Ten years ago
Words couldn’t explain.
As a police officer, of twenty years, I’d given my fair share of condolences.
Mothers. Fathers. Grandparents. Foster parents. Adoptive parents. Friends. Acquaintances.
It was never easy.
But I did it, and I did it because it gave me a sense of belonging.
I loved my job.
Although it was tough and rough, I wouldn’t change my career for anything.
I liked it too much.
What I didn’t like, though, were dog bites.
They were sad and needless.
I’d always told myself that it wouldn’t happen to my kid.
I’d always be there for my baby. She’d never get hurt by a dog. It wasn’t possible.
I didn’t prepare, because I denied it and her invincibility.
She had the protection of my MC. She had the protection of my fellow boys in blue. She had her mama. She was the town princess.
So why in the world did I never question her jumping the fence to the compound? Why didn’t I ever tell her to stop doing it?
Bobo was the club’s dog. He protected the property and kept the compound free of any unwanted visitors.
What I hadn’t planned for, when I’d first caught the call of another dog bite victim, was for it to be my daughter.
I’d planned for it to be any number of people as I listened to the radio.
But when the dispatcher said, little girl, my heart had stopped.
And I know it was awful to think it, but I’d been praying the entire way to the hospital that it was another little girl. Someone else’s baby. God, anyone’s but mine.
The moment I saw my little girl laying on the table in the hospital’s emergency room, I hadn’t really comprehended what I’d seen.
My little girl, with her beautiful, brown hair splayed around her in bloody strands, lay against the white sheet with death in her eyes.
She saw me the moment I walked in the room, causing her eyes to light with an inner fire.
One that told me that now that I was here, she’d be okay. But I’d failed her.
I was supposed to protect my baby, and I hadn’t.
I also made a promise, as I walked up to her hospital bed, with nurses and doctors working around her frantically to clean her wounds, hook her up to the IV, push medications into her body that she’d never even heard of before, and strip her ruined clothes from her body.
A promise that, to the very day I died, I’d keep.
She’d never, ever be without my protection. Never.