A poem hangs on my office wall titled Painted in Blue. It was written by the daughter of a police officer trying to grapple with the notion of her father working as a gang sergeant and dealing a violent culture daily, yet protecting the family from seeing the reality he lived. She wrote it as a way of processing her feelings and sorting her emotions. We, I, forget that working in this profession affects more than just us. It’s also hard on our families, spouses and kids. Not only do they worry about not seeing us ever again, but they also worry about the damage it brings to our souls, emotions, our very essence.
When my daughter Rachel saw the picture of Amira De Guzman, (below) she felt Amira’s pain and wrote the following:
After what happened last week (murder of SDPD officer JD DeGuzman) I have been reflecting a lot. I am so sad that JD’s life was taken from him. I’m sad for Kelly and I’m sad for his friends on GST and throughout the department. It is a horrible loss that they will feel painfully every time they go to work.
But I am most sad for JD’s daughter, Amira. My heart aches for her because I know there is no greater love on earth than a young girl’s love for her police officer father. She will never again get to hug her daddy in full uniform, and no embrace will ever live up to that. I know from experience.
I cry every time I see that picture of her clutching the flag from his coffin because I know exactly what she is reaching for. I know the pride, comfort, safety she felt every time she hugged her Daddy, feeling that bullet proof vest under her embrace. I know that is the only thing in the world she wants right now. You’d think Kevlar and metal buttons and badges would be uncomfortable things to lean your weight against but it is truly comforting beyond description. I know that little girl would give up anything to hug her daddy one more time in full uniform.
I know how much he meant to her because I know how much you mean to me. There is no greater love than the love a little girl has for her daddy in uniform. She lost him but she will ALWAYS be able to say she is the daughter of a cop and I know she will find pride and comfort again in that soon.
I am more proud of you than words could ever express. There is no sum of money and no fancy title that I’d ever trade for your badge. I hope you know that. Love you 💙
I hope each of us are taking the time to love, comfort and talk to our family’s during this time of national turmoil. They need us as much as we need the support of our communities.