When Time Ends …

Hello, again dear readers. Gumshoe read about a plaque that is within the vestibule of a Catholic Church, “Our Lady of Mount Carmel”, that is in Bronx, New York. This is not news since numerous church entrances display a sundry array of plaques, posters, pictures, and bulletins.

Ahem, so what?

However, this particular plaque draws the reader’s attention to the church bells.  The bells mark the passage of time. That is old news.

Okay, here is Gumshoe’s point of reference for reflection dear readers.

The one inscribed phrase that stuck out to Gumshoe from this plaque read:  “. . . when time stops, eternity begins.” Gumshoe pondered this phrase and thought of the times in his LEO career when time indeed stopped and to Gumshoe it really seemed to be an eternity.

To wit:

Gumshoe wrestling down in the dirt and debris in the city of Santa Ana, California, a back alley with a dope-crazed suspect at 2:00 AM. The suspect was attempting to enter the bedroom window of a teenage female. You can readily guess his evil intent kind readers. The hysterical and startling blood-curdling screams from this young female not only alerted her parents but also Gumshoe as well.

Officer Gumshoe just happened to be in “the right place at the right time“ on “routine patrol” inside his assigned beat barrio on this dark and rainy night. Gumshoe immediately went out on foot from his police unit to track down the source and cause of the near-distant screams.  Gumshoe put out an “unknown trouble call” on his portable radio and Gumshoe traipsed along the adjoining driveways and alleyways.

The cacophony of barking dogs alerted Gumshoe to the fleeing suspect’s direction of travel. The K9 GPS at its best! Gumshoe and the suspect had their physical ground encounter about two blocks away from the victim’s residence.

It was always a source of wonderment to Gumshoe about how much energy and strength can be generated and fueled by the “flight-fight-freeze“ syndrome. Think of the comic book hero “The Amazing  Hulk”.  In this instance, think of a meth-head 20-year-old gang banger on probation for nighttime residential burglaries.

Gumshoe was able to physically restrain and handcuff this want-a-be Hulk after a pretty good tussle on the rain-drenched alley gutter. The far-off sounds of the wailing sirens from the rapidly approaching police units from adjacent patrol beats racing to assist were music to  Gumshoe’s ears. Gumshoe was still in the muck and the mud doing the chicken with this “creepazoid”.  It seemed like an eternity when time stopped until the blue-clad cavalry arrived.

To wit:

Gumshoe’s first officer-involved shooting when time just momentarily stopped and seemed like an eternity.

To wit:

The time when Gumshoe first heard of one of his fellow officer’s death in the line of duty . . . time just seem to stop in Gumshoe’s disbelief, shock, horror, disgust, anger, and sorrow.

Gumshoe is sure that all of you kind readers have had instances in your lives when time just stopped and it seemed like an eternity.  Hopefully, it was not similar to Gumshoe’s unforeseen and unfortunate encounters.

When Gumshoe thinks about his instances of perceptions of time being stopped; eternity was real until those church bells rang again. . . “For Whom the Bells Tolls” rings true!

Well, dear readers, that’s Gumshoes thoughts for now that you may ponder in your own time. Always love the ones who love you and try to even love the ones who don’t.

Coram Deo!

PS:  Yesterday by chance, Gumshoe read this painted sign displayed on the rear window of a passing car in traffic: “Tomorrow is just a promise”.  Hmm?  Some more thoughtful pondering for Gumshoe to be sure.


Danny Pitocco
Danny Pitocco
RETIRED (as a Detective with the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Department, Washington State), Danny has over forty years of law enforcement experience across city, county, state and federal levels of government, including service as a Special Agent for the DEA, US Department of Justice. He’s a decorated law enforcement veteran, and recipient of the "Detective of the Year" award for Snohomish County, Danny is a certified composite artist and has testified as an expert witness in the field of narcotics and modus operandi of particular crimes in state and federal courts in California, and has given testimony before federal grand juries. Danny served four years of active duty in the US Marine Corps and loves Jesus as his personal savior.

