Two simple little words –
that are not simple
and they have had a huge impact on my life these last 4 1/2 years.
I have learned a lot about love since David Glasser, my son who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty May 18, 2016. I knew Davey always said “love you’ to me instead of good-bye but I didn’t realize until I heard it at his funeral that he did this with everybody in his life that he cared about. He made sure the other cops in his squad said ‘love you’ to each other before leaving on a call. He knew how close they were – and still are – to not coming back. Just like he didn’t come back.
I’ve been on this planet for a while and I have loved others and been loved by others my entire life. But I never really understood the enormous power love has – until after Davey’s death. Love has transformed my tragedy into a growing season. It forced me to leave bitterness and anger behind – those emotions don’t fit when love is the focus. And it has helped me be thankful for what I had and for what I still have. Love has helped fill some of the huge hole created by the loss of Davey and it continues to cushion the rest so its possible to move forward.
Love is not simple.
Loving people who aren’t perfect and aren’t like us is not easy.
Loving people we don’t know or don’t like feels weird at first.
‘Love you’ is a commitment. It means I always want the best for you even if that will cause me to sacrifice something on my end.
It means that I’m on your team. I will care for you, defend you, pray for you and be here for you – always.
‘Love you’ says ‘You’re important to me’. It says ‘ You’re valuable to me’. It says ‘I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt when you’re wrong or grumpy or just not very lovable.’ It says “I’m going to come up with as many excuses for your behavior as I do for my own.’
Sometimes I say ‘Love you’ to people I don’t know well or don’t know at all. This ‘Love you’ says ‘I recognize you as a good person and I’m glad we’re sharing this place or this moment together. ‘ ‘
I have discovered that this over-all ‘Love you’ culture is much more powerful than it sounds. It’s not just words. It’s not superficial when we also act like we ‘love you’ to the people around us. When the people around me – whether I know them or not – are important to me, the air changes around us. The mood is different. I can feel the acceptance and caring – not just of me but for each other. God blesses this love with a supernatural goodness because this is what he wants – he wants us to love him and love each other.
A note to my Blue Family – loving each other and saying it regularly puts a band of steel under the Thin Blue Line. Love adds a strength to our relationships that you will not understand until you try it. Our Blue family needs this strength to deal with our reality.
Love is the legacy that Davey left with us. He knew how essential love is for all of us and he made sure we told each other – regularly – at least every time we left each other.
I’m amazed at how much making ‘Love you’ a habit has changed my world. And I know this habit has changed many of us who knew Davey.
If you haven’t gotten on the ‘Love you’ train yet, this is your invitation to jump on. It’s a train filled with people who care about other people, whether they know them or not. These people have felt the magic these two words have when shared openly and regularly. Let love change your world.
“Love you” are the last words Davey said to those of us who knew him. These words and the love attached to them echo in our minds and hearts whenever we think of him. What a special gift.
Miss you, Davey.