Have you ever been convinced that the conversation you just had with your husband will be the last time you ever hear his voice? Or that the last time he says "I love you" will be the last time you hear him say it to you? Have you ever been convinced that you will never see your husband alive again?
I'm sure that as police wives we all go through times of doubt and anxiety. I go through that on occasion, but usually only after something happens. I feel nervous about letting him go to work, I get worried when he doesn't call or text me, I cry and pray a lot. But it is often a reaction to an event that has already taken place.
Last week, my dad called Officer Hottie to tell him how much he loved him and how thankful he was that he was part of our family. It was very sweet. When OH and I were first engaged he and my dad didn't have the best relationship. My dad always liked him just fine, but as most young men, OH has his own way and idea of doing things and it didn't gel well with what my dad's plan was. That was long ago and any hurts or stresses from that period of time has long passed, but it still feels good to know that my love genuinly loves my husband.
When OH called to tell me my dad had called him he was very sweet. He said how nice it was of my dad to call and how he was glad they had a good relationship. And before he hung up he said he loved me so much, which he always says. When we hung up, I looked around my house, the home we've made together, and our four beautiful children and I started to cry. I just knew that was it. In a few seconds my mind was there. You know what I mean; how would I tell the kids, how would I sleep alone, who was going to notify me, who were going to be the pallbearers, how much music would they allow at the service, which pictures should we find, etc. On and on. Then I started to beg. I begged and begged and pleaded with God to protect him, to not leave me alone. I can't raise four children on my own. We're in the middle of remodeling. I can't finish that. Who will keep my feet warm at night? No one understands me like he does, no one puts up with me like he does, no one smells as good as he does ... our kids like him more than me. Then slowly I started asking for strength and help. For courage. For peace. And for sanity.
When OH called me later, hearing his voice was such relief. What he hadn't told me earlier was that a few minutes after my dad called him he was dispatched to a fairly scary call. He also had been convinced that he was being sent into certain death. It was really just the timing of everything - a seemingly random phone call from his father in law, and then getting dispatched to this particular call. He said he started driving and thought, "Ok Lord. This must be it." So he called me. He said he had wanted me to know that he and my dad really did love each other and that he loved me the most. I, of course, started crying again. I hadn't told him when he called the first time that it terrified me; that for a moment (a long long moment) I thought that just maybe my dad knew what the future held. What he hadn't said was that he felt the same way.
It was an interesting dynamic; both of us being convinced we would never see each other again. Him trying to keep his head on straight so he could do his job effectively, me trying to keep it together so my children didn't see me falling apart for no reason. When he came home that night we couldn't seem to get enough of each other.
I know death is inevitable. I know it's going to happen; one of us has to go first. I don't know if it will be today, or in a year, or in 80 years. I don't know if it will be a gunshot, a car accident, or cancer. I just don't know. And I'm thankful for that. After those few hours when I thought I knew, I realized I don't want to see it coming. I don't want to be waiting for it. I won't sit at home in fear of what I have no control over. Trust me, I've considered it. Every time I get in the car, every time he goes to work, every time he works on our house or climbs up on the roof, every time we leave our children to go on a date or a vacation, every time one of our children is gone from our family for some reason, every time my son gets on the school bus I wonder if that time will be the last time. I've got to stop. After our second son was born I went through a time of not even wanting to leave our house. The "what if's" got the best of me. It was short lived, thankfully but I realized I'm a fearful person, and fear gets me nowhere. Fear paralyzes me. It stops my life, it makes me incapable of enjoying the very life (lives) I'm afraid of losing.
I'm glad my dad doesn't see the future and I'm even more glad that he loves my husband. I'm glad my husband's first thought when he thinks he is headed to death's door is to call me and make sure I know he loves me. Mostly, I'm thankful for Peace. I am thankful for the Knowledge that death isn't the end. I am thankful for Hope.
I am thankful for one more chance to hold my husband's hand and to look into his eyes and to hear his voice.
I will let Thanks be more powerful than Fear.
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