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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 12/24/2005 1:47:31 PM EST

In 1974 when I first joined the police department, I new there would be
special occasions my family would spend without me. Knowing that fact didn't
make the task any easier. The celebrations I missed that first year's
depressed me and sometimes made me feel bitter. Working on Christmas Eve was
always the worst. On Christmas Eve in 1977, I learned that blessing can come
disguised as misfortune, and honor is more than just a word.

I was riding one man patrol on the 4 - 12 shift. The night was cold.
Everywhere I looked I saw reminders of the holiday: families packing their
cars with presents, beautifully decorated trees in living room windows and
roofs adorned with tiny sleighs. It all added to my holiday funk. The
evening had been relatively quiet; there were calls for barking dogs and a
residential false burglar alarm. There was nothing to make the night pass
any quicker.

I thought of my own family and sunk further into depression. Shortly after
2200 hours I got a radio call to the home of an elderly, terminally ill man.
I parked my patrol car in front of a simple Cape Cod style home. First aid
kit in hand, I walked up the short path to the front door. As I approached,
a woman who seamed to be about 80 years old opened the door. He's in here
she said, leading me to a back bedroom. We passed through a living room that
was furnished in a style I had come to associate with older people. The sofa
has an afghan blanket draped over its back and a dark, solid Queen Anne
chair say next to an unused fireplace. The mantle was cluttered with an
eccentric mix of several photos, some ceramic figurines and an antique
clock. A floor lamp provided soft lighting. We entered a small bedroom where
a frail looking man lay in bed with a blanket pulled up to his chin.

He wore a blank stare on his ashen, skeletal face. His breathing was shallow
and labored. He was barely alive. The trappings of illness all around his
bed. The night stand was littered with a large number of pill vials. An
oxygen bottle stood nearby. Its plastic hose, with face mask attached rested
on the blanket. I asked the old woman why she called the police. She simply
shrugged and nodded sadly toward her husband, indicating it was his request.
I looked at him and he stared intently into my eyes. He seemed relaxed now.
I didn't understand the suddenly calm expression on his face.

I looked around the room again. A dresser stood along the wall to the left
of the bed. On it was the usual memorabilia: ornate perfume bottles, white
porcelain pin case, and a wooden jewelry case. There were also several
photos in simple frames. One caught my eye and I walked closer to the
dresser for a closer look. The picture showed
a young man dressed in a police uniform. It was unmistakably a photo of the
man in bed.

I knew then why I was there. I looked at the old man and he motioned with
his hand toward the side of the bed. I walked over and stood beside him. He
slid a thin arm from under the covers and took my hand. Soon, I felt his
hand go limp, I looked at his face. There was no fear there. I saw only
peace. He knew he was dying; he was aware his time was very near. I know now
that he was afraid of what was about to happen and he wanted the protection
of a fellow cop on his journey.

A caring God had seen to it that his child would be delivered safely to him.
The honor of being his escort fell to me.When I left at the end of my tour
that night, the
temperature had seemed to have risen considerably, and all the holiday
displays I saw on the way home made me smile.I no longer feel sorry for
myself for having to work on Christmas Eve. I have chosen an honorable
profession. I pray that when it's my turn to leave this world there will be
a cop there to hold my hand and remind me that I have nothing to fear.I wish
for all my brother's and sister's who have to work this Christmas Eve all
the joy and warmth of the Season.We have all been there.

God bless & protect us all.

Merry Christmas

Link Posted: 12/24/2005 2:23:13 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 5:37:35 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 6:00:25 PM EST

Link Posted: 12/24/2005 8:39:51 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 8:56:38 PM EST
That was a sad but great story you shared! I have the utmost respect for your profession! Thank You!
Merry Christmas! and have a Happy, healthy & safe New Year!

Link Posted: 12/24/2005 9:12:32 PM EST
Thanks for sharing this.

Merry Christmas, stay safe. Holidays have got to be a stessful time for you guys, dealing with many more drunk families.

Link Posted: 12/25/2005 2:24:37 AM EST
Thanks. That story made it feel a lot more like Christmas this morning. Stay safe
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 3:05:20 AM EST
Very good story.

It may be a little late but, R.I.P Officer.


Link Posted: 12/25/2005 3:20:41 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 11:44:34 AM EST
Gerat Post... Merry Christmas
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 6:08:55 PM EST
Kind of puts things in perspective. Thanks for sharing.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 6:12:25 PM EST
Thanks for sharing that. Merry Christmas and God bless you.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 7:16:24 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 11:25:44 AM EST
God Bless

Link Posted: 12/26/2005 12:19:21 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 12:36:42 PM EST
Great story. I guess the triple fatality that I worked at 0220 Christmas morning isnt quite as fuzzy. 4 HMs in a pickup-vs-tree. 3 DRT, 1 without a scratch. Go figure.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 8:31:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/26/2005 8:32:40 PM EST by Citabria7GCBC]
I dont mind working the holidays. I'm single, so no kids, no wife. I'm only 21 so i can stand working nights. Iwouldnt want to do it if i were older and had a family. I recognize that so i let the other guys have the holidays. plus i get lots of comp. It was weird though this year. I didnt ask for it off but i did get christmas eve off.

Link Posted: 12/27/2005 4:01:44 PM EST
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