Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Jesse Erick Sollman

Easton Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Friday, March 25, 2005

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Police Officer Jesse Erick Sollman

Carin -

When God takes something away from you, it's not to punish you or to hurt you - it's because He has other plans for you and your life.

If you are holding on too tightly to what he is trying to take away, your hands will be full and unable to receive His blessings. Just let go - let go and trust Him.

Turn to Him with open hands and an open heart and He will give you the peace and happiness you are looking for.

Keep your faith, Carin. Don't give up hope and always remember that many people love you and those of us who know you - really know you - believe that there are many blessings in store for you. Just open your hands.....

May 27, 2008

Jesse,
Before this Memorial Day weekend gets started, I wanted to take time to thank you for your service in the military, your service as a police officer and SWAT team member, for being a great husband and father, and most important to me, for being a great friend. Other than my grandfathers who both served in WWII, you are the only person who gives this Memorial Day personal meaning for me. You may not have died serving in a military action, but you certainly died serving as a police officer. My thoughts of you this Memorial Day weekend are not solely because of your actions as a police officer, but mainly because of the memories I have as a result of our friendship. It's not that I am just now thinking of you on this holiday weekend. You know I think of you quite often and talk to you often as well. I pray often for you, Carin, Savannah, and Jacob. Speaking of Jacob, how about the way he pitched right in during their last visit to our place and helped me shovel those landscape stones. No one asked him, he just jumped right in and helped--JUST LIKE YOU WOULD DO. Savannah joined in as well. They miss you dearly man, but you can see they are growing up to be great kids as Carin is really doing a nice job with them. We often talked about getting to a professional baseball game together (in NY or Philly) but we never got there. Dianne & I are taking the boys to Baltimore later this summer and I'm sure you'll be there to see to it they have a blast. I miss you man. I miss you dearly. Obviously, as these tears well-up in my eyes. Thank you for our friendship and its very, very unfortunate, but thank you for the personal meaning you bring to Memorial Day. I love you buddy.

Brian Watts
Friend

May 23, 2008

Hey Jes ~

My heart is so heavy with sadness.....

Willard left us today, and came to be with you and Finn. It's been a terrible 3 weeks, Jes. He got so sick so quickly. I was hoping that we'd have him a few more weeks, but the past couple of days were bad and this morning I just knew it was time to let him go and be with you.

On the way to the vet I asked you for a sign that I was doing the right thing - thank you for sending it to me, otherwise I would be sitting here right now second-guessing myself and feeling terribly guilty.

I do realize that he was just a cat - but he was our cat. Our baby that we got together so many years ago. Everyone loved Willard, even people who normally don't like cats thought he was cool. I've taken good care of him since you've been gone and now it's your turn. I gave him lots of love and kisses to bring to you, and I held him in my arms as he took his last breath. It broke my heart to let him go but knowing that he is with you now makes it easier.

Telling the kids was just awful. I've been preparing them, letting them know how sick he was and that we would soon need to say goodbye but they were still devastated. Then Jacob asked what would happen if Finn chased Willard in Heaven and they knocked over some of God's things - Savannah told him that it would be alright because daddy would tell Finn to stop and besides, God wouldn't mind anyway.

Please take good care of him, Jes. Don't grab his head or tease him too much and don't let Finn intimidate him - I know you love to be the instigator but please just try to be gentle. Give him lots and lots of lovin' and rub the spots in front of his ears, he really likes that.

We love you, Jes. We love you and we miss you and we wish you were here with us......but we know that someday - some wonderful day - we will all be together again, as a family, in Heaven.

I wish that day was tomorrow.

Love you. Always and forever
~ Carin

May 16, 2008

Thinking of you today, May 15th, National Police Memorial Day. My wife attended the Memorial at the American Police Hall of Fame in Titusville, Florida today. She placed a blue rose along with your picture at the base of the marble panel where your name appears. This tribute will stay there on display for as long as there is room at the base of your panel. Visitors can now put a face to your name. Continue to keep watch over Carin and the children. Watch over Carin and let her feel your presense so she knows you are near and watching over her. You have not been forgotten.

