It would be easy to say that 2011 was the worst year ever but the truth is…it wasn’t!!! Glen and I started the year with most incredible snow-week ever. We painted and played in the snow every chance we could and the kids even baked daddy some special heart cupcakes. Also in what could have been a year that would make you quit teaching, Glen would show up with lunch for me and to “checkup” on my difficult student and would always be on speed dial to talk to him when it was a particularly difficult day. He acknowledged this child’s need for a positive male role model and did everything he could to help me and the student.
We had an incredible Spring Break and went to the zoo with the kids, my mom, dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Tom, and Aunt Margot. Next up was our yearly Easter party where all of my girlfriends get our kids together to celebrate Easter. It was amazing with about 12 little “bunnies” running around doing an egg search and eating delicious treats.
Then in May, Glen was so happy to stand as Best Man for his little brother Mike’s wedding. I was just as happy to stand as a bridesmaid for Michelle and we had a wonderful weekend celebrating their love.
In the summer, Glen and I had the joy of celebrating his birthday by me surprising him with a trip. We took the kids to Disney World and even when we were driving in Glen was still in complete shock that I had arranged the whole thing! (With matching shirts!)
We then spent quality time with Valerie in Miami (for a Michael Jackson dance competition that had an awesome cake), and of course had to spend time at the beach. Glen made sure to teach Cameron how to be cool even at the beach, shades and the peace sign of course.
We topped off the trip by spending some much-needed time in Grand Rapids with all of my family.
I had the joy of running my first 5K EVER with Glen, Ashley , Michelle , and Mike. Glen was an amazing coach as I began running and always encouraged me to go deeper, grow stronger, and get focused!
And of course football season began and we made sure our kids were geared up and ready for game watching. We were able to compete in our first running event as a family and it was an outstanding day. I ran the 5K, Alana ran the 1K with Glen accompanying her, and Cameron ran the 25 yard tot trot. It was a remarkable day.
The last two months of 2011 were obviously filled with strife, devastation, and loss, but it is being able to look back on all of the joy in our life together that brings me peace. I feel like I know how to live my life with the loss simply because Glen taught me how to be tough even when things were not going my way. Like Michelle, his sister-in-law said “no matter what life threw at him, things just had a way of working themselves out…Glen always had a smile on his face…what an amazing way to live.” I believe that things always worked out because Glen never focused on the negative or bothered talking about people being the cause for his struggles. It just was what it was and he knew focusing on negatives would not make it better. HE made it better! By focusing on what WAS going his way and being fully present with those things at all times. Watching him live that way gives me strength not to dwell on losing him but to be fully present in my life and rejoicing in the many blessings I have. I am honestly a better mother, daughter, and friend for God giving me the blessing of putting Glen in my life. I love you, Glen, and I thank you for being my friend, love, husband, mentor, and life coach. And as I begin this year without you here, I WILL carry on your legacy with our children and live life to the fullest, knowing you will be watching every step of the way and rejoicing in our accomplishments.