No Regrets

It’s a good feeling.

No regrets.

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who went to work on May 18, 2016 and he never came home.  He was killed in an attempted robbery.

We have a lot of tears.

A huge amount of lost dreams.

A big hole in our lives.

But no regrets.

Davey lived life to its fullest and, as a result, those of us around him were also caught up in his whirlwind of a good time.  He was always planning the next poker party, the next BBQ, the next Fantasy draft and the next trip.  We knew we could count on him to provide the spark – something fun was on its way.

We all got used to saying ‘yes’ to whatever he was planning because we couldn’t say no – then we’d miss the fun!  We also got used to helping him do whatever he wanted to do because it was going to be good.

Now we are so thankful for all those great memories.  And we have a ton of them!  Our calendar was full of good times with Davey – we have no regrets about things we should have, could have, or would have done.   None of us knew how short our time was going to be with him.

None of us ever know.

Early on as a family, we learned to keep short accounts.  If something major was going on, we talked about it.  If something wasn’t a big deal, we forgot about it.  Let it go. That way we weren’t hanging on to anger and hurt feelings.

There’s a reason why God tells us not to let the sun go down on our anger.  Because – sometimes – the sun goes down and the person we’re angry with never comes home again.

Accidents.

Heart attacks.

Aneurysms.

Blood Clots.

Getting shot.

For whatever reason, the person you are mad at doesn’t come home…

and you are left with regrets.

That doesn’t have to happen.

Davey knew that some situations he got into as a Police Officer brought him dangerously close to never coming home again.  It was very important to him that the people he cared about knew that he loved them.  So the last thing he always said to us was ‘Love you’.

The very last thing he said to all of us was ‘Love you’.

And we said ‘love you’ back to him.

No regrets.

Just awesome memories of a very special person who we miss each day.

Love you, Davey.

Why Do They Do It?

Why do police officers put their lives on the line every day? Why do they agree to put this huge target on their backs?

Why?

Because God created them this way. They care about having a safe community for you and me and their loved ones to live in.  A safe place for our children to play in.  A place to live where we don’t have to be afraid.

And Police officers are willing to do something about it.  My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  Davey didn’t talk about work very often but, when he did, the courage and commitment it took for him to do his job amazed me.  Davey received several commendations for recognizing child abuse on calls where it was being covered up by the adults involved.  I remember one specifically was an infant.  But he never smiled about these commendations because the evil reality he dealt with in these situations was nothing to smile about.

Are there bad cops? Sure. Just like there are bad pastors, bad teachers and bad parents.

But the majority of Police Officers really care about right and wrong. They genuinely care about protecting and serving and they prove it every day by stepping out to face the evil darkness of this world.

Then why do Police Officers get such a huge amount of bad press?

This is a clear sign of how hard Satan and his team is working in our confused and ‘follow the crowd’ world. Yes, we have a lot of information readily at our fingertips today – a lot of incorrect information.

Police officers are very easy targets for people who don’t have any idea of what really happens out there when officers are face-to-face with murderers, drug dealers and psychopaths. Police officers courageously face the danger of dealing with these criminals in an effort to stop them from hurting other people.

I read in God’s word about the guardian angels he sends to protect us and fight our battles for us.

It’s obvious that a lot of our guardian angels wear police uniforms.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

Not Just One Day

Davey made a habit of telling people he loved them and showing love to them.  He was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  And he was my son.

Davey thought telling people he loved them and showing them he loved them was so important that he tried to influence those around him to also catch the ‘love you’ habit.  He was so persistent that even his squad of tough cops at work said ‘Love you’ to each other before they left the squad room.  As a result, the last words any of us that he cared about heard from him are ‘Love You’.  These words have echoed through our minds these last 4 1/2 years as we have struggled to deal with the huge hole his death left in our lives.

So, does it surprise you that Davey didn’t like Valentine’s Day?

He thought is was a holiday made up by the card and candy manufacturers in order to make money.  He knew that telling someone you love them and showing it was not a one day each year holiday.  It should be an every day event.  So, setting aside one day a year didn’t make sense to him.  I received Valentine cards from him during his ‘make your mom a valentine card’ years at school and church but not very many after that.daveydave-tony-and-carter

What I received from Davey was so much more valuable than a card.  He gave me consistent, genuine love and attention.  Those of you who are his friends and family know what I’m talking about.

He cared about us and he showed it regularly in a thousand different ways.