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE


  1. Another great article. It brough back a couple of memories. First in Vietnam during one of many fire fights and you begin to wonder when will it get over and can I get through this with my body still intact. What always seemed like an eternity was in some cases a very short period of time.
    The second time was while I was working the major felony unit. Me and my partner were working downtown in the City of Syracuse. It was almost quitting time when a vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed going west on Erie Blvd blowing red lights. We called it in and started to pursue. We left the City headed to the County still trying to catch the vehicle. The driver took us over a Golf Course, through a park before finally coming to a stop. There was three occupants and all bailed out with us in foot pursuit. All the time we are on the walkie calling the pursuit in. We end up in a residential neighborhood and someone’s back yard. Two males and one female. We had no clue as to our location. We are trying to subdue the two males and are in an actual fist fight. It’s now about two o’clock in the morning and someone wants to know “what’s going on”? I yell to the person that we are cops, call the State Police or Sheriffs and give them our location. We are still fighting with the suspects. A few minutes go by (although I thought it was longer) and I feel this hand on my shoulder.
    The voice says to me “Good Guy”? I say yes. He pulls me off the suspect and four Trooper’s help cuff and arrest the suspects.
    I have been involved in numerous arrests where the suspect(s) resisted but never one like the one that night. Although the actual fight lasted but a few minutes it seemed like we had been fighting for hours. All the while I’m thinking I hope help comes soon and when and how will it end?
    So again another great thought provoking article Gum Shoe.
    Semper FI

    • Great account Tom about mere minutes that seemed like an eternity. I think that our perception of time measured by a clock or by a calendar only gives us a limited view when things are happening NOW! Our emotions immediately embrace reality that need no measurement. Semper Fi!

  2. I remember after reading your article dear Gumshoe of the arrest made the night I was dispatched to a knife fight at Henry’s Bar, and the victim died, but after setting up a perimeter search and standing still in the darkest spot of the place I felt the suspect would be, time stood still…waiting and then suddenly the suspect appeared infant of me, knife in hand. Yes, he did go to jail, and no I was not hurt, due to instinct and your training back in time. I also remember going through Chemo each 21 days and the IV seemed to drip, drip, drip, as though it would never end. I prayed to HIM who created everything on these two events in my life as though I would see HIM sooner than later, but since then too, I try to serve HIM the best I can each and every day!

    • We are all “invulnerable” my dear Nightingale until our God assigned missions here on earth are accomplished. This doesn’t mean we tempt or test God, we just walk in faith and recognize our weaknesses. Thanks for sharing your insight Nightingale.

  3. Good stuff brother Danny! When I read your first mention of “. . . when time stops, eternity begins.” my thoughts immediately went to how we measure time in this life in increments, whether seconds, hours, days or seasons……and how different it will be once we pass from this life to the next – eternity.
    Of course, location is everything……no doubt one second in hell will seem like eternity. But what about heaven? If one believes the Bible to be true (as this one does) it gives us glimpses into eternity in heaven……heaven has no night and the Lord Himself is the light, the sun and moon are no longer needed (Revelation 22:5).
    The city is filled with the brilliance of costly stones and crystal clear jasper. The paradise of the Garden of Eden is restored: the river of the water of life flows freely and the tree of life is available once again, yielding fruit monthly with leaves that “heal the nations” (Revelation 22:1-2). However eloquent John (the writer of Revelation – the Holy Spirit being the Author) was in his description of heaven, the reality of heaven is beyond the ability of finite man to describe (1 Corinthians 2:9).
    Heaven is a place of “no mores.” There will be no more tears, no more pain, and no more sorrow (Revelation 21:4). There will be no more separation, because death will be conquered (Revelation 20:6). The best thing about heaven is the presence of our Lord and Savior (1 John 3:2). We will be face to face with the Lamb of God who loved us and sacrificed Himself so that we can enjoy His presence in heaven for eternity.

    September 19th of this year I had what is called a ‘mini stroke’…….it served as a sharp reminder to me of the frailty of my life.
    Psalm 39:4,5 says this…..
    ““Lord, make me to know my end,
    And what is the measure of my days,
    That I may know how frail I am.
    5 Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths,
    And my age is as nothing before You;
    Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor.”

    We will all answer the question “was Jesus who He said He was?”. No answer is an answer, so there’s no getting around it. Jesus Himself said, “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).
    As brief as our time on earth is……the decision we make about Jesus during whatever time it is will determine where we spend eternity…..and no matter how you measure it – THAT’S A LONG TIME!!!

    • Thanks once again my dear bro Mike for expanding upon my time theme with your in depth scriptural insight and wisdom. Our God is outside of time as our finite minds cannot really understand. However, what He has in stored for us who believe, love and obey Him is something that words cannot truly describe. God-willing we will be there with our brothers and sisters in Christ!

  4. I can relate to your cited event where time seemed to stand still. I should mention though that I have never been on duty in a war zone, nor have I been on patrol as a police officer. However, I was once in a knife fight where I found I was the only one there without a knife. While saving help arrived in a matter of a couple of minutes, it seemed like hours. The passage of time lost all meaning and all relationship to reality.

    • Great story about coming up short a knife in a knife fight my friend Ken. I am pleased that you did not become Swiss Cheese. It is true that when reality meets in time when life and death (or serious injury) intersect, a glimpsed of eternity appears. Thanks Ken for always commenting and keeping it real.