In It…..

for the long haul.

And – believe me – I never understood how long the long haul was before my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer was killed in the line of duty last year.

The long haul is not just long.  It’s hard.  It’s really painful.  It can be confusing.  It can feel like punishment for something – not sure what.  It can feel lonely…and endless…..and just not worth it.

But feelings change with the moment.  Feelings fluctuate in a second.  If I let my feelings guide me, one moment I’m down, what’s the use of all of this and then the next moment I’m smiling because I thinking of my family and the new little granddaughter I’ll get to meet in February.  Emotional roller-coasters are no fun so I’m sticking to the facts.  And the facts are that God’s got this and I’m committed to this journey for the long haul.

But it’s not easy.

My husband and I recently visited the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.  I was amazed at their process – they have only about 5% waste.  They have set themselves up so they can keep going just like they are for hundreds of more years.  They recycle the water they use, they sell the mash to farmers who feed it to their very happy cows and pigs, they sell the used barrels to vineyards and the public, they make their own charcoal to filter the alcohol and then they turn the used charcoal into Bbq chips we can buy for our grilling,  They are solid.  They are ‘sustainable’ which is a new buzz word for a process that is going to make it for the long haul.

They have set themselves up to be successful for a very long time.

What about me and you?  Can we say the same thing?  It’s important to ask ourselves some tough questions once in awhile to make sure we’re going to a place where we want to go.

Are the things I’m spending most of my time on worth it – for the long haul? Is the pace of my life at a rate where I can keep it up for a long time?  Are my relationships and priorities right so I will have no regrets when I take my last breath?  Am I strong enough in my beliefs and values that I’ll be able to weather the storms that are coming my way?  Or will I get tossed around, lose my way and get stuck on the rocks?

I have met quite a few people this last 1 1/2 years that are stuck in bitterness and anger and regrets because of tragedies that have happened in their lives.  They are letting the tragedy poison the rest of their lives and they are on the road to a very lonely and sad place because they are becoming people no one else wants to be around.

My son died while serving and protecting our community.  I get to choose to honor his sacrifice by making however long I have left on this earth add to the amount of love and good in the world.  I can make a difference – over this very long haul.

Each one of us gets to choose.

What are you choosing?

#8144loveyou

 

 

Happy Birthday, Davey!

Today would have been David Glasser’s 36th birthday.  He was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 19, 2016.

In our minds and memories, he will forever be 34 years-old.

Davey loved his birthday.  We had a party every year and he really enjoyed getting presents – no matter what the gift was.  Here’s a picture from about 12 years ago when his birthday fell on the same day as a Cardinals home game and his party was a tailgating party.  This was just the beginning of his growing passion for tailgating.  He had to be wherever the party was!

If he were alive, he would be preparing for the ASU vs UofA football game next Saturday.  He hosted several Gameday BBQs and seriously loved to trash talk any UofA Alumni who came – one of whom is his only sister.  Yes, we are a house divided.  And we’re divided very unevenly because all of us graduated from ASU except my daughter.  If you ever sat near Davey at a Cardinal’s football game and someone with the opposing team’s jersey or hat walked up the stairs, you know the razzing that Davey could deal out.  It was one of his specialties.

Davey would also be getting ready for his squad’s annual Christmas party which he hosted several times in his house.  He loved to have everyone over, play some poker, eat a lot of food and make great memories.  There were stories of the squad taking turns racing Davey’s riding lawn mower around on his huge back yard .  I wasn’t there – I just heard the stories.

So today we watched the Cardinals game with Davey.  His super-tailgating buddies set up the TV and food close to Davey’s spot in the cemetary and the party started.  The air was filled with the joy of being together and sharing great memories touched with grief because of the big hole Davey’s death has left in all of our lives.

Davey would have loved it!  He would have been wearing his Cardinals hat, making sure he talked to everyone and never running out of things to make fun of.  He would really appreciate the effort of turning a potentially sad day into a good time with family and friends.

After the game was over, we all sent balloons with messages from us up,

up,

up,

up into the sky……

until we couldn’t see them anymore.

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Davey.

We love you.  We miss you.

#8144loveyou

#fallenbutnotforgotten

He Had Plans

He was going to retire from the Phoenix Police Force after 20 years, get his teaching certificate and coach basketball while teaching at the high school level.

David Glasser, my son who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016, would have been a great teacher.

And he would have been an even better coach.  He not only loved sports – he understood the complexities and reality of playing them.

But – none of it is going to happen.  This is one of the most painful parts of the tragedy of his death – all of these dreams have been snatched away.  Lots of plans and fun and awesome experiences – which we’re not going to have.

This is definitely a hot button of grief in my life.  His plans.  He was going to continue to work and give and sacrifice for the good of our community.  Davey would have positively touched hundreds of kids and their families’ lives in high school with his unique combination of fun, integrity and faith.  The stories and the accomplishments would have filled several books.

I think this is one of the places that hurts the worst when your child dies – all of the things that were going to happen and should have happened, just aren’t going to happen.  All the potential.  All the possibilities.  Gone.

For me, this part has been much more difficult than with other deaths I have experienced.  I was very close to my mother and I miss her a lot.  When she passed away at 84 years-old, she had lived a full and faithful life.  She assured us she was ready to go ‘home’.

So very different.

This is much harder.

The hole doesn’t go away.

The lost dreams come back to haunt me.  They remind me of who is missing in my life.

One of the ways we are reclaiming some of those lost plans is through the David Glasser Foundation.  We are continuing the work which Davey started.

We broke ground on the David Glasser Athletic Complex in Laveen, Arizona last week.  There are already 2 functioning baseball fields at this location and now a football/soccer field is being added.  Thank you to the Laveen Elementary School District for honoring Davey this way!

He would love it! Davey’s grandfather passed away 2 weeks before Davey died and he has a baseball field in Pennsylvania named after him.  Davey was very proud of this and he visited the field every time he could making sure his son got to see it, too.

So breaking ground on the athletic complex comes with a good feeling of moving forward in reviving some of the dreams Davey had:

  • dreams of kids learning perseverance, respect, accountability, teamwork and responsibility through sports which can prepare them to become positive adult contributors to their community.
  • dreams of kids being coached well, giving them a good role model so they can identify the ‘good guys’ and want to be a part of the solution in our culture.

Breaking ground.  It’s a good term.  Once the ground is broken, there is no putting it back exactly like it was.  Broken ground becomes something else.   And this broken ground is going to become the David Glasser Athletic Complex filled with lots of potential and possibilities.

New dreams fulfilling old dreams.

A new plan has begun.

#8144loveyou