Christmas Eve at work.
Last year RP and I were newly assigned together, on a post that was new to the company. We’d been in the city less than a month. Right around dinner time, we were dispatched for a suicide attempt.
I’ve never pretended to understand the state of mind that leads to taking one’s own life, especially at a time and in a manner calculated to hurt the survivors.
Thankfully I digress.
Afterward, I realized I’d forgotten something vitally important. We double parked in front of CVS while I ran inside. I was able to purchase the last two sleigh bells in the store.
Back at quarters, I was able to call home in time for bedtime. Beth was understandably excited, but I had something more in store. After a minute or two of casual conversation, I began to slowly shake the bells.
“Hey, do you hear that?” I asked.
I never knew it was possible to see a child’s face light up over the phone. I shook the bells a bit more, and more loudly. RP joined in with a “HO, HO, HO!” from the other side of the garage.
And she giggled.
I don’t know how I would do this job without my family. Merry Christmas, and remember the important things.