Friday, January 6, 2012

Thumbing through the planner

As my planner gets closer and closer to the end of its pages and the need for a new one becoming more apparent, I took some time to thumb through the pages to see where the year has taken me.

My planner begins in December 2010 with things like classes and finals marking the pages along with holiday parities, reunions, and other responsibilities. Marked down on December 13, 2010 is a special Family Home Evening we had with my parents at their home in Bountiful in which we honored the one year anniversary of my brother Steven's disappearance. Also I see December 9, 2010 with these words "Grandpa Meeting with Social Worker." This day we discussed the growing tumor in my grandpa's brain and the decision not to operate meaning the inevitable was finally coming.

2011 began with a celebration of New Year's and the birthday of my cousin KC. I was unemployed, stressing about finding a job, gaining experience, completing school, and taking care of my family. But other than that there would be no signs that this year could possibly be worse than last year. Nor did I know that by the time we celebrated another 10 second count down to New Year's that my family would survive the a storm that would leave us stronger and more unified.

My planner has scribbled reminders of both the ups and downs. The good times are filled with appointments to keep, lists of things to do, and activities. Blank pages serve as reminders of the bad times when it didn't matter what I had to do the next day. February and July in particular are blank. Who can forget the day of their father's funeral? Who needs to write down the day you bury your grandfather?

Much good would come from 2011. In January I would embark on a path of internships and interviews that would ultimately lead me to August 16 the first day of  my first career job. As I look back  now how could I have known that taking an unpaid semester long internship with the mayor's office over a paid internship with the state of Utah would make all the difference?

In November black pen highlighted in orange highlighter marks the days when all the Koecher family embarked on a trip to visit my sister in Louisiana, something we probably wouldn't have thought necessary in January. This trip was really a pivotal moment for our family because we defined ourselves as a family who stays together no matter the cost, no matter the distance, and no matter how crazy it is to travel with four young kids on an airplane.

December holds one of the most significant appoints of the year for Amber and me. In addition to the press releases, the press conferences, and other hoopla regarding the 2nd anniversary of my brother's disappearance sits a quiet little date that would change our life forever. An ultrasound appointment. After a year long struggle to get pregnant, our prayers and fasting were rewarded when the doctor tells my wife the baby is doing fine.

My planner ends as it begins, with holiday parties, family reunions, and celebrating a cousins birthday. 2011 was a ride that I don't wish to go on again anytime soon, but I'm grateful for the way we came out in the end. Before you throw away your old planner take one more look and see what memories lie inside.

Oh and the next post I promise will be funny! No more of this sap stuff!