We’re all quick to throw around judgements and opinions, but a lot of us don’t really know what wearing a pair of duty boots is like. To be honest, I don’t either, because I don’t wear them-but I’m married to them. And over the years I’ve gotten a glimpse at what blue life can really be like.
And for everyone screaming ACAB and defunding and making general, sweeping statements, I wish for a moment that you knew what it was like, too.
I wish you knew what it was like to carry the weight of the badge, and I wish you knew how heavy it feels sometimes-like right now.
I wish you knew what it was like to risk your life for strangers-some of whom wish you were dead. I wish you knew what it was like to hold the hand of a now childless woman and tell her that her son is never coming home again. I wish you knew what it was like to witness a drunk driver plow into a family on their way home from church and race into the flames and chaos, no matter the cost to you. I wish you knew the feeling of a hurt and desperate woman grasping at you and holding on for dear life, looking at you with terror in her eyes and pleading with you to make it all better. I wish you knew what it was like to search the highways for a small, limp body that had been ejected from a speeding vehicle’s car seat, hoping for the best but knowing that their soul is already gone. I wish you knew what it was like to have the privilege and the burden to be the one to share someone’s last breaths with.
I wish you knew what it was like to see the love of your life shuffle home after a particularly grueling shift with broken, hollow eyes. I wish you could see the way his shoulders slump and smile wobbles. I wish you knew what it was like to spend your nights in an empty bed, hit your knees in tears, and always have a small part of your heart knotted in quiet worry.
But most of all, I wish that you can continue life not knowing those things, because they’re so incredibly hard. You can live life not knowing how a decomposing body smells, how the gasp of a last breath feels, and how the wails of an abandoned child sound. You can live life not knowing, because someone else is taking on that burden for you.
Someone else is gladly carrying the weight of the badge for you. We only wish that you would listen, and try to understand 💙