Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Jesse Erick Sollman

Easton Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Friday, March 25, 2005

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Reflections for Police Officer Jesse Erick Sollman

Happy Birthday Jes-

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you but especially today, on your birthday. I know that you are just the life of the party up there and you are warming all of the other angels' hearts who miss their loved ones but have you to make it easier for them with that great smile of yours. We had a support meeting Tuesday night and we were showing pictures of our little angel, Colton, to the rest of the parents who also have the dubious misfortune to belong to this group, and it never dawned on me that on that awful day, where his life was too short, I was wearing one of the shirts that I bought when we were in D.C. honoring you and all of the other heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. It was kind of eerie for me to see that in those sad pictures but I know that you are taking very good care of my little man until we can all be together again. For that, I will always be greatful... I owe you one...

Forever your friend, Nick

December 5, 2007

Happy Birthday Jesse!

December 5, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jes.

You would have been 39 today, and if you were here you would have danced around all day singing "It's my birthday" and acting silly and asking for your presents. (And I would have teased you that I didn't get you anything.) I thought about having cake with the kids today but decided not to because it didn't seem right to celebrate your day without you - to celebrate an age that you never reached, another year that was taken from you.

So much was taken from you, Jes, and it makes me very sad. You deserved so much more - more moments of happiness, more time with your family, more years in your life......so much more of everything. I am so, so sorry that you didn't get more.

Today was the shopping spree at school and Savannah's class was scheduled to go. There was an entire table of gifts for dad - #1 Dad hats, coffee mugs, license plates, keychains, notepads, golfballs - and it just broke my heart to think of her walking past that table, looking at all those trinkets and realizing yet again that she doesn't have a daddy. It's not like any of us could ever forget, we are reminded every day in many ways that you aren't here, but sometimes the reminders are so painful.

We miss you. We wish you were here with us.
Always and Forever.
~ Carin

December 4, 2007

Carin, Savannah, and Jacob, It is a little late, but I sure hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. Reading your reflection below, it sure sounds like at least there was plenty of good food and friends. I try to come here as often as I can, and I caught myself tonight, it has been now almost a month. I cannot believe how fast time goes. I know that must be bitter sweet for you, in every great step forward, there are so many memories left behind . . .but certainly not forgotten. It is hard to believe that it will be three years soon. It is very, very hard to believe. And that's for me. You are doing a great, great job Carin. Not to have someone there must just be so difficult. Unlike a "single mom" by choice (I guess depending on the circumstance, this might not be a choice either)- - both Savannah and Jacob will never really get to know their dad. The families where people are divorced, yes, it must be very difficult too, but at least those children can still have their parents in their lives. Maybe not unified, but at least in their lives, every other weekend, christmas concerts, graduations . . .You are a widow. There is not a second that goes by that I do not think that I could have been in your shoes. It could happen to any one of us, and I try never to forget that. You certainly have picked up the pieces, and forged your way ahead, but it was not easy, it still is not easy. You, and the kids are in my thoughts and prayers always.

Easton PD Wife

December 3, 2007

Carin...just thinking of you...wishing you and the kids peace and happiness this holiday season...I'm always thinking of you and the kids...much love, Chrissy

November 30, 2007

The holiday season is here, one of the worst times of the year for your family and loved ones. There are no magic words I can offer them to help them, except to just take one day at a time, thats all any of us can do. I know you're proud of Carin and how she has been doing things on her own. Believe me, she is an example for other police widows to follow.
Today, even as cold as it was and me complaining, I decorated the exterior of my home in all blue lights. One of those lights has been assigned to you to let you know that you are a true hero and have not been forgotten. That blue light will be lit every night from now up until New Years as a tribute to you. Continue to keep watch over all of your loved ones, let them feel your presence so they know you are near and watching over them.

Bob Gordon
Father of Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

November 25, 2007

Hi Carin. We were study buddys in nursing school and many of my "flashbulb" memories from that time spent together, are of you and your immense love and pride in Jesse. I admired you then, especially how you spoke of him. Since hearing of your devastating loss, I have followed the news and grieved with you. Finding this page today, I am compelled to leave a reflection. I will always remember the love that you demonstrated for a man you adored. My heart breaks for you and your precious children, that you have endured such unspeakable loss. Unquestionably, Jesse left his mark on this planet and his legacy lives on in you and your beautiful children. I know what an amazing young woman you were and I also know that your strength and faith sustain you today. You will continue to shine a light for all to see of love and hope and strength. Jesse will always be here as those who love him so, hold on to the memories of the man he is, and the love that you share. May the thoughts of those who care hold you up. God bless you Carin. Love from Brenda Petersen

an old friend of Carin's
from nursing school

November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, Jes.

