This year started off pretty good. In January, Christopher had his 23rd birthday and I received the Royal Arch degree in the York Rite. That was a very nice degree. February was pretty uneventful.

In March, I attended the annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. Pretty cool stuff going on. I also began attending the Chattanooga Police Department’s Citizens’ Police Academy. That was and eight week event. Lots of interesting things going on at CPD.

In April, Taylor and John had their 20th and 19th birthdays, respectively. On April 6th, I had the honor and privilege of initiating John into Kappa Sigma. That was a true proud daddy moment. Four months of memorizing the ceremony and it went off without a hitch. One of, if not the best, initiation I’ve been a part of.

In May, things started to go a bit South. I had my 44th birthday. At least I had another one. 🙂 I also received the Order of the Temple Degree. That was a very nice degree. On May 25th, Melissa’s mom, Cheri, passed away after an 11 month battle with pancreatic cancer. I’m not going to expound on that here. There is a whole other post on it. The annual car show, for the lodge, was postponed until July. Turns out, it didn’t even rain on the original date. Father’s day was the redeeming thing in May. I could not be more proud of my kids. 🙂

In June, I traveled to Chicago to the BCAB conference. That will probably be the last one we attend. Our BC/DR program is just outgrowing the usefulness of that conference. Melissa started getting ready for her shoulder surgery to take place at the end of the month.

July was full of physical therapy for Melissa and Dad’s 75th birthday. On the 27th, I learned some life-altering information which I am still not at liberty to discuss publicly. This information is not related to Melissa or the kids if those reading this are wondering.

August was better, sort of. More physical therapy and Cathy’s 48th birthday. Wow, she’s old. 🙂 Love ya, Sis! We ended the month with a trip to St. Louis for my cousin’s wedding and then to Memphis for some time with Melissa’s family. Great trip! We returned to Dad having a serious heart event. Not an attack, but we did discover that pretty much every artery in his heart was significantly blocked, along with one of his carotid arteries. Triple bypass is in his immediate future. Very scary.

In September, After one day of rest from the St. Louis/Memphis trip, I traveled to Raleigh, NC to move a data center to the IBM facility there. It went very well. More physical therapy. We also had our annual Friends and Family Night at the Lodge. We gave more to the special education programs of Harrison-area schools than we ever have. I’m still in a funk from the July news. Our scheduled disaster recovery exercise was postponed until December.

Mom’s 73rd birthday was in October and Melissa and I went on a much needed trip to Destin. The weeks leading up to the anniversary of her Granddaddy’s death, in 2010, are usually where Melissa’s yearly funk begins. This year is especially hard leading into the holidays after her mom’s passing. The Lodge’s annual Trunk or Treat went very well this year.

On November 1st, I was formally inducted into the Sons of the American Revolution. That was a very nice night. Thanksgiving went pretty well. Everyone came to our house and there were no major breakdowns.

December has blown by. The month started with a disaster recovery exercise that went well. It was our first exercise in the new IBM facility. Heavy on my mind is the news from July. Other events going on outside my family and on social media keep bringing it to mind. I think I’m handling it pretty well, considering the gravity of the information. I think this is one of those things that only time will heal and I have to keep telling myself that there is absolutely nothing that can ever be done about it.

As I am sitting here, it is officially Christmas Eve. I am looking forward to everyone being here. I’m a little curious about why dad originally didn’t want to come. He’ll be here, but he gave totally different stories to Cathy and I.

One thing is for certain, I am ready for 2018 to end so I can start 2019 with a clean slate.

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