On Thursday, at 5:34 AM, it was exactly six years since my Angel Shannon left for her next chapter. There are days that it seems so much longer than that, and days that it seems like it was yesterday.
For this week’s story, I want to let you know what I have learned on this journey. (To the guys at basketball, Yes, I am capable of learning!) At the beginning, I would have called this “A difficult time” or “Ordeal.” I choose journey, because that’s what it is. When you embark on any kind of journey, you are going to pass through areas that aren’t very picturesque. But as long as you keep moving forward, you will eventually pass through beautiful places. It’s like driving through Nevada to reach any place else. (Sorry Nevada, it’s the only analogy I could think of!)
On this journey, I have discovered how important the bond of friendship is. I need to tell all of you how grateful I am for the love and support you have given me. It would have been a much longer and harder journey without your help, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also learned the strength of family, and how much I had taken it for granted. I want to thank my Mom and my Mother-In-Law for all they have done for me. They have always been there to give me strength. I also need to thank the rest of my family for always being with me on this journey. There is no way I can tell Justin, Ryan. Brittney, Cassidy, and little Jayci enough how much your Mom/Grandma and I are proud of you. You are the greatest joy in our lives, and we Love You from the bottom of our heart! Our family bond gets stronger every day.
One of the most important lesson I have learned, is how rewarding it has been to reach out and help others. When I started volunteering at the hospital, it changed my perspective immensely. I realized there are so many people dealing with tragedies much worse than what I was going through. I thought about how compassionate and empathic Shannon has always been, and followed her example. It allowed me to help just by being someone they could talk to.
By far, the best part of this journey has been the Shannon Wilker Foundation. I have met so many wonderful people. I am grateful for the generosity of so many selfless people, I have been able to get their donations to help so many cancer patients and their families. Whenever I get a thank you card from them, it fills my heart with warmth and love. This wouldn’t be possible without the donations of so many generous people. You are the real MVP’s.
I will leave you with another big thank you for reading these stories and your support. I will keep working on being the kind of man my Angel Shannon can be proud of. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU sweetheart.
Next week: G-PA to the rescue!
P.S. Hey Nevada, I came up with a better analogy. “It’s like driving through Salt Lake and Utah drivers to get to Disneyland”