Not ‘Flying By’

It’s been almost a year.

An extremely long year.

Some days felt like weeks….

there were months that felt like a year….

There was excruciating pain on Father’s Day as I tried to smile at my fatherless grand darlings.

I was reminded of a multitude of lost dreams on Davey’s birthday.

It was so hard to be thankful on Thanksgiving.

And….Christmas.  One of the very real things I learned this year is how glad I am that this is not my real home.  My real home doesn’t feel like this.

Now we are preparing to fly to Washington, DC for Police Week.

What is Police Week?

May 15 was proclaimed to be National Peace Officers Memorial Day by President Kennedy in 1962.  Whatever week May 15 falls in is National Police Week and this week has been set aside by Congress to pay special recognition to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

All of the names of the fallen officers are engraved onto the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC.  This memorial now bears the names of 21,183 fallen heros.  This year 394 names will be added – 143 officers names from 2016 and 251 other officers who were killed earlier and are now being recognized.

143 names of officers who were killed in the line of duty last year.

143 families, friends and squads are coming who all just went through what my extended family went through – what we’re still going through.  Most of the others will be experiencing grief and shock and loss and emptiness that is even more new and more fresh than ours.

It’s a time for all of us to join together in honoring and recognizing the sacrifice of our fallen officers.   I am also told it’s a time of sharing and healing for those of us who are still here.

I’m counting on that – its been a very long year and this could be a very long trip.

Because of the support from our Phoenix Community and COPS and Southwest Airlines, a crowd of family, friends, squad members and wives are going.  I’ve heard from some of you – our Blue Family – that you are also coming.  That is awesome!

And I know there are many of you who would love to come but just can’t make that long, expensive trip.

The good news is that there are ways that you can participate and there are ways you can still honor Davey and any other Fallen Officer.

I’ll be posting that information on the Dave Glasser “Love You’ Campaign Facebook page soon.  If you’re not a member of that group, just ask to join and then you’ll get hooked in to all the information.

I know there is a large group of you who pray for us regularly.  Thank you- the prayers are helping.  God is our Rock as we make our way through this storm.

Please keep it up.  We need all the prayers we can get as we make this journey to Washington, DC.

When the Answer is No

I asked.

I begged.

I have never shared this with anyone before.  The night after Davey was shot I went down to the hospital chapel all by myself.  I walked up to the altar and laid facedown on the cold tile.   And I begged God for a miracle.

It was becoming increasingly obvious that Davey needed a miracle in order to stay alive.

So I begged.  I have no idea how long I laid there, pleading with God.

At this same time, my husband, Dave, was walking up and down the crowded hallway outside of Davey’s hospital room, asking everyone to pray for a miracle.

There were also three waiting rooms downstairs filled with people – many of them praying with us, asking for a miracle.

Every hospital hallway I walked down was filled with people – most of them praying with us, asking for a miracle.

In my mind, I see a huge hand reaching up out of the roof of the hospital, stretching up to heaven, asking our God who holds life and death in his hands to reach down and touch Davey.

We asked.

We begged.

Hours later we received our answer.

And the answer was no.

No more smiles and jokes from Davey.

No more fun and games with Davey.

No to watching my grandchildren grow up with their father’s arms around them.

No to watching Davey and Kristen grow old together.

So many no’s.

There’s a reason why we all listened to Hilary Scott sing “Thy Will” at Davey’s funeral.  Because we asked for a miracle for Davey and God said no.  He has a different plan than we do.

Every day I am reminded that God has a very different plan than mine.  Standing on the rock of God’s love and trusting that he has many great tomorrows waiting for me, I move forward……

– not knowing where this is going.

– not happy about the reality that I now live in.

– not understanding why you and I have to travel this path.

We go on, taking our broken hearts with us.  We listen and watch as God reveals his plan, one step at a time.

