moving forward

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

A year in retrospect – The first quarter…

on January 1, 2013

2012 was one of the most eventful, intricate, challenging, and amazing years I have ever had the privilege of experiencing. Therefore, writing this post proved to be a much larger task than I had anticipated.  I have certainly learned not to push myself past my limits, although I had to overdo it many times to get to this place.

The growth and experiences, setbacks and steps forward that I and my family have been through this year is a bit overwhelming.  It honestly was not until I began to gather pictures for this post that I was humbled for the first time by the monumental events of this past year. Hence, breaking it into 4 parts.  It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so pardon me while I share a googolplex of “words” with you all.  (Cameron’s new favorite number after Uncle Tom said it one day.) 🙂


~January~

treadmillAfter 4 weeks of Physical Therapy in the hospital and 4 weeks of PT at home and Shepherd Pathways, on January 3rd, I walked on a treadmill for the first time. I completed a 1/4 of a mile in 10 minutes and it was incredible. I continued at Shepherd Pathways with PT, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy most of this month, doing each therapy three times a week. It was an incredibly trying, yet rewarding period in the year.

On January 28th, CSA sports league hosted a flag football event in Glen’s honor, The Melting Pot Memorial. csa3From the website: “Glen was named #2 on the CSA 2001-2002 Top Ten List and also was named the 2002 CSA Captain of the Year. In addition, Glen was the MVP of The Melting Pot Too.” As a remarkable tribute to him, the Melting Pot Memorial took life. Sports were a huge part of Glen’s life, so we approached this day with great excitement. We made shirts for each of the kids from Glen’s shirts from past seasons.  My parents helped put them together. Here was the final outcome:flagfbWhile at the tournament, CSA recognized Glen’s accomplishments by presenting me with this amazing tribute. csa

Both of the kids loved it!csa2

Here is the up close look: Click on picture to see CSA’s write up on Glen. Hall of Fame - Glen Walker


~February~

Now on to February. Whew 😛 I continued my therapies at Shepherd Pathways, began counseling, began a small group at church, and began attending Grief Share.

vday

My first Valentine’s Day without Glen came along and I decided to really honor both Glen and the holiday because it was certainly one of his favorite holidays.  If you had the pleasure of knowing Glen, you know that shoes were his thing! AlanashoescameronshoesSo in Daddy’s honor, I decided to get both of the kids shoes. Sketchers for Alana because it was a big day when Daddy and I got her first pair and Nike’s (of course) for Cameron.


Towards the end of this month, through hearing about the story at church, seeing a follow up story on the news, and simply reaching out, I had the absolute pleasure of having dinner for the first time with Billy Wilkerson and his family.  He is a fellow severe Traumatic Brain Injury survivor and through our shared experience, our families have been able to become so close.  Here is Billy’s story:


~March~

Part of me wants to say this was the most epic month of the year then I look at my calendar and realize every month was like this to some extent. Blessings abound. Through burden, blessings arise, albeit bittersweet at times.

In February I began looking for houses, something Glen and I had discussed prior to the accident. I was beyond blessed to find a house that seemed to whisper Glen’s approval to me. On March 19th, I closed on our new house and the kids were overjoyed!

march4

run2Also throughout February and March, I began training for my return to running, The Atlanta Women’s 5K. A friend suggested the run and it was the motivation and focus I needed to keep pressing forward.  She not only suggested it, she helped me train! Thank you Lisa.

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My Uncle made this awesome poster from one of the pictures from that day:

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On March 21st, the news did a follow up story  on this journey. Click on the picture below to see the video.

CBS

 race1

race2race4
Alana was my biggest cheerleader that day and it made my heart shine. After seeing me in the hospital early on, I think she had fears surrounding me. Seeing me complete a 5K seemed to help her feel like her mommy was back.


march2Three days later, I took my driving test at Shepherd Center.  I had to complete a series of driving training in Occupational Therapy for about 6 weeks before the test.  On March 28th, I drove on open roads for the first time since the accident. With great anticipation, excitement, and nervousness, I completed the driving test and passed.  🙂
march

The next day, I drove myself somewhere for the first time!! It was such a huge blessing to be able to have some independence.

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The very last day of the month, March 31st, I ran in the Color Run with my friend Sarah again and for their first 5K ever, Billy and his wife Jill ran. before_afterforward

Billy had talked much about making Forward Motion in his life and recovery.  I decided to make t-shirts  to pull on that idea for this race.  “Forward Motion” has become a major movement in my life and is one of the many blessings of knowing the Wilkerson family. 🙂

march5


There really is not a way to describe this race, so here is an awesome video that Billy made from the race that day.

On second thought, perhaps March was epic.

To be continued…


One response to “A year in retrospect – The first quarter…

  1. Cynthia Meeker says:

    What a first quarter of “Forward Motion”! Love you so much! Mom XO

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