FITx50 \ week 31

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FITx50 \ week 31

Folks, this is the very last episode of FITx50. I’ll be blessed with the distinction next Wednesday, March 11th. I’ve loved your support through these posts.

Most encourage by saying it’s only a number, and if that’s the case it’s 18262.1 days. It’s 438,291 hours. It’s 26,280,000 minutes. Then while calculating the number of seconds, my handheld showed this – 1.5768e+9 – Did I just discover a hidden mathematical computation?

Despite the math, on March 11th it comes down to the number 1 that makes the most impact. I had 1 mother who I still miss dearly. I have 1 father who I’m watching time & health ravage. I have 1 family (2 sisters & 4 brothers) who I probably did and still do torment. I’ve had 1 main job (law enforcement) my entire adult life. I’ve prayed to 1 & the only God my entire life. My heart breaks for 1 thing (my sons).

I vividly recall my dad during my youth. He was a strong, honest and strict man–some might respectfully say a “hard ass.” The son of Italian immigrants, his generation remained silent providers of the family. He never said “I love you,” though we know he does.

50 years is a long time to stretch back. I was and am just like him. Just ask my family. I’m proud of that, like I’m proud of him. Our greatest difference isn’t genetic, it’s generational.

I’m not silent about the adoration for my family. My facebook and social media streams are more of a love note to them than a social commentary on society.

I share Max with you because I trust you. I hope that you’ll draw encouragement in your own families no matter the circumstances. The life of a single dad and a special needs child isn’t always easy, but because of love and faith, we make it amazing. You can too–our kids deserve our best.

I also share my family and Liliana Hart with you, because first they consent to being part of this ongoing love letter written about life’s journey, and second, because we’re similar to most families. Nothing special, other than the deep desire to be with one another.

My goals at the beginning of these weekly posts were to document the great athletic feats accomplished once, that I used to do routinely. Instead, I’ve learned that it’s the good we do for others that makes us FIT. I’ve been asked so often what I wanted for my birthday, but never replied until now. I ask that you bless me with this:

I’ve a brave young police officer working for me by the name of Paul Thibodeaux. He was born with Cystic Fribrosis and has not only lived beyond his life’s expectancy, but is living his dream of serving the public. He now needs a double lung transplant to survive. Finally on the list, his expenses will be high. Much higher than this husband and his dear wife would ever save on a public servant’s salary. My birthday wish is that you’ll openly share with him, like I’ve shared with you. Please Donate to- http://www.gofundme.com/lkr0k4

In this round down to a fabulous 50 I’ve learned a few things that I’ll share:
1. Being tough and being healthy are very different things.
2. Not saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t make you right, it makes you
weak.
3. Saying “I love you” doesn’t make you soft, it makes you human.
4. Allowing others to help you doesn’t make you less of a man.
5. Crying in the arms of someone you love is more effective than
ranting against the air alone.
6. People are freaking amazing.Every single one of you.
7. Offering to pray for someone and doing it right then and there
with them is a tremendous blessing for both of you. Asking and
giving forgiveness works the same.
8. Refusing to allow negativity into your life adds value to it.
9. Manners matter.
10. Smile, God loves you. Really, He does.

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FINAL VOTE

The Top 3 character names remain for one final showdown. Help select the name of this Season’s alpha Detective. A Cajun Murder Mystery Series will never be the same–neither will bayou country.  Press the Badge below to cast your VOTE

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TOP 10 – Alpha Detective Names

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The first round is done. Thank you for helping shape Season 2. The next round includes the TOP 10 vote getters. This new Detective character promises to carry on the Cajun tradition of investigative bad assery!

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Name the Detective

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Please follow link to cast your vote.

TOP 10 Detective character names will be presented in Round 2 after voting closes midnight Sunday.

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Thank you for making A Cajun Murder Mystery Series a success.

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Why are police funerals good for the profession?

