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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Passing through...

I traveled out of my comfort zone today. I drove two-lane back country roads to a small town in Texas with a population of less than 1000. It was the same route I drove countless days to and from work over 4 years ago. It was the same area that Andie once patrolled while on duty. I couldn't help but think that I was following the very path he did on many days. Wondering what he was thinking as he saw the very same things I saw today while he was just passing through...

A bucolic setting; most of the drive picturesque farmland and pastures. I passed some corn fields. Freshly baled hay. Horses and cows grazing. I drove past the house of the deputy who was recently reassigned Andie's unit number and thought about how time keeps moving and doesn't stop on account of the mourning. I flashed back to how sucker-punched I felt the day I found out that his number had been reassigned. Some other deputy would be checking on the radio as unit 146...he essentially no longer existed even as a number.

I drove past an old man driving a tractor down the road. He waved in a true friendly Texas fashion. I passed the truck stop where Andie used to get free coffee every morning that he was on duty. I again pass another old man driving a tractor down the road and marvel that some of the old ways of life still exist. The winding, curvy road takes me through a small town of less than 500. Most of the crossroads I pass are named after people. Mostly of Polish decent. Those who settled this area centuries ago. Again, I am reminded that time keeps moving. None of those who settled the area and had roads named after them are still here. It feels like a whole other lifetime that I once traveled these roads on a daily basis. It was a different life for me I seemed to just pass through.

I traveled this way today to pay respects to a former colleague who passed away earlier this week. Another young husband and father taken too soon from his family. It was the first memorial service I have attended since my own husband's. I held myself together pretty well. My eyes welled up with tears when they played one of the same songs that was played at Andie's funeral, but my breath didn't catch in my throat until I talked to his wife. Until I had to look her in the eye.

In her eyes I saw the shock and devastation. I saw a woman who could not yet comprehend what her life was becoming. I saw what the rest of the world calls "strong" as she held herself together and greeted everyone. I know the truth behind that strength. I know she is merely surviving, existing, breathing. In her eyes I saw the searching...searching for reassurance that she is in a nightmare and none of this is real. Searching for comfort. Searching for answers.

In her eyes I saw me...


  1. a brave thing you did going...i'm so sorry she joins us.

  2. I'm sorry you had to go by yourself... I'm sorry that she's starting this journey, and I'm sorry that you have had the experiences that allow you to understand what she's going through.