On Tuesday, I received a call that rocked me to the core - my friend Melissa's dad had collapsed while at work and it didn't look good. As soon as I heard that he was taken to the ER of the hospital I worked at, I headed there as fast as a I could. I met up with her and her family in the family conference room and learned that they hadn't yet spoken to the Doctor. When the physician came in to talk to the family, his words were grim. Words I've heard a thousand times again and again, but I couldn't believe it. Not now, not him, not this. God, why? He's too young, too loved, too important of a man.
You see, he was a State Trooper, a Sergeant, a Hostage Negotiator, a husband, a father, a brother, a son, a man who was loved by all he knew.
I stood in awe as officer after officer poured in to the ER that afternoon. Even the Colonel of the Louisiana State Police was flown in from Baton Rouge to give his condolences to the family. The respect I had for this man I knew as the dad of one of my best friend's suddenly became so much more.
I also learned something about those men in blue. They stand by each other through it all and share a brotherhood like nothing I've ever experienced. When one hurts, they all hurt. The men I saw at the hospital that day would have given anything to take away the pain of losing one of their own...to bring back this man we all knew and loved. They also went above and beyond to take care of my friend's family. They truly showed their true character that day and throughout the remainder of the week.
As the time grew near to take him to the funeral home, a procession line was formed. Members of the Veterans Team from my hospital also stood in attention and salute as his body was taken away. The motorcycle escorts didn't lead or follow, they surrounded the hearse which carried their fellow brother in blue away. It's a sight I'll never forget...one that definitely touched my heart.
Friday and Saturday consisted of the visitation and the funeral. The tears, the seemingly endless line of troopers and officers, the fireman with flags at every overpass along the funeral procession, the honor guard, the riderless horse, bagpipes playing Amazing Grace, the 21 gun salute, TAPS, the helicopters...the final call...I kept thinking it was all a nightmare, a bad dream...but it wasn't. Somehow, it still doesn't seem real.
I saw him for the last time just a week ago. He was standing outside of the nursery where I went to pick up Brayden. He asked how I was doing and how my husband was doing as well. We talked about Mickey, Disney, and their upcoming Disney Cruise. You see, him and his wife were supposed to leave this past Friday on a Disney Cruise out of Galveston. Another friend of mine was also on that cruise and text me that morning about the fog delay. The Wonder couldn't dock in Galveston due to the horrible fog and they were delayed by several hours. I told her I knew who sent the fog because he couldn't be on the boat with them...not to harm anyone, just to cause a few shenanigans. That's just the kind of guy he was.
Last night, we had the chance to share stories about him at church. I shared a few funny stories of how I knew him - as the father to one of my best friends. Through the tears, we laughed as story after story was shared about his life. In a way, it was a start to the healing process, even though we are all still broken.
In the days, weeks, and months ahead, I know it's going to be rough for his family. Coming back from such a loss as this one won't be easy. I know they would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
And so with this I say, I'm glad I had the opportunity to know Sgt. Tracy Morgan. He was an amazing man with a heart of gold and he truly cared about everyone he came in contact with. I know he's up in Heaven right now, walking the streets of gold...and maybe even enjoying a Mickey bar or two.
In loving memory of Sergeant Tracy Morgan. EOW 01/10/2017 May he rest in peace.