I like statistics. I used to speak statistics as if they were the most solid truth.  I was pretty black and white back then. It was before I was married. Before I had kids. I had big plans about the kind of wife I was going to be, the kind of parent I would become.  Now I know that while statistics always have a huge basis of truth, there is usually room for a little error.  Sometimes things have a little more color around the edges, sometimes there is a little grey where it used to be dark black.  There is always another side…I’m sure 99.9% of the time. Which is why all my statistics are based off statistics and may not be totally factual.

I’m 100% sure this post will be long and sometimes a bit random if this is the first time you’re reading my blog.

I’m still not getting posts out as much as I’d like.  2011 is not messing around.  As much as I love the seat warmers in my Suburban, the miles I put on driving kids to activities definitely takes away from writing time.(I just read that a homemaker is statistically the fifth least likely to get into an accident) Still querying and writing, and spending an equal amount of time avoiding writing.  And then there was Pneumonia-aggedon-February-March, along with Micah’s health scare, and things just keeping rolling down the year of woes.

Two of Officer YP friends died…One in a freak accident.  He used to be my Officer’s Sgt. In fact once when we were on a date night, he tapped on the window of our mini-van/mega-fun with his flashlight while we were “on a date.” We were just kissing, a lot, which is the truth…my hubby likes to embellish, we are married after all.  It was when we were first getting used to being parents with two kids. YP had taken the night off to have some time alone with me…And never heard the end of it.  We went to a sad sad funeral and five days later took a dinner to his wife and daughter.  I couldn’t even find my voice as I stood on her porch to tell her how very sorry I was.  So I stood there, looking stupid holding out my lame chicken enchiladas, my voice under the soles of my feet.

Then on April 22, his friend was shot and killed while on duty. It was Good Friday.  One moment I was sitting in breakdance watching Daniel, the next moment I got the phone call.  “Leave now, I need you.” Chris’s voice was strained.  Less than 20 minutes later I sat in a pizza place with my in-laws, other family, and my kids, my heart aching out of my chest from the phone call as Chris choked on his tears, weeping so hard I could barely make out his words. “He’s gone. He’s dead.” In my shock I told my kids right then that Daddy’s friend had died.  In a busy pizza place, where they couldn’t really understand.  Later the next night, they stood at the vigil, and they understood. Daddy’s friend who sat at our campsite with us, who had a dog who ate rocks. Daddy’s friend who let them fish on his property.  Daddy’s friend who had a wife and two daughters.  Daddy’s friend who was also a policeman.  Shot and killed. Daniel and Jonah sobbed through the vigil, Micah stood stoically, and  Grace who we thought would make a fuss so we’d have to leave early was completely silent for two hours.  The following week we spent an entire Friday honoring Officer Chris Kilcullen, it was the saddest most beautiful tribute I’ve ever seen. He was a good man.

Then there were all the in between and aftermath…I finished my second half marathon and shaved over 30 minutes off my time –but broke down at mile 11, the grief and fatigue hitting me. If it wasn’t for some incredible Betty’s: Koya, HC, and Tracie I wouldn’t have kept going. If it wasn’t for Officer YP at the end with Amy and the kids I wouldn’t have finished. I helped with a huge event for my kid’s school and it distracted us on the hardest days. The community rose up and supported the Kilcullen family and still is, and I saw the pro-police community rally around. Our police family is closer than it’s ever been. The support has been amazing, and yet so sobering because this is what it took for us to have it. Then our own fears that have surfaced, having to plan my own husband’s funeral in case the worst happens, tell him who I want to alert me if something does happen, sleepless nights thinking about the women still here; Kristie  and Tiffany…women who I pray throughout the  day for.  And dealing with the anxiety attacks that Jonah has started to have, along with growing pains of being the last picked during a sport and trying to swing when you’re dealing with a nine-year old pitcher in little league.  Daniel acting out and crying more. Micah crawling in with us again. And Grace being two, a tornado who just can’t stay away from trouble… who most recently got into a fight with a fence at a bbq and got a staph infection.

