I woke up this morning and saw his face everywhere. I kept hoping that it was just another rumor, and that someone had it wrong. I felt the ache wash over me, that pain in my heart that had only just begun to heal.
I saw his face, his body dressed in that familiar blue, his eyes made serious for his official picture. 25 years old – and gone. Who will mourn him? Who will even remember his name? The names of violent criminals have become common on the lips of everyone in this country, while he, and the thousands more like him go quietly to their graves, their sacrifice deemed less important on the nightly news than the birth of a royal child overseas or a has-been celebrity’s big announcement.
There is no way to explain what happened. Not this time, nor any other.
All the feelings rush in, all over again. Horror at the act, rage at the injustice, relief that it wasn’t my own who died, and guilt over that relief. “Hey, did you hear about that cop who was shot?” I hear people casually ask in the store, and I struggle to hold back my tears. Has it come to this? His brutal and vicious murder is merely another topic over lunch break?
My husband’s eyes are full of pain, betrayal. Another life lost, but no connection will be made in the minds of the public. The criminals and the evil hearts grow more confident by the day, sure that whatever happens, they will riot and yell and throw nation-wide tantrums until they have beaten the good into the ground.
But the good never dies forever. You can burn the cities, pillage the stores, spit on their graves, and accuse them unjustly, and yet tomorrow my husband will once again stand up and serve. He will put on that uniform and wear it proudly, his heart battered but never weak.
He will walk the streets you are afraid to travel.
He will face the horror you see only on your screens.
He will hold the bruised, beaten body of a toddler and sing her the lullabies he sings to his children.
He will watch young people throw their lives away, buying into the lies and agenda of rich, soul-less politicians, and his helplessness will make him angry.
He will try desperately to hold onto his humanity, sometimes by the smallest thread, even while he is surrounded by man’s inhumanity to man.
And I – every day, I will kiss him goodbye, never sure that I will feel his lips on mine again. Every knock, every phone call will fill me dread, and every news report will make me scream inside. Today, it is another. Tomorrow – who is next?
Tonight, I will fall asleep in his arms, sure that for these few hours, he is safe and he is well.
Tomorrow – we will begin it all again.
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