Surviving the Worst

If you have had a child die, you know that it is one of the worst things that can happen to you.   For some of us it is definitely THE worst thing that could ever happen to us.

After years of working at facing my fears, I realized many years ago that the only fear I had left was that something bad would happen to one of my children.  A couple of years after that realization, my daughter was diagnosed with cancer.  It changed her life but it was caught early and there have been no more signs of cancer.

I thought that was enough.  That was my fear coming true and it was a tough time.

I didn’t know a tsunami that far exceeded anything I was afraid of was building up steam and heading my way.  It hit on May 18, 2016 when my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty as he was responding to a robbery call.  The waves of grief and anger and pain roared over my life – foaming, surging and destroying.  They violently ripped away any expectations I had for today and totally decimated my dreams for tomorrow.

The waves roared all night and grew stronger in the darkness.

But they were most painful in the daylight when I could see the desolation they had left.

The holes.

The emptiness.

The loss.

My two small fatherless grandchildren.

This storm left my ‘stuff’ but took my son.   And I would give everything I own for one more hour with Davey.

To see his smile.

Hear his laughter.  And his jokes.

And one more ‘love you’.

Surviving the worst has taken away all of my fears.  Because fearing that something bad would happen did not change the facts about the bad things that happened to my children.

Fear is useless.

Fear does nothing but stop us from doing things we should do.

Fear keeps us on the defensive.  It keeps us cowering in the corner.

My prayer for all of us who have experienced the worst is that we will find courage in knowing we have survived.  I pray that we will act on  that courage because we survived for a purpose.  And I pray that we will set aside our useless fears so we can make the time we have left on this planet count.  Because our time is short – often much shorter than we know.

Davey would be extremely proud of Kristen, my daughter-in-law, for starting the David Glasser Foundation in order to continue his fight against hate and ignorance and violence.  This takes courage.

He would love the reality of all of us working together to push back the darkness – one step at a time.  We are not sitting in the corner, afraid that something else bad is going to happen.  It probably will – our fears will not stop it.  But our actions might.

With courage and conviction, we are moving forward, continuing Davey’s battle and making it our own.

The challenge I give everyone today is to figure out how to be a part of the fight for what’s right.  You are welcome to join with us at the David Glasser Foundation or find your own battle.  There is much work to be done to reestablish honor, respect, and love in our country.

May God give all of us the courage we need to help make that happen.



Stepping on Landmines

I’m meeting new people –

who don’t know about the tragedy that blew my life apart 17 months ago when my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty.

My husband and I have just moved into a new community an hour away from our old home.  And we’re starting to get to know our neighbors –

who don’t know.

So I am having regular ‘getting to know you’ conversations and people just don’t realize the landmine they are stepping on when they ask me if I have any children.

Yes, I want people to know me and I want them to know about Davey and his death.  It’s just a very tough thing to bring up in the middle of a conversation with someone I barely know.

Depending on the emotions rolling through my heart that day, talking about Davey can start the tears rolling down my face.  That’s a real conversation stopper.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk about Davey and all the great things about him.  But some times on some days, there are very strong emotions tied to this subject.   When emotions make the situation feel awkward, I change the subject as soon as I can and talk about my daughter and son-in-law who are having their first child in February.  Babies always bring smiles.

This experience has taught me a couple of things about ‘getting to know you conversations’.  They are not as superficial as they seem.  Most people have various bruised and tender spots in their lives that can be difficult to talk about.  We can’t avoid the landmines because they are often a central part of a person’s life and it needs to be included in who we are.  So we share the hurt and we share the emotion and we share the awkwardness.

And – in the end – we know each other a little better.

That’s a good thing.


Choose a Path

When tragedy strikes, we are forced to choose a path.

When my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officers, was killed in the line of duty last year, each of us affected by it were forced to choose a path.

When the sun came up on May 19, 2016 and Davey was dead, I had a decision to make.

Was I going to choose a path of bitterness?  Would I be defined as a victim of what was done to me for the rest of my life?  Would my life get stuck on this event?

Or would I choose life?  Would I figure out how to move forward?  Would I deal with the tears and the grief and the hole in my life in light of the fact that I was still here.  I still have a purpose.

When tragedy strikes, we are forced to choose.  Each day we make a choice.  The good news is, if we make a wrong choice one day, we can change it the next.  We have this choice until that day of our final breath.

My decision was very easy when I thought of what Davey would want me to do.  He loved life.  He loved people.  He loved God.  And he lived his life full speed ahead.

There is no question about which choice would honor his legacy.  There is no double what he would say if we got the chance to ask.

He would say live life to its fullest.  Love people.  Love God.  Never stop growing and giving and having fun.  Live a life of no regrets.  Forgive and move on so you can avoid bitterness and a victim mentality.  Value integrity and honor.  Make your life count by caring for and helping others.

These are the choices that will honor Davey and honor what he died for.

Its our choice.

He Noticed

He saw me.

He saw you.

He noticed what was going on with us.

We weren’t just a blur in his day.

He noticed.

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty May 18, 2016.  Since that time, I have received hundreds of comments and messages from all different people and many of these comments sounded something like, ” I didn’t know David well but, whenever he saw me, he would smile and talk with me.  He often encouraged me or made me laugh.  I could tell he was one of the good guys.”

He noticed people.  He cared about us – and we all realized it, didn’t we?

When Davey was around,  you and I could tell he cared because of the things he said and how he acted.  We knew he liked spending time with us.  We were all important to him.

There were some things he didn’t care about – like your age or ethnic background or how popular you were.  He would often make jokes about those things because he really didn’t think they were important.  In fact, if he found out you didn’t have many friends, he would immediately adopt you and draw you into his large circle of friends.  Suddenly, you had a LOT of friends!  Those of you who tailgated with him saw this all the time.

He noticed.  And he cared about the important stuff.

This made him a great police officer.

People mattered.

And he was willing to do something about it.

The board of directors for the David Glasser Foundation had the opportunity to talk with the 1st Graders of Cheatham Elementary School this week.  Cheatham is the closest elementary school to the location where Davey was killed.  These 1st graders were still really excited about the new backpacks they received from the foundation (because of your donations) last month when school started and they wanted to show their appreciation.

So many bright and happy faces.

So much energy and enthusiasm for life.

So much potential to be a positive contributor to their community in the future and make it a better place to live.

And they live in one of the highest risk areas of Phoenix.

A high risk of being a victim of a crime.

A high risk of being influenced into making bad choices and becoming part of the problem.

A high risk of losing their enthusiasm for being a positive contributor in their community.

Their future is at risk.

For all these reasons, this was the area of Phoenix where Davey chose to risk his own life to serve and protect.

He made a difference.

And his legacy lives on.