Before

My life has a ‘before’.

Before my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016, my world was a different place.

It was a place where my family was whole.  When I think back to ‘before’, there is a special glow that shines on my memories and that light has now disappeared.

My husband and I lived 1 1/2 miles from Davey and his family the last 6 years of his life so I could expect to see him or at least talk with him almost every day.  He would regularly drop by unannounced for something – anything.  He loved people so he was always in search of people to talk to, people to hang out with.  Most of the time Davey had his son, Micah, with him when he dropped by and he wanted his dad to come along wherever they were going – Home Depot, Best Buy, where ever.  His then five year-old son, Micah, called Best Buy ‘daddy’s store’ so that gives you an idea of how often they went there.

Davey was a planner – always thinking about the next good time, the next tailgate, the next trip, the next get together.  There was a feeling of excitement and anticipation when he was around because there were good times coming.  Guess whose idea it was to have some fun with the leaning tower of Pisa when we toured Italy?

He was open and friendly, gathering friends wherever he went.

I miss Davey’s light in my life.

My struggle with the darkness, grief and pain this last 4 1/2 years has been tough.  I have often felt the gloom hanging over me, my longing for ‘before’ crowding out any joy of today.

It’s been a battle.  God has given me strength and has increased my faith through these awful days.  He has given me a lot of family and framily (friends who are family) including my Blue framily who have loved me and brought their own special light into my life.

I have started to see some of the lessons God is teaching me through this terrible journey.

One of my big lessons is about gratitude.

I. am. so. grateful. for. the. 34. years. we. had. Davey.

Words cannot express how grateful I am.  I have realized, when I focus on my gratitude for how awesome Davey was and all the great times we spent together, some of Davey’s light seeps back into my life.  Memories become warm and good instead of painful.  When I am grateful for the time we had with Davey, my world seems less empty and much less sad.

God gave us a precious gift for 34 years.

And I am extremely grateful.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

Surviving the Worst

If you have had a child die, you know that it is one of the worst things that can happen to you.   For some of us it is definitely THE worst thing that could ever happen to us.

After years of working at facing my fears, I realized quite awhile ago that the only fear I had left was that something bad would happen to one of my children.  A couple of years after that realization, my daughter was diagnosed with cancer.  It changed her life but it was caught early and there have been no more signs of cancer.

I thought that was enough.  That was my fear coming true and it was a tough, scarey time.

I didn’t know a tsunami that far exceeded anything I was afraid of was building up steam and heading my way.  It hit on May 18, 2016 when my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty as he was responding to a robbery call.  The waves of grief and anger and pain roared over my life – foaming, surging and destroying.  They violently ripped away any expectations I had for today and totally decimated my dreams for tomorrow.

The waves roared all night and grew stronger in the darkness.

But they were most painful in the daylight when I could see the desolation they had left.

The holes.

The emptiness.

The loss.

My two fatherless grandchildren.

This storm left my ‘stuff’ but took my son.   And I would give everything I own for one more hour with Davey.

To see his smile.

Hear his laughter.  And his jokes.

And one more ‘love you’.

Surviving the worst has taken away all of my fears.  Because fearing that something bad would happen did not change the facts about the bad things that happened to my children.

Fear is useless.

Fear does nothing but stop us from doing things we should do.

Fear keeps us on the defensive.  It keeps us cowering in the corner.

My prayer for all of us who have experienced the worst is that we will find courage in knowing we have survived.  I pray that we will act on  that courage because we survived for a purpose.  And I pray that we will set aside our useless fears so we can make the time we have left on this planet count.  Because our time is short – often much shorter than we know.

Davey would be extremely proud of the David Glasser Foundation which was created to continue his fight against hate and ignorance and violence.  He would love the reality of all of us working together to push back the darkness – one step at a time.  We are not stuck on yesterday, afraid that something else that’s bad is going to happen today or tomorrow.  It probably will – our fears will not stop it.  But our actions might.

With courage and conviction, we are moving forward, continuing Davey’s battle and making it our own.

The challenge I give everyone today is to figure out how to be a part of the fight for what’s right.  You are welcome to join with us by supporting the David Glasser Foundation or find your own battle.  There is much work to be done to reestablish truth, honor, respect, and love in our country.

May God give all of us the courage we need to do our part in helping to make that happen.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

When the Answer is No

This is a tough one.  It took me quite a while to come to ‘a good place’ on this topic.  It took me even longer to be willing to share it.

God could have saved my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  God is everywhere and he knows everything and he can do anything.

Nothing is impossible for him.

So, no matter what any doctor said, God could have saved Davey.

That night in the hospital with Davey hooked up to all the machines lying there motionless, my husband and I walked up and down the hall outside of Davey’s room praying for a miracle and asking everyone we saw to pray for a miracle.  The halls of the hospital were lined with people praying for a miracle.  Three waiting rooms were filled, many of of those people were praying with us for a miracle.

It was our only hope.

When Davey’s brain waves disappeared early the next morning, we understood that we were not going to get that miracle.  The heartbreak was overwhelming.  It hurt so bad that it was a hard to breathe.  Our world was blown apart.  Such a sudden, huge, painful hole in our lives.

