My Nightmare

It happened again this week. While talking with someone I just met, the subject came up and I said my son, David Glasser, had been killed in the line of duty 5 years ago.

5 years ago.

Sometimes the pain feels like yesterday. It’s very hard. And saying it makes it more real.

For weeks after Davey’s death, I would wake up every morning hoping that it was all just a bad dream.

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Praying that it was all a nightmare that I could wake up from.

Every morning I would open my eyes and look around my bedroom – hoping I wouldn’t see the frame on my dresser which holds the last Mother’s Day card I’ll ever get from Davey.  The one he signed “I love you”.

Every morning I would hope I wouldn’t see the box with his picture and a flag and his metal of honor that stood on the counter in my kitchen.

Every morning I hoped I wouldn’t see the memorial handed out at his funeral which I posted in our living room. He had such a great smile!

Every morning I wished that this would be the day that his tall, lanky frame would come back through my front door.

But I saw the card and the flag box and the memorial and Davey never walked through my door again.

Because it wasn’t just a very bad dream.

The worst happened.

The nightmare is real.

 There’s a big gaping hole in our lives.  We can’t go back to our old lives because Davey is not there. It’s like a dimmer switch has been turned down on the light and laughter and joy in our world.

If you knew him, feel it, too.

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I don’t know how people can deal with tragedy like this without faith in God. I believe that Davey is in heaven with his Father God.  With my Father God.  He’s there with my mother, father, stepfather, brother and many more of my family and friends who have gone home before him.  I believe that God is in the process of bringing good out of the evil that was done.  I believe that I’ve been left behind because God has a part for me in his plan.

Davey walked into my dream a couple of months after he was killed.  I was sitting at the table with my daughter-in-law and my little granddaughter.  It felt like a regular ‘time to color’ or ‘let’s eat’.  Then Davey walked in and sat down.  He gave us a big smile.  He didn’t say anything.  He just smiled at all of us.

I looked around the table at his ‘girls’ and blinked.

Maybe everything else really was all just a dream!!

It felt so real.  The explosion of hope in my heart was so strong that it woke me up.

And the nightmare was back.  Sometimes I just want to live in that dream.

But Davey’s  big smile stays with me.  He’s happy.  He is in a place with no sadness, pain or nightmares.  The battle between good and evil that he committed his adult life to here on earth is over for him.  Where he is, the good guys have won.  Davey has won.

On the day that is already determined for me, I will see him again.  It will not be a dream, it will be my new, eternal reality.

What about you?

I know Davey would like to see you again, too.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

When the Answer is No

I asked.

I begged.

The night after my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was shot and was laying in a hospital bed attached to machines while his brain waves gradually disappeared, I felt a level of hopelessness that I had never experienced before.  The pain of the reality of what was happening continued to escalate as each hour passed through that long, dark night.

I was desperate to see God move – he needed to do something.  So I went down to the hospital chapel all by myself, I walked up to the altar and laid face down on the cold tile.   And I begged God for a miracle.

It was becoming increasingly obvious that Davey needed a big miracle. So I begged.  I have no idea how long I laid there, pleading with God.

At this same time, my husband, Dave, was walking up and down the crowded hallway outside of Davey’s hospital room, asking everyone to pray for a miracle.

There were also three waiting rooms downstairs in the hospital filled with people – many of them praying with us, asking for a miracle.

Every hospital hallway I walked down was filled with people – most of them praying with us, asking for a miracle.

I texted my closest friends and asked them to pray with us for a miracle.

In my mind, I see all of those prayers combining into a huge hand reaching up out of the roof of the hospital, stretching up to heaven, asking our God who holds life and death in his hands to reach down and touch Davey.

We asked.

We begged.

A few hours later we received our answer.

And the answer was no.

No more smiles and jokes from Davey.

No more fun and games with Davey.

No to watching my grandchildren grow up with their father’s arms around them.

No to watching Davey live out his goals and dreams.

So many no’s.

There’s a reason why we all listened to Hilary Scott sing “Thy Will” at Davey’s funeral.  Because we asked for a miracle for Davey and God said no.  He has a different plan than we do.

Every day I am reminded that God has a very different plan than mine.  Standing on the rock of God’s love and trusting that he has many great tomorrows waiting for me, I move forward……

– not knowing where this is going.

– not happy about having to live the rest of my life here on earth without Davey.

– not understanding why I have to travel this path.

I move forward, taking my broken heart with me.  I listen and watch as God reveals his plan, one step at a time.

And one of those steps forward has been the David Glasser Foundation which is all about supporting non-policing opportunities for our Law Enforcement officer volunteers to show how much they care about kids and their families.  People – and especially the next generation –  need to understand that Police Officers are the good guys, here to help and sincerely caring that families have safe neighborhoods to live in.  The foundation with Davey’s name on it has become part of the solution to improve the health of our communities. 

Is this our miracle?

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

Standing Tall

He noticed it.

He talked about it.

He took pictures of it all the time.

David Glasser, my son, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty May 18, 2016.  He lived in Goodyear which is on the far west side of Phoenix so he was often on the I-10 driving east  – going to work, to the Cardinal’s games, to ASU games, to Diamondback games, shopping, seeing friends – lots of reasons to get on the freeway going east.

And every time – without fail – Davey would make sure to notice the gigantic American flag at Camping World just south of the freeway.  If anyone was in the car with him, he would always make a comment, ” Wow, the wind is just right today.  The flag looks great.”, “The flag is looking pretty worn out – they will probably be replacing it soon.” and “Look!  A new flag!”.  If his kids were in the car, no matter how small they were, he would ask them, “Where’s the big flag?” and they would eagerly point it out, happy to play along in this ritual with Dad.

Davey loved how great the flag looked as it flew over Phoenix – the city he was committed to protect and serve.  He was proud of being one of the good guys – a part of what’s right about America.  This picture of his favorite flag was found on Davey’s phone after he was killed.  He took it 2 days before his death.

After Davey was killed, Camping World somehow found out about his love for their flag.  So they presented the huge flag that was flying when Davey died to the Phoenix Police Department and they presented more normal-sized flags to Davey’s wife and kids.  Thank you, Camping World!  What a great way to honor him!

The huge flag eventually was given to the Phoenix Police Explorers group which is made up of both high school and college students from all over the valley.  The students give about 3000 hours service to their communities every year and they have helped out at David Glasser Foundation events several times.  The Explorers took the flag with them on their summer trip that year up to Colorado and created their own ceremony to remember and honor Davey.

Tears stream down my face as I look at this picture of these young men and women standing at the foot of the Rocky Mountains with the flag Davey loved stretched out between them while the National Anthem was sung by one of the students.   With young people like these, there is hope for America.  They are in the process of becoming the brave people who fight for freedom that our National Anthem speaks of.

I was told that it was especially fitting because the flag was very worn and tattered on the end.

It’s tough on a flag to stand tall through the sun and wind and dust storms in Phoenix.

It was tough for Davey as he stood tall for justice and safety for the people of Phoenix.

And it’s still tough – every day – for our Law Enforcement Officers who stand tall in the thin blue line between the evil and the innocent – protecting our freedom to live safely in our communities.

When we see the American flag flying high over us – where ever we live – let us remember those at home and abroad who have given their lives to serve and protect us.  And let us remember those who are still sacrificing and protecting our freedom and keeping us safe each day.

Davey loved the flag and what it stands for.

Everytime I drive past a beautiful big flag waving in the wind I think of him……..and smile.

Miss you, Davey.

Miss you.