It Has Already Been Decided

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.

These last 4 1/2 years have been the most difficult and painful time of my life.

One of the ways God has comforted me is through this truth – ” A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” Job 14:5.

God has already decided which day will be the last day of your life here on earth and mine.

Knowing this helped me let go of my mother when she passed away 16 years ago.  We had a very close relationship and she was my role-model for how a Christian woman lives her life faithful to God – all the way to her last breath here on earth.  I realized, if God wanted her in heaven with him, then that’s what I wanted for her.  She was an awesome grandmother to my children and this picture of her with Davey brings back great memories of all of my mother’s famous cinnamon rolls we ate together.  We only had one rule – nobody counted how many rolls anybody ate.  If there are cinnamon rolls in heaven, you can bet that these two are still gobbling down a bunch of these together today.

davey-and-grandma-rolls

Fifteen years ago I found myself in ICU with twelve blood clots in my lungs.  Have you ever seen a doctor look scared when they tell you this is a life-threatening situation?  Laying in the emergency room, I heard God clearly tell me that I wasn’t going to die from this.  Later, five doctors kind of looked at me in awe and told me the blood clots should have killed me.

It just wasn’t my day.

I know that God has reasons for picking May 18 as Davey’s final day here on earth.  I may never understand those reasons but I trust God.  And, since God wants him in heaven, that’s what I want for Davey.

Knowing that this date was determined before Davey was born helps me avoid needless regrets like –

  • I wish he hadn’t gone on that call.
    • It wouldn’t have mattered.  This was his day.
  • I wish he hadn’t gone to work that day.
    • It would have happened no matter what he was doing.
  • I wish he hadn’t been a police officer.
    • He was born to be a police officer and he died honorably, serving his community and doing what he loved to do.  He wouldn’t have wanted to live or die any other way.

It was decided.  There is no ‘wishing’ something else had happened.  God decreed the number of Davey’s days here on earth and then he took Davey home.

Now, standing on a foundation of God’s love and strength and grace, I am figuring out how to move forward.    I am still here because God has a purpose for me and that’s what my life needs to be about until the day God has already determined when he will come to bring me home.

I don’t know all the details of my future but meanwhile, through the tears, I’m focusing on loving God and loving other people.

A bigger chunk of my heart is now in heaven with you, Abba Father.

The Bomb – 4 years later

A bomb exploded in my life on May 18, 2016.

My plans were made.  I was on a course for my life that had my son’s smile and laughter plastered all over it.

And then the bomb went off – sending my life onto a whole new trajectory.  My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on Mary 18, 2016.

That day my life was thrown onto a path I never wanted to be on.  None of my former plans fit the journey I am on now.

I know I’m not alone.  There is a large group of us who were loving life with Davey when the bomb went off.  And now we find ourselves in this other world…..which is significantly darker….and has an obvious empty space,

Don’t tell me time heals all wounds.  This mother’s heart has a hole in it which will not be healed this side of heaven.

But….

here I am……

  • Putting Davey’s memorial bracelet on my wrist every morning – missing him, surprised that it’s been over four years since he was killed.  It feels like yesterday.  Except so much has changed.  Everything has changed.
  • Blue has become my favorite color because it reminds me of Davey’s commitment to be a great police officer.  My house decorations are blue, a lot of my clothes are blue and I’ve changed my Christmas decorations to mainly blue.
  • I’ve been retired for over 3 years and my retirement looks drastically different than I thought it was going to look 4 1/2 years ago.  It’s like I stepped into a different world, a place I would never have chosen.

And here we are….

  • We cancelled our trip to Washington, DC for Police Week this year when the whole thing was cancelled.  So disappointing.  Really wanted to see the museum and spend some more time at the memorial.
  • One of Davey’s buddies on his squad and I just designed a new David Glasser hat with 8144 on the front which is being sold in the store on the David Glasser Foundation website.  I love seeing people like Easton in this picture wearing Davey’s hats and shirts – remembering him and honoring him.  I consider remembering one fallen officer honors all of them so I love to see any fallen officer being remembered.

We’re on a very different path than any of us expected before May 18th, 2016.

About 6 months after Davey was killed, I was shopping and found a small plate with ‘Embrace the Journey’ written on it.  I stood in that store in front of this plate for a long time.

Thinking……………………………….

About the bomb that has gone off in my life and in the lives of so many people I love.

Thinking about the pain and the grief and the tears.

