image from hereWe were lying in bed in the middle of the day while our two boys were playing downstairs. We had plans shortly before picking up our daughter at school. It's his day off. When his cell phone went off, somehow I knew that it would be swat related. I don't know how. I just did. I felt three things. One: A pang of sadness deep down inside because I HATE it when he gets called in on his day off. Two: Excitement for him because it was his first call out. Three: Dread. It reminded me of his first night out and how I felt. I rarely feel fear and worry when it comes to HF on duty, but when it's something he hasn't done yet (or I haven't done vicariously through him...) then I worry. The fear takes over and I let the "what if's" rule my mind for a moment. Do you do that? Do you imagine the worst? Do you imagine what he'll be doing "right this second" and do you imagine getting a call from someone else? I do. But just for a moment. I don't like to, but that's that. And then somehow, by the grace of God, I am enveloped in a cocoon of peace. I feel strong and confident and that everything will be okay.
I watched him dress in his swat gear. He had everything at home. He looked like a warrior ready for battle. He looked super hot, but that wasn't the most important thought in my mind at the time, strangely enough. He was focused and serious. He got a few other calls. I wished I could ask questions. I wished he could tell me where he was going and what it was for, but that would have to wait. He has been told not to tell anyone anything until the situation is over. It kills me not to know. The boys come to the living room and watch him in awe as he quietly gathers his things. He kisses us all on the head, gives me an extra kiss on the lips, says, "I love you guys", and he walks out the door. I hear the car literally speed off.
The hours go by. There's no way I'm calling him or texting him. I will wait for him to do that. I no longer feel that desperate itch to communicate while he's on duty, but this is different. It's the same, yet different. I finally get a text:
"Love you and the kids".
What is this supposed to mean?! I'm picturing him in a WWI trench being bombed from overhead and it's his last call. I know. Very dramatic. But just for a moment. He doesn't usually send random texts like that. Something heavy must've been on his mind as he had a moment to send me that message. I keep it in my phone even though I'm an avid text message deleter.
It is late at night and I am still awake. I cannot sleep. I will probably wait up for him unless sleep overtakes me. I finally fall asleep. I toss and turn. My neck aches from my inability to relax. My jaw aches from clenching my teeth in my sleep. I have nightmares. As far as I can remember, it's the first time I have a nightmare related to HF's job. Some of my nightmares tonight are silly- like me taking my daughter to school in my underwear without a care, while the majority involve HF getting hurt. I toss and turn some more. I never hear him come home. When I wake up in the morning, he is in bed next to me. I have no idea when he got home. I will let him sleep in. As for myself, I had about 4 hours of sleep. Not enough.
There's a little bit of blood on his uniform. Argh! I'll ask him about it later.
While I have a moment to myself in the morning, I scour the news. I feel fairly certain that I know what he was up to all night based on what I'm reading, but I know he won't say anything. At least not for a week or two. I test him anyway. When he wakes up, I ask him if it had anything to do with "such and such". He smiles, but says, "I can't talk about it." That's all right. I love my honorable and "by the book" officer. I'm just glad he is home safe and sound. He will tell me when he is allowed to. No hurry
First call out. A success. And I will probably feel more relaxed next time.