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  • A Cop's Christmas

    Author Unknown

    Police Story

    You might all enjoy. The writer is a former police officer and City resident. Here it goes.

    In 1974 when I first joined the police department, I knew there would be special occasions my family would spend without me. Knowing that fact didn't make the task any easier. The celebrations I missed those first year's depressed me and sometimes made me feel bitter.

    Working on Christmas Eve was always the worst. On Christmas Eve in 1977, I learned that blessing can come disguised as misfortune, and honor is more than just a word. I was riding one man patrol on the 4-12 shift. The night was cold. Everywhere I looked I saw reminders of the holiday: families packing their cars with presents, beautifully decorated trees in living room windows and roofs adorned with tiny sleighs. It all added to my holiday funk.

    The evening had been relatively quiet; there were calls for barking dogs and a residential false burglar alarm. There was nothing to make the night pass any quicker. I thought of my own family and sunk further into depression.

    Shortly after 2200 hours I got a radio call to the home of a elderly, terminally ill man. I parked my radio car in front of a simple Sunset style home. First aid kit in hand, I walked up the short path to the front door. As I approached, a woman who seemed to be about 80 years old opened the door. He's in here she said, leading me to a back bedroom.

    We passed through a living room that was furnished in a style I had come to associate with older people. The sofa had an afghan blanket draped over it's back and a dark, solid queen Anne chair set next to a unused fireplace. The mantle was cluttered with an eccentric mix of several photos, some ceramic figurines and an antique clock. A floor lamp provided soft lighting.

    We entered a small bedroom where a frail looking man lay in bed with a blanket pulled up to his chin. He wore a blank stare on his ashen, skeletal face. His breathing was shallow and labored. He was barely alive.

    The trappings of illness were all around his bed. The nightstand was littered with a large number of pill vials. An oxygen bottle stood nearby. Its plastic hose, with face mask attached rested on the blanket.

    I asked the old woman why she called the police. She simply shrugged and nodded sadly toward her husband, indicating it was his request. I looked at him and he stared intently into my eyes. He seemed relaxed now. I didn't understand the suddenly calm expression on his face.

    I looked around the room again. A dresser stood along the wall to the left of the bed. On it was the usual memorabilia: ornate perfume bottles, a white porcelain pin case, and a wooden jewelry case.

    There were also several photos in simple frames. One caught my eye and I walked closer to the dresser for a closer look. The picture showed a young man dressed in a police uniform. It was unmistakably a photo of the man in bed. I knew then why I was there.

    I looked at the old man and he motioned with his hand toward the side of the bed. I walked over and stood beside him. He slid a thin arm from under the covers and took my hand. Soon, I felt his hand go limp and I looked at his face. There was no fear there. I saw only peace. He knew he was dying; he was aware his time was very near. I know now that he was afraid of what was about to happen and he wanted the protection of a fellow cop on his journey. A caring God had seen to it that his child would be delivered safely to him. The honor of being his escort fell to me.

    When I left at the end of my tour that night, the temperature had seemed to have risen considerably, and all the holiday displays I a saw on the way home made me smile.

    I no longer feel sorry for myself for having to work on Christmas Eve.

    I have chosen an honorable profession. I pray that when it's my turn to leave this world there will be a cop there to hold my hand and remind me that I have nothing to fear. I wish all my brother's and sister's who have to work this Christmas Eve all the Joy and warmth of the Season.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

  • #2
    Thank you for sharing. Great story!

    Comment


    • #3
      That was beautiful!

      I don't know if I can really do justice in words to the admiration I feel for the officers I support. I feel honored to work in their company.

      Have a safe and wonderful holiday.
      Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        That gave me chills... a perfect example of why I'm getting into this profession.


        God bless all of you, and happy holidays.

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow.

          Happy Holidays! nah, not really. Merry Christmas!!!
          Be a leader, not a follower

          Comment


          • #6
            I had similar occurance this past year.I heard an ambulance go 10-8 enoroute to a call in the area that i was patrolling.The are was very rural,about 20 miles from the hospital and ambulance station.So I radioed the PD dispatch to find out where the ambulance was heading and what they had.Turned out I had just went by the residence.I turned around and pulled into the driveway just as a very excited young boy about 12 years old or so was pulling a van up to the roadway to flag down the ambulance.I asked if they had called and he said yes,that grandpa was not doing good and for me to please help him.I told the young man to stay here and wave down the ambulance whihc he stated he would.I pulled up to the house and activated mu Emergency lights so that the Ambulance would be able to spot the house better.I went to the door and was met by a woman,I assume it was the boys mother.She said to come inside he was in the bedroom.I was led into the house,into the bedroom where the elderly wife was on the bed next to the elderly man in the bed.I asked what was wrong.The elderly woman turned around and saw me.And she started crying.She turned to the Elderly man and stated his name and said "The County Sheriff is her hun,it will be ok."The younger woman stated to me that the elderly man was Terminally ill and they had released him from the hospital to return home to be with family when he passed.The elderly woman kept telling the man that the Sheriff is here with you.I thought it was kinda strange that she would keep saying that.Then I started looking around,I knew there was nothing I could do.I noticed several pics on the walls of a young man in a police unifrom.Then I noticed several pics of the same man,older then, in a Sheriffs Dept uniform with a high ranking from the Stars on the collar.Then it started to make a little bit of since when the younger woman explained that her father was the Retired Sheriff of Harris County Texas.The man started to calm and the wife explained that she could tall it calmed him when she told him that the Sheriff was here.As the first Responders were pulling into the drive I walked around the bed and leaned over and the man looked up at my face then looked down at my uniform and at my badge.his frail hand came out from under the blankets and grabbed my arm and patted my arm.I told the man that it would be alright.The First responders came in and I stepped away as they began to work on him.The younger woman thanked me.I went outside to my patrol unit.The yooung boy came up to me,his father replaced him at the road.He asked me if Grandpa was ok.I kinda chocked up and told the boy he is going to be just fine.The young boy looked at me and asked if Grandpa was going to die.I could tell by his face that he knew the answer.I said,yes son,he is,but he will be in alot better place and alot happier.The young boy smiled and said thats good.We leaned on my patrol unit as the ambulance arrived and talked about his grandpa and how he was in Law Enforcement for 45 years and how he was Sheriff for so long.As the EMTs bought out the man,the wife came over and hugged me,and thanked me for what I did.I told her I didn't do anything.She stated that I did more than I will ever know by just showing up.I left the residence and sat down the road in the little marina parking lot and shed a few tears,told myself I knew I shoulda stayed in school and became a doctor or lawyer or something else!!!Then I told myself ,nah!!You are doing what you are supposed to do,called in back 10-8 on the radio and got back to work.
            Last edited by Bigg Dogg; 12-14-2005, 02:09 PM.
            FILL YOUR HANDS!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Great story from the two of you. Thanks a lot for sharing.

