STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. — Mercedes and Deputy Dennis Wallace were married for 30 years.
However, on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputy was shot and killed. On that day, Mercedes got that dreaded knock on her door.
"My hope was that they were gonna tell me he was in the hospital, but the tone and the eyes, all I can remember is just saying, 'No, no, it couldn't have been'," Mercedes said. "I've always been able to talk about it. It's just when I'm alone I really think about it."
When Cpl. Ronil Singh was shot and killed the day after Christmas, Mercedes said she had flashbacks to the day she was told her husband was killed.
"That day, when the knock came on my door, and immediately thinking about his wife, his family, and just the bunch of emotions they went through," Mercedes said. "The shock, the disbelief, the why."
Mercedes said she reached out to Singh's widow to show support.
"I introduced myself to her at the vigil," Mercedes said. "I know what she's going through right now. So, I figured, when it's time, we will get together."
Mercedes said she's part of a growing group of family members who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.
"I really wish he saw how much people loved him," Mercedes said. "I don't think he realized how much people thought of him. He would've been really really happy."
Through so much pain, she says the memories of her husband have helped her grieve.
"He was a clown. He was a big kid. He loved life. He always saw the best in everything and he didn't worry about little things," Mercedes recalled.
However, she does have one regret and it's a reminder that any amount of time is never enough.
"I was married to Dennis for 30 years and it felt like five minutes," Mercedes said. "I felt like I didn't have him for long enough. Work is always gonna be there. For all those spouses out there, kids, spend the time together tomorrow. You may not have them. That's my only regret. I worked too much and I didn't spend time with him."
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