LaDonna asked me last week, ‘How in the world did you manage with your hubby in danger, violence wise and hooker wise, for so many years?’
I was frequently asked a similar question: Don’t you worry? My standard reply was, my mother-in-law did enough worrying for the entire Department. But let me clarify by saying, I did worry, sort of. And here’s why I sort of worried but didn’t allow the fear to own me. First of all hubby is smarter than the average bear. He was born and old soul. He was highly trained. His brain works nonstop and he is an excellent judge of character. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said after we meet someone, “What a nice person.” And he has responded, “He’s a liar.” And sure enough it comes to fruition. He has always put the hurt on our daughter’s potential beaus and given the evil eye to some none too savory friends our boys have brought home.
I’ve also seen my husband in action. I’ve seen him morph in the bat of an eye from good-natured guy to bad-ass-don’t-fuck-with-me cop. The PD kept their officers in shape and well trained. They have to. It’s a jungle out there.
Now all of that said, there was one time when I nearly killed my husband because he…well here’s the story.
Sound asleep one night I was woken by a knock at my front door. I looked at the clock on the nightstand. 3:00 a.m. My heart stopped. I knew it could mean only one thing. I lay frozen in bed. Another knock. In slow motion I saw myself get out of bed. I felt like I was headed to the guillotine. As I walked very slowly toward the front to door, forcing myself to take each step, I heard the low scramble of a police radio on the other side. My worst suspicions were confirmed. My heart nearly exploded. I almost fainted right there in the hallway. I knew it was my husband’s sergeant coming to tell me he had been shot or worse, he was dead. So many things raced through my mind. How would I survive without this man? How would the kids handle it? The girls and boys loved their daddy, would they recover? Would I? I stood there for what seemed like an hour, my hand reached out, but unable to open the door.
Then I hear a voice. “Karin, open the door, it’s me.” Oh, I opened the door alright. I opened it so fast the butt head on the other side was taken aback. I punched him so hard in the trauma plate I nearly broke my hand, told him I hated him and then slammed the door shut in his face, and cried like a baby. He managed to cajole me into opening the door again. Surprised he asks, “Why d’ya do that?”
I explained he scared 20 years off my life, then asked him what the hell he was doing there.
“I had to 300 a kid and the foster home was down the street. I thought I’d come by and say hi, but I didn’t have my keys so I knocked.”
My response? “Who the fuck stops by to say hi at 3 a.m. in the morning?”
He apologized and left with his tail between his legs. I guess in hindsight up to that point I was just as scared as any other wife, but hadn’t dealt with it.
Then there was the day he told me (big mistake) he was going out with the warrants team and was front man. Boiled down, he got to bust down the door and yell, “Police!” Sounds exciting and I suppose for him it was, but he is also the first person the bad guys sees and usually shoots. I put my foot down after that day. “No more front door man!”
I found out that that wasn’t the first time, but it was the last.
As far as worrying about the hookers? Egads, they were a nasty lot. I can remember once driving through the town we lived in, which was not the town hubby worked in (that is a no brainier, who wants live amongst those you arrest?) anyway, hubby recognized one of his hookers, pulled over and told her to get back to his town. She just grinned a toothless grin and asked for a ride. I told hubby, “Don’t even think about it.”
My worries weren’t with the hookers out on the streets; it was the subtler ones, the ones who worked in the Department I had to watch out for. And watch I did.