I recently came across an awesome website that lists blog after blog of police wives. It has been wonderful to read some of their post and see that other people really do know what it's like to have a husband in law enforcement! So, without further ado, I thought I would just do a post on our journey through law enforcement. Here goes nothing!
John and I started dating when I was still in high school. He's three years older than me so he was already in college studying criminal justice. His lifelong ambition had always been to become a cop and as a young and crazily in love teenager, that sounded pretty darn sexy to me! I'll never forget meeting a cop's wife at Red Lobster (where I worked as a waitress at the time) and I was raving to her that my boyfriend wanted to be a cop. She said, "Oh honey, you do NOT want to marry a cop. Search around for someone else!" Needless to say, her words of "caution" were of absolutely NO significance to me!
John had taken the civil service test and received a good grade and he had also successfully completed the physical fitness exam. However, as many of you know, the whole hiring process took what seemed like an eternity! It was almost a year before he heard anything from any of the agencies that he had applied to... And it happened to be 3 days before our wedding when he finally did! They called him in for an interview and while he was on the phone with me raving about how wonderful it went, they called him back and offered him the job. Talk about exciting!! He was hired that Wednesday, we were married that Saturday, he left for our honeymoon as a Coca Cola Merchandiser and returned a cop. It was just crazy how quickly everything changed in our lives!
The academy started shortly after we had settled in as a married couple and it was really, really tough on a new marriage. I wasn't used to seeing the man I love under such immense pressure and strain. Man, they worked him so hard in the academy! As if the PT (Physical Training) alone didn't wipe him out enough, there were also so many other aspects of the academy such as studying, shooting, and field training that were added to his plate. Somewhere in the middle of the academy, in June of '06, we found out that we were expecting our oldest daughter, Brooke. I had a special dinner prepared to tell John of the great news and he walked in the door and threw up everywhere. It was during DT (Defensive training) and he had come home with such a horrible headache that he got sick. It wasn't quite the romantic celebration I had planned! Lol! Anyways, long story short, it was a tough 6 months and we were NOT sad when it was over!
After the academy, real life as a police wife started... The weird hours, the adjustment to having a husband who was putting his life in danger, and getting used to an altogether new routine and lifestyle. During the academy John had normal hours (8-4) and he never had to work holidays, nights, or weekends, but the first shift they threw him on when he had complete his training was the dreaded evening shift (3 PM to 11 PM). That was so hard for us to adjust to, especially after the luxury of the academy's hours! We got through, though. We always do!
A few short weeks after John was on the road he experienced his first fatal accident. To respect my husband's sensitivity to this issue, I'll be brief when I discuss this, but it was really tough on him. He was a rookie cop ready to take on the world (I'm sure!) and he was the first on scene to a terrible accident where a teenage girl was killed while her boyfriend, who had been driving, was still alive. As if that wasn't enough, he even had to go to her autopsy the next day and it was just A LOT for him to take in. That's when I realized that the years ahead of me of supporting my police officer husband would take much wisdom, understanding, and compassion on my part. It was NOT going to be easy or quite as "sexy," as I once thought.
John has been a cop for almost 4 years now and I would like to say that my endeavor to adjust to his career has always been easy, but I would be lying if I did! We have experienced absolutely NO stability because his schedule keeps getting switched. Every time we adjust to a new schedule, sure enough, it changes. I'm still fearful for him while he's working. Right now he's on the night shift and there are nights when I go to bed scared to death that he won't come home. My heart also pounds when he comes home late or when I can't get a hold of him for extended periods of time. He has also experienced more than his fair share of horrible situations and I am still learning on what he needs for me when he experiencing those tough situations. He vows to never bring work home but at times I feel as though that's detrimental to his thought processes and I really think that he needs to be able to get his feelings out!
I am SO PROUD of my man. Being a police wife is not easy but it is so rewarding to know that I am supporting my husband as he does what he has always set out to do! And besides, he sure does look pretty nice in that uniform:-)