Just writing some words here…

Pay me no mind, it’s been a long two months since I’ve written anything, and I had a sudden urge to type some words onto a page, so here I am.

As some of you may remember, the last blog post here was about a little boy who was shot in the chest and ultimately ended up dying, in spite of the best efforts of my fellow police officers to save him.

I posted about the tragedy after work.  It was a late Wednsday night, well, actually, it was Thursday morning. I went to bed after 2am and woke up to work my secondary job the same morning at 6.

Comments came in on the post as usual, and I noticed that a few people had shared it on Facebook or whatever, and then somehow, it was all over the place. I was working, so I didn’t really appreciate how fast it had taken off.

City leaders shared it. Friends shared it. Even my own wife shared it.

That’s how I know when something I write is good. The wife doesn’t share my crap, which is most of what I post here. She reads it all I think, but she doesn’t share or make mention of the posts that are just meh to her.

Anyway, it went batshit crazy in ways I can’t even describe.

The local newspaper printed it using an entire page of the paper.

People.com called to talk to me about it.

It was flattering and humbling and lots of good stuff, but at the same time, it was very uncomfortable too.

There was a little boy dead, and that was a terrible reason for a blog post to go viral. I wasn’t the cop who drove in the car with the boy or carried him into the hospital. I think there was some confusion about that too. 

All I did was write.

I wrote to make myself feel better and move on. That the story was gripping had nothing to do with me. It was a gripping incident without my involvement. I didn’t deserve any credit for that.

Still, some good things came of it. The family of the little boy wrote the officer who carried him a “thank you” note. It was so sweet of them. The officer showed it to me one day. He was carrying it around in his breast pocket. 

The case remains unsolved, as far as I know. It’s still open.

As for me, I’m not on the streets anymore.

I was transferred to the police academy where I’m teaching new recruits Constitutional and Statutory Law, and I love it.

I made them read that blog post in class. 

The point of doing so was to give them a sense of what can happen on this job in the blink of an eye. I also wanted them to read the comments. There are a lot of people out there who, rightfully or not, hate the police, but that’s not the majority and they need to remember that. There were hundreds of supportive comments.

People want to trust and respect the police, so it’s important that these new officers understand that they have the power to make a positive impact on people’s lives. They can help us to earn respect back by simply being decent human beings. It’s not that hard, but it is hard sometimes too. 

I’m in a good place right now mentally. There’s a lot to be said for looking forward to going to work.

As for the family, things are great. Cool is going to take second grade math as a first grader next year because he’s apparently bright or some shit, and Gman didn’t bite anybody in preschool all year, so there’s that. Ace is doing great as usual too. I’m not looking forward to her becoming a teenager in a couple of years, but it’s coming.

Our beloved, well she was beloved at some point, dog Jojo had to be put down, so it’s not all been peaches and Bud Light Lime over here. I was in denial about how bad she was, but she was pretty bad.

I took her in myself since she was my before famiy dog and cried nearly the entire time. Blubbering even at times, but whatever. She was a part of my life for 14 years. I miss her. We all do.

I’m hoping that my better mood will inspire me to be a more consistent writer. I’m even kicking around writing a book, but that’s mostly just a thought in the way back of my head. We’ll see how that goes, I guess.

I hope all is well with you and yours as well.

I know this post was pretty lame since it was mostly for my own sake, a reason to put some words on a page to get back into it, but thanks for reading anyway!

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88 Responses to Just writing some words here…

  1. Kristi Campbell - findingninee says:

    Love you.

  2. Kristi Campbell - findingninee says:

    And glad you put some words here.

  3. jane_gassner says:

    Love that you’re back writing! DON’T STOP!!!!

  4. Better post than you think or give yourself credit for. I haven’t put “words on a page” in months either, for similar reasons. Keep doing what you do and being who you are. It’s great that you’re encouraging the next generation who will stand the line. Individual people making a difference in our own circle of influence is how we change the world. Be safe brother.

  5. Susan Murphy says:

    Hi Don, always love reading any thing you write. Was glad to hear you’re off the streets!

  6. Paul says:

    Perfect, perfect, perfect Don. You are the perfect guy to be teaching new recruits. I am so glad that you’re at the Academy now and so glad that you are enjoying it. It really makes no difference which course you are teaching, you can teach your perspective with any material. You were born to be a teacher Don. It must be a blessing for you to be able to actually mold the minds of those who will be protecting our society into the future years. Waking up each morning eager to go to work is a state to which we all aspire.

