It was eleven years ago last June, flying home to bury my dad, that I suddenly realized what fatherhood is all about.
On the plane ride, I was jotting notes for what I would say at the service. All I had was a sad jumble of thoughts and memories.
Every father is different to his family, but they all have one thing in common: they are the man who comes home.
Comes home from work, or war. Comes home to correct or commiserate, discipline or inspire. Comes home to set examples and expectations. At that point, I knew what I wanted to say about my father. I knew what mattered.
Tonight a twenty-year veteran of the San Antonio Police Department goes home to his Heavenly Father, but will never again come home. Executed in his unit, in broadly daylight, by a “coward” who fled.
As I write this, there may be a “person of interest”. But what I’m interested in is remembering SVU Detective Benjamin Marconi, who was the man who came home all those years for family, partners and our city.
Most of us could expect our dad to come home, and sometimes even be warned about that prospect.
The children and families of our police officers can’t assume they will come home. Goodbye hugs are tighter, goodbye kisses are softer. Because you never know.
“It’s everyone’s worst nightmare,” said Chief McManus.
A father who’s not coming home.