My father was a member of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, DC for exactly 20 years. He retired in the 1990’s. After retirement, he worked in customer service for at least one clothing company and he was a secret shopper as well. His last job, prior to his passing in September 2008, was at DIRECTV. He loved this job. He loved it so much that he talked about it all the time. He made quotes for his staff and reminded customers, literally, that “it’s just television.” He was a straight up and honorable man. I am missing him quite a bit at this moment. When he died, he was 54 and an avid runner.
Growing up with a father for a “cop” was quite interesting. My father was rather unique. He rode his bicycle to work before it was popular and during a time when it was a very unsafe practice. So, he was a risk-taker. He was always up for adventure. Yay?? We biked and swam and played tennis as kids. One time, my brother, father and I walked like 3 miles, in the snow, from my mom’s house to my dad’s house. I was like 8! Who does that?! My legs were really short then too! One time, my father gave me a very valuable gift for Christmas: 4 cinder blocks #TheBigHeavyOnes. Yes, I was a freshman in college and yes, I was a first generation college student. Okay, please stop laughing. Please 🙂
So, the good times were good! My dad was also sad sometimes. Actually, he was very sad. On and off, while he was a member of the MPD, he would only visit his family after the “street lights came on.” So, for a period, he wore dark clothes and exercised a lot and just couldn’t keep his commitments to his family. He just couldn’t. After he and my mom divorced, he became more distant and maybe even depressed. Why? I can speculate. What I know for sure is that his behavior impacted me and my life forever dot com and this is difficult to explain.
My father died at 54. He was a runner. He was a smoker too. I didn’t even know that he smoked…smh. He used to smoke More cigarettes. Mores! How did I not know?!?! Like, I really didn’t know! So, running and smoking was and is not a good combination at all. Dad, you were a bama foreal. You were not a bad person.
Officer Ron was not a bad person because he was my dad. I know that he did what he had to do to protect me and my family. I do wish he would come back to life for a sec so that I could ask him:
- What all did you experience?
- How many people did you have to kill?
- Did you really sacrifice your health and well-being for your family?
- Do you know how much we miss you?
It is not my desire to see anyone’s life ended. I also do not agree with suicide, which means I value human life. Because I value human life, I cannot hate police officers. Even with the horrible truth that many black lives are being lost at the hands of law enforcement, I cannot hate them. I used to think that I hated my dad a long time ago, until he let me into his life and into his heart.
As I got older and learned more about life and what my dad valued, I started to appreciate him. He sacrificed his life, and even his family’s well-being, to be a hunter+gatherer=provider. I miss my dad. He was my hero. He was perfectly imperfect. And, yes; he was a police officer.
I pray that everything will be okay in the world we live. #ihavefaithalldaylong that it already is.