    I’m not surprised that your last post went viral – it definitely deserved that and more. It was the type of writing that changes the way people think Don – for the better. That’s just the natural teacher in you coming out. Showing us lessons we need to learn in a way that we can’t resist.

    Sad for your dog – that has to be one of the hardest things in life : euthanizing and burying a loyal friend. Playing God tears (that would be both meanings – rips me up and causes tears) me up.

    Keep up the good work Don and enjoy yourself. You deserve it and you worked hard and long to get where you are.

  7. Christina says:

    Love you Don : )

  8. Carrie Rubin says:

    Nice to see what you’ve been up to. Congrats on the viral post. It was good it was shared around. Sorry to hear about your dog though. And yes, please do write a book! Books, movies, TV shows about cops are always my favorite, so I’ll be first in line to read it. (Then again, you might be planning to write a romance novel starring octogenarians. What do I know?…)

  9. Cheryl says:

    Wonderful post, Don. So glad you’re back. Glad the family are all doing well and my heart goes out to you over Jojo. Congrats on the new job teaching the new recruits. They’re lucky to have such an awesome instructor like you.

  10. Welcome back, Don – I’ve been thinking about you since I read that post. I’m glad you’re in a good place now, both mentally and work-wise. And definitely write that book – just start putting words on the screen, and pretty soon you’ll be having so much fun you won’t be able to stop! 🙂

    • Could it really be that easy, Diane?? For real?!!! Lol. Thank you so much. It’s nice to hear somebody has thought of me and my well being. I appreciate that very much.

      • LOL! For real, it’s that easy! Editing it into something you’re proud to publish is a little harder… but don’t let that daunt you. First have fun writing the book! 🙂

  11. lilavis says:

    Wonderful words of wisdom Don. I know you will do well teaching and being an influence on those new to the field.

  12. markbialczak says:

    You have to know this post is for us, too, Don. If not, let me remind you. I missed you, brother. Good to hear about the positive flow in your life. Teaching young officers-to-be, I couldn’t think of a better spot for you, if you’re not to be on the street making our world a better place. Stressing to the and showing the next generation how that can indeed happen, well, bravo, man. So sorry to hear about Jojo. That man’s best friend line is no exaggeration sometimes. On the other hand, I’m really happy that the kids and beloved are doing well. You deserve that. Don’t let the book idea sit on the back burner too long. You’ll be a great author, Don. Happy to be reading you here, and I’ll be thrilled to be reading your book. Bud Light Limes all around.

  13. Susan says:

    Sorry about your dog. Great news about the job. Here is Mississippi, we laid to rest two Brothers officers from Hattiesburg Police Department this week. It’s been a rough year for Police Officers in this country. You’re a great writer. Write that book.

    • I saw that about the officers. It was sad to read about. It has been tough out there, but I still think most people are in our corner. We just need to keep doing the best we can and and weed out those who make us look bad. Thank you!

  14. Elyse says:

    Like Paul and Mark, I’m delighted to learn that you are teaching recruits. Because your perspective, from what I’ve read that you’ve written, is so compelling, so true. I’ve thought of words you’ve written during all the recent unrest — of the officer and the boy, and of the post a while back where you were talking to the protesters “I’m the one who helped you the other day.” By teaching, you can help both sides.

    But I’m sorry too, about your dog. Like all dog parents, I’ve lost a fair number of them. The house always feels so empty (and so unnaturally clean).

    • Thank you very much. We never realized how much food Jojo ate from the kitchen floor until she was gone. Our other pup is a real slacker in that regard. I miss my four legged vacuum cleaner. It turns out I really enjoy teaching, so I hope I get to do it for awhile.

  15. 1jaded1 says:

    I’m glad you wrote about that kid. It needed to be told. Thank you for updating us. So sorry about Jojo…you loved your puppy. I’m happy you and the family are doing well.

    You make a good difference in this world and don’t you fucking ever forget it. I’m.glad you are teaching. The cadets get to take your good and compassion to the field and apply it. Love it.

    On a hockey note…our teams were blasted in round one…maybe better next year.

    Again, thank you…for everything.

  16. Sandy Ramsey says:

    Not one lame word on the whole page, Don. I promise.

