Stepping on Landmines

“Do you have any children?”

It’s a natural, ‘getting to know you’ question asked pretty early on in our first conversations with people.

It’s a landmine when I meet people who don’t know about the tragedy that blew my life apart 3 years ago when my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty.

Yes, I want people to know me and I want them to know about Davey and his death.  It’s just a tough thing to bring up in the middle of a conversation with someone I barely know.  Depending on the emotions rolling through my heart that day, talking about Davey can start the tears rolling down my face.  That’s a real conversation stopper.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk about Davey and all the great things about him.  But sometimes on some days, there are very strong emotions tied to this subject.   When emotions make the situation feel awkward, I move the conversation onto to talking about my beautiful grand darlings – one grandson and two grand daughters.  They always help me smile.

This experience has taught me a couple of things about ‘getting to know you conversations’.  They are not as superficial as they seem.  Most people have various bruised and tender spots in their lives that can be difficult to talk about.  We can’t avoid the landmines because they are often a central part of our lives that need to be included in who we are.  So we share the hurt and we share the emotion and we share the awkwardness.

And – in the end – we know each other a little better.

That’s a good thing.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

My Nightmare

It’s a nightmare that I will never wake up from.

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  The nightmare started that day.

And it hasn’t stopped.

The first several weeks after Davey’s death, I would wake up every morning and hope that it was all a very bad dream.  I would think about what my day would be like if it had not happened.  Davey would probably be dropping by with his son, Micah, sometime during the day to pick up his dad or to drop something off or just to say hi.   If I didn’t see him, I’d probably get a text from Davey about his plans for having some fun and asking if I could help with some part of it.  He was always planning and doing and inviting other people to join in.

But then I had to open my eyes and realize that it had happened.  Davey had died.

He would not be dropping by or texting.

He would never drop by or text me again.  The nightmare had become my reality.  Every day I have to deal with that reality.

I’ve had people who mean well say to me, “It’s gets easier.  It gets better.”

What part gets easier? What part gets better?

I know I’m getting more used to having him gone…..but that’s not easier or better.

My world has a hole  – and it’s a big hole.  It’s a sad hole.  It’s a painful hole.  The hole is evident every day and it’s not going away.

The nightmare is not getting easier, it’s not getting better.

It’s becoming more real.

I am so grateful to my Father God who walks beside me.  He shines his light of love and grace in the hole.  He gives me hope and a purpose.  He wraps his arms around me as tears roll.  He has given me awesome family and friends who love and support me…..

as I live in the nightmare.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

His Legacy of Love

One of the bright lights in my world went out on May 18, 2016.  That’s the horrible day when my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was shot and killed in the line of duty.

He was a bright light in your world, too, even if you never met him.

I may confuse you with End of Watch dates.  His official date is May 19th but those of us who were with him in the hospital know that he left us on May 18th.  Feel free to use whichever date works for you.

I’m grateful for the medicine and machines that preserved his body on May 18th so that we had some time to say goodbye.  They also made it possible for Davey to fulfill his final wish – he was able to donate multiple organs saving the lives of several more people even after his own death.

Because that’s what heroes do.

He was one of the good guys.  He cared about our community and he committed his life to defending all that is good and right in our world.  He was proud to be part of the thin blue line that stands between the evil ones and the innocent in our country.  He lived a life of integrity and honor while blending in fun and loving life in a unique way that only Davey could do.

His heart was big and open.  Some of you know that because he added you to his group of friends during your first conversation with him. Others of us have known about his big heart for a long time because he loved us well his entire life.

Davey leaves a legacy of love.

He loved God.  He loved his wife and two small children.  He loved his immediate and extended family.   He loved his Blue Family.  He loved his friends.

He loved sports – all of them.  He was obsessed with the Cardinals and in love with the Diamondbacks as well as all ASU sports.

At Davey’s funeral, his best friend on his squad, James Byrd shared the fact that Davey said ‘Love You’ to his squad members every time he left them.  That surprised me. As his mom, I heard Davey telling us that he loved us all the time.  But I didn’t know he had extended this habit to work.

Davey not only told his squad members he loved them several times a day – he also insisted that the squad members say ‘Love you’ back to him.  AND he insisted that they say ‘Love you’ to each other before they left.

Davey knew.

He knew how close they all were to never seeing each other again.  He knew how quickly something could happen and he didn’t want anyone to ever question that he loved them.  He knew it was very important so he badgered his squad members to get into the habit as well.

Now we are all very happy that he did.

Because ‘Love you’ has lifted us up out of a place of deep, dark grief many times these last three years.

‘Love you’ has challenged us to grow even more genuine in our relationships.  We care more deeply and our lives have become interwoven in a solid foundation of love and support.

‘Love you’ has reminded us that we are still here – our watch hasn’t ended yet.  There is work to be done.  Relationships to be built.  People to love.

“Love you’ has helped us survive the worst.  Our Father God has used these two words and all of the things that go with them to give us more faith and more strength and more courage than we had before.

And now we continue to figure out how to move forward, living out Davey’s legacy of love.

He would have wanted it that way.

Miss you, Davey

#8144loveyou

 

My Life Sentence

I have been given a life sentence.

For the rest of my time here on earth, my life will have a big hole in it.  This hole has been getting larger as each year passes since my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty on Mary 18, 2016.  He is missing more and more important events and milestones of his family and our family.  He’s not here for first days of school and a new year of flag football.  He doesn’t get the chance to play with tiny new members of our family and birthday parties continue to happen without him.

My life sentence has no end on this planet.  Every hour, every day, every week, every year – he is gone.

I have awesome memories of him, great pictures and  two unbelievably precious grandchildren that remind me of him.  But he’s not here.

And he will not be here.

Usually I try not to think about the fact that, 20 years from now, he will still be gone.  I guess that’s the reality of a life sentence – it doesn’t change.  There is no hope of parole.  There is no break.

I try to focus on all of the blessings I had before Davey was killed and all of the blessings I have now.  But….sometimes… the hole is just too big.  The black hole of grief looms in front of me, making this never-ending path of loss extremely hard to navigate.

This life sentence on earth is a struggle.

So what’s my motivation for getting up in the morning?

Davey is gone but there are so many people still here.  God has shown me that he has a purpose for me here on earth.  There are still a lot of things he wants me to do.  God is very obviously walking beside me down this tough road, giving me strength for the climb and wisdom for the blind curves.

I have also been given the eternal life sentence of being loved and cared for by my good Father God.  This life sentence has already started and it will never end.  There is no grief or loss in my relationship with God.  Nothing can ever separate me from his love.

Davey is no longer experiencing any of these earthly struggles or pain.  He’s in a perfect place with his Father God.

And I will be there, too, someday when my purpose on earth is done.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou