Feeling it……

left behind.

The list of things that I’ve done that I thought I would never do has grown very long since May 19, 2016.  A couple of years ago it felt very strange to be buying a plot in the cemetery next to my son. David Glasser was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 19, 2016.  Now that Davey had a plot, it felt right to have a spot next to him for my husband and my cremated remains when that day comes.

We also planted a tree next to our spot.  That first summer of visiting cemetery and cleaning Davey’s spot was brutal.  Hot and horrible.  I felt I really needed a tree out there to provide some shade.  So we bought some more plots and planted one.

And the tree died.  Why was I not surprised?  A dead tree fit right in with the pain and loss I was feeling.

The good news is that the second tree we planted is thriving and starting to provide some much needed shade.  I used to wonder why I felt such a strong need for a tree….until I saw the movie, “The Shack”.  Have you seen it?  Now I know why I wanted a tree.

Spoiler alert – in the movie, they planted the seed of a tree on top of his daughter’s grave.  When they watered it with the father’s tears, it miraculously immediately grew into a big, beautiful, green tree.

Awesome!  Life!  In a place where we remember those who have died.  I’m so glad we have a tree by our spot.

My husband and I have moved to Denver but we recently visited Phoenix and stopped by Davey’s spot to clean it.  He’s not there but it’s a great place for remembering.  While I cleaned, I prayed.  I prayed for our family, our extended ‘family’ which includes his squad and I pray for the families of the other fallen officers who are buried close to Davey.  There have been so many tears in this place.

Looking around the cemetery, I was reminded of all the people I love who are already in heaven.

I really miss my mom.  She was so much fun and such an amazing Christian woman!  My father was a good Christian man who died when I was 21 years-old so I never got to know him as an adult.  My stepfather was also a good man who married my mother on her 70th birthday.  He was a fantastic grandfather to my children.   My oldest brother was 13 years older than me and went to heaven a couple of years ago.  He was the one who walked me down the aisle.  They are all in heaven.

I have been blessed with a strong, Christian background so my grandparents are all in heaven along with a large number of my aunts, uncles and cousins.

And now my son.

He is there.  And there are times when I have an overwhelming feeling of being left behind.  Don’t worry.  There’s no need to call a hotline 🙂  I’ll be here until God decides differently.

But there are days when I am homesick.  Home is where my Father God is.  Home – where there are no viruses, disappointments or problems.  No grief.  No pain.  Home – the number of people I love who are already home is growing.

It is our home because Jesus redeemed our lives.  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  He is the Way to heaven.  He is the Truth here on earth.  And the Life he gives us doesn’t end here.

If you haven’t made the choice to trust in Jesus, there is no better time than now.  Tomorrow may be too late.

Davey and I would really like for you to join us someday in heaven…

He is already there.

Miss you, Davey.

 

#8144loveyou

May 19, 2016

When the worst happened.

Someone I loved deeply and planned to have in my life for a very long time went to work…..

and never returned.  It is my worst nightmare.

My son, Dave Glasser, was a Phoenix Police officer for 12 years.  So I know about the small cloud of anxiety that hangs over Police Officers and their families every day.  Hoping..

and praying..

that today is not the day they don’t come back.

daveys-shield

Because my son didn’t come back.

And my world exploded.

For 4 1/2 years I’ve been picking up the pieces of my life and figuring out how they fit together around this very large hole in my heart.  I know God has a purpose for what happened and one part of that purpose is me sharing some of this journey with you.  It’s a very tough road filled with huge mountains and big potholes and constant blind curves.  It’s paved with grief and pain, flooded with tears.

Unfortunately, there are way too many people on this road with me – you know what’s it’s like when your son, daughter, husband or friend doesn’t come back.

One of the good things about this nightmare has been my Blue Family.  The amount of care and love and encouragement we have received has been phenomenal.  Unbelievable.  And it started immediately.  I remember my first conversation with my boss after Davey was killed and he reminded me of the Employee Assistance Program provided by the company I worked for.  I told him I didn’t need it because the Phoenix Police Department had an Employee Assistance Team ‘on steroids’ led by Dave Osborne.  We were totally taken care of.

Since then, I cannot tell you how many police officers have talked to me personally and said, “Let me know if you ever need anything.  I mean it. Here’s my cell number.”  And they’ve shown up when they are needed or whenever they know they can help.  When we’ve asked for police volunteers for a David Glasser Foundation event, a crowd of officers always steps forward to prove that they aren’t just saying they will be there for us, they mean it.  Davey’s squad has been amazing in their love and support even as they have been working through their pain.  The Phoenix Police Department has been awesome in their support of us and of the foundation – always willing to do whatever they can to help.

My family actually does bleed blue.  The courage and love and honor that embodies a great Police Officer runs through of the veins of many of my Blue Family members.  Others of us in the ‘family’ have hearts of blue because we love and encourage and pray for our members who wear the uniform.