  17. Katia says:

    I would love to read that book.

  18. barbtaub says:

    That’s the thing about writing,Don–especially your writing–it might not have been your story to start with, but you made it all of ours. We’ve all been touched by that officer and child, we’ve all felt loss. We’ve had families, so we enjoy hearing about yours (and we’re all relieved about Gman’s victory over biting urges. Been there myself.) And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who choked up about Jojo.

    Those recruits are lucky to have you.

    And we would ALL be lucky if you would just write that damn book!

    • I’ve started it two or three times and then lost interest. Lol. I’m going to keep trying. I always think of you encouraging me when I think about it, so thanks for that.

      • barbtaub says:

        One of the hardest things (believe me!) is showing your work to someone. But if you ever need a reader, just let me know. Meanwhile, it’s not like there’s nothing else going on in your life. That book (whatever it is) will be waiting for whenever you’re ready.

  19. Jude says:

    Sorry about JoJo, I have put down several dogs over the years, and it never gets easier. So happy you have the job you wanted. I am certain that you will enstill in the recruits passion, compassion and all else in between. About the blog, doesnt matter that you weren’t the officer that held the little boy, it was a story that needed to be told and shared with the world.

    • Thanks, buddy! I appreciated your defending me a little bit on that last post from the person who made it about gun control or some such nonsense. I basically shut down and decided not to respond to any comments on that post, good bad or otherwise. I read them all though and appreciated your support.

  20. jgroeber says:

    Good to have you back and tonhear your voice. You were missed. I love that even when it sounds like you’re a funny guy just throwing words around, you’re actually a smart guy saying some important stuff. It’s what’s going to make that book you write so good.

  21. hollie says:

    I’m so happy to see you back and writing. Your new job sounds fantastic and I have no doubt you’ll make a difference in each and every one of those officers’ lives!

    • Thank you, Hollie! I love my new job. Turns out teaching is pretty cool stuff. I hope I do make a positive impact on at least one of them somehow. Lol. We’ll see.

  22. I read that post and was THRILLED at the success of it- for the message, not the circumstance. I am always deeply affected by your words, even when you consider them lame… Your humility is inspiring and I love knowing there are people like YOU who have such a gorgeous heart. I’m SO glad you are loving your new role, leading and guiding and teaching. That sounds pretty perfect to me…

    Considering you have been doing that all along, to us all.

    Get on that book!! BRILLIANT idea!!

  23. Kristine says:

    Don’t let that book get lost in the back of your head. Now more than ever policeman like you need to be heard. Most of us are sick to death of the main stream media’s portrayal of the police force as well as the deception that the majority of the general public ‘mistrust’ and even ‘hate’ the police. We are out here supporting you and are more than grateful for the Thin Blue Line that stands between us and absolute chaos. Thanks for the post, glad to see you back in print.

    • Thanks, Kristine! I’m trying, in part, to shine the light on some of the good that we cops do without being a total Homer about it. There’s so much more good than bad, but the good stories aren’t as riveting to the newspaper peeps.

  24. Glad you’re back writing. It’s good for the soul. So sorry to hear about your beloved dog. I remember when my brother had to put his beloved dog that he’d had since college, down. It was extremely hard and he cried a lot of tears. I can’t believe I missed your last piece (must have been when we were away for spring break). Just read it and wowza! Searing, raw. I’m glad you make your students read it. As for writing a book, whenever it comes out, I want to know so I can be one of the first in line to read it.

    • It IS good for the soul! I feel so great when I post something, so I’m not sure why it takes me so long to follow up lately. I didn’t bring the kids with me to the vet’s office because I knew I’d suddenly start to shed tears, and I sure did the second I opened the door to the vet’s office and saw a little puppy and Jojo didn’t want to go in or was too confused to figure out where she was supposed to go, more likely. Thank you! Oh, you can bet I’ll let everyone know, if I’m ever able to pull a book from my ass.

  25. OneBusyMama says:

    Welcome back…even if it might be just for a visit! I’ve always enjoyed and thoroughly missed reading your blog. I thought your last post was amazing and I’m glad other people did too. Doesn’t surprise me. One thing I’ve liked about your blog posts is people can see inside the mind of a cop. They can see the concern and more. Gives them a glimpse of how cops are humans too. Missed YA again!!!

