Monday, November 13, 2006

From Rebecca

The following was posted on "My 5150 World", a blog owned by Rebecca, who is a dispatcher in a major metropolitan area and has a beautiful small boy, and a husband who is a police officer. This is one of the best pieces I have ever read posted by a dispatcher/wife and I felt I had to re-post it here to give it more exposure. It's chilling.

I am fine until one minute after 10 am. At one minute past the hour, my eyes slide past Little Man's laughing face to the digital clock behind him on the table. In my mind, I know it's no big deal he just forgot to call, his cell battery died, or there is no reception. I know this, but I can't help but notice it is 10:01. He is often late, and that alone never worries me. 2 hours? 3 or 4? That is fine, he probably arrested someone. But everyone has a limit and 10:01 is mine. I don't need him to walk through the door; if that was my requirement I'd have gone insane by now. But we have an agreement, and he is so good about keeping it. I need to hear his voice, or if he can't call, at least a text. Something, anything. I've left a message, but I don't like to call him. I don't want to bother him. I am afraid someone else will answer. It's 10:15. Every car that passes the window in our quiet cul-de-sac draws my eyes. Little Man walks over to the front door, in that little drunken sailor way he has, and pounds on it, saying "Da Da?" I laugh and grab him in a bear hug, saying, "You're right! Daddy will be home very soon." I set him down with his toys and sit down to play with him. It's 10:30 and I can feel the tension building in my neck and shoulders. I begin a mental checklist, calmly and slowly. Just in case. I think back to the papers recently filled out and I know my Pastor would come. I know Chris' office would take the time to track him down. I try to prepare myself for how a knock on the door would feel, just in case. I imagine who it would be, which friend would be chosen for such a horrific task. I tell myself I am wise to be prepared, that it is good to have a plan. My mind withdraws farther and farther from those thoughts, never really forming an actual plan and I realize, I've hit a line, that I refuse to cross. It's 10:45, I am gathering up Little Man's toys, getting him ready for his nap. My mind is completely blank as I choose to think of nothing at all. I lay Little man down in his crib and I look down at my beautiful son. A minature version of Chris, with my dark eyes. I think about how blessed I am that, even if something bad happens, I have this perfect miracle; a part of Chris and I. It's 11:00 and I quietly close the door behind me so I don't wake up the baby. It's 11:01 and as I sit and gaze out the window, Chris' truck pulls into the driveway. I watch him, as he strides up the front walk. The key is in the lock, it turns and the door opens. I don't say a word. He looks at me and he has no idea what I am thinking. "Hey." he says. And he is so tired, and his night was so long. All of the sudden I am furious. All the tension breaks in me and I practically yell, "Why didn't you call, and don't say your cell phone died, you could have used someone elses, and don't say there was no reception because you could have used a landline! We have an agreement, remember? I need some kind of contact from you when your going to be this late." And I hate the tone in my voice, but I can't stop it. I pride myself on being the best cop's wife I can for him, so even as the words come out I regret them. "Check your phone." Chris says quietly. I scroll through the messages and I see the text: IT'S 10:00 AND I AM GOING TO BE LATE. I LOVE YOU. I'LL SEE YOU SOON. I'm sorry for my mini meltdown and apologize for the outburst. If this happens again I will try to remember to not freak out....But everyone has a limit and 10:01 is mine.


Last night a Sacramento S.O. Deputy was shot and killed. Again. That makes the third Police Officer in California this week. It is escalating. And I am so tired. So very tired of seeing black bands on Officer's Badge's.
Posted by Rebecca at 10:12 PM


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