Ouch. That hurts just to type it. Yes, I’m officially ‘medically retired’ and ‘disabled’ now.
This was not my plan for my 29th year of life. I’m constantly reminded though that I am not running this show. I’m just along for the ride and all I have control over is how I react and handle the twists and turns.
Today my coworkers and supervisors threw me a fantastic retiring party, complete with delicious cake and ice cream. Oh and there were cards and presents too! Fantastic, fun, exciting and extremely generous presents! It was bittersweet. As I said before I was sort of dreading it, but knew I needed the real closure. My one goal for myself was to not cry. I did achieve it, but I had to be very careful with my words and thoughts! So many nice things said about me by coworkers. Very humbling, to say the least.
And look, this is made out of cupcakes!
So much of my heart and life is in law enforcement. I love it. I speak it. I breathe it. I bleed it. Every emergency and disaster that I see or hear about, my first thoughts are of the responders on scene and what kind of calls and radio traffic the dispatchers are blindly dealing with. You see the horror of a school shooting; I think of the dispatch center and the 1500 horrified parents calling and not being able to give any answers.
I say ‘correction’ and ‘disregard’ in my prayers.
I refer to people by badge numbers.
I’ve eaten an entire bag of Swedish Fish while dispatching a pursuit.
I recognize people around town from mugshots.
I understand what it feels like to work nightshift and then work the next night on little to no sleep.
I speak a second language. I listen to tone more than I listen to words.
I know what happens when someone utters the “Q” word in the dispatch center.
I’ve done the last radio call for an officer who died way too young.
I understand the draw of energy drinks (I’m three years clean, people).
I know the chilling feeling of an unanswered security check.
I can relate to seconds feeling like hours waiting for a ‘code 4’.
I have called a funeral home for one of my own to be transported.
I’ve played countless hours of dispatch BINGO.
I know what it’s like to work during the first snow of the year and not get to pee all day.
Certain phrases will always make me smile: “One in custody” “Code 4” “Taser deployed” “failing to yield” and “K9 contact” are a few of my favorites.
I believe in the power of a full moon or a Friday the 13th.
My heart will always be in law enforcement.
I back the blue.