Today I have a confession to make. An ugly one, at that.
In case you didn't know, I love The Deputy. (This isn't the confession part). And I mean, I love love him. Like stars in my eyes, daydreaming at work, telling him every minute detail of my life, showing off to make him laugh, let's hold hands all day long even if it's 108 degrees outside and we're just making each other hotter, let's hurry up and grow old together just so we can see what it feels like to be married for 50 years-kind of love. He's the one I love. Every. Single. Day.
When I see him, I see more than a shiny badge and a gun. Sure, I love the LEO part of him. I love that it's a part of my life and will be a part of our family's life. But I also love about a million other things about him that the rest of the world doesn't see. He's playful, he's thoughtful, he takes forever to respond during a heated "battle" (as we call it) because he's thinking before he speaks, he opens doors for me, he flirts with me because it's fun, he listens to my girl talk when I haven't been able to talk to my sister in awhile, he gives in and drinks Diet Coke when we're sharing at the movies, he has the most amazing brown eyes and his hair turns a fantastic shade of copper in the summer.
When the world looks at him, they see the badge.
They see the man who will protect them against violence. The man who is always prepared to take charge. The man is on duty 100% of the time. They joke with us and say they feel safe when he's around. He's a symbol of protection, safety and refuge.
The world would be more than happy to trade his life in for their own. Or for the lives of their friends, their children, their spouses. You know, the loved ones they would get to go home with and see every day if The Deputy saved them.
If The Deputy died saving the lives of others (and basically doing exactly what he swore he would do) I would be the proudest wife. I would honor his memory, I would pass on his legacy to our future generations, I would carry him with me in my heart for the rest of my life.
But honestly, would I ever think the lives that were traded for his, were worth it? Never.
And I realize writing this now, how terrible I must sound. I sound selfish, immature and calloused. But for all those who think that, I wish they would take a step back and realize what they're asking of me. Of all LEO wives/husbands/families.
Yes-we know they volunteer to serve and protect. They do it daily, they do it knowingly, they do it willingly.
But do they know what I see when they're looking at a badge? I see a man. Just a man. A man who sits across me from the dinner table. A man who makes me popcorn when I'm too cold to get off the couch. A man who gets excited to see a new lion documentary posted on Netflix. A man who knows my darkest secrets and refuses to share them. A man who holds my heart.
He's my friend, my heartbeat and my home. Like I said before, if something terrible happened and The Deputy fulfilled his civic duty by sacrificing his life to protect the lives of others, I would be eternally proud of him.
But I would also permanently lose a piece of my heart.