Thursday, November 29, 2012

What to do when the roles are reversed?

For sixteen long years, My dear Husband has been the one watching over me~~keeping a close watch at the most serious times-sitting by my hospital bed as I fought to stay alive, watching me struggle to find my way back to life, and holding me in his arms as I grieve the loss of so many things I loved and had to give up.

I really don't know what happened when 2012 arrived, but I can say its been one for the books and Matt has been smack dab in the middle of sudden health problems~~some that send a chill down your spine as you fear Cancer might be getting ready to show up.  We have held on to each other~~praying to God for tests to come back with good news and no sign of Cancer~~joyous when we heard from the doctor and knew we could breathe again-No sign of Cancer.  

Suddenly Matt seemed to have one disaster after the other-breaking bones, terrible cuts that needed fast stitching, intense Back Pain resulting in a Blown Disc-and now Kidney problems.  I have felt the fears-standing by his hospital bed, waiting for him to recover from surgery~~watching him suffer with Pain~~suddenly realizing he was now part of that group-a person who must live with Pain.  He is not having to deal with constant Pain but when it shows up~~his suffering is terrible and I feel very lost.

Tonight my very organized husband was typing in all his latest health problems-showing me the Computer Site he had created for both of us~~but I didn't want to be reminded of this-and my words came rolling out
"I don't know what to do-its always Me who is sick"-we stood together, silence surrounding us~~holding tight to each other as we worked to understand that Aging was getting our attention too.  Those words that I have clung to throughout our 37 years of marriage came tumbling out of me~~~~~

                     "Matt-you are my Rock!  None of this should be happening to you!"

 He has always been the wiser one in our marriage and knew it was vital for me to understand his words~
                        "Your Rock now has a Crack in it-and you will help me just like I help you!

 The words stung but I held his message tight, realizing nothing is perfect in life, there will be bumpy times in marriage ~~but Love & Faith will take us all the way.

God bless all who are suffering and struggling-remember I am praying for you always.  martha

Monday, November 26, 2012

Learning a New Lesson on Pain~~~

Matt-my dear husband

I keep thinking about the lessons Pain teaches me,  figuring the lesson will be about me or people I see at random places.  Little did I know there was a Huge Lesson waiting for me that would involve my precious husband, Matt.  Two days ago, everything seemed okay~~we had managed to work our way through the Thanksgiving Holiday as we counted our blessings for simply having each other to love!  Each night I have a "routine" of sorts~~getting ready for bed, taking my Pain Medication, propping my aching leg up and watching some silly late night show.  Suddenly Matt comes staggering toward our bedroom and falls on the floor~~~all he can say is "I am in Agony-help me" - my world was turned upside down in a split second!  I jumped out of bed, as I tossed rapid fire questions to Matt, but not stopping to hear his answer~~all I could think was "Oh my God, its his Back" as I heard him say "Okay Dr. Martha- its my Kidney area that is throbbing!" 

Poor Matt-he was rolling around on the floor, doing anything to find a position to give him a break from this brand new Pain he had never had in his life.  I grabbed a ice pack and got down on the floor to hopefully 
get the bag put exactly where he needed it.  Finally it hit me that Matt needed to be seen by a doctor and that meant a trip to the hospital, but he refused the idea of an ambulance~~so I  called a dear friend of ours, urgently saying "I need you right now, Matt is on the floor!"

He didn't hesitate~~assuring me he was on the way to help us.  Matt glanced my way as I kept going from room to room~telling me "Martha-you might want to put some regular clothes on~~your PJ's are not proper attire for this trip!"  Typical Matt-suffering with horrendous Pain, yet taking time to let me know about my attire!   It took a long night of testing~~ the Pain was coming from a Kidney Stone demanding to find its way out of his body and he was given medication to help the stone pass.  We both learned these Stones do not come flying out- it doesn't happen overnight and so we found ourselves back at the hospital very early this morning-Matt now in worse Pain as he had developed a slight infection.  

