Monday, October 20, 2014

Blue Widow(er)...

I'm a widower.

Wait, what?

The past three weeks have seen quite the transition in my life.  Lots of things have been rolling around in my head, and I've had to come to terms with some new things.  Lots of new questions, and not many answers.

I find myself wondering about things most people don't have to consider.  Then I find I don't know the answers.  I don't even know if there is a right or wrong answer.

My wife is physically gone from my life.  All I have left is her pictures, her memories, and the box of ashes that sits on my bookshelf for the moment.  In time, that too will be gone.  Her wish was to be scattered at sea, and I intend to honor that wish.

I continue to wear my wedding ring, and I still feel married.  I did not divorce my wife.  I did not leave my wife and she did not leave me.  She died, we are not unmarried.  So now, what is appropriate?

How long should I wear my ring?  Forever?  A year?  More?  Less?  There is not one right answer, and I know the best answer is that I will know when it's time.  But will it ever be time?

I still refer to her as my wife, and for the same reasons.  Our relationship was stronger than ever when she passed, and I don't feel like I'm any less married.  What now?  She's not my ex-wife.  I hate hearing "my late wife".  She's not late, she's gone.  My dead wife sounds even worse.  I have yet to find any term I feel is appropriate, other than "my wife".

Please understand, dear readers, that I am not looking for advice here.  I know only I can find the answers to these questions.  I am merely voicing my thoughts here to give a bit of insight to those of you who have never had a spouse pass away.

I would not wish this upon my worst enemy...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Of Men and Boys...

A man doesn't run away when he hears the words "stage IV cancer".

A man is not afraid to wear pink.

A man will hold his wife's purse and doesn't give a tinker's damn what anybody else thinks.

A man will hold his wife's hair while she pukes her guts up.

A man will brush her hair to make her feel better after puking.

A man will love her even when all her hair falls out.

I have heard of many "men" recently who have left their significant other when faced with her cancer diagnosis, and I just don't get it.  How can you claim to love someone, then leave when she is facing the most difficult time of her life?

Yes, it IS difficult to live with someone who is dealing with cancer, chemotherapy, pain, nausea and myriad other health effects all day, every day.  But that's what you signed up for when you said "I do".

And don't give me the line about "I wouldn't expect her to hang around if I had cancer."

Bullshit.

If you can't be troubled to comfort your wife and support her through her treatment until she is either healthy again, or God forbid, gone...

You are not allowed to call yourself a man.

Man card revoked...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Post I Don't Want to Write...



I am not ready to write this.

I will never be ready.

On September 30th, my lovely Mrs. Smith was taken forcibly from me by the cancer that had invaded her body at intervals during the past three plus years.

I hate cancer.  Cancer is an evil that comes from within. 

Mrs. Smith fought valiantly, even when she was tired of fighting.  She was determined to not let it get her.  She kept her chin up, and her shoulders squared.  She fought right up to her final breath.

I have seen dead and dying people before, and death does not bother me. 

But to be there with her...

To have her look deeply into my eyes, become calm and peaceful, and take her final breath while I knelt at her bedside and held her hand...

To know I was the last thing she saw in this life...

I ache to have her back, to hold her and feel her warmth, to feel her lips against mine...

But I know it can never be.

I mourn for her every minute of every day.

My light has been extinguished.

Normal is gone.

Now I must rally with my family and my boys, and we must build a new normal.  We must move forward with our lives.  To fail to do so would be a dishonor to the memory of the mother, sister and wife who meant so much to us all.

I cannot say she is in a better place, because the best of all places is here at home with her family.  I must take comfort in the knowledge she is no longer in the constant pain that has wracked her body for several years.

I am grateful for the memories.

I have no doubt she knew exactly how I felt about her.  Nothing was ever left unsaid between us.

She will own my heart for eternity.  It is broken, but it will heal.

If there is anything after this life, I hope she finds a warm place to dive and saves a tank for me. It will be a while, but I'll join her there eventually.

Rest easy, love.

You have found peace.

We'll handle it from here...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

No Class...

I had to go to our local high school recently for a fight call. While we were all sitting on the school after the fight to ensure the standard follow-up fights didn't happen, a homeboy walked out of the school, looked at the police cars and laughed.

Six cop cars in front of your high school is really funny isn't it. Certainly it is not a reflection on the shitty students who are bussed in to "attend" your school.

Oh, wait....

You're one of them.

That's right...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Cop Signs

I'm not big on working stop signs, but there is one stop sign in town I absolutely enjoy working.

I call it the COP sign.

The stop sign in question is one of four at this particular four way intersection.  Yes, that means it's a four way stop.

I can sit there in plain sight and stop car after car as they drive right through the stop sign at 10 MPH.  Unless they see me.  If they look left and see me sitting there they will jam on the binders and skid halfway through the crosswalk.

Cars at this intersection don't stop for the stop sign.  They stop for the cop.

Hence, the cop sign...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Going Through a Phase...

Being a cop is something akin to the transition from childhood to adulthood.  We all go through phases in life, and in our career.

When you're a fresh, new boot you realize you know absolutely nothing about being a cop. Every day your FTO makes that more and more clear. You go out into the big, scary world where people are trying to hurt you, and you do your best to learn everything you can.  You have to start out by crawling, and eventually you'll be able to grasp something and pull yourself up to stand.

Once you have about a year or two on the job, you start to feel like you've got a handle on this job. You've become more confident in your abilities. You seek out more learning and keep trying to improve. You probably call your sergeant or another officer almost daily to ask about the finer points of handling a particular situation.  You're walking on your own now, but you still need someone to provide for you and change the occasional diaper when you shit yourself.  Sergeants, parents, take your pick.

At about the five year mark you start to think you know it all. You get over confident and nobody can tell you the way you're doing something is wrong.  Now you're a teen.  You're cocky and you know everything better than people who are senior to you.

Somewhere in the range from seven to about fifteen years, you are considered a proficient officer. You should know enough to be able to do the job without direct supervision, and without having to call on others regularly for answers. You know you're pretty good, but you start to realize you don't know it all.  Welcome to adulthood.  You are able to provide for yourself, but you know you're not perfect.  You are willing to ask questions without fear of losing face.  You know respect is earned.

After fifteen or twenty years, you really understand that you will never know everything, you can't fix everything, and there's nothing you can do about it. You will decide to either continue giving it your best and strive for the most positive outcome, or you will get dejected and give up.  Here's where you are either an old, crotchety senior citizen who hates everyone (and you should do us all a favor and just retire), or you are the well seasoned adult who still continues to learn and make yourself better even with the knowledge that you will never know everything, and even though your kids (read the public) think you either know everything or nothing, depending upon which better suits their needs at the moment.

I, fortunately, have not yet reached the senile old fart stage...

Friday, September 5, 2014

The American Internet Bar Association...

I enjoy it when my defendants come in to traffic court after thoroughly researching their violations on the internet. It makes for some very entertaining argument on their part.

Usually a defendant will pull a legal term out of their.... errm.... "hat".... and proceed to use it in their defense.  Unfortunately, for them at least, they usually have no clue about the true definition of their chosen term.

A few recent examples...

Entrapment

"Well, you see your honor, the officer was hiding and he can't do that.  That's entrapment! The officer has to be in plain sight when he is looking for speeders.  I have this printout of a web page from North Carolina that says he has to be distinctive..."

For those who are not aware, entrapment is when a police officer entices you to do something illegal, then arrests you for it.  Last I checked, my hiding behind a car while you drive like an idiot does not equate to entrapment.

Discovery

"Your honor, I move to have this case dismissed on the grounds that the officer did not provide me with discovery of his evidence" (Yes, those were her exact words).  When asked by the judge exactly what "discovery" she was referring to, she said this...  "The officer didn't show me the LIDAR, or a print out of my speed, or a picture of my car so you have to dismiss the citation."

There are many books, websites and other "resources" out there that claim to inform drivers how to "get out of your traffic ticket".  I have read many of them myself in an effort to prepare for the lame-assed defenses I will hear in court.

The publishers of said "resources" are not interested in whether or not you win your case.  Their sole purpose in life is to make a quick buck off you.

That's on top of the fine you're going to pay when you're found guilty...