Bob Gordon
Father of Fallen Chicago Officer: Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

May 15, 2008

Believe in yourself

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there. To serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become.

You never know who these people may be but when you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way. And sometimes things happen to you at the time that may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower or heart.

Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet affect your life. The successes and downfalls that you experience can create who you are, and the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones.

If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them because they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart.

If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because they are teaching you to love and to open your heart and eyes to little things. Make every day count.

Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again.

Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high.

Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you. Create your own life and then go out and live it.

May 2, 2008

Carin, The last posting was from me, I completely forgot to add it in - - just too late I guess!

Easton PD Wife

April 17, 2008

Carin, these past couple of weeks, heck months have been really difficult and every time I feel overwhelmed, I come to this site and visit Jesse and you. It makes all of my hardships, troubles and worries seem just so meaningless compared to what you have had to face. I read one time, it is not what we face in life that defines us, it is how we react to it that makes the difference. You have done a tremendous job with Savannah and Jacob. Their life will never be what you had planned with Jesse, and that breaks my heart. Jesse was a great guy and really left such a legacy for his years in Easton. I only hope that Savannah and Jacob will be inspired by his memories to live their lives like he would, and especially like the way he would want them to. We are reminded briefly sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, sometimes longer of Jesse - but you live it every minute of every day and yet you have managed to carry on . . . you have truly been an inspiration to many. Savannah and Jacob may not have their dad by their side, but he is in their hearts, and they have a mother who has made up for it all.

April 11, 2008

Carin
Just stopping by hon to see how you are doing? I hope you are hanging in there during this difficut time. I don't much care for Easter myself as I lost my brother and Nana at Easter. I get in a fog that is hard to get out of. You have so much support. I am always here if you need me. We have to get together again.
With love
chrissy g

chrissy gilbert
Forever 812

April 8, 2008

Carin,
I have been eavesdropping and reading a few of your
beautiful reflections. The depth of your grief touches
me and I feel very sad for all you are forced to experience. You were blessed with such a deep,
profound love that few find. It is your faith and trust in
Jesus that will get you through. He promises to be
your husband and a father to the fatherless. If you can't
have Jesse, you might as well have Jesus. He loves
you even more than Jesse did, if you can imagine that!
It's one day at a time and we are not to worry about
tomorrow because it robs us of the present and we
can't change yesterday. Boy, do I need to do that, too!
Remember, we live by faith which means we don't know what a day holds and maybe that is a good thing!
I wish you the best and I know you are making Jesse
proud! You were so right for each other. Wish I would
have known a love like that! Take good care of yourself
and I am sending you a hug.
Lynn Kole
Bellingham, WA

April 6, 2008

uncle jesse,
god it has been so long. i wish you were still here. you are my inspiration, the reason i can deal with all the bullshit in my job and life,day in and day out. lookin at what you accomplished and what i have yet yo do, i sit here and think... wow, i got it easy and i strive to get what my uncle jess has accomplished. uncle jesse its so hard knowing ill never see you again, but at the same time you have inspired me to take my life and make it soo much better. its so crazy growing up and realizing i want so much more for my life than what i already have. and its largely impart because of you. you are my inspiration... i saw how happy you were to be with aunt carin and have savannah and jacob. and everyday you worked harder and harder to make their lives awesome. now uncle jesse i wish you could see how my life is developing and how happy i am with my current situation in life, and my girlfriend and how i strive to make her happy, just like you did with aunt carin... im sure you'd approve... you would really love alicia, she is my everything, and all that i could ever ask for in a woman. as a matter of fact, shes the one and only for me, the girl of my dreams. i wish you could be here to see me and alicia develop our relationship and get to where we're goin in life, (well i know you'll see us but i wish you could be here in person...) i know you know how it feels to have that one woman,because you had and still very much have the same thing... and aunt carin is such a amazing woman... damn it uncle jess! god i love you sooo much! why did this shit have to happen, i dont beleive how god lets the good die young. that is such crap.. bullshit, but apparently its the truth because he took you waaaay too early..... jesse you are everything i hope i can one day be, a awesome standup guy, and excellent husband, a phenominal father, and the best uncle ever... bar none! ill never ever be too big to give you a hug... ever. i love you so much !!!!