I can't believe this will be the third holiday season without you, it really doesn't seem possible that you could be gone so long. So much has happened and so much time has passed, yet it seems like just yesterday you were here with us. We spent the day at Andy and Maria's, we had a really good time - Aunt Gloria helped do the cooking and she's just like Mom H in the kitchen, everything was just so delicious I overstuffed myself! I laughed when I read Nick's reflection because you did love that Atkins diet but there is no way you would have stuck to it today, not with all the casseroles and mashed potatoes and gravy.....you would have had several plates of food and spent the next week eating nothing but hamburger meat to make up for all the carbs.

On the drive down this afternoon I said to the kids that we should take a few minutes to say a prayer for you, that we should think about you and tell you how much we love you and are grateful that you were in our lives (and always in our hearts). Savannah of course follows right along with anything I say, but Jacob is always the skeptic because he's afraid I'll start to cry and then he doesn't want any part of it. But I didn't cry and we said a little prayer and I know you were with us all day.

There were so many moments today when I thought of you and just really missed you being here. It makes me feel so bad that you aren't here but I do realize that it's just selfish on my part because you are already in Heaven, enjoying the grandest Thanksgiving feast of all (and not having to worry about the carbs). But most of my sadness, honestly, is for the kids because they have to grow up without you - it isn't fair to them and it just breaks my heart.

We miss you, Jes, and we love you very much. I really am trying to do a good job as a single mom. It's strange to even refer to myself that way and after all this time I haven't gotten used to it - in fact, sometimes I forget that I am a single parent. A few weeks ago I went to a conference in Philly with some friends and the speaker asked "How many married women do we have in the audience today?!?!" and I started to clap right along with my girlfriends - it took a few seconds for me to realize that no, I'm not married anymore (I was so embarrassed). Then the other night I took Jacob to choir practice and was talking to one of the other mothers and she very innocently asked me "So are you a single mother too?" and I said "No"....."Well, I guess so, yes.....But not by choice" (as if that matters).

Single mom.

Widow.

I never thought this is where I would be, or who I would be.

I'm trying very hard to accept where I am - to embrace this life that I've been given and to find the blessings in it - not just for me but for my 2 very precious children who didn't have a say in any of this, who wake up every day and look to their mother for guidance.........

So please, Jes, give me guidance. Help me to be a good mom to the kids, to be strong and resilient......To be the mother you always believed I was.

And save us some seats.

We love you. Always and forever.
~ me

November 22, 2007

Jesse, Carin, Savannah and Jacob,

I wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving...I hope for you to find a special moment when you can all be together today...I am so thankful that Jesse and Drew brought us together!! Eat lots of good turkey today, I know Drew will be having a feast!!

I love you my sister...keep being strong!!

Love always,
Chrissy

November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Jesse,Carin and kids =)

November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Jes- I know you'd only be eating the meat and nothing else on that Atkins Diet of yours. I can't begin to tell you how much I miss you pal... I was up to see you a few weeks ago when I was feeling bad about Colton and just thinking of your stupid smile made me smile. I hope you know how much you are loved and missed every day. I would have gladly traded places with you if I could have...

Motor Officer Dominick Marraccini
Easton Police Department, Easton, PA

November 21, 2007

Dearest Carin,

I've closed the shop for the evening and I just wanted you to know you and your precious little family, and Jesse, are always in my thoughts. I know how hard this all is. As a mother, I wish I could do something to fix things, but I can say I love you, and I do even though we haven't met....yet. I will always look for you at Washington. Until then, my heart is with you.

Linda Rittenhouse

Matt's Mom Always
Matthew Rittenhouse, EOW 9/16/2004

November 21, 2007

Carin,

You don't know me...but I think of you and your family so often. I visited the Police Memorial this May for the first time...and I made sure I went and touched Jesse's name. I can't even begin to imagine what the past 2.5 years have been like...but, reading your posts gives me a clue.

