What’s it like being a firefighter’s wife and mother?
It’s...stressful. Every time you know one of them is working, you can do nothing but worry until the moment you know they’ve arrived home safely. When it was just Carlisle, I at least was able to rest easily a few days a week, but once all three of my sons had joined him, it seemed as if the days were few and far between when not a single one of them was working. When the boys were younger, I worried they’d awake one morning to the knowledge that their father was no longer a part of their lives. As they grew older, that worry remained, but their own awareness of the possibility made it an easier cross to bear in that they would at least understand why their dad was no longer with them.
Years ago, my own mother asked me how I could stand it, how I could live with never knowing if when Carlisle walked out of the door in the morning, if that would be that last time I’d ever see him. My answer to her then remains the same to this day: as with everything in life, there is good that comes along with the bad. I may one day lose my husband, and my sons may lose their father, but how many people will he have saved until then? How many families will be spared from the grief of losing their loved ones? The pride I feel for what my husband and sons do knows no bounds.
Pretty much every parent has the same wish for their children, that the grow up into someone they can be proud of. Are you proud of the men your boys have become?
I think, as a parent, it’s hard not to be proud of your children. That’s not to say that they don’t do things or don’t act in ways that disappoint you, or make you worry for their well being. My sons are all good people with good hearts, and for that I am proud of them, but I often do wish they would actually learn and grow from the mistakes they make, and from the obstacles life presents them with.
There is some very apparent miscommunication going on in your family. Is this something you are aware of, and if so, how do you feel about it?
It’s impossible to not be aware of it. The problem isn’t that we’re estranged or we just don’t talk to one another often, because we do. I talk to all of my children on a nearly daily basis, but even though I speak with them, they often leave me in the dark when it comes to the problems they’re having. I can badger them every minute of every day to open up to me, but they’ll only provide as much as they wish to, which is often near nothing. It hurts, and it makes me feel helpless to provide for them what it is they need when they won’t tell me what that specifically is. And it hurts even more when I find out afterwards that it was something I could have helped them with.
In chapter 17 Edward broke damn well every one of the readers’ hearts when he shared that he felt unloved by his own family. Were you aware that he felt this way?
No, I wasn’t. Truth be told, it tore me to pieces to hear he felt that way. I’ve known for quite some time that he lived in a near constant state of stress, but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that one of the sources of that stress could have been him thinking we didn’t love him. I’ve always tried to make sure that my children knew they were loved and cherished no matter what. Edward was no exception. I wish he would have come to me when he started feeling that way, I wish he would have given me a chance to try to do more, or say more, to reassure him that I don’t just love him with all of my heart. He is my heart.
What went through your head when your phone rang the night of the fire?
When it first rang, a million thoughts ran through my head; someone’s been hurt in a fire, there’s been an accident, something was wrong with Rosalie and the baby. But when I heard Carlisle’s tearful voice on the other end, I instantly knew it was one of our sons. That had been the first time in over thirty years of marriage that my husband’s voice had been the one to bear the devastating news. Before he’d even said more than a few words, I knew it was Edward, and I knew it was bad if he was the one to call in the middle of the night. I couldn’t even bear to hear the details because I knew I’d never make it to the hospital if my worst fears were realized before I got there.
How did you instinctively know it was Edward?
I knew it was him because he’s just like his father had been before he had reasons to put his own safety first, before he had children and a wife to come home to. Since the day Edward became a firefighter, he’s always put the safety of others ahead of his own. Neither Emmett or Jasper have ever been that way. They’ve always put themselves first. I didn’t know if more than one of my sons had been hurt, but I had little room to doubt that the call didn’t somehow involve Edward.
Readers are dying to know, what exactly did you say to Rosalie in the bathroom after catching her verbally attacking Bella?
Exactly what any mother would say to their child after witnessing them act in such an appalling manner. I told her how insensitive and disrespectful her behavior had recently been, and how disappointed I was that she could treat someone in such a way who had been nothing but supportive to Edward and our family. Of course, that wasn’t the first time she’d been told those things, but it was the first time I’d ever spoken to her with little regard for her own feelings.