An elder for the ages
A gurney holds our elder,
an elder for the ages.
Tonight was her night,
the night my grandfather came.
“It is time to go Manuela,
our children will be fine.”
As gentle as her touch,
she left this place.
Now on her way,
she is taken to her chariot.
Her children scream,
the walls echo their wails.
No me dejas mamasita,
momma do not leave me.
The wounded sob,
but pick up the pieces.
They know in time,
they will see her again.
An elder for the ages,
our elder Manuela.
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By Ricardo — 2 years ago
A Guest Blog Post By:
This morning I woke up as my husband was getting ready to head into work. Today is his normal day off, yet he is going in to work some overtime and to lead the range training for the other officers. I saw his range uniform laying there. He got dressed, I gave him a kiss, told him his butt looked good in those pants and off he went. I proceeded to start laundry, and I see his uniform needs washed. I broke down. Why? I can’t tell you exactly why it was that moment that sent me into tears, all I know is that, that moment sparked a million thoughts running rampant through my head.
What if this is the last time I wash this uniform? What if I get “the call”? What if something bad happens?
Then my mind turns to hate; Why don’t all these idiots understand? Why are they killing MY family? If I had it my way, I’d just… and I stopped myself. Hate is powerful, and in a matter of seconds, I had so much rage inside of me against these Officer Murdering Cowards. (Okay, maybe there’s still a little bit) I should not give these monsters that satisfaction.
Back to more questions that run through my head as I’m in tears. Why does he do it? Wait… HOW does he do it? You can ask any officer WHY they do their job, and you will likely get a very politically correct answer of, “to serve my community” which for most is VERY true. However, “WHY” is a very loaded word…
Why?- I can’t speak for every officer’s “why”, or even my husbands, but what I can tell you is how I interpret my husband’s “why” from what I’ve seen, so I’m going to throw out a few scenarios of what I think drives my husband to be a Police Officer.
First off, children. There is no doubt that helping children is a driving force behind my husbands service to our community. Example: I receive a phone call from him, “Babe, do we have any of the boys old gloves, hats, scarves that don’t fit them anymore and are still in good shape?” Me, “Yah.” Him, “Could you run them into the PD now?” Me, wondering, but without question, I take them in. He thanks me, gives me a kiss and goes back inside. He returns home that night to explain that he had a woman who was caught stealing gloves and hats from a local store. She was stealing them for her children, because it was cold outside and she did not have the means to afford them. So he gave the bag full of hats, gloves and scarfs, to this woman for her children. A selfless act of kindness and support in what is possibly this woman’s worst day. All for the children.There is a distinct difference in his facial expressions when he returns home on a day that he has had to handle any case where children are being mistreated. Children that are beaten, children that are sleeping in homes full of cockroaches, and the only bed they have is a rug on the floor. It kills him to see this, knowing that this is a reality for some children.
Another reason, to help others. A couple months back, and some of you Marshalltown people will remember these people, there was a group of 3 “train hoppers” traveling through Marshalltown. They had two dogs with them, and no where to stay. One of their dogs was hit by a car. My husband, in his squad, picked up the dog, took it to the vet, contacted a local rescue personally, that paid the bill for the dog’s treatment. A few days later, these 3 individuals had to spend some time in jail. My husband arranged for placement for the dogs, while the individuals were in jail. Once released, he took these people dog treats, and dog food, before they left town. It turns out these people ended up causing a lot of trouble in town after my husband’s kindness towards them, however, he did not doubt his help for them.
Another that will sit with me for a long time; mostly because it scared me & I told him he should no longer do that. After a long shift at work my husband returned home, slept then got up early to go help a fellow officer on a home project. While returning home from said project, my husband drove past the jail. He saw an individual that he had arrested the night before walking on the highway, headed towards town, after being released in the morning. My husband, the arresting officer of this man, the man who took this individual to jail, stopped and offered this guy a ride back to town. The individual got into the car, not realizing it was the officer that had arrested him at first, thanked my husband for picking him up, then looked over… silence. Followed by a “holy crap, your the officer. Wow, Thank You SO MUCH! That is so amazing, I can’t believe”…. and so on.
So to answer my own question of why. That is “WHY.” To help people to help children, despite their background, their color of skin, their age, their looks, their lifestyle.
Now, onto the hard part, HOW?? I struggle with this, because I can guarantee you, that I absolutely could not be a police officer. There is just no way. I do not have the ability to keep my calm and cool in situations that they deal with.
