Just Me Today
Frantically loading the car at 7 a.m. with my three small children and enough snacks to feed an army. Double check that I brushed my teeth and the mirror reminds me I definitely did not brush my hair. I’ve been up since the call came out at 5 a.m., yet I am still running behind.
Make it to the dentist in the nick of time so my 3-year-old can undergo dental work that involves full anesthesia and stay of no less than three hours. With sweat running down my back, a tiny baby on my hip, bags on my shoulder and my toddlers hands intertwined, we dash across the parking lot.
“And who else have you brought with you today?” asks the front desk receptionist. “We recommend two adults be here.”
“I know. I’m sorry. It’s just me today.” Always just me …
The anesthesiologist greets me with a smile while the kids beg for food and the baby starts to fuss.
“I will wait to go over the packet with you once your husband is done parking the car.”
“Sorry, he couldn’t make it. Its just me today.” Always just me …
“Thank you for coming,” the dentist says upon arrival. “I see you have your hands full. Anyone else joining you today?”
“No sir, just me.” Always just me …
This is the moment I want to let all my tears flow.
How do you explain to a total stranger that your dear officer took an oath to the public to serve and protect and now, on his first day off in 10 days, on the same day he promised your son that he would take him to this appointment (you know, the one you rescheduled three times already because of an ever changing schedule), an armed felon decided to barricade himself in a house with someone else and your officer has to rush out in the wee hours of the morning to take care of evil once again?
How do you explain that evil never rests, people never stop needing help, our community never stops being in danger, and YOU are married to the one who runs towards the gunfire, with no concern or regard for his own safety or that important dentist appointment?
Not many can admit it took everything you had to not take the phone right from his hand because you weren’t sure if you could do another day all alone, worrying, praying, and running yourself ragged. You’re not sure if you could be Mom and Dad again; not sure if you could be the emotional rock for everyone one more time. Could you hold back the tears when, for the 100th time, someone jokes “Where is your husband? Are you even really married?”
But, you do. You have to. You are strong. You are his rock. And when that call comes across his phone at 5 a.m. you swallow your disappointment, rise out of bed, find his clean socks in the dark, and as he pulls that Kevlar vest over his head and straightens his badge, you pray for his safety and smile as big as you can. You put on your many hats for the day, kiss him goodbye, grab your coffee, and begin your day proud.
I often remind myself that if our officers are strong enough to run to gunfire and fight off evil day in and day out, then we, as LEO wives and families, are brave enough to stand beside them, keep our homes running (even if it is on frozen pizza for the fourth time this week), welcome them home at the end of their shift, and reply “It’s just me today” as many times as this Thin Blue Line life calls us to.
Amanda Kennedy, LBSW, is a proud LEOW of three years. She received her Bachelors of Social Work from Washburn University in 2015, with an emphasis in Psychology and Leadership.
She is a follower of Christ and wife to her state trooper and mom to three young children. She is a supporter of the Thin Blue line and participates in LE conferences and support/aid to law enforcement any chance she can.
Amanda is currently staying home to raise her children and runs a part-time photography business.