Monday, March 24, 2008

First Isn't Always Good

First can suck!
(Rated g-graphic in spots)
First, that is what we want to be. Think about it if you will for just a moment. We have always been taught that first is the "only" thing. First in the race, first in the world series, first in college football, first in the super bowl. Second place is nothing but first place loser. Yes, first has its place and that is where we want to be, most the time. But I can tell you there are many first we DON'T want. In my job first can be a good thing, or it could be a bad thing. I sit here at my computer tonight and I think of some first I am very thankful I do not have. My friend is going through many "first" that are of the absolute worst. She lost her mother six months ago, and her mother was one of my closest friends in my life. So for her, first sucks. Her first birthday without her mom, her first holiday without her mom, right now her firsts are not occasions of joy. They are often times of pain getting through them. But by having very strong faith she overcomes them, the pain is still there but she is surviving.

There are other first that hurts as well. I think it is sad that I can remember many of my first and they are at the expense of others and their pain. My first pursuit and my first stolen car, both at the same time, to this day I remember it. Red Cadillac ran from me and then they jumped out of the car to run and the car rolled back and hit my patrol car. My first accident! I remember my first homicide (posted it previously, a very interesting story), these first will leave an imprint on ones brain for a life time. This night I am remembering is no different. My night and my "brothers" night of first will forever be sketched in our memories. Tommy, Scott and I all joined the department at the same time. Actually there were seven of us, but as the years went by the three of us were the only ones remaining from our academy. And the three of us drove back and forth from Broken Arrow to Enid each week, spent our time studying together and grew up together with twenty one years at the department. We were brothers and sisters in law enforcement. I love my brothers, they took care of me (protected me!!) many times, and I them. We were the three musketeers no doubt!
This one night was in the summer that I remember. I was very young on the department and still very eager to get into any and everything. Oh to be young again! Got a call to the parking lot of a hotel on our busy main street in town. A shooting victim was there in the parking lot. I remember getting there and found a female with a shot to the gut. She was a rather large lady. and she had been shot with a .357. I was thinking it was going to be a gut slinger, but it wasn't! What's up with that? I just don't get it. But rather (as I sit here I still see it in my head and that has been probably 20 years ago!) it was nothing but the fat, the white blubbery junk coming out. She was talking to us, wait, I know her! Oh my gosh, this is one of the ambulance people. She is not on duty, not in uniform, but I recognize her. I can't believe this. Who shot you, what happened? The ambulance gets there and they too are in shock that one of their own has been shot. Quick, get her stabilized, screw that, get her to the hospital, NOW. Let's go, move it. The hospital is just a few blocks away. Really, only about six blocks, LET'S GO! They get her to the hospital and I am there with them. We are trying to figure out what is going on. She dies. It's that simple, she died. She shot herself in the gut, in the parking lot of the hotel/restaurant to get the attention of her girlfriend and she died. That's my first. While I am at the hospital they get another call, the ambulance people do, and all this while they are dealing with the death of one of their own fellow workers.

The other call is tragic as well. While I am at the hospital Tommy gets a call to the fairground area. There is an old drive in theater located just south of the fair grounds. It is not usable, hasn't been in years, but kids sometimes like to go and hang out there. the owner had been warned to destroy or secure it so kids could not get up in there. But he didn't. They had climbed up to the inside of the screen to hide from the adults. The screen is kind of like an "A" frame. Just like the letter I typed, the front part of the A is the screen and the line going across is a platform in the screen. That is where the kids would hide out. That night there were several kids there drinking. They were having a good time, most of them older teens, you know 17, 18 maybe even some 19, 20 year old. But there was one young girl. She asked what time it was for she had to be home by a certain time. Lo and behold, no one had a watch. This was before cell phones etc. One boy volunteered to climb back down the ladder to get into his car to see what time it was. Now understand that this movie screen is several hundred feet up in the air. While he is climbing down to go to his car the girl looks to see how far he has made it. When she looks over the edge she loses her balance and falls head first. Her brother sees her, of course they are all screaming. He runs to the ladder and is going down fast as he can. This is a horrible day. He gets to the bottom and has to step in his sisters brain fluid and brain matter to get to her. She is dead. He holds her, he is crying, what has happened to his sister, why has this happened? What do they do? They have to go and call for help. All because they were up there drinking, hiding from the police, the adults in this world that just want to keep them safe. Now forever he will have this image of his sister, head broken, shattered. So it was a first for several of us. Tommy had to have the fire department come with their ladder truck so he could get up to the crime scene. He said he was not about to try and climb that ladder like the kids did. The fire department had to literally wash her fluid away, a first for them. It was a first for those kids that they will never forget. It was my night of first suicide/shooting. Yes, sometimes first is not where we want to be. And about six weeks later, the mother drives off the road at a high rate of speed and kills herself. Sometimes, first sucks.


We are THAT family said...

Wow. You're right. There are some firsts that we should never have and if we do, they should be our last. I don't want my kids to have their first heartbreak, first ticket, first wreck, first year without Santa. . .

Flytyer said...

Wow. This is awesome. You are so right when to say 1st sometimes suck.

Debbie in NC said...

Lisa, oh gosh. I came here to thank you and let you know all went well with exam today. No polyps! Diverticulosis, but no polyps!

Just read your post and I'm currently reading a book that has a female detective and it's all about profiling, etc. Good book!

I agree..being First is NOT always good. I got into a huge discussion with son about killing in military vs killing in law enforcement. I may do a post on it. As far as I'm concerned our cops are at war out there! And are my heroes!