How do they day after day, experience people at their worst moments, and return home at night to their families and say, “Oh work was good.” ?
How do they go to a job where they know that there are people out there that want to murder them, because they wear a uniform?
How do they miss endless holidays, birthdays, family gatherings etc. all to put on a uniform that is all too often met with hate.
How do they, get spit at, hit, screamed at, called names, and stand their ground without yelling back, without screaming back, without holding a grudge?
How do they face evil daily, and get up early to go in and work extra shifts on their day off?
I don’t have the answer. I simply do not understand, how. I can tell you that if you ask my husband his answer will likely be a very downplayed response like, “Oh, it’s just part of the job. Not that big of a deal. Ya get used to it and don’t take it personally.” Again, I can’t explain how, and I assume most officers do not want us to know, how, because their version of “how” is too intense for us to handle.
I do know that being an Officer’s wife has changed me. Any Officer’s spouse that tells you otherwise is lying. It’s not a bad change, but a “new normal.” What is normal for your family on your husband of wives day off, differs slightly for my family. Before I knew my husband, I never had a strong tie to law enforcement, I knew a few officers and I respected them, but was still pissed at them when I got a speeding ticket….or 5. I met my husband, I still had a very misconstrued view of how they do their jobs. After awhile I learned, that what I had thought, from all of my years of experience watching Law & Order, was well, all wrong. I’m sure I asked a million questions that my husband thought were annoying, but he answered them. After awhile you stop asking. You realize that, the last thing they want to do is answer a million questions about work when they are finally home from work and able to relax. So you learn to ask the simple, “How was work?” get the typical, “Oh it was good” and then move on. No details needed. My husband needs to know that home is the place where he doesn’t have to relive the evil, tragedy, and anger that he see’s while at work. As an Officers spouse you will also experience a new “normal.” Suddenly people you barely know or talk to, believe that you are now their personal police person. If I had a quarter for everytime someone asked me a police related question, well my husband wouldn’t need to be a cop anymore. Or people that automatically think it’s okay for them to tell you what they think about your spouse. My personal favorite, An individual I work with, and was meeting for the first time, asked what my spouse did. I hesitantly responded, “He’s a Police Officer.” She explained her son had been into some trouble. I changed the subject. I return to work the next day and first words out of her mouth, “Oh I asked my son about your husband. My son says your husband is a real dick!” (Now most wives, may walk away, try to downplay it, or give some nice politically correct reason…I’m not so good at that, and at this time I had been working for 20 hours already and had 10 more to go, so…) My response, “Well then your son must be a real piece of shit! Cause my husband is only a dick if ya really earn it!” Needless to say, she didn’t have much of a response. This is an example, of how your life changes as the spouse of an Officer. People think this is okay, they think they have to tell you. Luckily all of us spouses are stronger than anyone knows and we get used to this banter and with time, (I’m still working on it) you learn to ignore it.
I don’t want people to think that their job is completely unappreciated, it isn’t. There are most definitely people that do support them. All sorts of people in our community have shown an outpouring of support to our officers in these past few weeks. Simply telling an Officer, Thank-You, may be the one and only positive experience they have that day. I can tell you that all of our Officers are hurting right now, not just in Marshalltown, but Nation wide. Some cover the hurt with strength and attitude, some with laughter and smiles others do not cover it, but meet it with anger and resent while trying to maintain a professional demeanor and appearance. So remember that when you see an Officer and they don’t have a smile on their face, or they aren’t dancing in the street with people. Their family, their co-workers, their brothers and sisters are being hunted & murdered, and they don’t know if at any second, they are next.
So be compassionate, listen, and show your support.
Time for me to put that uniform into the dryer. This is a load of laundry that I will never forget. I only hope, that I get the honor of washing that uniform for many, many years to come.Post Views: 89
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
There comes a time when one realizes the power of music. Our lives revolve around it. Music can tug at our emotional strings, influence how we feel, and pinpoint a specific memory from our past. I for one can recall a memory with a song and explain in detail what was going on just by hearing that one song. It’s interesting how we can do this. We relate our memories and experiences in life with music. To me it’s rather therapeutic.
Life continues to change. Change can include new musical types that are added to our evolving musical taste. Recently I have added more and more Country music to my ever-evolving musical palette. I have begun to relate moments in my life to the likes of Trace Adkins, Rodney Atkins, and Maddie Larkin. The third artist is an up and coming Country singer/song writer that I had the privilege to listen to. She recently released her debut album, “Letters From My Cold Heart” and I’m impressed. From the sound of Maddie’s voice, to her lyrics, and the entire band behind her, I was impressed.
