My legs were draped over the armrest of the recliner as I sipped from my water bottle and began to unwind from the long day. The squeals of "Daddy, yay, daddy," flowed past her closed door, down the stairs, and were audible over my blaring TV show. The sheer joy was contagious. I could picture her probably standing on her pink canopy bed shuffling her curtains to the side to catch a glimpse of him pulling into the driveway. She had heard the garage door open. I stood up to greet him. Arms full he made his way in through the garage. He threw his duty belt down and began peeling off the layers. I put my hands around his neck and kissed his cheek. The little footsteps could be heard making their way down the stairs. She rounded the bottom step and came flying into the family room. She and I smiled at each other as she flung herself at her target. He scooped her up with a kiss on the top of her shiny brown hair. We both completely adore him. Even through her chatter about the day you could see the stress and exhaustion on his face. His blue eyes don't hide much. She scampered up the stairs in front of him. She knew he would sing to her and tuck her back in,
He was expressionless as he came downstairs, grabbed the laptop, and collapsed on the couch.
He was quiet for some time before he spoke.
"I can't get it off my mind.... that case today."
I knew it, baby, you didn't even have to say it out loud. It was displayed in the worry lines on your face, in the heaviness of your shoulders, the near dragging in your steps.
I moved from the recliner to the couch and put his sore feet on my lap to help relieve his concerns in the small way I was capable of.
She was a 7 year old girl and he was her uncle, they were inside a car in a parking lot, and I am sure you can figure out the rest. Witnesses called Baytown PD and CA Cop was the first on the scene.
There really is such an ugly medley of evil that our officers must extinguish or contain each and every relentless day. My concern is can they really remain stoic and unscathed with all the exposure? Does it slowly tear into their foundation over time or if they build the walls tall enough through God and family can they keep the fortress strong?
I guess I'm asking for some enlightenment....I would love to hear from officers and family members walking in all different stages of this life. Are you affected by what you see? In a permanent way or is it more temporary? Have you noticed differences in your officer the more they are exposed to or as each year passes in this profession?
They just see and hear so much.....