We got through it all-and now we wait for the lovely Kidney Stone to arrive.  As I stood beside his hospital bed this morning, my dear husband said "Well my wife, I have a brand new understanding of how much Pain you live with each day."  I fought the tears as I told him "dear husband-this has opened my heart to just how much I truly love you and need you!

Two lessons learned~~Pain and Love guiding us through it.  We leaned on God and held onto each other-just like we always have done.  

Pain is a rough teacher~~~but please know, you are not alone-I am praying for you.  


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Moments~~

Thanksgiving and Christmas~~ these two holidays have been put on a Super Track Race~~Decorations for Christmas start showing up in stores before mid-September.  This act gives a small "Shelf Life" for anything that looks like Fall or Thanksgiving.  Items are marked at 50% off~~to grab our attention, thinking we are getting a great bargain- people seem to have a look of shock~ trying to mentally grab their Christmas list for early shopping!

PLEASE~~~~~give these two holidays some breathing room!  It is a known fact-holidays have a way of bringing out the Worst and Best in People.  Everyone is struggling to be on their best behavior-but many carry deep emotional pain inside~~ sooner or later, a button is pushed and emotions are pouring from people.  

I have always carried great respect for the "Thanksgiving Painting" by Norman Rockwell~~it shines with joy, love, anticipation as the beautiful cooked Turkey is being brought forward-all waiting to join hands in prayer, thanking God for His blessings.  How wonderful it would be if more family gatherings held a portion of the shining Joy portrayed in Mr. Rockwell's painting~~now in this fast paced world-although we don't say it~~my heart tells me there are many families who hope and pray they can just get through the meal, send everyone home~~before verbal words begin to fly and anger erupts.

I had a chance to see some Holiday side-effects in a trip to the grocery store today~~ as I watched the mad dash traffic of carts rapidly pushing down the main isle~~a brief thought hit that I could become a Traffic Officer-"Stop, Now Forward, Hold, Go Sideways, Wrong Turn!"  As I watched this mad rush-Mr. Rockwell's painting surfaced~~telling me "This was Not the Way He saw any Holiday"  no eager smiles, bright eyed looks of excitement-nothing but frustration, anger, tension~~as if everyone wanted to forget about Thanksgiving.

Suddenly a lady asked if I needed help~~she had a store Badge on-letting me feel she was the real deal, and after telling her what I was searching for~~within seconds she had walked with me to the area I needed to be at.  I got the feeling she was not your "average employee" as I inquired about what her job title might be.  Another shock~~~she explained her job was in the Upper Management and all store Employees from the Top Leader to the Bottom Employee was asked to volunteer at a store on this huge shopping day-being there to help people find items they needed~~hopefully making their shopping experience easier.

I was stunned~~~but could see the Joy on her face-she was having a wonderful time helping people and knew if given the chance, she would do this again~~no questions asked, no pay needed.

My heart opened as I told her "You just added true Joy to my Holiday~~Thank you!"

Maybe on this Thanksgiving, we could all give PEACE a try.  God bless.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Special Moment~~~

Her name is Jackie Evancho~~~ that says it all as she is a very young girl with a Huge Angelic Voice and her path in life is moving!  I dreamed of going to one of her Concerts but figured it would never happen because she had never planned a concert in Texas.

But that all changed  a few months ago while checking her event page, I yelled with delight "Jackie is coming to Texas in November!"  My husband  also loves her music and so we both jumped at the chance, figuring I could probably manage this trip with my bad leg.  We left yesterday morning-but while packing, my stomach decided to go nuts from the stress and excitement of going and lets just say--It was a very LONG ride-but worth pushing myself to make it.

We had wonderful seats-as we sat on the second line of chairs from the stage and it felt like I could reach out and touch her~~the smile on her face is beautiful and matches the sound of her songs.  For any who know me, Crying is something I don't like to do~~but that all flew out the window as I cried through her entire concert!  The tears were a mix of many emotions-I sat thinking "This child is a gift to all of us and has been touched by HIS handprint!  

