True story--I met my wife at a murder trial. I was a detective working on the case, and she was a journalist covering the proceedings. I
testified about finding the box of ammunition and a photo of the killer holding the murder weapon; she reported the story that night on the evening news. How’s that for romantic?
Yet, for us it’s kind of a perfect origin story. We both worked hard in professions that tend to view one another with suspicion, but our relationship thrived. Like a bizarro-world Romeo and Juliet story, many of our colleagues hated the idea. One of my supervisors, a paper-pushing captain who couldn’t do real police work if it didn’t come with a paint by number set, routinely accused us of collaborating to give her a leg up on breaking news (we didn’t). Some of her colleagues were equally less-than-thrilled that she was dating a guy they might be reporting on during any given news cycle. They would’ve pulled us apart if they could, which only served to help us enjoy and appreciate our relationship that much more.
The tenth anniversary of our first date passed this last weekend. I took her to a barbecue joint that first evening a decade ago. Turns out she’d never cared much for that restaurant (oops), but we had a great time and spent hours talking after we ate. We’ve seen each other nearly every day since then and, as far as I’m concerned, we’re still on that first date.
I’ve asked much of her over the last decade (and in eight years of marriage). For one thing, being a cop’s spouse is ten times tougher than being a cop. At least when I was on duty I knew what I was facing. A cop’s significant other, however, must live with the daily burden of wondering and dread. Bless her and every cop’s wife or husband out there; they all deserve a medal. As if that weren’t enough, she was there every day as I fought cancer. She nursed me, fed me through a tube, and caressed my soul on those days when being a tough guy seemed beyond reach. Good times and bad, sickness and health…yep, she’s done all that in style and spades.
Exactly one lifetime ago I spied a gorgeous reporter scrutinizing me as I testified at a murder trial. Little did I know she’d become my best friend, the mother to my sons, a dandy dance and adventure partner, and an extraordinary woman who shares my hopes and dreams. Score another one for the American criminal justice system.