Now, 4 1/2 years later, I think about the awful road we have had to travel.  It has been uphill all the way ……. but we have traveled it together.

The last words Davey said to all of us were “Love you”.

I think about how much love has changed this journey.

We have learned a lot about loving each other in these last 4 1/2 years.  We have learned a lot about what’s really important – and what’s not.  Our hearts have grown bigger as we’ve reached out in love to the people moving forward with us on this journey.

It is definitely a journey. 

I am so glad that, standing in the store 4 years ago, I decided to Embrace the Journey.  God has placed me on this extremely tough road for a purpose.  He has walked closely beside me so far and I know he will give me strength and peace the rest of the way.

Of course I bought the dish and now I put my wedding ring and Davey’s memorial bracelet on it every night.  My wedding ring changed after Davey was killed, too.  I added blue sapphires to it.  Fallen but never forgotten.

I place my ring with its blue sapphires on this dish next to Davey’s memorial bracelet at the end of each day and consider my journey.  Some days are harder than others depending on the roller coaster of emotions the events of the day contained.  Sweet memories.  Sad losses.  One day might have many ups and downs and then the next is filled with gratitude for 34 years with Davey.  Each day I am reminded of my commitment to Embrace this Journey.

One day at a time.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

 

 

It’s Contagious

Law Enforcement is one of the most contagious careers I have ever seen.  When dad or mom is a doctor, there is often one doctor in the family.  If a parent is a lawyer, there might be one child who becomes a lawyer.  Or one child becomes a pastor when a parent or a grandparent is a pastor.

But how often do you see all three kids in the family become doctors?  Or lawyers?  Or pastors?

Not very often.  One of the exceptions is law enforcement where it happens often.  Whole families of law enforcement  are everywhere – often including grandparents, cousins and in-laws.

Why is it so contagious?

Why does a child of a police officer become a police officer when they had a front row seat to the long hours, the self sacrifice and the danger?

It’s because they have a front row seat that they also see the character, courage, strength and integrity it takes to be a good police officer.  Many other people talk about making a difference in the world and then go into their safe places to work where they spend countless hours trying to increase profits – it’s all about the money.  Every day.  A few of them might write a check to a charity of their choice – that’s as close as they come to making a difference.

Law Enforcement Officers are front line difference makers.  Every stop, every call, every situation – they have an opportunity to make their community safer and protect the innocent.  They come face to face with the evil that the rest of us try very hard to avoid.  We run from danger, they run toward danger.

I will never forget watching a video of the Boston Marathon bombing.  The bombs went off and people started screaming as they ran away – except the first responders.  They ran towards the bombs, toward the danger.  Difference-makers.

Law Enforcement careers attract people who respect law and order.  These people believe in sacrificing themselves to help others.  They know that serving their communities is honorable no matter what anybody else says.  They dedicate their lives to pushing back the evil in our communities so that the innocent can have a safe place to live and raise their families.  Difference-makers.  Instead of just talking about it, they are doing it.  Children of law enforcement officers see this – they live it – and they can’t imagine dedicating their lives to anything else.  So they become officers.

There are more careers usually in the serving category that are contagious as well.   I know there are teaching families, fire-fighting families and military families.  Why?  These are also difference – making careers.

My husband and I both served in the U.S. Military and I was a little surprised when neither of my children showed any interested in going into the military.  Then I had to smile when my son, David Glasser, started talking about becoming a police officer.  That’s as close as you can get to being in the military without being in the military.  I totally understand why many people go into law enforcement after years in the military.  Respect for law and order, serving your country, self-sacrifice, honor, courage – it’s all the same.  Being a difference-maker.

It’s contagious.

Davey lost his life in service to his community.  It’s a tragedy.  It’s very difficult and painful for those of us who have been left behind.  I am thankful that he died honorably – protecting and serving others.  Davey was a difference-maker.  His life and death has had a big influence on many people and the David Glasser Foundation is still making an impact on the lives of children and families in high risk areas of Phoenix today.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

 

You are Helping

Thank you to everyone who has played a part in the recent Back the Blue Rallies all over the United States.  I especially like the rallies in Phoenix where my son, David Glasser, who was a police officer was killed in the line of duty May 18, 2016.

I know seeing all these people supporting Law Enforcement helps the police officers who are out on the front lines everyday.  It helps their families who see their officers sacrificing so much every day, day after day, to serve our communities.

