moving forward

navigating through the life that was and moving into the life that is

Like Family

on November 24, 2011

The past few weeks have been full of prayer, fright, thankfulness, tears, and even laughter. I’m been writing my own ‘blogs’ in my head each day, thinking about how much Sandra and Glen mean to me, but I have not felt ready to write and share. I decided that today, ready or not, I needed to share what Sandra and Glen mean to me. 


Sandra and Glen have both been amazing friends to me. They both exhibit admirable qualities that have been listed again and again by others throughout the recent weeks: strong, kind, generous, loving. Both Sandra and Glen’s priorities are God, family, and friends. Since so many of us who knew them, know the wonderful characteristics they possess, I’d like to share a few things that are special to me.


Something that Sandra and I have in common is the distance from our childhood homes and parents. Sandra is blessed to have family members in Atlanta (and of course Glen, Alana, and Cameron), while I do not. Sandra is one of the people I claim in my Atlanta family, and while she HAS family in Atlanta, she has made sure to include me as part of hers. Last year, when the Walker family was getting out their holiday decorations to decorate for Christmas, they invited me over for dinner and all the festivities! At a time when they could have enjoyed a family evening, with Cameron just being old enough to enjoy the fun, they chose to include me. One example of many that displays their love for others.


I could spend pages writing about how much I admire Sandra and all that she has done to show me she cares about me. Sweet texts on a random day, bringing books that I’d like, and playlists to share with me, are little things that go a long way. I know that I am not special in this way, but this is what she does for everyone around her. She shows them love and compassion. She will offer you help in a second and does not worry that it might take time or work on her part. I am so grateful for her friendship and I am thankful that we will be able to continue our friendship.


The pain and sadness that I’ve been feeling since Monday is strong. I cannot imagine the feelings of those who are closer to him, but I have decided that the reason I think so many of us feel broken is because he treated everyone like family. His smile, his hug, and his friendly hello, made you feel like he had just missed you since he had last seen you and was so happy you were there. Glen’s friendliness would brighten your day, whether it was already a good one or if you were just feeling a little down. It’s hard to describe, but I think all that knew him, felt that. He was sincere, funny, kind, and always had good words to say. A silly example of this is something that I had forgotten about, but am so happy to have another good Glen memory. This week, a Facebook photo of my friend and me popped up. It looks like it was taken by the paparazzi… the only comment? From Glen- “for a minute I thought this was Taylor Swift and Kate Hudson!” I couldn’t have been more excited because as he (and many others know), Taylor Swift is just about my favorite! Like Sandra, he knew how to make people feel special and say the things that would make them smile. Although it doesn’t seem long enough, I know that I have been blessed to have him in my life. It makes me happy that I can still see his smile and feel his spirit when I think of him and remember little anecdotes, when I see Cameron, and through all the others that have loved him, as well.


There are too many people and things I feel grateful for today to share, but please know if you are reading this, you are someone I feel thankful for, whether you are family, a close friend, a friend or family of Sandra and Glen, or someone who we don’t know that has become invested in their story.


Thank you to the Meeker and Walker families and the friends that have kept us all updated. I am grateful that you have allowed us all to be your family through this challenging time. I know that we have a long road of recovery and understanding ahead of us, and I am thankful to share it with those that have been so caring through this time already. As the days pass, I know that Glen will inspire many of us to live as he did.


I know that our prayers will continue for all, but specifically, Sandra, Alana, Cameron, Michael, Michelle, and Mr. and Mrs. Walker and we will keep Glen in our hearts.




Ashley Smith

Teacher, Chesney Elementary

One response to “Like Family

  1. Lisa says:


    I knew Glen for several years before he met Sandra. I am thankful to him for bringing her into our lives. And as I was reading your post, I realized that how you feel about Sandra being a great friend and glen making you feel loved, is exactly how I feel about Glen being a great friend and Sandra making me feel loved. It just goes to show that they were created to be together and to teach us all how we should live our lives with a great love. Thank you for posting as I know it is still extremely tough but all these posts do make others feel better. It’s nice to smile at not only our own memories, but at others’ as well, too.

    Lisa Perron

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