevators it was all I could do to stop from running, my baby in tow, in order to get just one breath of fresh air...
Which must be pretty much the way my husband felt when he ran up 69 floors in full bunker gear to reach his goal.
Watching the members of our fire department get suited up, hydrated, say prayers and kiss their significant others goodbye was overwhelming, especially with our new baby. I teared up so many times I lost count. I was nervous for him, for them. I was proud of him, of them. And I paced nervously from the time he went up those escalators and out of my sight until the time I saw him, exhausted and spent, return back to our little staging area.
If you are in the fire service family, you know that events like The Scott Firefighter Stairclimb are yearly reminders of the loyalty, strength, endurance, pride and generosity of each firefighter who participates and his/her department. Behind those climbing men and women, stand several support people who also feel as passionately about the cause to raise funds for leukemia and lymphoma.
This year, my husband's good friend Tony and their Chief climbed. Chief and his daughter, who is a firefighter in Eastern Washington made it a father/daughter type challenge and I do believe they both came out on top of their game! What an inspiration.
I have the privilege of knowing (in blogland) a very talented local photographer who has covered the stairclimb. Not only do her photos capture every single emotion that is felt during this event, but she catches some unique behind-the-scenes shots as well which give surprising glimpses into each and every aspect of the climb. Check out her blog at: Sarah Alston Photography and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.