I literally cannot fathom how painful it is to lose a parent. Sure, I argue with my parents all the time and call them ‘The Roommates’ in public because I’m bitter about being a 23 year-old man who still lives with them, but also, I couldn’t imagine living without them. For one, I’d be homeless. For another, they’re literally two of my biggest role models and supporters. I’m not ashamed to admit that the first blog I started in high school only had three readers and they were two of them. So when I hear stories of little kids losing a parent, I definitely get a little teary-eyed. So this story coming out of Texas of police officers surprising the children of their fallen coworker on the first day of school both made my heart swell and also made me cry.
Via Fox 8 News:
“It’s a time of many heartbreaking firsts. Earlier this week, the Scherlen family of Texas had a very emotional first: It was the first time their dad wouldn’t be there to see them go back to school. Their father, Justin Scherlen, who was a police officer with the Amarillo Police Department, died two weeks ago after complications from an on-duty crash, according to KVII.
So, when it came time for the first day of school, dozens of Amarillo police officers surprised the kids by escorting them to school; they also lined up to give hugs. The Amarillo Independent School District took video of the beautiful moment where four-year-old Jackson hugged each and every officer. They shared that video with us. You can watch it above. They also shared the touching photos that you see in this story.
The school tweeted out that the officers were an “army of stand-ins for this important first.”
Officer Daniel Smith told KVII, “I’d give it all back just to have Justin here with his son.”
Jessica Scherlen said she thought Justin “would be very proud of how his brothers and sisters have stepped up to be here for his kids.””
And now I’m crying again. I’m kind of glad The Roommates went out for a few hours because otherwise I’d have to explain why I was sobbing hysterically in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. Honestly, especially in today’s day and age where the only time you read about cops is when something goes wrong, I love this story. Just giving back to the community. Personally, I haven’t said my evening prayers in quite a few years, but I’ll probably be tossing up a few tonight for this little guy. I can’t imagine growing up without a dad. I’m just grateful there are people out there willing to step in when he needs a guiding hand.