I wanted you to know that it also helps and encourages people like me who are survivors of a line of duty death.  It’s very hard to watch and read about the lack of understanding and gratitude some people have towards law enforcement officers when my son and so many other officers have given their lives to protect these same people.

We have lost so much.  I have lost so much.

I know that millions of Americans support and respect police officers and it’s truly great to see that majority start to speak up and become visible!  It’s important that the negative groups see it as well so they understand that they are the minority.

I’ve always hated situations where those screaming loudest are getting all the attention.  So it makes me smile when I see groups positively and respectfully showing their support for the good guys.

I received this picture from a recent Back the Blue Rally in Phoenix.  This is awesome!  If anyone knows this person, please tell them I love the fact that they were remembering and honoring Davey at the rally!  It feels right for Davey’s shirt to be there – he loved his brothers and sisters in Blue with all his heart.  Thank you!

It’s great whenever any of our fallen officers are remembered and honored.  If anyone has any more pictures of fallen officers being represented at rallies, please send them my way.  I’d love to see them and share them.

All of this helps survivors like me whose hearts have been shattered and whose lives have been blown apart.

We are encouraged – thank you.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

So Quickly

In a second……

everything permanently changes.

There are so many reminders happening all around us every day of how quickly life ends.  If it’s not the virus, it’s accidents or violence in the streets. I can’t help thinking about the family, friends and co-workers who are being left behind.   Because that’s my story – left behind.  Every idea of what we thought our future was to going to be has literally crashed and burned.

This brings me back to where I was when my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed – in a second –  in the line of duty.  May 18, 2016 – a date seared into my soul.   When I hear the news of the latest tragedy, I find myself visiting that deep, dark place of pain, grief and loss once again.

I don’t know the specifics of other people’s situations, but I know the feelings.  I know the searing pain as reality seeps through the fog.  I know the hope each morning that it was all just a nightmare.  I know the constant reminders of all that has been lost.  I know the swirling.  I know the emptiness.

If you’ve experienced this kind of tragedy, you know it, too.

The good news is that God has helped me learn how to just visit that dark place.  I’m not stuck there.  I can feel it, recognize it, pray for those that have joined me on this road of recreating what my future looks like but I’m not staying in yesterday.  God has a purpose for leaving me here and that’s what I need to focus on.  I can’t focus on all I have lost…..there’s too much.  It’s too big.  It’s so painful.

These days I am often reminded again how short life is.  I am reminded how precious life is.  I am reminded how quickly people can be gone.  I’m reminded of how quickly I could be gone.

I am reminded of some of the game-changing things I have learned these last 4 years since Davey left us –

Life is short – forgive others, love others, cherish your time with them.  Always put God and people before ‘stuff’ and money.

No regrets – go, do, see (when it’s safe).  Don’t put things off.  Deal with conflict positively or let it go.  Don’t stop talking to people when you’re mad at them – you may never get another chance to say ‘love you”.

Love is the answer – Love has a magical quality that comes straight from God.  Love first and worry about all the other stuff later.  Our lives will be empty unless we fill them with love.  We don’t want to miss the chances we have to love others and add something meaningful to their lives.

Davey had it so right when he made sure the last thing he said to anyone he cared about was ‘love you’.  It’s now years later and we are all still blessed by his last words to us as they echo through our hearts and minds.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

 

The Stamp of Justice

Stand tall, my brothers and sisters in Blue!

final-finalgods-thumbprintThe thumbprint of God is on you!

In the beginning, God created mankind in his image.  Now, thousands of years later, he is still molding each one of us into unique human beings.  And each one of us reflects attributes of God in a different way.

You, my dear brothers and sisters in Blue, have the imprint of God’s justice stamped on your heart.  My son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer before he was killed in the line of duty had ‘Justice” etched on his soul.  It was who he was.  One of his favorite verses was Micah 6: 8, “He has shown you, O Man, what is good.  And what does the LORD require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

God created justice.  It’s his voice you are hearing in your mind when you are deciding between right and wrong.  You may have been calling this your conscience…..so, who created your conscience?  That’s his voice.

You feel the passion he placed inside of you as you work hard to replace what’s wrong with the world with what’s right.

You feel the fire that God created inside of you – the need to protect the innocent from the evil ones.  One of Davey’s driving motivations was to work hard with his brothers and sisters in blue in order to take the evil people off of the streets so that kids and families could have a safer place to live.

God speaks loud and long against the wicked all through his Word.  He curses the house of the wicked.  He punishes them.  He does not rescue them.  He does not tolerate the wicked and those who love violence.