The job as a police wife has grown more and more frightening. I never used to worry about my husband leaving for work... but ever since Jesse's death, it brought it home. Ever since I discovered the ODMP...I feel both sadness and anger for all of the deaths of these heroes. I never realized how one single moment can change a life forever.

I have kept track of your journey...and I hope that you continue to be strong and endure through the grief and pain you have been left to overcome. Your posts have had such an impact on my life. Every day is a gift. I am so sorry about the loss of Jesse. Just know that you are thought of often. His sacrifice, and that of your family, is not forgotten.

With Love, Respect, Sorrow, and Admiration~

BPD WIFE


Bethlehem, PA

November 21, 2007

To Carin and the kids,

I found this site when an officer in my town was killed. I then found this page. I have went back to page 1 and read every entry. I can not even begin to imagine what you or your family is going through. I have never met any of you, or even heard about you until I found this site, yet I see that Jesse was a wonderful man, husband and father. Your posts leave tears in my eyes. I can only hope that if something happens I am ever in your shoes, I can be half as strong as you seem to be. I wish there was something I could say or do, yet we both know that there is nothing that can be done. I do want to thank you for sharing your stories. It seems to often they end up just a number or a horrible stastistic. With your stories and memories, you have let us know him.

Jesse, thank you for your sacrifice. I pray for you, for your wife and for your children.

B.Norvell

November 20, 2007

Happy Veterans Day Jesse, thank you for your service to our Country.

Bob Gordon
Father of Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

November 11, 2007

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to the EPD wives who come here to Jesse's site and leave reflections for me and the kids - I really appreciate your support, kind words, thoughts and prayers. Since Jesse died our lives have been changed in ways I never imagined. Losing him was just devastating, for me and for the kids, in so many ways. Our lives will never be the same.

But we are picking up the pieces of our old lives and using them as stepping stones to a new one. It is a long and difficult journey, but we are trying to make new plans, to have new hopes and dreams. There are moments when I feel angry or bitter, especially when something happens with one of the kids and Jes isn't here to share it with me - but those feelings do not define me or guide my life.

I hold my memories of life with Jesse inside my heart and will carry them with me forever. It truly is a comfort to me to know that he is in your hearts as well - that his memory and legacy continues to live on and that he is not forgotten.

Thank you again.
Carin

November 6, 2007

Carin, Savannah and Jacob,
Well, so much goes on in our lives, there is not much time goes by where I need to ground myself and come visit Jesse's site. Reading your reflections, and the reflections of others keeps me grounded in what is really important in our lives. The one poem about the officer who stopped a speeding car is just so true. It happened to Trooper Philip Lamonaco in NJ years ago. It was just days before Christmas and even worse just minutes (I believe) before the end of his shift before his vacation was to start. He stopped a car for a light out, and yes, they criminals (they were terrorists) had better guns, and the vest, well, it wasn't much of one. A lot of good things came out of that that probably saved the lives of many officers to come, but what a price to pay for that family. I cannot even imagine how hard it must be with the kids really just so young yet. I will never forget that day, and how just impossible the news sounded, it did not seem it could be true. You however, have had to live with that every day since. For me, it is just a grounded reminder, but for you, it is a constant lost memory. I just hope you know that you are thought about often, I don't know what the pain feels like but I care that you have had to deal with it all. Jesse will never be forgotten, and I just hope you know that people really do care.

Easton PD Wife

November 5, 2007

Jesse and his family are still in my prayers. His service will never be forgotten.

Corporal
Pennsylvania State Police

November 3, 2007

Hi Carin,
Happy anniversary. I am sure this is a bittersweet day for you. I'm so sorry that your life had to change so drastically and so quickly. I read your reflections often. I am from Easton and two of my husband's co-workers from the Reading Police Department died in the line of duty the past couple of years. Its just horrible that so many families are changed in the blink of an eye. I was looking through Officer Cassidy's reflections and I saw that you had posted one. I think that speaks volumes of the kind of woman you are, Carin. In spite of your own grief, you still take the time and have the heart to reach out to others. That shows a kindness and a heart for others that is rare in this day and age. Sometimes I feel myself start to cry when I read your reflections for Jesse. I can't say I know what you are going through, and truthfully, I hope I never have to find out, but I can feel through your words the special love that you and your husband shared and how you are trying, desperately trying to figure out how to go on and how to make things right for yourself and your children. You are a remarkable and strong woman Carin and I really admire and respect you and what you are doing. I pray for you and your children daily!
Officer Sollman, thank you for your service and your sacrifice. May you rest in peace.
Respectfully,
Kenda Balkiewicz

Kenda Balkiewicz
wife of Reading Police Officer

November 2, 2007

Jesse & Carin~

Just wanted to say that I will never forget about both of you. I miss ya Jesse..what a difference you could have made! Another officer was killed in Philadelphia...he never saw it coming either. May God bless you both.