              Comment


              • #8
                Lord, all you guys gotta stop these stories. I'm walking around all teary eyed trying to pretend I have some dust in my eyes.
                "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

                Comment


                • #9
                  I got the chills when I just read that, and im not gonna lie my eyes started to water
                  All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

                  Sir Winston Churchill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Must put this in the saved file. These stories are AWESOME!!!
                    www.ldscops.com

                    Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.

                    Not a LEO

                    In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres PD.
                    In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres PD.

                    http://www.odmp.org/officer.php?oid=17539


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You never know when and where you are going to deeply touch someone.Just showing up on a Ambulance Sick Call made the last few moments of an Ex-Cops life a little calmer and that helped the whole family.I was just doing my job,but was lucky enough to be involved in that special moment.
                      FILL YOUR HANDS!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for sharing. That is a moving story.
                        That's nice....sign here.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My own story

                          That was a great story but it was the second that hit home more. If I may share a similar story from little old Ireland.

                          It was 9am on a Thursday morning and I was driving into work stuck in rush hour traffic as usual. Unlike other mornings I was on the 'Howth' road as I had just dropped my daughter to school which I normally wouldnt do. I looked to my left at the shopping centre and saw around 5 or 6 people standing around a man on the ground.
                          I pulled in an asked the guy checking the pulse if he was a doctor, well he wasnt and I was the one in a uniform so it fell too me. Between myself and the original guy we performed CPR and AR for about 15 minutes until an ambulance arrived.
                          We managed to get the guy breathing again for about 20 seconds but by the time the ambulance arrived we had nothing for a solid 5 minutes, the EMT guys took over and I passed on what information I had which was very little. Finally they drove off in not too much of a hurry. I took some people names and numbers as witnesses because I figured the local station would have to perform a sudden death investigation.
                          That was that, I made a call to the EMT office but no information so I figured the guy had died until about 2 weeks later when I walked into the public office to see the sergeant talking with an old woman. The sergeant pointed at me and the woman suddenly hugged me and started crying. Then the Sergeant slapped me on the back and walked off.
                          It turned out that the guy made a full recovery and the doctors had told his 70 year old mother that her only son was "not only going to be around for Christmas but would have no permanent damage thanks to the actions of the off-duty guard". It appears that while I had been trying to track her son down she had been ringing around trying to find me and it was only luck that she got talking to someone that knows me.
                          I cannot describe how I felt at that moment, humbled certainly but from that day on it doesnt matter what insults and crap get thrown at me, doesnt matter what I have to deal with I can always look back at that moment and remember why I joined this job.
                          Last edited by AnGardaSiochana; 12-15-2005, 09:08 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AnGardaSiochana
                            That was a great story but it was the second that hit home more. If I may share a similar story from little old Ireland.

                            It was 9am on a Thursday morning and I was driving into work stuck in rush hour traffic as usual. Unlike other mornings I was on the 'Howth' road as I had just dropped my daughter to school which I normally wouldnt do. I looked to my left at the shopping centre and saw around 5 or 6 people standing around a man on the ground.
                            I pulled in an asked the guy checking the pulse if he was a doctor, well he wasnt and I was the one in a uniform so it fell too me. Between myself and the original guy we performed CPR and AR for about 15 minutes until an ambulance arrived.
                            We managed to get the guy breathing again for about 20 seconds but by the time the ambulance arrived we had nothing for a solid 5 minutes, the EMT guys took over and I passed on what information I had which was very little. Finally they drove off in not too much of a hurry. I took some people names and numbers as witnesses because I figured the local station would have to perform a sudden death investigation.
                            That was that, I made a call to the EMT office but no information so I figured the guy had died until about 2 weeks later when I walked into the public office to see the sergeant talking with an old woman. The sergeant pointed at me and the woman suddenly hugged me and started crying. Then the Sergeant slapped me on the back and walked off.
                            It turned out that the guy made a full recovery and the doctors had told his 70 year old mother that her only son was "not only going to be around for Christmas but would have no permanent damage thanks to the actions of the off-duty guard". It appears that while I had been trying to track her son down she had been ringing around trying to find me and it was only luck that she got talking to someone that knows me.
                            I cannot describe how I felt at that moment, humbled certainly but from that day on it doesnt matter what insults and crap get thrown at me, doesnt matter what I have to deal with I can always look back at that moment and remember why I joined this job.
                            Good on ya mate!
                            Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              http://forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39935

                              Hope you enjoy these too.
                              Kelly

                              We are the thin blue line
                              between you
                              and all the money in the world.

                              And no you can't have any.

                              Comment

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