Every day.

Isn’t that so much more important than remembering to show our love one day a year?

Don’t get me wrong – I like Valentine’s Day.  I think giving candy and valentines to my grand darlings is fun.  I  have received many beautiful bouquets of flowers from my husband which I really enjoy – I love flowers.   This year he gave me a special Valentine wreath for the door of our new home in Denver.

But the challenge for all of us is to figure out how to make every day Valentine’s Day for those we love.  I’m not talking about buying stuff.  I’m talking about expressing our love in words and actions every day.

I started ‘The David Glasser #8144 Love You Campaign’ on Facebook the first Christmas after Davey died.  The purpose of the page is to show love and give encouragement to Law Enforcement Officers, their families and everyone that supports the Thin Blue Line.  The group now has more than 1300 members and is growing.  Check it out!  Click on request to join if you’re interested.  You’ll also get all the latest news about the David Glasser Foundation.

There has never been a time when our law enforcement officers and their families need more love and support.  Let’s figure out how we can make every day a day they feel loved and encouraged – just like Valentine’s day.

Let’s accept the challenge of trying to make the people we care about feel special and loved every day.  Those of us who knew Davey remember how that feels.

Love you, Davey.

Miss you.

There Is So Much More To This Story

It’s the part we don’t hear splashed all over the national media.

I will never forget the day, almost 5 years ago, when I was sitting with a group of mothers whose sons were all Police Officers who had been killed in the line duty the year before.  I was there because my son, David Glasser, was one of them.  This was the C.O.P.S session for mothers during Police Week 2017 in Washington, DC.

Each mother told her story.

And it was excruciating to listen to all of their stories, especially because I shared this nightmare with them.

So much pain.

So much grief.

So much loss.

Too many stories about how evil won the battle.

But…through these stories….a big bold light of heroism shone through.

One son stepped in front of a gun in order to save the life of the innocent person behind him.  He literally took the bullet for a person he didn’t know.  He died.  The other person lived.

Another son drove his police car in front of a speeding vehicle to save the people in the car beside him. The police car took the hit, killing the policeman. But his act of heroism saved the lives of all of the innocent people in the car.

All of our sons were heroes, willingly risking and giving their lives to protect and serve people in our communities.

Have you heard these stories leading the way on all of our national media channels for several nights in a row going over the details again and again?

No?

I haven’t either.

We hear about the small minority of bad cop situations repeated over and over but we don’t hear any of the details of the daily stories of bravery and heroism of our police officers.

What does that tell us?  It means that the news is not telling us what’s really going on.  Reading and listening to the news doesn’t mean we’re well-informed.  The media tell us what they want to tell us.  They emphasize what they want to emphasize.  The more sensational the news is – especially about cops – the more viewers they get.  And sadly, people believe this unbalanced, one-sided source.

I have to say that some of the local news channels – like Phoenix – really try to strike a balance and they do pretty well.  They get details wrong but they try to present a more well-rounded picture.

The national media doesn’t even try.   They’ve taken over for the tabloids with a bunch of sensationalized scandals with he-saids and she-saids.  The more controversial and skewed the better for them because it means more viewers.

The truth is – a huge amount of bravery and heroism shown by our Police Officers doesn’t ever make it on any news channel. 

There’s also another reason why we don’t hear a lot of these stories of heroism.

If you talk to a police officer, they will say it was ‘just part of my job’.

Just part of the job –

sacrificing themselves to save others.

There is so much more to this story.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

When. Not If.

The question is not ‘if’ something bad is going to happen to us.  The right question is ‘when’.  Because something bad is going to happen sometime in our future.

Failure, separation, broken relationships.

Disease, accidents, illness, pain, death.

It’s going to happen.  And most of the time it will happen when we least expect it.

A very close friend of mine received a huge shock several years ago when her beautiful daughter-in-law didn’t wake up one morning.  33 years-old.  And she didn’t wake up.

She was fine the day before.

She leaves behind a husband, a young son, and a large number of family and friends who never expected something like this to happen.

Many times there is no warning.  I was on my normal commute home from work when I got the call that my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, had been shot in the line of duty.  He died that day.

It’s not ‘if’, the question is ‘when’.

So do we live our lives with a cloud of worry and fear over our heads just waiting for the next ax to fall?  Or do we ignore the inevitable and deal with it when it happens?

