What Would He Say?

A good friend of my son, David Glasser, asked me the other day what I thought Davey would say about the Coronavirus.  Davey was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.

Davey was known for his quick and clever opinions on any topic.  He loved to make jokes and get people laughing.  He would wear funny hats and outfits sometimes because it caused people to smile.

After thinking for a minute, I said I knew he would take the virus very seriously.  He didn’t joke about things like this.

But he would have a great repertoire of clever quips about how crazy some people are responding to the pandemic.  Just like the news of the virus changes every day, every time one of us talked to him, he would have had new and even more hilarious things to say about the shopping insanity.

Wow!  I wish I could hear what he would say about people hoarding toilet paper!  Just thinking about it makes me smile.  I’m not as clever as he was so I can’t even imagine how much fun he would make of people buying up all the toilet paper in an effort to save themselves from the virus.

‘Save me, Charmin!’

He would have just as much to say about the fact that people are hoarding food.  People with a lot of food in their houses are still going to the store every day to get more….and more….and more.   I think extraverts are going to the store all the time because it’s one of the only approved places they can go.  Forget about the fact that going to the store provides more exposure to the virus for them.

Meanwhile, the rest of us who are not hoarding cannot get the supplies we need.  The supplies we need are piling up in other people’s houses and garages.

Who has my sanitizer wipes?

Yes, Davey would have a continually growing monologue of pointed and humorous comments to say about all this.

And you would hear it if you were out on the streets, helping people and putting yourself at risk like he would have been.

And that’s just what all first responders and health care professionals are doing right now – putting themselves in the direct line of the virus in order to serve and protect others. Please join me in a prayer for safety, courage and success for everyone on the front lines of this pandemic.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

I Changed My Mind

Now I want to go back.

In the past, whenever I would be talking with people who said they would like to go back to being 16 or 21 or 39, I would always say I didn’t want to go back.  Each age has its benefits and trials.  Each phase of my life has had its rewards and challenges.  I have never wanted to go back to redo or un-do things.

But I recently realized that I have changed my mind.  Now I want to go back – to any time before Davey was killed.   I would go through all the pain and grief since May 18, 2016 when he was killed in the line of duty if I could go back and relive my last hour with Davey.  Or just the last 10 minutes.  It would be worth it to see his smile one more time.  I just want to hear him laugh.

This picture of Davey was taken at his home about a month before he was killed.  I am so glad we took a bunch of family photos with him that day – they are all extremely precious to me.

When I got to his house that day, he had on some old, ragged, weird-colored clothes and he casually mentioned he was ready for the pictures.  He knew I always tried to do a little color coordinating when we took family photos and he probably put on his crazy clothes just to get a response from me.  I’ll never forget –  I gave him my ‘mom look’ and he laughed.  I knew he was joking so I didn’t have to say anything.  He changed his clothes without another word said – I’m sure he had it all planned out what he was really going to wear.  He just liked to joke around and have fun.  I really miss that.

I want to go back.  I would not  un-do anything – I just want to do it again.

But I know I can’t go back.  And in a group of people who are talking about going back, I probably wouldn’t bring this up because it hits the empty hole in my heart.  The hole that hurts.  The hole that makes it hard to smile sometimes.  It’s the hole that aches at times as I watch his children play sports – he would have been so proud of them.  He would have been spending a lot of time practicing with them and helping them improve – he was a great coach.

My head knows I can’t go back but my heart wants to.

My head knows that the only direction I can go is forward.  All of the great things happening with the David Glasser Foundation have been helping to make moving forward easier.  Being able to continue the work Davey started with the kids and families in Laveen helps the future look brighter.  Witnessing the great things taking place through the efforts of everyone who volunteers for the foundation and supports the foundation brings a purpose and light into my life.  Seeing kids’ lives being positively changed because of the work of the foundation brings joy.

But I would still go back….in a heartbeat.

Miss you, Davey.

The Pit

The pain is burned into my memory.

The grief is deeply etched into my soul.

That day – the day my son, David Glasser who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty.  May 18, 2016.

It’s the day when my life as I knew it exploded.  All my expectations for the future had Davey in them so it was all ripped away, leaving a huge, hurting hole in my life.  After almost four years, I know that nothing will ever fill that hole.

I totally understand why people like me get stuck in a pit of despair.  I’ve been there.  I was violently pushed into a deep, dark place of grief by Davey’s death …. and I wanted to stay there.  Clutching his smile, his jokes, his integrity, and his love for others close to my heart, I didn’t want to move.  The dark felt good and right – my shattered heart felt right at home.

But my head knew that – somehow – I was going to need to crawl out of that pit.  I knew I could not let myself get stuck there.

With God’s help, I moved toward the light.  One step at a time.  Some days my steps went backwards but I was moving.  I made myself look up instead of back and, when I looked up, I saw my two little grand darlings – Davey’s children – who needed me.  I saw my daughter and husband who needed me.  I saw framily and friends who needed me.  There is a reason I was still here and it was not to stay in that dark, terrible, but somehow comforting pit.

