Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Offically Retired

My Dad retired after being a policeman for 45 years this month.  

He's retired before, but this time is different, he's really retiring.  He has retired a few times from a few different departments and always started a new police related job right away.

He was a policeman long before I was born.  I think the story goes that my parents got married and the following Monday he left for the police academy.  When we were kids, everything revolved around him being a policeman in the best way.  We rode in his police car our entire childhood.  Everyone knew he was a policeman.  We never dreamed of making a mess or throwing up in his backseat.  We still tease him that the quickest way to find yourself out of the car standing on the side of the road was to say that you didn't feel good.  He's stop immediately and give you some fresh air.  

He always took pride in his job, his car, his uniform and his duty to protect and serve.  He won all kinds of awards, got special recognition, outworked all his coworkers and was always an outstanding policeman. 

So many of my memories involve him being a policeman.  

He'd come to school events in uniform, he'd get called in at all hours of the night or have to work for days straight if something big came up in our county.  When I was pretty young, his partner and friend was killed in the line of duty.  I can still remember that night like it was yesterday.  I always knew his job was a dangerous one and we always breathed a sigh of relief when he'd come home at the end of his shift.  He worked on multiple murder trials that lasted for months.  They were a big deal in our small town.  We did some take your kid to work days and all took turns going to court with my dad during those long trials

In high school, he agreed to drop me off to go to the Friday night football game with my friends.  He waved goodbye and never left.  Turns out he knew the policemen who were on duty for the event and he stuck around visiting with them until it was time to pick me up.  I thought I was so independent, but he was always looking out for us kids. 

In college, he drive back and forth to get me 2 hours away any time I asked.  He even drove the 6 hours to Notre Dame to bring Kevin home for the weekend in his police car.  I'd come home and we'd campaign for him at fairs, parades and events.  We always enjoyed doing all the work required to figure out how to run a campaign.  The whole family worked together to pull off fundraisers, campaign events and all the behind the scenes things for a campaign.  I loved helping him and my mom work on all of it.

Many of his friends were policemen and it felt like he knew everyone when we were out and about.  People often called him for help when he was home and he never really quit being a policeman.  He was always on duty.  Always looking for ways to help.  Always calling in drunk drivers when he'd spot them and always keeping one eye out for trouble.  I'm guessing he'll always do these things, but it'll be fun to see him learn to do new things in his retirement.

It's been so fun to show Olive, Fletcher and Leo this side of Papaw as a policeman.  Olive has always thought it was cool.  Fletcher is sure that he wants to grow up to be a policeman just like Papaw.  Leo is named after Papaw and it'll be fun to show him all these police pictures some day.  I didn't realize that LEO is often used as an acronym for Law Enforcement Officer until my dad mentioned it when we announced our favorite boy names.  Maybe one day Leo will grow up to follow in Papaw's footsteps.

Instead of feeling sad, we are focusing on the positive, great memories and really cool opportunities he had as a policeman over the years.  Now we laugh because he's only been retired a couple of weeks and he is already filling his days with projects, activities and to dos.  We tease that you have to call early to get on his calendar :)  He seems to love being on his own schedule and timeline.  My mom retired a couple of years ago so it'll be fun to see what they both decide to do with their free time although they seem to be keeping pretty busy.

I asked him to do a little photo shoot with the kids when we were home visiting in July.  He wasn't thrilled at the idea, but I'm so glad I made him.  The kids and I will always love having these pictures of him in uniform.






And a few throw back pictures of my Dad and the kids.

 





And really far back to 1982ish :)  My Dad worked night shift when I was little and I didn't do the best job of being quiet so he could sleep.  Mom and I were sporting our matching polka-dots :)

 

We've always loved cheering him on in his police career!  This is a family picture after he had just WON his first election.  My mom worked so hard to scrapbook all his campaign events so it was fun to look back at all of it when I was looking for pictures.

Happy retirement, Dad!  We love you!

8 comments:

  1. Great post! Made me a little teary eyed reading it! It’s true though - I was always so proud of dad being a policeman growing up! Lots and lots of great memories :)

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  2. Congrats to your dad! I love those throwback pictures - there's no doubt your dad's career benefited so much from the support of your family. My dad was the same way in college, driving the 2 hour trip any time I needed a ride, picking up or dropping off my friends along the way. I'm excited for your parents to enjoy their retirement together!

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  3. Congratulations to your dad. Someday everyone will be so happy you took those pictures.

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  4. Congratulations to your dad and your whole family! What a wonderful career to be proud of. We love our police and law enforcement officers! My brother is a police officer (for 19 years already!) and several uncles were police officers - we couldn't be more proud of them. It's such an honor and a privilege to support our men and women in blue (brown or green, depending on the department).

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  5. What a sweet tribute to your dad! What an awesome career! I can tell by the pics that your kiddos absolutely adore him ❤️

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  6. I remember Marty being so excited that "Mrs. Jordan's dad is a policeman!" Congratulations on his retirement! Our nephew is a police officer too!

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  7. Congratulations to your dad! I think your dad is retiring at the right time considering how law enforcement is getting such a bad rap in the news. I support law enforcement 100%. My dad is a retired police officer and my son is currently a police officer.

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