Takin a Side Road

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I will start by saying, Grandpa is at home currently having dialysis 3x a week.  He has told hubby, he’s doing better and holding out to see us come back home.  But, who knows.  Mom has to have a full hysterectomy, and they will biopsy other areas to verify it didn’t spread. If it did radiation or chemo will be in order.  But, that is all the updates for now.  I will try to add more updates in general soon.

But, today a side road so to speak. Something that is near and dear to my heart, but speak little of in the internet realm. Instead I cling to it in real life visiting with my family and friends.

My law enforcement family, the ones who got me through so much without even knowing it.  My first event as a police explorer was the funeral of an amazing man Deputy Herzog, this man was killed by his own gun protecting others, I went through numerous other deaths and funerals.

Officer Maher, Federal Way PD killed by gunfire at a call he offered to take last minute–instead of heading straight home after his shift, and Officer Lone, Seattle PD killed by drowning after falling into the water trying to secure a tug boat are two the that stick out in my mind.  But every time another was killed, through out the nation, I mourned, I felt stabbed in the heart.  One of my brother’s was gone.

But, the most profound impact occurred after I had left the explorer program, after I had a family of my own.  Sgt. Mark Renninger, in November 2009, shortly after Thanksgiving, he and four other officers were ambushed in a coffee shop.  They were sitting there discussing their shift, what they were going to do during it that day, when a man walked in and opened fire on them.  Killed all 4, fire was returned and one officer (which one is not publicly known) hit him once in the stomach.

I heard that 4 officers had been shot in Lakewood, WA (not far from where I was an explorer at Tukwila PD and King County SO).  I was heartbroken as usual, scoured to find names, they had yet to be released.  Then I get a message on Facebook, from a close friend, one that I was an explorer with.  He told me to call him ASAP, he couldn’t tell me but over the phone. (We were living 8 hrs away, or I am sure he would have been knocking down my door).

I dropped everything, told hubby I had to go make a call.  Tim told me it was Renninger, a man I knew and worked next to on ride-a-longs. A man, whom I had met his wife and older kids. A man, that had stood next to me gun drawn, performing a felony stop–I was only 15 sandwiched between two officers who never missed a beat.  A man, that was much closer to home than just that thin-blue line.

I broke down and lost it, my husband thought it was a family member.  Which it was–but not in the sense he was thinking–I am not sure my husband has ever seen me so distraught and incoherent as I was then.  The following days were just numb and empty, scaring him more I am sure.

To this day, I find my mind wandering occasionally to him, and then to the other officers I gave a final salute to, and listened as their final call was given.  To this day, when I think of him, I think of how much I wanna be out there.  How much I wanna fight the good fight, and how scared I am to leave my family behind.  As they all were.

It’s days like today that that happens, it’s days like today that I wanna call hubby, and tell him to get home so I can go work out.  Finish getting back in shape, so I can be out there fighting with men like Sgt. Renninger.  So I can feel that family again, I can feel the warmth and strength of that thin-blue line.

Sgt. Renninger, you are gone but not forgotten.  We all still miss you, and you still touch our hearts and lives more than you will ever know. Thank you.


About illbeyourwater

A twenty-something mom of 2, wife of 1, candid (sometimes brutal), psych student.

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