If either of these describe you, thanks for being a part of my Blue Family.

It’s not an easy family to be a part of.

The worst can happen.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

It’s Still Beating

He had the Heart of a Warrior and –

somewhere –

his heart is still beating.

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

Davey was only 34 years-old and in excellent physical condition when he was killed by a shot to his head.  The actual process of him donating wasn’t easy for me emotionally.  It was hard to say goodbye and walk out of the hospital when drugs were still making his heart beat and machines were making his lungs breath.  But he wanted it, so it happened.

As a result, a whole crowd of people are still walking on this earth because they received Davey’s life-giving organs.

And someone got the Heart of a Warrior.

It’s still beating.

This heart beats for justice.

It beats for integrity and honor.

It beats for courage and personal sacrifice.

And it beats strongly for loving God and loving each other.

I believe that each of us has our own Warrior’s Heart.  God gave us things we are passionate about – things that make our hearts beat faster.  We’re all different so these passions are different as well.

The issues that we really care about are the areas where we are supposed to stand up and do something helpful, something positive.

How do I make a difference in this world?

How do you make a difference?

One very easy way we can make a difference is sign up to be an organ donor like Davey.  I’ve done that.  Have you?  Members of my family have received organs from other donors so we know what a huge blessing it is to people and their families.

Other ways to make a difference aren’t as easy but we need to figure out how to use our passions and our energy to have a positive effect on our world.  Don’t just talk about it – do it.  What do you get riled up about?  What angers you?  What frustrates you?  That is where your passion lies.  But we can’t let the anger and frustration take over – we have to use this energy for good.  To help.

One of the failures in our current culture is too many people are spending their precious time and resources standing against and protesting against things.

But what are they standing for?  Their time and resources could be used to help people – used to make something good and positive happen.

It’s a choice.

I choose to help others look to God, especially in the darkness.  I choose to stand for justice and freedom in our country by standing for the Thin Blue Line between the evil and innocent.

My Warrior’s Heart beats for loving God and loving others.

What does your Warrior’s Heart beat for?

What are you doing about it?

MIss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

I Know

When you walk up to me…..

I see it in your eyes.

I know what you’re going to say before you say it – you have lost a child.  And you know enough of my story to know that I have lost a child.

I see your grief.  I see the emptiness.  I see the confusion and ‘swirling’ going on in your mind.

You have never felt this kind of pain before.  You have experienced the deaths of other people in your life but it was never as devastating as this.

You look at me and you wonder how I can walk around and smile like a normal person.   Your world has exploded and you don’t feel like you will ever have a reason to smile again.

You wonder if maybe I know a secret…….

Until we started talking – and then you see how quickly my eyes fill with tears.  My broken heart lies right under the surface of my smile.  I feel your pain because it is my pain.  I feel your sadness because I live each day with that sadness.

My mind is getting used to the huge hole in my life but my heart is shattered.  I have no secret remedy to this nightmare but I have learned some things through this loss that have helped me move forward these last 4 1/2  years –

*Let the tears flow.  Cry when you want, don’t try to hide it.  I would have said I was not an emotional person before Davey was killed.  Now tears fill my eyes almost daily – sometimes several times a day –  when something pricks the pieces of my broken heart.

*Don’t stuff the grief and pain down – feel it, deal with it.  Journalling is great because it forces us to slowly work through our thoughts and feelings.  Writing this blog has made me think through a variety of difficult issues and come to terms with them in my mind.  The fog in my brain gradually lifted as I wrote about my pain and grief.  I gained clarity.

*Talk about it.  Find people in your life that have experienced huge loss and who don’t mind talking about it over and over and over.  Just keep talking about it even if you’re repeating the same things.  I had people in my life that I did this with and helped me organize my thoughts and get issues out on the table.

*If you have been reading this blog, you know that my relationship with God has been the rock I have been clinging to through this storm.  I don’t know how people get through tragedies like this when they don’t have God.  When a child dies, the life of everyone close to them explodes –  no one is strong.  God was strong for me.  He has given me strength and peace and purpose on this journey.  If you don’t know God, he is the secret you’re searching for.

*Working with the David Glasser Foundation has helped me moved forward.  One of the devastating factors of Davey’s death and the death of any child is losing all of their future.  Davey had so much to give and do yet – things he will now never get a chance to do.  So helping kids and families in his name gives us a chance to do some of those things – it’s not all lost.  I have talked with other families who have started scholarships in the name of the child they lost which is the same concept.  It’s a way to redeem some of what should have been.

* Focusing on being grateful for 34 years with Davey helps me.  Focusing on all the blessings I have today helps me.  I don’t let myself focus on all I have lost because that doesn’t help me stay positive and move forward.

I hope sharing this helps you.

This is a very tough road we are on.  Knowing we’re not alone on this road makes it a little easier.

Miss you, Davey.