The Bomb – 4 years later

A bomb exploded in my life on May 18, 2016.

My plans were made.  I was on a course for my life that had my son’s smile and laughter plastered all over it.

And then the bomb went off – sending my life onto a whole new trajectory.  My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on Mary 18, 2016.

That day my life was thrown onto a path I never wanted to be on.  None of my former plans fit the journey I am on now.

I know I’m not alone.  There is a large group of us who were loving life with Davey when the bomb went off.  And now we find ourselves in this other world…..which is significantly darker….and has an obvious empty space,

Don’t tell me time heals all wounds.  This mother’s heart has a hole in it which will not be healed this side of heaven.

But….

here I am……

  • Putting Davey’s memorial bracelet on my wrist every morning – missing him, surprised that it’s been over four years since he was killed.  It feels like yesterday.  Except so much has changed.  Everything has changed.
  • Blue has become my favorite color because it reminds me of Davey’s commitment to be a great police officer.  My house decorations are blue, a lot of my clothes are blue and I’ve changed my Christmas decorations to mainly blue.
  • I’ve been retired for over 3 years and my retirement looks drastically different than I thought it was going to look 4 1/2 years ago.  It’s like I stepped into a different world, a place I would never have chosen.

And here we are….

  • We cancelled our trip to Washington, DC for Police Week this year when the whole thing was cancelled.  So disappointing.  Really wanted to see the museum and spend some more time at the memorial.
  • One of Davey’s buddies on his squad and I just designed a new David Glasser hat with 8144 on the front which is being sold in the store on the David Glasser Foundation website.  I love seeing people like Easton in this picture wearing Davey’s hats and shirts – remembering him and honoring him.  I consider remembering one fallen officer honors all of them so I love to see any fallen officer being remembered.

We’re on a very different path than any of us expected before May 18th, 2016.

About 6 months after Davey was killed, I was shopping and found a small plate with ‘Embrace the Journey’ written on it.  I stood in that store in front of this plate for a long time.

Thinking……………………………….

About the bomb that has gone off in my life and in the lives of so many people I love.

Thinking about the pain and the grief and the tears.

Now, 4 1/2 years later, I think about the awful road we have had to travel.  It has been uphill all the way ……. but we have traveled it together.

The last words Davey said to all of us were “Love you”.

I think about how much love has changed this journey.

We have learned a lot about loving each other in these last 4 1/2 years.  We have learned a lot about what’s really important – and what’s not.  Our hearts have grown bigger as we’ve reached out in love to the people moving forward with us on this journey.

It is definitely a journey. 

I am so glad that, standing in the store 4 years ago, I decided to Embrace the Journey.  God has placed me on this extremely tough road for a purpose.  He has walked closely beside me so far and I know he will give me strength and peace the rest of the way.

Of course I bought the dish and now I put my wedding ring and Davey’s memorial bracelet on it every night.  My wedding ring changed after Davey was killed, too.  I added blue sapphires to it.  Fallen but never forgotten.

I place my ring with its blue sapphires on this dish next to Davey’s memorial bracelet at the end of each day and consider my journey.  Some days are harder than others depending on the roller coaster of emotions the events of the day contained.  Sweet memories.  Sad losses.  One day might have many ups and downs and then the next is filled with gratitude for 34 years with Davey.  Each day I am reminded of my commitment to Embrace this Journey.

One day at a time.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

 

 

It’s Contagious

Law Enforcement is one of the most contagious careers I have ever seen.  When dad or mom is a doctor, there is often one doctor in the family.  If a parent is a lawyer, there might be one child who becomes a lawyer.  Or one child becomes a pastor when a parent or a grandparent is a pastor.

But how often do you see all three kids in the family become doctors?  Or lawyers?  Or pastors?

Not very often.  One of the exceptions is law enforcement where it happens often.  Whole families of law enforcement  are everywhere – often including grandparents, cousins and in-laws.

Why is it so contagious?

Why does a child of a police officer become a police officer when they had a front row seat to the long hours, the self sacrifice and the danger?

It’s because they have a front row seat that they also see the character, courage, strength and integrity it takes to be a good police officer.  Many other people talk about making a difference in the world and then go into their safe places to work where they spend countless hours trying to increase profits – it’s all about the money.  Every day.  A few of them might write a check to a charity of their choice – that’s as close as they come to making a difference.

Law Enforcement Officers are front line difference makers.  Every stop, every call, every situation – they have an opportunity to make their community safer and protect the innocent.  They come face to face with the evil that the rest of us try very hard to avoid.  We run from danger, they run toward danger.

I will never forget watching a video of the Boston Marathon bombing.  The bombs went off and people started screaming as they ran away – except the first responders.  They ran towards the bombs, toward the danger.  Difference-makers.

