** I started writing this in December, but I never was able to bring myself to finish this entry. 2010 was a tough year. 2011 is a fresh year and as sad as it is to move on from some things, its truly a fresh start in many ways. — March 21, 2011 **
2010 is going to be remembered as very tough year. There were personal highs and very deep lows this year in our lives. This year will be the year of a new beginning with our house. We celebrated the house with some close friends on Saturday night to celebrate and thank them all for their support, love and help along the way as we have gone through the process of building. Without them, we couldn’t have completed the build. And that was a large, very good night for us to celebrate. It represents a big milestone in our lives. As part of that night, we asked each of them to bring a photo for our family and friends wall. Its one of the final touches we are adding to our house. We purchased a “tree of life” metal wall sculpture made by a local artist as the focal point of that wall and we are surrounding the tree with photos of all the people who are most special to us. The photos we adding at the party were just the beginning as we have lots more people to add to our wall. These strong relationships are so valued and needed for us to be healthy and their support in the last year has helped us pull through some difficult times.
As the year comes to a close, many of our friends and family are struggling — as are we — with the loss of loved ones or with the sickness of other loved family members. Our lifegroup has lost 4 (now 5) beloved family members in this year. None were fully expected even if there was sickness present for a long time. Some of my closest friends have struggled with unexpected deaths and, of course, my family continues to cope with the loss of our matriarch and my uncle so closely together with one another. Even as I write this, tears come to my eyes, so that’s all I can say on it. We miss them and we will continue to miss them for a long time.
For anyone who doesn’t know, we lost my Granny Sellers on September 10. We buried her on September 12, 2010, which was exactly 25 years since my grandfather Sellers passed. She passed due to a bowel obstruction, something that seems like such a small ailment. But, unfortunately, the doctors were not able to fix the obstruction without surgery and she was too weak for surgery and chose not to go that route. She passed at home, peacefully surrounded by all of her family.
My uncle Harmon, who lived with Granny, had been battling cancer for a long time. He lost his battle with cancer in October. Two deaths in such a short time is almost more than anyone can handle. And even though he had been sick and his death was not as much a shock, you can’t ever be ready for death when it robs your family member away, even if for a temporary time.
We have found comfort knowing that we we will see them again one day in heaven. Neither of them is hurting anymore and they are at peace. But that doesn’t take away the large hole that is left in our hearts.
2010 also presented some of the biggest life changes with my immediate family. We moved into our house in November after construction began in June. Anyone who has followed the blog has been able to see the progress. We have finally settled in and its become home. We are incredibly thankful to have been able to build and have a wonderful new home.
Jen and I are also very thankful to have good jobs that we enjoy. Nothing is without its challenges, but both employers have been extremely supportive when we needed this year. In this day and time, we are thankful to have a paycheck when so many don’t. We are thankful to have provision that allows us to get the things we dream of.
2010 also represented a great year of spiritual growth for us. We have a wonderful lifegroup made of close friends we trust, respect and love. It is by far the best small group we have ever been a part of and the group loves us. It is without a doubt God-sent to us. We struggled with losing relationships after leaving Christ UMC and this group is stronger and we are better people for the brief period of pain we may have experienced.
During 2010, we were able to take part in some fun things — like a marriage retreat in Black Mountain, NC, at Ridgecrest during the summer. It was an awesome experience. Our friends (and lifegroup leaders), Russell and Kristi, led worship for the Marriage Impact weekends at Ridgecrest and we joined them for one of those. During the summer, Jen and I began helping out where we could with their ministry with our gifts. I helped them with the website and Jen with some PR and opportunity discovery. For us, its fun because Jen and I have something to work on together (like how we met) and its doing things we enjoy (even if other people consider it work…).
2010 was a big year of healing in other ways, too. We have repaired some of the friendships we missed. It was fantastic to reconnect with some people we really missed this year and we look forward to building into those relationships.
Because of the home build, we didn’t do much traveling in 2010. We spent most of our travel with family this year. We were able to go up to Washington for a friend’s wedding and spend time with Jen’s parents during that time. Other than that, we spent most of our time focused on the house. And in the end, the house which took so much of our time and attention seemed so insignificant compared to family — so 2010 is certainly been our year of family. We knew, but rediscovered, that family and friends are our most important assets in the world. Houses and cars come and go, but these true relationships are where we should stress the most value.