That Phone call
On March 26 2020, I woke up early to use the restroom. I, like many others, have the bad habit of taking my phone to the john with me, after all I am running an online business during a pandemic, lol. I want to be able to check my email often. At around 7:15 am my cell phone rang. I found it strange because I usually don’t get early morning calls. It was my aunties home attendant on the line. Her words to me were, “Judy” as they call me in Spanish, ” Your aunt is gone.
Robo-cop gets activated
How could this be? I had talked to her at around 7:00 pm the night before and she sounded so well. My mom had spoken to her just before I did. I automatically went into emotional shutdown mode. if I can describe it, its mildly catatonic yet purpose- driven. I developed that skill from my years working in law enforcement. I saw unsightly things during my 17 years of service.
From death, rapes, to catching someone in the act of committing child rape, I’ve seen it all. When a person that grew up surrounded by love, attention and in a caring environment sees these type of events, it is a shock to the mind ,body and spirit. To realize, that people can become so evil and unaware of the pain they inflict upon others, changes how you think and your entire outlook on what you thought you knew. Most people from military and law enforcement background develop this sense of detachment, its the only way to practice self preservation on the field.
The scene i will never forget
When I finally let it sink in, I woke up my wife. I told her and she immediately started crying and screaming, she grew very close to my aunt. My aunt was a sweet, old school lady,tough as nails and easy to win your heart. We headed out to the car to take that dreadful drive. I had a key to her apartment so i braced myself, tensed up harder and opened the door. What I found was my aunt sitting in her living room sofa, dead. I knew she was dead because her face was totally expressionless. She always made funny old lady faces when she was asleep. But this time nothing.
Her home attendant told me that when she walked in, she was like that but she assumed she was sleeping. But when she called her name, nothing. She took her pulse on her neck, then on her wrist: nothing. My wife who also worked law enforcement took her pulse, nothing. At that moment, i went to the bedroom and took her bed sheet from the bed and covered her for the last time. My aunt was a woman that liked to look her best at all times. I felt it would have been disrespectful for us to stand there and gawk at her in that condition.
My Second Mother
Long story short, the police arrived did the customary interviews, asked questions, made reports, etc. Because my aunt was a woman with old world pride and character, she had prepaid her funeral arrangements back in 1994! She would always coach me on what her final wishes were. She had no children, but with honor I took that place. We had a very close bond. Things i couldn’t or wouldn’t tell my mom, i could always tell her. My auntie was born in the year 1929, when being gay/lesbian was something akin to cancer: you just didn’t talk about that. But when she found out that i was a lesbian, her love for me never changed. If anything she became more protective of me and became closer to me. She didn’t care who I loved, all I knew is that she loved me and that’s all there was to it…
Because her arrangements were prepaid we were spared the dramatic episode with the medical examiners office and their, never on duty, 7 coroners, for the entire 5 boroughs of NYC city. They take a full day to come under normal conditions let alone a pandemic! The gracious and courteous staff at Ortiz funeral home picked her up in about 3 hours. When I told my mom her oldest living sister had passed away, she cried like a baby. She wailed to the point i thought she was going to get sick. So as tired and drained, sad, and depressed as I was, i took a cab to her apartment and held her tight. Both of us with masks on our faces…
Dealing with Myself
When i finally got home and sat down, now I had to deal with me. I couldn’t sleep right for about two weeks. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw my aunt laying there lifeless. As a recovering alcoholic, i asked the lord to give me the strength to not want to drink. The lord answered my prayers. I grew a new respect for my anti- depressant and anxiety medications.
My aunts death triggered new bouts of depression and anxiety in me, but I was able to cope. It became clear to me that when people have pain and trauma inside, they self medicate with alcohol and/or drugs. If only they went to get help and treatment for their problems, maybe we wouldn’t have so many people addicted to these substances.
I gave myself a month to grieve and then I went back to work on my online business. I was not able to do anything for about three weeks. i just wanted to be in bed, watching TV and staying up all night until daybreak.I wasn’t myself. A huge hole was left in my life when she left. I got back into the groove of online marketing at my own pace. I can finally say I’m running at full capacity. I’ve began creating blog content ,doing you tube videos, doing my Facebook posts and i finally decided to go “all in” in my primary business.
October 2018- A blessing in disguise
Let me make some things clearer for you dear reader, I’ve been out of work since October 2018. The reason? 3 inmates decided to attack me and my partner with broken broom handles and mop sticks. Prior to the attack, one of them took a cup filled with urine and threw it in my partner’s face.
They took the sharp pointed ends of the broken handles and tried to stab my partner to death with them. I became a human shield for him and stood between him and the inmates to buy him time to escape from the corner they had him in. They got the best of us. In New York city, laws are strict when it comes to handling adolescents (16 and 17 year olds). We could not be issued pepper spray like usual, because of their ages. ACS children’s services are now in charge of them. But their sizes, strength and anger told another story.
It was from that attack that I developed PTSD and major depressive disorder. If an offender is 18-21 they are considered a young adult and NYC law also severely restricts, how we can deal with them. We do lots of talking,begging, negotiating and pleading with these guys. So they no longer have respect for us. We are basically maids and butlers in uniform for them. I learned in that environment that when a person loses respect for you,that lack of respect quickly turns into loathing…
Swallowing a jagged little Red Pill
I really did not want my law enforcement career to end on such a sour note. But I guess that was the plan God had for me. As I look through my Facebook timeline, I see how many officers have died from Covid-19 at my former job.I could have easily been one of them. Deep in heart, I knew I couldn’t return to work in law enforcement anymore. Law enforcement has turned into the enforcement arm of government overreach and tyrannical behavior. We as law enforcement officers, are out in public risking our lives. We enforce these silly, nonsensical laws, just to be thrown under the bus, when a politician wants to get a nice photo-op, give a nice speech and glad-hand low income communities for votes.
In a way, I am at peace that my aunt doesn’t have to be here to see what this world is collapsing into. This was no longer her world, she belonged to another time, she didn’t understand it anymore. These are just some of the reasons why I decided to unplug from the matrix and Create my own economy… I will pray that you grow sick and tired too and decide to do something about it. It may be the best thing that will ever happen to you. You have everything you need to succeed already inside of you. Your wisdom and talents have been atrophied by complacency, learning to settle for less, debt and trying to find joy in the wrong places. We all were created with that divine spark… Activate it Now, while there is still time!