Editor’s Note: Two years, we published a story by Lorraine Yaslowitz, the wife of a St. Petersburg police officer who was killed in the line of duty. Today is the three-year anniversary of the tragic shoot out that took life of Jeffrey Yaslowitz, a devoted husband and father of three. Lorraine continues to honor their marriage through the Partners for Life Foundation, an organization that raises funds to help families who suffer senseless violence. She honors her faith daily in how she lives her life, raises her children and shares her story with the community. Her message is as important today as it was in 2012.
My Story…One Year Later
By Lorraine Yaslowitz
My story began on October 19th, 1970 at 10:29 a.m. That’s when the Lord gave me breath and a will to begin life on this earth. As He gives everyone a purpose, mine becomes more clear to me as I continue my journey. On February 7th, 1992, I met my future husband and love of my life. As our friendship blossomed, we discussed the purpose of life and discovered we both agreed that earth is a prerequisite to where we will be for eternity. We felt the Lord’s choosing on our relationship and married in August 7th, 1993.
We began the marriage we had hoped for. I became a teacher in 1996 and was very satisfied with my career choice as I became a more confident and competent teacher. Jeff, however, took longer. It wasn’t until 1998, that he truly felt called. As he began his career in law enforcement, he continually felt a strong desire to be on the K-9 unit. In October of 2008, he attained his dream and became “K-2” for the St. Petersburg Police Dept.
We had 3 beautiful children, a beautiful home and an incredibly strong respect and love for one another. I felt like we had it ALL.
I recall a conversation we had one beautiful day, sitting out by our pool. I had stated how incredibly blessed we were. In as much as he agreed with me, he said, “Heaven is still better.” I agreed, but my reply was, “I know we will be in heaven one day, but I hope we are able to live out this life with great-grandchildren. He replied back, “but don’t you get it, Heaven is still better than even all of this.”
I just knew in my heart that one day, our Heavenly Father was going to test us because the equation is quite simple; strong faith, lots of blessings equals a great opportunity for the Lord to show His power and love.
On January 24th, 2011, at 7:29 a.m., the Lord took Jeff home during a shootout while assisting a search warrant for a wanted felon. The Lord knew. The plan to take Jeff home earlier than I or anyone else ever expected was known before I drew my first breath.
Now I have the honor and responsibility to tell others the indescribable peace and true joy that you can have ONLY through the power of the Holy Spirit, even in the midst of human tragedy and sadness. During this first year, God has used countless ways to show me how He and Jeff are taking very good care of me and our family.
Would I take 1/24/11 back? Of course my human side says the obvious, “Yes!” But I know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that my eternity is secure and one day I will see Jeff again.
Very shortly after Jeff went home, I felt the Lord tugging at my heart to give back in some way; to repay Him and others for the overwhelming amount of love and support that I had received. The idea that surfaced was two-fold. First, to honor my love for Jeff and our mutual love of running, there would be a race in his honor. And from that race, we will raise money for other families who lose loved ones to senseless violence and who don’t have support and benefits.
The Lord heard my cry and the first “Partners for Life” Police Appreciation Run was held in May 2011 during National Police Appreciation Week. Funds raised at this event were put into the newly-formed Partners for Life Foundation. All future events and fundraising will provide support for families through the foundation.
To see how this all came together is nothing short of God’s power and guidance and once again, His plan! The race will be held each year to honor not just our fallen officers, but those who continue to serve us every day. We are working on the May 2012 race and we invite you to get involved. Contact us through our website PartnersforLifeFoundation.com.
So I ask this amazing community, who has done more for our healing than you may ever know, to continue to pray for us. God wants His children to continually talk with Him and ask Him our greatest needs. What an INCREDIBLE blessing it has been to watch God’s hands ALL AROUND US! My children, family and close friends have seen first hand, the power of the Holy Spirit. Although I know, Jesus and Jeff are waiting for me in eternity, God has given me a purpose here. I will continue my days on this temporary earth serving Him and listening to what He wants me to do. For THIS is why we are here!