Neither of those sound like a good option to me.  The tragedy that blew my life apart is not going to cause me to spend the rest of my life focused on dreading the next bad thing.  But I’m also not going to pretend that there are no more hard times coming.

I have chosen to try to find a balance somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.  I am working on growing my faith – getting closer to God.  God has been my anchor through this painful storm.   I am also trying to grow my resilience in the face of adversity – defining and strengthening the process I use when bad things happen.  Because they are going to happen.

I tend to lean more in the positive direction than the negative – life is more good than bad.  I like to focus on good things – they make the struggle all worth it.

And I have learned a lot about love these last 4 1/2 years.  When we show love to those around us – even when we don’t know them – it really does matter.  Each expression of love, every hand that reaches out, any show of kindness and love – it all matters.  Davey taking time out of his schedule packed with family and career to fly across the country to celebrate his step-grandfather’s 90th birthday and putting his arm around Merle for a picture matters – especially when 90 was the last birthday his step-grandfather celebrated.

It’s all worth the effort.  When we love each other, we’re on the right track.

Because it’s not a question of ‘if’ something bad is going to happen to us.  The right question is ‘when’.

Loving each other helps when the worst happens.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

 

 

 

 

My Nightmare

It happened again recently.  While talking with someone I just met, the subject came up and I said my son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who had been killed in the line of duty almost 5 years ago.

5 years ago.

Sometimes the pain feels like yesterday.  It’s very hard.  And saying it makes it more real.

For weeks after Davey’s death, I would wake up every morning hoping that it was all just a very bad dream.

Praying that it was all a nightmare that I could wake up from.fullsizerender-2

Every morning I would open my eyes and look around my bedroom – hoping I wouldn’t see the frame on my dresser which holds the last Mother’s Day card I’ll ever get from Davey.  The one he signed “I love you”.

Every morning I would hope I wouldn’t see his memorial picture that hangs in my kitchen.  He had such a great smile.

As I looked around, I was hoping that I wouldn’t see the folded flag in the flag box along with his Medal of Honor.

But I saw the card and the picture and the flag everyday.

Because it wasn’t just a very bad dream.

The worst happened.

The nightmare is real.

And I know the nightmare is still very real to a whole group of us who knew Davey well and loved him.  I can see it in your eyes.  Our hearts are broken.  We can’t go back to our old lives because Davey is not there.  It’s like a dimmer switch has been turned down on the light and laughter and joy in our world.

You feel it, too.

I don’t know how people can deal with tragedy like this without faith in God. I believe that Davey is in heaven with his Father God.  With my Father God.  Davey is there with my mother, father, stepfather, brother and many more of my family and friends who have gone home before him.  He recently had a reunion with his grandmother, my mother-in-law. I believe that God is in the process of bringing good out of the evil that was done.  I believe that I’ve been left behind because God has a part for me in this plan.img_2481

Davey walked into my dream a few months after he died.   In the dream, I was sitting at his kitchen table with his wife and tiny daughter – all the ‘girls’.    It felt very real and much like one of the many times we would sit around the table and talk.  Then Davey walked in and sat down.  He gave us a big smile.  He didn’t say anything.  He just smiled at all of us.

I remember my brain jumping around, realizing that this shouldn’t be happening.  Maybe everything else really was all just an extremely bad dream!!

It felt so real.  The explosion of hope in my heart was so strong that it woke me up.

And the nightmare was back.  The card and the flag and the picture were all still there.

Sometimes I just want to live in that dream.

But Davey’s big smile stays with me.  He’s happy.  He is in a place with no sadness, pain or nightmares.  The battle between good and evil that he committed his adult life to here on earth is over for him.  Where he is, the good guys have won.  Davey has won.

On the day that is already determined for me, I will see him again.  It will not be a dream, it will be my new, eternal reality.

What about you?

I know he would like to see you again, too.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

Get in the Picture

I love having pictures of memories – they help me remember the feelings I had when it was happening and it makes the memory even more precious.   Since I love having pictures, I take a lot of pictures.

I didn’t realize until after my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty that I had very few pictures of just him and I – and most of those were when he was a little kid.  I have tons and tons of pictures of Davey and his dad and, of course, I was there taking the pictures…..

but I’m not in the pictures.  Most of the pictures are of fun times and special memories.  I wish I were in them.  Those of you following this blog are seeing me post the few pictures I have with adult Davey over and over and over – because that’s all I have.

