The Hole

When my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016, he left a big hole.

A bomb went off in the lives of everyone who loved him.

A bomb went off in the lives of his brothers and sisters in blue because another one of them was lost.

These bombs shattered parts of our world, parts that we will never get back.  There are important pieces missing.  There are places in our lives that are broken and can never be fixed.

There is a hole that will never go away.

In fact, that hole is growing.  The list of things that Davey is missing is getting longer.  The empty places where he should be in our lives are more and more evident.

The amount of things we lost when he was killed increases each day, each month, each year.

And it is very painful.

If you have been reading this blog, you know that I’ve said several times that the grief doesn’t fade, it doesn’t heal, it doesn’t grow less.  Don’t tell me time heals all wounds, its not true.

I’m just getting used to the fact that I have to live with this growing hole in my life.

As we approach the third anniversary of Davey’s death, the pain of the permanence of this situation can be overwhelming.  The Fallen Officer memorials that fill our calendars this time of year are bitter-sweet as we hear Davey’s name read again along with all of the other fallen officers in our city.  The fact that the anniversary of his death is right after Peace Officer Memorial Day on May 15 causes me to have several weeks of rollercoastering emotions.

The reality that I’m going to have to live the rest of my life on this earth without him makes tears stream down my face and haunts my nights.  It feels so wrong.

And the hole keeps growing.  We have birthdays, Christmas’ and new little members of our family……but Davey’s not here.

He will never be here again.  It really hurts when I focus on the hole.

So, once again, I turn my focus onto what I had before he was killed and I am very grateful to God for 34 awesome years with Davey.  And I turn my focus onto what I have now and I am very grateful to God for all the blessings he is showering on me today.

But I will always miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

He Woke Me Up

Easter is here – one of my favorite holidays!

And one of my favorite memories of Easter was when a small 5 year-old boy decided he wanted to go to the sunrise service his church was having.for the first time.  He REALLY wanted to go.  He bugged his mom until she said, “Okay, but we will only go if you get yourself up and dressed and come wake us up.”

And he did!

Imagine my surprise!  Yes, that little boy was my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.

On Easter, we celebrate the joy and light Jesus brought into our world when he rose and proved his power over death.  Jesus is our hope.  He was Davey’s hope and Davey knew that when he was 5 years-old.  He was excited about celebrating Easter and he wanted to do it outside watching the sun come up.

My daughter was just 6 months old at that time so I was not excited about getting up at 5 am unless I had to.  But Davey would not be talked or bribed out of it.  So I gave him an alarm clock and we set it the night before.  I showed him how to turn the alarm off, expecting that when the alarm went off and he saw how dark it was, he would just turn over and go back to sleep until it was time to get up for the normal church service.

Imagine my surprise the next morning when a little hand reached over the side of my bed in the dark and shook my arm.  There he was – all ready and smiling and excited about going to the sunrise service!  So my husband and I struggled out of bed and pulled on warm clothes.  I had to wake up the baby which is something I hated to do but a deal is a deal.

Davey got more and more excited as we drove to the park where the service was being held.  We dragged blankets and baby gear up the side of one hill and settled into our spot just as the sun started peaking over another hill in front of us and the music started.

It was an awesome service and we were hooked.  We went to sunrise service every year after that – we never missed it.

I realized something else that day – Davey could use an alarm clock, get up and get himself ready.  So, that’s what he started doing Monday through Friday.  It was great!  I’m not aware of very many 5 year-olds who get themselves up and walk out of their rooms in the morning dressed and ready for school but that’s what he did.

So today I celebrate the resurrection of my Savior.  And today I celebrate this precious memory of a special little boy who became an awesome young man.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

Don’t Get Stuck

That’s one of my main goals.  Don’t get stuck.

I have to figure out how to move forward – even when I don’t want to.

It’s not easy.  My world shattered when my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  Each day that followed was empty and the pain intensified each night. My mind wanted to focus on all of my broken dreams. The future I had expected was filled with fun and great times that were never going to happen.  What I had lost created a huge hole in every hour of every day.

And I wanted to stay there.  That felt like the place I was supposed to be…..

Until I looked at my little grand darlings, Davey’s son and daughter.  They have their whole lives to live and their lives cannot be all about what they have lost.  Their future is bright and full of possibilities and I need to be a positive, encouraging part of that future.

I also looked at the rest of my family.  We have all been left behind on this earth to accomplish what God has planned for us.  We have a purpose.  We’re not supposed to get lost in the dark places on this road and live there the rest of our short time on this planet.

