Hope is the knowledge that there are good things coming. It’s a light shining in the darkness of our current circumstances.
It’s one of the most important gifts that can be given to someone who has just experienced a tragedy.
My memory of events immediately after May 18, 2016 are somewhat foggy and there are holes. That was the day David Glasser, my son who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty. There is a haze of pain and grief over all of my memories of that time. But there are also many bright spots that shine through the haze and two of the shining spots I remember are gifts of hope.
I was reminded of the first gift when our good friend, Chaplain Bob Fesmire, stopped by our house last week to give us a very special gift for Christmas. It’s a beautiful advent wreathe which Bob handmade for us. Exquisite! It has already become a family heirloom which we will pass down within our family. We lit the first candle for the first week of advent last Sunday with Micah and Eden.
The first candle represents hope so we talked about hope with our grand darlings. I don’t think its a coincidence that the first week of this marvelous advent wreathe given to us by Bob represents hope. Because he gave me hope during the long night in the hospital as we watched Davey’s brain waves disappear. Chaplain Bob prayed for us and loved us, helping us stay grounded in the love of God through the very painful night. He gave me hope as he reminded me of the truth of God – that he loves us and would walk closely with us down the extremely tough path that was before us. Chaplain Bob provided a spark of hope in a night that was filled with hopelessness. Thank you, Chaplain Bob.
I was recently reminded of another bright spot of hope that shone through the pain and confusion of those first few days after Davey was killed. The day after we came home from the hospital, we had to start planning the funeral. I offered to have the discussion at my house and expected 4 to 5 officers to show up. We actually had more like 15 to 20 officers coming and going throughout this process of planning our part of the funeral. It was chaos – especially for people who were in shock over what had happened the last 2 days. I understand that it had to be done because so much planning goes into these funerals. The word ‘totally overwhelmed’ doesn’t do a good job of describing the feelings I had during those several hours.
Right at the end of the planning, Angela Harrolle, the CEO of the 100 Club came and presented a check to Kristen to help with any financial needs that might come up in the near future. Angela shared that her husband had been killed in the line of duty 7 years before and her children had been around the same age of Davey’s children were when their father was killed. That’s when I started staring at her. She was the first family member I had met who had gone through what we were going through.
She looked healthy and happy. At a time when I didn’t know if I would ever smile again, she smiled when she spoke of her children. She was also the CEO of the 100 club. She had figured out a way to move forward from the tragedy and she was working hard to help others.
Angela gave me a gift that day. I remember saying to myself, “If she can do it, we can do it.” There was hope. Thank you, Angela.
There is always hope.
We are reminded of that when we light the first advent candle.
Miss you, Davey.