Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Identity Crisis

Maybe you saw it coming.  I sort of saw it coming, but I did what I am best at -- I swept it under the rug.  I ignored what I knew was going to happen.

I'm having a major identity crisis.

It's been seven months since we left the LEO life and moved into a completely new and foreign land -- literally and figuratively.  I'm still at a loss for what to do, and most shockingly, who I am.

It really struck me this morning, as I was trying to 'introduce' myself in the online world.  The first things to say were "LEO wife, mom of four..." and then I stopped short.  What?  I'm not a LEO wife anymore, and while I may be a mom of four since when do I only define myself by other people?  Everyone jokes about that -- once you are a mom you completely lose your "own" identity.  But why?  Why is that funny?  IT'S NOT FUNNY.

When I think of who we are as a family, I think "LEO family on sabbatical."  But my husband is pretty darn sure he's not going back into law enforcement.  So where does that leave me?  A dear LEO wife friend was lamenting some LEO-family-specific issues and she felt so bad.  "Can you even relate to me any more? Do you want to change the subject?" Wow. Shockingly, I still define myself by that LEO family title.  And Wife.  And....

Really.  Who Am I?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It is finished.

This post has been in "draft" mode for quite a while.  I kept thinking I needed -- wanted -- to keep writing but I couldn't decide what to say.  There is so much, and yet so little, to say.  I think this entire post could be summed up in one phrase:

I didn't know I had stopped breathing until I finally took a breath.

The day after my husband worked his last patrol shift, that phrase popped in my head, and it won't go away.  I didn't realize I was holding my breath and preoccupied and waiting and worrying and wondering for every minute of every shift.  And when he had finally worked his last shift, I took a breath.  I started breathing again.  My shoulders dropped down a teeny bit from their tense-tight-worry shrug.  And I had no idea what that would feel like until it happened.

My husband resigned from his agency, and we moved to a new state with nothing but some money in our bank account, a bunch of hopes and dreams, and a rental home in which to lay our heads.  Oh, and lots of boxes.  Boxes and boxes and boxes.

Our new city is recruiting laterals like mad.  We keep going around and around and back and forth -- they work a weird, crazy, pull-out-your-hair schedule.  Will this job -- once again -- cloud our vision from the hopes and dreams we dragged along with us from our previous home?  Would we like some health insurance?  (that's a no brainer!)  Our children have only ever known daddy as a police officer.  While I thought kicking the job would get rid of some of the worse parts of "the police life," there are some things that are still hard to deal with.  I'm not sure if they'll be there forever and The Job changed my husband forever, or if they will slowly and quietly melt away over the months and years ahead. 

What I do know is that it's fun to have a husband.  An awake, available, nearby husband.  And for now, I'm counting my blessings until the next chapter of our life unfolds with our hopes, dreams, and boxes open and free.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back in the saddle

I really appreciated Katie's post this week about putting our hearts on the line.   It may be a really common idea, but I had never quite thought of it that way.  While our spouses are out there putting their lives on the line for the general citizenry, those of us who send them off put our hearts on the line.  It described my feelings and thoughts to a "T".

As my husband's law enforcement career winds down, I get more and more nervous that I'm going to send him off and have something horribly terrible go wrong while he's at work.  I've always been a little nervous, but at peace.  Now I think, have we come so far to just lose it all to some nutcase, right here at the end?  Officer Kenyon Youngstrom, whom Katie talks about in her post, died this week after checking out a dead deer on the side of the road.  (A fellow officer initiated a stop, where the suspect pulled over near Officer Youngstrom and eventually took Officer Youngstrom's life.  You can read all about it on the various news websites.) 

Whenever I send my guy back into the fray after hearing all the details about a line of duty death, I'm a little more nervous.  My heart races a little more.  I make sure I get an extra kiss or two before he heads out.  I repeat my mantra over and over,  "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."  Proverbs 18:10  (NIV 1984)  And I try not to eat too much ice cream.

What's your go-to method for calming the fears that find you when you aren't (or are) looking?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I'd been thinking recently about all the lingo that is new and different in the police life. Our speech has changed a bit. A while back I saw a post someone did explaining some of the lingo. Well, I've forgotten who that was (let me know and I will link up if that was you!) but I thought I'd put my own list, because there are some that are just too weird.

1. Placing everything you need in a suitcase or bag, ready to go
2. Placing the only thing you need ~ your weapon ~ in your holster of choice, typically concealed

1. The act of making something warmer
2. Your weapon

1. The number on the bill I get out of the ATM to pay for stuff
2. Your location

1. Music: from Italian sostenere, to be performed in a smooth sustained manner (I come from a hugely musical family so this is a serious problem for me!!)
2. short for "suspicious"; That guy breaking into the car is sus.

