I started in the traffic detail in 1999 and have worked almost every Thanksgiving night since. Thanksgiving always falls on my normal work day, but I don’t mind coming in because it’s always slow. It’s the one night where it seems like the city calms down and takes a break from the usual nonsense. I usually only take one collision report and that’s about it. Two collision reports would be a “busy” night on Thanksgiving night.
So, when my son asked to ride with me on Thanksgiving night, I told him he was going to be bored, but he still wanted to go.
We had dinner at my mom’s house and I went into work late. I spent the first hour of my shift catching up on paper work as he waited for the action to start. The radio was dead and there were no calls holding just like I expected. Things were going just like I predicted.
Little did I know an unforeseen force was about to unleash its fury on our city. We were like a small boat out in the ocean as a great storm was about to strike. That’s when the flood gates opened and the calls jumped off.
For the next six hours the city exploded with calls. Before I knew it, I had handled 3 DUI collisions and a regular crash where an unlicensed driver ran a red light.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the stabbing call where an apartment floor was full of blood and looked like a slaughter house. What kind of person stabs another on Thanksgiving night?
That was the busiest Thanksgiving night in my career. Good thing I’ll have Christmas off. Who knows what’s going to happen that night.
Happy Holidays. It’s scary out there.
How many of us will go to Thanksgiving dinner and truly be thankful for what we have? Will you be thankful for the family around you today or will we go through the motions because that’s what you have always done?
On Wednesday afternoon, I dropped my daughter off at my mom’s house on the way to work. After I said goodbye, I drove down the street and stopped for the stop sign before making a right turn. While I was stopped, I saw a man sitting in a chair at the southeast corner.
The sight of the man made my heart ache as a father because I knew why he was sitting there. He was there because this was the spot where his son died many years ago in a traffic collision.
He was sitting in a chair in a small grass area next to his son’s memorial, which included a skateboard and pictures. He was alone with a book in his hand as he looked down, lost in his own thoughts as traffic went by. I have seen him here before over the years, along with a woman, who I assumed was his wife.
I watched him for a moment and couldn’t imagine the emptiness he felt. This was his spot to mourn a life that was taken away too soon. This was his spot to be close to last place his son ever stood on earth. This spot was his last connection to his son.
After I turned, I thought how different my Thanksgiving was going to be compared to this man and his wife. I’m sure they wished they could have one more Thanksgiving dinner together as a family with their son.
This is something to think about when you sit down to have your Thanksgiving dinner with your family. Take a moment and be thankful for the people around you because there are others who wish they had one more chance.