He’s home. He’s safe. The look on his face tells me it wasn’t a good day.
He won’t use words to communicate with me, at all, tonight. His blank stares, his quiet demeanor, the stillness that’s in the air tell me that he’s processing the events of this day. I’ve been doing “this” long enough to know that I’m not the cause. He just needs time to unwind from his day, in the safety and comfort of our home.
I pour him a glass of iced tea, with a splash of lemon, because that’s his favorite. He takes his place in his recliner, remote in hand. Channel by channel, he’s emptying the bucket. We sit in silence, only the sound of the television to fill the air.
Tonight, it’s some ridiculous sci-fi thriller about giant ants. I roll my eyes and give him my, “are you serious?” look. He gives me a subtle grin and I know we’re nearing the bottom of that bucket.
He most likely won’t get much sleep tonight. He’ll toss and turn, and out of love for me, he’ll get up and go to the living room.
He thinks I don’t hear him, but I do. I always do.
Being a police wife isn’t without challenges unique to the title. It’s difficult, at times, to understand his need to decompress, when all you want to do is tell him about your day. Sometimes it’s difficult to be understanding when plans that were in place for weeks, must change. There are days when it’s a struggle to be flexible and do so with a smile on your face. All of this, yet it’s an honor to know that he trusts you’ll be there to comfort him when he struggles with a career that shows him the worst humanity has to offer.
These types of days happen far more often than I’d like. I can’t count how many there have been over the past 20 years. I only know that they have shaped us both into the people we are today. He may wear the badge, but our entire family bears its weight.