Sunday night, my husband called me to tell my there was an active shooter in Byron, GA and that he may have to go “up there”. Of course, I immediately jumped on Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. to figure out what was going on. Little did I know within 2 hours my life would be turned upside down.
It took less than an hour for my husband to find out who the victims were. Byron, GA is around an hour north of where we live and we both know people who work at the police department and sheriff’s office but little did we realize we knew one deputy very well. Daryl Smallwood was a friend of my husband’s and I’ve known him since childhood. We both thought he still worked at the Crisp County S.O. so it was a total shock to find out he was one of the Peach Co. deputies. The moment my husband told me I felt my stomach drop and my heart literally break. I cried at the loss of a man who would have done anything for anyone. I cried at the loss of a man I’d known and ran into here and there since he’d gone into law enforcement and still even now as I type I cry. Why? Because he had been shot for absolutely no reason at all. Because he had children. Because I knew him. Because this happened so close to home. Because I see Officer Down Memorials on a daily basis and IT SHOULD NOT BE SOMEONE I KNOW!!! Because if it happened to him….
I spent Sunday night crying almost constantly, by Monday I was crying every 15 minutes until finally every few hours. I think I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. To make it harder, my husband went into “cop mode”. He wouldn’t talk and he looked void of emotion. Then, Monday night I completely lost it on him. I knew he hurt too and he probably felt the “if it happened to him…” feeling but dammit, I was terrified, hurt, upset, everything, and had not one person to lean on the way I felt my husband had. To add to the fear, Sunday night my husband was on night shift. I lay in bed crying and praying he would come home at 6 a.m. What pissed me off was the fact that while he was out patrolling, he didn’t have to worry about me getting shot for no reason. While he talked to multiple cop friends about it all, I laid in bed, alone, and dealt with it. I texted him how I felt (for us, this is our best communication method when we don’t know what to say and are avoiding an argument). This got me an “I’m Sorry” but I told him I didn’t need an apology, I needed him.
Now, it’s Friday… Yesterday, my husband and I barely spoke. I’m worn out, can’t sleep (he worked the past two nights), stressed the hell out, and I’m just lost. Yesterday services were held for Sgt. Sondron and tomorrow they will be held for Dep. Smallwood. I’ve been married now for two weeks to my cop hero and lost a friend in the line of duty. My first post for The LEO WIFE LIFE is called Veteran Cop / Rookie Wife and today I feel like a rookie wife more than ever.
So, that’s my rambling 2nd blog post for The LEO Wife Life. I can’t even proofread at the moment due to tears so I will do that later today.
To all the LEO spouses, children, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and entire families: This is a HARD life but we must support these men and women. They need us as much as the America needs them. This may not be my best post ever but I’d like to dedicate it to Daryl Smallwood & Patrick Sondron. My prayers go out to their families and their LEO families. Gone but never forgotten.