On Saturday morning I got a phone call from Lyz and I could tell something was wrong. Her voice was breaking my heart and I couldn’t leave work to go home and hold her. Chris had called her to say that a friend of theirs, a fellow police officer, had passed away. 37 years old, passed of a heart attack while home alone.
While I had never met him, I had heard many stories about him. I’ve been told how funny he is. My favorite story involves CLAD’s silverware because I agree, the CLAD doesn’t own forks, they own sporks. I’ve heard stories of how he would light up a room, of how he made everyone laugh, how he made everyone feel important and of how he had not a single enemy in the world.
I am shaken by this death. And if I, someone who had never met him am shaken, I cannot imagine how my Chris and Lyz are feeling. I was supposed to run errands after work on Saturday, instead I stopped at the liquor store and then headed straight home. Lyz had texted me “What about your tattoo?” No dear, being home with you is more important. When I got home I looked over at Lyz who was wearing a police department sweatshirt and almost lost it. I walked over and held her for a little until Delaney noticed the tears and came and took over my job.
Now that Spring is starting to spring up, Delaney only wants to be outside so I took her out to swing for a bit. The geese are making their way back and she was swinging away and started screaming and saying “Gucks!!! Gucks!!!” and she was just terribly cute. I started to cry. Being already emotionally sensitive because my Lyz and Chris are hurting made the anger I began to feel come out in my tears. How could Jenn have walked away from this? She would claim all the time that she loved the girls like her own. She told Lyz over and over again that if I ever made her choose Lyz and the girls or me she would choose them all the way. How can anyone walk away from the girls?? And not just walk away, but say to tell the girls that she died?? Then I turned around and saw Lyz sitting on the steps of the deck crying and locked my anger up again. It will have to wait a few days.
The girls amaze me in situations like this. We try very hard to keep things that are not pleasant away from their lives. But they sense things, and to me it seems as though they turn on the charm even more to keep the three adults happy. Lyz went to pick Chris up from work (three adults two cars can be a little tricky at times) and I got dinner ready (don’t be impressed, we ordered Chinese). I asked Avery what she wanted to drink with dinner and looked over at her. She had the evilest look on her face and for a moment I was confused. Then she said (in her best “I’m going to make Heidi gag” tone of voice) Milllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllkkkkkkkkkkkkkah. She has been hanging around her father way too long. It made me giggle. Which is good, because a moment later Lyz texted to say that the flag at the department was half mast. I needed that giggle right then.
At 8pm we had the girls quiet down (by bribing them with an episode of Bubble Guppies) and turned the police scanner up. Over county radio they announced a wonderful tribute to our friend. The three of us sat at the dining room table and listened, then held our own moment of silence.
Rest in Peace 19625, look over us all, but keep an extra watch over your fellow officers.