“How are you holding up with all that’s going on in our country lately?”
I’ve been asked this question by a few friends, and I stumble over my response every time. I’m not sure what to say. It means a lot to me that they’re asking how I’m doing, it really does. But I have such a hard time putting my thoughts and feelings into words. I mean, honorable police officers were murdered. Husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers…they were killed only because they wore the badge.
My husband is a police officer. We don’t live in Dallas, or in a city with hundreds of thousands of people. But he wears the badge and the uniform just the same. He straps on his duty belt and bullet proof vest, and heads out into the night to serve as a protector from evil. And believe me, evil is out there.
Maybe this is what’s so hard for me to say to my well-meaning friends. Evil has been here all along. If they only knew half of the things I know, what would they do? Would they listen to what my husband faces, and what I carry as his wife, and want to turn around and run? Would I have any friends left?
So, I tell them I’m doing fine. I’m thankful for the supportive community we live in. And that’s pretty much it. We move on to another topic, and I’m left feeling like such a phony.
I’m not fine. I’m angry. Hurting. Scared. Burdened. Sick and tired of social media.
I wonder what it would be like for my husband to have a career in any other job where people are not shot and killed because of the career they chose? And then picked apart by the media, and every single person who considers himself or herself to expertly know it all? How would that change the way I parent my kids? Instead of praying for their dad to be safe from killers, would we pray for him to have a safe business trip? I wonder what that would be like?
But then I remember that being part of the police family is an honor.
Today I hugged another police wife. I looked into her eyes, and we didn’t have to say anything. We stood together and I knew she was feeling everything I was feeling. All the hurt and fear rolled up between us, and it felt so good to share a moment with someone who understands me. She knows all the same monsters I know, and the very high price we pay as wives of police officers. This closeness we share is a gift.
To my dear, well-meaning friends who wonder how I’m doing—I’m living my life like I have for the past 18 years. When my husband is home from his shift, I’m filled with relief. When he goes to work, I think of the evil out there, and wish that I didn’t. It’s like that every single day. What’s happened in Dallas definitely amplifies my fears, and I grieve deeply for the families whose officers never came home. Over and over, I give it all to God, or else how would I live?
If you ever have some time and want to hear some of the things I carry in my heart, I will share them with you. But it’s okay if you don’t. Really, it is. It’s enough that you care to ask how I’m holding up. The goodness of our friendship fills my up my heart, where evil has no place to dwell.