Blue Blood, Blue Christmas

I want to ask him to stay home tomorrow. I would like to tell him to call out sick, or to use a vacation day. Haven’t we already spent too many Christmas Eves and Christmas Days apart? Doesn’t he deserve to spend an actual holiday celebrating with his family and friends?

I could point out that people do not care anymore, that they no longer appreciate him. I could show him an internet flooded with vitriolic comments and threats indirectly directed at him. I might remind him that he leaves the house with an invisible yet glaring target on him now, and how there are evil people who wish to do him harm for no reason other than the uniform he wears. I want to scream that the world has changed, and that I am afraid.

He would rub my back in his automatic comforting way as he told me that he is not the only one away from his loved ones for the holidays. He knows it does not get any easier as the years go by. He might remind me that if he did not go to work someone would go unnoticed, unguarded, and uncared for. He would say that he cannot not leave his brothers and sisters without cover. He would tell me that he swore an oath, an oath to protect even the very people who would see him hurt, or worse.

I want to ask him to stay home tomorrow. I want to, but I cannot, and he will not. I understand that he must go to honor Officers Liu and Ramos, and those who have fallen before them. I know that his word means everything to him, and he will uphold that oath he took. I recognize that far more than being what he does, it is who he is, and that his blood does run blue.

I will not ask him to stay home tomorrow. Instead, come the earlier hours of morning, I will brush aside sleep as he kisses me good-bye (only you never, ever say the word good-bye aloud when your loved one wears a uniform). I will tell him that I love him and ask him to please be careful. He will tell me that he loves me, too, and he promises that he will.

I will go about the day, immersing myself in holiday festivities, and I will try not to worry. I will not be afraid, because that is not how we choose to live. I will see the outpouring of love and support for our law enforcement personnel, streaming across the internet to wash away the hatred. I will believe in people once again. I will trust that the good people who remained silent now speak up and speak out. I will remember that we are not a family of two, but rather a family of thousands.

We will celebrate yet another Blue Christmas…and we would not have it any other way.

(To all of the men and women serving, be it in a police or a military uniform, I thank you. To all of the first responders, the police, the firefighters, EMS, emergency room doctors and nurses, hospital staff, and anyone I may have missed- I thank you for sacrificing your holidays to protect and serve. Please know that there are many out there who appreciate, support, and love you.)

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52 thoughts on “Blue Blood, Blue Christmas

  1. This is a lovely post. We are so lucky to have people like your husband and his fellow Police Officers who continue to protect and help others despite the negativity that they themselves have been facing. We are lucky too that they have partners such as yourself who selflessly sacrifice their own holidays in order that others stay safe throughout theirs.
    I would also like to say Thank you to you Karen and your husband, as well as all the other public service workers who give up spending holiday time with their families. so that we can all enjoy ours knowing our loved ones are being looked after.
    I hope you enjoy your holidays (especially when you get your time with your partners).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are people who appreciate him, and the others who serve. Merry Christmas! Of course you will worry – you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. But trust there are other good people who support all who put themselves in danger to keep us safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind words. I read an article this morning about a concerned citizen in NYC who called in a threat he overheard and most likely prevented a pending attack on officers. It did much to restore my faith that goodness can win out. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. An insider’s view on a job that is too often taken for granted. Thank you for writing this and thank you for your own personal sacrifice during the holiday season to make sure that our world is a better place because of people like your husband who serves even when I’m sure he’d rather be home with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Karen this is such a beautiful and touching post. Although I’m no officer I do have to work some Holidays and this Christmas is one. Thanks for giving me an example how my wife feels sometimes. Even though she knows it comes with my job that don’t make it easy for her to accept.

    You wives support us husbands in ways we can’t imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Vernon. We sometimes fail to recognize the huge support network that keeps the world spinning while we have our days off and holidays to celebrate. Thank you for being one of those who kept us going by sacrificing your Christmas day with your family. Best, Karen

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful, Karen. So heart felt. I will be thinking of you and yours tomorrow. Thank you for reminding me of those who do not take the holiday off, but instead spend their time keeping me safe. Merry Christmas to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Trying and filled with sacrifice as they are, being called to noble purposes is probably in itself more rewarding than other paths, be it military, civilian protective service, health care, ministry. What’s that saying about laying down one’s life for his brother, or something like that. No one knows the level of sacrifice except those living it, but the world is a better place.

    Blessings to your family and all the families this day commemorating one who gave us the ultimate sacrifice!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you. I have been a nurse for 30 years. That means half those holidays I was away from my family. I appreciate all those who sacrifice, people in uniforms, people who work in businesses and service industries, healthcare and utility workers. So many people take care of us we are unaware of. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Karen, this posting is wonderfully written and emotionally touching.

    I worked so many Christmas, Thanksgiving and News Years Eve holidays over the years in the military and as a law enforcement officer. I recalled the early years in my department of covering the first two hours of a day shift allowing personnel with young children to wake up with them and enjoy Christmas morning. I have posted this to my Facebook site for my police family to read.

    Again, this a great posting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing this with your police family, it means the world to me. We don’t have children, so often my husband covers the holidays so the officers with children can be home with them. It’s good to know there are people like yourself who have been there and can relate.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a powerful post this is. I’m happy to see that it’s been shared throughout the web so many times. It needs to be. My heart goes out to all of those who protect and serve. They should be honored for the job they do and the responsibility that they carry each day. Their spouses should also be honored for their understanding and ongoing strength. So on that note, I honor you as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! It is kind words and encouragement like this that remind me to continue to see the good in the world rather than allowing myself to get drawn down by the negative. I appreciate your taking the time to read and to leave such a thoughtful comment. Best, Karen

      Like

      • You should feel good about having started this conversation. We’re all a bit myopic about life in general. We have these expectations about how it’s supposed to be and sooner, if we’re lucky, learn to just deal with what’s being presented. It’s inspiring to read the comments on your blog, as I learned a while back with my somewhat “cushy” jobs where days off for anything were taken for granted, that a host of people worked long, late hours, holidays to keep the world going around. Babies come when they come, and fires have to get doused and prescriptions filled, not by the calendar or the clock. We’re all blessed to be One! Time for us to start supporting each other more.

        Thank you!

        Like

  10. I thought about this a lot over the holidays, actually. I would see police cars and think about how they were away from their families in the name of protecting others’ families. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. Reblogged this on Fill Your Own Glass and commented:

    I wrote this last year days after NYPD Officers Liu and Ramos were assassinated. I am happy to be able to say this year my husband will be home for the holiday. I re-dedicate this to him, for all the ones we spent apart, and to all those who will be away from their loved ones this year. Know that you are seen and appreciated!

    Like

  13. Wow.
    I am sorry for all the hate you’ve experienced. It can’t be easy, but without people like your husband there would be anarchy. We need those people who care enough not to give up and to give it their all to protect others.
    Have a Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

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