This past week I had the honor and privilege of honoring OUR fallen officer at National Police Week in Washington DC with my daughter Sidney and her daughter Stormi. I realize that it has been a few weeks since I have written anything here on the blog, but emotionally preparing myself for National Police Week took a bigger toll on me that I expected.
As many of you already know, Stormi lost her daddy in September when he was killed in the line of duty. It has truly taken its toll on our family for different reasons. National Police Week was an event that we knew we were going to have to attend after his death, but we weren’t prepared for what we were heading into.
The entire week in DC was spent attending different events such as a Candlelight Vigil and the Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony on the lawn of our nation’s State Capitol. Stormi is very young, and she really did not understand what we were doing, but she definitely understood that we were there for her daddy and her daddy was not with us. Here is a video tribute to her daddy that was provided by KALB while we were there in DC. Stormi will one day see that she was there, and she will see how much of a hero her daddy truly was.
A Tribute To Officer Kirt Ricks by KALB
Losing Kirt was hard enough, but when I look at this baby girl of his the wave of emotions that I feel are crazy. Stormi’s story started way too early in her life, and she will have to grow up mourning him during every major event in her life. We aren’t only grieving the loss of Kirt himself, but we are grieving the loss of a future for her. She will never get to attend a father/daughter dance with her daddy. She will never get to celebrate Father’s Day with her daddy. He will not be here to see her graduate Kindergarten, Middle School, or High School. He will not be here to teach her how a man is supposed to treat her when she gets interested in boys. And he will never be able to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. These are the types of moments that will be extremely hard for Stormi, and for those of us who love her, for the rest of her life.
While being at National Police Week with Sidney and Stormi was very overwhelming, it was also a blessing. We have met police officers from all over the world who handed us business cards and informed us that they were only a phone call away. We have met other families who were there for the same reason that we were, who were willing to hold our hand and say, “I get it. I know exactly what you are going through.” Even though Stormi’s daddy can’t be with us, the family that we gained after his death is a blessing. I can picture it now. When she is old enough to go on her first date with a boy, there will be several police officers there to put the fear of God into her boyfriend. 🙂 She will always be protected no matter where she goes in life.
Stay tuned for more pictures and stories surrounding our time in DC at National Police Week. And feel free to leave Stormi a comment here on the blog. One day she will be old enough to read this, and the love and support that she gets as she is growing up will mean the world to her.