I’m going to bed alone again tonight. He’s finishing up another late call. At least I know he’ll be here but I’m not sure when.
Most nights I can’t sleep until he’s here beside me, but 6 am comes early and the kids need to get to school in the morning. Doctor appointments and work tomorrow tell me I need to go to bed. The headache doesn’t help either.
Tomorrow is June 1. School is almost out but this year the type of calls he usually doesn’t deal with so frequently have started early. Three drive-by shootings in the past month. Stabbings. Major drug busts. Rescuing young children from very dangerous and potentially deadly domestic situations makes me wonder what else is to come. Summer isn’t even here yet but the level of violent crimes has risen in the last four and a half years since we moved to Green Bay.
I try to figure it out. What draws people to such horrendous acts? This past weekend an officer was shot in Appleton, just to our south. Thank God she is going to be ok. These kinds of things don’t usually happen in our cities but it is coming. And while these disrespectful, unstable and unbelievably out of control criminals do their deeds I simply force myself to go to bed, just waiting for that sweet sound of him breathing next to me once again.
Every night it is the only thing that really lets me sleep… The sound of his breath and the feel of his arms around me once again telling me he’s home… Until he leaves to fight the fight another day and leave me lying here again longing to hear him breathe and feel his arms around me, home safe once again.
Sleep well my friends, for men and women like mine stand watch and guard the night so at least YOU can sleep peacefully, blissfully unaware of what they are protecting you from. That is the way it should be. Sleep well. At least one of us will. And the next time you see red and blue lights in your rear view mirror or find something to complain about the police for, remember what they do while you live your lives and what they protect you from. You will probably never really know the ways our police have helped you or the sacrifices his or her family make for you, but that’s what we do. All I ask in return is your respect and understanding.
When you meet an officer, you never know what they may have just seen. You may not know that this is his 22nd call of the day and shift isn’t even over. You didn’t see the body he just saw in the car wreck or chase down a drug dealer while leaping over fences on an empty stomach because crime doesn’t stop just so he can eat supper.
So sleep well and go about your day tomorrow in peace. We’ll carry the burden. IT IS WHO WE ARE, IT IS WHAT WE DO are the words my husband and I tell each other every day.
Good night, all. At least some of you can get a full night of rest. Whenever he does finally make it to bed I’ll be happy to catch the few winks I can until the 6am alarm sounds much sooner than it should. And when I wipe the sleep from my eyes I’ll remember again, like I do every morning, we live this life because we are called to it. It is our choice, it is our calling and it is an honor… But it sure can be hard sometimes.