The Little Things
During one of our recent snow storms I got snowed in at my parent’s house on a night when I had to work the following day. In the morning, I noticed that my father, a 30+ year corrections officer who works nights, came home from his overnight shift at the prison and made my mom’s coffee for her after he scraped the snow and ice from her car. Then he started it for her so it would be warm and ready to go.
Over the years, I noticed this is something he does quite often for her.
I talked to my mom about it and she said that she appreciates it because she knows that while he spent his night protecting people that he doesn’t even know and from the bad things in the world, it shows her, that she and our family, are his number one love and priority. Always.
A few days later I was scrolling through our private Backing The Blue Line Facebook group and one of the wives posted a question for us asking what little things our officer does for us. It wasn’t supposed to be anything huge or grand. Something we maybe take for granted sometimes. The little things that, at the end of the day, are really the big things. Well, here is what we came up with…..
For me, my husband leaves me notes of encouragement and love notes on post-its in various parts of our home. It could be because he’s going out of town for work or just to say that we’re thinking of each other. I work in health care and with him being a Police Officer, it often means that there are times we go without seeing each other for days at a time, sometimes we just see each other in passing. For me, it helps me to remember that I am supported as a wife, mother, step mother and in my career.
There is one husband that let his wife know he was thinking of her by changing the screen display in his truck before she drove it to a picture of their wedding day….SEVEN YEARS AGO!!!!!
A soon to be wife said that her future wife put cheese in a baggy to go to work with her for her lunch break as a medic. She also gushed about how her soon to be wife knows she loves to be tucked in tight with her at night and will often tighten the blankets for her to make her feel more comfortable. I’m sure this future wife can just feel the love from the love of her life when she opens her lunch box at work to see her partner, who is most likely exhausted after her shift, took the time to go the extra mile.
There were even wives whose spouse lets them adopt random crazy farm animals, bring home more stray pets that will most likely never leave their home, and drives the kids to school each day after they were up all night working, all without any question or issue. All with a smile on their face, happy to do it.
(Photo by Ashley Thiel Photography. Ashley is a MN Law Enforcement Officer's wife.)
A lot of these spouses & partners know that we, as their #1 fan and supporter, go through a lot to support them and keep our households running, so to the “normal” world where some of these things are just expected to be done, we as the other half of our officers are over the moon happy that they do things for us.
Here’s the thing, a lot of wives & husbands do things for their spouse and that’s great. That is exactly what should happen in any relationship.
But as Law Enforcement families & spouses, we have had to adjust at a moment’s notice to make life easier for our spouse. And then they turn the tables on us to help us, whether that means bringing coffee to us at work, filling the gas tank on our cars or putting the dog in the kennel for the night just so the one at home doesn’t have to do it.
One wife told me how her husband never uses his job or work schedule as an excuse to not pull his weight as a parent. She said that she often catches her husband taking their children out on one-on-one dates. She catches them together learning new things from each other. She’s able to catch a glimpse of the pure love and support he has for their children.
So what’s my point? We unfortunately know it could be taken away at any minute because of their job. Suddenly, those “little” things, turn into the BIG things. Fast. They also become great memories.
I had the honor of speaking with DiAnn, a Law Enforcement widow about the things that Ron, a Ramsey County Sheriff’s Deputy that passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, used to do for her. The first question I asked her is if there was anything that Ron did that she now misses, her initial response was “I HAVE SO MANY!!!” This amazing wife told me how she misses the back rubs he used to give her when she’d had a long day or how he would watch her Hallmark movies with her just because he knew that she liked to watch them. DiAnn said that Ron wasn’t outwardly romantic, wasn’t bringing her flowers every week or taking her on grand vacations, she knows that no matter what, those little things that he did, always showed her how much he loved her. If there’s one thing I took away from writing this post and talking to my sisters in Blue, (and I hope that you do too), is never stop doing the little things for people you love. Those little things really do turn out to be the big things. Update: Shortly after submitting this post, Meg's husband, Joe, was diagnosed with Stage 1 pancreatic cancer. He will be undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. The little things ARE the big things.
About the Writer: Meg B. Has been married to her officer for 4 years. Has been a member of Backing The Blue Line since 2014 and has been a part of the Family Support Committee for the past two years. About Backing the Blue Line services: BTBL provides support to MN Law Enforcement Officers and their families by maintaining a list of professional and confidential resources available for those that need it. The list includes marriage and family counselors who have experience specific to law enforcement dynamics. Paid members of Backing the Blue Line also have access to special discounts for some providers. You can access the Members Only area of this website by using the password provided in your membership confirmation email. About Membership in Backing the Blue Line: We invite MN police wives/significant others to become members of Backing the Blue Line to take advantage of all available membership benefits and have additional opportunities to give and receive support. We also invite MN police wives/significant other to join our private Facebook page, which is an community of support offering friendships, networking, and discussion. It is also for raising awareness of the need to support our unique lives and share the bond that comes with being a law enforcement family. Find out more About Us! Not ready to make the $30/year investment in yourself and our police families just yet? That's ok! Join the Private Facebook Backing the Blue Line Group as a Supporter: We invite all MN police wives/significant others/domestic partners to join our private Facebook Group where we have united a community of 2,300+ police wives and significant others to provide a community of support through friendships, networking, and discussion. It is also for raising awareness of the need to support our unique lives and share the bond that comes with being a law enforcement family. Please note that it is a closed/private group due to safety and security concerns. As such, all Facebook private group members must be approved.