Anniversary Week – Year Four – Ups & Downs

2011 was a hard year. It was like a roller coaster. So many things happened that year. Needless to say I was happy to see 2012 roll around and get past 2011. Needed a fresh start. The year started out ok but ended on a rough note. 

One of the cool things that year was Granny Parrish turning 100 years old! We all traveled down to the Tampa area to celebrate her birthday. On the way we stopped in Gainesville to visit with Garett. Overall was a great trip and we had some nice memories. 

That year Mike came back to live in Dothan for a while and it was so good to have him around. I missed him a lot when he moved to California. Mike and I got to hang out a lot and it was great to have such a good friend around again. He ended up moving back to Cali though. I am glad he is where he needs to be. But I still miss him. John and his family also moved back to Alabama in Gadsden. They are closer now, but still would love to live closer to them. We were able to meet up with them a few times in 2011. Each time was such a good visit. 

I was invited to be part of a ministry team with Mike and John for an outreach in Gadsden. We teamed up with some Bethel Ministry Students. I loved every minute of that trip. God really moved in the lives that we reached out to. We hit up some neighborhoods, shops and The Well. 

2011 I was promoted to crew leader at Green Creations. That year I think I matured or manned up. I decided in my heart that I needed to be a hard worker and not just get by all the time. As soon as that mindset happened I was promoted. Cool how God honors an honest devoted heart. I really stepped up my game in the work force and learned a lot about leadership, hard work and patience. 

So this bring us to the part that really sucked about 2011. Granny passed away. While I didn’t know her for long she left a legacy of love. Her family absolutely admired her. She made a difference in each and every one of their lives. She is a reminder of how you want to be remembered when we kick the bucket. I really can’t remember hearing many negatives about Granny. Other than some of the “southern” traits that carried on from some of our darker moments as a country. With that in mind it is an amazing thought to think of all the historical moments she was able to witness. So many wars, social changes and simple things like how fast this country has developed. 

My Dad passed away that year too. Typing this out isn’t easy. His health depleted so fast. What was just routine check ups at the Veteran’s Hospitals turned out to be bad news after bad news. Sometime around summer time he was diagnosed with lymphoma and a tumor the size of a football was discovered. Not but 3 months later he passed away. It was such a quick decline. The last few days in the hospital were hard days to be part of. I was SO thankful for Olivia. She was literally born for such a time as this. She was the only thing that brought a smile to my Dad’s face. He was in such agony but when she was in the room he would squeeze out a smile. I miss him and I wish he was still here. It was too soon. 

For Christmas we went to North Carolina for a few days and it was a much needed get-a-way. As soon as we left I was looking forward to the next time. 

2011 was definitely a year of ups and downs. It was a hard year to get through. But I am thankful for the good things that happened and the strength the Lord provided. 

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