Two major holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, have come and gone. They were our first without Steve.
Each of us dealt with the upcoming holidays in our own way and, although his chair was empty, the memories we treasured of all of the holidays that came before remained in the forefront of our minds during this season; the huge life that was his and the love he had for all of us remained firmly planted in our hearts as we sped toward and celebrated each holiday.
As the first day of the new year draws to a close I find myself thinking of my life with the man that was my best friend for over 35 years. His death was a huge loss that caused the deepest sorrow of my fifty-eight years and greatly impacted the lives of my children. It literally colored every other event that occurred during this year.
With that in mind, my daughter and her husband, both of whom lost their dads in the past two years, spent part of their New Year’s Eve making a list of everything good that happened to them and their families during 2018. They found that although their fathers’ deaths made for negative and overpoweringly sad memories, there were more events that sort of “balanced the scales” making for a more positive view of the past year. Even though Steve’s absence hovers ever near, I think it fitting that I follow their example and make my own 2018 List of Good Things.
My children are happy and successful.
Lauren won Teacher of the Year, as well as, Secondary Teacher of the Year for her school district.
Matthew was awarded a Life Saving bar for saving a child from drowning.
Kendall was hired on to a new company with great benefits and allows her to pursue a career in real estate.
Zach was hired at Lauren’s school. They get to see each other every day at work!
Lauren and Zach welcomed their second child, Jase, into the world in July.
Matthew and Kendall added Kennedy, a healthy, beautiful baby girl, to their family in December.
Landon and Leah are absolutely precious children who love their families, love to play outside and on technology. They learn something new each and every day…and…they make me laugh so hard. I love them so very much! While I don’t get to see my grandchildren as often as I would like, I do get to see them whenever possible. When I have been needed I have, thus far, been able to help out. What a blessing!
My mom celebrated her 78th birthday and is healthy, opinionated and fun!!
After 34 years of marriage and constant companionship, I’ve once again learned to live on my own. I could list a series of examples but will not bore you with the minutia. Suffice it to say, I miss my sweetheart but know that he would be proud that I have been able to handle whatever life has thrown at me; I haven’t just given up.
Most importantly, I have kept my faith. When things get tough and friends are in short supply I know that God is right there. He walks beside me on the good days and carries me on the hard ones. I am so grateful to have a Savior who is always present!
I pray that 2019 brings joy, contentment, health, success and financial independence for my children, extended family and friends. For myself, I will try to follow the sentiments below written by William Arthur Ward, an American Writer and Author:
“This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!”
In 2019, I beseech you to live each day as if is going to be your last. Look upon each new day with optimism and joy. Make the day count for something. Make a difference. Build bridges. Repair relationships. Seek and accept Christ as your Savior. Only He can guarantee your future!
Happy New Year!