So it became one of my goals – don’t get stuck.

It’s not easy, moving forward.  As the list of things Davey is missing grows, so does the sadness of not having him here.  As the years go by I lose more and more parts of him and it hurts.  There are days when I don’t want to go forward because it’s just too much of a struggle.

But it’s worth it.  I have met many people on this tough journey whose worlds have been blown apart by a tragedy…. and they are still living in that tragedy every day.  They are stuck.  They are angry and bitter and negative.  Honestly, they just are no fun to be around.  They have traded the good things of today for the pain of yesterday.  They have refused to rebuild their dreams for the future and they are mired down in the dark times of the past.

I know that getting stuck and living like that would be easy to do.  But I’m refusing to go there.  I have found that it really helps me to focus my mind on all the good things I had and all the good things I still have.  When my thoughts start to dwell on all of the good things I have lost, I have to stop myself.  None of that thinking is helpful.  That is the slippery slope that slides into the muck where people get stuck.

Being a part of the David Glasser Foundation has also helped me move forward.  Honoring Davey’s legacy and doing positive things in his name really helps the future look brighter.  There is still a lot of work to be done.  Not everyone wants to start a foundation, but I have suggested to other people who have experienced a huge loss to think about possible ways they could honor the memory of the person they lost and create a positive future.  College scholarships are a great option to remember someone who loved education and help someone else reach their educational goals.  Sports scholarships are also great to remember someone who loved sports and give other kids a chance at reaching their dreams.  One of my favorite things about the David Glasser Foundation Basketball league we had this past spring was the fact that we were able to give 10 scholarships to kids that would normally have not been able to be a part of league because of the registration costs.  Positive things like that can change the trajectory of the life of a child – especially if they live in a high-crime area.

Rebuilding a positive future.  That’s the goal.  That’s the struggle.

And it’s worth it.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

His Final Words

I was painfully reminded recently about how quickly our lives could end.  Another police officer in Phoenix, Paul Rutherford, was killed doing his job.  He was doing what he’s done many, many times before.  But this time, his life ended.

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police officer who was killed almost 3 years ago.  He was doing his job just like he had done every day for 12 years.  But on May 18, 2016, his life ended.

The worst happened.

Those of us who were left behind will never be the same.  Our worlds blew up and the emotional fall-out continues.  Following Officer Rutherford’s death, I was reminded of all the pain as I looked into the hurting eyes of the ‘framily’ that is taking this tough journey with me.  Tears and an unforgettable hole.

It’s a struggle.  Some of my steps moving forward really hurt.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that the last thing Davey said to everyone that he cared about was “love you”.  He even said it to his squad members and waited until they said it back.  It has been such a blessing for us to have that last ‘love you’ echoing through our heads as we deal with the grief and loss of Davey’s death.

If you have been reading this blog, you also know that one of the things I wish Davey had done was write me a letter.  It would be something I could get out to read over and over again on the dark days when I need some encouragement.  Because of this, I have now written letters to everyone who is dear to me in my life and I plan to update them every ten years or so if I stay on this planet for a while longer.

I know Davey loved me.  He and I thought alike so we didn’t have to say a lot to communicate how we felt about each other.  Now, I would really love to have some of that written down in a letter.

So imagine my amazement when I was recently searching through our small document safe that holds our important ‘stuff’ and I found an envelope with Davey’s handwriting on the outside.  In the envelope is a list written in Davey’s handwriting.  The bottom of the page says, “Sunday School 1999.”

He was 18 years-old.

He had written what he thought his life would be like “40 years from now”.  He gave a couple of options of what he wanted as a career and one of them was ‘police officer’.  He described the woman he would marry, how many kids he wanted, and his desire to continue to grow his relationship with God and be active in a church family.

It’s amazing to me that I kept this.  It’s definitely a God-thing. I’m an anti-hoarder so I’m very selective of the things I choose to keep and the number of old things I’m willing to move and store goes down as the years progress.

I shared the list with my husband and Kristen because this is as close to a letter as we’re going to get.

I have discovered that this list encourages me.  It reminds me of Davey and sparks great memories of how his eyes would light up when he talked about his plans and dreams.

He didn’t have 40 more years.  But reading this list makes me so grateful that we took full advantage of the 16 more years he had at the point when he wrote this.  No regrets.  We had 34 awesome years with him here on earth and that’s going to have to be enough until we see him again in heaven.

Thank you for the letter, Davey.

Miss you.

#8144loveyou