Saturday, July 30, 2011

An Adventure of Old Alice

Once upon a time there was a 47 year old woman who lived in Santa Clara, Utah.  I had moved here from Riverside, California.  My parents lived here and so I moved here to be near them.  I worked for the Parks Division in St. George as a secretary.  Well, one day I was at a meeting in which I met the Chief of Police for St. George Police Dept.  He took one look at me and asked me if I was interested in becoming a police officer.  I was surprised to say the least.  I looked at him as if he was crazy.  I said, but I'm 47 years old, isn't that a little old to become a officer?  He said, well, we need mature officers, especially women. Hmmm....now this was something I was gonna have to think about.  So I did, I thought about it, prayed about it, talked about it with my children and my parents.  My kids weren't so happy about it, but my parents offered to help pay for the schooling costs, if this is what I wanted to do.  So, I continued to think about it and decided, what the heck, it was worth a try.  So I went and tested and did rather well, but the physical testing what was really giving me anxiety.  A runner I am not, and doing men's push ups , well let's just say, I couldn't get off the floor.  Oh boy, was I in trouble.  But surprise, surprise, I passed those too.  So off to the Police Academy I went.  I worked hard, not only on the classes where we learned laws, etc., but the running the track, learning hand to hand combat with a class full of guys, the first time I was patted down by one of the guys I was so embarrassed, and first time I had to do it to them I blushed like a bride.  But soon all of it became routine, using handcuffs, taking a guy down to the ground, doing push-ups, sit ups, running, etc., etc.  I became quite buff.   I even got pretty good driving a police car around, doing arrests.  But then the testing came to graduate.  I passed all my written tests easy, and the physical tests went well, EXCEPT my run.  I missed it by about 10 seconds.  I ran in front of a whole department of officers cheering me on, but I still missed it.  When I was done, I just knew I was gonna throw up. I couldn't throw up in front of all those guys.  I prayed I wouldn't throw up and I collapsed on the ground.  Damn, I didn't make it.  I even ran it again a week later, but did even worse.  Crap.  So, I backed off.  I was to demoralized to keep trying.  So I have a very depressing summer after school.  I missed the friendship of my classmates and I felt like a failure.  Then after prayer and thought I realized that there were many other things I could do with my police training.  I searched for it.  Whatever is was.  One day I was looking at the newspaper and I noticed that a organization called CASA was looking for volunteers.  CASA is Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children.  So I signed up.  Because of my training, they took me in right away and I went through the legal training for the job.  My first case was a difficult one, I had a little girl who had been raped by her step dad, and had a difficult family life.  It took a year to get that case taken care of, with many visits to court as the child's advocate.  It was hard and rewarding.  But I wanted to do more, so I became a Victims Advocate for those abused by domestic violence.  I worked at that for about 6 years, taking even more training to become a State Certified Rape Counselor.  So I was also going out on rapes.  I was called at all times of the day or night.  All while I was still working as a secretary for the Parks Division.  Sound like alot?  It was, but I know with every fiber of my being that this is what I was supposed to do.  Did I go out on scary scenes, oh yeah, did I ever feel depressed by it all, No.  For some reason I was able to leave the problems at the scene.  I didn't take it home with me.  When I returned home, I returned with a thankfulness in my heart for all my blessings.  It didn't take me long to see how blessed I am.  I don't do that work anymore.  I eventually ran out of gas, and I needed to refill my own tank.  I will be forever thankful for the opportunities I was given and worked so hard at.  It all brought to me tremendous growth, experience, and knowledge.

4 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

oh my goodness, susan. you have the fortitude of a lion. what an amazing (several) things to begin and accomplish at 47. and such honorable work.

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

Wow! That is a fantastic professional life, Susan! I mean it! You do deserve retirement and the beauty that surrounds you, girl!
xxxxx

Mina said...

Oh Susan, you are now on my (very short) list of true heroes. What remarkable accomplishments you have made in life and particularly after the age of 47! So impressive and inspirational. It is a beautiful thing when one not only finds the work of the soul but also has the opportunity to carry it through with dignity and grace. Hugs to you, dear friend.

Becca's Dirt said...

I applaud you Susan for being a rape counselor. Having been a victim I know it is difficult. And I don't know how you did it as an advocate for the abused children. I want to take all of the abused children and shelter them so the world can't hurt them anymore but that is impossible. So this would be something I could not do. Hugs to you Susan.