I wanted to ask why but I already understood that the answer was not to ask “why’ but to trust God.  I already knew the historical account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who role-modelled this thousands of years ago.  Right before King Nebuchadnezzar was about to throw them into a blazing furnace because they would not worship him, the three men testified to the king and the watching crowd that their God was able to save them.  “But even if he does not, ” they stated, they weren’t going to worship the king.  They trusted God to either save them or let them die – whichever accomplished God’s purposes here on earth.

They were declaring that – even if God did not give them a miracle – they were going to trust him.  In their story, they received a miracle and walked out of the blaze without a scratch on them.

That’s not my story.  We did not get a miracle.  I will probably never totally understand the purpose of this terrible tragedy this side of heaven.

But I will trust God and move forward in obedience until the day he calls me home.

Jesus told all of us that in this world we will have many trials and sorrows……and this one is at the top of my list.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou.

How do I Answer This?

It never used to be a tough question….but now…

it can be a difficult one to answer.

When someone who doesn’t know me asks me, “Do you have any children?” my brain now goes through a whole series of decisions.  My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  So my answer to this question has drastically changed.  My husband and I just moved to Denver so we are going through that ‘getting to know you’ phase with neighbors and this question automatically comes up.

“Do you have any children?” used to be my favorite question to ask and answer but now it’s become complicated.  Do I want to get into the whole story?  I have to get into some of it.  How much of it do I want to share?  I love talking about Davey but I don’t like to share a lot of details about his death with strangers.  I never know which emotional buttons will be triggered and having tears roll down my face is not a great ice breaker as I’m getting to know people.

“Do you have any children?” should be an easy question to answer but it has become a difficult one for me.  If my emotions are running high, I’ll just talk about my other kids and then jump into all the great things about my grand darlings.  That usually distracts people and they don’t ask anything else.  Some people are naturally curious and like to know details – details I don’t want to get into.  So sometimes I just act like I misunderstand what they are asking and answer a different question. 

I have no problem talking about Davey with people who knew him.  We share stories and smile.  We remember good times together.  Some of the stories still bring the tears but they are good tears from great memories of an awesome person.

My heart often yearns to go back to when Davey was here.  My brain knows I can’t but my heart feels the hole, the huge empty spot in my life.  This is the place where my tears come from.  This is the place that is often touched when I’m asked, “Do you have any children?”

Lately, I have just started answering this question like I used to – ” I have a son and a daughter.”  And then I will explain my son was a Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty and my daughter lives here in Denver”.  It works for me.  I still have a son, he’s just in heaven right now instead of Phoenix.

Davey is still very alive in my heart so it feels good to talk about him in the present tense.  He is moving forward with me – he will always be a part of my life.  Nothing will ever change that.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

It Has Already Been Decided

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.

These last 4 1/2 years have been the most difficult and painful time of my life.

One of the ways God has comforted me is through this truth – ” A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” Job 14:5.

God has already decided which day will be the last day of your life here on earth and mine.

Knowing this helped me let go of my mother when she passed away 16 years ago.  We had a very close relationship and she was my role-model for how a Christian woman lives her life faithful to God – all the way to her last breath here on earth.  I realized, if God wanted her in heaven with him, then that’s what I wanted for her.  She was an awesome grandmother to my children and this picture of her with Davey brings back great memories of all of my mother’s famous cinnamon rolls we ate together.  We only had one rule – nobody counted how many rolls anybody ate.  If there are cinnamon rolls in heaven, you can bet that these two are still gobbling down a bunch of these together today.

davey-and-grandma-rolls

Fifteen years ago I found myself in ICU with twelve blood clots in my lungs.  Have you ever seen a doctor look scared when they tell you this is a life-threatening situation?  Laying in the emergency room, I heard God clearly tell me that I wasn’t going to die from this.  Later, five doctors kind of looked at me in awe and told me the blood clots should have killed me.

It just wasn’t my day.

I know that God has reasons for picking May 18 as Davey’s final day here on earth.  I may never understand those reasons but I trust God.  And, since God wants him in heaven, that’s what I want for Davey.

Knowing that this date was determined before Davey was born helps me avoid needless regrets like –

  • I wish he hadn’t gone on that call.
    • It wouldn’t have mattered.  This was his day.
  • I wish he hadn’t gone to work that day.
    • It would have happened no matter what he was doing.
  • I wish he hadn’t been a police officer.
    • He was born to be a police officer and he died honorably, serving his community and doing what he loved to do.  He wouldn’t have wanted to live or die any other way.

It was decided.  There is no ‘wishing’ something else had happened.  God decreed the number of Davey’s days here on earth and then he took Davey home.

Now, standing on a foundation of God’s love and strength and grace, I am figuring out how to move forward.    I am still here because God has a purpose for me and that’s what my life needs to be about until the day God has already determined when he will come to bring me home.

I don’t know all the details of my future but meanwhile, through the tears, I’m focusing on loving God and loving other people.

A bigger chunk of my heart is now in heaven with you, Abba Father.