It's 12:35am and I realize that there is nothing that is getting me to sleep, so I should go ahead and write.
My service uniform is pressed and ready for the morning, I am not. I realized as I lay staring at the ceiling that the person that I am going to say goodbye to for the last time was a friend that I have crossed paths half a dozen times over the last very hard years of my life. The first was when I thought that someone was trying to break into the house that I was renting when I first separated from my now ex-husband and called the police. The very calm and kind dispatcher directed me to take both my children into one bedroom and wait for the officers to arrive. I did so with a baseball bat in hand. She remained on the phone with me and let me know when the rap at the door was them. To my surprise when I pulled open the door the first serious faced officer quickly cleared into a very familiar smile, one very unmistakable one that I remembered very well, and I said "Sgt. Yung?" and he said "Paz?" We both laughed and he said "well, it's Officer Yung now." He went on to continue the job at hand and found no actual disturbance, though I am certain there had been at some point. We both agreed that maybe it was best if my shepherd took up residence in my backyard from then on, which he did and I had no issues from then on. He left me his phone number to call him and meet up with him and his wife again, which we had hung out together in our Marine Corps days years before and I said I would. He went on his way and I said goodnight.
I didn't call him, I was embarrassed at where I was in my life, my problems, my drama. I hated talking about it to people. If I didn't have to run into people and explain how terrible things were, I didn't. So I didn't call him back.
A year later I was back in court dealing with more court issues with my ex, custody or visitation or some issue related to it. The hearing time had been delayed so I had to wait. As I waited, I walked towards the bathrooms and saw all the county police corralled waiting for court to begin. And who did I see, but my old friend again Officer Yung! I jabbed at him and asked what trouble he was getting himself into and we chatted about why I was there, more ex-husband issues and how his family was doing. Three children now and his wife had joined the force! Just then he was called into court and that ended our chat.
The following year I ran into Officer Yung, Chris, again at court... as you can see my life is riddled with court, and we chatted again. I never did call him though he did tell me to. I think I just had always assumed that I would just see him again the next time I was there, I mean I am always there.
There are times when I think God gives a sign to stop and look at people who are there and in our lives because there are few opportunities that you are given and once they are gone, they are gone. I cannot look back and say with regret I should have called him back and made those connections because that time has passed. I am thankful that I was able to serve under him in the United States Marine Corps and as a friend got to experience what an incredible person he was. Chris served our country in the United States Marine Corps, he was an Officer serving our local commity proudly, a father of three beautiful children, a devoted husband, a brother and friend to countless people. He will be missed. Rest In peace.