What struck a chord with me the most was how much I was able to relate to her. My love for writing comes from my life experiences and those around me. For Maddie Larkin though, her gift for writing was first revealed in a life-changing event. In her own words,
“My gift of writing was revealed at age twelve after a devastating back injury ended my hopes of being an elite gymnast. In order to express the pain I was experiencing and the frustration of not being heard, I began pouring myself into writing lyrics.”
It’s interesting how it takes a life altering experience like this to find out what we are made of and what our calling is. I believe we can all relate with Maddie as we think back to a time where instead of giving up, we fought back and won. Driven to succeed, Maddie taught herself to play the piano, guitar, and ukulele. Her passion for music and lyrics is easily heard throughout her music. From the anthem of “Give It Up” to the ballad of “Summer Star”, “Letters From My Cold Heart” is a musical success that anyone can relate to and reflect. The combination of life and music is where we can compare to Maddie Larkin. Where we have many gifts in life, Maddie’s gift is music.
“I discovered what I am called to do. Music is me.”
– Maddie LarkinPost Views: 76
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
A while back I had come up with an idea where people could be involved in a zombie apocalypse. Their involvement would be shown by the messages they left behind for the living. It started out well and was hot for a bit but the big picture was lost when I became too busy for my own creation. It sucked because there were some good entries but I couldn’t keep up with it. It was on an entirely separate blog and after a while I just lost sight of it. So now I’m bringing it back. I’m thinking of taking what was done on the other blog entitled, “Notes for the Living” and incorporate it here on Jabber Log through mini episodes. I have so much traffic going through Jabber Log that I should have done it this way in the first place. The zombie story is a good one and people I know kept asking when the next note would be put up on the zombie blog in the beginning so hopefully it will continue its popularity here. What I thought made this so good was that the readers would themselves contribute to the story line by submitting their own notes. They would leave a note describing their situation and use their first name, city and state. By doing this others would not only make the story interesting with their own situation but it would show how far the infection had spread. It was interesting to read what others left for their loved ones and strangers to read. To start this out I am going to do the most obvious thing; start at the beginning. The story is seriously based on true events. Only the beginning of it is, of course, and the rest is made up. I had held onto the basis of this story for a long time. I was waiting for the right opportunity and I finally got it in the form of a contamination story around my hometown. Everything fit and what came out was the beginning of a good zombie story. So without further ado, and please comment, I present to you; Note for the Living – The Beginning.
March 24th, 2012.
The world has gone to hell and fast. The unthinkable has happened and I’m left to find my family. Who would’ve thought this day would come? The infected roam the streets and what little survivors that are left have bunkered down or have fled to the nearest military check point. I have been here for days. I’m waiting for you to return Rebecca. I had a bad feeling the night I lost you and the kids. I took the overtime in dispatch because we needed the money for our annual trip to Florida. Had I known it would turn out like this, I would have never called back.
That night I had been reading about the problems in Fennville. A local factory had been spraying their waste in different fields for years. The chemicals that were sprayed made their way into the water of the city and people were getting sick. I thought it was crazy how something like this could happen. I took a call from a nurse at Allegan ER who told me that two guys came in with a weird illness. They were rambling that they had just escaped from a migrant camp to seek medical attention. I was told that they were being held captive with others that were sick and separated from those who were healthy. A few of them worked in a blueberry field near by as well as the factory in Fennville. They believed that the chemicals that were being sprayed in the field caused their illness.
We sent officers and the fire department out to the camp to search for people that were being held captive. Once they got there everything went to hell. All we could hear were gunshots and screaming. Everyone made it out but they left a bloodbath of several bodies in a home that appeared to be dead when they got there. As the officers made their way to the sheriff’s department, I received a phone call from the emergency room. The screams for help attacked my ears and I could hear something horrifying. It almost sounded like chewing. I could hear cries of agony. We sent officers to the hospital and our 911 lines blew up. Those who were infected had overrun the area where the migrant camp was located. It spread so fast that we couldn’t keep up. There was so much radio traffic that the system overloaded and broke down. My team and I decided to leave for our respective families.
I hurried home for you Rebecca. I hurried home for you and the kids. When I got here you were gone. I’ve waited long enough. I don’t think you’ll be back. I leave this note for the living. You must know how this started. I’m heading back to dispatch to find you Rebecca. If you see this, find me there. I love you.
(video below is a voice-over version of the note above. disregard the website at the end, it will all be here now)Post Views: 58