...because your eyes are going to de-hydrate you some while you watch this Christmas Story.
BTW, the event he spoke of in the poem, taking up a young, suddenly-orphaned girl and taking her home, that has actually happened, and I was a part of it.
I don't remember the Winter day now, it's been 25 years and I shredded all those Patrol notebooks long ago, but I was on patrol on Dog Watch (6pm-4am), and there was a terrible car crash out in the East County. Initially, I wasn't assigned, but as I listened to the dispatch calls, two patrol units went Code Three, then a Sergeant, then two Fire/First Aid companies, then the dreaded call for the Medical Examiner (Coroner) came from the crash scene.
I went about my patrol duties in my own District, but noted some interesting radio by-play about the crash call, involving passing of numbers for calls to the District Attorney, the Juvenile Court, the Children's Services Division. Eventually, I finished my shift, having gotten no closer to the call than some highway-blocking duty, for just a few minutes until a Reserve unit could relieve me.
As I turned in my shift paperwork to the Dog Watch Sergeant, I asked him about Deputy Stellato, who had gotten the original call for the crash, but had not been seen on duty, or heard on the radio since.
"He's on Family Leave" was the Sergeant's curt reply. I got curious. "Did one of his kids get sick?" I asked. "No", said the Sergeant, "he just got a new Foster child." The grizzled old Road Sergeant didn't want to talk about it, but he looked up from his stack of paper long enough for me to see HIS eyes were wet, "The couple who just died in that wreck left a little girl at home, and Stellato volunteered to foster the little girl, and it's all been handled properly."
Well, this hardened 'Nam combat vet, 8-year Road Deputy got a sudden lump in his throat. I still can't think about that night without tearing up.
Andy Stellato died this year, some sort of nervous-system disease, ALS maybe, and I went to his funeral, of course (he was a Police Academy classmate of mine). The Pastor related this vignette of his life, and most of the Deputies who were with Andy that ugly night were there to wish him Godspeed.
May God speed you about your Life on Earth, and welcome you Home when you leave it, but fear not in the meanwhile, there are always some stout men and women wearing Deputy's Stars to handle the rough stuff for you.
H/T to the Patriot Padre, who's spent some time behind a badge himself, including pulling MY bacon out of the fire on a dark night in a rough barfight.