Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 in review

New Year's Day has come and gone.  I didn't want it to happen.  Changing to a new year feels like going farther away from Bob.  If anything I want the clock to go the other direction.  I approached New Years like a dog on a leash who does not want to go for a walk.  But it came anyway and now it's 2011. 

I realized that I only saw Bob for 33 days in 2010 - we were together for the first two weeks in January and then Bob went to Mali for the West Africa Ministry Team meeting with CRWRC.  We then had two weeks together in Ghana before I traveled to Liberia/Cote d'Ivoire for two weeks; we had two days together again and then Bob left for Nigeria.  Then a day and a half together again before he died.

After that, there was a loud crack in the atmosphere and the rest of the year is a blur.  It's amazing that anything got done at all.  I have pictures for what happened for the next nine months but it really has been a blur.  The blog attests to ongoing work and life.  That I still have a job and that work was done is only from God.

I am thankful that even though we don't know what 2011 holds for us, we do know Who holds 2011.  I'm thankful that we have the opportunity, through forgiveness, to start this new year without guilt or anxiety, looking to the Shepherd to lead us.  May God grant each of you a blessed year in 2011.

Here are some pictures that didn't make it to the blog.
Picture of Bob in Mali in January 2010.  If you knew Bob, you would appreciate that he is being "tongue-in-cheek" whenever you see him pointing to some sort of scenery in a picture.  Obviously he didn't have to point at the scenery behind him:-). 
He loved taking pictures from airplanes.  I can't count the number of cloud shots that I have from him.  I'm happy for him that he gets to see this perspective much more often now. The new background on the blog is a tribute to his love of clouds.  The deep blue of the sky was also his favorite color.

The last picture I have of him.  I have no idea who the man is with him.  Taken March 18 just before leaving Nigeria to return home.
A few days after his death, in Grand Rapids with my incredibly supportive family.  I'm showing some pictures that my friend Laurie took of Bob after his death.  My brother Henry is beside me, my mom next to me, and Henry's wife, my sister-in-law, Marnie next to my mom.
This picture of flowers from the memorial service has a bit of a story with it.  On our first Valentines Day together, in 1990, I was in Canada and Bob was in Grand Rapids.  He sent me one daisy on the 13th, saying that our love was simple and beautiful like a daisy.  I thought it was sweet, although I wondered at sending just one flower.  The next day, he sent me a dozen roses, saying that while our love was simple and beautiful, it had exploded into something breathtaking and powerful.  Every year after that, while we lived in the US, he sent me a dozen roses with one daisy on Valentine's Day.  [However, I regret to say, that when we were in the US in 2009 for Valentine's Day, I wasn't happy to receive them because of the high price - after living in Africa, it seemed wasteful.  I'm so sorry, Bob.]  At the memorial service, my sisters bought this dozen roses with a daisy for me to remind me of his love. 
When we scattered his ashes, I scattered the rose petals and daisy on top of the ashes, before placing the tree on top.
After the ash ceremony, Hannah and I share a hug at Lake Michigan - near Bliss, Michigan - one of Bob's favorite spots.
My sister, Janette (who many people seem to think is my twin!  She was hugged by many people this past Christmas when at Madison Square Church who thought she was me.  Others looked suspiciously at her husband, Dale, wondering if I had moved on already!).  After Bob's death we were looking in the basement for some pictures and I ran across a bottle of wine that we had been given on our wedding day.  We had been instructed to drink it at our ten year anniversary.  However, we didn't - I don't know why not - and I wondered what to do with it.  So, after we got back from ash ceremony, we opened the bottle, and we all toasted Bob (even the kids, although they didn't like the wine).