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.