I have noticed as I’ve gotten older that I’m a lot like my father. I am selfless and caring with a heart bigger than most. I am also impatient and impulsive with a temper more fiery than most. I take the good with the bad because I realize how lucky I am.
I’m lucky because I was blessed with a father who provided for his family by working hard but loving us even more. I’m luckier because my dad has never and will never stop protecting those he loves. I’m luckiest because a bullet got stuck in the gun that was used to hold up my father when I was just a baby.
Dad knew after that incident that he wanted to join the department to help others and to help make our city a little safer. He took his second chance and did just that. There is no doubt that my dad touched many lives throughout his career. From teaching many of the officers currently on our streets to talking someone off of a bridge, he truly has made a difference in our community. He’s made all the difference in my life just by being my first love.
I’ve always been the proudest of police daughters. Whenever an officer or sheriff came in for a presentation at school, I would always run up to them and ask them if they knew my dad. More often than not, they would tell me that they did and that he was a great man. My response?
The only thing even greater than having him as a father is watching Dad be “Papi” to my Cristian. Dad and Cristian are two peas in a pod and bring each other a sense of inner-peace that I’ve never seen before. Their bond is awe-inducing and it’s one of my greatest joys to watch my amazing father be an amazing grandfather.
After a 28 year career, my father retired from the Milwaukee Police Department in 2017. He will always be my hero in blue, though. But being the hardworking dad that I have always known and loved, he began a new job in May of that year.
We almost lost him in November 2017 due to a stroke. He was lucky to be surrounded by family that morning whose quick thinking saved his life. Riding in the ambulance and being with him in the emergency room was one of the scariest experiences of my life.
We were astounded when he walked out of the hospital less than 48 hours later. The doctors called it a medical miracle. I knew that it was just a little more of Dad’s luck.
He had to fully retire after the stroke, but he’s quickly become one of the most popular volunteers at Cristian’s school. Whether it’s math tutor or chaperone, “Mr. P” is always good for a police story or a hug. His blurb about being Volunteer of the Month from the school newsletter is proudly displayed in our house. He can never just sit still.
I’m not very good at just sitting, either. Not only do I have his thick, dark hair but I have his hardworking nature as well. We share the same smile, but also the same sense of ambition. He has taught me that nothing in this world is more important than the family that you surround yourself with and that love is a gift that should always be protected and cherished.
I really am growing to be a lot like my father and I realize just how very lucky that makes me.