Some of you may hate getting your pictures taken and you’re wondering why not being in the picture bothers me.  Hopefully not, but consider for a second how you might feel differently about pictures with your son or daughter or grandchild whom you loved if the worse happened.  If you had to live the rest of the your days on this earth without them.  If memories are all you had left.

I can’t do anything about the past but I can change the future.  So those of you who know me know that I have become the ‘Selfie Queen’.  I am now in the picture along with everyone else.  When someone in the group says – ‘I’ll take the picture’, I say, “Nope!  Everyone’s in.” . Luckily I’m tall with long arms so I have a built-in selfie stick.  I think my record number of people in one of my selfies without a stick is 12.  When I actually have one of my selfie sticks, ( I have more than 1) I can get 30 or more people in.

I’ve made kind of a game of it.  I’ll hold up the camera and say “Get in” and everyone has to find a spot.  My family has become experts at this.  Jostling for a spot can be kind of fun so almost everyone already has a smile when it’s picture time.

And – bonus – I’m in the picture.  I’m there when next year I want to look at it and remember.  I’m there 2 years from now when I look at it and remember.  I’m there 30 years from now when I’m no longer here but others want to look at it and remember.

My suggestion to you – get in the picture.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

I’m Not Mad

Some friends of mine asked if I got mad at God when Davey was killed.  My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.

I hadn’t thought about it before but, looking back, I cannot remember a moment when I was mad at God.  I know many people have that reaction when tragedy strikes because we know that God is in total control of what happens on earth and now this really bad thing happened to us.

That was not my response.

After thinking about it, I figured out that I didn’t get mad at God because I learned the truth more than 25 years ago that God is not Santa Claus.  He doesn’t exist to grant all of my wishes.

God is not here to do what I want him to do.  I am here to do what God wants me to do.

That’s a very important difference.

God is perfect, he is all-knowing and all-powerful.  He is the Uncreated One – eternal.  It’s all about him, not about me.

I also know that God is good, all the time.  He loves me, he wants the best for me and he is working all things out for my good.  My current circumstances don’t change these facts.

We spent the night Davey was shot in the hospital praying for a miracle.  In the midst of praying and asking everyone I saw to pray for a miracle, I was thinking about the great story we would get to tell when Davey miraculously got better.  As the night progressed, more tests were done and it became painfully obvious that Davey had already left us.  There was no miracle for us that night.

I remember thinking in the midst of my black swirling cloud of grief, “Well, that’s not the story God is writing right now.  There is something else going on.  God’s doing something different.”

Faith is about trusting in God even when we don’t understand.  Faith is about trusting in God even when we’re struggling with too much pain, too much loss, too much sorrow.  Faith is about trusting God even when tomorrow looks dark and it’s not a place we want to go.

The fact is that I’m still here because God has things he wants me to do.  That gives me purpose and helps me focus my eyes above instead of what’s behind me.

I’m not mad.   I’m grateful to God for his love and guidance through this worst time in my life.  I’m grateful for all the blessings I have in my life right now.  I’m grateful for all of the kindness and grace and love so many people have shown me and my family in these last 4 1/2 years.

And I’m extremely grateful for the 34 1/2 years on earth that I got to spend with Davey.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

It’s Really May 18th

May 18 – the real date when my son left this earth.

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  His official End of Watch is May 19th, but he died on the 18th.  You would know that as well if you had seen him.  His body was hooked up to all kinds of machines that were keeping his lungs moving and his heart beating but Davey – the fun, smart, wonderful son, husband, dad, brother and friend  – was gone.  He was already with his Father God.

I am thankful to modern medicine which gave us time to start coming to terms to our new reality.  We had several hours with him in the hospital to figure out how to start to say good-bye.  It helped.

I am thankful that the machines were able to keep his organs alive so that he could fulfill his wish of being an organ donor – giving the gift of life to so many other people.  Our families have been blessed by other organ donors so we know what an important thing this is.  Knowing that helped.

I am thankful for the doctors and nurses who treated Davey with care and respect.  They also were very helpful and understanding to those of us who spent the darkest hours of that night in room next to Davey in unbelief of what was happening.  It helped.

I am thankful for the rooms full of police officers and friends at the hospital who prayed for us and supported us through those awful hours.  It helped.

daves-squadI am thankful for the family and friends all over the country who prayed for us through that night.   I am thankful for all of the people who prayed for us and didn’t even know us.   It helped.

