To Serve and Protect

A few years ago my wife, (heretofore known as Deb) and I moved her father to Colorado Springs. His health had been failing and he felt he needed to be closer to us . He did need help. He was suffering a worsening dementia and could not manage his life without assistance any longer. Of course we did not know he had dementia at the time. We were soon to realize his diminishing mental condition upon moving him to Colorado Springs. Enlisting the help of his two sons, both in their forties and physically able-bodied men to help with the move and share a home with him.

During the initial search for a house for Ivan (father), it became apparent the only thing the sons were capable of was fighting with Ivan. Deb and I took the lead and found a most charming home in an out of the way gingerbread neighborhood for the three to rent.

In short order Ivan, who’s symptoms were worsening, made the pronunciation that life with the two sons had become unbearable and that he was going to move back to his hometown of Coffeeville Ks. which is a  ten hour drive from the Springs. Could not and should not happen. So Deb and I moved in with the father and sons to settle the situation and possibly bring peace to the group.

One son we knew had a history of alcoholism and was himself fairly brain damaged. The other son, employed and seemingly stable, revealed himself to be addicted to methamphetamines and had abused many different variations of drugs, including the infamous “bath salts”. He was carrying on relationships with a large number of people that included  first lady Obama, the FBI and other friends that only he could see. He had apparently fried his brain on bath salts and home made Methamphetamines. He was a “tweaker”.  He had to go.

He moved to a trailer he owned that he had parked in the alley behind the house. For the next two months he carried on a campaign of terror in retribution to our rejecting him and asking him to leave.

He would gain access to the house at night. We would awaken with our electrical outlets filled with butter and thermostat filled with bits of wadded up paper. Attempted assaults on neighbors and us with weapons that included crowbars and baseball bats, along with  his dancing in the street, calling for us to come out to fight for hours each day took a toll on the perfect little neighborhood. He told us he would cause us to be evicted. That he would “take us with him”.

After fifteen (no exaggeration) police calls we were asked to leave by the landlord who was as understanding as she could be but could do nothing to move him. The neighbors had had it with the attention getting displays in the street. Deb and I found ourselves living with three people with brain damage and all of them angry. On each call the police acted increasingly angry that we had bothered them with the call. All they would  say was that they had no right to take either son  into custody regardless of their bizarre and often threatening behavior. As a matter of fact I was more likely to get arrested than the perpetrator jumping and dancing in the street spitting epithets at our house.

At one point I asked what happened to the promise to “serve and protect” that is often painted on police cars. I was informed that they had stopped painting the promise on police cars  years ago. My question pissed the cop off so bad he threatened to arrest me!

We moved and the sons drifted to the streets, the damage was done. The confused and angry Ivan went with us, We found a beautiful home in the front range Rockies. In amoung the clouds,  pine trees and snow capped peaks we spent Ivan’s last days letting go of his life one painful bit at a time. I guess we can feel closure by considering that he spent his last days in a place he often referred to as “Gods country” that all promises had been kept and he was among family to the last.

Thank you for your patience in reading this rather detailed story but it introduces the photo below better than anything I have experienced.



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