I'm really celebrating my wife today.
In "Gates of Fire" (major spoiler alert!) the King of Sparta in the end explains that he had chosen the 300 Spartans to hold the pass at Thermopylae not by their skill, courage or experience but by the strength of their wives. I would surely have been chosen.
This morning I was at a class conducted by Dr. Bobby Smith, a former Alabama State Trooper blinded by an assailant's shotgun blast. He talked about the personalities of cops, the closing off, the silence... and the divorce, alcoholism and suicide it can lead to. It was powerful stuff, well presented. It reached a lot of people and I sat in the back feeling unbelievably blessed.
I was never told as a rookie that it was "Us against the world" or cautioned not to talk to 'outsiders' because they wouldn't understand. I was told, instead, to hold on to my non-cop friends with everything I had; to talk to my wife and kids and never grow apart and to always keep interests and hobbies that had nothing to do with the job.
On my own I learned to laugh.
There is dark stuff, and it does separate us from the civilians. There are evil people in the world, and some civilians will never accept this as fact and will always pretend that some crime, some hideous murder/torture/rape was nothing more than a 'bad decision'. Those citizens will always be separated from us, and maybe it's a good thing.
Kami can wash the darkness away. No matter how much there is or how close I got to it. She doesn't take any crap from me or let me dodge, but she listens. When I need it she holds me. She can see the ray of light at the edge of the storm, point out the strange beautiful bird in the flock of little winged vermin she insists on feeding.
Today I sat in a room and saw officers break down and sob, not at the tragic life of this blind trooper but at all the things they had tried to hide from themselves, that they had stored in a strange attempt to create a clean world in part of their minds. And I was almost guilty at how little I had hidden, how much I had shared. Honored to have such a woman to share it with, impatient to steal away just to spend an hour with her between class and start of shift.
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