Carin~

I do read your entries about life after Jesse. I hope that you are blessed with only good things in your life, along with your children. Keep up the good karma that you spread to everyone that needs you.

Det. Jean L. Dubbs(RET.)
EPD

November 1, 2007

Hey Jes ~

Tomorrow is our anniversary. 11 years married, 17 years together - that seems like a long time but really in the grand scheme of things it was just a blink of an eye. I miss you very much, Jes.

A cop in Philly was shot 2 days ago - he walked into Dunkin Donuts to get a cup of coffee and interrupted a robbery in progress. After 25 years on the job he ends up being shot in the head by a thug who has yet to be captured. Line of duty deaths this year are already at 150, 146 of them male with the average age of 38. How many women are left to raise their kids alone? How many children are left without their fathers? It's hard for me to wrap my head around the statistics. All the families, all the suffering and grieving.......when will it stop? God, I wish it would just stop.

I miss you, Jes. I'm trying very hard to carve out a new life for me and the kids, to pick up the pieces and go on. But I miss you every day and wish so much that you were still here - I miss my husband and the kids miss their daddy and life just isn't the same without you in it.

Love you. Always and forever.
Carin

November 1, 2007

Hello Carin,

I posted on Jesse's page sometime ago, I still think about you and your family daily. I hope you are doing alright. I wish you all the luck in the world with all that you do. Feel free to email me, have the webpage administrator look at my email address, he is permitted to give it to you if you want it. I'd love to hear from you.

Brightest Blessings :)
Eric

Eric S. EMT
Whitehall PA

November 1, 2007

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Sergeant
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

October 31, 2007

I NEVER DREAMED IT WOULD BE ME

I never dreamed it would be me,
My name for all eternity,
Recorded here at this hallowed place,
Alas, my name, no more my face.

"In the line of duty," I hear them say:
My family now the price to pay.
My folded flag stained with tears;
We only had those few short years.

The badge no longer on my chest,
I sleep now in eternal rest.
My sword I pass to those behind,
And pray they keep this thought in mind.

I never dreamed it would be me,
And with heavy heart and bended knee,
I ask for all here from the past:
Dear God, let my name be the last.

Jes,
I read this on the page of a RCMP officer who you have met i am sure. He is younger than you, only 26 years old. I know you would look out for him if you could.

Mom and I were in town tonight and a guy parked his car next to us and when he got out both of us thought it was you. Every once in a while that happens to us. We see you, but its not you, and we both choke up for a couple of minutes. Boy son do we miss you. Every time i go past Cabellas I remember when you took me there during opening week. I worked with your guys the other night serving warrants and think how great it would be if we could have been doing it together. I was thinking about the last time you and I cooked food on the Webber and drank beer in the garage. We ate all of the sausage before we went into the house and the girls wanted to know what happened to it. I sure would like to drink another beer with you right now.

Winter in coming, and that's the hardest time of year for me to visit you. I keep thinking how cold and hard the ground is. I know you are sitting at the right hand of our Heavenly Father watching over us, but winter is still hard on me.

The kids are doing great, Jacob almost scored a goal at the soccer game the other day. He got into the middle of the kids kicked the ball out and ran it all the way down the field. Just as he was going to kick it into the goal a very fast girl deflected the ball about a foot to the side. He was so excited that he was able to do that that he ran around laughing. I know you were watching, I could even hear you shouting Go Jacob Go.

I will be over to see you this week. Marines today say in greating Ho Rah, but I still like how we did it in the old corps, Semper Fi always faithful!

Semper FI my son

Love Mom And Dad

October 28, 2007

Oh Jes, how I miss you.....

The project is finally done, and I can't wait to share it. I've literally spent all day watching it.....Flash worked so hard, it's really incredible.

I miss you so much. Your son is looking, and your daughter is acting, more and more like you every day. I know you are with us......I love you and I always will.

Always and forever.
Carin

October 23, 2007

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