Life Snippet: Police Wife
This was the news article that I saw on Facebook the other day. To anyone else, it would just be an informative article about a shooting in Marmet, West Virginia. To me, it's an instant heart attack because there's a shooting in Marmet. Why is this? This is because I'm married to a police officer, specifically one who works in Marmet.
My immediate reaction is "holy shit". I know I can't call because he's on scene and it could compromise his safety. The next reaction is "okay, let's breathe and read the article for more information". I read the article. There's no officers involved. Insert sigh of relief.
This is my reality. This is my family's reality. This is my husband's every day.
My husband was a mechanic when we first met. For the first year we were together, it was the career he felt like he was stuck with, even though he was entirely burnt out on it (and the drama attached to where he worked). Almost a year into our relationship, we found out we were expecting. There was this switch that immediately flipped in my husband's brain. He knew he needed a better paying and more stable job. His friends kind of put a bird in his ear about an opportunity in Chesapeake, West Virginia as a police officer.
After applying and talking with the chief several times, my husband was hired as a patrolman in December 2013. In the last 4 years, my husband has learned so much about policing as a profession and he has fallen in love with it (even if he feels burnout at times). It's common in the criminal justice field to feel burnout. It's a very underappreciated job field.
Yesterday marked the third anniversary of my husband graduating the police academy. He put so much blood, sweat, and tears into graduating. He was headstrong and ready to change the world (as many new police officers are). In the last three years, it's unfortunately toughened him, but it has not toughened me.
I still stay awake at night, wondering if he is okay. I tell him goodbye every day when he leaves for work, not knowing if he'll return to our son. I kiss him like it is the last time I'll ever do it. Every news article still gives me a slight heart attack and I pray that they are not about him. Sometimes, I'll call him at night and he has to get off the phone in a hurry to respond to a call. Sometimes, I never know if he's okay after said call until I wake up to the sound of velcro.
This profession is hard. It's scary. First hand, I know it's scary. One of my biggest fears is waking up to being a widow because my husband is my best friend. He did this for our family. I just don't want our family to be without him.