A1C holzheimer
usaf

April 5, 2008

The Broken Chain.

We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you, but you did not go alone;
for part of us went with you, the day God called you home. You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide;
and though we cannot see you, you are always at our side. Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.

Hey Jes ~

I've come on here every day this week, several times a day, to leave a reflection for you but I end up just crying and not being able to say what I want to say. I miss you so much, Jes, and this journey of grief is such an emotional roller-coaster some days it just exhausts me. Some days I feel such overwhelming sadness and loss, I look at the kids and think about how much they lost the day you died and it just breaks my heart. And I think about all the things you've missed, and all the things you will miss as the months and years go by........so many things you should be here for. You would think that as time goes by I'd get used to you not being here but the truth is, it's the same pain over and over again. Like a wound that never has a chance to heal. I read somewhere that grief never really ends - it only changes and turns direction with time. I think about the things you used to say to me, the things you'd tell me in private about how much you loved me and while I'm so grateful to have had you for the time I did, it's very hard to live knowing that I don't have that anymore.

Then there are good days - days when I feel hopeful about the future and when I believe that everything is going to be alright and that happiness is right around the corner. But I'm not sure what that happiness is, or what I should do about finding it and that corner seems to move further away with each step I take towards it. And it's hard to maintain hope and to believe in happiness knowing that everything can change in an instant, knowing that in the blink of an eye life can be turned upside down - how do you learn to trust again, to live again, to ever feel secure again?

I've spent a lot of time this week thinking about the day before you died. You worked until midnight that day, so I took the kids out for dinner and did some shopping - we went to 3 different stores looking for a "doodle bear" for Savannah, she had saved her birthday money and wanted one of them so badly. We finally found one, and she doodled all over it when we got home and couldn't wait to show you. I had also gotten the kids new shoes - princess sandals and star wars sneakers. I think about that day, about how routine and normal it all was and realize I've never felt the same since then.

Nothing has been routine or normal since that day, at least not for me. There is so much from that horrible week that I just don't remember, but then there are moments that are seared forever in my memory - the moment I realized you were gone, the moment I saw you in the hospital, the moment I walked in the house that night and realized you would never be coming home again, the moment I told the kids, the moment I saw you in your casket, the moment the Marine handed me your flag......So many moments that play like a film through my head, a film I wish I could turn off but I can't. And it's changed who I am.

I'm not bitter or angry, I'm just sad. Sad that this has happened to our family, sad that our children have to grow up without their daddy, sad that I've had to learn to live without you. Sad that I am alone. Sad to learn the hard way that people don't always live up to your expectations. Sad that things don't always turn out the way we want, or the way we think they should. Sad that unfairness, injustice and disappointment are such a huge part of life. Sad that the kids have had to learn all of these lessons at such an early age - they are hard lessons for ME, they must be impossible for them.

I try hard, Jes, to remain hopeful and happy for the kids - I really do. When we cleaned up your grave on Monday and put out fresh flags for you I was of course crying and Savannah said "I know you're sad about daddy, but everything is going to be alright mom. When life gives you lemons you make lemonade!!!" I don't know where she got that particular phrase because I don't say it, but it was good to see her optimism and her belief that things are going to be O.K. I tell them all the time that even though it's very sad you aren't with us now, you are in Heaven waiting for us and that we'll all be together again some day. Jacob calculated that because I'm 39, I've got "about 6 years" before I go to Heaven - I assured him that I've got many more than that. At least I hope I do!

I also worry about the long-term impact losing you will have on the kids. Another widow I know read a book called "Father Loss" that studied a group of girls who lost their fathers when they were little - it tracked them over a 20 year period and found that they definetly suffered effects from losing their dads at such a critical time in their lives, and not having their dads around as they grew up. I worry about that, about you not being here, and how it will affect them. And I believe that what happened to you has already affected them - I believe it has changed who they are and changed the adults they will become. It's too big of a loss not to, and there is no way to undo it.

