We usually don’t write a Thanksgiving/Christmas letter, but this year we have so much to be thankful for! For one, Bill is still here; a year ago we did not know what to expect and there were serious doubts as we were told his cancer is very aggressive. Two months ago, the doctors told us the cancer is in full remission! We never gave up hope – the Lord gave us courage and the prayers and love of many brought us through some dark, dark times. HIS WILL BE DONE!
This is not to say all has been wonderful. We have dear friends and family who are quite ill. Early this year, we lost a good friend, Blake Gilbreath. Bill lost three cousins during the year. Jeff Davis and eldest cousin Marion McGuire Edwards from Dad's side of the family, and Bob Phillips from Mom's side of the family. We also lost several Sunday School class members who were dear to us. We still feel these losses.
Bill is so blessed to have Shaysha as his wife, partner, caregiver, counselor and lover. Over the has two years Shaysha has looked after me and gave unselfish love. She did things for me neither one ever expected to have to be done and stayed steadfast with me. She is a blessing and has been with me for over 12 years – and we expect many more!
We are thankful for our church, friends and family who have stood beside us during this time. We include those who are many miles away and some whom we haven’t seen for many years. Each time we heard from one of you or received a note or email we felt the strength and blessings they conveyed. Thank you so much!
Thanksgiving has been a blessing enjoying our blended and extended families. Bill’s Charleston family (Beth, Eddie and Rachel Ann age 10) came two weeks ago and we were all able to enjoy a “dual Thanksgiving/Birthday celebration” with Mark, Nadeen and their children, Conor William (8) and Vera Ann (7). Beth and family remained in Charleston for the holiday while Mark’s family traveled around Austria and Germany as part of one of Nadeen’s business trips. Her job now takes her around the world.
Shaysha’s Mississippi family (Allen, Toody, Emily age 16 and Al4 age 13) remained in Jackson where we plan to visit in January for Emily’s baptism. Shaysha’s grandson Michael is currently stationed in South Korea.
We shared Thanksgiving with nearby family (Melanie, Jessica & C.J, and great-grand Addi who will be 4 in January) who joined us and a few friends for a delightful dinner. Afterwards, we continued a one-year tradition with Addi helping to decorate the Christmas tree. She had so much fun last year, we decided to do it again. Needless to say; the lower part of the tree is decorated very well!
Shaysha and I have joyfully traded my doctor appointments with meetings and service. Still active in real estate, Shaysha has started a freelance design business open to small churches and she is very active in our neighborhood association organizing social events, clean-up activities, membership records and almost any other task needing to be done. Bill is back on the HOA board as Vice-President after a year- and-half absence due to the cancer. He is also chairman of the Snellville Planning Commission and recently appointed to the Snellville Downtown Development Authority. No matter what some may say about folks, like us, seasoned more than ¾ century, we think we are acting our age, and enjoy our service!
Love and Blessings to all!
Bill & Shaysha