05-18-13

There are so many things happening every day that I should be posting each and every night.  I remember a time when I did just that – got home, put the kids to bed, and wrote an update, although it was rarely the first update of the day.

These days, the time flies by at a much different pace, and although I write a post in my head almost every night, being tired just does not allow that to happen.  I think that it is also good to try to maintain some normal night routine, which does not involve me living on the computer all night and day.

This has been a busy week, and one of moments of honor and joy.  On Wednesday, we joined many others at the Law Enforcement Memorial candlelight vigil on the Capital grounds.  It was a beautiful night, perfect for people to learn about our heroes and to be present as the wreaths were changed, names were announced, and moments of silence could be given to those that have passed.

It was nice to see some familiar faces – those of law enforcement wives, and those of families touched by loss – and those faces and connections are what keep all of us together in this world of hardness.  Those people are the ones that understand, without explanation, the sacrifice and honor moments such as these represent.  Both boys attended this event with us, and although there was some initial grumbling, even our eight year old was calm and quiet, asking questions about the ceremony, watching those crying, and realizing how important this event was to witness.

This event led to many questions and another visit back to the memorial and a walk on the “thin blue line.”  As we headed back to the car, AJ told us that he really liked the presentation, but it was sad too.  I told him that he was right, it was sad, which is why people were crying.  He leaned into me a bit, and said “I guess we are really lucky Dad didn’t die.”

It was a big moment for AJ to grasp, and I was proud of him for being able to express that to us.

As we rounded out the week – Police Week for many of those in our universe – we got to make a visit to Savage PD, and ran the typical errands that seem to consume my schedule these days.  We knew that today, Saturday, would be really important to us, so we headed home early last night from a blustery Twins game with friends.  As we woke to driving rain, we scrambled to get the boys and ourselves ready to get across town by 0930 – never an easy feat when people want to sleep in, and apparently children grew overnight and no longer have dress pants or shirts to wear any longer.

We arrived in St. Louis Park to the Marriot where the Military Order of the Purple Heart ceremony was being held.  As we walked in – with me coming in later after parking the car, and trying to calm down after trying to cross town with slow drivers afraid of troopers and the rain – we were met with friends from Savage.  It always amazes me that these people will take time out of their days to meet with us.  What a blessing this is each and every time.

The ceremony started quickly, and Frank was the first name called.  As he walked to the front of the room, I looked at him and thought to myself “Wow, he is back!”  I think two things prompted that thought; first he walked quickly and proudly to the front of the room, and second, he was wearing his uniform.  This was the first day since the accident that he has had it on.  Now, we will need to make some adjustments next year, this man is in much better shape than the one that left home on January 2, 2012, and he needs some new pants!  But, that look, that walk, and that stance could not be mistaken; every LEOW knows exactly what I am talking about right now.  These guys change when they put on their uniform.  They become their job, and the pride and strength that is needed to do this job, comes rising to the surface.

The ceremony was quick, with many officers receiving awards, including the parents of Josh Lynaugh, and officer that died in the line of duty just a few short months ago.  That was touching, and received a much deserved standing ovation.

When things concluded, many of the group with us chatted with officers that were in attendance.  Frank and the boys walked out, and I spoke with several people from the MOPH.  The one thing that stood out to me was the continuous thanks for Frank and his service, and well wishes for his continued recovery.  The other thing that stood out to me was the sincere request to let them know if we needed anything.  Over and over I was told that if we needed help, to call on them, because even though this is the Military Order of the Purple Heart, they are here to help the First Responders.

As we left to return home, saying goodbye again to those from Savage, I thought about what they said to me today.  As I sit here tonight, writing today’s notes, I have added something to my to-do list for next week.  I will contact these great people, and ask what they could do for injured officers.  And before you all get excited and shout “Yeah, she is asking for help!” know that the help I am looking for is not for me, but for so many others that are living and struggling after a critical injury.  If I can help one person find some assistance, it will again, make me feel like I have given a tiny piece back of what we have been granted by the tons.

Listening to the birds and frogs outside and knowing my day is ending on a quiet note is a good feeling. I will of course fret until I get the text that Mariah is home after prom tonight, but other than that, life is peaceful right now.  I have been trying to notice the peace, listen to it, and breathe that peace in the last few days.  It may not have worked this morning when a driver on the Crosstown was doing 48 miles an hour because a State Trooper was in the right lane, but I can always try to harness the peace now.

If you have not found us on Facebook yet, please visit us at Mackall Family Journey.  I often post pictures there from the events that we attend.

Goodnight everyone.

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