Monthly Archives: September 2014

Standing Ready

The round-house punch came from the left and hit me squarely in the left eye.  My head wobbled back and forth, think Wiley E. Coyote when he gets hit with a frying pan, then his head snaps back to original form.  Only I wasn’t in a cartoon.  I was wedged in a druggie’s bedroom between his bed and a dresser.  A 17-yr-old was tripping out and his parents had called 911, unable to contain his violence.

Me and my back-up and good friend, Dave, had arrived at the house about the same time and approached the front door.  The kid’s father was totally frustrated and alarmed.  “My son is high on something and very violent, he has locked himself in his room.”  An ambulance was called and the goal was to get the kid on a gurney and to the hospital to be checked out.  Neither parent said they had been harmed, so arrest for assault/family violence, was not considered.

I got permission from the Dad to “open” the bedroom door and Dave did so with one good kick.  I entered the bedroom first and quickly scanned for weapons within the kid’s reach.  He stood there and spewed obscenities as I scooted sideways between the bed and dresser…wanting to get my hands on him.  Dave was right behind me as we moved to get control of this potentially dangerous situation.

I inched closer to the kid as he was screaming a diatribe fueled by dope.  I was about to latch onto him when the punch hit me.  Feeling pain, anger, and embarrassment all at the same time….I wobbled.  Being wedged as tight as I was…I did not go down for the count.  He was a good sized teenager and the punch came with a great amount of force and adrenalin.

Dave lunged for the kid as I grabbed him with both hands and we threw him backwards onto his bed.  The fight was on for a couple of moments, with both his parents watching from the doorway to the bedroom.  We drug him out to the front porch of the house.  I had one handful of hair and with the other I grabbed him by the belt of his jeans.  We secured him on the gurney and off he went to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

I could have charged him with aggravated assault on a peace officer, but I did not.  The parents thanked us for our help and off we went to the next call in our district.  Dave laughed at me after he saw I was okay.  Hell, he laughs about this till this day when we start talking old “war stories.”

A very small and somewhat routine call got me punched, it could have gotten us killed.  You never know what you are walking into when you answer a call for service as a cop.  The kid could have pulled a gun and the story would have ended quite differently.  He was out of is mind…we were careful, it still happened.  The kid needed to go to the hospital and we had a job to do.  We did what his own parents could not do.

Why do I blog about this today?  Well, because I had a bad experience with a police detective recently.  I found myself cursing my local police department and generalizing all of them as cowards and idiots because of this one guy.  We get caught up in generalizing people, groups of people…cops especially when we see news stories like Ferguson, Missouri.

I post this today to remind myself and my readers that there are thousands of good cops out there.  They are on the front line, doing the grunt work, much like my call to help the druggie’s parents. They do the job everyday, mostly without complaint.  It is a thankless job and it is done for low pay and with terrible hours.

Every call to 911 is a cry for help.  The caller never says, “Hey, send over that asshole that gave me the speeding ticket the other day!”  No, they say, “My son is out of control!!  I need help now! Please!!”

Pause and be thankful a complete stranger stands ready to take a punch for you today.

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I’m Letting it Go

So, October is fast approaching and with it will inevitably come the 29th. That day will be the 93rd anniversary of my mother, Jewel’s, birth.  On the 30th, I will probably feel somewhat better.  You see, my mother died on October 1, 2004…she was 82.   I think she got screwed over; her mother and her mother’s mother lived to be 93.  I know that sounds weird, but Jewel would agree with me.  We always counted on her living till 93.  The fates didn’t allow it and I have been angry for 10 years.  I am vowing right here and now to let it go on October 29th.  You might argue that Jewel would not have wanted the anger and sadness to be in me for 10 years…and that would prove you didn’t know Jewel.  She would be kind of happy I have been tormented and pissed on her behalf.  Okay Jewel…I carried the anger for you, but I enveloped it in a cloud of love.  I am letting it go this next month.  It will take its leave and what remains will be pure love, wrapped warmly for years in our genetic code that yields seething temperament, but pure love.

The truth is that most Americans don’t live to the age of 93. Jewel would love that I carried the torch for her, but would have been the first to point out that thousands of her peers never made it out of the war theatres in the Pacific and Europe alive. Never making it out of their twenties, let alone living to comb grey hair. “The Greatest Generation” had a bunch of self-indulged people we call the Baby Boomers. I don’t think we are dealing with our parents’ deaths too well. I am not a 52 year-old orphan, I am a middle-aged woman whose parents are dead.

I have been going through a life-changing event the last several months. I was accused of being a different person since Jewel died. The accuser meant that I had changed to my detriment, I would have to agree. Just as births change the patterns of our lives, death leaves its carbon print all over our psyche. I have toughed it out…I have made it, probably in error, without the help of drugs or counseling. I cannot believe I am typing these words, but I choose to be happy.  I vow to work on it with the same due diligence I gave to the resentment these past years. If you see me you might not see it on my face, as I have a frown wrinkle between my eyes, of which Jewel once remarked, “That big crease makes you look bitchier to people.”

So this is it Jewel. I’m letting it go. I am releasing myself of the anger. It is exiting the weathered door with its collaborator, grief. I would have loved to have had you in my life for another decade, for sure. But you had me at the age of 40 and that ensured that your exit would leave me with years of my life without you. It’s okay. You did a good job and I thank you. Can I tell you though that I am mildly irritated that my target year is now 82? Well, hell.