People of all ages attended~~walking canes, wheelchairs, motorized chairs-they didn't care as to the physical effort it took to get inside the Concert hall-it was worth the struggle to watch Jackie sing. Each song brought the crowd to their feet, clapping and yelling "We Love you Jackie" and she would speak back "Thank you and I love you too!"  There was no program, or CD music being sold~just Jackie, pure, beautiful and angelic.  Jackie dedicated one song to her Mom, telling the crowd how much she loved her parents as they allowed  her the chance to do the one thing she loves to do~~~SING.

One of her final songs was "Our Father" as I looked around, everyone was crying~~knowing what we 
had been given-the chance to be near Jackie as our hearts opened up to receive the Love that fills her music.

Jackie Evancho is a gift for all of us.  Thank you God.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One day with Chronic Pain

A long time ago, I knew what it was like to feel Normal~~

The word feels like someone threw Cold Water in my Face~~I don't know what Normal is anymore, too many years of constant Pain have done a good job of wiping memories away. I  struggle to recall what my life was like before the Tree Fall, then Cold Reality hits as I know looking back is useless-just have to keep moving and cling to my determined words "Pain Won't Beat Me!"

After going through a horrible day yesterday-waiting for a Cold Front to arrive~~it felt like someone had run over me with a truck!  My husband was on constant Guard Duty, quietly watching me~~noticing I rarely left my comfortable recliner,  Pajamas were my Outfit for the Day.  My mood was dark~~seeming like a sign was posted in front of me~~
                                                     "Danger Area-Woman in Rotten Pain"

Finally I gave the chair up, headed to bed~~quickly rubbing a Topical Pain Cream on my nerve-damaged feet and bad leg~~praying this would send a message to Pain- "Let this Woman Rest" my husband watched in silence, finally braving the waters to ask "Well, do you think that will help tonight?"  I paused to look into his loving eyes- "All I can do is Pray!"

God was listening and I was blessed with sleep, waking up at 10:00am~~thinking I was dreaming but  knew it was real as I whispered a Silent prayer of Thanks.

This is one day of Chronic Pain for me~~~its misery, no getting around that fact but I also know others suffer a thousand times worse than I do.  I beg God to please give them One Easy Day.  


Monday, November 12, 2012

A Spiritual Moment at the Grocery Store~~~

 I can hear the thoughts- "Wait a minute, how can crowded isles, people pushing all around, waiting in long lines, not finding the exact item you need~~were is the Spiritual Moment in this?"  If anyone would have told me something special was going to come my way while at the Grocery Store~~ I would have probably laughed at them~~~ but God can be found anywhere, even while standing in line at a Grocery Store Pharmacy.

I had decided to move my medical prescriptions closer so we could avoid a 45 minute drive and was very nervous about the decision.  A man stood in front of me~~something was different about him-he began a conversation with me- "You need to speak with someone here who knows what they are doing!  Today they have a small crew working-so be thorough in explaining what you need."  It was like he knew  my thoughts-as if he sensed all my fears~~speaking  the words I wanted to say! He stepped forward toward a clerk and I heard a voice saying "Next in line please."  I felt the urge to thank him-but he had suddenly vanished~~ almost like a strong wind had suddenly blown by and took him away!

My thoughts were turned upside down now as a lovely young woman smiled at me (the man's words ringing in my head) I began to explain my purpose for being there.  I struggled to find "thorough words" for needing to  move my prescription for Pain Medication, and how worried I was about things getting messed up.  Little did I know~~there was No cause for worry as she gently said "Yes I truly understand your fears-when you are in Chronic Pain its vital to keep your Pain under control and I promise this will be handled properly."  It was like she knew me~~and understood the journey I have traveled with Pain~~her beautiful eyes never left mine as a sudden feeling of Peace washed over me and I relaxed.