And we are gradually identifying some of those steps.  One of them is the David Glasser Foundation which started off with a bang last weekend partnering with PLEA in a fantastic golf tournament.   There were thousands of smiles and hundreds of hugs – a lot of love.  Davey’s foundation is all about spreading that love around in a very practical and tangible way to people who need to understand that our Police Officers are the good guys – they are part of the solution, not the problem.  The vision is to close the divide and build relationships between our community and law enforcement officers.

The foundation is going to create non-policing opportunities for our Blue Family to show how much we care about our communities and our city.  We all know we care – otherwise why would Police Officers do what they do?  Why would our blue families and friends support and sacrifice if we didn’t care?

We’re all going to have more opportunities to show our love in fun and important ways through the David Glasser foundation.

There is a lot of fun and love on the way………

Is that our miracle?

So Many People

So much grief.

So many tears.

140 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.

The number becomes huge.

And that was just for 2016.

So, multiply that number by –

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.

We saw the Fallen documentary this past Friday night and it reminded me of the first couple of weeks after Davey was killed.

The initial shock.

The mountain of pain.

The fog of grief.

Waking up every day hoping it wasn’t true.

It took a while for me to understand how many people were affected by Davey’s death.

At first, I didn’t realize that the whole Blue family grieves when one of their brothers or sisters is killed.  But experiencing the waves of grief that were rolling over the ocean of over 5000 Blue Family members at Davey’s funeral opened my eyes.  And we’ve continued to feel the love and care and support of our Blue Family throughout these last 11 months.  Thank you.

I also didn’t understand at first that there is a large part of the general public who also 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.

The Fallen documentary ends with this phrase –

We Go On.

It’s a good phrase.

Because that’s what we’re doing …

Picking up the pieces.

Figuring out how to live with this hole in our hearts.

Forging a different future.

We Go On.

 

#8144loveyou

#fallenbutnotforgotten

 

Feeling It…..

left behind.

I visit Davey’s spot in the cemetery every week to clean it and make sure it looks good.

And to pray.  I pray for our family, our extended ‘family’ which includes his squad and I pray for the families of the other fallen officers.

The list of things that I’ve done that I thought I would never have to do has grown very long since May 19,2016.  I recently added one more thing to that list when I bought the plot to the left of Davey’s for my husband and I.  Now that Davey has a spot, it feels right to have a spot next to him for our cremated remains, too.

We’re going to be planting a tree in the next few months in that area as well.  We had already planned this before I saw the movie, “The Shack”.  Have you seen it?  Now I know why I wanted a tree.

Spoiler alert – they planted the seed of a tree on top of his daughter’s grave.  When they watered it with the father’s tears, it miraculously immediately grew into a big, beautiful, green tree.

Awesome!  Life!  In a place where we remember those who have died.

If our tree doesn’t grow as fast as the one in the movie, it won’t be from the lack of tears.

Looking around the cemetery, I am reminded of all the people I love who are already in heaven.

I really miss my mom.  She was so much fun and such an amazing Christian woman!  My father was a good man who died when I was 21 years-old so I never got to know him as an adult.  I guess I’ll have lots of time for that in heaven.  My stepfather was also a good man who married my mother on her 70th birthday.  He was a fantastic grandfather to my children.   My oldest brother was 13 years older than me and went to heaven a couple of years ago.  He was the one who walked me down the aisle.

Fortunately, I have a strong, Christian background so my grandparents are all in heaven along with a large number of my aunts, uncles and cousins.

And now my son.

He is there.  And there are times when I have a strong feeling of being left behind.  Don’t worry.  There’s no need to call a hotline 🙂  I’ll be here until God decides differently.

But there are days when I am homesick.  Home is where my Father God is.  Home – where there are no diseases and trials.  No grief.  No pain.  Home – the number of people I love who are already home is growing.

It is our home because Jesus redeemed our lives.  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

He is the Way to heaven.

He is the Truth here on earth.

And the Life he gives us doesn’t end here.

If you haven’t made the choice to trust in Jesus, there is no better time than now.  Tomorrow may be too late.

Davey and I would really like for you to join us someday in heaven…

Davey is already there.

 

#8144loveyou