Not a normal week – harder than most for some reason. A week that feels cloudy, less sunshine, and filled with a heavy heart.
Of all people I should know the triggers for these feelings, especially when they are so large and so over-taking. But sometimes they are illusive, and when you finally do figure out what has been happening, you realize that you get to be human too.
This is National Police Week – although you may not see much in the news, or in the paper, those of us connected by Law Enforcement see it everywhere. Ceremonies, posts on Facebook, and large billboards have honored those that have lost their lives in the line of duty. As the week has unfolded, there have been more deaths in the family of law enforcement, adding to the total that must be counted, cataloged and honored.
I am not part of many of these activities this year – Frank has attended, but I have been in the shadows for the first time since 2012. Living in the “between” world of injury and death can be a hard place to exist, with losses apparent yet nebulous, changing yet constant. It is hard to imagine a life without – instead it is a life lived wondering where next?
The week clarified itself for me when a young woman that I greatly admire sent me a text. She is pursuing her dream of becoming a law enforcement officer while still in high school. She has become part of our family, and is a joy to be around when we get to see her.
Tuesday night was the candlelight vigil in Washington D.C. It is an amazing sight, and the ceremony was broadcast so those not able to be in D.C. were able to be a part of the ceremony from home. This young woman was watching the vigil, and she took the time to text me while watching – at that moment, they had just asked the survivors of the fallen to stand and be recognized as families that have given the ultimate sacrifice. Her text to me read “All I have to say is I’m really thankful you aren’t standing there.”
It is the elephant in the room sometimes for me – the almost, the what could have been, that last few seconds of saved time by Joey Kanz and a lucky tow truck driver.
A few seconds can make all the difference – and for us, it probably meant the ultimate difference.
We don’t revisit the sadness often; we each have our moments of remembrance of the scary times from the past.
Mine just happened to be that day.
We pray for all of the Law Enforcement Heroes this week. We are part of the world that honors those that have been killed too soon.
We also honor those not killed in the line of duty, but those that have had to walk away from their post, injured and sometime forgotten by those that still stand. I ask that we remember ALL the brothers and sisters in law enforcement that have given their lives to their department – those that no longer live with us here on earth, and those that live among us, feeling broken, but not gone. To these brave men and women that live each day with those injuries, we honor you as well, and stand by each of you every day.
To the families of the fallen, and to those still here to see another day – Una Stamus