Saturday, February 08, 2014

For Dana

Many, many years ago I was going to college and I had a full time night shift job at a local police department.  I worked from 6 pm to 6 am three days on and three days off.  When I'd get off in the mornings I would take a quick hour or so nap before having to be in class at 9:30 am.  On top of this I was a single mom.  

One night, I was at work when the exhaustion set in and I had two big tests the next morning that I was sure I wasn't ready for.  After mulling over all of my notes and books I began to cry because I was so tired and stressed out.  And I was missing my baby boy because I was always at work or school.  The good thing about working night shift is that I mostly had the building to myself and could have little meltdowns without anyone knowing about it.  

Dana was a little rough around the edges and I didn't really like him when I first started working at the PD and I didn't think he was fond of  me either.  But that night he had come to the PD to do some paperwork and walked in on me having my mini meltdown.  He asked what my problem was and I explained that I thought I needed to drop out of school.  And this is what he said to me "If you drop out of school everyone here at this department, including me, will beat your ass.  I know it's hard, but it will all be worth it in the end.  We don't say it often, but all of us here are very proud of you and we see how hard you're working.  Hang in there.  Quit crying already."

It was that little push I needed to keep me going.  I studied like crazy the rest of the night and did really well on both tests the next day.  I never thanked Dana for what he said.  I never told him that it kept me going despite me wanting really badly to give up.

Dana passed away last night after a long battle with Pancreatic Cancer.  He will never know what his words meant.  So, this is me telling the world.

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