It's been a few weeks since my last post. I've been wanting post, but I haven't really wanted to just post about my workout routine and how my cycling is going. Those are beginning to become boring and tedious posts to me. I have been waiting for some sort of inspiration. Something with a little more depth than the number of reps and miles i've managed to make my body do (for those tuning in to know, my workouts are going well and my biking has gotten up to between 20 and 50 miles a day, two to three times a week). This week, I have found my inspiration. It's really quite embarrassing that it has taken this long to see it. It's always around me and is one the biggest influences in my life. My reason to get out of bed in the morning and muddle through another mundane day of work. The cause of so much of the happiness in my life. The backbone of my body of work to date.
Two nights ago, after another evening of rushed dinners, scrambled time with the kids before the bedtime routine, and that awkward silence between the kids going to bed and our own bedtime (ahhh... silence at last... i feel like I should be doing something to take advantage of the freedom... yet I don't want to do anything but sit on my butt and enjoy the quiet), Andi and I went to sleep like we normally do. For the most part.
She is usually in bed before me since she gets up earlier and leaves for work earlier. That night, I went to bed earlier and Andi stayed up later to read a book she's been working on, no doubt enjoying her very rare "Mommy Time". One of the reasons she was staying up later was she was planning on going in to work later. We had no help from her parents scheduled for Friday since they were out of town. So she was going to be doing the dressing, feeding and dropping off of the kids. She was going to get an extra hour or two of sleep than normal. A minor cause for celebration in her mind, I'm sure of it.
As is it seems to happen in our household, whatever we may have planned is often rudely disrupted by simple acts of Life. Two planned trips to the Caribbean for some R and R? Two pregnancies that caused cancellations. One turned out great... the other not so much (but that's a topic for another time). Finally get student loans paid off and ready to really start socking some money away? National economic disaster that leads to layoffs, job loss and the disappearance of paychecks. Plan to sleep in a couple of hours later than normal? A 2am phone call to come to work because some jackass with mental issues decides to shoot up a theater full of movie goers in a neighboring city.
Yep. As fortunate as we are (and trust me, we are truly blessed and lucky to have everything that we have), sometimes it feels like we can't catch a break. I'm sure that everyone and every couple out there has felt this way at some point in their own lives. Some might be feeling it now. Some might have felt it a year ago. Some might feel it tomorrow or a year from now. Friday morning was another one of those times for us. Well, at least for me.
When that phone call came in at 2am, it startled me from sleep. Andi said she had to go to work because there was a mass shooting at an Aurora Theater. "Aurora???" I thought. "That's not Jefferson County". I figured it must have been pretty bad for them to have called her department to help out. She then said as much, and proceded to get dressed to head out. No complaints about not being able to sleep in. Ashamedly, my initial reaction wasn't a hope that whoever was involved was okay. My initial reaction was "Crap. This is going to ruin my morning. How in the hell are the kids going to get to daycare and camp at 8am if i have to be at work at 7am???" I was thinking about the inconvenience this was causing ME. At times, and then was one of them, I can be a very selfish prick.
Needless to say, we figured out ways of getting things done (mostly involving me being late for work). After dropping the kids off, I started the drive to work and turned on the radio to one of the local news-talk stations. Until then I didn't know anything about the shooting aside from the fact that there had been one. I had avoided the news in the morning with the kids around because I didn't want to have to try and explain anything bad that might have happened. Once the eye-witness accounts started coming out, and after listening to a recording of some of the back and forth between the officers on scene and the 911 dispatchers during the shooting, I came to realize that my wife is a hero. Not a badged or caped hero, but an unsung hero that ought to be recognized as one. She would hate that I'm saying this and propping her up on a pedestal, but it is the truth.
For those who don't know, my wife has worked the last ten years for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. Not as an officer, but as a Director for their Victim-Witness Assistance Program. She coordinates the day-to-day tasks of her staff and volunteers to handle issues with victims and witnesses of crimes. Some of this seems rather boring and mundane. Such as calling up a victim or witness to a crime to let them know that a court date has been rescheduled. But there is a TON of stuff that she and her department do that is simply amazing. There is on-scene assistance which is immeasurabley important. They provide an enormous amount of support for these victims and witnesses beyond the courtroom, such as guiding them to counselors, coordinating safe houses for abuse victims, dealing with death notifications. The things they hear and see on a day-to-day basis are things that can ruin other peoples lives.
To know that she and her department were involved in helping the families and loved ones of the dozens of victims and hundreds of witnesses is something that I am very proud of. The fact that she can take a 2am call and head off to an unknown but surely horrific scene, provide the assistance and care and support that these people need and deserve, to listen to the stories (almost always tragic in some way), and then come home and be a full-time mother to our two kids and a full-time wife to me, is nothing short of heroic. Just being a wife to me is heroic enough. The other two can seem like piling on at times. And i'm completely fine with being piled on. She will help anyone in need of help. She undoubtedly always puts herself last on any running priority list that she may be keeping. And she does all of this work without complaint. Well, at least the professional, monetarily compensated job. There are certainly 100% justifiable complaints about the mom and wfe jobs. Again, a topic for another post.
The truth is, I worry about what she does. Mostly, and selfishly, about how it will affect her and us and the kids. I have already seen affects in some areas. And she would acknowledge it. How does this affect ME? MY LIFE? It takes a monent like the theater shootings to put some perspective on it.
You see, my wife has never taken a pledge to "serve and protect" like any police, firefighters, or military personnel would. Yet she most definitely serves. And she protects. Not lives, but peoples rights. What she does as a profession every day is incredibly under the radar. Yet it is every bit as important as some of the other professions that get all of the attention (cops, firefighters, military and teachers). I have come to realize this truth and have learned that as much as I don't like to sometimes, I have to share this woman with the rest of the world. Because the world needs her and the many people like her. She is the Wonder Woman of my world. I thank God for her every day for what she gives to and does for me, and for what she gives to and does for our community.
She quite simply is