As another National Law Enforcement Memorial week comes to an end, it is hard not to reflect on the reality of the line of work my husband has chosen.
As I sit here writing this, there is an alert on my phone: another law enforcement officer was shot and killed.
As my husband slips on his black boots, this is what goes through my mind. Those boots are the sign it is time for him to go into the darkness to answer calls for help and stop those who are unlawful on his streets.
Each day as law enforcement officers leave their homes to hit the streets there are those who love them at home, wondering if that would be the last goodbye.
There are a lot of battles you fight as a police wife: police equipment everywhere, a 24/7/365 schedule, an overwhelming fear when I do not hear from him for hours … but the most stubborn one is the work phone.
Most people in the world see smartphones as a convenience. I see it as my enemy. I often feel like I am fighting for attention and my opponent is 5″ tall and 3″ wide. Having the requirement to carry this phone and answer it is bad enough, but then there are the emails, the text messages, and all the other potential distractions smartphones come with.
No matter the time nor place, that phone can ruin all our best laid plans. We could be arriving at my parent’s house for Christmas Eve dinner then his phone rings. Next thing I know he is gone off to work and me and our two dogs are stranded.
He should have been home by now.
He said he was going out with the shift for a beer or two, but that doesn’t take three hours.
You check your phone. Again, nothing.
You check Facebook to see if maybe there was a call that made them leave work late. Nope, still nothing.
You check other social media, you check your phone one more time, and you even spend a minute or two listening to that scanner app you downloaded a few months ago to no avail.
The fear that your husband is in imminent danger suddenly gives way to doubt when you remember the whole shift means the whole shift, including his new female partner. Suddenly, the concern you had for your husband has turned into pure jealousy.