I Changed My Mind

Now I want to go back.

In the past, whenever I would be with people who were talking about how they’d like to go back to being 16 or 21 or 39, I would always say I didn’t want to go back.  Each age has its benefits and trials.  Each phase of my life has had its rewards and challenges.  I have never wanted to go back to redo or un-do things.

But I recently realized that I have changed my mind.  Now I want to go back – to any time before Davey was killed.   I would go through all the pain and grief since May 18, 2016 when he was killed in the line of duty if I could go back and relive my last hour with Davey.  Or just the last 10 minutes.  It would be worth it to see his smile one more time.  I just want to hear him laugh.

This picture of Davey was taken at his home about a month before he was killed.  I am so glad we took a bunch of family photos with him that day – they are all extremely precious to me.  When I got to his house that day, he had on some old, ragged, weird-colored clothes and he casually mentioned he was ready for the pictures.  He knew I always tried to do a little color coordinating when we took family photos and he probably put on his crazy clothes just to get a response from me.  I’ll never forget –  I gave him my ‘mom look’ and he laughed.  I knew he was joking so I didn’t have to say anything.  He changed his clothes without another word said – I’m sure he had it all planned out what he was really going to wear.  He just liked to joke around and have fun.  I really miss that.

I want to go back.  I would not  un-do anything – I just want to do it again.

But I know I can’t go back.  And in a group of people who are talking about going back, I probably wouldn’t bring this up because it hits the empty hole in my heart.  The hole that hurts.  The hole that makes it hard to smile sometimes.  It’s the hole that aches at times as I watch his children play sports – he would have been so proud of them.  He would have been spending a lot of time practicing with them and helping them improve – he was a great coach.

My head knows I can’t go back but my heart wants to.

My head knows that the only direction I can go is forward.  All of the great things happening with the David Glasser Foundation have been helping to make moving forward easier.  Being able to continue the work Davey started with the kids and families in Laveen helps the future look brighter.  Witnessing the great things taking place through the efforts of everyone who volunteers for the foundation and supports the foundation brings a purpose and light into my life.  Seeing kids’ lives being positively changed because of the work of the foundation brings joy.

But I would still go back….in a heartbeat.

Miss you, Davey.

Wrestling Well

It’s one of my goals – to wrestle well.

Wrestling – that’s what it feels like trying to deal with all the emotions and realities of this unfamiliar road I find myself on.

I know it’s healthy to feel the grief and the loss of the death of my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer killed in the line of duty May 18, 2016.  I don’t want to stuff it in or ignore it – that’s going to cause problems.  So I wrestle with it.   In my life before Davey’s death, I was not an emotional person.  Now I have had to get used to the fact that my eyes fill with tears many times a day and it doesn’t take much for me to be reaching for a tissue.   I can’t get through a worship service at church without tears rolling down my face because my Father God has been so important to me as I’ve struggled with this strange life I’ve been dropped into.

Now my tears lie right under my smile.

I also want to make sure my mind is dealing with the issues of grief and loss instead of ignoring them or getting stuck on them.  It’s obvious that writing this blog has helped me as I have worked through different aspects of my reality of being left behind.  If you have been reading these blogs, you just saw me spend several weeks processing how to move forward with my family yearbooks now that 3 years have passed and I can finally touch the pictures of the year Davey was killed without an emotional avalanche.

I have done a lot of wrestling.  God really helped me early on in this journey to identify my new priorities.  Many parts of my old life had shattered.  A lot of my dreams for the future had been stripped away.  So – here I am.  What’s most important to me now?  What’s the next step?  God has been answering my questions as I stay close to him and trust him with everything.

Davey is gone but I’m still here.  Why am I still here?  I know that many parents of fallen officers share the feeling with me that we wish it had been us.  We wish we were the ones that were killed so our sons and daughters could still be here with their children.  It would be an easy choice for us.  But we didn’t get the option to choose and now we’re are in this new place we never wanted to be……..

wrestling.

So much has changed.  Too much has changed.  But I can’t go back, I must go forward.  I have to figure out how to deal positively with the struggle.

I look to my Father God for answers because I know he has a purpose for this journey.  I know he loves me and wants the best for me.   I also know that he loves Davey and wants the best for him.  So – somehow – this is the best.  I will probably never understand that.

I’m still wrestling.

