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Archive for October 23rd, 2011

The Call

ODMP image from wikipedia

It is with a very heavy heart I write today and not because I am sick with this cold thing. You know that 2 am phone call is not a good sign when you hear the ring amidst the clouds of peaceful slumber. Years ago when my hubby first worked for the sheriff, he worked night shift. That was quite interesting. I had to adjust to sleeping alone and then working around his sleep time during the day. I had to also adjust to not seeing him sometimes when I awoke. Next, he went into special ops, so he was not working all through the night. After housing, he became a narcotics investigator and that job was an adjustment in just itself. He was gone most of the time (day and night) and when he was home he was on the phone and his pager was going off at all times of the day and night. All through those times, I dreaded that call where someone calls to tell me that something has happened to the love of my life. When I could not reach him or he was really late in coming home-before everyone had a cell phone-I got jumpy when I heard the phone ring and when I heard a voice I was not accustomed to hearing. You see, my hubby knew I would worry, so he would get someone to call me and let me know he was ok and was running behind. Usually, it was something like a person driving drunk as he was on his way home or too many people going to jail at the same time or getting a warrant signed and such. It is never easy to hear, “Mrs ___, your hubby…” In those first few seconds my mind would go to a dark place because I knew what the job entailed. After many calls like this, the callers changed and would first say, “Your hubby is fine but wanted me to call…” Whew! I could breathe a short sigh of relief before the blast of information came my way.

While hubby was in narcotics there were several incidents of close calls. Once, a friend and fellow investigator (not all colleagues and associates are friends) got hurt from friendly fire (long story). Then the clincher came when another friend and fellow investigator was a shot in the head and almost died. We got the news on our way back from vacation. There are a lot of stories but most end fairly well. It is the sense of dread that everyone hates in the form of a phone call for those at home and for an officer, it is the not knowing what the other person will do when they are backed into a corner. Drugs and alcohol have a lot to do with how people react along with their emotional state–and people want to legalize cannabis…??? I don’t even want to think about that one.

Last night (early this AM), I was sleeping quite well considering everything when the phone rang. I knew it would not be good and did not want to answer. By the way, my hubby was working-something he was planning to do quite a bit during the week, but was too sick to do so. The voice on the other end was my hubby’s. We have done this so much that I can usually assess what the situation is before he tells me. The call was not about him but about another officer. At first, he only knew of the event and that the officer was shot–hubby did not want me to worry if I heard about it before he got home. Then he called back to tell me who it was and give more details. He heard the gun was an AR-15, so I feared the worst. This was not just any officer–this was a hubby friend. I was shocked! This information was quite grim, but I have seen the unexpected. Not this time though. JD was like a cat with 9 lives. He was a motorcycle cop whose body had been broken up several times. The hospitals would put him back together again and on with life. One of the worst cases was when he was hit on funeral patrol. Imagine! There is much I could write—but not now.

This is the closest home this has come. I dread these next few days, weeks, and months. I know what lies ahead. Death affects each of us differently but the loss of life is all the same. For a while, we hated to go out of town for vacation because we dreaded something happening. This time, we stayed home and it still happened. I would like to call attention to a memorial page for officers killed in the line of duty. I would also like to ask you to PLEASE visit this page. It is called Officer Down Memorial Page at http://www.odmp.org/  This is one of those memorials you always hope your loved ones or people you know are never listed. Oh, his family!

Happy Gardening and please remember all of the officers that put their lives on the line!

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