I gave no thought to anyone else standing behind me- Time had stopped and just the two of us were in this amazing moment of sharing.  Suddenly I asked "How would you have any idea about Chronic Pain, being so young?"  Those eyes fixed straight on mine,  her voice softened as she shared with me "I had Cervical Cancer~~ Radiation was very Painful so I needed Pain medication-believe me I do understand!"  My heart started to break~~it felt like I was watching a  window flying by~~seeing other Pain coming her way~~ the loss of  children~~ the fear of  Cancer returning. I could not stop the tears pouring from my heart, I couldn't speak~~ instead I pounded my Cane against the floor in Anger and Hurt for the Painful life already faced by one so very young.  

Her eyes were cast down as she worked to control tears~ I struggled to pull myself together~~our eyes met again as I braved cautious words "What about Children?"  I hated myself for speaking them but she never wavered-telling me her doctors had done a different form of Radiation to give her body a chance at bearing children, and she was trying In-Vitro Fertilization~now it was up to God.  Adoption was also a avenue for the future.  Now I had my eyes locked with hers~~so many unspoken words were said.  Too many.

God was there with us-two women~ different in age, but very familiar with Pain.  The young woman knew our time was done and said "Its all going to be fine!"  I faced the angry line,smiled and said~~
                                                       "Sure hope you all have a Great Day!"

All I can say is keep your eyes and heart open~~~you never know what can happen at the Grocery Store!

God be with all who are suffering with physical and emotional Pain.  I do keep you in my prayers.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

A young Soldier-home from War

My Dad-home from the War

The smile on his face seems a bit forced, but I learned the reason after turning this recently found photo over, reading on the back, it was taken just one year after his returning from the horrors of serving in the Army during WWII.  Daddy was in the Infantry, served in Six Major Campaigns-stepping forward to serve his country and face things very few could imagine.  

He never spoke about the War-it was an area of his life that we knew not to tread on, but as I reached my teenage years, something spurred me forward and I recall vividly what happened as the subject 
was approached~~ "Daddy, I want to ask you something about the War" his face seemed hard as stone, it felt as if he was trying to silently tell me "Trouble-don't go there, just leave it be!"  I pushed on,
unsure of this risky move~~but being his daughter, I started with the toughest question~~
              ~~~~~~~~~~ "Daddy, did you shoot anybody?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~

His eyes appeared to have gone back in time~memories rising to the surface that he worked hard to stuff down inside his heart each day. It felt as if time stood still~~when he finally turned to face me with a look I shall never forget-
            "Daughter-the enemy was in a Trench, just like we were, barely three feet of distance apart~~nobody dared raise their head because if they did, Death was waiting for them.  All I did was put my gun over my head and squeeze the trigger, over and over.!"

The space around us felt so cold-I was old enough to realize the Depth of his answer and before I could ask another question, his memories had started flowing~~

"I had a Buddy in the Trench with me one night, we had missed too much sleep and I forgot about raising my head up-Suddenly we heard the sound of a Bullet, I dropped to the ground, grabbing my cloth cap, seeing a Bullet hole had gone straight through it.  I turned to show my Buddy how close I had come to being Dead-but he lay dead from the Bullet that missed me!  I will tell you this Sister, it taught me to Never raise my head up again!"

My young heart was trying to take all this in~~ it hit me I had opened up a door to my Dad's heart and nothing was going to stop the memories now~~words tumbling out as his eyes pierced through me, perhaps waiting for me to beg him to stop talking.  He paused to light up a smoke~~glancing at it as he said "I never smoked until I was in the War~~something about being shot at, having to walk among a Sea of Dead Soldiers-well it has a way of getting you hooked on smoking."

