Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WCW - Cop's Wife

Today is WCW, and the woman is actually a group of women, a club, a Sisterhood.  The Cop's Wife.

She is all the cops' wives I know and those I've never met.  The ones I'm friends with and the ones I'll meet one day.  Especially today, she is Lindy Moore, wife of Coeur D'Alene Police Sergeant Greg Moore.

Photo: Amanda Talbott, Cop Wife and Compassionate Jailer, a craft project she'd rather not.

 We hold our collective breath waiting for a glimmer of good news, and when we hear hope is gone, the wind is knocked out of us.  Now we are heartbroken for another member of this Sisterhood, this club that reaches far and wide, its chapters and charters nameless and without meetings or minutes or a guide for newcomers, its dues draining your emotions instead of your wallet.

I purposely stayed away from media as long as I could.  I thought I could will him to pull through by ignoring news updates.  Hubs, out of town this week, asked whether I'd heard any official outlets confirming what he'd heard from someone - the worst - but in our family we've learned to respect the process of official press releases.  It affords officials closest to tragedy the opportunity to inform us of the facts and it's there that we refer when games of telephone get out of hand.

I checked.  Damn.  It was true.  The official end of watch status had been reported.  I forwarded the notice in a screenshot back to him.


The kids were hammering me with questions about dinner or whether I'd seen a slap shot or a rock they found that looked like Abraham Lincoln as we sat in the parking lot at the hockey rink.

"Mom?  Moooom...Mom...Mom...Mom?  Hello?  Mom?"

I knew if I opened my mouth to answer them I'd cry.  If I cried I'd have to tell them why.  That some asshole shot a policeman just like their dad out on a stop at the same time of night their dad works and even though I was really really hoping that the doctors would fix him, they couldn't and he died.  He died and he didn't have to.  And now kids like them didn't have a dad and a wife like me didn't have a husband.  And that asshole was sitting in jail and I wished he would just do everyone a favor and hang himself in his cell with his underwear, but that even if he tried to do that, the jailers would save his worthless fucking life, because they're also compassionate humans with their own job to do.  I had to get my shit together.

That's the other thing about cop wives.  They bend over backward to see that cop kids have fairly normal lives and aren't riddled with anxiety about their dad's work life.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.

As much as what one does to earn a living does not define them as a person, cops are different, and so are their mates.  They're held to a higher standard both on and off the job, their personal lives under a microscope and subject to judgement.  We chose this.  Maybe it chose us.  We know that it requires a balance of work and play.  We know that we can't make it without humor, flexibility, and empathy.  We have a different sort of pride, one that we know we can't always show off.  Advertising our status can make us a target and can be counterproductive to keeping the peace.  We are happy to support from the sidelines without ceremony.

We know that sometimes our dinner takes a back seat to criminals.  Sometimes it's a grieving family.  We learn to share our husband with others.  We want him back when they're done, though.  That's the deal.

We are shocked because these are the supermen of our society, the invincible heroes that run toward danger while others run away.  The bravest of the brave fighting forces of evil to protect us.

Nerdy Apple (Sarah) used to write as Cop's Wife before she updated her blog.  Her hubs, The Detective, is never named nor can she show us his undoubtedly handsome face because he deals with the dirtiest dirt bags in his work and can't risk blowing his cover.  She continues to share herself and her shorties with us, including those parts that make her part of the Sisterhood, stretching the web from the Northwest to the Bible Belt.  I am thankful for her, otherwise a stranger, now a sister to me.  Someone who understands what others cannot.

I'm also thankful for Amanda, Ashley, Darcy, Cindie, Stephanie, CodyAnn, Ingrid, Lacie, Dana, Cass, Victoria, Deena, Kit, Andrea, Teresa, Jaclyn, Sara, Erin, and the others who may have griped about the sound of velcro coming off a vest in the middle of the night, but who all actually prefer waking to that than a knock at the door.

She's never really rested from sleeping with one eye open until he's home, but feels guilty for saying so because she knows that he gets less time in bed than she does.  She knows that his fatigue can be a safety issue and it just makes her worry more and sleep even less.  She loves him for the man he is and for the selfless choice he makes to give himself to others every day.

Cop's Wife.  She is us.  We are her.  We grieve with her for her loss.  For our loss.

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