That’s how God feels about the wicked, my brothers and sisters in Blue.  Does that sound like you?

God’s thumbprint is all over you!

The wicked in our world no longer hear God through their conscience because they have filled their minds with the lies of our culture.  They believe the lies of our media.  They are listening to the lies they tell themselves in order to rationalize their behavior and blame others.

Seeing you on the street reminds the wicked that there is justice in the world.  There is a right.  And there is a wrong.

The wicked are reminded that they are wrong when they see you.  And they don’t like being reminded.  Some of them resort to violence – it’s their language.

Unfortunately, we lose some battles.  My broken heart reminds me of that constantly.

But we will not lose the war.

God has already claimed victory and he has the final say.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

 

I Didn’t Know

I could never have imagined.

When my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty, I had no idea what it meant to be a part of the Blue Family.  Davey was good at not talking ‘shop’ when he was off duty.  I had met most of his squad members and their wives because Davey would regularly invite them over to their house for fight night and some poker.  He would invite his dad and I, too, so we got to know his cop friends.

I knew they were a good bunch of people but I never understood how really great our Blue Family is………until the day.

It was a Wednesday afternoon and I was driving home from work when I got a call from my daughter-in-law telling me Davey had been shot.   I immediately started shaking and had trouble comprehending what she was saying.  Byrd, Davey’s best friend on his squad, took over the call and realized I wasn’t far from the hospital.  So he told me to drive to the hospital, pull into the emergency area, tell the first police officer I saw who I was and give them my car keys.  They would take me upstairs.

I had to focus really hard as I drove to the hospital because a million thoughts were swirling through my head.  I didn’t have any trouble finding a police officer as I pulled into the emergency driveway – the roads around the hospital were already lined with police vehicles and there were police officers everywhere.  They were expecting me so I handed over my keys and someone took me upstairs.

I did not know at that time that I was actually being taken right into the center of the Blue Family.  Significant things in my life had already started changing – I would never be the same.  There was a lot of pain and grief ahead.  But there was also a whole new crowd of great people in my Blue Family who were going to enter my world.

I didn’t know then that I was going to meet hundreds of police officers who would all say these kinds of things:

‘Let me know if you ever need anything.’

“I’m always here for you.”

“Never forget that I’m here to help – let me give you my cell number.’

‘Just let me know whenever I can help.”

This is our Thin Blue Line.  People who care and are willing to go a lot of extra miles to prove it.  People who work hard at making a difference.  People who remember.  People who want to help honor Davey by continuing the work he started through the David Glasser Foundation.

I have also met hundreds of family members and friends of Police Officers who have consistently shown their love and care of my family these last 4 years.  Their concern for my family has been more obvious and generous than any other group I have ever been a part of.

We have also had a big crowd of civilian volunteers who have stepped up to encourage us and remember Davey by supporting the work of the foundation.  This is our Blue Family – it includes all those who love and support our Law Enforcement Officers.

Before Davey’s death, I didn’t know very much about my Blue Family.

Now I can’t imagine going through these last 4 years without them.

Love you, Blue Family!

Miss you, Davey.

 

Taking Care of Us

One of my favorite things to do is share great memories of Davey with people who really knew him.  It feels good and I’m pretty amazed at what I hear sometimes.  I have learned some very precious things about him from other people.

David Glasser, my son, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty May 19, 2016.  In the past four years, a bunch of his squad members, friends and my husband and I have often spent some time at ‘Davey’s spot” in the Phoenix Memorial cemetery to remember him together on the anniversary of his death.  This year was different because Dave and I now live in Colorado and the virus prevented us from flying in.  Normally, we hope to be there with this crew.

It’s so awesome to get together and talk about Davey.  Everytime we share stories, I learn something new about Davey.  Two years ago, I learned something I never knew before about how much Davey cared for all of us.

A little background on this – Davey always took care of my husband and my cell phones.  He would tell us it was time to order new ones and then he would order them for us since we were all on the same plan.  When the new phones came in, he would transfer our data and then he would sell our old phones for the difference so we never paid anything for our new phones.  He would also make sure we kept the boxes and had good covers and cases for our new phones so that he could resell them for top dollar.  He was great at it and it was a big help to us.

These last 4 years, my husband and I have had to take care of our own phones.  It is such a hassle!! It takes us at least a week and several trips to Verizon to get everything worked out whenever we change phones.  Yuck!  We never realized before how great it was to have Davey take care of this for us. Now we know.

