My Novels

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Second Family

Yesterday I had to renew my car tag. As I walked into the courthouse, I stopped at the security scanner manned by law enforcement officers. I recognized one of my late husband's buddies and immediately upon seeing my face, he hurried to hug me. We caught up on what had been happening to us since the last time we'd seen each other.

And then, as I was ready to leave, he embraced me again in a big bear hug and said, "Remember, if there's ever anything you need, don't hesitate to let us know. We're still your family." He was referring to the law enforcement community here -- it is considered a family. And it's that way with all people in law enforcement; there's a kinship due to the dangerous nature of their career. Most wives of LE's also feel a similar emotional connection because: "Those who sit and wait also serve."  

Our family life is subject to meals left cold or half-eaten due to our husbands being called out unexpectedly. Or being awakened in the middle of the night with a horrendous occurrence that demands officers respond. When my husband was a Sergeant on second shift, there was almost never-ending emergencies, and I learned to never be surprised when he was called out, no matter what he was doing at home. As Lieutenant over the patrol division, our life was subject to whatever was happening in that department. Sometimes officers, if they were having family problems, would come to our home and talk privately with my husband; he always had good, solid advice.

Perceptive LE wives listen to true stories of lives gone wrong, violent confrontations, family abuse...that is, if our husbands are willing to confide. Mine always was, and while I knew not to discuss details with others (not even family) it was a great unburdening for him. I think where officers get into emotional trouble is when they don't confide in their wives -- or at least someone they know they can trust to keep it confidential. In that regard, I also served.

Fortunately my drinking problem, which only started after my husband's death, never caused any trouble with LE . I was more of a stay-at-home drinker, and even when I'd drink to excess, I'd go to bed. I never drove drunk, and for that I am glad and relieved. I couldn't live with myself if I'd harmed anyone while drinking & driving.

Lately if I even think of that warm glow after the first drink, I replace it with the awful experiences of drinking to excess. How I humiliated myself with my own family...which is where all the calamities stayed until my voluntary time in rehab. Yes, I am powerless over alcohol, but with cognitive therapy thinking, I am not powerless over driving to get that first drink or bottle of liquor. All it takes is for me to simply not get the liquor. As far as I know, and I'm fairly sure of this, no one in LE knows of my past alcohol problem. However, even if they had, they would have stepped up to aid me in getting help. They are indeed my second family, though I've never called on them. Yet I know without doubt they would be there if I did.

Rainy day yesterday and for the next week, more rain. I'm hibernating, unless I have to go out for errands. Hope I can get in a long walk with my dogs today, since the rain isn't supposed to start till night. It's overcast and way too warm here -- 60s, near 70 by the weekend!

And that's it for today.

1 comment:

BumbleVee said...

Ahhh...I see you addressed the drinking and driving in this one...good for you...

best wishes for your future ...I feel sure you are on a good road now... . congratulations!