The past few months I along with you watched riots and sadness in many cities and I have been trying to get my thoughts together to write an encouraging blogpost but the flow of words were not coming. These words are not the every day virtues for which I was raised and when I blog I like to leave a positive message and it is difficult to do that when angry. The main source of my anger is I am the Mother of a police officer and like all Mothers I want to protect. This post is not a debate on police versus civilians for there are good and bad points in both of those areas. This post is about seeing all of this through a police officers Mothers eyes.
All mothers teach their children everyday virtues such as kindness, caring, friendliness, respect, love and then all of a sudden we ourselves forget to practice what we have taught them. I guess it is easier to be a teacher than a student isn't it? Do what I say, not as I do has become the new norm these days.
Ten years ago when our son came home and told us he was signing up for the police academy we could not for one minute understand why he was doing this! I do not recall as a child seeing him play with toy guns or ever talk about one day being a police officer so Kevin and I were stunned by his choice.
Our blue eyed boy was sworn in on the hottest day of the Summer that year and his graduation was during one of the largest blizzards New York City had. Some would have thought this was an omen to rethink this choice but not our son. He took his oath serious and worked hard to earn his badge. In his formal uniform he trudged through the snow to the train station arriving at Madison Square Garden where the ceremony was performed. His celebratory party may have been smaller than we wanted and our festive clothes were replaced with heavy sweaters, coats and boots but I can still feel the pride in my heart watching the ceremony that day.
A number of weeks ago I posted a picture on my social media wall of my son standing with a group of police officers and I wrote how there are some great ones out there and how proud I was my son was one of them. It hurts me to say I found out who my friends are that day. I cannot tell you how many people who I seriously considered my friends looked at the photograph but only a mere few liked it or commented over it.
Police officers leave for work every day with no idea what they will be handling. They kiss their families goodbye knowing there is a possibility they could be injured but they took a vow to protect all of your families and took those words seriously. Their spouses, children, parents, and friends learn to conduct their daily activities normally but deep down are not at rest until they hear the key turn in the lock as they once again arrived home safely.
Regardless of a child's age or profession I am quite certain all Mothers can relate to the sigh of relief, key in lock moments. From their first day of school until the day they learn to drive we cannot wait until they return home. Ahhh we can rest as they are safe. Police officer families have this little knot in their stomach every day.
I thought my heart could never be prouder on that cold Winter day my son officially became a police officer but boy was I wrong. While I still have the fear I felt the day he told us he was taking the police test my heart is ever so proud of this man he has become. He embodies kindness, compassion, respect and love and took each word of his swearing in seriously. He is a very hard worker and I have such pride in him.
I would be fibbing if I said I am no longer angry at how divided this world has become. As I type this I hear helicopters hovering over the neighborhood as the news reports a man with a gun just shot someone and police are looking for him. I end this post the same way I began. There are no words for the sadness I feel as I see through my television screen police officers searching for this armed and dangerous person. All these men and women have spouses, children, parents watching them protect us but I am certain they have a knot in their stomachs. I do not even know any of those officers but I have a knot it mine.
I hope together we can get every day virtues back so that stories like this can one day end. Can we all try to agree that Compassion, Love, and Unity are possible?
My goal until the day I die is to tell my son how proud I am of him. I thank him for trying his best to keep the city he works for safe. I thank him for the love and loyalty he gives. I extend a huge thank you to the many people who love my boy as much as his father and I do.
I extend a huge thank you to all police officers!