You Just Never Know

Today was a sad day for our community.  A police officer was laid to rest after being shot during a “routine traffic stop” last week.  It happened in the community that I worked in for 10 years, and that we go to church in – so Sawyer and I went to honor the soldier, standing along the funeral procession route.  We joined many people from our church, and several community members – waving flags and saying “thank you” to the thousands of officers who drove by.

I knew it would be emotional – what I didn’t realize is how this is sticking with me.

I kept thinking about his wife and daughters.  How they probably said a quick good-bye that morning, all heading in their own directions…  Taking for granted that they would see each other again that evening….  Or maybe it’s different when you know your family member is a police officer?  I’m not sure.  But, I’m pretty sure, you never expect to get the call that your spouse or dad has been shot… in the afternoon… and is now gone.

Oh, my heart hurts for them!

I’ve always said I didn’t think I was a strong enough person to marry someone who was a policeman, a fireman, or in the military.  I couldn’t imagine not knowing, every single day, if that person would come home for dinner…  And yet, what makes me think I’m safe from something happening to my Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation husband?  Seems a pretty harmless job…  But you just never know…  That’s the thing.  You just never know.

My family members and I always say, “I love you,” before hanging up the phone.  Even my closest friends and I say those words at the end of a conversation.  And yes, Mike and I say it all the time – and always part with a kiss.  Cheesy?  Maybe.  But if anything ever happened, I’d want to know we told each other we loved each other.

Life is short.  It’s unexpected.  There’s no guarantees.  So tell those around you that you love them.  Say “thank you” often and always.  Treat others with kindness.

And thank those who protect our communities.  And their families.  They deserve so much more credit, respect, and thanks than we tend to give them…

Thank you Officer Patrick.  Your sacrifice did not go unnoticed…