Jan 13, 2014

Then and now

His uniform.

His car.

Graduation from the academy, 1987.

27 years later; last court day.  

Nov 8, 2013

You know you're a cop spouse when . . .

You know you're a cop spouse when . . .

You don't know what day of the week it is because you quit working some time ago and his weekend is Mon-Tues-Wed.
You don't even PLAN on having him home for dinner because after 27 years, it's hit and miss.
You eat cereal for supper when he's on duty because its easier than fixing something for just one person.
You celebrate Valentines Day by going out riding with him.
You celebrate 4th of July, anniversaries, birthdays and most other special days by going out riding with him.
You know all the 10 codes.
You know what a deuce is.
You don't have arguments; you get into a 415.
You love the sound of Velcro in the morning.
You have a list of restaurants in your head where you can't eat.
You have to run in and pick up the take out because "I think I arrested someone from there last night."
When you go to the escrow office to sign the paperwork for your new house, he hesitates at the front door and checks his feet for blood because he doesn't want to track blood into the office.
He knows the inside of many of the houses in your little town.
You can build your own fence and fix all sorts of things around the house.
He goes to the grocery store and comes home much later than he should have because he saw someone who had a warrant/was stealing booze.
You say your last name and people say they know your husband.
Little kids tell your kids that their daddy knows your daddy . . . And it's not in a good way.
You've got a black and white in your driveway and everyone in town knows where you live.
Your kids end up with a wicked, cynical sense of humor "just like your dad."
You're used to him not disbelieving, but not 100% believing everything you tell him.
You've been told, "everybody lies.”
You don't say "ok" you say 10-4.
You're en route when you're on your way.
You don't say “what" you say 10-9.
You've had arguments about all the OT he's worked and HASN'T put in for.
You miss doing holidays with extended out of town family.
Your family, some of them, still don't understand why "he can't just take the time off."
You know what to look for in a drunk driver.
Your own investigative skills are pretty good and you can tell when your kids are lying.
When your daughter's not home yet and it's three in the morn, you don't hesitate to call the SO and they help you locate her "watching stars" up in the mountains with a boy (and she really is watching stars).
You know just how much you can speed over the limit without inviting a traffic stop.
You refer to getting pulled over as a traffic stop.
You're told not to touch his clothes because of something icky on them.
You get poison oak off your husbands uniform because he was "down in the creek looking for bums."
You know what methyl-ethyl-bad-shit is.
You don't call to find out why he's late until its been a couple of hours past when you expected him because he’s rarely home right after work.
You know what choir practice is.
Your husband got to meet Blankie from The Brave  Little Toaster . . . professionally . . . and not in a good way.
Steven Segal looks up to your husband.
Your husband comes home smelling like weed.
Nothing seems to get his adrenaline going and it drives you crazy because you maybe have a few ADD tendencies and all sorts of things are exciting and don't you just see how cool this is?
You listen to the scanner for company and because its comforting to hear his voice.
You've had death threats, kids have had threats, he's had threats. Everyone's been threatened but, thank God, no bad guys have been stupid enough to follow through on those threats.
You're used to tiptoeing around very quietly.
You've had turkey dinner 
at the office on Thanksgiving.
You've had Christmas dinner at the office.
Your 5 year old refers to her daddy as an owl.
Your sweetheart brings home wild daffodils he picked at the cemetery overnight.
He takes cigar breaks at the cemetery in the middle of the night.
You've cried like your heart is breaking because one of the local deputies was killed in a shoot out.
You have to worry about shoot outs.
You never ever EVER want to see a cop car that isn’t his show up at the house, with another vehicle you may not know, when he's on duty.
You run down to pick the kids up from school or go to the store and he calls you to tell you there's a gun under the seat and just leave it there and don't forget to lock the car.
You have dark curtains around your four poster bed.
You screen all your phone calls.
You know what a blue canary is.
You have to move his belt and his vest from your chair so you can sit down.
There's all sorts of reading material laying around the house, from evidence handling to legal updates to case law to the new computer system.
He gets phone calls at home at all hours when the computer at work crashes, when someone needs to know how to write a search warrant, when someone has a question about whether or not they can search a car, when someone has a question about how to write a report and on and on.
You discuss training scenarios.
You go to wild parties in your younger days, family bbqs in your mid years, and then feel forgotten when you're older because all the young kids are out having their wild parties and family bbqs and they either don't think about inviting you or just figure you know you're welcome, but you don't really realize that because in your day people called to invite you over.
Your granddaughter tells you that Grandpa's job is more important than yours because "he keeps us safe."
You have a drawer with Jim Brown leather equipment, keepers, bullets, batteries, extra flashlights, and a myriad of other things all flung together.
You know what Jim Brown leather is.
You don't have a "honey do" list, you have a "honey, look what I did" list.
It's not yes or no, it's affirmative or negative.
You refer to the PD as your second home.
Your kids run around and play at the PD and don't think that's out of the ordinary.
You’ve always got Tums and baby powder on hand.
He’s had more injuries than a professional football player.
You know more about the meniscus and supraspinatus than you care to.
He has more naked stories than a porn star.
There are photos of evidence, car accidents and random people on his cell phone.
You both joke about you dragging him out to his car if he keels over at home.
You have Tuesday daytime sex.
You know what a donnybrook is.
You know what he's talking about when he says he got a 10851 when he was on his way to C7 and the guy was 11-5 and 148'd him so he went 1015 and sent him south.
He drives past the fire chief/volunteer firefighters/on duty cops/deputies while he's off duty and they flip each other off.
You know the phonetic alphabet.
You can sing the phonetic alphabet to the tune of the regular alphabet song without stumbling.
You’re paranoid to let your kids/grandkids out of a fenced yard on their own because you know what can happen, even in sleepy little towns.
You don't like cop/donut comments because your husband works his ass off.
You end up a changed person just as much as he does, though not in the same ways.
You can say that your husband has made a change in the world and you can point out people he's saved, in one way or another, and you're so proud of him and you realize you'd do it all over again, despite all the negatives, because that's just who he is.

