Meeting them really opened my eyes and made me stand back and reflect on the past 13 years Chris has been in the patrol. Out of the 18 troopers that were attending, only 2 couples had been married longer than Chris & I.....boy, that'll make you feel old...and I am only 35! And one of the couples had only been married for 8 days.
I could not help wondering if these wives really understand what they are in for. What they were about to face, the long nights alone, the fear that their husband may not come home, all the over time(without the over time pay), working holidays, an empty place at the dinner table, anniversaries celebrated on another day because they happen to be working on the real day, having to fend for yourself when a hurricane is coming because your husband has been called to the coast to help with the evacuation, missing school plays and ball games, babies 1st steps, saying your good night over the phone instead of side by side in your bed.
I wonder if they even half way comprehend how their lives are going to change and how independent they will have to become to survive. Well, let me just tell you, it takes work...alot of it...and patience....alot of it....understanding.....alot of it. And I must confess, at times all this was hard for me. Are these new wives going to understand when they receive a call from their husband saying that he isn't going to be pulling up in the driveway at 6pm when his shift ends cause he just got called to a wreck and now has to go down to the court house to process the drunk and then head over to the hospital to get the victims statements that were taken off in the rescue squad. And will they be wide eyed and pleasant as they scramble to answer that 3am phone call with communications saying "Can I speak to Trooper so-in-so" all within the first ring, praying they picked up before it woke the kids?
Will they get chills while they watch their husband dress for work the same way I do, even after 13 years? And will their hearts breathe a sigh of relief when they are awakened by the sound of the Velcro being pulled apart on his bullet proof vest at 4am? Thanking God for that wonderful sound that means he has made it home.
Will they learn to hold fast to the simple things that mean so much? And how long will it take them to become the women, behind the man, behind the badge?