While our officers battle on the streets, we battle from within our homes. We are the strong, back up forces that support, equip, and empower our police officers out on the street.
We know who our officers are and who they are not, yet we stand with them through the darkest of hours and the brightest of victories.
We are proud.
We love the uniform and all it represents. We know the need, we see the sacrifice, and know what our officer did to earn his uniform, his badge, his gun, and his pride in who he is.
We know what they go through, we know the cost. And we let them lean on us for what they need so that they can do what they need to do out there, coming home at the end of the shift.
We battle the questions. There are those who are against our officers, who hate their authority, who take away their freedoms to wreak havoc on our communities and families. It’s hard to hear the criticism, even from those we are close to. But we stand up for our officers anyway, sometimes silently.
We battle moods. We battle our own reactions to those moods. We battle the long term apathy that comes with such moods.
We make do.
We explain to our little ones why their daddies or mommies aren’t there. We’ve already wrestled with this in our minds and hearts. It’s not how we’d like it to be. But it is reality, and the first thing a cop spouse must do is to accept things as they are, and then make do.
We go alone.
We get in the car and go to birthday parties, school plays, and church services. We get dressed and put on makeup and smile and do this out of survival. We would prefer to go with our officer – but instead we just go.
We are loyal.
We care about our officers, and we are in their camp. We love them fiercely and defend them to those who would dare speak or act against them.
At times it is tiresome. There are times when we are lonely, and we are exhausted, and we are done, and yet we wake up every morning and do it again. And again. And again.
We love fiercely.
Why do we do what we do? Why do we battle and persevere and explain? Because we love and are in love, and will love. Fiercely.
We change plans.
We’ve had to live our lives with flexibility, because we are determined to make life with our officers a good one. We are willing to work, and maneuver, and change to make this happen.
Tears are not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. Because we acknowledge that sometimes life sucks, and we are not made of stone. But we are still strong – strong enough to let ourselves be soft when we need to be.
When things go sideways and catastrophes happen, we learn to roll with it. We cope. We make things happen. We thrive when others only survive. And we do what we must.
We believe in the training and abilities that our officers have. We trust them to be safe, and to be vigilant. We trust their partners to watch their back, and their leaders to do the same. We choose to trust in the face of fear.
We face hard moments alone.
We take our kids to the doctor, and take the phone call of bad news. We walk on egg shells when our officers are bothered by something and wait patiently for them to spill the reason. We face hard moments knowing that our officers will be there, eventually.
We work hard.
We clean and cook and plan and flex and work because we believe that what we do matters to our officers. We work hard to make a safe place for them to come home to, day in, day out, year in, year out.
We do without.
We are lonely, we are underestimated, we are thought of as weak. But it takes an amazing person to do without and creatively thrive anyway.
We put on black and we tuck a handkerchief in our pockets and we stand with our officers and mourn those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We hurt with our husbands, and feel their pain, and let the tears flow when they’re not around. We feel the pain, too.
There are many unknowns that we face. Will he come home? Will he be faithful? Will he be safe? We have no guarantees. We endure close calls, hospitals, the what ifs.
But we fight anyway. We fight for our marriages. We fight for our families. We fight for our rights. We fight our own emotions and we fight with our officers. There is no place for us on the sidelines.
We are warriors.
We are strong.
Victoria Newman - "A CHiP on My Shoulder" September 5th, 2013
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