Friday, February 12, 2016

Breaking Point

I'm a proud LEO wife. My husband is a dedicated and accomplished officer. I am privileged to support a man who has answered his calling and has made a career of serving others, upholding the law, and sacrificing himself. My LEO has been on duty for 14 and a half years and by association, so have I. Today I realized I'm just about to my breaking point. Let me explain...

I've spent two months raising a toddler while my husband was away at the Academy. And this was way back when we didn't have cell phones. Our son colored pictures and I traced his hands and mailed letters to his daddy while he was away. We spent weekends together until the day he graduated on our son's second birthday.

I spent many years sleeping in our bed alone while my husband worked the night shift. I put our kids to bed alone and tried to keep them quiet while he slept during the day. I cooked our dinner super early so we could eat together as a family before his shift started. I went alone to church, family events, we celebrated holidays while he wore his uniform and stopped by for a quick minute or two.

I've been woken up in the middle of the night when he came home and told me he had lost a fellow officer that night. I've held him while he wept, consoled his broken heart and broken spirit. I rode beside him in his patrol car as we drove under the flag lifted high... and as the last call for C7 came out over the radio. I wept too. That day was when I realized that it could happen to me, I could experience a day that my officer didn't make it home.

I've sat through school plays and awards ceremonies while my husband stood at the back of the room with his back to the wall. All because the room was full of people he had dealt with on the street or had taken to jail. I've sat through our daughter's 5th grade graduation and videoed the part where her name is called and she walks the stage... all because someone else needed him more than we did at that very moment, and he had to answer the call.

I've waited up many hours waiting for him to come home when he was on a SWAT call, only to find out he spent several hours freezing cold in water to his waist while someone was shooting at him. He's been the first one to enter the house when there is someone barricading themselves inside, and he's been the one laid over the sniper rifle... just waiting.

I've listened to my husband tell me the stories of the girl who was ejected from her car and laid in the middle of the road, and while she took her last breath he held her head and told her she would be alright. And the time he had to dive to retrieve the body of a drowned child, and all the bizarre methods and scenes of someones suicide... listened as he said he had to photograph the scene and help bag the body.

I've watched him be named Officer of the Year (twice), shoot a round from a sniper rifle through the keyhole of a doorknob, teach his fellow officers, lead his fellow officers, shed tears with his fellow officers, I've seen him on the best days and the worst days... I've seen it all.

I've listened to people complain about the cops, watched the media drag them through the mud, spread hate and ignorance. I've seen him get fighting mad at how this world views men and women like him. I've seen my husband get discouraged and want to give it up. I've heard him tell me he will not be the same man I married when his retirement date arrives. It's a scary thought actually and today I realized how true it is..... and on this day just a few hours ago...I spoke to my husband as he sat down in the squad room and as he told me about his day...  it pushed me to my breaking point.

See, what i experience of this LEO life is only a small fraction of what he does. I can't even imagine all the sights, smells, sounds, experiences, fears, and heartaches he has been through. I don't want to. There's a limit to how much of yourself you can sacrifice for another before you have nothing left to give. That's what LEO life is all about...

I now understand how a LEO wife can say they can't wait for the day their husband pins on his badge for the last time, for the last time he says he's 10-41, for the last time the velcro rips off the vest, the last time the gun is holstered. That's how I feel today... I'm more proud of my husband today than I was yesterday and less than I will be tomorrow. I'll support him until the very end... but I'll shed tears of JOY when I hear him say the words... County Alpha 1, I'll be 10-42... for the last time.

aka Mrs. Alpha 1

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Broken and Beautiful

I read this quote in my devotional email today. " Just because the road gets bumpy doesn't mean we are off course. Actually the right road is bumpy. The correct path does have obstacles and setbacks. The journey is broken and beautiful at the same time."

The devotional referred to parenting and how difficult it can be at times. It really rang true for me as I have a teenager and one who thinks she is. I often think if I'm being a good mom things will be going well for everyone, myself included, and when it's hard I blame myself. Because it's only bad if you are doing something wrong apparently.

I'm reminded by this quote that all of life is a journey. Whether it be parenting, marriage, work, family, or any relationship for that matter... The best we can offer is a broken but beautiful attempt to pour out all of ourselves and know that in the end that's all we had. 

I'm thankful and honestly sometimes worried that tomorrow is another day, depending on the circumstances. I'm also reminding myself how far I have come down my bumpy but beautiful road. 


Monday, February 8, 2016

Jumping Back In

After too much time neglecting my blog, I'm going to jump back in to it. Despite being so busy that some days I can hardly catch my breath, life still happens and still is worthy of documenting.

We enjoyed a weekend evening wedding with some friends. Bryan performed the ceremony and did a great job.. It was a fun time and we were even able to catch up with some old high school friends. 

Today's Bryan's 42nd birthday, so here's to another wonderful year with my husband and to getting back to the blog.