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Delray Beach Police Officer Bernenda Marc is used to being the first responder on the scene to help others in crisis. But Marc’s life changed after a scooter accident in Key West April 9 took the life of her friend and fellow officer Christine Braswell and left Marc in critical condition.
Marc has a long road of recovery ahead of her as she continues recuperating at home and attempts to navigate life without Braswell, her mentor.
“Christine was like a big sister to me,” Marc said. “I met her when I first came to the police academy. I was honored to have her as my drill instructor and field training officer. And since day one, she started mentoring me. She loved teaching and she was really great at it.”
Marc and Braswell ended up talking every day and worked the same patrol shift.
“She made the job fun and she was always happy to show up,” Marc, 25, said. “We would meet for breakfast every morning at Chick-fil-A and Christine would get the No. 3 and a large sweet tea. And she’d always refill the sweet tea when we were leaving.”
Marc is still trying to make sense of how she woke up at Jackson South Community Hospital after the accident.
“We were on vacation having fun and then all of a sudden, she’s not here anymore. It didn’t feel real at first,” she said.
Surviving the crash with severe injuries, Marc has found strength in the outpouring of support she’s received from her fellow Delray Beach police officers, her family and the community.
“My Facebook was going crazy with messages of love and support,” she said. “I appreciate it so much. Officers I never even met were showing up to my hospital room. I miss Christine more and more every day, but I feel she’s still here with me and I know she wouldn’t want me to quit or stay in that hospital too long.
“My family always told me, ‘Be around people who inspire you,’ and Christine was definitely that person for me. She was so humble and probably didn’t even realize all the people she touched. She had such an impact on me.”
Also a soldier in the Army National Guard, Marc said she often discussed her life goals and dreams with Braswell and even though they were good friends, Braswell was hard on her at times because she wanted to push her to be her best. Marc said it was a drive for success Braswell had with whom everyone she worked.
Even on Braswell’s days off, Marc said she would use her free time to train others.
“When I think about how much she accomplished in her short time here, it amazes me,” Marc said of Braswell, 40. “She used to joke about how old she was and I’d always tell her she wasn’t old. And I’d tell her she was amazing, and she’d smile and tell me, ‘Be quiet.'”
Multiple times, Marc asked Braswell why she was putting so much time into helping her achieve her goals. Marc said Braswell saw that she wasn’t a quitter and she liked how she never made the same mistake twice.
“Christine never put in less than 100 percent to her work or her friendships. She’d push everyone to go that extra mile and she always had a reason and a purpose with everything she did,” Marc said. “No one can ever replace her.”
She said she will continue to be a police officer and pursue her goal of becoming a drill instructor and a sniper.
“You have to take the pain you’re going through and do something positive with it,” Marc said. “And I don’t want to fail Christine. Now I have someone watching over me.”
Officer Bernenda Marc to continue fallen friends legacy have 628 words, post on www.sun-sentinel.com at 2017-05-15 17:00:00. This is cached page on USA Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.