Looking back I realize that lying under the need to stay in the pit was a numbing fear that, if I moved forward, I would leave Davey behind.  That hasn’t happened.  All of my love and memories of him have moved forward with me.  He was and is and always will be a part of me.  He’s not here but he’s not gone.

For Davey, there are no more tomorrows here on earth but those of us left behind have important tomorrows where we need to be engaged and loving and – somehow – find hope again.  It’s the hope that only faith in God can give.

So the challenge for me and for you is to love others around us like there is no tomorrow because, someday, there won’t be.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

He Talked About It – Every Time

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.  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 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.

#8144loveyou

 

I’m Not Mad

Some friends of mine asked me last week 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.

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 3 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.

#8144loveyou

He is Safe

I’ll admit it – it’s been almost 4 years and I’m still having trouble asking God for safety.

Some days, when I hear people around me include in their prayers a request that God keep certain people safe, a cynical voice in my head says, “Good luck with that.”

I have prayed regularly for the safety of my children since the day they were born.  I doubled my prayers for safety when my son, David Glasser, became a Phoenix Police Officer.

Then, on May 18, 2016, Davey was killed in the line of duty.

God did not keep him safe.

So what was the purpose of all of those prayers?

I am totally convinced that God is good.

I know that he loves me and has the best plans for me.

I realize that God’s perspective is completely different from mine and he is always right.

My head knows that God listens to my prayers and responds.  He often changes my attitude while I am praying.  He gives me insights and answers.  He gives me comfort and peace.

My head knows that this world is not a safe place.  I am not safe here.  You are not safe here.  Davey was not safe here.

My head understands that God protected Davey here on earth for 34 1/2 years.  I will never know all of the illnesses, incidents and accidents where God kept Davey safe during his years on earth.  I had heard about several very close calls Davey had before he was killed.  God protected him then.

My head knows that now God has taken Davey home where he is truly safe.  It could be said that God answered my prayers.

But my heart doesn’t like that answer.  It’s not the answer I wanted.  It’s the most painful and heart-shattering answer I’ve ever gotten.

I’m sure I will understand it after I get to my ‘forever home’.

Until then,

I continue to struggle with asking God for safety.

Miss you, Davey.

Not Just One Day

David Glasser was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  Before his death, Davey made a habit of telling people he loved them and showing love to them.  He thought this was so important that he tried to influence those around him to also catch the ‘love you’ habit.  So, does it surprise you that he didn’t like Valentine’s Day?

He thought is was a holiday made up by the card and candy manufacturers in order to make money.  He knew that telling someone you love them and showing it was not a one day each year holiday.  It should be an every day event .  So setting aside a day didn’t make sense to him.  I received Valentine cards from him during his ‘make your mom a valentine card’ years at school and church but not very many after that.daveydave-tony-and-carter

What I received from him was so much more valuable than a card.  He gave me consistent, genuine love and attention.  Those of you who are his friends, family and framily know what I’m talking about.

He cared about us and he showed it regularly in a thousand different ways.

Every day.

Isn’t that so much more important than remembering to show our love one day a year?

Don’t get me wrong – I like Valentine’s Day.  I buy valentines for my friends and family and make sure there is plenty of “love you’s’ and hugs going around.  And I love flowers  – hope my husband reads this 🙂

But the challenge for us – you and me –  is to figure out how to make every day Valentine’s Day for those we love.  I’m not talking about buying stuff.  I’m talking about expressing our love in words and actions every day.

I started the David Glasser $8144 “Love You” Campaign a little over 3 years ago.  This campaign is all about remembering to say ‘love you’ to the people we care about and remembering to show people we love them with our actions.   It’s also about encouraging and showing appreciation for all law enforcement officers.  We have a Facebook page – check it out and you can request to become a member.

We also have memorial stickers and car decals available at the store at the David Glasser Foundation.org website.  These decals remind us to ‘Love You’ and encourage others around us to “Love You’.

And don’t forget our new David Glasser Memorial T-shirt.  The shirt is also available at the store on the foundation website and has ‘Love you’ on the sleeve.  Wearing it reminds you to say it and wearing it also honors and remembers Davey’s love and sacrifice for us and our community.

Because it’s definitely not about just one day.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

 

 

So Quickly

In a second……

everything permanently changes.

We were all reminded this week of how quickly life ends.  We were reminded how quickly several families’ whole idea of what they thought their future was going to be literally crashed and burned.  We were reminded that nobody – no matter how anonymous or how famous – is immune to sudden disasters.

Situations like this where young people are gone in an instant bring me back.  Every situation in the news where a family of a law enforcement officer is left behind after their officer is killed brings me back.

