Sleep was elusive last night – although I had such a blessing yesterday, that blessing was paired with a senseless law enforcement killing that brings such a heavy heart to my LE family. My blessing moment came when I was finally able to meet in person a friend from PA – a friend that was made in the wee hours of the morning while writing Caring Bridge posts about Frank. You see, my friend is also married to a police officer, who crashed his car, and has a brain injury. We found one another (well, she gets credit for that, she found me and posted on Caring Bridge) and we were finally getting to meet in person during a layover they had here in MN. On the way to the MOA to drop off the kids before picking up this family, a state trooper went by us with lights and sirens. It was 12:28 pm – I thought to myself “wonder what’s up” and headed on to my destination.
Less than 5 minutes later I had three messages on my phone asking if I knew what was going on, that there was reports of shots fired and an officer down.
My heart stopped. Luckily I was at the MOA, was able to drop off kids, and stop in the parking lot for a few minutes to scan the news. Definitely not a good story, and along with that, the suspect had fled. I sent out a few messages asking if anyone knew anything, and headed to the airport.
While waiting for my friends to come down from their flight, I posted a message to a LEOW site letting them know that MN had a visitor, a wife and family of an injured officer visiting briefly, and asked if they could post some greetings. In true MN fashion, messages jumped on the board, and I was filled with the joy that only support for others can bring.
As I sat waiting, I began to worry about the silence that had crept in from my law enforcement friends – silence during a critical event tends to lead to bad news.
And it was bad news.
Hearing that Officer Scott Patrick had been killed at a traffic stop, doing his job – broke my heart. I quickly sent a message to Frank, knowing that it is better when he hears those things from me and not on a news feed.
Moments after that confirmation my friend and her family arrived – such a transitional swing from sadness to joy. Probably the start of the migraine I ended up with last night, a little too much emotional movement in such a short period of time.
We headed to the Mall for lunch and kid time at the amusement park – as I have always said, when you connect with people that fit in the exact shoes that you are wearing every day, you immediately form a friendship that is 5 years deep. You can talk about things and reveal things to this person that no one else would understand – but they will. The barriers usually in place for others falls away, and you can have a real discussion about the ups and downs of life after something like the two of us have lived through.
Time flew by, and it was quickly time to head back to the airport to ensure that my friends caught their plane west. As we parted ways, I knew that I had a new person in my life that would be a great friend.
And I knew that a family here in Minnesota was receiving heartbreaking news.
It was such a day for polar emotional feelings – such joy to be united with someone that understands my life, and such deep sadness for a family devastated by a senseless crime.
Our home is in mourning today – a family in our community is now wrapped in the blue bubble of law enforcement support, not alone but feeling alone because few are allowed in to protect them from prying eyes, and being overwhelmed by the next phase of life without their LEO.
God bless you Patrick family – many are here praying for you and mourning alongside you.
Una Stamus.

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