It’s a Roller Coaster Ride

It has been hard to be thankful these last 5 1/2 years.  My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  This has been the most difficult time of my life.  There has been so much pain and sorrow.

So many tears.

Did you catch it?  Last week I blogged that I was thankful and this week I’m saying it’s hard to be thankful.  Am I confused?  No.  Many of us who have survived a tragedy live on this roller coaster of grief.  Good days, bad days.  Good old memories, recent memories where somebody very important to me is missing.  Smiling one minute, tears running down my face the next. Thankful, then not feeling so thankful.

It’s hard to be thankful when there is this huge hole in my life where my son, Davey, used to be.

Smiling, joking, making plans – he brought his own unique light into my world.  He was great at adding new, fun people into our lives.  He always had room for one more – or ten more – friends in his life.

It’s hard to be thankful when I see how our culture is treating my Brothers and Sisters in Blue.

Hunting you down.

It feels like all the crazies of the world have been let loose on one target – and that target wears blue.

Evil keeps crawling out of the smelly, rotten holes it was hiding in – showing us all again why we so desperately need our Family in Blue to stand up for what’s right.

And then it becomes even harder to be thankful when I think of the families, friends and co-workers of all of our fallen brothers and sisters.

I’ve been there.

I am there.

It’s not a place you ever want to be.

And the number of us is growing quickly.  Much too quickly.  The dark cloud of sadness is moving over more and more of our Blue Family.

Each news report of every fallen officer brings it all back.

That night.

The shock.

The grief.

The nightmare.

The horrible reality.

But….

then…… here comes the roller coaster ride….

when I think about the very special gift I was given 40 years ago,

it’s very hard not to be thankful.

When I focus on the over-34-years that I was blessed to have Davey in my life, its hard not to smile.

And I’m thankful for every minute.  

I’m thankful to my Father God who has been walking closely beside me through this dark time – comforting me and drawing me closer to him.

I’m also thankful for our many family members and friends who have loved us and cared for us and are still praying for us today.  We share awesome memories of Davey.

daves-squad

I’m very thankful for our Family in Blue who continues to show up and care for us and pray for us.   We share awesome memories of Davey as well and, together, we are strong enough to face tomorrow.

Together, we can be thankful for what we had…

and what we still have…..

on this weekend of Thanksgiving.

Love you!

Miss you , Davey.

Forever 34

It’s been it’s a struggle to move forward from May 18, 2016.  That’s the day my world blew up.  That’s the day my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty.

I am blessed with a great group of family, friends and my Blue Family.  I’m learning how to live with only memories of Davey.

It’s not easy to do.

It doesn’t feel right.

The empty hole in my life is very evident.

But I have no other choice.

I thank God for no regrets and a ton of great memories.

Davey’s birthday was last Friday, November 19th.  He would have been 40 years-old this year.  We had so much fun on his birthday every year!  His 20th birthday landed on a home Cardinals game – the early years of the Cardinals.  We all had a blast tailgating.  Beer pong was still an approved activity then so there were lots of ping pong balls flying everywhere.  Good times!

asu

November 19th is right before Thanksgiving so it always felt like Davey’s birthday extended into the holiday. He often had an ASU vs UofA  Football Watch party the day after Thanksgiving if the big rivalry game was being not being played in town. If the game was in town he was usually tailgating somewhere close to the stadium.  Davey loved ASU and he loved the rivalry.  He graduated from ASU along with most of our family except we have one Wildcat…..and he loved to razz her about it …constantly 🙂

Everybody would come to Davey’s football parties and we would have a great time laughing and playing all day.  Cornhole.  Washers.  Watching the game.  Drinking some Coors Light. (Davey’s favorite).   It’s hard now.  We miss him.  We miss his laugh and his joking and his big smile of delight when he was surrounded by his friends and family.

It’s been over 5 years since I’ve seen his smile in person. The other night I had a dream where I saw Davey at a distance and I kept following him around trying to talk to him and see his smile. But I could never get close enough.

In my dream Davey looked just like he did in 2016.

My four special grand darlings are all growing taller and more grown up. The rest of us are growing older with more gray hair and wrinkles and age spots.

davey-square

But Davey will stay forever 34…..

Fallen, but never forgotten.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

I’m Thankful

Today is my son’s birthday.  David Glasser was a Phoenix police officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016. Today he would have been 40 years-old. 

He’s not here to celebrate with us but I still celebrate because I’m thankful for every day that he was on this earth.  

The common-held idea that good people die young is very appropriate in this situation.  Davey was one of the good guys and it’s hard to live with the big hole his death has left in my life.  I am frequently reminded of the painful gap between what is and what should be.  His future was something I used to really looked forward to.  His dreams became my dreams for him as he grew and matured into a man with integrity who cared about the people in his community and city.

I will never forget, on Davey’s first day of life, there was an Air Quality Alert going on for the city of Phoenix.  As I held my newborn son in my arms, I looked out at the foggy sky through my hospital window and wondered if it was wise it was to bring a child into a world where the air we breathe is polluted.

