An entire community is heartbroken tonight. And while part of that community is geographic, another part of it is larger than what you can see on a map.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Abigail Arias, the child who became an officer, a change agent for good and today, an Angel,” Freeport Police Chief Raymond Garivey posted to Facebook on Tuesday. “Her love, compassion, and most importantly, her magnanimous spirit, will live on for generations to come.”
Abigail Arias, or Officer 758, as she is known in the Houston area, lost her battle with cancer this morning.
She was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor in her kidney, a type of cancer that doctors said has no cure. She was first diagnosed with cancer at age 4 and after going through treatment and chemotherapy, she’d achieved remission.
But a few months later, she was once again diagnosed with the aggressive disease.
In February, Abigail was sworn in as honorary police officer No. 758 at the Freeport Police Department, which had been a dream of hers.
“Look around this room today. There’s a lot of people in power in the state of Texas. But there’s not a lot of people who can bring all these people to one place, and that’s huge, and that says a lot for this little girl who sits right here today,” said Garivey.
This is a little girl who lived like there was no tomorrow, all why hoping and praying that there would be.
She had dreams, and with the help of some people who grew to love her, she was able to se them fulfilled. Not only was she an honorary member of the Freeport PD, but she got to go to Game 1 of the World Series.
She was able meet one of her heroes, Jose Altuve, before the game. She gave him a Relentless shirt and bracelet, which he immediately put on. He wore the bracelet during the game.
Her father, Ruben, posted the following:
“Thank you to Jose Altuve for taking the time to meet with Abigail. Abigail gifted him with her Relentless Shirt and he immediately put it on as well as her bracelet. He said he would wear it during the game.
A very emotional time and amazing fellowship. Thank you to Twila Carter with the Astros organization that also had a hand in making this happen. Most of all to Octavio Tijerina Jr., because of his Relentlessness to continue to reach to the Astros. Abigail was so excited to have been given this opportunity to.
She even asked him if he could hit a home run for her. God bless.”
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She touched the entire Houston area, all the way from Port Freeport, roughly 40 miles south of downtown Houston. She was loved and adored by her family, both by blood and by badge.
The United States Secret Service posted a message on their LinkedIn page.
“It was privilege to call you an honorary Secret Service Agent, Abigail. You will be missed by the Houston Field Office and the entire Secret Service. May you rest in peace, we have the watch from here.”
Earlier this year, she got to tour the state capitol with Texas Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, who posted to Twitter earlier today:
“The greatest joy of my year was meeting & falling in love with our Angleton Angel, Abigail Rose Arias. My family & I extend our sincerest condolences & prayers to Ruben, Ilene, & Ethan during this difficult time. Officer Abigail’s courage & inspiration will linger with us always.”
The greatest joy of my year was meeting & falling in love with our Angleton Angel, Abigail Rose Arias. My family & I extend our sincerest condolences & prayers to Ruben, Ilene, & Ethan during this difficult time. Officer Abigail’s courage & inspiration will linger with us always. pic.twitter.com/jIbepuLVdQ
— Speaker Dennis Bonnen (@RepDennisBonnen) November 5, 2019
Garivey spent a lot of time posting videos and photos of the journey he, his wife and the men and women of the Port Freeport PD walked with Abigail.
Keeping his final promise to her, earlier today he posted a heartbreaking video on LinkedIn:
“Keeping my promise to my Abigail. You wanted me to make a video telling everyone that I love llamas, so here it is baby girl. Cops do play with llamas! I love you, kiddo! #prayingfor758#stayrelentless#abigailstrong
He was able to spend time with Abigail on Sunday, which has helped to bring him peace.
“The last couple of days, she hurt really bad and I didn’t want to see her suffering anymore,” said the police chief. “So, I’m at peace because I know she’s at peace and that’s what she would want me to do. So, Abigail, I’m at peace and I love her.”
Law enforcement officers from across Texas came together Tuesday morning to escort Abigail’s casket from Angleton to Stroud Funeral Home in Clute.
She was carried from her home, where she was in Hospice care, in a flag draped casket. She was afforded the same honor as any fallen officer would receive.
Garivey said two police officers from various law enforcement agencies will stand watch outside the funeral home until she is laid to rest. Funeral arrangements are in the process of being made.
Thank you Chief Garivey for showing us what it looks like to be a servant leader.
But more importantly, thank you for showing us what Relentless courage, love and joy look like.
May we all strive to live as relentlessly as you did.
On a side note… clearly Officer Abigail’s insistence that the Chief acknowledge that cops love llamas is something that will never be forgotten. Help us to pay tribute to Abigail… but flooding the Freeport Police Department with stuffed animals in her memory. You can find a link here.
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