I can’t help but to feel this overwhelming pride for my husband and what he does each and every day. He gets dressed, complete with the “tools of the trade”, kissing his children goodbye and then he is gone. I never know when he will be home, the calendar says 6pm, but I know better. When I call to wish him a good day, or share the great news about our daughters dance he rushes off in a hurried voice. If he calls the news is short, a quick notice that he will be late. Even in the safety of our own home his phone buzzes to life and he is out the door before I can understand what just happened. Movie night is postponed yet again. Others are always put first, as he sees the worst of the worst.
My husband you see is a police officer.
The pride I feel gets lost in the crowed. An angry voice yells to his wife and children, “you’re that cop . . .” The job is never done, the risk never gone. Each and every day he packs his bags as if it were his last his kiss his children goodbye. The hours are long, and many holidays are missed. Skipping his turkey diner, so another family can be defended against a threat. The weeks are long when days go by before I see my dear husband awake and alive.
We say its just a job, and do our best to leave “cop talk” out the door. But when family calls to announce their visit my reply is often the same, “that would be great but he is at work.” A family outing is quickly cut short by a person who does not see that behind the badge he is just a man. He carries a fear for our safety just as much as we fear for his.
He is not off fighting in some foreign land, for the battle is just next door. There is no safe place from danger. Our home no longer a haven, but a ready station.
Training is long, more time away from family. He is given all the tools to do the job well. There is no training for his family at home in the dark wishing he could just call. There is no support for a wife of three missing her husband as he goes out the door with little notice at all. The sleepless nights become normal as he spends them on the streets. The feeling of being alone when talking your child to school for the first day stings as fathers proudly kiss their children goodbye. Taking your children to jail so they can show dad their Halloween costumes only to find he is out on a call becomes a holiday tradition for years.
But what hurts the most is the lack of support for my husband and his family. It’s a high risk job for him and us, the hours are long, the weeks even longer. The threat of danger always present, even when it’s just in the back of our minds. He deserves more respect from people who care about him. He is a great man, doing a job most will never fully understand.