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Just Being There

The early onset of darkness over the greatest state in the nation puts me to bed earlier than I would like.

There was that time in life where staying up late was, for some reason, an honor.

Now it’s stupid.

If I had just taken advantage of all those naps my mother said were good for me I bet I would have been far more successful.

By going to bed earlier, I am watching far less television than ever. Yet I still pay the cable company about 1.29 million dollars a month to smash me directly in the face with programs which promise upcoming disaster just prior to the commercial break.

Upon the return to the regularly scheduled program we always find everyone with all their limbs, no real damage to property, and we realize that the scream which was dubbed over the last scene is found to be someone yelling about receiving an acceptance letter to the college of their choice.

Yet, I still wait to see what happened. I am a sucker.

The downside to the time change is that I am now getting up earlier than the dog. Today it was at 0332hrs.

She springs to life when my feet hit the floor. My set time for the coffee maker to start is 0445. I have found myself overriding the timer for the last three days. It’s become a challenge to stare at it for a while thinking that I don’t need coffee until 0445hrs. It’s a lie. I press the biggest button and listen for the gurgle.

These are not trying events. Just a few of the nuances of being alive. We need to embrace the little struggles.

I have friends who are being destroyed by depression, cancer, job loss, and heart attacks. So far today, I have it better.

Someday I will write about being on duty on a Christmas long, long ago where a dad died of a heart attack during the passing out of Christmas gifts.

Right in the middle of Christmas morning.

I sat with the family waiting for the hearse. Just a young cop who didn’t have the right words to make it better, so I just sat and listened to them. Twinkling Christmas lights don’t make an event like that any better—FYI.

They thanked me later for staying and just being there.

You can do that for someone today. Just be there. We don’t always have coffee exactly when we want it. But we can listen.

Waking up on any morning is a gift. Waking up early should be celebrated.

Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another.

We will be here. Call us if you need police aid or intervention.


This post was originally published on November 15, 2018 on Bangor Maine Police Department Facebook page.

Bangor Police Department
Authored by Sergeant Tim Cotton
Bangor, Maine