His words slowed down as I prayed for hurt rolling from my Daddy to just Stop- suddenly one final memory surfaced as the tone of my Dad's voice had changed, his words came out, Pain in each word he spoke~~

"I was in the 3rd Wave of Soldiers when we landed on Leyte Island-bullets flying at us- we had big boxes of extra Ammo to take with us.  A young guy told me he would grab the box-urged me to go ahead and jump in the water.  We all were praying the water might keep us safe, but I saw the box was heavy and figured it was my job to grab it.  I told him to Jump~ we would see each other later~~ 
I grabbed the box, turned to jump~~but this kid was lying face up, dead from a bullet!  The box being so heavy pulled me down into the waters, probably helping to save my life.  After all these years, I keep thinking~~ Why God-why did that young kid have to die?  Why wasn't it me?"

Daddy looked like a ghost~~I hated myself for having forced these memories from him-and there was nothing I could say to help ease his Pain.  As he reached to light up another smoke, he told me 
"Trouble, War is Hell-never forget that."

I thank God for sparing my Dad and bringing him back.  On this Veteran's Day-I ask God to ease the hearts of all the families who lost their children to War.  I pray for those who now serve our country, Volunteers-giving so much to preserve our Freedom.  They come home missing arms, legs, traumatic brain injuries, burns~~~We call them "Our Wounded Warriors!"  They are amazing men and women.  Amazing.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

When will I ever learn??

When a "rare day of feeling good" comes along~~its so easy for old forgotten feelings to return.  I look outside to see its a beautiful Fall day, and a sudden urge hits me~~"Get busy and do something!" I rush around, digging out sneakers hidden in the back of my closet, hunting for old work clothes I put away, planning to never use them again~~my mind was rushing-as little warning lights were going off, trying to get my attention and all I did was Push them away.  Same old Stubborn Martha-determined to conquer
a project-refusing to think about the aftermath.  Pain is sneaky-it just stepped silently to the side, patiently waiting for me to mess up by pushing my old body too hard and then Pain would come flying in as I paid the price!

I never got outside-because those old sneakers were well hidden and before I knew it, everything was being flung out of my closet~~here was my Big Project-time for a major cleaning.  My husband came walking by, stumbling over suitcases, boxes, clothes~~~he paused-not saying a word as he waited to see me turn around so he could have my full attention.  I must have looked like a wild woman~~hair in a mess, sweat pouring off me and still in my pajamas~~"So-guess you are going to do some work today on your closet, do you think its a good idea to push yourself like this?"  Part of me wanted to scream back at him "Well No, I am making the biggest mistake possible-but I still want to be normal"-instead of screaming, I just gave a quick nod of my head and he knew-time to move out of the way and see how this was going to end.

About two years ago I made a promise to God that I would never climb up on a ladder again or stand on a chair~~so I strained my body to reach up high to the top shelf, pulling heavy photo binders down~~never thinking about the weight or strain I was putting on my body.  Again that little message inside my head began to speak louder "Heh, you are getting ready to drop-so either leave the closet or finish up fast" so I made a mad rush to re-arrange things and finally the job I was so proud of was done.

Yet I dragged my body away and fell in my chair-nothing left of me and somehow knowing, Pain was starting its move toward me.  About two hours later, my shoulder began to throb as if I was having a heart attack!  I made a rapid move to the bed, asking my husband if we had any Baby Aspirin (just in case it really was a heart attack) and all I could do was pray, pray, pray.  I begged God to help me, make this brand new Pain go away~~my dear husband sat beside me-and finally asked "Well do you think this happened because of the work you did today?" 

Tears rolled down my cheeks and I knew-Old Martha had shown up and now I was paying a very heavy price for not respecting the physical limits my body has.  Its hard to let go of things we once enjoyed doing-
but if I don't learn after a big mistake like this~well I have only me to blame for the added suffering.  Today has been a tiny bit easier-I have protected my weary shoulder muscles and done nothing but sit and enjoy
the healing of a heating pad.

We are human-mistakes will be made~~I begged God to help me last night-the intense Pain scared me so much!  Perhaps I did learn from this episode of sliding back into old habits-I pray that I did!

