about the men i love... for the girls that are my world.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What are the odds?

One in 5,500. Those were the odds that we were up against, the odds of a police officer being killed in the line of duty (according to Officer.com, in an article posted in January of 2009). I remember sitting next to Brian, at the end of the year in 2008, for the spousal support class before his graduation. We were seated at the front of the room, and posted above the chalkboard, in a row, were pages printed out from the Officer Down Memorial Page. Each one, a picture and a description of an officer that had been killed that year in the line of duty, since they had started the academy in July. It took me awhile to notice them and to realize what they were. I counted them....I think there were about 60 or so. I remember being worried, and the reality that he was embarking on a dangerous journey with this career, was starting to settle in. But honestly, my fears about him actually being killed were not something I let consume me. Not because I wasn't worried that it would happen, I was. I looked around the room at those 60 plus men and women, I thought about their families, their husbands and wives....did they have kids? It made me sad, but, like probably most other police wives, I thought 'that's never going to happen me. Not MY husband.
Later during the class, what really got my attention was his instructor talking about how the job would change our loved ones. How they, as law enforcement officers, would become cynical, would become stressed from things they dealt with on the job, how things they saw would change them. I started to cry. Brian asked me what was wrong. I told him that I was worried, about him taking on a career in such a high stress, and emotionally demanding job, not to mention the hours that he would work, the family events and holidays that he would miss. And then, of course, there was the DANGER involved in the job. i loved him and I didn't want anything bad to happen. I'll never forget, he gave me a kleenex, put his arm around me and simply told me. "Don't worry, everything will be ok." Brian was a man of few words, most times. But that was all he needed to do or say. And we went on with the class, on with the evening and we had a good time, making new friends.
After he started working, I worried some, but not too much. I insisted that he tell me he loved when he left the house every time or after anytime that we talked on the phone. And he always did. But I didn't overwhelm myself with worry. You can't. Or you would simply never get anything done. You wouldn't be able to function. As Brian was approaching the end of his field training, we had been anxiously waiting  to find out which shift he would be working. I was desperately hoping for him to be placed on first shift. Since I worked nights as a nurse we needed the opposite shifts so that someone was always home for Natalie, requiring less help with her. Not to mention I wasn't crazy about him working at night, for obvious reasons. Most of really bad stuff just happened at night, right?
I will never forget when he called me. I was at work, and of course he had to tease me first, he couldn't tell me what his assignment was right away. When I kept asking him if he was going to be working first shift, he just kept saying "Hmmmm....I'm not sure." He couldn't pass up an opportunity to aggravate me. Classic Brian :) Of course he eventually gave me the details. And I was so relieved. Things would be perfect, he would be working first shift. This would be best for Natalie and I wouldn't have to worry about him so much. I mean, what's the worst that could happen during the day, out in the county, right?
Boy, how naive was I? I had no idea that we were about to win the worst lottery of our lives. And all because of someone else's evil, selfish, pointless actions. Sometimes it is still hard for me to wrap my head around the reality of what happened to him. Hard to believe that he really is gone. 26 years was far to short of a life for him. Unfair, hardly describes it. I miss him so much and think about him all the time. And I thank God everyday that, although he only had 26 short years here on earth, 8 were spent with me. And I thank Brian for teaching me so much about marriage and what kind of wife I want to strive to be, making me a mother, and loving Natalie and I unconditionally.
I only had 8 years with him, but now I have 8 years worth of memories, and looking back, I wouldn't change a minute of it.


  1. Beautiful.....I remember sitting at that training feeling the same way u did. I people ask me all the time how I deal with it and my response is I try not to think about it. I do have to say after what happened to Brian I definitely think about it more often. Anthony has also gotten better about checking in since then when things happen at work. I love reading ur blog bc I can relate to the things u say and what u say is very inspirational to others. Thank you for sharing these things. You are a very strong and brave person!

  2. Sarah, Thank you so much for sharing your life in this way. My son is a Police Officer, and I have recommended your blog to his wife. You are doing a brave and wonderful thing.

  3. I like hearing your thoughts... you've got so much going on up there and you are so good at putting your fabulous smile on and facing each day. I hope you are enjoying this as much as most of your readers are... Smooches my lovey...