Someone called me that the other day …. a “survivor” (as in a suicide survivor). I’ve never thought of it that way but it actually makes sense.

It’s been 75 days since my brother Jack made the decision to end his life and I’m still struggling through the loss. I’m still going through the grieving process and fighting depression.

I don’t know if I’m a “survivor” but I am surviving ….. day by day.

It’s been a rough few months and the past couple of weeks haven’t made it any easier. Two of my family members have had major surgeries or procedures and the LODD (Line Of Duty Death) of Scott Morrison on March 3rd hit close to home. Scott was a good friend and huge supporter… professionally and personally.

That word … “survivor” keeps popping up in my head…. I guess there are a lot of us.

Scott didn’t survive his fatal heart attack but his friends and family will.

There were (are) so many left behind that have to find a way to keep living… to keep moving forward with their lives despite their search for the answer to their question “why?”.

Scott is survived by a wife (Jessica) and two children (Kaitlyn and Sean). He is also survived by his Knotts Island Fire Department family (he was their Chief) as well as by “The Brotherhood”, and friends and family from all across the Nation. Scott left many survivors.

Rhett had some links and more on Scott’s death over on Fire Click HERE to read that post.

I didn’t attend the funeral. I had planned on it and intended to but I couldn’t. I couldn’t attend another funeral, see another casket or loved ones hurting. I wasn’t strong enough … I wish I was and regret not going.

Read Rhett’s post “Go to the funeral …You OWE it to them” from back in June 2011

I was already on the road the weekend of Scott’s funeral. I was in Charlottesville, Va at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

That Friday, my Senior Firefighter; “Boots” underwent some major surgery.

He’s actually been fighting for some time now. I haven’t talked about it here out of respect for his privacy but he’s given me permission to mention it now.

Boots had cancer …. now he doesn’t.

Now, he is a “SURVIVOR”.

With 25 years on the job, Boots is a GREAT Firefighter. More importantly  he’s an even better person! He’s the type of man who is always giving and never taking. Always putting others first … never thinking of himself.

He didn’t deserve this battle but he’s quietly fighting it.

I’ve always known Boots was a fighter. I’ve always known he was strong … I just never realized how strong. Pushing down hallways or making rooms is one thing …. this is something different. Something much, much different.

They first tried radiation and he continued to report for duty. Many days, he left the station for his treatment and then returned for the remainder of the tour.

The radiation didn’t work and surgery was the only remaining option. On Friday, he spent over 5 hours in surgery. His recovery will be much longer.

For our local Brothers and Sisters, he is unable to accept calls at this times and is respectfully asking for no visitors. You can send him messages through any of my accounts (click for my e-mail or Face Book) and I will see to their delivery. If you’d like to send a card or something you can bring it by or mail it to the station (in attention to “Boots”) and I’ll get it to him. Message me here if you need the address or feel free to give me a call.

Tonight’s evening news reminded me of more survivors …. our Brothers and Sisters, as well as the many residents; of Breezy Point (and other areas affected by Super Storm Sandy).

These Brothers and Sisters not only lost $20,000 in band equipment, many lost their homes and personal belongings.

It’s not stopping them. They continue to play and will be on 5th Avenue tomorrow for the famed New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They too are “survivors” and they’re doing it so that others may too (survive).

“It’s good emotionally for us to be out there and get a sense of normalcy,” said Williams. “We’re still here. We’re still doing what we’re doing and we will get past this terrible devastation.” (a quote from Band founder and Pipe Major Terrence Williams at

Read the entire story from the Daily News by clicking HERE

I guess the point I wanted to make tonight is that there are “survivors” all around us. Many that we may have never noticed or thought of as survivors but they are there.  I’m one of them. Despite my lack of postings / social media presence, I am surviving…. maybe you are too.

Read my post “We are all Climbing

Instead of writing, I’ve spent the time with family (of course you … my readers / followers are family as well). I apologize for for not keeping you posted etc and want to thank all of you for the messages, e-mails etc sent checking on me.

Although I’ll never be the “same” again, I will find my “New Normal” . I’ve put my “boots” back on and now, I just need to get my focus back (click the bold quotations for previous related posts). I’m getting there. Thanks for hanging with and helping me throughout this journey…. I couldn’t do it without you!

Stay SAFE and in House ….

Captain Wines