As many of you know, on March 5, 2014 my wife of almost 12 years passed away, from liver failure. I cannot describe the amount of love and support that my family has received. This has been, by far, the most traumatic event to ever happen in my life. Only because of my faith, family and friends have we been able to make it through this difficult time. My heart goes to anyone that has had to endure times like these without the support that I have been blessed with. There are so many people to thank that I cannot possibly list them all. Jackies family: Joe and Linda, Marc and Odette, Brian and Sarah, Josh and Eve, Matt and Bridgette, Trevin and Abby, Anna and of course, Jackie’s parents, Chuck and Char. Thank you for always making me and my family feel like we have always been a family. I know I don’t tell you enough, but I absolutely love being a part of your crazy family. My family with a special shout out to my mom and my cousin/brother Tim Grant. If I called them and said I needed them they would drop whatever they were doing and immediately be there for me. I also had a group of teammates that were willing to do anything we needed. The Brady’s, Morgans, Spiewaks, Birtles, Marks, Allswedes. Each one of the families provided something that we needed and I can never repay you for it. I also had a group that went
Andria Mitchell – has been our babysitter for almost 12 years. She has had her own life issues to deal with but basically took over as being a mom to my kids while I was in the fog. I could not have survived without her effort and support.
Trevin and Abby Thorn – yes they are family but they have done so much more I can’t list it. Trevin, thanks for letting your wife also be a surrogate mom to my kids and Abby thanks for helping our family survive.
Kevin Hargis – one of my best friends but we lost touch for almost 10 years but he didn’t hesitate to pick right back up from where we were before. So many times he would just hangout with me and help distract my brain.
Keisha O’Mara and Cameron Hummel- both have gone through a similar situation and their thoughts and insights helped me at some of my lowest moments. They have been a strength emotionally because I knew they understood what I was feeling.
Kevin and Sharrah Hacket – Jackie’s best friend I would say. Sharrah was in the Bahamas when this happened, and before I knew it she had moved into my house to help support us. Both of your friendships have meant so much to me, but what Sharrah did for Jackie I can’t quantify. I always knew when Jackie was talking to Sharrah because that’s when she looked the most happy. Kevin for letting his wife leave with no time frame on when to come home.
Mark and Anna Huber – besides being the reason I was introduced to Life Leadership which is where I meet Jackie. They also moved into the house and helped me with everything including all of the funeral arrangements. As quoted in a movie, “I’ am forever your man!”
Mike and Vi Gowen – our kids became close friends years ago and we have been doing things together ever since. Mike and Jackie had a special brother sister connection and she could tell him things no one else would dare. They have been more then friends over the years; they have become a part of our family.
Orrin and Laurie woodward – What can I say about a couple that are the reason that I have the life I have. All of my F’s are great because of Gods grace and this couple. I will never be able to fully show my thanks for your dedication and belief.
To all the people I missed and all the people that have sent cards, books, notes, and flowers, your support has been overwhelming. You are the true definition of what a community is suppose to be. I love you and will do everything I can to help you feel the same support. Life leadership truly is doing something special. Don’t you ever surrender to the naysayers because they will never experience a true community of people.
I decided to start back with this blog because my two oldest boys just completed something that is the essence of what my beautiful wife stood for. Perserverence, Determination, Strength, Never quit, Be the best you can be – I miss her so much words cannot describe. I would do anything for one more day together to hold her and tell her how great she is. Jacob and Eli, your mom would be so proud of your accomplishment and I hope you adopt her strength. I love you forever Jack ( my nickname that Chris Brady came up with) and a huge piece of my heart has been ripped out and will never be replaced. Can’t wait to meet you again in glory. Here’s your two boys finishing their commitment to you and receiving their black belts.