I am thankful for Dave’s squad who, disregarding their own pain, had the worst job of making telephone calls and getting us to the hospital.   I am also  thankful for the Employee Assistance Unit led by Sgt. Dave Osborne.   Both of these teams promised support and they meant it.   It really helped.

I am thankful for the entire Phoenix Police Department who supported us that night any way they possibly us in any way they could.   They parked our cars so we could run right into the hospital, they brought food, they picked up family at the airport, they took care of the press, they drove us home, they never left their watch on Dave’s room and much more.  It all helped.

I am thankful for Pastor Mark Grochoki, one of our pastors at the time, who somehow found a way through the crowds and lines of police to pray for us in a small, dark corner of the hospital lobby.  It was an oasis of peace in a very long, terrible night.  It helped.

I am thankful for the Police Chaplain, Bob Fesmire, who is so clearly called by God to walk families like ours through the most painful hours of our lives. His words of wisdom cut through the shock and helped us move forward.  He prayed for us through the night when we had no words.  I will never forget his prayer as we said our last goodbyes to Davey before leaving the hospital.  I don’t recall the exact words but I remember God reaching out through them to wrap his arms around me to comfort me.  Bob was God with skin on that night.  He really helped.

May 19 is Dave’s official E.O.W but May 18th was his last day on earth.  Now he lives in our hearts and our memories until we see him again in heaven.

I’m not saying that we need to change the date on all the plaques and forms.

I just wanted you to understand why I always use May 18th.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

Love You

Two simple little words –

that are not simple

and they have had a huge impact on my life these last 4 1/2 years.

I have learned a lot about love since David Glasser, my son who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty May 18, 2016.  I knew Davey always said “love you’ to me instead of good-bye but I didn’t realize until I heard it at his funeral that he did this with everybody in his life that he cared about.  He made sure the other cops in his squad said ‘love you’ to each other before leaving on a call.  He knew how close they were –  and still are –  to not coming back.  Just like he didn’t come back.

I’ve been on this planet for a while and I have loved others and been loved by others my entire life.  But I never really understood the enormous power love has – until after Davey’s death.  Love has transformed my tragedy into a growing season.  It forced me to leave bitterness and anger behind – those emotions don’t fit when love is the focus.  And it has helped me be thankful for what I had and for what I still have.  Love has helped fill some of the huge hole created by the loss of Davey and it continues to cushion the rest so its possible to move forward.

Love is not simple.

Loving people who aren’t perfect and aren’t like us is not easy.

Loving people we don’t know or don’t like feels weird at first.

‘Love you’ is a commitment.  It means I always want the best for you even if that will cause me to sacrifice something on my end.

It means that I’m on your team.  I will care for you, defend you, pray for you and be here for you – always.

‘Love you’ says ‘You’re important to me’.  It says ‘ You’re valuable to me’.  It says ‘I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt when you’re wrong or grumpy or just not very lovable.’  It says “I’m going to come up with as many excuses for your behavior as I do for my own.’

Sometimes I say ‘Love you’ to people I don’t know well or don’t know at all.  This ‘Love you’ says ‘I recognize you as a good person and I’m glad we’re sharing this place or this moment together. ‘ ‘

I have discovered that this over-all ‘Love you’ culture is much more powerful than it sounds.  It’s not just words.  It’s not superficial when we also act like we ‘love you’ to the people around us.  When the people around me – whether I know them or not – are important to me, the air changes around us.  The mood is different.  I can feel the acceptance and caring – not just of me but for each other.  God blesses this love with a supernatural goodness because this is what he wants – he wants us to love him and love each other.

A note to my Blue Family – loving each other and saying it regularly puts a band of steel under the Thin Blue Line.  Love adds a strength to our relationships that you will not understand until you try it.  Our Blue family needs this strength to deal with our reality.

Love is the legacy that Davey left with us.  He knew how essential love is for all of us and he made sure we told each other – regularly – at least every time we left each other.

I’m amazed at how much making ‘Love you’ a habit has changed my world.  And I know this habit has changed many of us who knew Davey.

If you haven’t gotten on the ‘Love you’ train yet, this is your invitation to jump on.  It’s a train filled with people who care about other people, whether they know them or not.  These people have felt the magic these two words have when shared openly and regularly.  Let love change your world.

“Love you” are the last words Davey said to those of us who knew him.  These words and the love attached to them echo in our minds and hearts whenever we think of him.  What a special gift.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou