Tag Archives: life

The Hidden Partners

20 Jan

Have I mentioned that my better half is a police officer? As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also a Captain in the US Army. And I’d like to clarify something here: when I say “my better half”, I truly mean that. Mr. Oatmeal is a kind, patient, decent, even-tempered man. I, on the other hand, am impatient about nearly everything, my emotions are more like a ping pong ball than I’d like to admit, I am the worst version of myself when I’m driving, and I am known to be quite direct, blunt, and some may say inconsiderate in situations. But Mr. Oatmeal brings out the better qualities in me and makes me want to be more like him. Seriously.

By saying yes to Mr. Oatmeal when he proposed, I also said yes to a life as a police officer’s wife. Even though we have lived through a year long deployment to Iraq in 2007 and 2008, I didn’t quite understand what came along with my new role as a police spouse. And then I got it, I truly understood, on February 25, 2010… nine days after I said yes to Mr. Oatmeal’s big question. Two good, decent officers worked their final shift, and we all experienced tragedy that day. I now live with a fear that most wives don’t understand.

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“As police wives we experience emotions that other wives don’t; we have fears that other wives don’t; we deal with shift changes and periods of single parenting and cancelled vacations or postponed holiday celebrations. Our husbands are often stressed and go through many changes stemming from their careers. Although our officers receive multiple hours of training to do their jobs safely and effectively, very little time, if any, is spent educating them, their spouses, and families for emotional survival.”– LAPD Wives Association

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Prompted by the incident in February, our department has organized a support group specifically for the wives of our officers. We call ourselves the LEOS (Law Enforcement Officers’ Spouses) and we meet once a month.

Can I tell you how fantastic this group of women is? We come from all walks of life. We are wives, fiancées and girlfriends. Some of us have a couple of years experience in this role, others have 20+ years. We meet and share our stories. We laugh, we cry. We talk about heavy topics such as death benefits. We talk about lighthearted topics like cooking. But we have one thing in common: we all know what it feels like to send our men off and not know what that day might bring. So we meet. And we will continue to meet, if for nothing else than to be around other women who get it.

If, God forbid, we have a repeat tragedy in our department, the support system will be in place for our emotional survival. Mr. Oatmeal has chosen details for a funeral: the song, the pastor, which police officer would come to my door. If I can’t accept the realities of his job, then I have no right to marry him. This fear is, amazingly, so much harder than when he was in Iraq. This is everyday, there is no end date to his “tour”. I simply have to trust in his instincts, his training, and in God.

I know these women will continue to be an important part of my life, and I truly look forward to our monthly meetings. So I want to extend a thank you, a hug, a prayer, to ALL police spouses. Because quite frankly, no one thanks us. And we are, after all, the hidden partners.

My apologies for gettin’ all serious on ya, bees. 🙂

In addition to becoming a Mrs., are you taking on any other important roles when you say “I do”?

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