Being a CO’s wife

Stormy weather

What an interesting weekend and I do mean that in that old Chinese proverb sort of way.

Friday was a lazy, uneventful day, as most days are around here.

Saturday started off much the same way. However, every joint and bone and muscle in my body hurt that I could not even get the top off the Advil bottle. It soon became apparent why I was sweating and hurting, a big storm was brewing. The humidity rose making the day decidedly uncomfortable, and like many of the arthritis sufferers I know a rise in humidity also makes for a painful day.

Then the storm broke. It was awesome: rain, wind roaring, dust-storm blowing, thunder, and lightning, everything that a monsoon is supposed to be. Tree stayed up right too, we don’t dare remove its supports we had to put up when it fell over earlier in the year. We were making sure all the animals were inside and taken care of when I noticed I’m getting wet — inside the house.

“Oh fuck me, not again,” is what went through my head. I look up, sure enough; water was running down the side of the stairwell and landing on top of me as I was standing at the bottom just ready to go up.

Yep, another fucking leak.

Flash back to the leak earlier this year… it totally caved in the roof of our walk in closet.

This is what the side of our house looked liked the morning after that storm in February. This is what the park down the street looked like, and while it’s deceptive from the photo, that water is 3 feet deep (they build run-offs like this into every housing community for just this purpose). And these three pictures: 1, 2 and 3 is what the front of my house looked like when the tree fell over. Across the street, another tree down and down the street a-ways, yet another tree down (you can see it covering the sidewalk down there).

We were so focused on the tree that day, and the next… and we rarely go into our closet which is mainly storage; imagine our horror when we found this:

I quite think in retrospect, that “Oh fuck me, not again” was a rather mild way to put it. We do rent right now, but we very much empathize with our land-lord, he’s a great guy. Thankfully he has housing insurance.

Right before the discovery of the leak, we were all counting our blessings. We are barely making it. We have cut out a lot of extras, even WoW. The only entertainment we can afford right now is Netflix and the cable internet package (minus the TV aspect – which is okay, Netflix and Hulu cover all our needs – on our weird ass schedule). So, when a co-worker offered to give us what he was cleaning out of his pantry, it was a blessing. We have been getting a few food boxes the past couple of months to help make ends meet. I hope that sooner rather than later, we’ll be able to pay that forward to someone else.

So, all said and done, the bills are paid, there is food in the pantry, the last few dollars are going into the gas tank to get the husband to and from work. We can deal with a small leak in the roof.

Then the phone rings.

Now, at this point I should mention my husband’s profession. Friends and family already know what he does, so it will not come as a surprise, but for the one or two of you that might stumble upon this blog that do not know, he’s a Correctional Officer for the State of Arizona. He has been there for eight years, going on nine now.

It was another co-worker. This is what I hear my husband say on our end:

“No dude, I’m okay. Why?”

“Oh, no, I’m fine. Really?”

“Six officers taken by ambulance to the hospital?”

“Oh, no, I’m not on DART. It didn’t happen on days, must have been swing.”

That is when this little switch I installed in my brain got turned to off. That switch is the kill switch to the panic and worry I feel on those days that I am reminded of the conditions my husband works in. It’s not like I don’t forget. It’s not like I automatically know when he’s supposed to be home every single day. It’s not like I have a mental time-table worked out on how long he can be kept at work for things like a transport, the turnaround time to get back to the unit and get a ride home. There is a magic time that happens during the day that I allow myself the panic and worry that I have not heard from him and when I will call his unit. I have never had to do so, and I hope that I never will. I simply choose not to worry about things that are ultimately out of my control.

So today, he comes home from work and I get the full version. It’s not a pretty picture. The officers are alive; one severely injured enough to require surgery. I wish I could relate his stories in more detail, but that’s against the rules. Let’s just leave it at another day at work in a place where even police officers refuse to go most of the time.

I did tweak out a bit the day he told me someone tried to shank him but missed.

I held him while he cried the day he came home early after being the principle officer that saved another officer’s life.

I have waited as patiently as I could for blood-tests to come back after he’s been thrown on, so many times now that I have lost track.

And my husband is one of the good ones. An officer that has made it eight years without compromising his ideals of right and wrong; an officer that does his job as listed without being a dick or an ass or a cunt to the inmates; an officer that is frequently being called in to help put out fires without starting any… and this is still a reality for him, and for our family.

So today, I just played Diablo II; took some time off from the computer until now; spent time with my family; spent time with my husband after dinner. It was subtle, but it is how I express my worry and concern.

Later tonight I will be making sure the house doesn’t embarrass me to have strangers in it- which is pretty much just getting the dishes done, sweeping downstairs, making sure the counters are cleaned off, and the cat-boxes are not stinky. Then Diablo II again for awhile.

Something soothing about defeating evil right now…

PS: We managed to save the tree much to the amusement of our neighbors who came out to see the crazy people attempting it. At the end of the day, the tree stood upright again, minus a good portion of its branches. Today, it needs a good trimming, and it’s only been six months.