It’s A Struggle

Each day, as we get closer to Christmas, the hole in my heart grows a little bigger,

and a little darker.  The pain becomes a little stronger.

It becomes increasingly harder not to focus on what I have lost.

What my family has lost.

David Glasser, my son, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty last year.  The journey from May 18, 2016 to now has been a constant struggle.  And this struggle intensifies during the holidays – he loved everything about Christmas.

Sometimes I just wish the holidays were over.

I know many of you share my feelings.  Since I’ve had this very public and tragic loss in my life, more people have been sharing their own heartbreaks and the losses they have experienced with me.  And others haven’t talked about it but I can see the private pain in their eyes when we talk about my heartbreak.

They know the struggle – especially at Christmas.

So I force my attention away from who I don’t have in my life any longer.  And I focus on all the blessings God is giving me right now –  our daughter and son-in-law are coming home for Christmas for the first time in several years.  They are bringing their ‘baby bump’ which is my new tiny granddaughter who we will get to meet in February.  Thank for this huge blessing, Father God!

We are also planning several special times with family and friends during the holidays.  We have learned a life-changing lesson in just how short our lives can be and how quickly someone can be gone.  So, because of the hole, we know we need to make the most of the time we have together.   This is not the time to get stuck in yesterday.  We have new memories to make because there is no guarantee that we’ll have tomorrow together here on earth.

And we can’t ignore the struggle that is happening in so many people’s lives at this time of year.  I read that this week of Christmas has the highest rate of suicide across our nation.

That is so wrong.

So I pray for those of us who are experiencing additional pain and loss during this difficult season.  And I am trying to be extra patient and kind to people in my world this week – on the freeway, at the store, in the parking lots.  Many of them are struggling and I don’t want to add to the difficulties they are experiencing.

A group of my family and friends had the opportunity to do our annual organizing and wrapping gifts for UMOM this last week.  UMOM provides housing for homeless families.  A new family was moving in while we were wrapping and I can only imagine the trials that family is experiencing this week.  It blessed us to know we were helping to bless families – especially children – in the middle of their very tough circumstances during Christmas.

Can each of us think of a way we can reach out helping hands to those who are struggling?

And please join me in praying for a little more peace on earth during this holiday season.

Love you!

#8144loveyou

 

It Got His Attention – Every Time

He noticed it.

He talked about it.

He took pictures of it all the time.

David Glasser, my son, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty last year.  He lived in Goodyear so he was on the I-10 driving east often – going to work, to the Cardinal’s games, to ASU games, to Diamondback games, shopping, seeing friends – lots of reasons to get on the freeway going east.

And each time – without fail – Davey would make sure to notice the gigantic American flag at Camping World just south of the freeway.  If anyone was in the car with him, he would always make a comment, ” Wow, the wind is just right today.  The flag looks great.”, “The flag is looking pretty worn out – they will probably be replacing it soon.” and “Look!  A new flag!”.  If his kids were in the car, no matter how small they were, he would ask them, “Where’s the big flag?” and they would eagerly point it out, happy to play along in this ritual with Dad.

Davey loved how great the flag looked as it flew over Phoenix – the city he was committed to protect and serve.  He was proud of being one of the good guys – a part of what’s right about America.  This picture of the flag was found on Davey’s phone after he was killed.  He took it 2 days before his death.

After Davey was killed, Camping World somehow found out about his love for their flag.  So they presented the huge flag that was flying when Davey died to the Phoenix Police Department and they presented more normal-sized flags to Davey’s wife and kids.  Thank you, Camping World!  What a great way to honor him!

The huge flag eventually was given to the Phoenix Police Explorers group which is made up of both high school and college students from all over the valley.  The group is led by Officers David Barrios, Jaime Brooks and Doug Burrow who give the group weekly police training. The students also give about 3000 hours service to their communities every year.  The Explorers took the flag with them on their summer trip last year up to Colorado and created their own ceremony to remember and honor Davey.

Tears stream down my face as I look at this picture of these young men and women standing at the foot of the Rocky Mountains with the flag Davey loved stretched out between them while the National Anthem was sung by one of the students.   With young people like these, there is hope for America.  They are in the process of becoming the brave people who fight for freedom that our National Anthem speaks of.

I was told that it was especially fitting because the flag was very worn and tattered on the end.

It’s tough on a flag to stand tall through the sun and wind and dust storms in Phoenix.

It was tough for Davey as he stood tall for justice and safety for the people of Phoenix.

And it’s still tough – every day – for our Law Enforcement Officers who stand tall in the thin blue line between the evil and the innocent – protecting our freedom to live safely in our communities.

When we see the American flag flying high over us – where ever we live – let us remember those at home and abroad who have given their lives to serve and protect us.  And let us remember those who are still sacrificing and protecting our freedoms each day.

Davey loved the flag and what it stands for.

