“What If” Part #1

    I got into law enforcement almost 10 years ago in another couple of months.  I graduated from the police academy in April of 2010.  I was on the job by May 11, 2010.  I did so maybe a little blindly.  I did so with grandiose thoughts that things were black and white.  That there were clear cut lines.  After all this time those thoughts have been changed and molded from some really great experiences and also some experiences that may not have been so great.

    I have never claimed to be perfect.  In fact, most officers I know may not be.  However, they are all well meaning women and men who would give their life for their families and yours.  This being said, of course, none of us ever wishes this to happen.  Rather we undergo rigorous training both physical and psychological in an attempt to keep you and ourselves safe.

    One of those experiences happened September 25, 2013.  I will never forget this date for it is engraved upon my mind forever.  That morning would change my life in many ways forever.  The most important thing is that it changed me in ways I could never fully explain.

    This experience changed me in ways that those who have never been faced with making the ultimate sacrifice might not be able to understand fully.  Some do not want to even try to understand.  Others want to but can’t seem to wrap their heads around it.  I did not have to make the ultimate sacrifice that day thank goodness.  However, there are many that have had to and my love goes out to them, their families, and their co-workers.

    You see, this experience also changed me spiritually.  I do not want to offend and hope none of you are offended.  Yet, for me to deny this would be a blasphemous event in my life.  One I surely cannot make.  For those of you who do not know.  I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  No, I do not wear that as a badge, but it is what I am.  I am an imperfect, sinning, member of a religious organization like many of you.  The only thing I may be perfect at is trying to repent as often and as fast as I can.  Please know I do not judge anyone that may believe differently than me.  This being said please don’t judge me for believing differently than you.

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    Many months prior to September 25, 2013 I had feelings or impressions you might say.  Maybe you have had feelings or impressions that you needed to do something in your life.  Maybe you followed them and maybe you did not.  Those impressions might have made a drastic change in your life or perhaps you simply never saw the why.  I too have had impressions that I felt strongly to follow and may never know the why.  Then there is this experience.  This particular experience I believe I found out the why.

    My wife at the time was pregnant with our 4th and last child.  Life seemed normal for preparing to welcome another precious family member into our home.  As time and the pregnancy went on feelings and thoughts would come often to my mind.  Some I may share and others to personal to share here.  This gist is that I felt a personal need to increase my personal prayers.  This also increased a desire to more fully search and ponder scripture.  As I did, these feelings only became stronger. 

    I mentioned several times to my wife that I could not understand why.  I wondered if it was in preparation for the birth of our daughter.  Somehow that day came and went and the feelings only increases.  In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints, after the birth of a child, after a few months they are brought to church building and given a blessing. This is given to them in what is referred to as Sacrament Meeting.  I wondered if these feelings, these promptings, had been in preparation for this day.

    This day also came and went.  Again, the feeling continued and increased.  My wife commented one day and ask if I was dying.  I laughingly told her I surely was not planning on dying.  When I inquired of her why she would ask that she simply stated that I was different lately but that it was a good different.  This made me wonder, was I being prepared for something. 

    On a particular Sunday my wife and I had a discussion.  It seemed to be a normal Sunday but my wife tells me she remembers we may have been having a disagreement.  The thing I do remember is that the question came to my mind so I asked it of her.  What If?  She asked me what I was talking about.  I asked her what if the day came that I am faced with shooting someone at work.  What if the day comes that I have to take a life to save a life at work?  This is not an easy question.  I expressed to her that I do not know how I would react or what I would do for sure.  My wife told me that in the event that day might come I would just do what I had to do.

    I did not feel she or I quite knew what that meant for sure.  Though we talked a short time more about it I always had wondered in the back of my mind on this subject.  Would I be able to, pull the trigger, if that day ever came?  Would I be fast enough?  If that day came what would I do.  I, like most officers, had attended and participated in numerous trainings over the years in order to prepare for such a day.  I prepared for such a day hoping it never came.   I may have even prepared thinking it may never come.  I still wondered in the back of my mind; if that day ever comes would I be able to pull the trigger.  How would I react?

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7 Comments

  1. I think this is great Eric! Very good for your healing and soul! And a good read for those of us who take the time to read it. Thank you for your service and sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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