Holly Michele Redmond was the only child of Henry and Sara Redmond. Almost from the time she exited her mother’s womb, it was clear that Holly was the classic tom-boy. She could out climb, out run and out smart every little boy in the neighborhood while complaining that they “stunk.”
On the occasion that she was required to wear “little girl clothes” she dazzled like a shining star of beauty.
Henry was a member of the city’s “finest” as was his father before him.
When Holly first became aware that her father carried a weapon, she asked him what it was and what it was for. In his best Gary Cooper accent, he put his hand on his weapon and said “this right here is my sod-arm. Her name is Betsy and you best not be messing with her. She helps me keep law and order around these here parts.”
Holly giggled and asked if she could see Betsy. Henry stooped down and said “no little one. Betsy is not a toy and you must never touch her unless I give you permission. Do you understand?”
Holly said “yes, sir. I understand. Do you shoot bad guys with Betsy?”
Henry was always honest with Holly. He said “yes. Sometimes I shoot bad guys.” Holly said “do they shoot back?” Henry said “yes, sometimes they shoot back.” Holly started rubbing her fathers’ arm in little girl fashion and said “did the bad guys shoot Pops?”
Henry cupped her face in his hands and said “yes, child. The bad guys shot Pops.” Holly suddenly and almost desperately wrapped her arms around Henry and said “please daddy, don’t let the bad guys shoot you.” Henry patted her on the back and said “don’t worry child. I’ll be careful.”
Holly’s grandfather was killed when she was only three. She didn’t really remember him but was taught about him and was asked to pray for him every night.
She knew he had gotten shot but on television or in the movies, the bad guys always lost and when one of the good guys got shot, they were always okay. She didn’t really understand death. She thought aloud once that “maybe he’ll be in another show.”
She had her mind set on two things. When she grew up she was going to (a) marry her father and (b) she was going to be one of the cities’ finest. When she saw Henry in his “blues,” she thought he was the most handsome man in the world.
At six years old, she wrote a letter to Santa Clause, asking for a badge, a hat, a “sod arm” and a holster just like her fathers’.
When Sara read her letter, she asked Holly if she wouldn’t rather have a nice doll or one of the fancy gizmos that were so popular. “Nope,” Holly said, shaking her head. “I want what I asked for. A doll? Bleah!”
Against her better judgment, Sara made sure that Santa came through. It was one of the happiest Christmases that Holly ever had. She put on her little tin badge, hat, strapped her “sod arm” to her waist and went outside to play “cops and robbers.” Sara had even found a pair of plastic handcuffs, which Holly almost wore out on the first day.
Holly would run around the house, saying “hands up. You’re under the rest! You have the right to amain silent and anything you can say will be wused against you.” Sara would put her head in her hands and say to herself. “oh my goodness. What in the world was I thinking?”
Sara thought it was interesting that Holly never said the proverbial “pow, pow, or bang, bang” when she pointed her gun. She never gave her gun a name and Sara thought that maybe in some part of Holly’s psyche, she didn’t really want to shoot anybody because her Pops had been shot.
Putting them “under the rest” was the extent of her interaction with alleged criminals, of course coupled with a completely mangled version of being “Mirandized.”
Holly’s search for perpetrators waned a bit but she always made sure she had her “sod arm” somewhere nearby. One day, she put it on her bookshelf and never picked it up again. Her childhood innocence was giving way to young girl curiosity about life, fashion and little boys, who suddenly didn’t smell so bad. But, in her mind, none of those boys could hold a candle to her daddy.
One summer day when Holly was eight years old, she came running into the house and said “mommy, if I never ever get anything else for my birthday or Christmas for the rest of my life, I really, really, really, really want a suit of arnor.”
“A suit of armor?” Sara asked. “Why in the world do you want a suit of armor?” Holly said “I just really, really, really, really want a suit of arnor. I’ll be your best friend. Okay? I promise, you will never have to get me another thing.”
Sara said “well, we’ll have to check with Santa and see if he can bring you one but you have to promise not to be disappointed if he doesn’t. Okay?”
Holly gave her best pouty face and said “okay, but I know he can bring me one.”
Sara gave it her best shot but couldn’t find a suit of armor anywhere, unless it was a real suit of armor which was far above their budget. Thankfully, when Christmas arrived that year, there was no request from Holly for a “suit of arnor.”
It wouldn’t be until years later, that Sara would finally understand Holly’s request. She didn’t want a suit of “armor.”
She wanted a “suit of Honor,” just like her daddy wore.
To be continued____________________