There are certain people who are imbued with a strong need to create order; a hedge of protection around the least of these. My husband is one of them. He has strength of both body and character, and no fear of confrontation. Integrity is his defining characteristic, he’s a real life Captain America, but instead of a shield, he carries a badge. He is a law enforcement officer.
On Sunday, after he had worked all morning, we were relaxing together on the couch with our puppy when he got an alert on his phone. Upon checking it, he saw that a second officer in as many days had been ambushed and killed, shot in the back of the head. This used to be a rare, shocking occasion, but this year it’s become common, and we’re getting almost numb to it.
When we first got married, I made myself wrap my mind around the harm that my husband could walk into each day when he leaves for work. Over time, I grew accustomed to muting the voices in my head that screamed at me when he was late getting home, but lately, those voices are screaming again. Every time my husband dons his badge and drives off in his patrol truck, I wonder if he will return.
My husband is truly my other half. We met when I was 15, and were married six years later. We grew up together. We became parents together. When our second child was born with Down syndrome he was the one who arrived at the hospital the very next day with a stack of books and a smile on his face. When the same child couldn’t breastfeed, he was the one encouraging and helping me to try just one more time, until it we got it, and we celebrated with tears and high fives. When his sister was in crisis, he was the one who got our niece, took her home, and raised her when her mom passed away; he wouldn’t have dreamed of doing otherwise. He’s the guy who takes his teenage daughter to Canada on a father-daughter trip every year to create special memories together. This man who is bold enough to confront lawbreakers of all kinds, is also the man tender enough to sing to our puppy when we clip her nails.
My husband is my rock, he’s tough and tender. He challenges me to the next level, and praises me when I get there.
It has been over 20 years now that I have been a cop’s wife, and I have never been so afraid as I am this year. This man of courage and integrity has saved lives in the line of duty, and has become the other half of me, for better, for worse, and everything in between. I cannot overstate the quality of individual I am married to. And to think of him being ambushed and shot while working to keep our community safe is simply more than I can bear.