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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

gratitude and appreciation

Yesterday when I went to get my mail I found a notice in the box telling me that a parcel was waiting for me downtown.
Later when we were out doing our errands I went and picked up the box and knew exactly what it was when I saw the return address. It was from Chania, from the RAZMATAZ blog, a friend who lives across the country in Ontario. I knew what it was.
Chania had contacted me a few weeks back asking me if I might like something that she had been holding onto for years, something that she thought I might like. What was it? A beautiful vintage woolen blanket with the letters RCMP centered in the middle.
Immediately I said yes please and asked her what would she like for it. Her reply was no. She wanted my family to have it, it was a symbol of her gratitude for the the work that my husband does for our country. She thought it would find a nice home with us. With a lump in my throat I wrote back to her saying thank you and I gave her my address. I was completely overwhelmed and touched that she would want to send such a gift like that to us.
I don't speak much of what Winslow does as a profession for a few reasons, but for those that don't know, he is a police officer with the RCMP. I don't say much about his profession because mainly I want to protect his and our family's safety. Even though I'm sure the majority of readers who read my blog are very good people, you just never know about lurkers. The online world can be a scary place and some people (not very well people) are out to get law enforcers and their families and so I try to keep Winslow and our family safe by not talking too much about it. But with Chania's lovely and thoughtful gift, I wanted to say a bit about our life as a police family and the work that Winslow does.
As most of you know, we live in a fairly small town of 20,000 people where the RCMP are the police. My husband does the everyday police work that you would imagine a police officer would do. House calls, arrests, domestics, traffic and collision calls and more. Some days he works days, some days he works nights, his shifts are always 12 hrs but can go longer and his dinner and lunch breaks aren't ever at a given time.
Everyday when my husband goes to work, I give him a kiss and say I love him. Every day he goes to work, the dangers that he faces cross my mind and I pray that he will come home to us safely. His safety is something I never take for granted. He faces danger every single time he goes out to a call.
This past summer a dear friend of mine lost husband while he was on duty. In a split second her entire life changed and all of our worst nightmares came to life. Her husband and baby's daddy was taken from her. It is something that I think of every single day. About the sacrifice that her beloved husband made for us, and the loss that my friend has to live with. My heart aches for her every single day.
I don't talk about our life as a police family much because the sad truth of it is that the police are not viewed in high regard in our society. Yes it is true, there are bad police officers out there who certainly do not deserve the right to their badges. And for those circumstances where the police abuse their authority or do harm and injustice when they are supposed to uphold justice, I can understand why there would be mistrust and anger from the public. But why is it that that side of policing seems to be the only side shown to the public? Why is it that generally people see the police as bad, corrupt, abusive? This is not so much a question to be answered because I know there are many sides to this profession and I know that in such a large organization as the RCMP that there will be a handful of bad apples but I guess what I am asking for is fairness. That for all the bad police who are brought to light, why can't the good guys could be brought to light too?
You see the police that I know are for the most part exemplary citizens of this great country. They deal with the situations that you and I wouldn't have the guts to, they have families, children, a house and home. They have people who love them and people who they love. Many of them volunteer and are role models in their community. At the end of the day they people just like you and I but they do a job that many others wouldn't want to do. A job that is often thankless.
So you can imagine my emotions when I read Chania's lovely message to me, telling me that this beautiful RCMP blanket was a gift to show her appreciation for what Winslow does. I read the message to Winslow and then we opened the gift together, discussing the history behind it, which Chania kindly included for us.
It was an unexpected but much appreciated gift from a kind soul, a kindred spirit. So thank you Chania for sharing a little piece of RCMP history with us and for letting us know that you appreciate the kind work that Winslow does. Your kind gift mean so much to our family.
ps. Chania also included a sweet lavender sachet and these adorable birdie tags that I am using on my Springtime display tree.


  1. Wow, thanks for sharing Johanna. A thoughtful reminder of what we so easily take for granted.

  2. Aw, Jojo, now I'M crying!
    When people trash-talk what they do, my first reaction is to take a jar of baby food and throw its contents in the nay-sayers' faces. Perhaps that is an indication that my instincts and anger control are on par with a 10-month-old's. But you have put to words a very good way to respond, and that is with daily gratitude and appreciation for what they do.

  3. wow, what a beautiful gift. and i couldn't think of a family that deserves it more. xoxo
    we are lucky here to have a local newspaper that does highlight the good work of our local police force, the RCMP. there are so many acts of bravery every day, and it is sad that the media only focus on the bad aspects. at the same time, those bad apples do need to be brought to light and cleaned up. they tarnish the reputation of the whole organization, and the good people that work there. i think and worry about winslow (and his family) all the time... and the thought that jacob is following the same path scares me to death as well. but they are doing good things, and believe in what they do. they are both examples of the type of police we need -- and i am happy and grateful for that. hugs and kisses to wins! xoxo

  4. What a beautiful post!

    We have always held the RCMP in the highest regard. We have seen the hard work they do in small northern communities. It takes some real dedication to do that type of work.

  5. What a perfect post--you and Winslow must be beaming with pride that someone truly honors his work. I have a feeling that will be a very loved blanket by your family.

  6. what a treasure...both the blanket and your husband.


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