So, two years ago on May 19th, when we were sharing great memories of Davey at his spot in the cemetery, imagine my amazement when I discovered for the first time that he did all of this for a bunch of the people in his squad.  He ordered phones, transferred data and then sold phones so it didn’t cost anything for a whole group of people!

What a unique but important way to show how much he cared for us!  It’s like he had his own little new cell phone service going on and I never knew it.  He must have realized what a pain it was for many of us and he liked doing it so he did it for all of us.

That is so like him!  He loved us and cared for us in any way he could, not making a big deal out of it.

Davey leaves behind a legacy of saying “love you” and this is just one example of how he backed that up with action.

Miss you, Davey!

#8144loveyou

In the Dark

Last year, the fence came down.

I’m talking about the fence around the Phoenix Memorial Cemetery where my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016, is buried.

The truth is that the fence never kept anybody out anyway.  The sign on the cemetery said it opened at 8 am and closed the gates when the sun went down.

But the closed gates never kept anybody out.  I know of several night visits by groups of Davey’s friends who jumped over the fence.  There are ripped pants to prove it.  You know who you are.  After talking with other people visiting this area of the cemetery where several fallen officers are buried, I have discovered that jumping over the fence for a night visit was not an unusual occurrence.

This doesn’t surprise me.  Darkness highlights the emptiness we feel.  The hole in our lives feels huge after the sun goes down.

As the night wraps around us, loneliness grows.  Sometimes we’re surrounded by people but our heart longs for that one person.  The one person who is missing.

And their spot on this earth is at the cemetery……

this is where we said our last goodbyes……

so a fence doesn’t stop us.

I love to see all the things people leave for Davey at his spot – pictures, painted stones and coins.  I visualize his friends as they give Davey a beer or a shot and then stand by his stone, having a drink with him……remembering so many fun times.

Before the it came down the fence was in bad shape, so I thought the cemetery management was going to put up a new one.  But they haven’t.  I guess they got the news about the night visits and realized replacing it was a waste of money.

On those difficult, lonely nights a fence didn’t stop anybody.

Miss you, Davey

#8144loveyou

More Alive

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.

And he’s more alive now than he ever was on earth.

Because he put his faith in Jesus as his Savior, Davey is in heaven right now with his Father God.  No more evil,  no more pain, no more worries.

Davey is with God so he is whole and more happy than we can possibly be.  Here on earth, we have times of joy and fulfillment, but they are fleeting.  The next moment or next hour brings concerns or trials.  We get tired or sick.  We become sore, bruised or broken.  Something that we thought was going to make us happy doesn’t come through and disappointment comes flooding in.

Davey doesn’t have any of that.  There is no evil in heaven, only good.  Only great!

God doesn’t talk about a lot of details concerning heaven in his Word and I think that’s because we just cannot understand how awesome it is.  Our words can’t describe it.  God uses words like ‘mansions’ and ‘streets of gold’ trying to give us an idea of a place like we’ve never seen before.  I think heaven is better than that.  I don’t want a mansion, I just want to hang with God.  I don’t need a street of gold to know that I’m in the exactly right place.

Davey is already in that exactly right place.  He got his reward – that’s how God sees it.  Davey no longer has to deal with the pain and confusion of this world.  He has everything he ever wanted in heaven.  Here’s a picture of one of Davey’s famous smiles – he wears this smile all day every day now.

I believe that people in heaven have very little if any interaction on earth.  People tell me about signs they get from their loved ones that have passed away and I believe that is God.  God is trying to talk to us and guide us and love us every day so he sometimes comforts us with things that remind us of the people we loved and lost.  I’ve had some dreams and signs that I believe are from God on Davey’s behalf.  God knew that they would give me hope and a smile.

When my father passed away suddenly over 40 years ago, three significant things he would have wanted for our family happened right away.  I believe God was rewarding my father’s faithfulness by tying up some loose ends and blessing my family.  I believe there are unusual circumstances where people from heaven come back to visit earth – a couple of those are documented in the Bible.  But usually, our loved ones move on……and I will understand that more when I get there.

The subtitle of my blog is ‘When the Worst Happens’.  Those of us who have put our trust in Jesus know that Davey being killed is not the worst that can happen.  The worst that could happen is Davey – or anyone- dying without accepting salvation through Jesus.

That is the ultimate worst that can happen.

Please don’t let that happen to you.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou