January 1, 2012

Like most days, Officer Mackall is asleep until about 4 pm.  He is back to work after a few days off, and this will be his first rotation  with his new team starting in the new year.

As usual, he gets ready for work, trying to leave the house by 5:45 so he has time to get to Savage, check out his car, BS with his colleagues, and be ready to go when his shift starts at 7 pm.

The kitchen is filled with the usual chatter and laughter that happens during dinner time with a family of five.  It has been a busy few days with the holidays and kids home from school, with only one more day of break before everyone heads back to their normal routines.

I have been on the computer for part of the day, and on Facebook, another tragedy has been reported in the LE community.  A police officer in Puerto Rico has been killed in the line of duty.  We have been chatting a lot about LE deaths and injuries; just a few days ago a Lake City officer died following injuries suffered about 10 days before, and earlier in December, an officer had been assaulted  in a local store, and was now suffering from a concussion.

As he heads out the door, I tell him to be safe.  That the LE community has already had a terrible 2011 – too many deaths and injuries – and with one down already in 2012, I don’t need you to be the second.


Always the cocky one.

“Love you”

Yeah, yeah, love you.”

And off he went.  To start his 2012 with his team.  The one place he wanted to be, the one place that made him whole, made him proud.  The place that he knew was right where he belonged.

We are now 365 days, plus 3 hours, from that moment.  That moment frozen in time for me.  The moment when I last saw Frank Mackall as the man I knew, the man I married, the man that I fell in love with in Ohio so many years ago.

There will be no knock on my door tonight.  My family is home safe.  Frank is by my side, after a day of making donuts, running a 5K in the bitter cold, hanging out at home and making dinner for some friends.

365 days.  It is amazing to look at that number and think that so many days have been passed since that knock on my door.  When I look at CaringBridge, and see the number 190,632, and realize that number rperesents how many visits we have had to the site, I am humbled.

Life is unpredictable.  No one ever knows what will happen in the next day, the next hour, or the next moments. When we spend our time wishing life away, wanting something we don’t try for, not enjoying or valuing what we spend our time doing each day, those moments are wasted.

This year has given us so many blessings, and I truly believe if life had not intervened, many of them would have been missed.  Of course, some of them would never have happened if not for the accident.  But many of them would have been missed living the life that we were living.

I have tried very hard to focus on the positives of this year.  It does not do Frank or the kids any good to look at how hard things can be, how sad, how scary moments may be.  But sometimes, it is overwhelming, and that does take over.

But we try hard to not let that happen.

Today is our New Years Eve.  A new year, a continuation of healing, and praying, and expecting progress to continue.  A year with high expectations, with goals and plans, not just for Frank, but for all of us.  All of us are looking forward to bringing this family back together, tiny piece by piece, until our picture is complete.

We may not know what that will be, but we are all in.

Thank you for being here, each and every day, cheering us on, offering your support, and worrying for our family.  I have read every single guest book post, many of them several times.  They each have meaning for me.  They exhibit a moment that someone took some of their precious time, and shared it with us.

I am forever grateful for those hundreds of moments given to us.  They kept me going in times of extreme fatigue and doubt, and showed me moments of shared joy, as we celebrated an achievement together.

I will always remember those moments, shared with all of you.

Thank you, each and every one.  We have made it – to this day, a very important day – because of all of you.

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