I work with a lot of tough cops, men, and women who think little of risking their lives for others, and they do so with little regard for personal wellbeing. They do not think of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, or orientation. They see a person in peril, rush into the fray and take personal risks for the sake of others. Our cops have endured much over the past year, and yet they stand firm, strong, and resilient. I am proud to know them, work for them, and support them as they navigate obstacles and hold their breath as they run toward danger.
I have learned of a new definition of tough. Tim, my younger brother, is a new level of tough. No, he is not a cop rather a preacher. He’s not tough because he shepherds a flock, although that can be dangerous, but because he has endured incredible physical adversity over the past year. Tim was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer. The cancer metastasized to other parts of his body, including his bones and some organs. Pastor Tim does not complain; he sucks up the pain, puts his head down, and serves others through it. The pain, fear, and uncertainty of the unknown have not stopped him. Until a few weeks ago, he was still preparing sermons and preaching the Gospel. Typical of Tim, he preaches with a smile and a Kevin Hart level sense of humor.
When around Tim, you cry a lot. Cry laughing. You laugh so hard your sides hurt, and tears stream down your cheeks.
Twelve days ago, Tim contracted COVID-19. He has been in the hospital on Oxygen, pain meds and received excellent care from tough but exhausted hospital staff. I know there are a lot of people with great concern over the efficacy of vaccinations. They/you have that right. For Tim and other tough people struggling to survive, I ask you to reconsider and get vaccinated. Not for yourself but for those who need you.
To recognize Tim and the many tough cops who sacrificed much serving during the pandemic and bring awareness to Prostate cancer, SCPD members can wear beards beginning October 1 and until April 1. When you see the beard, you’ll know why.