About Bradley's Blog:

A cop, a writer and a whole lot more.

Here you'll find my thoughts on writing, links to my published works, law enforcement musings and other tidbits. Please subscribe to my blog and I encourage you to share anything you find worthy. Thanks!

Disclaimer: these are my opinions and mine alone. I am not speaking as a representative of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in any shape or form here. These are not necessarily the opinions of my employer.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cops Are People Too

On the eve of the Thanksgiving celebration, I've decided to share something very close to my heart. It's something I've only shared once and had no idea that I would ever share it again until about ten minutes ago. But in light of the turmoil in our country and the events in Ferguson, Missouri, I think it might be a good idea to put a human side to the badge.

We grow up thinking of our teachers as nothing more than some kind of instructor who lives life to educate children. When we learn that our teachers had families and children and lives outside the school building, it gives a new perspective.

So, here I am, a life long cop. Bearing myself to anyone who gives a damn, showing you that I'm a man...with hurts and concerns and fears and sympathy and anger and love.

Cops are people too. And I haven't met one yet that ever, ever, ever, ever wants to use deadly force. But I'm willing to do it if I have to. I'm willing to run towards danger so others can run away from it.

These are the comments I gave at my sister, Brenda's memorial service in 2012. She died after a long battle with cancer and left five children behind.

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When we were young, Jeff and Brenda and I lost our biological mom. Brenda was almost thirteen, Jeff was ten and I was six. And as I was growing up, having Brenda as my big sissy was like still having a little piece of mommy there.

When Brenda moved out on her own, I remember crying because I didn’t have anyone to protect me from Jeff anymore. In Jeff’s defense, I deserved a lot of what I got because I was pretty good at antagonizing him.

As we grew and developed our own lives, mine was settled in Las Vegas. For the first ten years or so, Brenda always kept hope that I would bring my family back to settle somewhere close to the Denver area. As time went on, we both came to know that wasn’t going to happen. We grow up and make our own lives and raise our families. But when we got to see each other, it made things even more special. We never lost interest in each other’s lives.

One of the greatest things I loved about Brenda is how she grew to love the Lord so much. She loved to worship Him and sing for His people. We had long talks over the phone sometimes about things we were experiencing in our lives and often it would turn to a discussion about our faith.

Despite the hardships that life poured her way, Brenda never really doubted. Especially once God gave her Adrianna, the daughter she so dearly wanted to have.

Know this: Brenda loved all of her children equally. It's a legacy that our Dad passed on to all of us kids. But when Adrianna came, it put the finishing touch on things for Brenda. To Brenda, it was the proof she needed to see that God really does answer prayers. And she did her best to share her faith and lead her children to know Him too.

Cory, Sean, Chris, Jordan and Adrianna, I know without any doubt if there’s one thing your mom would want to see, it is for the five of you to love the Lord with all your heart and mind and strength. And to find a deep, everlasting love for each other. I pray that will be her legacy for you.

I am thankful for the church family that Brenda came to love and I have the deepest respect for those who took care of her when she was too ill to do so herself. You loved her well and it meant everything to her.

A special thanks to Carol (ex-mother-in-law) for being so kind and selfless in Brenda’s time of need. You cared for her as though she were your own child. Your heart is pure and you are a Saint in my book.

I came back to Denver a few weeks ago and spent a few days with Brenda. She wasn’t able to do much, but it didn’t matter. I just wanted to be with her. The coolest thing was, for the first time ever, I got to wash my sissy’s hair! I took my time doing it because I knew she liked it. I asked her if it felt good. She loved it! I massaged her head and took care to make sure she felt no shame because she couldn’t do it herself.

I made sure she knew this was a treat for me too. It was awesome to make her feel good when everything else was trying so hard to make her feel bad. It’s what you do when you love someone.

I am thankful that she got her last wish and made it to the beach. I am thankful for those that made it happen.

Oh Lord, I pray that you receive your child, my big sissy. Bring her close to you and tell her that you love her and are proud of her. Give her peace in knowing that her children will be okay with her gone.

Grant them your protection, oh Lord. Let this all be something that brings you glory. Let this all be something that brings your lost children closer to you. In your Son, Christ’s name. Amen.


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