Taken for Gra...

Taken for Granted

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by Lianne Castelino www.whereparentstalk.com

Absolutely heart-wrenching.  Beyond sad.  Incredibly tragic.  So phenomenally SENSELESS.

Whatever your opinion of police officers — this story will shred your heart strings.

A throng of uniformed officers from across North America gathered north of Toronto yesterday to pay tribute to a simple man, a highly-respected colleague, a 32-year-old fellow officer, husband, father of two young children (2 1/2 year-old Meredith and 9-week-old Nolan), son and friend.

Constable Garrett Styles died needlessly, senselessly last week allegedly at the hands of a 15-year-old unlicensed driver who was believed to be behind the wheel of a stolen mini van.  When Const. Styles stopped the van and reached inside for the keys, the panciked driver allegedly pinned the officer under the car before losing control of the vehicle.  Fighting for his life, the officer had the presence of mind to radio for help.  His pleas to the dispatcher a little too late.  Gone.  Just like that.  An hour before his shift was about to end.  Less than a week before his 33rd birthday.  Just gone.

Paralyzed by grief his widow, Melissa, gathered the strength to stand up and speak about her husband as thousands looked on in a packed hockey arena, thousands more on tv.

Her words, so powerful, so heartfelt, so raw, so touching.  Words that all of us who take life for granted, who take our roles as parents, sisters, children, uncles — whatever — for granted should be stirred and moved by.

Melissa Styles, a fellow constable, and wife of fallen officer, Garrett Styles’ eulogy:

Garrett, you were my first and only love. From the first time we went
out, I knew we had something special beginning. You didn’t always know what to say and didn’t try with empty words. A hand squeeze or a hug let me know that you were there for me and I was loved. You always knew
what to say to make me laugh when I needed it. The greatest gift you ever gave me was our two beautiful children. Thank you so much for making me a mother and giving me something to hold on to now that you are gone. They will be reminded every day how much you loved them. You will be their first thought in the morning and their last thought at night. You always were and will continue to be for me. You were one of the lucky ones who got to be what they dreamed of growing up a police officer. I know sometimes you became frustrated, but it was only because you cared so much about what you did. You did what you did well. I was proud of you every day and I hope I told you that enough. I know you wouldn’t have wanted all this fuss. You never liked the limelight. I did this because you have honored so many of your fallen brothers and sisters and I felt that you deserved the same. We always told each other I love you to bits and pieces, and that has never been more true. Right now I am in pieces, but I will put myself back together for our children because I know that was what you would want me to do. I’m not sure how I’m going to live in a world without you but I promise that I will find a way. I love you. You are so loved.