Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Prayers for the ACCPD
This is me, I mean Mae, hiding behind the curtains. It's what I do best, as I often find a great deal of solace when I retreat from the world. I desperately need my solitary time, time to regroup and get back on the horse that I perpetually manage to fall off of on a semi-regular timetable.
And, as usual, I later am super chagrined, feeling ashamed of myself in my pettiness, in my self-absorption regarding my large family, as there's also a huge hurting world out there, and we're gonna get over this latest blow. Duh. We always do.
I simply could not believe my eyes when I sat down to my usual late lunch, running pell mell until two in the afternoon, when my growling stomach led me to scramble some eggs I'd gathered from the hen house, plopping in front of my laptop to read the news.
Two Athens cops shot? WHAT? That doesn't happen around here, this ain't Atlanta.
I was absolutely stunned, figuring I must've misread the headlines. One dead?
Police, social workers, nurses, and teachers, the backbones of a normal society, underpaid and over worked, treated like peons and disrespected when they're the keys to normalness. They/we clean up other people's messes. I'm retired from the school system, 13 years in a tough high school in which I shared space with the school resource officer who I totally loved and absolutely adored. He was a huge influence on me, way younger, yet infinitely more experienced and jaded.
I remember once, on the last day of school when the poop usually hits the fan, this cop, his sergeant and our AP, all large, tough, black men - and me, their pet goofy hillbilly, were all subpoenaed to a court case in Atlanta. I rode with them, in the backseat with Marvin, all wide-eyed and as enthralled as a child, leaving behind our whiny principal who was furious that we were all off campus on the potentially crappiest day of the school year.
It's taken me years to calm down from the high wire tension of that school in an adjoining county, we got combat pay, but I eventually retired from this county in which I've lived for 35 years, from a lovely, quiet, high-quality school that five of my children now attend.
I was absolutely shocked and appalled at yesterday's news reports.
Athens schools placed on lockdown, my two grandbabies in kindergarten there at one school, Alexander and Alyssa, and I eventually ascertained they both had gotten home safely, and like most folks around here, I remained glued to news reports, police scanners, and Facebook, which is where I got most of my info all night.
Big Joe was working at the hospital where the injured policeman was taken, right there in the operating room wing, Thank God this man will be eventually OK, but I feel devastated to think about the other murdered policeman's family. The police chief referred to it as an assassination, as the officer didn't even have time to exit his patrol car. Both men were married and with children, both longtime local guys just trying to protect us all.
It just makes me physically sick. Literally I'm fighting tears at the thought. I relate to the mamas of these men, how devastated they must be this morning.
As I picked up my last group from soccer practice last night at nine, Miriam called me, telling me that the police were all over the area in which she lives, bursting into tears in fright.
"Come spend the night over here," I advised her, while debating on ordering her to do so.
Bringing her 100 pound dog, Winston, with her, we locked the gates, turned on the alarms, knowing we're on the other side of the county from where they were then searching for this hideous cop killer, but I was so bothered by everything that I awoke several times in the night to look at news reports on my Blackberry.
This disturbs me on every level, knowing how criminally minded some of my kids can be, how they talk about hustling, and putting one over on folks, knowing their deceptive tendencies, shocked at how they assault each other, and make so many deadly threats, being unable to break the cycles of violence and aggression within them, in spite of so many interventions, resources and therapies.
This cop killer's entire family was described by a former schoolteacher as "mean," Folks around here know each other pretty well.
I do not know many Athens police, I do know a couple, one in particular since he was a little boy, I prayed it wasn't him, as I know his parents, yet I also didn't want it to be anyone, as they're someone's kids as well. This literally makes me feel physically sick.
I'm praying for our police community, just sick at heart over this deadly turn of events. This was not in our county, it happened just over the county line, and all news reports have our county deputies over there working on this as well. I literally can't stop praying for their safety, this is a sicko on the loose with nothing to lose.
Dear Lord, please watch over these men and women in uniform.