A woman recently wrote a stirring tribute of sorts to her husband, a homicide detective. The brief essay, titled "A Moment of Reflection," was posted, along with a photograph of a man sitting in the dark, to the Facebook page of Florida's Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. Tagged in the photograph is Nelson Ivan Martinez.
The tribute and the photograph is a powerful reminder of the quiet strength and dignity that law enforcement professionals and their families must bear as they see and hear about things most people would find unimaginable.
Regardless of what you think of American policing, it's important to remember that behind every badge is a human heart. Behind every uniform is a man or woman who is faced with the possibility that they may be called upon to sacrifice their lives in the defense of themselves or others, and the unbending reality that what they see and do will never really be understood by the majority of the people they serve.
This woman's post isn't just about policing, however. It reminds us of the importance of having some soft place to land at the end of the day, how we all need to make space in our lives for comfort, for quiet, for reflection.
It reminds us that we must, even in the small hours, find ways to center ourselves so that we can continue to do the work we are called to do, and find our way back to our loved ones each and every night.
The complete post is transcribed below the embed.
"This is a candid snapshot of my husband. It was around 2:30 in the morning and he had come home only a few hours earlier after working a grueling 18 hours straight. After only getting about an hour of sleep, he was called back out. There is something so jarring about the ringing of a cell phone at that time. I honestly don't think you can ever get used to it, especially when you know that the ringing likely means someone has lost their life, and most often in a disturbingly tragic way.
My husband is a homicide detective. He sees the product of violence, human depravity, and sorrow daily. While we sit in the comfort of our homes, he is walking into horrific crimes scenes not knowing what he is going to see, sitting through grueling autopsies, and having to notify and console the families of the victims.
That night as he quietly got dressed, trying his hardest not to wake me, I sat and watched him. This situation isn't unfamiliar, as a matter of fact, it's tragically familiar. I just lay and watch him. I can't stop watching him, and I say a silent prayer, for him, his partners, the victim. After he is done meticulously getting dressed and ready to leave, he takes a minute to reflect. I don't know where he goes in those few quiet moments, those are his and I don't ask, I just watch. I imagine he mentally prepares himself, turns the detective "switch" on, and reflects on what he is about to walk into and why he does it.
During those moments of reflection I see the extraordinary man I married change. I see the walls come up and then suddenly I know that he is ready, focused and exactly who he needs to be. As he does every time, he makes sure to say goodbye, gives me a kiss and walks out the door, and I lay there and pray. Pray that he can get through whatever he is about to walk into, pray he can bring peace and closure to a family and pray that wasn't the last time I felt his kiss.
#thinbluelinefamily #weseeyou #bluefamily"