Reminder: This is NOT political so please don’t make it so!
I am so sad that some (and probably not that many but very vocal ones) seem to want to do harm to police officers and can’t appreciate that they’re who we call when we need help and they leave their families behind and put their lives on the line every day to protect people they don’t know. Just like in any profession, there are probably a few . . very few . . bad ones and I don’t think the whole profession should be painted with the same brush.
If my husband or son were a police officer these days, I would beg them to find another profession simply because it has become so dangerous to be a law enforcement officer.
Today Addie and I went out to eat lunch. I told her that I wanted to get there soon after the restaurant opened so we could eat and get out before it got crowded. We walked in and there were three officers sitting at a table, an older man (probably younger than me! <G>) at another table and then we sat down. The server came to take our drink order and when he bought our drinks back, I asked him if he would give me the check for the officers but please not tell them who had paid. The server said “Too late . . the guy sitting next to you already did it!” Later a man and lady came in and sat in the booth behind me and I heard him ask the server the same thing . . please bring me the tab or the officers. The server explained that it had already been taken care of and then said “Around here, you have to be really quick if you want to pay for police officers’ meals! Everyone wants to do it for them!”
Whether it’s always been that way or whether more people are wanting to show their appreciation, I have no idea but it about brought tears to my eyes. Again, confirmation that we’re living in a great place for us. Only three tables in the restaurant had customers besides the officers and all three wanted to pay for their meal.
Addie was sitting there dumbfounded . . you were going to pay for all three of those men’s dinners? And you don’t know them?? It gave me a chance to explain to her that we need to be sure to show appreciation to the people we appreciate and that sometimes, it’s better when you do something nice for people and they don’t even know who did it. She said “I appreciate my teacher but I don’t have any money!” so I explained that she could do things like draw pictures for her, pick up trash people left on the floor, always listen, write her a note that tells her she’s appreciated. I told Addie if she would write a note, then I would buy a Hobby Lobby gift card for her to give the teacher with the note. She started writing her note today. I’m not going to stay on her to finish it. I believe it has to come from the heart and not be something she does because I expect her to do it.
I hope Addie will be a person who isn’t afraid to show her appreciation for others and that she will be aware of people to whom appreciation should be shown.
I’m not saying there aren’t plenty of other places where the same thing wouldn’t have happened but it made me really happy to be where I am!
Thanks for sharing the story. It’s nice to know that lots of people still want to do nice things for the police. And so very happy you were able to share that sentiment with Addie.
Judy Laquidara says
That’s the kind of things that made me want to move closer. Just vising three or four times a year, she would “know” me but she would never have fully understand my values, the things that mean the most to me and basically, how I think and why I do some of the things I do. With us getting to spend so much time together, and have time for just sitting and chatting, I feel like she’s really getting to know me and I’m getting to know her. That’s what it’s all about for me.
Bravo! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing. What a wonderful community you’ve chosen. My brother-in-law has been in law enforcement for over 40 years, both as a city police officer and now as a county sheriff. He is well appreciated – thankfully – in his community too.
Judy Laquidara says
Good! It really doesn’t matter what you do; if it’s a thankless job, it weighs on you and I hate seeing what has happened with the change in the way police are treated these days.
Lynn in VA says
Love this story. Whenever I go to Chick-fil-A or a local restaurant that has a gift card, I buy a few $10 cards. If I see an officer out and about I give them one. If my grandsons are with me, I have them give the cards.
Last fall my husband and I were visiting his sister in Michigan. On our last morning we went to a cafe for breakfast. Some unknown person paid for it. We’re not law enforcement but we are both veterans and had been talking about some of our army travel with my sister-in-law. It could have been for any reason really. This had never happened to us before and we were floored. I don’t want to forget how great it felt.
Judy Laquidara says
The local restaurant gift cards are a great idea. Thank you and thanks to you and your husband for your service. I would buy your lunch too! 🙂
Thank you! I haven’t had the opportunity to buy meals, but I take cases of water to our small town fire and police departments. It comes in handy in the hot Texas summers. When the pandemic first started, I took a case of hand sanitizer to them. There are many ways to show your support.
I’ve done it for military also it’s so fun to do. I’m glad you were able to teach Addis about doing kind things to show appreciation.
Elaine Heller says
Judy, thank you for sharing this story with us. I have a son who is a police officer in Los Angeles and has been for 22 years. He is a caring and wonderful son, husband and father to my two grandchildren, 15-year-old twins, who are the light of my life. Your story encourages me that there are still those who value and genuinely care about our policemen.
Carolyn Worthington says
I’ve been picking up lunch tabs for officers for years. It seems like such a simple thing considering their job. I’ve always received a thank you, but would gladly do it with or without the thank you.
I do it for any nurses I see, too. Especially, thankful these days.
Judy Laquidara says
Dottie Newkirk says
Thanks for sharing. And, it’s great that Addie got to see/hear all that. Good values are so important to pass on to our kids/grandkids.
Thanks for sharing. It’s good to be a good role model for our grandchildren. The world needs more good role models.
Thanks Judy for writing about this. It’s so nice to hear how many ppl feel this way… and for inspiring Addie to appreciate others. It means a lot to me – my brother has been in law enforcement for the State of Tx for many years.
Sandi B says
Cathi Harry says
Good for you. My husband was a police officer for 30 years. So glad he was able to retire 20 years ago. Now days I would be beside myself with worry. It’s wonderful that you are close to Addie and are able to help teach her appreciation and compassion. Grand kids are the best.
Amy Makson says
Such a wonderful lesson… and hugs for trying to pay. And how wonderful the others did too!!
Thank you for sharing this story.
Andrea in MO says
My husband will be retiring from police work in a few months. I agree that some do it for the wrong reasons, but the overwhelming majority are there to help. It has changed so much since when he started. He is at the point that he won’t even eat out if he’s in uniform because he doesn’t trust that his food won’t be tampered with. Thank you for appreciating what they do and teaching that to Addie.
As the mother and mother-in-law of two police officers – thank you very much for this! I dont think those people who are so vocal about their anger/hatred have any idea of how that affects the FAMILIES of police officers too. When the boys (the 3 sons of the police officers) were little all of the family had to pitch in to help babysit during the riots when both parents had to work ungodly long hours and many many days in a row. Since my husband was retired he did most of it (which he loved) but it was heart breaking to see how worried little children can be for their parents and whether or not they will be coming home at the end of the day
Susan Nixon says
I think that’s wonderful! It’s good to know there are places where this happens.
Nelle Coursey says
What a great story. I think it is important to tell policemen or women that you are proud of their job and what they do. l also do the same to military people. It is just a courtesy they deserve. They need to know they are appreciated. I think it is wonderful that so many people wanted to pay for their meals. Sometimes they have a very thankless job. I have been thanking them for as long as I can remember. Don’t know why but I always felt like they needed to know they were appreciated by someone. Pat and I even attended the Citizens Police Academy and we learned a lot from that. We did that several years ago, so long I can’t remember what year it was, but I think it was in the 1990’s.