Statistically Police related fatalities are up anywhere from 32-70% depending on different research.  But it doesn’t change the fact that this is our reality right now. This affects us 100%.  On November 19, 2009,  a friend of mine from middle school and high school, Trevor Nettleton, who was a police officer in Las Vegas was killed right after he got off duty.  As a wife beside the badge my heart broke for his family, and the nightmare they were encountering.  I had to compartmentalize a memory of him, so I could remember him as happy and vibrant as he was, because the anxiety was already starting to affect my own life.  It was the day he got his braces off, and he couldn’t stop smiling, he sat by me in English and we laughed and laughed about his big cheesy smile. Another good man, killed senselessly, tragically.

A month later; I don’t know what I would do if we didn’t have Faith. On the hardest days that has been the comfort that has gotten us through. Over 28% of Adults leave the religion they were raised with to go to another religion or none at all.  They give up.  Thank God that is not the case with us.  No matter how somber or stress-filled it was for Chris at work, no matter how harried the day was putting out fires at home ignoring my own fears at night we all met to pray. We make the time to go to Church.  It kept us sane. To me prayer is as natural as my love for Mascara.

Did you know that France is the most influential country for use of Mascara? Neither did I. Almost half of all French women ages 11-74 use Mascara weekly.  This time around I tried one of my birthday gifts from my friend Rose.  It was the brand 100% Pure, and was blackberry mini Mascara. It comes in this itty bitty silver tube. The actual Mascara is a deep shade of purple and it smells amazing.  My niece Mikaela complimented me on it, because in the sunlight it has a purplish shade.  I really like it.  The only times I won’t wear it is when I’m really tired, because it is a lighter Mascara so it can look like I’m not wearing any Mascara by the end of the day. It’s also definitely not waterproof. However from a scale of 1-10, I’d give it an 8. It’s different.  And it’s 100% Natural. That’s a great statistic.

Before I had kids I thought I knew what I was getting into. We decided  how we’d space them, how we’d discipline them…we were never ever prepared for the heart ache that comes from loving our children. From seeing them hurt, from having my child cry himself to sleep at night, from seeing them grow up and question things…I wasn’t prepared for what it would be like to not be able to raise one of them.  On Saturday we will buy flowers and visit our daughter Mary on her hill on the day I delivered her.  She would be almost 6, but is frozen as the memory of the baby I held in the hospital.  Almost 10-25% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage/loss, most of them early, however Mary Therese was not a statistic.  She is my oldest daughter and I’m still not over the loss of a child I will never see laugh or cry.  A voice I will never hear.  If we are looking at statistics of our own family, if Mary had lived, if Mary was sitting next to me right now twirling her hair I wouldn’t have my Micah.  I cannot imagine a world with out him.  So again there is no black and white here. I would never choose any of my children over each other. I would never wish I didn’t have my pregnancy with Mary, even with the end result. There is always room for grey.

If I weigh the risks maybe all of this is too dangerous.  I wouldn’t have risked so many things to be with Chris. I wouldn’t have decided not to pursue Theatre, and move to Eugene, Oregon.  I wouldn’t have gotten married. I wouldn’t have had my Jonah or my Daniel. I wouldn’t have let Chris turn our lives around by leaving appraising to be a police officer, where the divorce rate is around 75%.  I wouldn’t have tried for more children after losing our beautiful Mary.  I wouldn’t have my Micah or my Grace.  I wouldn’t have lost 87 pounds, and would’ve stayed scared of exercise, or fought back to truly changing our family dynamic. I wouldn’t love my siblings too much or be such a support to them, and my parents.  If this was too dangerous, I wouldn’t try to make new friends with my fears of being left out, keep writing,  let my kids get dirty or pee outside, or lend my husband to a city everyday knowing there is always a chance he may not make it home.

Because when I weigh the risks they are huge, but statistics only give you a number. I could find statistics to tell you that I am a fabulous wife, and statistics to tell you I am not winning mother of the year. Again. I could find statistics to say that someday my Officer will out grow me, and find a newer model who is “perkier” and a better cook.  But they’re just that. They won’t rule my life. I’ll take chances, because my faith has taught me that I’m stronger than any circumstance.  I have to hold onto that.  My sister Erin calls me the “Truth” because I say it how it is.  So here is it is…if tomorrow it’s all gone, it was worth it.  Chris was worth it.  The kids were worth it.

There is no black and white here, only color.   The risk is worth it. At least 99.9% of the time.