I have never been the child of a cop so I don’t want talk to you as if I know what that’s like. While I obviously know how living the life of a law enforcement officer has changed me, I can see that it has changed you too.
I’ve seen it in your eyes many times as we kiss and hug goodbye before I go to work. I’ve heard it in your voice on the phone when we’ve talked after I haven’t been able to see you in a day, or two or three. I’ve been able to see it in the drawings or short stories you’ve had for school assignments. I can even see you starting to develop some of the same situational habits when you meet new people, see a stranger, enter rooms or go through a routine to make the house secure at night. Thankfully, I also see it in the warped sense of sarcastic humor that anyone who loves a cop must learn to love.
Yes, my job isn’t a normal one or an easy one and I know you see that. But I see that it can’t be easy for you to listen to classmates or even random strangers bash the police. I see that it must be incredibly difficult to watch parts of the news as you watch me leave for the day. I see that it can get awkward trying to avoid telling certain people what I do for a living because you don’t want to be singled out or to make me unsafe. I see that you’ve learned to know when my day has been longer than others and whether I need some space or whether I need you to be ridiculously goofy to make me laugh. I see that you don’t hold it against me when I can’t be there for a holiday dinner, for that special event or sometimes when you just want to talk. I see that you are brave beyond your years as you learn to deal with your greatest fear in losing me even as you’ve endured with me in losing others.
To my sons and daughters, I see you. To all police kids, I see you too.
If God should choose to call me home while doing the job I’ve committed to, then I want you to know some things. I want you to know that despite all of the difficulties in this path, that’s it been worth it. It’s been worth it because I’ve shown you to live your life based on principles and not excuses; It’s been worth it because you’ve seen that putting others before ourselves isn’t just something to give lip service to but requires true sacrifice; It’s been worth it because you’ve learned that doing the right thing is always the right thing even when it’s not the easy thing—especially when it’s not the easy thing; It’s been worth it because you’ve got a path carved before you by men and women of tremendous heart and passion; It’s been worth it because not only I, but your family in blue have striven to plant the seed for the trees of peace and safety that your children and your children’s children will take shade under; It’s been worth it because I’ve done it for you.
I also want to thank you. Thank you for letting me know that you’re proud of me; I am proud of you too.
Thank you for letting me know that I make you feel safe; I would protect you at any cost.
Thank you for always helping to remind me of what matters most; I never want to let you down.
Thank you for letting me know that I am loved. I love you too.