A police wife…It’s all I know to be. How can someone so bright, joyful and filled with so many possibilities ever get used to being a police wife. The endless night shifts, tip-toeing around the house during the day so he can sleep, dropping off uniforms, SWAT call outs while you are out on a date, the sound of the Velcro on his vest at three in the morning, the sigh of relief that he is safely home. Seeing him on the news in dangerous situations that he “forgot” to mention. I remember the silent nights, after a shift, when he thinks we are all fast asleep, as I hear him softly crying when he has seen the worst in humanity and the best in himself. Fearing each time he drives his patrol car out of our driveway that he may not be coming back. Fearing that the friends and officers you call family will ring your doorbell and announce to you that your world just ended. Why would anyone want to be a police wife? Because you love a police officer, you love his soul, you love his heroic heart, you love who he works with, and who he works for. You see the passion he has for his job, that isn’t really even a job to him; it’s as a part of him as his eyes, toes, or blood. You love a hero!
When your greatest nightmare comes true you stand in utter shock, anger, distrust and the most excruciating pain imaginable. The wind literally knocked out of your lungs and the will to live completely ripped from your grasp. The night of January 30th, 2014 I silently walked the house as my children slept and my grandchildren restlessly tried to dream. Sleep didn’t come to me that night, all I could do was pray and plead with God to let him walk back in the door, to wake me from this nightmare or to at least let me say goodbye to him. With my mind racing and my heart aching I noticed the sun starting to light up the sky. I quietly walked out to the patrol car parked outside my home. I knocked on the window, “is it okay?” I asked. He waved me in and said, “of course!” A sigh of relief fell over me, as I finally felt safe. My “safe” was taken from me the day before and I wondered how I would ever feel safe again if I got out of that police car.
A few days later, I remember walking into the McKay Events Center for the funeral. I was so numb and just trying to hold everything together. As I sat in the front row my son tapped my shoulder and said, “Mom! Look!” I turn around to see thousands of officers, all in groups of colors, blues, and white, green, black… These were our family now. These men and women would be by our side if things got tough. God! Why was I a police wife? Because he was a hero and now my “safe” is a thin blue line family of heroes.
Over the last 2 ½ years I have had many officers ask what they can do to help me as a widow. I feel bad because no one really knows what to say or what the family needs to help them heal. I can tell you that the families of the fallen need each and every officer. You are important to them! You are their “safe” and you represent their fallen officer. They look to you for respect, honor and sacrifice.
If you are a department that has had an officer killed in the line of duty, know your officers family!! Know their story, how many kids they have, what they drive and if you happen to be doing “honey-do’s “ for your sweetheart, think of the widow left behind. Maybe show up to put a furnace filter in, drop by to take the kids with you on an outing, anything to let the family know that they are “safe” and not alone.
Time passes and everyone goes back to their lives but remember that widow doesn’t have a life any longer. She is alone to reinvent herself and heal her children from a pain she can barely endure. She needs each of you. She needs every officer in every department to remind her that you honor her husband and you and your department loves her.
Blue haven foundation is a 501c3 charitable organization that is designed to bridge
the gap between the widows nationwide and their officers. Each widow is provided a widow mentor and a child survivor (for her children) to help give them hope, love and tools to reinvent their shattered lives. We offer grief counseling, suicide prevention and awareness, scholarships for the children of officers injured and disabled in the line of duty and Healing retreats for widows and children. Each officer is a vital player in Blue Haven. We are asking every one of MY officers to each donate through payroll deduction or through a monthly withdrawal $1.00 per week, or $4.00 per month. That is $48.00 per year…tax deductible!