1. Short for perpetual
2. Short for perpetrator

1. The new reader books my kids like to read: Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers
2. Short for Bail Out Bag, which will quite possibly never be used but must be stocked with the very best equipment ever

1. Saturday and Sunday
2. Whatever days you aren't working

1. The day that comes before Saturday and after Thursday
2. The day that comes before whatever days you aren't working

1. The day that comes after Sunday and before Tuesday
2. The first day you work after your weekend

What are your favorites?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Breaking Up Isn't Hard To Do

Dear Blog,

Although I think about you all the time, it's been about five months since I've visited you.  I've been so busy.  I know you can't really relate, seeing as how your visit count has never really been all that high.  But this blog was never about you, was it?  It was all about me.

So, as I was saying, I've been busy.  Do you remember I was pregnant with kiddie #4?  Well, I had labor pains with that baby for almost my entire third trimester.  Oh man, was that scary.  Eventually I did deliver that baby (a girl, to my utter shock!) and only a week early.  She was huge, 8 pounds 11 ounces.  That's huge for me, especially since my first kid was only 5 pounds 13 ounces.  Well anyway, thankfully I didn't almost die (like another lady in labor that day) but I sure had some damage which kept me, well, really injured for a while.  The baby had a stay in the NICU because she had some complications, too.

The best part of all that is we now have a precious, sweet little girl.  I'm almost completely healed, and for all this time my dear husband has been home helping with the kids and causing a ruckus.  He's just gone back to work, and we'll see how long he lasts.  :)

When little one (still haven't thought of a blog name for her yet.... not sure I'll need to, but we'll get to that) was about 2 weeks old we decided to move, and move we did.  It was the first time in our marriage that we moved and boy, was it painful in so many ways. But we've moved and have a temporary landing spot for now, with most of our stuff in storage.  [ED. NOTE: When you have most of your stuff in storage, don't watch Storage Wars with your kids.  They'll freak out that someone's going to sneak in and sell your stuff while you aren't paying on your unit.]

My husband wants to quit his job.  He's getting older, and I think police work just doesn't feel like his life dream.  He doesn't feel like he's making a difference in his life.  I think there are other reasons for that besides his job, but let's not digress now.  I want him to be happy, but I also want him to be paying the bills if he wants me to continue to be the primary educator in our little homeschooling family.  I was hoping his little break from work after the baby would give him some clarity on what he wants to do.  Instead, he took care of me and the kids and moved and took a three week vacation.  Not too exciting, and definitely no clarity there.

So, dear blog, it's been harder for me to get by to visit you. I guess I also don't need you as much any more.  I don't have so much angst over my husband's job, which I would ruminate on and think about via this outlet.  Although I wouldn't know what it would be like to be married to not-a-cop any more, I've finally realized I'd still have the same husband.  Sure, maybe he wouldn't have permission to carry off duty any more like he does 24/7 now (he'd be permanently off duty!), he'd still have the same personality and heightened awareness of life.  So if I'm not back too often, please don't take it personally.  It's me, not you.

Handcuffed Heart

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Recently overheard...

We had popcorn and game night at our house recently, where I am usually responsible for the "popcorn" part and not so much the game part. This particular evening it was video game night. While I was tending to something popcorn related, my husband was helping my 7-year-old get the hang of the archery game.

"After you release the arrow, just hold steady. It's just like shooting a gun." Or something like that. I forget the exact piece of advice (maybe that's why my time at the shooting range is not ever that impressive).

Now when has our seven year old ever shot a gun!?? Never.... But considering the source of the advice, I shouldn't be surprised, I guess. ;)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Found this floating around the internet recently ~ and oh, my, did it speak to my heart. Even if you aren't a believer in the Big Guy Upstairs, I think we can all agree that courage is a necessary ingredient in a life as a significant other to a police officer.

Dear God,
Give me COURAGE, for perhaps I lack it more than anything else.
I need COURAGE as I witness my husband's departure for duty each day.
I need COURAGE as I see him put on his uniform because I know the abuse that perhaps he will be subjected to before he returns from his tour of duty.
I need COURAGE in dealing with the children when he is working long hours during demonstrations or on an investigation.
I need COURAGE when tensions buildup on the job and pressures at home to mount and life becomes almost too much to bear.
I need COURAGE to stand firm and not to succumb to the urge to run away from problems.
Help me to have the strength to be a COURAGEOUS and Valiant Woman, when I learn from the media that a "police officer's been hurt."
The next time I waver or grow faint-hearted, Help me, O Divine Master, to be COURAGEOUS.
And, having found the source of strength in You, Help me to reach out to others, who may be just as scared as I.


Prayer given at the DC Police Wives Installation Dinner, on June 15, 1973, by Reverend R. Joseph Dooley.