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

Too many

So much grief.

So many tears.

147 Police Officers were killed in the line of duty last year.

Multiply that number by the number of wives, children, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, friends, squad members and extended Blue Family members who cared about them.

The number becomes huge.

And that was just for 2019.

86 law enforcement officers already killed this year and it’s only May.

Add up all these –

2018 – 185 deaths

2017 – 184 deaths

2016 – 140 deaths

2015 – 123 deaths.

2014 – 122 deaths.

2013 – 109 deaths.

2012 – 131 deaths.

2011 – 171 deaths.

2010 – 161 deaths…… and it continues.

As I researched these numbers, I found that they fluctuate depending on who is counting and some deaths are evaluated as ‘in the line of duty’ significantly after the fact so the numbers for each year change.  The fact remains – there are a lot.

So many officers killed.

So many people affected.

So much grief.

So many tears.

The initial shock.

The mountain of pain.

The fog of loss.

Waking up every day hoping it wasn’t true.

It took awhile for me to understand how many people were affected when my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix police officer was killed on May 18, 2016.

At first, I didn’t realize that the whole Blue family grieves when one of their brothers or sisters is killed.  But experiencing the huge waves of grief that were rolling over the ocean of over 5000 people at Davey’s funeral opened my eyes.  And the love and support that has continued to this day has shown me just how much the Blue Family cares for each other.  Thank you.

I also didn’t understand at first that there is a large part of the general public who grieves when an officer is killed in the line of duty.

 There are a lot of people in our community who get it.

They understand that police officers put their lives on the line every day for people they don’t even know.  These people understand that police officers are taking bullets that are meant for the innocent – for them and their families.  This crowd knows that police officers are helping them live freely and safely in their neighborhoods.

We tend to forget about this large group of people because they aren’t rioting in the streets.  They aren’t looting and shooting and screaming profanities.

These people were lining the streets as Davey’s casket was escorted by our Blue Family from the church to the cemetery.  These were the people who were filling each overpass on the freeway, holding up flags and signs of love and encouragement.  People from this group were stopped all over the freeway and the sides of the freeway to show their respect for a fallen hero.

Some of these people were saluting as Davey’s limo went by – honoring Davey because they personally knew what it meant to put your life on the line for your country and community.

So many people.

So much grief.

So many tears.

The bullets that were shot on May 18th, 2016 created waves out into our city and across the nation.  Another hero has fallen.

So many.

Too many.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

 

 

 

 

They Were Wrong

They were wrong.

I cannot tell you how many people told me “The first year is the hardest” after my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty on May 19, 2016.

They were all wrong.

I had already lost my mom and my dad and my oldest brother along with all of my grandparents and all of my aunts and uncles….and yes, with those deaths, the first year was the hardest.

But it has not been true with the death of my son.  The first year was the most confusing and unpredictable and foggy.  But each year since then, the hole in my life has grown and all I have lost keeps accumulating as Davey continues to miss his children growing up, he misses getting to know new little members of our family, and misses Christmases and birthdays and Mother’s Days.  Every year there is more.

I’m gradually getting used to the growing hole and the lengthening list of things I have lost.  But it’s not easier.

I think the big difference between my older loved ones dying and Davey being killed is I had expected that there would be a time in my life where my father and mother and older brother and others would not be here.  That is the correct order.  It was going to happen.

But Davey was always supposed to be here.  Every thought of my future included him.  Pictures in my mind of me growing old all included Davey and his smile.  Every future celebration, every milestone, every fun family get together and trip included Davey.  Now he’s not here…….and all that I have lost grows.

So, do me a favor.  Don’t tell a parent who has lost a child that the first year is the hardest.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

Bitter Sweet

I would like to write a nice, ‘feel good’ blog for Mother’s Day.  But it isn’t happening.

What’s happening is a rollercoaster of bittersweet emotions on this Mother’s Day.  Some of the issue for me is the fact that my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed on May 18, 2016.  So the horror of that day has overshadowed my Mother’s Day ever since.  The permanent, painful changes in my life emphasize the hole in my heart – especially on this day.

The last Mother’s Day I had with Davey was just 10 days before he was shot and killed.  I was told later that he had the opportunity for some off-duty work that day but he turned it down, saying he wanted to spend the day with the ‘mothers’ in his life.  That doesn’t surprise me – that’s who he was.  He had his priorities straight.

Davey also knew I was alone that day because my husband had taken an emergency flight to Pennsylvania.  My husband’s father had just died.  Yes, my father-in-law passed away two weeks before our son was killed.  Have you ever felt the crushing impact of multiple bombs going off in your life?

When I remember that Mother’s Day, all I can think about is sitting outside at lunch with Davey.  I remember what it felt like to hang out with him – to laugh and have fun.  I remember how different my world felt with him in it.

My Mother’s Day will never be the same.  I know there will always be a cloud over it because I’m missing my son.

But then I remember how thankful I have to have three grandchildren and my daughter is giving us another little grandson in July.  Each one of them is such a blessing in my life!  When I focus on them, Mother’s Day starts to sparkle again.  All the possibilities!  All the new memories to make!  Watching them grow into their own personalities and strengths is awesome.  Watching Davey’s children mature has the added joy of seeing glimpses of him as they exhibit traits they inherited from their dad.

This is the great part of motherhood!

If you have experienced the loss of a child, you know this rollercoaster that I’m describing.  Dark days and then the light shines through.  Things going smooth……until they don’t.  A day I don’t cry at all followed by hours where I can’t stop crying.

Mother’s day – it’s bitter sweet.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

I Feel It

I feel the sadness gradually growing in my heart.  I try to ignore the cloud of dread that is starting to form deep in my soul.

It’s May.

The empty place in my life begins to blot out the sunshine.  This emptiness has a name – Davey.  My son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty on May 19, 2016.

My May used to be centered on having fun on Mother’s Day and celebrating another successful year of marriage with my husband on our anniversary.  Now it’s more about Police Week and Davey’s End of Watch Anniversary.  Mother’s day is bittersweet.  Our anniversary is a reminder of all my husband and I have gone through together these last 4 years……and survived.

It’s been four long years.

Four years of a level of grief I didn’t know was possible.

Four years of a growing hole in my life that is impossible to fill.

Four years of remembering and missing Davey – an awesome man, son, husband, father, friend and Police Officer.

Four years of dealing with the painful reality of all that has been lost.

Four years of figuring out how to move forward, honoring Davey’s sacrifice and his legacy.

Four years of rebuilding dreams in the void where Davey was supposed to be.

Four years without his smile.

Four years of counting on God to get me through another day without Davey.

The closer we get to May 19, the more I wish we could just skip the whole month.  Especially this year.  My husband and I were looking forward to going to Washington, DC for Police Week.  We haven’t seen the museum yet and wanted to experience Police week now that we would not be first year survivors.  For those of you who haven’t been to the memorial, this picture is of me getting a scratching of Davey’s name on the memorial wall.

We recently moved to Colorado but we were going to stop in Phoenix on the way home from Washington to spend time with family and friends and visit Davey’s spot in the cemetery on his EOW.  None of that is happening.

Just more things to add to the long list of disappointments.

So we will spend May 19th doing something that Davey liked to do.  We have found in the past that this helps us get through a tough anniversary.  We’ll start a new tradition and focus on remembering the good times.

I’m so thankful we had 34 1/2 years of good times with Davey.  No regrets.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou