Every One Is You

I see their faces, hear their names.

I watch their families, heads held high, but eyes always filled with pain.

I see them hand that flag and every time, just for a moment, I imagine myself standing there, reaching out my hands to take it.

It’s my nightmare, the one that never goes away.

It’s the thought that keeps me awake each night you’re gone, no matter how exhausted I am.

It’s the fear that has changed me, utterly and completely.

It’s the great what-if that has become my life.

Every day another name, and to me – every one is you. Every story, every news report – it is the horror that plays over and over. Who is it today – and tomorrow, who will be next?

They speak of “heroes,” and of memories that will never die. They promise to remember always. They swear that all of these will live on in their hearts. And I think they mean it well.

But his wife – she doesn’t want a memory. She wants his arms around her, warm and strong. She wants to hear his voice, reminding her of the beauty that sometimes she can’t see. She wants his silliness, his humor, his laughter, his love. She even wants the arguments, the cranky days, and sullen silences. She wants him. She wants the father of her children to see them grow, to watch them discover and laugh and bring a joy she had never known before. She wants him. Not a memory. Not a flag. Not a name on a wall in a city.

It’s the life. It’s part of the job. It’s what we “signed up for.” So they say. It’s the part that only gets harder, never easier. Playing single parent, showing up without him to events, answering the same questions over and over – that part is easy to get used to. It becomes routine.

But death? Ambush? Slaughter in the night? How can that ever be routine? This hatred that has become the growing trend, that calls for murder and attack, that looks for blue to strike it down, viciously and without mercy – how can that become routine?

So once again I sit and wait, keeping my quiet vigil here at home; praying that the goodness of his heart and the strength of his body will overcome the evil he must face. And every night, I speak the same words within my heart.

Dear God, I don’t want a hero or a flag – I only want him.

Come home to me –  my love, my friend, my husband, my wonderful man in blue… come home!

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13 Comments

  1. These entries never fail to make me cry. Its so nice knowing people out there feel the same way. I just forwarded your entry to my fiance who’s working right now. These are the kinds of messages I love sending him at work to know I’m always thinking of him.

    Thank you!

    Sinead

  2. So true. Every word. The paragraph about what his wife wants is right on the money. Been there. Been handed the flag. Got his name on a few walls. While that all means so much to us, I miss his dirty socks on the floor and the way my son’s eyes lit up when he realized its Daddy’s day off.
    This piece is so beautifully written.

    1. I am so, so sorry for your loss and to your son for the loss of his father. Thank you for reading and sharing your heart on here. And forever thank you for the sacrifice you live each day. <3 <3 <3

      1. I hate that this is real for so many, but I am so grateful for the amazing community of LEOW’s and police supporters I’ve found in the last several months! Thanks for reading & commenting. Hugs to you.

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