Law Enforcement careers attract people who respect law and order.  These people believe in sacrificing themselves to help others.  They know that serving their communities is honorable no matter what anybody else says.  They dedicate their lives to pushing back the evil in our communities so that the innocent can have a safe place to live and raise their families.  Difference-makers.  Instead of just talking about it, they are doing it.  Children of law enforcement officers see this – they live it – and they can’t imagine dedicating their lives to anything else.  So they become officers.

There are more careers usually in the serving category that are contagious as well.   I know there are teaching families, fire-fighting families and military families.  Why?  These are also difference – making careers.

My husband and I both served in the U.S. Military and I was a little surprised when neither of my children showed any interested in going into the military.  Then I had to smile when my son, David Glasser, started talking about becoming a police officer.  That’s as close as you can get to being in the military without being in the military.  I totally understand why many people go into law enforcement after years in the military.  Respect for law and order, serving your country, self-sacrifice, honor, courage – it’s all the same.  Being a difference-maker.

It’s contagious.

Davey lost his life in service to his community.  It’s a tragedy.  It’s very difficult and painful for those of us who have been left behind.  I am thankful that he died honorably – protecting and serving others.  Davey was a difference-maker.  His life and death has had a big influence on many people and the David Glasser Foundation is still making an impact on the lives of children and families in high risk areas of Phoenix today.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

 

You are Helping

Thank you to everyone who has played a part in the recent Back the Blue Rallies all over the United States.  I especially like the rallies in Phoenix where my son, David Glasser, who was a police officer was killed in the line of duty May 18, 2016.

I know seeing all these people supporting Law Enforcement helps the police officers who are out on the front lines everyday.  It helps their families who see their officers sacrificing so much every day, day after day, to serve our communities.

I wanted you to know that it also helps and encourages people like me who are survivors of a line of duty death.  It’s very hard to watch and read about the lack of understanding and gratitude some people have towards law enforcement officers when my son and so many other officers have given their lives to protect these same people.

We have lost so much.  I have lost so much.

I know that millions of Americans support and respect police officers and it’s truly great to see that majority start to speak up and become visible!  It’s important that the negative groups see it as well so they understand that they are the minority.

I’ve always hated situations where those screaming loudest are getting all the attention.  So it makes me smile when I see groups positively and respectfully showing their support for the good guys.

I received this picture from a recent Back the Blue Rally in Phoenix.  This is awesome!  If anyone knows this person, please tell them I love the fact that they were remembering and honoring Davey at the rally!  It feels right for Davey’s shirt to be there – he loved his brothers and sisters in Blue with all his heart.  Thank you!

It’s great whenever any of our fallen officers are remembered and honored.  If anyone has any more pictures of fallen officers being represented at rallies, please send them my way.  I’d love to see them and share them.

All of this helps survivors like me whose hearts have been shattered and whose lives have been blown apart.

We are encouraged – thank you.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

So Quickly

In a second……

everything permanently changes.

There are so many reminders happening all around us every day of how quickly life ends.  If it’s not the virus, it’s accidents or violence in the streets. I can’t help thinking about the family, friends and co-workers who are being left behind.   Because that’s my story – left behind.  Every idea of what we thought our future was to going to be has literally crashed and burned.

This brings me back to where I was when my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed – in a second –  in the line of duty.  May 18, 2016 – a date seared into my soul.   When I hear the news of the latest tragedy, I find myself visiting that deep, dark place of pain, grief and loss once again.

I don’t know the specifics of other people’s situations, but I know the feelings.  I know the searing pain as reality seeps through the fog.  I know the hope each morning that it was all just a nightmare.  I know the constant reminders of all that has been lost.  I know the swirling.  I know the emptiness.

If you’ve experienced this kind of tragedy, you know it, too.

The good news is that God has helped me learn how to just visit that dark place.  I’m not stuck there.  I can feel it, recognize it, pray for those that have joined me on this road of recreating what my future looks like but I’m not staying in yesterday.  God has a purpose for leaving me here and that’s what I need to focus on.  I can’t focus on all I have lost…..there’s too much.  It’s too big.  It’s so painful.

These days I am often reminded again how short life is.  I am reminded how precious life is.  I am reminded how quickly people can be gone.  I’m reminded of how quickly I could be gone.

I am reminded of some of the game-changing things I have learned these last 4 years since Davey left us –

Life is short – forgive others, love others, cherish your time with them.  Always put God and people before ‘stuff’ and money.

No regrets – go, do, see (when it’s safe).  Don’t put things off.  Deal with conflict positively or let it go.  Don’t stop talking to people when you’re mad at them – you may never get another chance to say ‘love you”.

Love is the answer – Love has a magical quality that comes straight from God.  Love first and worry about all the other stuff later.  Our lives will be empty unless we fill them with love.  We don’t want to miss the chances we have to love others and add something meaningful to their lives.

Davey had it so right when he made sure the last thing he said to anyone he cared about was ‘love you’.  It’s now years later and we are all still blessed by his last words to us as they echo through our hearts and minds.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.