Let’s follow his example.

#8144loveyou

 

He Knew It!

He knew it was important to say it.

And he knew how it important it was to show it.

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty last year.  And he knew how important the words ‘Love you’ are.

He said these words every time to his squad before he walked out to take a call.  And he badgered his squad into saying “Love you’ to each other, too.  Davey also said them all the time to everyone in his life who he cared about.  He knew how unsure life is and how quickly things change. He knew that these words can easily become the last thing you get to say to each other.  And he knew that these last words can either haunt you or bring a smile to your face.  He decided to make sure that his last words always brought a smile.

He knew that ‘Love you’ is not just two small words – strong emotions are attached which bring hope and warmth and worth when we are separated from each other.  Sometimes that separation is a couple of hours and sometimes – like may family – we are separated for the rest of our lives here on earth.

“Love you’ brings strength and comfort when we need it most.

God tells us that “Love builds up’ in 1 Corinthians and I have been a witness to how true that is these last 1 1/2 years.

Because Davey’s ‘Love you’s’ still echo in our heads, his family and friends have adopted them as our own habit.  It has become our mantra.  We don’t see each other or leave each other without hugs and ‘Love you’s”.  And this love has built us up.

It has built me up.  “Love you” rolls through my head during the dark nights when the hole in my life seems too much to bear.  It helps me smile at my two little fatherless grandchildren who look and act so much like Davey.

Love has made the impossible task of moving forward possible these last 1 1/2 years.

I have found that it is hard to be angry when everyone around me is saying they love me.

It is hard to be bitter when hugs and ‘Love you’s’ are coming from all directions.

And it is hard to feel like I’m all alone in this when I am surrounded by love.

Love builds up.

We had a great opportunity this week to spread love from our Blue family into our community through the David Glasser Foundation’s Shop with a Cop event.

Lots of fun.

Lots of smiles.

Lots of love.

Thank you for your legacy of love, Davey.

#8144loveyou

#fallenbutnotforgotten

Real Freedom Fighters

They commit their lives to protecting our freedom every day.

They never stop working to take those who want to infringe on our right to live peacefully and safely off the streets.

These are our Law Enforcement Officers.  They are real freedom fighters in blue.

Just because our nation is ‘free’ doesn’t mean that we are free to do whatever we want.  There are laws and guidelines set up which we all need to follow to avoid restricting each other’s rights.  Without these laws, each of would be infringing on other people’s rights.  So the laws restrict us in order to free us to live comfortably and safely with each other in community.

Those of us who follow the laws are helping others live in peace and security.  Those who break the laws are creating dangerous and unsafe situations that infringe on other people’s rights.  My son, David Glasser, knew this and it was one of the major motivating factors for him choosing to become a Phoenix Police Officer.  He wanted to take the dangerous people off of the streets and put them behind bars.

Sure – some laws aren’t good.  Our country has a process in place to change bad laws.

Sure – some of the people making the laws aren’t good.  Our country has an election process so those people can be voted out.

Sure – some of the people enforcing the laws aren’t good.  There are so many checks and magnifying lens on them that the amount of people in this category is very small.  I know our Phoenix Law Enforcement Department is awesome and takes care of issues immediately.  If all of our law enforcement agencies received the support and resources they needed to do their job, they would be able to take care of issues even more quickly.  Right now, most of our law enforcement agencies are experiencing serious and unsafe deficits in support and resources.  Many city and state governments need to make significant changes so  our Freedom Fighters have what they need to protect and serve our communities.

For us to live freely, our Freedom fighters need our support – you and I.  We need to vote people into office who support Law Enforcement.  We need to take advantage of every opportunity we have to show respect and support for our Law Enforcement Officers.

I’m very proud of the people in the City of Phoenix – the regular people on the streets get it.  The city-wide support we received when Davey was killed in the line of duty last year was phenomenal.  I will never forget our ride from the church to the cemetery on the day of his funeral – hundreds of people with signs and salutes lined the streets.  Cars and people were lined up next to the freeway, on the freeway and over the freeway showing respect and support for a hero who died fighting for their freedom.  Unbelievable!

We have also received an awesome level of support from the Phoenix Metro Police Department.  From the moment Davey was shot until today, we have received a constant, amazing amount of love and help from our Blue Family.  Thank you!

We have also received great support as we have started the David Glasser Foundation.  Individuals and companies have been very generous with their time and resources.  These people are not out on the streets creating mayhem by demonstrating against anything.  They are using their hands and their hearts and their resources to make a positive difference in our city.

All of us have a role in making sure we have a safe and free city to live in.  First, we need to follow the laws ourselves and next, we need to support those who work hard every day to enforce the law and protect our rights.  Together, we can make our country a better place to live and to raise our children and grandchildren.

Thank you to all of our Freedom Fighters in Blue and to those who support them.

Love you!

#8144loveyou