The past week I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on some of life’s journeys and the cruel and unusual twists that come with them.  I’m currently in my 20th year of law enforcement and know my time in this career is nearing its end.  Yet, I’m extremely fortunate that my current assignment allows me to share with our new recruits a wide variety of things that will help them stay safe, provide the best service to our communities, and give them strategies to get the most out of their career.

One of the most important messages I’ve shared with the young officers is the need to make  sure their loved ones know how they feel and the role they play in their lives.  We’ve talked at length about not leaving home for our type of work having argued about taking the trash out or whether the chicken is thawed or not.  If we don’t make it home from that shift, we do not want to burden our loved ones with the memory that our last conversation was an argument over something so trivial.  Over the last week as we’ve learned about the impact Deputy Gumm made and the legacy he leaves behind, it made me wonder if he knew how everyone felt about him.

I began to think about all the people that are making a difference in my life and the lives of my family and how I need to share with them how much we appreciate it!  I need to make time no matter how “busy” I am to share the “I love you”, the “thank you for not giving up on me”, and the “thanks for believing in me” to all of those who have helped shape me into who I am today.

I encourage you to reach out to those you are thankful for and share it with them.  Don’t wait until after they are gone to sit down and have that conversation.