I am so incredibly lazy today. And spaced out, too. I was eating a sandwich for lunch and when I looked down I realized I was on my last bite.. so I looked for the other half of my sandwich and realized I had already eaten the damn thing! How does one eat an entire sandwich and not happen to notice? Seriously?
I suppose I can blame it on the baby!
I've been slacking and haven't posted an update about hubs's license. Well, a bunch of us family and police officers showed up at the Capitol and were asked to speak on hubs' behalf.
It was rather intimidating because the broad running the deal is a former prosecutor and still thinks and acts like one. The panel consisted of her and three other folks - so the break down was two men and two women.
It was an open forum, so everyone in the room was given the floor to speak about hubs and his character, his professionalism and all that good stuff. It was so touching that I found myself in tears (not being all dramatic and boo-hoo), very touched by the way that so many people look at him - as a man, a husband, a father and a police officer. It blew me away.
Then of course, I got to go last. I felt a huge lump in my throat.. between the emotions, the anxiety and the fear of sounding like an ass, I just flew by the seat of my pants.
Here is what I said.. at least what I remember. Hope it wasn't stupid.
Thank you for taking the time to hear what we all have to say today. It’s clear that there is a lot of emotion in this room today, and it’s all because we love and respect this man so much. I will tell you that the past two years, eight months and twenty-three days have been the hardest of my life. It is a chapter of our lives I am anxious to move on from.
This entire family has spent 997 sleepless nights worrying about whether or not my husband will be able to continue the career he loves, the career he is half-way to retirement in, and the career he has spent his entire adult life doing.
I can tell you that my husband is not a perfect man, as no man is. But I have seen my husband in many stressful situations both on and off-duty and I have never seen him fall short of doing the right thing. I know it’s easy to view my words as biased, but my words are true and are based on fact.
There are too many factual instances to relay to you, but I would like to share those which I am most proud of. Two days before the birth of our son, I received a call from my husband’s Sergeant telling me he was in the --- river attempting to rescue five drowning children. The kids were on an outing with a church group at the riverside area when one of the boys went into the water and was viciously swept away by the current. He was quickly followed into the water by his four young relatives, none of whom knew how to swim. My husband was in that water, sinking into the mud beneath, with forty pounds of gear in one hundred plus degree heat. Never once did he stop and say “this is too hard” or “there’s nothing I can do”. And not once did he stop and ask the fifty or so onlookers to jump in with him. He struggled and fought to save those kids, and the reality is, unfortunately none of them survived. Those poor parents were left without their five children. And my husband lives with the pain of knowing that every day.
While I was and always will be saddened by this situation, I remember every day that MY child could have come into this world two days later with no father. I think it’s fair to say this is something we all take for granted; when you love or are married to a policeman they want you to forget the risk and the danger. They find a way of dismissing your fears and worries because they don’t want you to lose sleep at night over what might happen to them. But we cannot and should not be allowed to forget – no one should.
In this line of work the risks are great and the rewards are few. The pay is mediocre at best, the benefits barely cover him if he gets hurt and sustaining a family of soon-to-be five on a civil servant’s paycheck is a challenge I have become an expert in managing.
I can tell you with the most selfish part of my being I would love nothing more than for my husband to get a desk job working straight days with weekends off – with heat and air conditioning and a computer to play on. I’d love for him to walk away from all of this… the risks, the politics, the drama and everything else that comes along with it.
My husband is highly educated. He speaks two languages and is fluent in a third. He has worked as a translator for countless departments in our metro area and has trained many a rookie in how to beat the streets and come home every night to their families.
I could continue with his many wonderful characteristics, but I’m going to close my plea to you with one last thing.
My husband received a very important award from his department for his valor during an extremely difficult situation. One year to the day before the incident which brings him here today, he was dispatched to a scene where an intoxicated, suicidal male was threatening his wife and his friend with a handgun and was also threatening to shoot himself.
(Hubs) was first on scene and quickly established a perimeter. He called for an ambulance to stage at a safe location which he dictated. He advised the other responding officers of the perimeter and kept them all at a safe distance. My husband was able to calm the wife who was hiding behind the door of his patrol car. She was hysterical, screaming and crying, and begged (hubs) to go in the house and get the man.
Around that time the man fired three shots inside the house. A moment later, he came out the front door and pointed a gun at (hubs) from the front porch. The man fired into the air and went back in the house.
As the sun started to rise, (Hubs) was able to initiate phone contact with the man and after a 20 minute negotiation, the man peacefully surrendered into my husband’s arms, crying.
His patience, determination and bravery allowed this six hour standoff to end peacefully with no injuries to the suspect or any police officers.
This exemplifies not only the kind of police officer he is, but the kind of man he is. He is patient, compassionate and unwavering in his dedication to caring for others.
All of the things you have heard from us today are reasons I implore you to allow my husband to continue his career. Taking away his badge would be to take away his entire identity. This is who he is and this is what he is meant to do.
---So the stone cold Cruella looked at me with two big tears welling up in her eyes and says, "Thank you. You can look for our final decision in the mail within four weeks."