We recently suffered the loss of a family member to a tragic, and all too common situation. A memorial service was held this weekend and as I listened to relatives speak about our lost loved one and the impact he had on their lives, it got me thinking about the impact I hope I had in someone's life. You see, our family member had suffered with dyslexia since he was a kid. He had been made fun of, ridiculed, and he had always harbored the pain from those experiences throughout his life.
As you know, I wore a badge on my chest for a long time. It was a dream of mine to be a cop from about junior high on, and the only reason I can remember for ever wanting to be an officer was simply to help people. Those people who couldn't help themselves. You see, I've always held a deep hated for bullies and people who picked on younger or smaller people. I've always, for as long as I can remember, despised punks and thugs who made fun of other, less fortunate people.
For me, watching someone being made fun of, or ridiculed, simply because of their size, looks, clothes, their physical or mental disability, or really any other reason, is worse than watching someone be beat on. Physical wounds can heal, the pain of being bullied or embarrassed, I'm not so sure about.
I hope that somewhere, somebody remembers Officer Black and has a good memory of something I did to help them. It would be the ultimate satisfaction for me and my career if there is someone out there that tells a story about me making a huge difference in their life for the better. Is there someone out there? I don't know and may never know. People don't really tend to express those kinds of things until we are sitting at a church reflecting back on our time with them and it's too late. That's just how we humans are made.
Thinking back on our relative and our family's grief, I wonder if there was something I could have done or said that would have made a difference for him. That's something else we humans do...we second guess ourselves. We question what we did or didn't do. Questions we will never have an answer to. The best we can do is try and make sure we know the answer to those questions the next time.
Now retired, I still hate to see someone being picked on or bullied and, much to my wife's frustration, I am still forced to intervene if I witness it in progress. It's just who I am. She knew that when she married me, but I am aware it doesn't make it any easier for her. Luckily, most of the times that this has happened, I have been alone and I live by the tried and true husband rule...What she don't know won't hurt her.....or, subsequently, me!
The point of this post is this; while you are around friends and family today take a minute to let them know they can always come to you if they need help, or just need to talk. You never know what someone is dealing with, and people handle these things in their own unique ways. It's different for everyone.
So right now, I want to take this opportunity to say this...
If you are a member of my family, no matter how distant or how close; if you are a friend of mine, or have ever been a friend of mine, I want you to know that I love you, I care about you, and I am ALWAYS just a phone call away if you need someone to talk to. I will get up and meet you at 3 a.m. if that's what it takes to get you through whatever battle you are fighting. These are not simply words on a blog post; I mean what I'm saying.
~~~~Rest in Peace KG.