It brings me back to where I was when my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed – in a second –  in the line of duty.  May 18, 2016 – a date seared into my soul.   When I hear the news of the latest tragedy, I find myself visiting that deep, dark place of pain, grief and loss once again.

I don’t know the specifics of other people’s situations, but I know the feelings.  I know the fog.  I know the swirling.  I know the emptiness.

If you’ve experienced this kind of tragedy, you know it, too.

The good news is that now I just visit that place.  I’m not stuck there.  I can feel it, recognize it, pray for those that have joined me on this road of recreating what my future looks like but I’m not staying in the dark place.  God has a purpose for leaving me here and that’s what I need to focus on.  I can’t focus on all I have lost…..there’s too much.

Just like you, I am reminded once again that life is short.  I am reminded how precious life is.  I am reminded how quickly people can be gone.  I’m reminded of how quickly I could be gone.

I am reminded of some of the game-changing things I have learned these last almost 4 years since Davey left us –

Life is short – forgive others, love others, cherish your time with them.  Always put God and people before ‘stuff’ and money.

No regrets – go, do, see, don’t put things off. Deal with conflict positively or let it go  Don’t stop talking to people when you’re mad at them – you may never get another chance to say ‘love you”.

Love is the answer – Love has a magical quality that comes straight from God.  Love first and worry about all the other stuff later.  Our lives will be empty unless we fill them with love.  We don’t want to miss the chances we have to love others and add something meaningful to their lives.

Davey had it so right when he made sure the last thing he said to anyone he cared about was ‘love you’.  Now we are all blessed as his last words to us continue to echo through our hearts and minds.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou

A Permanent Mark

There is a commitment.

Love leaves a mark.

The cost is being more concerned about another person than you are about yourself.  What I want is not the most important thing when I love someone.

Commitment means loving this person even when they are unlovable.  Sometimes it means offering help and other times it means drawing helpful boundaries.

Loving someone well takes a lot of energy and patience, wisdom and understanding.  Loving people well is a lot of work.  And it leaves a mark.

I have discovered that this mark doesn’t go away after someone we love dies.  This mark is permanent and never leaves us.

David Glasser, my son, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  The mark he left was an unusual kind of love.  It was an outspoken love – a love that broke down some of the walls that we have built as adults.  He said ‘love you’ often and you knew he meant it by how he included you and had fun with you and was loyal to you.  You knew there was a commitment being made when he said ‘love you”,

It wasn’t just something he said.

The mark he has left on us is big.  We are discovering how big as we continue to love each other in more obvious ways.  More hugs.  More caring.  Saying it and showing it.

The cost is giving up some of our ‘separateness’ and privacy by actually caring for people around us.  The cost is taking our eyes off of ourselves long enough to see someone else that needs a hug or a hand.  The cost is letting others love us, knowing that this love will leave a mark.  It will change us.

The commitment is not giving up even when its tough or strange or even a little weird.  Yes, weird.  If you’ve been really trying to love others, you know what I mean.  The commitment is setting love as a priority and letting go of other things that we always used to think were important.

If I were to draw a picture of the mark Davey has left on us, it would not be a heart.  It would be a magic wand.  Because I have discovered that love has magical qualities that cannot be explained.

Love changes things.  It has a supernatural power that comes straight from God.  Love brings light into the darkness.  Love soothes pain and sadness and loneliness.

Love really can change the world.

Thank you for the permanent mark of love you have left on our lives, Davey.

Miss you.

#8144loveyou

His Voice

I would recognize it anywhere.

Last week a memory came up on my Facebook page from 5 years ago.  Davey had made a video of his son sharing what he learned in Children’s Church that Sunday.  Adding arm gestures, 4 year-old Micah said, “God loves me.”  Watching the video, I was just starting to smile when I heard Davey’s voice come onto the video, encouraging Micah.

I wasn’t prepared.

The tears started instantly.

I would recognize that voice anywhere.

David Glasser was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  Almost 4 years ago.  At times like these, it feels like yesterday.  If you knew Davey or were at his funeral, you know he is in heaven today.  He put his faith in Jesus and he wasn’t shy about sharing that with other people.

God leaves out a lot of details in the Bible about how heaven works.  He mentions streets of gold, mansions and crowns but I think he used those descriptions because those are things we can relate to and understand.  I think heaven is going to be indescribably better than that.

God gives us a glimpse of what our bodies might be like in heaven when we read about Jesus after his resurrection.  Jesus ate, he walked through walls, and he just ‘appeared’ places.  People didn’t recognize him right away….. but then they did a double-take and knew who he was.

I know that we have each been uniquely designed by our Father God and we reflect different aspects of who he is.  I believe we will take the good parts of that ‘personality’ into heaven with us.

I believe that – someday when I get to my ‘forever home’ in heaven – I will hear his voice again.  Davey’s voice.  I might not recognize him right away but I will instantly know who he is because of that voice.

Davey is there already.

Someday I’ll join him.

Miss you, Davey.

#8144loveyou