God help us who suffer with Pain.  Be with us when we fall.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Slowing Down together~~~

Loving on my Daddy~

This looks like a good photo~~but tough decisions lay ahead for both of us-Illness had taken a toll on Daddy and I was dealing with a Burning Leg,  as new words entered the picture- Slow Down~~ neither of us cared for the words because we both knew they held life changes for us.  

 Daddy told me "Now Trouble-you have just One Speed-FAST" he loved calling me Trouble- grinning with delight and it was a loving Term of Endearment!  He taught me lessons about working hard, doing a Good Job and Never stopping until it was completed. 

  No job was too hard for me-as I finished tasks quickly, being my Dad's Girl, it was natural for me to share his work ethics.  Having grown up on a ranch, I loved walking with him-my tiny legs moving fast and I learned to grab his hand and hang on!  He shared stories with me~~things he did as a child-I stored it all in my heart, knowing I would never forget these moments together.

Years flew by~~as the message of Slow Down loomed over both of us- I saw him facing age and serious illness, we both seemed to sense what lay ahead.  I struggled to deliver the news~~ forcing the words out- "Assisted Living Center" he sat in a wheelchair-not making a single move,  Anger and Sadness flew from his eyes to me!

We began a Verbal Dance-me explaining why he had to leave home, Moma had passed on,  his health condition was serious~~this was strange territory for both of us~~ anger-filled challenges were thrown  at me-saying he could manage~~ He was a grown man who knew how to cook, turn the heater on to stay warm~~Anger was boiling in his eyes~~ arms folded so Tight-waiting for my next words, his frail body 
clinging to hope that no longer existed.

My heart was crumbling~ I sensed a need to Slow Down and be the Adult-not a loving Daughter who wanted to run away from this terrible moment.  Two hours passed with both of us fighting the End Result.   Home now felt empty~~he sat in Stone Silence-never taking his eyes from me, but suddenly turned  to Soak in One final Memory of Home~~I will never forget this awful moment.  

 He turned around to face me, and I could see him struggling for inner strength to say the words he hated"Okay Trouble, Lets get out of Here, Now."  Nothing could fill the empty spot in our hearts~~we had to Accept it and keep going!  He slowly adjusted to his New Home and we had many wonderful visits, as we shared Pain Days-joking about who hurt the most, and always cherishing our time together. 

One more lesson came from Daddy during a phone call as I was on the way to get Injections to help ease my Pain-we laughed a bit, just talking~~when he suddenly grew quiet, searching for his words:
"Trouble-I think You are Gonna have that Old Leg Pain for the Rest of your Life-so you remember to be Strong"the words stinging as they settled in my heart.  He was being a Dad, trying to reach a Daughter who carried a big piece of his fierce determination!  I promised to call him later but a phone call came as we arrived home, urgent words pouring from my Sister~~

"Daddy is waiting for You to get here, He won't Let Go Until He sees You, Please Hurry!"  

The ride was fast-my heart breaking for what lay ahead~~ I walked into his room, sat beside him~~~"Daddy, Its Trouble!  I am here now, its okay to go.  I love You.  Please say Hi to Moma for me."  Peace seemed to fill the room, his labored breathing slowed down, as tears gently ran down his cheeks.  I kissed him Goodbye and knew-those tears were His Goodbye to me.  

Calvert H. Combs, Born Nov. 07th, 1920.  Passed April 21, 2003

Thank you for letting me share~~ I praise God for giving me this wonderful man I call Daddy.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Constant Changes that go with Chronic Pain~~

One thing about Chronic Pain a person can be sure of~~~something is always changing and requires us to either accept the changes and do the best we can to adjust-or keep ignoring them!  I call this "Sticking my Head in the Sand" and it does have a wicked way of catching up with me~~which sends me on a emotional roller coaster of frustration, anger, sadness, and finally Acceptance.