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Last month I visited the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC. I stood over the granite wall with the carvings of more than 20,000 names of officers killed for no other reason than reporting for duty.

I knelt at panel 38-E:25 and ran my fingers over his name – Octavio Rafael Gonzales. The feigned smile exchanged the grief I’ve carried over the years for a public show of respect. On the very next panel, number 36-E: 27 – Timothy Bergeron elicited the same response.

All three of us attended the Academy together many years prior, and yet there I stood. The significance of the memorial is not lost on me, or the millions of Americans visiting the memorial.

While I recalled the sadness of each friend’s ceremony, I also understand why the ceremony that followed was greater in preparation, tradition and attendance than the majority of all funerals most any civilian will attend. It has to be for the good of the profession.

Law enforcement requires a unique fitting in period, or more formally called “occupational socialization.” To enter into and continue in this fraternity, it is vital that the individual officer drop previous characteristics making them unique for the sake of operating within the homogeneous community of policing. Within the standard operating organization of policies and procedures; long-haired, freaky people need not apply.

The job is referred to as having a “mystique veiled by a sacred canopy.” The symbolism, pageantry and tradition make our calling noble. It is vital to maintaining the highest levels of loyalty that we see this low-wage earning, long-hour working and risk-taking job as a “calling.” These badges of honor endear us to the service of policing.

Why is a police officer’s line of duty death and funeral so impacting of an agency, a community, and a nation? Are there websites, ceremonies and engraved walls dedicated for fallen teachers, bus drivers or public works employees?

These acts of respect are symbolic insurances to officers, that if I also lay my life down in the service to others, that I will too be memorialized by pageantry and procession. Ceremonial symbolism comforts us to know that if our life is lost in the line of duty, we will be honored not for the way we died, but for how we lived. It is our reassurance policy that in our passing, our families will be cared for and we will be missed.

While the death of an officer is tragic, the tradition of ceremony allows officers to gather within a circle of fraternal isolation. Although the outside world may be watching, they are ritualistically excluded beyond the immediate family of the officer lost.

The collection of individual officers adorned in their most formal dress blues are allowed to not only share each other’s grief, but to mourn what may become our own departure. Whether you knew these officers or not, you see yourself in that casket escorted by the hundreds of police motorcycles and cruisers. You see your wife, kids, family and friends weeping over the casket as it’s closed and the folded American flag is handed to your child as she stands at attention trying to be brave.

Police funerals still touch the psyche of an American public. It reminds them of the frailty between good and evil. The institution of policing is held in societal esteem where good guys are not supposed to lose, much less die. The police funeral also remains a part of the acclimation process into American culture. Somber processions creep past businesses and schools as citizens and students stand at staunch attention in either instructed salutes or flag waving.

Yes, oddly enough police funerals are good for the profession. It reminds cops just how thin that thin blue line really is. It is a vivid reminder that instant, sudden or violent departure preparation remains a part of your calling. While it is a prelude to your own death, it delivers on the promise of brotherhood. After all, establishing close personal relationships among peers is one of the most desired accomplishments among officers.
To be wanted. To be accepted. To be respected. To be missed.

My mom passed away over 15 years ago, and I have never returned to the cemetery where her body is buried. I know the spirit who made her the wonderful person she was is not trapped in the mausoleum. Conversely, I return to the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial in Washington D.C. every chance I get to rest my hands over the granite walls and engraved names of my brothers who are heroes not because they died, but because of the way they lived.

It is through the mourning of death that cops celebrate the charity of life in a profession often plagued by violence and loss. Maybe we attend to mourn the officer. Maybe we attend to mourn for ourselves, or maybe we attend to mourn for a lost society. Whichever the reason for attending, ceremonial police funerals are good for the profession.

R.I.P Blue

Please support the NLEOMF by purchasing your copy of 10-CODE: Written by Cops Honoring the Ultimate Sacrifice

All money from every book benefits the police memorial

Why are police funerals good for the profession?

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