There's more, but it's late and my pillow is calling me.  

Nov 6, 2013

Law Enforcement Life - IT'S NOT JUST A JOB

I know, I know.  I haven't been on here in AGES.  But here I am now.  A new cop wife on the National Police Wives Association page asked a question that I responded to.  I thought it'd be nice to post my answer here.  I'm not sure how it'll work with formatting, but I'll give it a try.

Her question:

"My husband just started with the sheriff's department and just found out he is going to be working nights. I'm really struggling with it! I have a 2 year old and also due on Aug 4th. I support my hubby and don't want him to see me secretly freaking out that he won't be home @ night and I'm a little nervous that I can't do it all! How did other Leo wives deal with this? Thanks."

My response:

Our small department works 12's and my husband prefers nights as it's when you can get the most done as far as being a crimefighter. After 30 years it's become our normal way of life. 

Someone mentioned reading I Love A Cop by Dr. Ellen Kirschman. It's an excellent book and I highly recommend it. In fact, we recommend it to all of the new cops' families (this includes their parents). I'd also suggest you read Emotional Survival by Dr. Kevin Gilmartin. He's a retired cop and everything he says WILL apply to you and your family. Get to know the other wives in the department and get to know your neighbors. If you need someone in a hurry, and your husband can't get away, they'll come in handy. 

When our kids were little, and not yet in school, we adjusted their schedule to match their daddy's, without getting it too out of whack. Depending on what kind of shift he works (10's, 12's, 8's), you might be able to do that. We let our girls stay up later so they could spend time with him and then we just slept in later. 

You get used to being a married single parent and you just do it because it's what you need to do. Your feelings are going to be hurt many times when he'll be unable to be around for Mother's Day, Easter, Christmas, etc. Get yourself a good support system so you don't end up being alone and lonely on important days. That'll just make you miss him more and make you resentful. We ended up in a small town, 4 hours away from any family members. Getting to know the other families in the department was so important. 

Remember that he really is married to you, not to his job, and that getting home to you and your family is his number one priority, even if it doesn't always feel like it. This is his calling and what you're doing is your calling. BOTH of you are now in this big wide world of "public service." It definitely won't always be appreciated by the outside world, but then again GET YOURSELF A GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM OF OTHER LEO FAMILIES. Have I said that enough times?  Good luck. I wouldn't trade these last 30 years for anything. 

And . . . no heavy conversations, arguments, fights, etc. before he leaves for work. You don't want a distracted/ticked off cop on the street. It's dangerous for him, dangerous for his partners and dangerous for whomever he needs to protect. 

One more thing . . .  . . .When you're a cop, it's not just for the time you're at work. Go to the grocery store and run into someone with a warrant and he'll end up doing his work on "family" time. He'll get called out when you have plans. He'll have court on his time off. He'll see things happen off duty and he'll need to address them. It's not a job. It's a life. You'll get used to it.

And (one more thing . . . really), if it's allowed in your department, go on ride-alongs when you can. You need to see what your husband does. It will give you a very good understanding of what he has to put up with. It's that whole 8 hours of boredom followed by 30 seconds of sheer terror thing. Plus you'd be amazed at the number of (how to put this nicely) stupid people they have to deal with.

To be continued . . .

Part 2

Everyone lies.
Expecting the worst.
He will change.
He will see bad things.
Keep the house relatively nice and non-chaotic.  His refuge.
Some things he won't tell you.
Some things he can't tell you.
You'll learn how to do things you never thought you'd do and you'll have to do things on your own.

Dec 14, 2012

Lord have mercy.

Pray.  Pray for the children.  Pray for the parents.  Pray for the families and the community.  Pray for all of us.

Sandy Hook Elementary School; one that will go down in history because of the enormity of this heartbreaking and gut-rending tragedy.

Lord have mercy.

What Can I Do?

Do you ever wonder if anything you do matters?  Do you sometimes feel small and insignificant?  I do.   I feel like there's so much I need to do and not enough time in my day in which to do it.  I tell myself I need to do this or that and, unless I write those things down, they're gone.  Generally my reminders to myself elude me like steam from a kettle.  One minute they're there and the next they're not.  So I sometimes (a lot) feel like I'm just spinning my wheels trying to keep myself on track for everything I think is important.

Actually, though, what I may think important, isn't always that crucial.   There is something, though, that I can remember to do which is important.  I'm just one small person in a great big world . . . but I CAN do something.  I can pray.  When a situation or a person pops into my head, I can pray for them.  When I wake up in the middle of the night, I can pray.  When I'm cruising through my Facebook news feed and I see something, I can pray.  I can do this even though I may not personally know the person/s for whom I pray.

I have to wait until I get to Heaven before I no longer feel frustrated, forgetful and a failure.  When my wheels are spinning and I'm feeling at a loss because I can't keep track of all those "important" things that "need" to be done, I remind myself what's important . . . and I pray.  Some day I won't have to deal with this human condition, but, for now, I'll make do and carry on.

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