Another chapter closes: 2011 in review

As we wind down the hours in 2011 and prepare to ring in the new year, I think back to where I was just 12 short months ago. A lot has changed since then, and I find myself once again reflecting on all that happened and where it has led me to today. I have said many time that life is fluid, and the lessons we learn from today will take us to our next stop along the path tomorrow.

When the new year dawned, I was working on a large project with Belfor. It was a large hotel renovation that kept me busy 7 days a week. Constantly on the go, I was balancing work with an ever busy social life and spending time with my boys. An evening at the theatre, nights out with the BFFL, and a day at COSI with my guys all highlighted a very busy first two months of the year. In late February a minor fender bender couldn't even slow me down as I had a project to finish and never had a night without plans. But on March 4th, it all changed.

I have often recalled the day of the accident in my mind. The fear I had as that truck slid sideways in front of the car that my ten year old son and I were in is something I never want to experience again. That day, Ben's health and a few bruises on me were the main concern. I could not imagine how much bigger the problem was about to become.

The next month was filled with a lot of angst as the doctors tried to figure out what they needed to do. The mass behind my left eye was growing and it needed to come out. Soon, we set a surgery date and I began to dread the procedure and recovery that I had at 17 and thought I would never experience again. When the day of the surgery came, I remember being on the operating room table. The next thing I remember was laying in hospital bed after being given a room. More than 16 hours had passed, and I was informed that everything had turned out better than best case. An hour later, I was alone in the room. In that moment I knew what the next step was along the path. A few minutes later Bethany arrived. She took me home, made sure I had everything I needed for my few days of recovery (including a box of twinkies) and asked me 100 times if I was going to be ok before leaving that evening. I knew I would be. For in that time in the hospital, everything had changed.

I knew that I liked Tiffany. A lot. I had already thought of how she could fit into my life as I moved forward. When I left the hospital, though, she was the first person I wanted to call. And she was so happy to hear from me. Over the next few weeks, we spent more and more time together. I had long since realized that she was everything I had been looking for and that it seemed she looked at me the same way. When we were together everything else disappeared. During the summer we decided to move in together and start planning a wedding. We spent out days taking the boys to thrift stores and looking at potential venues for the ceremony, and our nights lost in conversation. Along the way we met each others families and even took a couple road trips together. Now here we are in December and things seem to get better everyday. In her, I have learned to value each day and realize how lucky I am. I have realized that the path can be wide enough for two and that when you find someone who really is that girl, she will know it too. And I have learned that when you become a better person just by being with the person you love, everyone else can see it too. It is an amazing feeling and I am grateful to have learned how to feel it this year.

The last major change this year was my employment change. Belfor had been very good to me, but a dictator like boss and less time with my boys necessitated a change. So in October I left the company that had opened so many doors for me to pursue a new interest. 3 months later, though, I am afraid it is time for another change. I leave Kustom Restoration this weekend and will be starting with a new company on Tuesday. However, with an established presence in Columbus and a solid core of leadership, I am hopeful that this will be the last stop....at least for awhile.

All in all 2011 has been a good year. I have some goals set for the next I will reveal as we go. But for now I wish everyone a Happy and Safe New Year's.......................

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