To Protect and Serve


Driving around town the other day trying to get some things done I passed a police officer. For some reason I took special notice of the words that were placed on each door as well as the rear bumper. They read, “To protect and serve.” I thought about all the things that the men and women of the police force do to make sure their slogan “to protect and serve” is kept.

These thoughts turned from the officers to my parents. As they did, I  marveled at the sacrifices they have made to get me to where I am today.

I remembered being 15 lying in a hospital just hours from learning that my medical diagnosis was quadriplegia, and as far as the doctors were concerned I would never walk again. On that day, like so many after it, I looked into my parents eyes and knew that if there was anything they could do to better “protect and serve” me I need only ask for it. I knew in a way most 15-year-old boys never get to know that my mom and dad would do anything in their power to keep me safe and help me to grow.

Later, as I worked in a wheelchair to find my way in a world of stairs, I also learned that often in order to truly serve, they had to let me fall. That the greatest protection they could offer was the preparation that came from no protection at all. That the finest service they could give was teaching me to serve myself.

In addition, I watched as they worked hard not only “to protect and serve” my siblings and I, but our “neighbors” as well. Just like the officers who carry that credo with them, my parents taught us that we too have a responsibility “to protect and serve” those around us. From a young age I was instructed that if I saw suffering I had a duty to help to curb it. I learned that if any of us are ever to be truly protected or served we must police each other.

Thinking of my parents, my thoughts turned to this little boy waiting to come to my home. Like the police officer, all I want to do is “to protect and serve” him,

As I think about the life he has a waiting him, the adventures that will be his, and the world that he is being born into my first nature is to protect him and keep him safe. It seems as natural and instinct as “fight or flight.” He’s not even here, and I already consider often the things that I can do to keep him out of harm’s way.

My desire to serve him is just as strong. From that day when he was all of five weeks old and I heard his heartbeat, I knew that I would do anything I could to help him. I think of him often in my dreams and as I do I try to imagine ways that I might help him reach his ultimate potential. We have not even met and yet all that I have is his. If there is anything I own in this world that might help him achieve more, do more, or become more I will gladly give it to him. My soul aches to serve him.

I hope that I am strong enough to follow the examples of my parents. I hope that I serve him well enough that I teach him I cannot protect him from everything even if I wanted to. I hope that he grows up knowing that he has a responsibility to those around him. I hope he grows up safe and secure. Safe in the knowledge that his dad loves him and secure enough in who he is that he can rise each time he falls.

What I do know is this, he is mine and I am his. I know I will do my very best “to protect and serve” him in a way that prepares him for the struggles that lie ahead of him, and will work to help him know that understanding love means loving his neighbor as himself.


Coleman Jason Hall when he was just 5 cells old.  (He's the cute one)

Coleman Jason Hall when he was just five cells old. (He's the cute one)

7 Responses to To Protect and Serve

  1. Michelle says:

    Oh my goodness! You are one funny, funny man…..a picture of the cutest one indeed! You will be an amazing Father.

  2. LisaW says:

    Yes, Cole is the cute one! Good thing he looks just like Kolette.😛

    You two will be awesome parents. Take heart, while being a parent is the hardest thing you will ever do, it is the most rewarding!

  3. lisa says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with LisaW above, being a parent is absolutely the hardest and most rewarding thing you will ever do.
    For all the excitement you have right NOW in your heart, imagine it TENFOLD and that doesn’t even begin to describe the incredible love you will feel when that baby boy is placed in your arms that very first time.
    I am just so happy for both of you, and yes I must say that little Coleman Jason Hall is quite adorable!

  4. Melissa Cavanaugh says:

    okay remind me to stop reading these at work… tears at work, well, slightly embarrassing… my son turned 20 (yes two zero) on saturday! He is the best thing I have ever done… ever! Love the name you have picked… Coleman I can justpicture him! Have a great day.

  5. betsy says:

    He IS adorable – and you are going to be the best dad!

  6. Stacy Wellner says:

    You two are going to be the best parents! I’m so excited for you both and can’t wait to meet Cole when he finally shows up! Tell Kolette I say hi!

  7. my organization is therefore all set for your getaway trip. how about anyone?

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