An Honorable Traffic Jam

I rolled down my window, handed the lady beside me a napkin and informed her that it is sometimes an honor to be stuck in a traffic.

I was sitting at the four-way stop outside of in what appeared to be a traffic jam. I know it sounds like the beginning of a Larry the Cable Guy joke. But it was true. The lady beside me had picked her up a chicken sandwich and by the look on her face, either the chicken was nasty or she was frustrated with the Walmart traffic jam. The culprit of the congestion was the deputy stopping traffic at the intersection. As police cars, fire engines, emergency management vehicles paraded by, leading the caravan of mourners and a black hearse, I was reminded that Cherokee County was laying to rest one of its fine citizens. I rolled down my window, handed the lady beside me a napkin and informed her that it is sometimes an honor to be stuck in a traffic.

On Tuesday,  as a result of complications received from a car accident in February. Mrs. Westbrook is the wife of Robby Westbrook. He serves as the director of the . It was truly amazing to watch the stream of public servants who turned out to support the Westbrook family. When a family member of one of our public servants succumbs to death, it is good for the city to stop and pay its respects.

I suppose I am biased. My father retired from . My brother works for the Hall County Sheriff’s Department and my baby brother is employed with Hall County Fire Services and Lumpkin County Fire Services. He works both counties so that he can keep food on the table and a roof over his family. Public service is in my blood. My grandfather would sit for hours and listen to an emergency scanner. He taught me the official ten-code list. Not even sure if they are used anymore. Everyone knows 10-4. But what about 10-76, time of arrival, or 10-54, livestock on the highway (this is important when you grow up surrounded by pastures). Now I don’t remember them all but I do remember him telling me 10-41 is beginning of tour of duty and 10-42 is end of tour of duty.

As I sat in my truck praying for God’s comfort to rest on the family and the lady beside me finished her sandwich, it occurred to me that most of these folks are thinking 10-42, end of duty, as the hearse drove by. But I think someone was calling up heaven and saying, “10-41, duty just beginning.”

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Lisa Millsap Patrick March 23, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Crystal L. Lauderdale March 23, 2012 at 08:59 PM
This i really well-written, Jamey, and I'm sure the sentiment resonates with anyone who's experienced a sudden loss like this.
Kim Kelley March 24, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Jamey I do not know you nor you I, but Donna was a dear friend of mine and I was in that line of mourners. I would just like to say thank you for your post. Thank you for understanding the sacrifices that Donna and her family have made for many years. While most families are together protecting one another during storms and bad weather Donna was usually doing this alone because her husband was watching out for and trying to protect the citizens of the county. This parade of support was an awesome tribute to this family's many sacrifices and I thank you for your recognition and support. Donna was a wonderful wife, loving mother and dear friend and she will be missed beyond words. Her end of duty here has been completed with perfection and now, as you have said, her duty in heaven has just begun.Heaven as truly gained an angel today! She will be greatly missed but wonderfully remembered by all!!!
Daniel Thomas March 25, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Jamey, Thank you for your article. It acknowledges not only the Westbrook family but brings attention to the sacrifices of all public safety employees and their families. On behalf of all current and retired public safety officers every where 10-69, (message received).
Tammy Childree March 26, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Thank you for your post. I was sitting on 575 and saw the funeral procession. It was clear from the many service vehicles involved: fire, police, sheriff, etc., that this was a person that was clearly loved by many.


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