Since then, I have found that there are far worse things than air pollution.  The evil that lives in the hearts of people who prowl our neighborhoods is what is really dangerous.  The anger and rebellion and lack of respect that defines the lives of some of the people driving down our streets is much more lethal than the air.  Lately we’ve been watching this anger and evil exploding all over our country.  Unfortunately, it will only get worse until our elected  officials and the people of our country give our law enforcement officers the respect they deserve, staff our law enforcement agencies correctly, pay our law enforcement officers well and give the officers the tools they need to do their jobs right.

Why haven’t we learned this lesson yet?

I couldn’t have known 40 years ago that my son would decide to part of the solution to the problems in our culture and in our city.  Davey loved being a Police Officer because he was trained to deal with the people who choose to do evil and unsafe behaviors.  He was able to put the good people in our city behind his gun and behind his back, away from the danger.

I’m proud of being a part of the Blue Family which stands for courage, honor and sacrifice.

Davey stood tall for all three.

Miss you, Davey.  Love you!

Battle Scars

It’s a constant battle.

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  My heart was crushed and my life exploded.

I don’t use the word ‘healing’ in this journey because that sounds to me like all the pain and grieving heals up and fades away.  That’s simply not true in my life.  The hole Davey’s death left in my life is actually growing larger because he is missing more and more moments and times and events where he should have been…..where he would have been.  That hole is not ‘healing’.  I’m just getting used to it.

I acknowledge that I have accumulated many battle scars since May 2016.  These are places in my life which were torn apart when Davey was killed.  These are the aspects of this tragedy where I have fought and I have cried and I have prayed – and I have moved forward.  I’ve got the scars to prove it.

The Swirl

For the first several months after Davey’s death, thoughts would swirl through my head – not making sense.  My brain was in such shock that it didn’t know how to file all the overwhelming feelings and new, horrible facts that were blowing like a tornado through my life. I have never experienced that before.  Gradually, I learned to stop the swirl.  When it would start, I made my mind focus on something good in my life and concentrate on that.  Gradually, my thoughts would calm down to where my brain could start filing ideas and reactions and feelings in the right places.  This battle brought peace back into my life – one step at a time.  Now, I can see the swirl in people’s eyes when I meet someone who has experienced a recent tragedy.  Been there, done that.  I have fought that fight and it makes me more compassionate for others who are dealing with ‘the swirl’.

Fallen but never forgotten.

Losing someone you love in a law enforcement line of duty death is so different from other deaths.  It’s very public and there are crowds of people involved at all levels.  With Davey, our whole city grieved.  Our Blue Family across the country grieved.  Every May, we have several memorials where all fallen officers are recognized and remembered.  Police Week in Washington, DC is a huge memorial for all of the heroes we have lost.  Participating in these memorials is right and good.  It’s also a battle as waves of emotions and memories are fueled by these events.  The long list of all the things that have been lost is highlighted in bright flashing lights during these memorials.  This battle creates multiple levels of scars because it happens again…..and again….and again….and again.

The Future.

I grieve over all of Davey’s lost plans and dreams.  My heart breaks a little bit more every time the thought of a dream that has been snatched away comes up and slaps me in the face.  It feels like a slap because it. will. never. be.  And it’s a stab into the parts of my heart that are broken.  I have met people who have gotten stuck in this spot.  They have chosen to give up the good that is coming when they decide to stay in the past, focused on what they have lost.  It’s tempting to do that and avoid the struggle of figuring out how to take the next steps forward.  But I refuse to live in the past.  I submit to God’s plans for the future.  I trust that he has a purpose for all of this and I will continue on, knowing there are more battles yet to come.

The battles are real.  They are tough.  They hurt and leave scars.  But figuring them out and winning is worth it.

Miss you , Davey.

Love you.

Just One More Time

My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  And there are days I just don’t want to do some of these things.

I don’t want to acknowledge the fact that Davey is gone.

I don’t want to try to find the strength to move forward.

I don’t want to face the issues that I will have to face as I spend the rest of my life here on earth without Davey.

I don’t want to think about the reality that so many other Blue families and friends go through this same nightmare.  Too many.

I don’t want to visit his spot in the cemetery – I want to pretend it doesn’t exist.

I want to hear his laugh. Just one more time.

I want to see him pick up his little daughter and throw her in the air.

I want to see him playing basketball in his backyard with son and hear him coaching Micah on how to improve his shot. Just one more time.

I want to see him playing Cornhole and Washers with his sister and her husband in his big backyard every time they came to visit.

I want to see him in the car with his son picking up his dad so all the guys could go to Home Depot – they went there ALOT.

I want to see him on his riding lawn mover with his hat and his headphones on, rocking out to tunes while he cuts the grass of the lawn he loves so much. Just one more time.

I want to see him sitting on my couch with our minnie-pin puppy stretched over his chest, her head up by his so she can lay there and lick his neck.  She had a huge crush on Davey.

I want to hear him talking about which Cardinals away game he and the guys are planning to go to this year.

I want to see him wearing the crazy Cardinals hat I bought him as a joke while he tailgates before the game today.  Just one more time.  I want to see his eyes light up as a huge smile spreads across his face when he and his dad light up a cigar out on the green lawn by the Cardinals stadium.  Just one more time.

My heart yearns to go back to a time when all these things were possible….. but my brain knows that’s not going to happen.

Miss you so much, Davey.

Love you.