I have known since the fall that my left leg has bore the brunt of injuries~~always giving me a reminder of things I can't do~~have to be careful walking up and down steps.  If I make the mistake of taking this left leg and try to stride upwards on steps~~the Pain sends me a vicious Message "Have you lost your mind-this leg needs to be protected" and without question, I pay dearly for my mistake.

So much of me still longs to be the person I was "Before Tree Fall" and I have many days where I linger at this spot~~thinking about all I could do-and sorrow wraps around my heart as I think about my stupid decision on that fateful day!  This is where "Constant Changes" comes in~~God has blessed me with so much, and nothing good will come to wallow in a valley of "What Ifs"~~ So I choose to pull myself up from
sadness and keep moving-cherishing each day I am given. Its not always a joyful "Cherishing" but I keep trying.

I struggle just like anybody else would who faces this battle of living with Chronic Pain~~sometimes it feels as if I am like a small child~~having a "Terrible Twos Moment" because there is no place for me to run and hide from Pain.  Suddenly I find myself needing to carry a Cane with me~~the bad leg has its moments of just giving out-as I desperately try to balance on One Leg~~ its frightening to say the least!

They say "Pride goeth before the Fall" and lately it feels like I am being hit constantly with this reminder~
I can choose to either carry the Cane and put my Pride aside-or take the risk of falling because I was too
stubborn to accept "Another Change" in my journey with Chronic Pain.  Tonight as we attended Mass, my
Cane joined me-I sat in Silent turmoil, until I looked around and saw One Cane, than another, and another as people walked into church!  It hit me I was not the only person living with "Change" as I felt my heart ease and found my way to Prayer.

There will be many ups and downs as I walk this path with Pain- but I am learning to look around and "Smell the Roses"~~with God's Grace-I can accept the Constant Changes that will keep coming.

If I could offer a word of advice-be strong, and keep your heart open to His Love.

God be with all who are suffering.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

We were just beginning!!

Matt's Graduation from the Police Academy

We were so young-both of us beaming in this photo taken over 37 years ago as Matt had completed his time in the Police Academy and would be "hitting the streets" the next day.  At this moment, I had no fear of anything happening to him-although he had spent much time giving me a detailed description of how I would receive the news if he were to be killed while on duty.  It sounds strange but you either allow the Fear to chew you apart or make the decision to move ahead in life and Pray each day for him to come home safe to me.

Within a few months of this photo being taken, a well-known Detective was killed when he approached the home of a man who was high on pills and shots rang out, as one of the "Brotherhood of Blue" fell.  I can recall that terrible Fear grow inside me because suddenly everything was very real.  Matt didn't talk much about his work-to this very day he can be talking to somebody about his time on the department and an old memory will surface as he shares it.  I sit silent-thinking "Well you never told me about that happening" as Matt will look at me and say nothing~I am reminded of his love for me, and how he did everything possible to protect me from the parts of life that he wished nobody would have to see.

We were all united-regular parties, family outings~~we cherished these moments, but sadness came as another officer fell in the line of Duty~~the heartache one feels at the funeral is beyond description.  You stand in silence, seeing a wife, children begging for their Daddy to come back. Officers lower their heads to hide tears of sorrow.  We prayed and lifted each other up-while each wife would be saying a silent prayer "Please God, don't ever let this happen to my husband"  and we moved on.

I am so proud of the time my husband spent serving as a Police Officer and Robbery Detective~~He did his time and served with true dedication.  There is no longing in him for those days passed~~when he retired, the uniform was tucked away in the closet and he hasn't looked back.  We aren't these two young people anymore-life has aged us-and we have been hit with deep heartbreak~~ but we keep going and cling tightly to each other and ask the Lord to take care of us.  

If you have the chance to see a Police Officer-take a second and just tell him or her "Thank you" they will hear your words and store them up when they must face the bad times each officer deals with.  

God bless all our Men and Women in Uniform.