I just have to keep on praying - for strength, courage, wisdom and guidance. Keep praying that God will bless our lives, that He will take care of us and will watch over us and that everything will be alright. Isn't that what hope is? Believing in things we can't see, things we have no proof of? I have a sign (of course) that says "I believe in the sun even when it is not shining, in love even when I am alone, and in God even when He is silent". I'm trying very hard to continue to have hope.

We miss you, Jes. We miss you and we love you and we wish so much that you were still here with us. You've been gone now for 3 years yet some days it seems like forever.

I love you very much, and I always will.
Always and forever.
~ Carin

March 28, 2008

Dear Carin, Savannah, Jacob, and Family,

The life of an Officer is never forgotten within the Police Family. Thinking of you all today, and hoping that you find some comfort in the memories you were blessed to have shared with Jesse. I am so sorry for your loss.

Jesse~ God Bless you. It is not how you died that made you a hero...it is how you lived.

With Fond rememberance, support, blessings, and thoughts from my family to yours...You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Bethlehem PD WIFE

March 25, 2008

Carin...my heart has gone out to you for 3 years now, as I've watched through your strength how you have handled Jesse's death. Your love for him has gotten you this far, and I'm not sure if you realize it, but your caring attitude for others and the way you have reached out to help others that have been through the same thing, in other words, your unselfishness makes you a wonderful woman and a friend to many...I truly believe that is why you are seeing the "light at the end of that tunnel" that you told Jesse about. I was born and raised in Easton, knowing many officers, especially from the 70's...and they were a fine crew then. My hope is sometime to meet you, as I don't live to far...but the best thing you can do is exactly what you are doing...help others...My best to you and your children, Carin

Kathy Lobb
A Neighbor

March 25, 2008

Thank you so much Jesse...

March 25, 2008

Officer Sollman,
Thank-you for your ultimate sacrifice 3 years ago.
Also thank-you to your wife, children and family for the sacrifice that they make each day as they struggle to live with out you here physically.
May they be blessed and comforted everyday.

Holley Orr
Wife of Detective Kevin Orr EOW 11-22-06

March 25, 2008

Thinking of you today...as always...be strong...hold your head up high...remember you are not alone...Jess is with you always...

love you girl,
me

March 25, 2008

The 3 year mark has arrived and I'm sure you are very proud of Carin and how she has raised the two children and the decisions she had made. Continue to be at their side, protect them and let them know that you are near guarding over all of them. You have not been forgotten by those that love you or those that called you friend. Also, watch over those still out on patrol.

Bob Gordon
Father of Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

March 24, 2008

Jes-

Well it's been three years and it still isn't any easier. I'll be up to see you and share a beer and Crown with you, my friend, and then dinner like old times. I know you are just so proud of Carin and the way she's raising the kids. They really are images of you Jes. Thanks for taking care of the business that I am not able to. I owe you one. Until we see each other again...

Nick

March 24, 2008

Just wanted to say that we have not forgotten the sacrifice you made March 25, three years ago. Or the sacrifice that your family has had to make everyday without you. Jesse I know you and Clint are swapping stories about what happened, I just know in my heart that Clint was doing what he loved and I'm sure that you were also. Your families just miss you so much, I know that I will keep Clint's memories alive, as I bet your family will do the same.
We will be thinking about you on March 25th your third birthday in Heaven. Look Clint up for me tell him I miss him and keep the signs coming...

Connie Barker F.W.B. Fl.
Mother of Clint Walker Prattville Al. E.O.W. 1-14-04

March 24, 2008

Hey girl! I have been thinking of you so much this week. I know what you mean about Good Friday and Easter. We buried Drew on Good Friday and spent the first day home alone on Easter Sunday. It seems like only yesterday. I was glad to read your reflection from Friday and see that you are getting through. This year for me was harder than last but I think it is because we went home for the street dedication ceremony, and that was very emotional. I am there with you every minute of the next few days...just think of me and I will send you the strength to get through!