Miss you, Davey

#8144loveyou

 

Here I am Again

I never thought this would be me……..

visiting the cemetery every week to clean the gravestone of my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer killed in the line of duty May 18, 2016.

But here I am again-

praying for all of us that are left behind.  I don’t talk to Davey when I’m here because I believe that his spirit is at home with his heavenly Father.  I talk to God who is here, right beside us, – loving us and caring for us.  God wants all of us who are broken-hearted to reach out to him for peace and strength and comfort.

There are several fallen officers buried right around Davey so I often walk around straightening blue line flags and praying for all the families, friends and co-workers who are sharing this very tough road of pain and loss with me.  Some days I am overwhelmed by the mountain of the plans and dreams which were stripped away from all of us.  Other days I am reminded of the honor these men deserve because of their sacrificial commitment to what is right and good in our country.

We all have to figure how to navigate this rocky road of grief and we all do it differently.  The first year after Davey was killed, visiting the cemetery was extremely hard for me but I felt the need to make sure his ‘spot’ was as clean as it can be because the cemetery management told me this area with the fallen officers is the most visited place in the cemetery.  The sun just seemed to be extra harsh there so we planted a tree right by Davey’s spot.  If you’ve been reading my blogs, you know the first tree died.  That’s appropriate, isn’t it?  But the second tree is looking good and is actually starting to provide some shade which is a big relief in the Phoenix summer.

Each week, as I step into the shade of Davey’s tree, it feels like a breath of God’s comfort in this desolate place.

I have also starting hanging things from the tree that have special meaning for me.  It wasn’t too long ago that I hung the wind chime given to us from the Donate Life organization on the tree.  I had to wait until the tree grew strong enough to hold it because it’s a heavy wind chime.   When I attached the windchime onto one of the larger branches, it felt like I had also waited until I had grown strong enough to honor this part of Davey’s death.

I was recently travelling through Germany, picking up little things to give people back home, when I saw a metal tree ornament with a heart on it and realized I wanted to bring something back for Davey’s tree.  It just felt right.  Davey loved to travel and our family got the chance to take a lot of trips together.  Great memories.

So now this heart hangs next to the windchime on Davey’s tree and I plan to add more things from future travels.

One of the realities of the cemetery is that it’s open to the public and the cemetery management also cleans up all the ‘extra’ things a couple of times of year.  Everything I have put out there becomes dirty and old from the weather and many things have blown away and disappeared through the last 3 years.

At first that really bothered me.  Each small loss reminded me of the huge loss in my life that Davey’s spot represents.

Now I have learned to hold all the ‘stuff’ out there loosely, while holding my love and memories of Davey close to my heart.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

He’s Coming With Us

It’s done.

My 2016 Family Yearbook is complete and the finished product will be showing up in my mailbox any day.  Thanks for taking this journey with me as I have had to figure out each step of the way.  I didn’t expect this to be such a soul-searching, emotion-packed process.  First, I sobbed through getting the front page done dedicating this book to my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.

Then I couldn’t touch for book for 3 years without struggling with the extreme pain and grief of the loss of Davey.

But, gradually my memories of 2016 have become more precious than painful to me.  As I finished the book, I realized I needed to change the title as well because Davey’s legacy has evolved the fall-out from this tragedy into a story about the power of love.  God’s love and the love we have for each other has re-named this journey and for that, I am very grateful.

So now I face getting to work on our 2017 Family Yearbook.

But it’s hard to start.

Because there is no way I’m going to make a family yearbook without Davey.

Not happening.

I know he will always be a part of us.  I see him in the faces and actions of both of his children.  His pictures are everywhere.  Who he was and who he is influences the lives of his family and friends today.  He lives in our hearts.  Davey’s legacy of love has changed us.

He has never left us.  He was a part of our lives in 2016 and he continues to be a part of our lives today.  So my plan is, as I fill the pages of our 2017 yearbook and all the books to come, I will include pictures of Davey through the years at Christmas, Davey at Easter, Davey on his birthday, Davey at the birth of his children and more.  I’m sure that these great memories will bring smiles to our faces as we realize that he is still a part of us.  I wasn’t doing family yearbooks when he was a kid so his early year photos will give a better picture of who he was to his children and grandchildren.

All of our family yearbooks are going to have pictures of Davey in them.

He’s coming with us.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou