Get in the Picture

I love having pictures of memories – they help me remember the feelings I had when it was happening and it makes the memory even more precious.   Since I love having pictures, I take a lot of pictures.

I didn’t realize until after my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty that I had very few pictures of just him and I – and most of those were when he was a little kid.  I have tons and tons of pictures of Davey and his dad and, of course, I was there taking the pictures…..

but I’m not in the pictures.  Most of the pictures are of fun times and special memories.  I wish I were in them.  Those of you following this blog are seeing me post the few pictures I have with adult Davey over and over and over – because that’s all I have.

Some of you may hate getting your pictures taken and you’re wondering why not being in the picture bothers me.  Hopefully not, but consider for a second how you might feel differently about pictures with your son or daughter or grandchild whom you loved if the worse happened.  If you had to live the rest of the your days on this earth without them.  If memories are all you had left.

I can’t do anything about the past but I can change the future.  So those of you who know me know that I have become the ‘Selfie Queen’.  I am now in the picture along with everyone else.  When someone in the group says – ‘I’ll take the picture’, I say, “Nope!  Everyone’s in.” . Luckily I’m tall with long arms so I have a built-in selfie stick.  I think my record number of people in one of my selfies without a stick is 12.  When I actually have one of my selfie sticks, ( I have more than 1) I can get 30 or more people in.

I’ve made kind of a game of it.  I’ll hold up the camera and say “Get in” and everyone has to find a spot.  My family has become experts at this.  Jostling for a spot can be kind of fun so almost everyone already has a smile when it’s picture time.

And – bonus – I’m in the picture.  I’m there when next year I want to look at it and remember.  I’m there 2 years from now when I look at it and remember.  I’m there 30 years from now when I’m no longer here but others want to look at it and remember.

My suggestion to you – get in the picture.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

I’m Not Mad

Some friends of mine asked if I got mad at God when Davey was killed.  My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.

I hadn’t thought about it before but, looking back, I cannot remember a moment when I was mad at God.  I know many people have that reaction when tragedy strikes because we know that God is in total control of what happens on earth and now this really bad thing happened to us.

That was not my response.

After thinking about it, I figured out that I didn’t get mad at God because I learned the truth more than 25 years ago that God is not Santa Claus.  He doesn’t exist to grant all of my wishes.

God is not here to do what I want him to do.  I am here to do what God wants me to do.

That’s a very important difference.

God is perfect, he is all-knowing and all-powerful.  He is the Uncreated One – eternal.  It’s all about him, not about me.

I also know that God is good, all the time.  He loves me, he wants the best for me and he is working all things out for my good.  My current circumstances don’t change these facts.

We spent the night Davey was shot in the hospital praying for a miracle.  In the midst of praying and asking everyone I saw to pray for a miracle, I was thinking about the great story we would get to tell when Davey miraculously got better.  As the night progressed, more tests were done and it became painfully obvious that Davey had already left us.  There was no miracle for us that night.

I remember thinking in the midst of my black swirling cloud of grief, “Well, that’s not the story God is writing right now.  There is something else going on.  God’s doing something different.”

Faith is about trusting in God even when we don’t understand.  Faith is about trusting in God even when we’re struggling with too much pain, too much loss, too much sorrow.  Faith is about trusting God even when tomorrow looks dark and it’s not a place we want to go.

The fact is that I’m still here because God has things he wants me to do.  That gives me purpose and helps me focus my eyes above instead of what’s behind me.

I’m not mad.   I’m grateful to God for his love and guidance through this worst time in my life.  I’m grateful for all the blessings I have in my life right now.  I’m grateful for all of the kindness and grace and love so many people have shown me and my family in these last 4 1/2 years.

And I’m extremely grateful for the 34 1/2 years on earth that I got to spend with Davey.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

It’s Really May 18th

May 18 – the real date when my son left this earth.

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  His official End of Watch is May 19th, but he died on the 18th.  You would know that as well if you had seen him.  His body was hooked up to all kinds of machines that were keeping his lungs moving and his heart beating but Davey – the fun, smart, wonderful son, husband, dad, brother and friend  – was gone.  He was already with his Father God.

I am thankful to modern medicine which gave us time to start coming to terms to our new reality.  We had several hours with him in the hospital to figure out how to start to say good-bye.  It helped.

I am thankful that the machines were able to keep his organs alive so that he could fulfill his wish of being an organ donor – giving the gift of life to so many other people.  Our families have been blessed by other organ donors so we know what an important thing this is.  Knowing that helped.

I am thankful for the doctors and nurses who treated Davey with care and respect.  They also were very helpful and understanding to those of us who spent the darkest hours of that night in room next to Davey in unbelief of what was happening.  It helped.

I am thankful for the rooms full of police officers and friends at the hospital who prayed for us and supported us through those awful hours.  It helped.

daves-squadI am thankful for the family and friends all over the country who prayed for us through that night.   I am thankful for all of the people who prayed for us and didn’t even know us.   It helped.

I am thankful for Dave’s squad who, disregarding their own pain, had the worst job of making telephone calls and getting us to the hospital.   I am also  thankful for the Employee Assistance Unit led by Sgt. Dave Osborne.   Both of these teams promised support and they meant it.   It really helped.

I am thankful for the entire Phoenix Police Department who supported us that night any way they possibly us in any way they could.   They parked our cars so we could run right into the hospital, they brought food, they picked up family at the airport, they took care of the press, they drove us home, they never left their watch on Dave’s room and much more.  It all helped.

I am thankful for Pastor Mark Grochoki, one of our pastors at the time, who somehow found a way through the crowds and lines of police to pray for us in a small, dark corner of the hospital lobby.  It was an oasis of peace in a very long, terrible night.  It helped.

I am thankful for the Police Chaplain, Bob Fesmire, who is so clearly called by God to walk families like ours through the most painful hours of our lives. His words of wisdom cut through the shock and helped us move forward.  He prayed for us through the night when we had no words.  I will never forget his prayer as we said our last goodbyes to Davey before leaving the hospital.  I don’t recall the exact words but I remember God reaching out through them to wrap his arms around me to comfort me.  Bob was God with skin on that night.  He really helped.

May 19 is Dave’s official E.O.W but May 18th was his last day on earth.  Now he lives in our hearts and our memories until we see him again in heaven.

I’m not saying that we need to change the date on all the plaques and forms.

I just wanted you to understand why I always use May 18th.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.