I sat on the couch next to him. Busy polishing the brass. I would put the polish on and watch it fog up and then buff it back to a shine. I repeated the process several times. Paying careful attention to each ridge and bump of the badge. Studying it like I never had before. I could start to see my reflection, though distorted, in the grooves of the badge. As I worked with the provided polishing tools, I thought of her. I wondered if she was holding his badge. Or polishing it. I assume they gave it to her. As CA Cop prepped his Class A uniform, polished his boots, and put the black band on his badge, I thought about her. She would never again see him standing tall and proud with the gun on his hip and badge on his chest. I don't know her. But I am connected to her. And I feel for her, though I cannot imagine how she feels.
CA Cop does not personally know the man who will no longer strap on his vest, sharpen his knife, and reload his gun, but he is connected to him. Attending this service is something that he needs to do. It will be the first one, since he took the oath, that he will be present at. I know it is something that he needs to see. And he needs to feel. To see her, broken yet surviving, to see the children hurt yet still determined, and to see the brotherhood surrounding them. From agencies all over the country. He needs to join together to encircle the family as any extended family member would.
So I polish the brass to show my respect too. His uniform will be neatly pressed and in order. He will join his brothers and sisters in blue and share in the memory of man who served and protected at all costs and ultimately proved just that.
I hand CA Cop the badge for his inspection. I ask who would notify me. He doesn't know. He hands me back the badge and I continue my work. He returns to the couch and informs me that he just updated my phone number and our address with Baytown PD. We speak quietly and again my thoughts are turned to her.