Jess...I hope you and Drew got big 'ol baskets of chocolate today!! Thank you for sharing Carin with me. She is an amazing woman and I know you are proud of her. We will forever be joined as sisters and during this time of year we will always take care of one another. I'm so sad for the children who lost their Dad's, but I know you are looking down on Savannah and Jacob and smiling with great pride at how grown they are...they will never forget the wonderful Dad of theirs.

Much love,
Chrissy Henley

March 23, 2008

I'm thinking of you all and hoping for peace and comfort at this time. I just send my love, sometimes thats all I know to say.

Linda Rittenhouse
Matt's Mom

March 22, 2008

Hey Jes ~

The date is different this year, so even though your EOW is on the 25th, you were shot on Good Friday so I sometimes feel like there are 2 anniversaries of your death. This whole Easter holiday is very difficult.

I've been thinking about you all day - about what happened to you that day, about all that you've missed over the past 3 years, and about all the things that are still to come that you won't be here for. It's so sad.

I know you were with me this week. Things weren't as bad as I thought they would be, and I feel so much stronger and more confident now. It's been like a dark cloud hanging over me, weighing me down, but I'm finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We miss you, Jes. We miss you and we love you.

Always and Forever
~ Carin

March 21, 2008

Carin, Just wanted to let you know that all of our thoughts and prayers will be with you over the next week or so, as they always are, but I know as Jesse's anniversay of his death closes in, it must be especially very difficult. The kids sound like they are getting so big, and while there are so many hard pieces of your life you have had to pick up, I think knowing that they will never get a chance to experience their father must be just so hard. Maybe somehow you'll find comfort in knowing that Jesse's memory is living on in so many people. The way he lived will never be forgotten, and always brings such fond (usually very funny stories) to so many. You have done a tremendous job, and I think Jesse would be very proud of you.

Easton PD Wife

March 20, 2008

Dear Carin,

Thank you for the reflection that you left on Mark's page. Your reflections to Jes remind me so much of myself. I wish you much love, support, and strength each and every day. I know the journey is not easy, but I have faith in you that you will find your way with Jes' love guiding you. All my best to you and your family,

Yvonne Sawyers-Swanson
Mark Sawyers EOW 6/5/04

March 15, 2008

Hey Jes ~

Jacob made a card in school for Valentines day, it was a pink heart folded in half and inside he wrote "I love my mom". It's so sweet, I of course put it on the fridge where all the artwork goes. It took me a little while to realize that it wasn't just a card - it was actually like a little book, 4 pink hearts stapled together and folded with a message on each page - "I love my cat", "I love my sister" and on the last page he wrote "I love my dad".

A few weeks ago he had a buddy over to play, it was the first time this boy had been here, and they both went upstairs and into my bedroom. I came up and was about to tell them to come out when I realized they were in my closet, talking, so I just listened outside the door. Jacob was telling him the "sad story about what happened to my dad" and was showing him some of your things in the cedar chest.

Things like this make me so sad, Jes. The fact that the kids don't have their dad anymore just breaks my heart - for them and for you! You would enjoy them so much if you were here, you'd get such pleasure out of seeing them now with how much they've grown and changed and all the things they are doing. Jacob is the same age now as Savannah was when you died and that is incredibly hard for me to wrap my head around - you've been gone so long and missed so much and after all this time I still find myself sitting here saying "It's not fair!". The kids need you so much, they need you here with them and it just isn't right that you aren't.

I pray every day, Jes, for God to give me guidance and strength and courage - for Him to show me what He wants me to do and to help me understand what He wants for my life. I try to make the right decisions for me and the kids but sometimes the "right" ones feel wrong and then I get so confused. It's really tough being left here to pick up the pieces and I hope you know that I'm doing my best.

We miss you, Jes. We miss you and we love you.
Always and forever.
~ Carin

February 29, 2008

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