04-15-2013

Sometimes life intervenes in our lives in ways that we have no control, no warning, and no way to prepare for the impact of an event.  Today, in the great city of Boston, this was more apparent for many than anything else that has happened in the last week or so.  A senseless act, injuring so many on a day of triumph for them, is unthinkable.  We wish a special blessing of safety to the first responders tonight, and to those traveling soon to help with the process of tracking down those responsible for this horrific assault on so many.

It is hard to wrap your head around these kinds of events - even those there, seeing the bombing happen first hand, have been impacted in ways that they cannot imagine.

These events were a sad ending to a weekend of greatness for the Mackall family.  Although nothing major in the world of recovery occurred, we were able to do something part of our new focus on life.  On Friday, Frank left MN and headed to MO with another officer here in MN.  Later that night, his wife and I flew to MO as well.  The plan was to assist with a few fundraisers for an organization that has become very important to us - Hunting for Heroes.

This organization are different from other support groups for injured officers - they bring a disabled/injured officer back together with other officers for a weekend of hunting and friendship.  For those not in law enforcement, you may not understand the significance of this type of event.  It can mean everything to an officer that has had to leave their department because of an injury, and has been separated from the team and life that meant everthing to them before their accident.

We were proud and happy to be able to be part of two fundraisers this weekend in MO - a trap shoot and a golf fundraiser. Both of these events were to raise money to bring officers and their families to the next hunt, currently planned for 2014.  I know that it would be great to have a hunting weekend sooner, and to bring so many of the injured officers from around the United States together, but those weekends take a tremendous amount of financial support, and this group has no funding - all monies are donated to them by the kindness of others.

The great part of this weekend was it allowed Frank and me to spend some time together with another officer and his wife, just hanging out.  Getting to go to dinner, and laugh with friends, is priceless these days.  To have extended periods of time where I can see Frank not worry about how he talks, or walks or laughs, brings joy to my heart.

What's the difference?  These people did not know Frank before the accident.  Who they know is the Frank Mackall of now.

And that takes all pressure off of him to try to act like he did before.  He can just be who he is now.

And that is a blessing all its own.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with striving to regain what he had "before."  Frank spends countless hours working to regain what was lost.  That is pressure that he puts on himself to return to work.  That is his goal, and for him, he measures himself against the "before."

For me, I have learned that "before" is a hard measuring stick to use.  In my own life, I do not measure my worth at this point from "before."  I have learned too many lessons the past 15 months to try to go back to the way things were; I strive to live for the way things are now, and to maintain my focus on this path before me today, instead of the path that I had 15 months ago.

And although it was a tough lesson to learn, there is something to be said for "family first."  I cannot get back what I have missed, but I can certainly pay attention to what I have available to me in the future.  Knowing that there is a future, another day tomorrow, is also important.  Lamenting what I didn't get done, worrying about trying to do it all caused me so much stress and anxiety.  The funny thing was, I thought that was drive, ambition and leadership.

Funny how perceptions change.

I told my good friend today, who also learned a harsh valuable life lesson in the last year, that it is sad that it took those life lessons - devestating, crisis driven, harsh lessons - to become the people we are today.

I guess sometimes if you don't pay attention to what the world has to offer you, the world makes sure that you are paying attention.

I just wish it had not taken this to make me aware of the changes that I could have made in my life that better not only my family and children, but that also allows us to give back to others, and to meet so many people along the way.  I just hope that our interactions with others has some positive impact.  That is our goal - positive impact.

We hope that our life change can help someone else.

If you are interested in helping or donating to Hunting for Heroes, please visit their website at www.huntingforheroes.org.

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