Gratitude & Marking 1 Year

Sometimes there are no words left to say but Thank You. Jaren, Miri and I could not have gotten through a single day, let alone an entire year without each of you. Thank You.

To mark one year, and turn my grief into action, today I am releasing a collection of songs and stories, written and recorded in the past 6 months. These songs helped me heal and are intended to help others heal and to continue my pursuit to raise money for cancer research. I would be honored for you to listen, share, and consider supporting.

While we make our mark with music and memories on this first anniversary of life after death, this year has also made its own indelible mark on each of us. Here’s a little bit about my family. Please share whatever way you choose how the year has left you if you’d like.

Jaren continues to be a sweet and sensitive boy with incredible focus and determination. He learned that hard work and practice pays off this year when he played his second season of soccer and became a true team leader. When Jaren has mastery in something he is a force and this summer, after attending a weeklong rock climbing camp, he scaled impressive cliff walls in Mazama. Jaren is really shining in school where he is drawn to math and science and is starting to read chapter books on his own.

If Jaren is a force, Miri is unstoppable. Tenacious, cunning, and pushing 30 pounds, Miri is a pint-sized 4 year old dynamo with a larger than life personality and imagination. Miri is still in a committed relationship with her stuffed animal, Duck, but her best friend in life is her brother, Jaren, for whom she frequently states at random, “Jaren, I love you.” Miri is incredibly expressive for her age and is often singing, drawing and doing art projects. This winter, Miri and I spent nearly every weekend skiing and I’m excited to start some new winter family traditions in the mountains with my kids.

As for me, I continue to get the incredible opportunity to work with some of the brightest minds in technology at Avanade, where I lead our global Digital Marketing Platform, Services and Offerings business. This August will mark 14 years! I’m fortunate to have an amazing team and group of peers that helped me take a big step forward this year when I was promoted to an Executive in the company.

While work keeps me engaged and focused, the favorite part of my day is driving the kids to school in the mornings. The backseat conversations are priceless and watching the kids express their love for each other warms my heart.

Jaren, Miri and I think about Abby every day and feel her presence with us all the time – hearing morning birds sing, waking up to a brilliant sunrise, seeing Mount Rainier on a bright sunny day, feeling snowflakes kiss our faces in the mountains, laughing at our own jokes in the way only Abby could, sitting around the table telling stories of our day over a meal. We take great comfort in knowing we are living the way Abby would want us to – celebrating each day. Wherever you are today take a moment to celebrate your day and your life.

Thank you on this anniversary for everything you do for our family and we look forward to finding happiness and joy and celebration with each of you.

Love & Healing,

Justin

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