    • Well, I hope it’s for more than just a visit, seeing as how great some of these comments have been! Thank you so much. I appreciate your kindness and support.

      • OneBusyMama says:

        Well them….welcome back! You were missed! I know what needing a break is like. I’ve taken a few myself, but not for as good of reasons as you.

  26. Sorry about your good dog, Don. And happy that much else is turning up Bud Light Lime for ya.

    • Thanks, buddy! Sorry it took me a whole month to respond to your comment, but I sort of suck at this blogging thing recently. Lol. Hope your summer is going swimmingly.

  27. You should totally write a book. You have such a unique perspective on things plus you’re hilarious. You can make people cry AND laugh. Go for it! Sorry to hear about your dog. That’s rough. Been through it a couple times, but didn’t have either for nearly as long as you. And glad to hear you’ll be writing more and that your job switched. All sounds very promising. Yay!

    • Hahaha, where the fuck did this comment come from that I never responded? I feel like a heel now. Thank you, Kate! I love your support and constant kindness. You’re one of the good people in this world and I’m glad to have made your online acquaintance.

  28. Yay for writing something. Because that means you’ll pop into my little corner of the internet from time to time and heckle me. Which, I love of course. 🙂 Glad you’re in a happy place. And, I’d totally read your book.

  29. Mental Mama says:

    We should never underestimate the power of just being a decent human being. *hugs*

  30. Kim says:

    Missed you, Don! Please get back to writing and sharing your awesome words. Just don’t wave your junk at us. Ha!

  31. KODonnell says:

    I know you’re an Obi-Wan cop now and all, but you’re a writer too and that’s an important and necessary job. Most of us will never be leaders of the free world, cure cancer, or negotiate world peace. But the everyday hero stories need telling. Writers are the historians for the “every man,” the real heroes who don’t choose their circumstances but rise up anyway. Keep it up, Don. You’re great at it. Sorry about the dog, though.

  32. So, so sorry to hear about Jojo. That is such a hard situation – but she’s lucky to have had a family that loved her so much! And congrats on the new gig – sounds like it’s purrrfect for you (I know you just love that cat reference).

  33. julie says:

    I was getting worried about you Don. I am glad to hear things are good work wise, your family is well, and so sorry about Jojo. I understand how hard that is, believe me. I’m glad you got the attention you deserved with that last post too.

  34. you pretty much ROCKKKKKKKKKK. loved this post. x

  35. Matticus says:

    Great to read your words again. I’m sorry it took me so long to find them. I’m looking forward to the next words you share with us already.
    I’m glad you are enjoying your position at the academy. Based on the heart you’ve shown in your posts I think it is a good fit for you, and I hope the new recruits see they can do their jobs and keep a sense of kindness and common sense at the same time. As I’ve said many times, you are one of the good ones, and now I’m glad you are teaching others.

  36. mollytopia says:

    Hell yes – I will pre-order your book TODAY! I’m happy to read you’re off the streets and love going to work again. Good for you – you deserve it! You’ll be an amazing influence on the young officers you’re teaching. We need to clone of you for every city in America. Back to the main point of your post – I loved the post you wrote about that boy. I shared it also. It was truly moving and it deserved all the attention it received. So did you for writing it. Please keep up the blogging – you know how much we all love to hear from you! Especially me : )

  37. Barbara says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog about an hour ago, but I have read so many of your posts. The first one I read was the one of the little boy that died in the arms of your fellow officer. It brought tears to my eyes. And then you made me laugh in several of the others I read. You have a great sense of humor. Love your writing style. You should write that book. I’m also thankful that someone like you is helping to train the next generation of Police Officers. I worry about the militarized police forces that are a growing trend in the big cities. Keep up the great work, in all your endeavors.

  38. daddyrandom says:

    I recently just started to write blogs. I’m a 25 year old dad but I’ve been writing since I was in the 4th grade. Blah blah blah. Anyways, you are awesome. I’m going to read more of your writings because I like your tone and even if they’re not all the same tone I think that’s OK. I feel like you have a lot on your mind, especially about the kid. You are a cop, and even though you have been transferred off the streets that still doesn’t take away the fact you have to deal with stress that most of us do not. I think you deserve more credit than you ask for. Keep it up! I look forward to your next writing. If you have time, maybe you could read something I wrote and let me know what you think. I just started and I’m still finding my way.

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