Saturday, May 4, 2013

A test of wills.....

In 1977 there were no police officers, there were only 'policemen'.  My badge had that printed on it and it meant the world to me.  Being the only female in the police academy was a struggle every day in that I was continually proving myself to the other male students in the class.  There were candidates from several different agencies in the class that openly resented my being there and training with them.  My fellow officers were supportive but I knew some had their doubts as to whether I could 'hold my own'.
One day while in the gymnasium preparing for a defense tactics class we were standing around awaiting for our instructor.  As is usual when a bunch of guys are together they decided to pull a fast one on me.  The biggest guy in the class came up behind me and put his arms around me and pinned my arms to my side.  I did not even think twice about it, I immediately dropped to my knees and bent over forward so fast that I threw him over my head and across the floor.  He wasn't hurt except for  his pride and from that day forward none of them doubted that I could take care of myself or anyone else for that matter.
Little did they know that growing up with 3 brothers and 2 sisters prepares you for the unexpected at any time!!!  This deputy sheriff became a friend that day and every day after that.  I never knew where Fred went after he left law enforcement but I know he left behind a legacy.
When graduation day came in March 1977 I was beaming with happiness that I completed this chapter of my new life purpose.  I vowed to be the best and most honest officer there ever was.  I had to my son, James, was watching every move I made.  I was his role model and I couldn't let him

My training officer was a retired Sergeant Major in the Army before he came to the police department so he treated me like a 'girl'.  I finally had to stop him and tell him that I wanted to be like him and all the other 'guys'.  Rough and tough.  He was apprehensive at first but this was sorta like a 'boot camp' for the both of us.
The first time a door was let go and slammed me in the face I knew we had made it and if there were going to be doors opened for me I would be the one to push them open.  Every man for themselves UNLESS we were on the street and the bad guys were ganging up on us then we all were there.  Kinda like the Calvary or Dudley Do Right!!
At times they were my salvation..........         

Friday, May 3, 2013

I have felt a vast hole in my heart for several years.

After leaving Washington in my rear view mirror in 1970 for the warm climate of the South I embarked on a life as a wife and eventually a mother.  My siblings grew up and left home as well not giving it a thought that our family would ever be together again. Some of us left and returned and stayed but not me.  The eldest and most independent of the family.  Visits home were rare as some things just never changed.  Not wanting to burden my parents with my child I was determined to make a life of my own.  My mother never really cared about me one way or the other but my father was my strongest ally.  Mom battled her own demons and Dad tried everything he could to make her happy.  Of course 25 years difference in age didn't help the issues of communication much.  He worked days and she worked graves so she was kind of alone most of the time which is how she wanted to be.Interacting with her kids was not a high priority for her either except on Sundays when she'd shuffle us off to church so she could sleep.
This was my first experience with the introduction of Jesus and the Bible.  Being maybe 6 yrs old I was quite confused with trying to understand why I needed another father when my Dad was at home waiting for me.
I was told that Jesus loves me, so does my daddy. He wants to save me--I believe that my daddy wants that too.  So why did I have to get up so early, dress in my best clothes and go to the big church by my Aunt LaVonne's house and talk about someone I didn't know?  None of my family ever explained to me who this 'JESUS' person really was.

As I entered in to my teen years it was then that my Mom decided it was time for me to become confirmed in the Lutheran Church.  I was told to do this not asked if I wanted to.  She would look like a doting mother if I completed this journey.  At least she thought that GOD would look favorable on her if she did this.  Her intentions were to glorify herself not to insure that I was saved.  I wanted her to love me and be proud of me
so I completed the catechism classes and was confirmed.  Did I pay attention to what I was taught?  Probably not as it was forced learning and I still don't remember much about it except that I had to know the books of the Bible in order from the Old and New Testament.  Mom was happy but only for herself and this was an accomplishment for her.
We never prayed at home.  I never saw her open a Bible much less read one.
A few short years later I graduated high school.  This was my accomplishment and I was so happy to be done so I could go to college, get a good job, and get the heck out of the house!
Went to a private medical college and graduated with honors.  Got married and moved out of the state.
Moved to the State of Alabama where my new husband was from.  They did not accept or recognize the diploma from the college in Washington and wanted me to start my medical schooling over.  This was crazy and NO was my answer.  I needed to work so I was grandfathered in to the local police department as a traffic officer.  In Enterprise, Alabama traffic officers directed traffic at major intersections near schools.  Of course I was assigned the hwy 84 bypass.  Busiest road in town!  It was a learning experience to say the least.  But I eventually got it together and won the admiration of the entire department.  I was proud of myself.  My husband however was so jealous of my success he was nearly green in color.  He thought I would be subservient to him but I become independent and he didn't like it much.
After 3 years we moved to Ft Hood, Texas where he was assigned with the Army as he could not adjust to civilian life in Alabama.  This is where my life took a drastic turn.
After years of being married to an abuser of me and my son I decided enough was enough. 
I was getting out of this marriage no matter what.
My ex didn't want our son but all he'd fight for was our car.  And God forbid he should have to pay any money to support the child!  The courts mandated it but that didn't mean much in those days.
Sometimes I got it and sometimes not.  Away from him was what I wanted and eventually I got there.
$125.00 a month for child support wasn't much so we struggled a little.  I drove a school bus so the baby could go with me which helped.  Then I decided to go work for the police again.  A 40 hr job in the dispatch office and working as a reserve officer expanded my friend base and I found a lot of support in the police brotherhood.  They became my family. In 1975 pay wasn't very good for office staff but we helped each other and we all managed together. 
I applied for the position of full time police officer. I knew it would be a long shot because I was female and there were no uniformed female officers in this department.  Then I heard a knock at the door and when I opened it I was met by a male officer that informed me that I was hired and I would be starting the police academy in January 1977.  Thank you this is my salvation.......